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January 07, 2009

Perception is Reality

Throughout the deep dive meeting for the Global Innovation Outlook's study of water and the oceans, we heard a common refrain: Water has a PR problem.

Indeed, issues about water scarcity, pollution, and dangerous changes to the world's oceans have suffered at the hands of more popular potentially calamitous global issues like climate change, terrorism, and financial meltdowns. The press has been relentless in their coverage of these events over recent years. And the human conscience only has room for so much worry. Water has often been on the outside looking in.

But that seems to be changing. This week The Economist features an in-depth exploration of our ocean systems. Warning: this is not going to provide you any relief from the relentless drumbeat of bad news of late. It will, however, open your eyes to the causes of and solutions to the predicament we put ourselves in.

For real change to take place, it will take a steady stream of media coverage, political will, and corporate engagement to move water into the front of most people's consciousness. Until then, consider this offering by The Economist a few drops in the bucket.

January 7, 2009 | Permalink


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Dean Kamen's 'slingshot' water purifier / power source looks like it could solve a number of problems if the cost can be reduced (although$5500 isn't bad for a start). Shouldn't Bill Gates put some of his billions towards it, providing them (along with a solar power system?) to starving African's?

Posted by: Warren Scott Fentress | Feb 13, 2009 1:33:42 PM

A lot of the points made in the Economist article (and audio interview) are also made by Alanna Mitchell, the author of Seasick - http://www.alannamitchell.com/seasick.html . Mitchell is interviewed here - http://www.abc.net.au/rn/nationalinterest/stories/2008/2375035.htm - the transcript is worth reading.

Posted by: Austin Dunmore | Feb 24, 2009 6:54:06 PM

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