I can imagine a day soon when the pure sweet waters are worth more than any gas we sell now. If we frack it now, we risk everything. In May of 2000, an article in Fortune Magazine declared, “Water is the Oil of the 21st Century.”
In 1995, the vice president of the World Bank declared that the wars of the 21st century would be fought over water like war was fought over oil in the 20th century.
In May of 2000, an article in Fortune Magazine declared, “Water is the Oil of the 21st Century.”
To buy a gallon of boutique spring water today costs at least twice as much as purchasing a gallon of gasoline. Which is more valuable? Which resource can keep being renewed and replenished? Which one are we about to let our government grant dominion over the other?
Is the present-day commodity that is natural gas more valuable than the potential return on the commodity of clean water in the future? The real economic prize is not to be had now; it is to be had a bit down the road. Today’s thinking is the equivalent of my grandparents spending their money on a new Model A instead of buying 100 acres of lakefront land.
I can imagine a day soon when the pure sweet waters are worth more than any gas we sell now. If we frack it now, we risk everything.
Pennsylvania is in a fracking gas boom right now. Let the good times roll! We can be just like them. Their bonanza has the Department of Labor Statistics stating their unbelievably low unemployment rate (thank the gods of gas) is at 7.8 percent. Non-fracked New York is a sky-high 8 percent. What a vast difference this miracle has bequeathed on those who frack.
Right now, the southwestern part of the United States is experiencing record drought. Water that was once diverted to irrigation projects needs to be saved for human consumption.
In the oil-rich Mid-East, Israel and Saudi Arabia are no longer using water to irrigate croplands. Their underground aquifers have dwindled past the point of being able to replenish. Can you read these tea leaves, tea partiers?
What if we bank away the shale gas for future, safer extraction that may be developed 10 to 20 years from now? Imagine what the gas prices will be then.
But that means our kids benefit, not us. They get the gas prices down the road; they get a generation’s use of clean water. If you want to bet, why not bet that gas prices will be up quite a bit in 20 years? Why not bet that clean, pure water will be a highly sought product in the future, too?
The tables will turn. History does repeat. Fossil fuel is not forever, but water is a life-giving system that naturally replenishes.
Natural security is not just having the biggest bomb; national security is having shale gas banked away, and it is having clean water, everywhere.
We can win the future, but not if we lose the present. If we go the way that it seems the power brokers are leaning, which is to allow the fracking of our beloved land, then hope is lost.
John Holtz is a South Bristol, N.Y., resident.