What about the planet's finite water supply?
One issue that has not received the attention it deserves is the limited supply of water and the amount of it that is being wasted. Journalist Stephen Leahy has written Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products. It is full of startling statistics. For example, did you know that it takes more than 7,600 liters (2,000 gallons) of water to make a single pair of jeans? That your morning cup of coffee required 140 liters (37 gallons) of water before it found its way to your table—water that was used to grow, process and ship the coffee beans? When we spend money on food, clothes, cellphones or even electricity, we are buying water — a shockingly large amount of water.
Water is more valuable and useful than oil
Your Water Footprint reveals how water is essential to our way of life in ways we never imagined. While water usage continues to soar, shortages now affect more than 3 billion people including millions of Americans and Canadians. A decade from now 3 out of 5 people will face water shortages.
Your Water Footprint provides essential information to reduce your water use which will help you save money, be prepared for shortages and ensure our children and grandchildren will have abundant fresh water. Water-wise choices is all about smart substitutions and changes, rather than sacrifice and self-denial.
How many people can the planet support?
Some years ago, a woman called me a racist when I remarked that population was a critical factor in global warming. She assuming that I was attacking the populations of developing countries, whereas I was trying to make the point that it was the developed countries that were contributing the most to the problem. The following is from a review in http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17332183-countdown
In his bestselling book The World Without Us, Alan Weisman considered how the Earth could heal and even refill empty niches if relieved of humanity's constant pressures. Behind that groundbreaking thought experiment was his hope that we would be inspired to find a way to add humans back to this vision of a restored, healthy planet--only in harmony, not mortal combat, with the rest of nature.
But with a million more of us every 4 days on a planet that's not getting any bigger, and with our exhaust overheating the atmosphere and altering the chemistry of the oceans, prospects for a sustainable human future seem ever more in doubt. For this long awaited follow-up book, Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were probably the most important questions on Earth--and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth?
Weisman visits an extraordinary range of the world's cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes, and political systems to learn what in their beliefs, histories, liturgies, or current circumstances might suggest that sometimes it's in their own best interest to limit their growth. The result is a landmark work of reporting: devastating, urgent, and, ultimately, deeply hopeful.
By vividly detailing the burgeoning effects of our cumulative presence, Countdown reveals what may be the fastest, most acceptable, practical, and affordable way of returning our planet and our presence on it to balance. Weisman again shows that he is one of the most provocative journalists at work today, with a book whose message is so compelling that it will change how we see our lives and our destiny.