Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever

Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever

by Maude Barlow
     
 

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In her bestselling books Blue Gold and Blue Covenant, world-renowned water activist Maude Barlow exposed the battle for ownership of our dwindling water supply and the emergence of an international, grassroots-led movement to reclaim water as a public good. Since then, the United Nations has recognized access to water as a basic human right—but

Overview

In her bestselling books Blue Gold and Blue Covenant, world-renowned water activist Maude Barlow exposed the battle for ownership of our dwindling water supply and the emergence of an international, grassroots-led movement to reclaim water as a public good. Since then, the United Nations has recognized access to water as a basic human right—but there is still much work to be done to stem this growing crisis.

In this major new book, Barlow draws on her extensive experience and insight to lay out a set of key principles that show the way forward to what she calls a “water-secure and water-just world.” Not only does she reveal the powerful players even now impeding the recognition of the human right to water, she argues that water must not become a commodity to be bought and sold on the open market. Focusing on solutions, she includes stories of struggle and resistance from marginalized communities, as well as government policies that work for both people and the planet.

At a time when climate change has moved to the top of the national agenda and when the stage is being set for unprecedented drought, mass starvation, and the migration of millions of refugees in search of water, Blue Future is an urgent call to preserve our most valuable resource for generations to come.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/04/2013
Canadian water activist Barlow follows up Blue Gold and Blue Covenant with a third volume that again sounds alarms about a coming worldwide water crisis. She begins with the 2010 UN General Assembly resolution “recognizing the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation,” noting its potential power as a tool in the “struggle for water justice in the world.” Through statistics and anecdotes, Barlow outlines the need for water justice—whether in agriculture, industry, mining, energy production, or the direct control of water. Multinational corporations pollute water sources, restrict access to clean water, and contribute to desertification and habitat degradation. International treaties and government partnerships enable these behaviors, and mining companies in particular have even taken deadly action against groups that resist them. Barlow offers hope however, highlighting victories by nations and organizations that have won court battles, restored watersheds, and otherwise resisted the lure of money over clean water. She calls for changes in international law to prevent these depredations, along with pushing agriculture towards greater biodiversity. Barlow cites international cooperative efforts that are working to ensure watershed equity in areas of potential conflict. Her work will inspire equal parts outrage and encouragement in anyone who concerned about this most vital natural resource. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

Advance Praise for Blue Future:

"With multiple examples of international arguments in favor of open access to water, Barlow makes a rousing case for what will be one of the key environmental challenges of the twenty-first century."
Booklist

"[Barlow's] work will inspire equal parts outrage and encouragement in anyone who concerned about this most vital natural resource."
Publishers Weekly

"In a book as clear as a pristine mountain stream, Maude Barlow lays out a practical and inspiring vision for how we can defend water—the source of all life—from the forces of death. For decades Barlow has been on the front lines of this critical battle, and her insights on how water can serve as our guide to a more just, sustainable world are a gift to us all."
—Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine

"The world’s leading water warrior has issued a call to arms and a road map to transform our economies and priorities to protect our most precious resource—water. The book is an explosive rethinking of our future that could save the planet."
—John Cavanagh, director, Institute for Policy Studies

"If you read one book this year, make it Blue Future! Brilliant, compelling, and optimistic, it’s the seminal work on averting the world water crisis. Barlow’s enthralling account of the water justice movement’s remarkable progress brought tears, and her road map for the future gives me hope."
—Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and author of Foodopoly

"We are water—it inflates our cells, dissolves nutrients, transports materials, and enables metabolism. Once again, Maude Barlow delivers an urgent warning that we are treating this priceless liquid in ways that are unjust, unhealthy, unsustainable, and suicidal."
—David Suzuki, scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster

"Maude Barlow is a force of nature. Blue Future is the inspiring climax of her visionary trilogy on the world water crisis. With the world teetering on the brink of a devastating water crisis, humanity urgently needs the vision, wisdom, and solutions in Blue Future."
—David R. Boyd, author of The Environmental Rights Revolution

"Maude Barlow first establishes water as a human right, and then takes us through the titanic struggle, country by country, to make that right come alive. It’s jolting, compelling, astonishingly comprehensive, and beautifully organized. No one but Maude could have written this tour de force."
—Stephen Lewis, author of Race Against Time

"Blue Future offers yet another clarion call to action [and] challenges all citizens to embrace water as a public trust. We owe much to Maude Barlow, a great Canadian and a leading global voice for public water."
—Paul Moist, national president, Canadian Union of Public Employees

"Blue Future is by far the most up-to-date treatise on threats to the world’s dwindling freshwater supply. The scenario [Barlow] presents is scary. . . . Fortunately, she also proposes what must be done to prevent the corporate control of water. An extremely powerful book."
—David Schindler, professor of ecology, University of Alberta

"Passionate, encyclopedic, prophetic, hopeful—no one knows the planet’s water better than Maude Barlow. And nowhere has she set out the world’s water crisis more starkly than in Blue Future."
—Alanna Mitchell, author of Sea Sick

Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-03
Blue Planet Project founder Barlow (Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water, 2008, etc.) reports on a significant victory in the fight to establish the human right to water but warns that there is much left to do. In 2010, the U.N. General Assembly passed a "historic resolution recognizing the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation," but implementation still remains a problem. According to a recent World Health Organization document, "every three and a half seconds in the developing world, a child dies of waterborne disease." Lack of adequate sanitation services fosters the spread of diseases such as typhoid, cholera and dysentery. Barlow explains that the U.N., despite the resolution, does not consider the right to drinking water a priority. It is considered a "third-generation" human right. These also include the conservation of natural resources for the use of present and future generations. The U.N. directs most of its focus to "first-generation" rights, such as freedoms of speech and religion and the right to a fair trial. Historically, Canada and the United States have led the opposition to implementing second-generation rights--e.g., the rights to employment, health care, housing and social security. The author attributes this to the power of global corporations, including Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and others. "Privatization of drinking water and wastewater services was deliberately imposed on the Global South by international institutions and water companies" as a condition for financing from the World Bank, which demands that they are "open to dealing with private utilities, most of which were based in Europe." Nor are water resources being conserved, despite the danger that within the next three decades, demand will outstrip supply "by 40 percent." A somewhat strident but important call to action.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595589484
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
01/07/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
File size:
414 KB

Meet the Author

A recipient of Sweden’s Right Livelihood Award and a Lannan­ Cultural Freedom Fellowship, Maude Barlow is head of the Council of Canadians and founder of the Blue Planet Project. The author of sixteen books, including Blue Gold and Blue Covenant (both available from The New Press), she is on the boards of Food and Water Watch and the International Forum on Globalization. She lives in Ottawa.

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