Sunday, March 19, 2017

Is Water the New Oil?

Part 1: New World Notes #471, 27:57 (March 14)
Broadcast quality MP3 (39 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Part 2: New World Notes #472, 27:41 (March 21)
Broadcast quality MP3 (38 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (13 MB)

Darling's own title for his talk. I like my title better.

Scientist Seth Darling offers a comprehensive--and sobering--look at an endangered vital resource: fresh water. Blending history, political science, chemistry, ecology, and several other academic disciplines, he surveys society's water policies and the probable disastrous results of failing to change them.

In the 20th century, many bloody conflicts were for the control of oil. In the 21st, many will be for the control of water. Darling ends on a positive note, though, reviewing some encouraging advances in purification technology. Science itself, though will not solve the problem.

In the recent past, fresh water was cheap, safe, and abundant. In the 21st century, Darling argues, we can have any two of these three qualities, ... but we can't have all three.

Part 1 includes an introduction by KD. Part 2 includes a song on pollution by Tom Lehrer (1965).

Dr. Seth Darling

Seth Darling is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Argonne National Laboratory. He spoke in Chicago on May 18, 2016. The original recording was provided by Dale Lehman of radio station WZRD (thanks!). I have slightly edited and condensed the talk for radio broadcast.

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