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When water becomes more precious that gold bullion.

July 26, 2011 – The danger of a crisis of epic proportions, one that makes the foundering of the economy seem a mere nuisance in comparison, has been growing for years. The climate is changing in perilous ways, and no greater threat to our way of life exists than that of a mega- drought.

For decades we have known that the vast southwestern aquifers are being steadily depleted by the great cities we have carved out of the deserts. In California, which is the world’s eighth largest economy, Los Angeles competes with the Imperial valley for the precious but limited resource delivered by the Colorado River while Las Vegas consumes ever more for itself. Lake Mead has already dropped nearly 150 feet as more water is drawn out than nature can replenish.

No other resource is as vital to human survival as water. Food is a close second, and without water there will be no food. When water becomes scarce individuals and nations alike will feel no compunction about taking it by force.

So far the conditions we have experienced have not been all that unusual, but government drought management teams are already hard at work devising contingency plans. That should worry everybody.

There is a common thread here. The answer to the problem of dwindling resources is not to pin your hopes on some future miracle while using up what little is left at an ever increasing rate. The focal point of policy must be sustainability, whether the subject is currency, energy, water, or any other essential resource.

Deserts are deserts. By nature they are unsuitable for sustaining large populations and extensive agriculture. Insisting on using them so can lead only to widespread civil unrest and ultimately the collapse of our society. I have no doubts that mankind will survive because there will always be those who foresee the dangers and prepare themselves for the eventuality. How deeply society will regress, however, is anything but certain.

For a while, at least, people will still be able to buy the necessities of life, providing they have a viable medium of exchange. For that, gold will undoubtedly dominate. But if we let things go too far, water could become so scarce that it cannot be purchased, even with gold bullion.

Daily Updates Archive

Jonathan Monroe

Senior Staff Writer -

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