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CENTRAL VIEW for Monday, September 19, 2022

by William Hamilton, Ph.D.

Water, water: But not everywhere

History tells us that most people are living on land they took by conquest from aboriginal peoples. For example, the Anglo-French conquest of North America and the Spanish conquest of Central and South America. History also tells us that almost all wars are fought over access to natural resources. For example, over gold, silver and other precious metals, over energy (coal, oil, and natural gas), over grain and other foodstuffs, and over access to the world’s oceans and seas for the shipping or receipt of the aforesaid essential products.

A few wars have been fought over reasons of national pride. For example, The War of Jenkins’ Ear between Great Britain and Spain, 1739-1748. The Pig War between the U.S. and Britain in 1859, the War over the Stray Dog between Greece and Bulgaria in 1925.

But what does History suggest about current and future wars? The war in Ukraine is, in large measure, about who controls the Black Sea through which much of the grain produced in Ukraine must transit to reach its markets in Africa. The Chicom threat to Taiwan is due, in large measure, to Red Chinese national pride and domestic politics. Provided, the U.S. has the will to do, so along with well-trained naval forces, the U.S. can control the Strait of Malacca, cutting off the Chicoms from the oil of the Middle East. That could save Taiwan from invasion.

If the all-electric car (EV) movement continues, we might see wars over access to the lithium and rare-earth minerals so vital to the production of EV batteries. But, in the end, the most climatic war will have to be over access to water without which human, animals, plants, and certain economies cannot exist.

Water is essential, even for tourism. Colorado’s Grand County, the headwaters county of the Colorado River, depends on water in the form of snow; the essential ingredient of the ski industry on which Grand County depends. Water is the essential element of the lakes and streams that attract fishers, hunters, and nature lovers to the county. The logging and the cattle ranching industries are almost dead The reintroduction of the Wolf (Canus lupus) threatens new-born calves and lambs. The mining industry, except for a major molybdenum mine, is gone. Ergo: Grand County is almost entirely dependent on tourism.

While much of America has been hot and dry, Grand County’s summer has been cool and rainy. And despite the controversy over climate changes or not, eastern Grand County will continue to receive between 27- and 32-feet of accumulated snowfall each winter.

But the pressure to take water out of Grand County is enormous. To the east, local governments such as Denver, Aurora, and Boulder refuse to rein in the water-demanding urban sprawl that could be curbed by refusing to issue any more water-tap permits. The States west of Colorado are literally bleeding the Colorado River dry.

History says there will be more wars. It is a good bet that the last war on Planet Earth will be over access to water.

Suggested NOT viewing: Videos of wolves surrounding a deer and inflicting the death of a 1000 small bites.

2022. William Hamilton

1999-2022. American Press Syndicate.

Dr. Hamilton can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 2001
Granby, CO 80446

Email: william@central-view.com

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