The Resource Matrix III: Revolutions: Virtual water wars
In Resource Matrix I (beginning article), you saw how the rationally based western economic system leads to “win-lose” propositions, how that’s been quite okay with the “I want your goodies for nothing” Establishment crowd, and how do-gooders and Hybrids have increased our awareness, offered us more options in battling their hynoptic spells that keep us on mindlessly marching forward on a unsustainable path.
In Resource Matrix II (last article), we showed you exactly how to calculate your water footprint and explained the vicious cycle of virtual water transfers on desertification and global warming.
Today, in Resource Matrix III: Revolutions, we begin building up our weaponry and cranking up the Propaganda Machine into overdrive to reposition our next foe as the Land of Evil, while Washington politicians declare it’s patriotic to eat foreign beef, wear foreign cotton, and give you low-interest credit cards for doing so.
But, unlike the current hot Oil Wars, the future cold Water Wars will be fought like a computer game without a single real shot fired or a single real drop of warm blood spilled on either side.
The only armament the US needs is the US Treasury’s printing press and its army of unwitting American consumers.
So grab your gaming helmet and come join us as we hunker down in our bunkers and prepare for the coming virtual Water Wars:
Actual warfare over actual water? Been there, done bombed that
Fred Pearce, author of When the Rivers Run Dry, devotes an entire chapter, “The First Modern Water War,” to describing the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and neighboring countries as a dispute over water, and quotes former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who was a commander in that war:
“The Six-Day War really started on the day Israel decided to act against the diversion of the Jordan (River). While the border disputes were of great significance, the matter of water diversion was a stark issue of life and death.” (p. 168)
A separate source seems to confirm this was a buildup over water disputes:
In 1964, Israel began withdrawing water from the Jordan River for its National Water Carrier. The following year, the Arab states began construction of the Headwater Diversion Plan, which would divert the waters of the Banias Stream and of the Hasbani into the Litani River. The diversion works would have reduced the installed capacity of Israel’s carrier by about 35%, and Israel’s overall water supply by about 11%.
The Israel Defense Forces attacked the diversion works in Syria in 1965, perpetuating a prolonged chain of border violence that linked directly to the events leading to war.
Virtual warfare over virtual water? Now available in Xbox, PS3, and Wii formats
“Virtual water” is the water used in growing and producing goods around the world and the trade of these goods is known as “virtual water transfers.”
The US is the biggest exporter of virtual water through its agricultural products.
As we talked about in the Resource Matrix I, economics is the science of allocating scarce resources. And as you saw in Resource Matrix II, water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Most water is used to produce food and clothing and, as production increases the meet these needs, less is available for other uses. Like drinking.
The solution? Outsource the production offshore and make water shortages someone else’s problem.
In this game, you start as leader of a country which has certain industries, a growing population, and dwindling water resources. Your objective is to maintain or enhance the lifestyle of your people by shifting water use to other countries in order to prevent internal strife and your eventual overthrow and death by coup d’etat.
You can achieve your objective through:
economic blockades (prevent physical goods from reaching certain destinations) or actual confrontation (starting a hot war like the hot Oil Wars)
shift resource use by acquiring control of foreign businesses
influence the direction of the marketplace by dangling carrots and dollars in front of the hungry to boost foreign production (such as coffee)
negotiate trade agreements
provide tax credits and low-interest loans to businesses acquiring foreign interests
expand credit so your citizens have credit cards to offshore more virtual water through consumer purchase of foreign imports
use propaganda to influence your citizens to buy more foreign food and clothing products – and get the retailing industries involved in”Support the US, Buy Foreign” and “Not Made in the USA” campaigns
combinations of the above
Please pick a COUNTRY, PLAYER NAME, and Press the START button to begin now.
Gaming cheat sheet: how to win
First of all, the US will win.
The US can easily afford it: it’s primarily a consumer issue, and just like keeping a housing or stock market investment bubble alive, it will expand credit to arm consumers with their weapons of mass purchasing, then the retailing industries will promote its “Support the US, Buy Foreign” and “Not Made in the USA,” campaigns.
The president will get on TV and declare that importing foreign food is vital to our national interests and security. (His speechwriters just swap oil for food.)
Aided by low-interest government loans and high-level State Department visits, US industries will make foreign acquisitions in order shift production overseas. ConAgra will buy Chinese wheat and corn agribusiness operations; China already is the larger producer of both food commodities, at great expense to their available water resources and expanding desertification that affects the US and Canada.
However, for leaders of other countries, here is some top gaming tips on using campaigns against specific countries to support your political agendas:
To run joint government-industry public relations campaigns: promote luxurious Egyptian cotton to undermine the Egyptian government by using market forces to drain its water for cotton production, leaving its citizen thirsty, hot, and ready for government overthrow.
·To really squeeze a country (and win mega-bonus points for skilled advanced play), target two or more industries simultaneously. Take down Brazil’s government: target coffee (#1 producer) and beef (#1 producer)
They’re rioting in the streets
Governments of targeted countries, trying to balance to need to earn hard foreign currencies, support their own industries, minimize the destruction of their environments, and keep their citizens from dying literally of thirst, will be overwhelmed with new export orders from consumers worldwide.
Some will enact trade blockades and threaten to nationalize foreign interests.
Some will fund hydro-terrorism, polluting or destroying water sources.
Some will go down like a house of cards, replaced by militant nationalists who are playing with a short deck of unsound populist policies.
But by then, the damage will have been done.
It could escalate into actual warfare. The US can respond with either CIA station chiefs directing foreign covert operations through front corporations or with the US shipping troops to foreign lands to protect our vital national resource interests.
And just like keeping the support for a hot oil war going, it be draped in the flag of patriotism and descendants from the countries of our foes will need to publicly declare their Americanism or have their property destroyed by the crowd.
Game over: Not sustainable
It’s clear that nobody wins this high-stakes game. Some merely lose less than others.
Yet it’s also clear that water as a resource has mostly been framed in terms of:
domestic industry use (1854 to 3000 gallons to produce one pound of beef)
depletion and pollution of water sources (depleted aquifers, rivers sucked dry, and effluent and toxic chemical overflow from animal and crop production)
reduced domestic consumption (take shorter showers)
global warming (melting glaciers and snowpacks, species loss)
The smallest losers are those who coordinate propaganda and industry to manipulate their citizens over time into lifestyle changes. It has happened from a grassroots level with the radical fringe hippie colony ecological groups and egg-headed socially isolated academics of the 1960s and 1970s becoming today’s political and industry leaders of the foremost universal issue: global warming.
The biggest losers are those who chase the carrots dangled by others while forgetting to balance the load on the cart behind them.
Like the political domino theory of the past and recent asymmetrical warfare models to answer guerrilla warfare and regional conflicts, once the carts begin toppling, the game becomes highly fluid and unpredictable with other carts toppling.
In that case, it’s best never to press the START button at all.
Tune In Next Time:
In the final article of the four-part Resource Matrix, we tie together the articles in a symphony of four movements, showing you how all the elements hold the Resource Matrix in place and how, like Neo in the movie, you can break the code that creates the graphical user interface and see the illusion for what it really is. (At least, my version of it, anyway.)
And all of this is for one purpose:
To help you see the Resource Matrix, everywhere, all around you.
Thanks for letting us keep you updated . . .
To your green, brighter future,
And now I would like to offer you free access to powerful info on energy efficiency that’s easy to read and cuts through all this “green” information clutter — so you can literally start making positive changes today.