It is unsettling at times for me living in Canada next to an aggressive, avarice, arrogant and autocratic country, the United States. One wonders how long it will be before our friendly neighbour turns on us.
Canada has in abundance of two things the US needs desperately, oil and water. They already largely control the oil resource through corporate ownership. Canada owns little of this resouce, now. (I for one think for Canada's national security it should be nationalized with controlled extraction for Canadians use. ) My views are not widely held and if Canada did claim ownership of this dwindling resource, as Hugo Chavez did in Venezuela, it would not be long before our friendly neighbour would invade and take it.Our political leaders know this in there souls so not even the New Democrats,( timid socialist that they are,) speak of nationalizing anything as they once did.
Water is another story. Canada has stood strong against large schemes for diverting water to the US, so far. The clarrion call will be that North American should be considered one watershed . Water should become part of free trade. There have already been some dreams and schemes of reversing rivers to flow south,(most of our rivers flow North to the arctic.) pipelines to carry water from Canada to the southern US, hipping tankers of water on the high seas to any number of places in the world, and so the list goes.
To date, Canada has stood firm that water is a natural resource unlike any other, it is not for exploitation for profit.
This year. we have become acutely aware of the US need for water. With the drought across the southern United States water has become a precious resource that could actually run out at some times of year. Tennesee Town Runs Out of Water - AOL News People continue to flock to the sun belt to live and expect water to be available is wasteful quantities for all manner of things including daily showers, swimming pools, automatic watering of lawns and golf courses. The city of Las Vegas has aready tried to get a 500 mile pipeline to bring water from the North West. Proposed water diversion to Las Vegas protested They have been piping water around California for years to not only supply water for people but to turn deserts into market gardens.
We are beginning to read about lawmakers eyeing the prospect of piping water from the Great Lakes. Great Lakes Key Front in Water Wars - CommonDreams.org How long the Great Lake States and Ontario and Quebec in Canada can resist a US federal government quick fix for water by tapping into this ecosystem, one wonders. Even now these lakes have lower than normal quantities of water. Water diversions out of this watershed will be ecologically disasterous.
We have been warned of the results of massive water diversions. Read about the destruction of the Aral Sea in Central Asia. Ecocide: The Murder of the Aral Sea The Distributed Republic (Just take a moment and look at the pictures) Water was diverted from it to create a great cash crop in cotton. It is one of Russia's great ecological disasters (and they have many). Russia isn't alone in their contempt for the environment. Canada' tar sands is an ecological disaster in strip mining Wired 12.07: The Trillion-Barrel Tar Pit and the American equivalent to the Aral Sea disaster is the mining of the mountains of Appalachia, A Report from the Appalachian Coalfields Mountaintop Removal and Kitty Genovese - CommonDreams.org
Already the US gets great benefits from Canadians water. To extract oil in Alberta from the tar sands and aging wells vast quantities of water are used. (four barrels of water for one barrel of oil.) In Alberta, more water is used in oil than in agriculture.
Canada is very wasteful of its water. We take it for granted and use too much of it, pollute it, destroy the ecological system that protects and supplies it. Like Americans, we are destroyers of the very substance of life, Water.
I am not opposed to helping a neighbour who is in dire conditions when I have plenty. There is a moral imperative to willingly help if at all possible. BUT, first the neighbour must do everything possible to help himself. I do not hear the voices in the US about conserving water, decreasing drastically the useage and limiting movement of people to areas short of water.There are many solutions that need to be accomplished before asking to share your neighbour's resource at the cost of harming the environment.
The day may come when our friendly neighbour decides, "We don't need to pay the price of doing with less water, we just need to go and get water from our neighbour with or without their approval. It seems this is how the aggressive parasitic Nation to our south thinks it has a right to behave. It certainly is the way it behaves over oil in the Middle East. One only hopes lessons have been learned.
I still hope we all learn the Biblical lesson of being good stewarts of the Natural World so that all may live with adequate and necessary sustenance, beginning with Water. I wish for everyone the privilege I have of drinking cool, tasteful water directly from a pristine river, untreated.