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Wednesday, 06 August 2014 04:23

Water Crisis Can Only Be Averted if We Return to an Indigenous Respect for the Earth's Bounty

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MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

waterlife(Photo: Nate2b)

Ominous portents abound that water - necessary for the survival of all life on earth - is under dire threat. In a commentary pondering the notion that we may have passed the threshold of peak potable water, Lucinda Marshall cites some troubling signs:

As Marshall observes, "That, unfortunately is only the prelude of what is to come."

Given examples such as these - and they are only a few - it is also likely that the momentum toward privatizing a dwindling supply of fresh water for profiteering will increase. That inevitably means that drinkable water may become rationed based on individuals' ability to pay for it. Income inequality will increasingly inhibit the very ability to survive, given that humans cannot live without water.

There is an irony, however grim, that global warming may, as Marshall points out, lead to both a loss of freshwater and a rising tide of saltwater. Coastal cities may drown in water that cannot be drunk.

Marshall recalls "a water blessing along the banks of the Ohio River conducted by a group called the
International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers
" that she attended:

The truth is our Mother Waters is dying and we are dying with her. However, in this gloomy situation is indeed a message of hope. For our Mother Water shows us that she is dirty because something is wrong with our humanity. She has, and always has, become a mirror to our souls. The simple act of blessing the rivers in fact makes a beautiful re-connection back with all that is life. You do not abuse something you have created a respectful relationship with.

We pray that our Mother Waters in all her forms celestial and physical continues to nurture and guide us.

That is a fitting incantation from a group of indigenous people who treated their land and water in sustainable, respectful ways, before it was conquered by European colonizers. It is the so-called "civilization" of the white Europeans who plundered and polluted the landscape of America - and the world - that is largely responsible for creating the perfect storm of our looming water - and global warming - crises.

There is no time machine that can reverse the earth to the pristine state that existed before colonization, under the stewardship of indigenous peoples.

We can, however, abandon the ruinous environmental practices of the conquerors and adopt the spiritual reverence for the environment practiced by those who were decimated and put on reservations.

Then, and only then, will the clean water begin to flow again in abundance.

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