"Climate change is here, climate change is happening, and we have to do something about it," William Aila Jr., Chair of the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources, repeatedly emphasized during his opening remarks at a recent briefing.
Every human need for the future -- fresh water, food, energy, medicine, security, and psychological renewal -- is dependent on a healthy, sustainable world ocean. The ocean is our cure. Why would we destroy it?
Of all the water on Earth, just 3 percent of it is fresh--and most of it is frozen in glaciers or as permanent snow. Just 1 percent of the world's water provides all drinking water, is used for sanitation and health, delivers food through fishing and crop irrigation, and provides energy.
Water is the most valuable commodity on earth. And it circulates for our benefit, from ocean to atmosphere to land and down to the sea again. What will it take to sustain for all our benefit this essential and miraculous "circle of blue?"
If there is a single issue for the international community to agree on as an incontrovertible requirement for world peace, it may be this one: equitable and sustainable water practice and distribution regardless of other necessities and needs.
This law has given the nation the tools needed to begin cleaning up the nation's increasingly contaminated waters, and it has proven to be one of the most important, effective, and highly regarded environment laws in the world.
The world faces a projected 40 percent shortfall in freshwater by 2030. So it's no surprise that the central theme of the annual World Water Week conference held last week in Stockholm is how to produce more food while using less water in the process.
The United States, which has been a world leader on protecting and enhancing political human rights, has always had a flawed position on "economic and social" rights, including the human right to water.
With the impending freshwater scarcity crisis, world politics and human civilization is undergoing another turbulent sea change. Alarmingly societies are bifurcating into those with enough water and those without.
As the throngs at Copenhagen pack their bags and disperse from the historic summit back to all corners of the globe, a lone young Ohio woman, Katie Spotz, 24, is getting set to start out on a solitary, sea level voyage.
In covering personalities and events, Solomon suggests that societies that know how to take advantage of new ways of using water dominate their time, while those that fail to address water crises disintegrate.