by Einar Du Rietz
Only weeks after the peculiar, entirely symbolical and possibly dangerous Earth Hour gimmick, it’s now the 42’nd Earth Day. Hard to be against the Earth, but I’ve never understood the tendency to use these events to suggest an ongoing conflict between the earth and humanity.
CFACT International President David Rothbard comments:
“Celebrate them all, we should. But as faithful followers of CFACT know, today’s environmentalism (at least the kind that gets all the attention) isn’t so much about reveling in the beauty of nature and its amazements as it is in using this lofty matter to hammer away at human productivity, prosperity, and plenty. Saddest and ironic of all, of course, is that people prospering is the very thing that helps us steward the environment the best.”
You might add that without humans, there wouldn’t be an Earth Day, or that without human action, in the form of development and exploitation, there would be no humans. Ecological nostalgia is sometimes tempting to some, but I believe we all realize that if time travel was possible, none of us would survive even minutes in a prehistoric era.
So, let’s take the opportunity to celebrate the innovations that increasingly is making it possible to lead a life even in areas still ridden by hardship. Not of prehistoric proportions, but at least with meagre possibilities to adjust housing and clothing to the weather, choose what we eat, or even have access to fresh drinking water.
Today’s sunny news is that Brittish scientists now have shown that hidden groundwater resources wating to be exploited in Africa, may amount to a hundred times the more shallow wells being used today.
“We estimate total groundwater storage in Africa to be 0.66 million km3 (0.36–1.75 million km3). Not all of this groundwater storage is available for abstraction, but the estimated volume is more than 100 times estimates of annual renewable freshwater resources on Africa. Groundwater resources are unevenly distributed: the largest groundwater volumes are found in the large sedimentary aquifers in the North African countries Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Sudan. Nevertheless, for many African countries appropriately sited and constructed boreholes can support handpump abstraction (yields of 0.1–0.3 l s−1), and contain sufficient storage to sustain abstraction through inter-annual variations in recharge.” (Environmental Research Letters)
Getting access to this life saving resource will require skill and technology. Luckily, both have been let to flourish in parts of the world, less hurt by dictatorships, wars, socialism and misguided green activism and legislation.