[saymaListserv] Re: [afmdiscussion] Fwd: [earthcare] Future Population Decline: What Are Our Responsibilities As Friends?

Janet Minshall jhminshall at comcast.net
Mon Sep 20 19:00:40 JEST 2004

Hi Steve and Daryl,  Sorry, I should have given the source -- it was 
from an article on water issues in a popular economics journal which 
I have since discarded.  I don't think that anyone, either the writer 
or me, thinks that water is ever lost not to return to the 
atmosphere, groundwater, oceans, etc.  The point that was made was 
that using water from the oceans and the process of desalinization 
would not in any way deplete water supplies and might counter the 
increase in sea levels from global warming a bit.

Yes, Daryl, desalinization does use energy, and I know it exists 
because the countries in North Africa use water from the 
Mediterranean as their basic drinking water supply.  When I traveled 
there many years ago, the countries which had suffered damage to 
their desalinization equipment during WWII still had slightly salty 
drinking water.  To get completely salt-free water you had to buy it 
imported, which was very very unusual back then.  Also, the slightly 
salty water was used to make and bottle the local versions of 
Coca-Cola.  (There is nothing in the world I have tasted which is 
quite as awful as a salty Coca-Cola, especially when one is thirsty!)

I think the issue of how much and what kind of energy would be used 
for desalinization is an interesting one. I would think that a 
solar-powered processor would be feasible now or soon and might be 
something worth some serious time and effort.  Daryl?


>I would echo Steve's amazement over the concept of desalinization 
>peceptively lowering the level of the oceans.  First, though the 
>technologies exist for desalinization of sea water, they require a 
>lot of energy and energy is another resource we are using at 
>increasingly unsustainable rates.  That is another discussion with 
>lots of  implications. Second I agree with Steve's comment about the 
>relatively small amount of human use in relation to the ocean and 
>the impossibility of lowering sea level thereby,  though I can't 
>verify his figures.  But further than that, we do not consume (use 
>up) water we simply make it polluted and salty or evaporate it and 
>it all goes back into the water cycle eventually back into the 
>ocean. Desalinization of sea water would not effect the level of the 
>oceans other than the very tiny amount of water in the 
>desalinization system at a given time and in the biomas of humans. 
>Upon reflection, perhaps that is what Steve was saying.
>I do know that we can use fresh water way more efficiently than we 
>do.  I lived on  1/2 gallon per day of drinking and cooking water 
>while sailing in the tropics. I use very much more than that now, 
>even though I know what is possible.
>Daryl Bergquist - Royal worship Group
>Steve Livingston wrote:
>>Hello Janet and Roy,
>>Re: Chicken Little. I have often run into this argument Roy, 
>>especially when trying to express misgivings about plans that
>>look good in the short term but have no lasting power. This is 
>>especially true IMHO when calling into question the
>>consumption of resources that ought to be in the public domain but 
>>are increasingly being exhausted or privatized. To my
>>mind, clean water is the most fundamental and critical of said 
>>resources. I read not long ago of efforts to privatize Atlanta's
>>water system. Any insights on that experience from you or Janet? Or 
>>others reading this?
>>Janet, I am quite amazed at the suggestion that drawing down water 
>>from the oceans might help balance the rising sea
>>levels from global warming. My understanding of the sheer denisty 
>>of the human population is that all of the people in the
>>developed countries would not fill up a box one kilometer on each 
>>side and two hundred meters high. How much water could
>>they possibly use up, never to return to the global ecosystem? How 
>>much impact could that possibly make on the earth's
>>oceans, with a surface area of 510 million square kilometers?
>>On 17 Sep 2004 at 9:34, Janet Minshall wrote:
>>>Dear Roy Taylor,  Thanks for your very good letter and change of
>>Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association mailing list
>>posting address: <mailto:sayma at kitenet.net>sayma at kitenet.net
>Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association mailing list
>posting address: sayma at kitenet.net
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