World Water Day for a plastic world
The theme of this year’s World Water Day – marked annually on 22 March – is "Nature for Water", which, as the website of the United Nations Environment Programme informs us, "explores nature-based solutions (NBS) to the water challenges we face in the 21st century."
The challenges are clearly dire; as the UN notes, 2.1 billion people currently "lack access to safely managed drinking water services," while an estimated 1.8 billion "use an unimproved source of drinking water with no protection against contamination from human faeces."
But while the whole "NBS" campaign will no doubt generate handsome revenues for a UN system that specialises in self-enrichment, no solution to water or related challenges is possible within a global capitalist system that is itself destroying nature.
Oceans of pollution Let’s start with the 2.1 billion people reportedly lacking access to "safely managed drinking water services".
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25:00 Even before this revelation, a report by the World Economic Forum had indicated that, if we continue with business as usual, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
Larger contexts In her 2013 book A Human Rights Manifesto, Julie Wark discusses the monetisation (read: neoliberal theft) of resources and rights, highlighting the role of the bottled beverage industry in environmental destruction -none of this damage will be reversed by planting trees or restoring wetlands.
But the only nature-based solution to capitalism is to get rid of it.