History Professor Yuval Harari describes humans as the only species capable of imagination, large-scale cooperation and creating fictional entities that are some of the most powerful forces in the world.
Fictional entities make decisions about resources that have global consequences.
“Money is the most successful story ever invented because it is the only story everybody believes,” says Harari. Professor Harari is the author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
It is a peculiar notion that mass story telling, or fantasy, is responsible for the state of our global habitat contamination. Yet the facts do speak objectively. You don’t need statistics and numbers to tell you what your eyes can see everywhere.
If imagination has the power to pollute the planet, is it possible to use it to heal the world?
Global information is flowing as fast as…water. Consumers – scratch that!- Inhabitants have the power to change the world with thought, keystrokes and lifestyle alterations.
- Become an environmental champion. Choose an area that you are passionate about. Gather data, talk to friends and family, share on social media and make changes in your own behavior.
- Vote with dollars to support businesses that practice environmentally sound and sustainable operations and boycott those that don’t.
- Encourage children, middle schoolers and high schoolers to think about what problems they’d like to solve.
- Imagine and write stories about positive change.
From a simple 200-word writing prompt, I recently realized that I am most passionate about plastic pollution and that I am a water champion.
- Water covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface.
- The earth is a closed system, similar to a terrarium, meaning that it rarely loses or gains extra matter. The same water that existed on the earth millions of years ago is still present today.
- Water regulates the Earth’s temperature.
- Water dissolves more substances than any other liquid. Wherever it travels, water carries chemicals, minerals, and nutrients with it.
- Water can move up narrow tubes against the force of gravity in what is known as capillary action.
Drinking Water & the Human Body
- Water regulates the temperature of the human body, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions joints, protects organs and tissues, and removes wastes.
- 75% of the human brain is water and 75% of a living tree is water.
- 22% of our bones are water.
- Most people around the world have access to clean drinking water but it is a major problem in poorer areas of the world.
- Drinking water is needed for humans to avoid dehydration, the amount you need each day depends on the temperature, how much activity you are involved in and other factors.
- More than one-quarter of all bottled water comes from a municipal water supply – the same place that tap water comes from.
- According to the World Health Organization, 3.2 million children under the age of five in developing nations die each year as a result of unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation.
Household Water Use
- The average person in the United States uses anywhere from 80-100 gallons of water per day.
- Flushing the toilet uses the largest amount of this water.
Manufacturing and Food Production
- 2.6 gallons of water to make a sheet of paper
- 4 gallons of water for a dairy cow to produce one gallon of milk
- 6.3 gallons of water to make 17 ounces of plastic
- 26 gallons of water to irrigate one calorie of food
- 924 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of rice
- 2,641 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans
- 3,962 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of beef
- 39,090 gallons more water to manufacture a new car
- 300 million gallons of water are needed to produce a single day’s supply of U.S. newsprint.
- Water is part of a deeply interconnected system. What we pour on the ground ends up in our water, and what we spew into the sky ends up in our water.
- Leather and chemical industries cause are major contributors of water pollution.
- Industries released 197 million pounds of toxic chemicals into waterways in 1990.
- Around 70% of the industrial waste is dumped into the water bodies where they pollute the usable water supply.
- Fourteen billion pounds of garbage (mostly plastic) is dumped into the ocean every year.
- Water pollution is the major cause of various diseases like cholera and typhoid.
- The Ganges river in India is one the most polluted in the world. It contains sewage, trash, food, and animal remains.
Stuff to Do