The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water
A passionate call to action from one of the leading voices in the global struggle for universal access to the earth's most vital element—a sequel to the acclaimed Blue Gold.
"Life requires access to clean water; to deny the right to water is to deny the right to life."—from the introduction to Blue Covenant
In their international bestseller Blue Gold, Maude Barlow and co-author Tony Clarke exposed how a handful of corporations are gaining ownership and control of the earth's dwindling water supply, depriving millions of people around the world of access to this most basic of resources and accelerating the onset of a global water crisis.
Blue Covenant, the sequel to Blue Gold, describes a powerful response to this trend: the emergence of an international, grassroots-led movement to have water declared a basic human right, something that can't be bought or sold for profit.
World-renowned activist Maude Barlow is at the center of this movement, which is gaining popular and political support across the globe, encompassing protests in India against U.S. bottling giant Coca-Cola; in Bolivia against the water privatization scheme of European water conglomerate Suez; against the use of water meters in South Africa; and over groundwater mining in Barrington, New Hampshire, and dozens of other communities in North America.
With great passion and clarity, Barlow traces the history of these international battles, documents the life-and-death stakes involved in the fight for the right to water, and lays out the actions that we as global citizens must take to secure a water—just world—a "blue covenant"—for all.
Dimensions: 8.46" L x 5.86" W
Details: Hardcover, 196 pages
Author: Maude Barlow
Activist Barlow has written a follow-up to Blue Gold (2002) that addresses the state of the global water crisis in stark and nearly devastating prose. Her grip on the subject is astonishing and equaled only by an ability to efficiently and effectively pass enormous amounts of information to readers in the most accessible manner. The major focus here is on water privatization and how it has affected countries in Asia, Africa, and beyond. Barlow discusses water forums, community resistance, and deals between governments and corporations, explaining that much of the world is without water or facing extravagant water taxes. Barlow holds the reader's attention by citing such startling facts as 12 million people in Mexico have no potable water and 25 million more have workable taps for only a few hours weekly. The ongoing drought crisis in the southeastern U.S. makes her arguments that much more prescient and broadens the book's appeal. Blue Covenant is an intelligent resource for anyone interested in environmental concerns. —Colleen Mondor, Booklist
About Maude Barlow
Anti-free-trade activist Maude Barlow has been called "the Ralph Nader of Canada," and the description is more than apt. She chairs the Council of Canadians, a Nader-inspired organization that Canada's National Post has called that country's "local command post" for the anti-food-technology movement. Under Barlow's leadership, the Council has run successful scare campaigns convincing Canada's Liberal government to prohibit the use of bovine growth hormone (BGH) in beef and dairy cattle, and (until recently) to heavily regulate genetically improved foods.
Barlow has been a vocal opponent of free-trade agreements between the United States and Canada, holding positions that put her in line with modern socialists. Complaining to Canadian newsweekly Maclean's that "governments are now saying everything should be on the open market," she defiantly declared that she and her organization "have decided that is not going to happen."
In her book Global Showdown: How the New Activists Are Fighting Global Corporate Rule, Maude Barlow emerged as a big-time international rabble-rouser; she makes prominent appearances at just about every major protest event on the World Bank/WTO calendar. In an April 2001 address to demonstrators in Quebec City, Barlow even defended vandalism and property destruction, saying that "the real violence lies behind that wall, with the 34 political leaders and their spin doctors and their corporate friends who bought their way in."
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