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“Blue Gold: World Water Wars”: Video Summary
It is apparent that future wars will be mainly fought as a result of the struggle for water resources. As it stands now, politics has engulfed the water debate to an extent that crucial legislations cannot be readily passed by lawmakers in order to protect this scarce commodity. As a matter of fact, the global marketplace is heavily relying on water for sustainable development. There is an increasing desire by corrupt governments, private investors and corporate giants to control the declining supply of water. This explains why citizens across the globe have mounted public protests coupled with lawsuits so as to regain control of this precious commodity. It is also interesting to mention that poor management of water led to the collapse of past civilizations. The same scenario can still repeat itself in the contemporary world if effective water management is not practiced.
In regards to the changing and dwindling water resources, it is prudent to underscore the fact that climate change is largely to blame for this growing challenge. Destructive human activities through the emission of greenhouse gases have altered atmospheric composition. As a result, the global temperatures are above the natural average thereby causing serious weather and climatic patterns on the surface of the earth. One of the key resources that have been grossly impacted by climate change is water. Needless to say, it calls for concerted effort by both citizens and relevant government authorities as well as the international community to bring water resource management back to order.
Ancient societies cherished water and modeled their lives around it. They even worshipped water as a god. In other words, a lot of value was attached to water resources.
Change in climate has significantly modified water resources. The ancient Mayan society was equally affected by the dwindling water resources. Human activities have vastly polluted water resources as witnessed in Mexico City. Industrial effluents and sewerage systems from domestic wastes are channeled into rivers and other water bodies. This leads to loss of oxygen in rivers. As a result, aquatic life has been exposed to gross danger.
Pollution of water systems especially in Africa and other third world countries has led to high rates of morbidity and mortality. Cholera, malaria, and typhoid are common in regions affected by water pollution. The film also points out that water is categorized as an economic good by the United Nations. It has an inherent economic value more than minerals. In the case of Mexico, it appears that the past regimes have never put a lot of focus on the utilization of water resources. A company like Coca Cola received the largest water concessions from the Mexican government. However, the negative economic impacts of harvesting large volumes of water are yet to be addressed by the authorities.
Coca Cola ruled Mexico for a long time by being the largest user of water. Protests over water resources have been witnessed in the past. Even some of the well established economies such as the United States of America are running out of water. As it stands now, it is highly likely that water resources that form boundaries between countries might be a major source of conflict as individual nations strive to secure a larger share of the resource. The latter has already been witnessed across the board in both the developed and developing economies. Bolivia was once affected by water related protests that led to loss of billions of dollars.
Fertilizing the Ocean with Iron: Article Summary
From the article Fertilizing the Ocean with Iron, there are suggestions that iron is capable of minimizing the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This proposal was first made by John Martin. According to Martin, Plankton bloom can be triggered when iron dust is sprinkled on sea waters. The available atmospheric carbon dioxide that traps heat on the surface of the earth is then be absorbed by the millions of cells generated from the process.
When Martins was making the above remarks, there was already sufficient evidence that iron is capable of absorbing carbon dioxide. There was water-tight empirical evidence from laboratories which demonstrated the effect of iron fertilization on atmospheric composition of carbon dioxide. The cells generated can trap carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Recent discoveries on the same subject matter have not refuted the earlier findings. However, the efficacy of this procedure to eliminate carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is still in doubt. Iron fertilization can indeed trap this greenhouse gas although the efficiency level may not be as initially indicated by earlier research studies.
Owing to the growing concern over the threats of global warming and climate change, lawyers, environmentalists, economists, investors and policy makers are gradually considering the possibility of implementing Martin’s ideology. There are myriads of companies that have demonstrated willingness to advance the course of this empirical study in order to establish or come up with conclusive findings that can be put into practical use. Nonetheless, the whole picture seems to be complicated due to the absence of clear legal guidelines to conduct such an empirical study. This does not rule out the fact that the key global players should route for measures that can eliminate emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Sea Turtle Tastes Like Veal: Article Summary
Ronald Bailey observes that sea turtle has a long history in Cayman Island. The farm that takes care of the turtles was established way back in 1968 by entrepreneurs from the United Kingdom. However, the history of sea turtles in this island is as old as humanity bearing in mind that they have been in existence for several centuries. According to the author, overharvesting led to a massive drop in the population of sea turtles at Cayman Island.
However, private turtle farms partially assisted to minimize the challenge posed by overharvesting. From the article, it is evident that pressure groups drawn from environmentalists have never been at ease with the idea of selling farmed sea turtles because it may equally leas to the drop in their population from the natural catchments. At this point, it is not clear whether natural harvesting of sea turtles can indeed lead to the drop in their population because environmentalists hold a contrary view. Regardless of the method used to breed and harvest sea turtles, due care should be taken in order to avoid overharvesting.
Are Sea Turtles Worth Saving? Article Summary
The article from the www.bonaireturtles.org website also explores the desire to conserve sea turtles because they fall among the endangered species in this century. Their ecological importance calls for every reason to conserve this rare sea animal. It is interesting to note that both marine ecosystems and beaches host the sea turtles. This implies that the two ecosystems can become delicate if the species goes into extinction. Besides, human beings who obviously rely on the two ecosystems would be equally affected. The article discusses a number of reasons why the sea turtles should be conserved or protected. They are keystone species, attract tourists, and prevent large growth of jellyfish. These are indeed enough reasons for protecting this rare species.
“The Cove” Documentary Summary
This film was produced in 2009 to inquire the welfare of dolphins in Japan. It featured as the Best Documentary one year later. By far and large, the film agitates for the need to protect dolphin population in Japan following mass killing of this aquatic species. The declining number of dolphins in Japan has been attributed to fishing malpractices. Hence, the film emphasizes the need for immediate change in fishing styles.
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The public is also being educated in order to comprehend the risks of unhealthy fishing practices that may eventually culminate into the extinction of dolphins. The dolphin meat is also at a higher risk of being poisoned due to the infiltration of mercury into water bodies. Negative human impact on the environment has remarkably jeopardized the ecosystem. The film openly blames environmental pollution on the increasing mass deaths of dolphins. An ocean conservationist’s perspective has been used to tell the story of the endangered Japanese dolphins.
The Taiji dolphin drive hunting has led to the killing of a large number of dolphins compared to those that lose their lives in the Antarctic region. The Japanese Whaling industry is also to blame for the mass killing of dolphins in this country. The cove is used to herd the migrating dolphins. Thereafter, knives and spears are used to kill the dolphins once they are inside the nets. The documentary movie concludes that the fishing method being used to net dolphins in Japan is irrelevant and brutal.
The International Whaling Commission might allow commercial whaling specifically in Japan after the latter garnered requisite votes to go ahead with large scale whaling activities.