Sixty Days Hence

Climate disaster forecasts are very often pushed far enough out that it's hard to believe them -- much like the 1930s claims about how we'd be colonizing Saturn by now. Here's one that is not far out at all: in two months, a city of 20 million people will run out of water.
The city of Sao Paulo is home to 20 million Brazilians, making it the 12th largest mega-city on a planet dominated by shortsighted humans. Shockingly, it has only 60 days of water supply remaining. The city "has about two months of guaranteed water supply remaining as it taps into the second of three emergency reserves," reports Reuters.

Technical reserves have already been released, and as the city enters the heavy water use holiday season, its 20 million residents are riding on a fast-track collision course with severe water rationing and devastating disruptions.
Of course, one city is not 'climate,' just 'weather.' A drought is a drought. Except, the article goes on to say, it really is about a change that affects water-poor regions in general.

Don't expect the government to save you, it goes on to say.
We're often tricked into believing the government will solve all these problems for us. Yep, some Americans foolishly believe the same government which just issued $1 trillion in new debt to pay the interest on its existing debt is somehow really, really good at planning for the future instead of mortgaging it away. [2]

If fresh water were a bank account, the world's spending deficit against that account would be deeply in the red and approaching a tipping point of default. And in precisely the same way the U.S. government borrows money to cover today's expenses with no intention of ever paying it back, human society is also borrowing water to cover today's water demands with no intention or capability of ever paying it back.

Right now in California and around the world, farmers are pumping water out of the ground that should have remained there until the year 2030. As they keep pumping the aquifers dry, they'll be reaching ever more precariously forward into the future, using up water in 2015 that should have lasted until 2050 (or beyond).

In this same way, aquifers that should have lasted 100 - 200 years will be bone dry in the not-too-distant future. Farms that once produced food will instead produce a new Dust Bowl. Populations that depended on cheap food to afford basic living expenses will find themselves starving and bankrupt (and living on government food stamps, with the accompanying loss of freedom that always follows government handouts). The world's governments -- all of which rely on food affordability to keep populations relatively docile -- will find themselves facing mass revolts and social chaos.

You are about to watch a milestone event in the history of our world.
Maybe so. Either way, we only have to wait a couple months to see.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have long said that the real environmentalists in the world have been trying to solve the depleted water, depleted fish, and water-quality problems of the world. But those have the wrong villains, I guess, so they don't get the attention.

Grim said...

Good points. Water and fish are the parts that I wonder might be true.