Posts


The Crisis in the Middle East is a Crisis of Growth

by Daniel Wortel-London

The catastrophe unfolding in Israel and the Gaza Strip is the product of many factors, including colonialism and religious fanaticism. But another impulse driving this disaster deserves discussion: competition over growth and the natural capital—particularly energy, water, and land—that ensures it. These resources provide the basis for economic and population expansion in the Middle East and elsewhere. As nations continue to recklessly pursue this expansion in a finite world we will see more and more struggles over fewer and fewer resources.


Whose Taps Will Go Dry First?

by Gary Gardner

Experts have warned for decades of potential water scarcity in many regions, but over the past decade the warnings have nearly morphed into large-scale catastrophes. In 2014, water in reservoirs supplying Sao Paulo, Brazil dropped to just five percent of capacity, and residents found themselves on the threshold of severe shortages. In 2017, the mayor of Cape Town warned residents of the impending arrival of “Day Zero,” when critically low reservoir levels would trigger a shutoff of city taps and lead to queues of residents waiting for water at standpipes.


Biden-Harris Water Security Plan Springs a Leak

by Taylor Lange

The American Southwest is a bit parched at the moment. The region is in the midst of its 23rd consecutive year of drought, its longest and most extensive since 800 CE. The drought is so bad that California’s two largest reservoirs—Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville—reached critically low levels in March, when they should have been at their highest.

The southwestern USA (and Mexico) is not the only place facing water shortages.


The Colorado River: Devoured by Growth

by Gary Wockner

“The nature of consumption is the consumption of Nature” – Jordan Perry

The natural environment of the American Southwest is sending out a loud call of distress, but few people in positions of power are listening. Economic and population growth are straining nature, especially across the Colorado River Basin, which encompasses parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Nevada, and California.

From 2010 to 2020,


It’s Not Grain Putin Wants – It’s Water

by Andrey Beregovskiy

For several weeks now, the world has been following the movement of troops on the Russia-Ukraine border with a question: What does Putin want? While the Kremlin cites potential Ukrainian membership in NATO as a casus belli, experts have been proposing alternative reasons for why Vladimir Putin wants to invade Ukraine. In a recent post, Brian Czech suggests that the most overlooked reason is the extremely fertile agricultural lands comprising much of Ukraine.


Giant Mats of Green Slime in Lake Erie Signal a Need for New Economic Approaches to Pollution

What do we do when water supplies are cut off to a city of 400,000 people?


Fresh Water, Growth, Degrowth, and the Steady State Economy

by Geoffrey Matthews

In Our Common Future, the 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development is described as a process of change which meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and aspirations. To achieve this objective, the report suggests a series of goals that should underlie national and international action on development.