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Optimistically Speaking– The Straight Story

We, as living, drinking beings on planet earth, have a problem of glacial proportions. Denial is no longer an acceptable response, nor is ignorance. Humans are abusing and wasting Earth’s abundant resources to the extent that will fate us all to removal, extinction, kaput. And I’m an optimist.

As I stated in a recent video post, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp7HNosGH00) our planet does not need humans for its survival. Rather, our sacred sphere will naturally participate in humanity’s self-annihilation, via tectonic shifts, volcanic belches or coastal submersions…or by effortlessly witnessing our own demise as we kill ourselves off in the name of freedom or religious righteousness. Did I mention I’m an optimist?

So, what is the glacial solution? It involves massive attitude adjustment, one of galactic scope. I prefer to hope that humans can change for the better, can see the big picture, rather than only recognize immediate needs in the form of accumulating and protecting more stuff, at great expense to future existence. Does catastrophe have to be the game-changer that awakens our sensory perception? Does fear have to be the motivating factor in decision making?

This week, I participated in a panel-discussion hosted by the United Nations University. Four research fellows espoused on the importance of “Safe Water Provisioning as the Key to Global Health.” Yep, I agree. There were about 75 people in attendance, which is unfortunately reflective of the abundant indifference permeating populations that thrive in plenty. As for the efforts of the UN, volumes of studies have provided reams of information, and comparative trickles of solution to the need.

There’s no fault or blame in this regard, just fact. Similarly,  governments point budgetary dollars in massive disproportion to where actual assistance is required. I can speak of my U.S. government, which dedicates $600+ billion annually towards fighting the risk of death-by-terrorism for its citizenry, while dedicating $10 billion to water and sanitation infrastructure in need of hundreds of billions of dollars in repair and/or replacement efforts. All the while the following realities blatantly exist, as reported by agencies of the UN:

1) the UNDP estimates 1.8 million children die annually from diarrhea or cholera, both water borne diseases preventable with safe water & sanitation infrastructure

2) Possibly hard to realize, the United States suffered significant, deadly outbreaks of cholera — thousands perished. This was only eradicated upon completion of the infrastructure system we survive with today

3) Socio-economic experts estimate that $1 per-capita spent on safe hydration and defecation management can result in $7 of productivity and health costs savings.

These tidbits of information were sourced from an amazing book, The Big Necessity, authored by Rose George.  It takes guts and fortitude to expound in book form the need for awareness of human waste and where it ends up, once flushed; Ms. George does so with great humor and insight.

Finally, how many Americans die via terrorist activities? Yet the politicians we vote into office prefer to spend trillions on defense, rather than legislating taxpayer dollars to extend the lifeline of our sanitary and hydration safety. And why are we okay with that? This is a serious, unspoken and unbeknownst problem, whether you are a democrat, republican or teabagger. The potential breakdown of water and sanitation infrastructure will not discriminate, and all the guns at our disposal will be rendered useless to defend from deadly water borne disease. We know this, yet choose ignorance, silence and violence against ourselves and other nations.

I, for one, choose to raise my voice in the hopes of energizing awareness. And while desiring and participating in change, I’ll continue to filter all my water taps, including shower, and flush only when necessary. Keep breathing and keep smiling, it’s got to get better. Did I mention that I’m an optimist?