War on the Environment
U.S. Arab Disconnect
Edward S. Herman
Billionaire Phillip Anschutz
GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY NOTES
The San Jose Project
Labor Must Play Its Wild Card
Obama's Jobs Proposal
Court Allows U.S. Citizens to Sue Rumsfeld
The Filthy RIch
"Soft Power" in the Middle East
The World of Drones
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Today millions of people in the developed world take for granted that they have access to water for life and livelihood, while others struggle for subsistence, as 12 percent of the world’s population controls 85 percent of the world’s water.
According to the 2006 UN Human Development Report, people have a minimum basic water requirement of 20 liters per day. This estimate takes into account drinking and personal hygiene. If bathing and laundry needs were factored in, this number would rise to about 50 liters per day. In the
If the average water consumption in Europe per person is around 250 liters and in the
Why, then, are so many caught up in believing that our water crisis has more to do with scarcity of resources than a distribution of them? The answer can be found in the current economic ideology of neo-liberalism. According to neo-liberal rhetoric, efficiency and economic growth is realized through the privatization and commodification of everything, including public goods. The problem when we privatize everything from water to mass transit is that it no longer becomes profitable to provide services to those who can’t afford them. That’s why a home in
There Is No Universal Access
However, national water usage averages can mask inequalities. An article from the Detroit News reported that 100,000 people in
Many believe that something can be done to ward off the solemn predictions like that of UNESCO’s Third World Water Development Report, which predicts nearly half of humanity will be living in areas of high water stress by 2030. If water access were more equally disseminated everyone could have more than enough for their individual need. In fact, household water requirements represent only a small fraction of total water usage, usually less than 5 percent. Therefore, there is no reason for such tremendous inequality in access to clean water and sanitation at a household level.
Beyond water use for life, most people’s livelihoods depend on whole industries such as agriculture and fishing. These industries are most affected by the deterioration of water quantity and quality. Such disruptions of water exacerbate the effects of droughts and floods. Furthermore, water contamination affects food production, thereby directly affecting the health of all living things.
Another challenge specific to post-industrialization includes the misuse of water. It is diverted from agriculture to industry, creating threats of hunger and less food production in the country being exploited. For example, Coca Cola in
In Europe and
Although prospects may seem bleak, fortunately, some progress has been made in the right direction. Activists like Maude Barlow and former Chilean Ambassador Pablo Solon have imbued civil society with a renewed hope over the issue of water rights in the 21st century. Their efforts, along with many others, helped to pass the UN Convention of Water as a Human Right. This convention obligates governments to ensure that people enjoy “sufficient, safe, accessible and affordable water, without discrimination.” Moreover, it asserts that water be protected and distributed across all nations. Although this can be seen as a success on the side of civil society, it is important to realize that the real work has only just begun. The implementation of this convention is far from realized. With water scarcity becoming a global geopolitical issue, moving up the ranks of National Security Agenda’s in Europe, America and China, getting countries to comply with these demands will not be an easy task.
Thus, it is vital that civil society remain strong in the position that all people and the earth have a right to clean water. Furthermore, transnational corporations, who ignore international or nation-state laws, cannot be allowed to privatize precious natural resources such as water. The time has come for all people, not just the very wealthy, to have access to clean water.
Erica Carlino is a freelance artist and writer. She currently works as a project manager for
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.