Category Archives: Current Affairs
As seen on nytimes.com:
By CORNELIA DEAN
Published: October 7, 2013
Earth, “the blue planet,” has a lot of water. Most of the planet’s surface is covered with it. But less than 5 percent of that water is fresh, and much of that is locked up in ice sheets or inconveniently far underground. And it is not always most abundant where it is most needed.
As a result, we are drawing on underground aquifers faster than they can recharge. And the water we have is often polluted by sewage, industrial waste, parasites and other contaminants that can make “natural” water unsafe to drink.
In short, as James Salzman puts it in “Drinking Water,” one of four new books that dive into our species’ relationship with water, clean supplies have always been the exception, not the norm. As recently as 1900, he writes, 1 in 70 Americans died of a waterborne disease before age 70.
Though he ranges widely, Mr. Salzman, who teaches law and environmental studies at Duke, focuses on what one might call social justice. Access to water may be viscerally regarded as a “right,” but he points out that the best way to ensure a reliable supply of pure water, especially in poor regions, is often to privatize it.
As seen on forbes.com:
How To Eat An Egg In A Rebounding Rwanda
By Patricia Crisafulli & Andrea Redmond
In a rural preschool at Rugarama in northern Rwanda, some two hours north of the capital city of Kigali, 90 or so three- to six-year-olds sit patiently on a grassy patch outside a crumbling one-room schoolhouse with only gaps where windows and the door should be. Having sung, prayed, counted, and chanted the days of the week and months of the year in their native Kinyarwanda and English (fluency in which is a national education goal), the children wait for the highlight of the day: a hard-boiled egg.