RAINFALL and the HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER
The pacifist Catholic monk Thomas Merton was prophetic in speaking about The Price of Rain…
Let me say this before rain becomes a utility that they can plan and distribute for money. By “they” I mean the people who cannot understand that rain is a festival, who do not appreciate its gratuity, who think that what has no price has no value, that what cannot be sold is not real, so that the only way to make something actual is to place it on the market. The time will come when they will sell you even your rain. At the moment, it is still free, and I am in it. I celebrate its gratuity and its meaninglessness.
from Raids on the Unspeakable, 1966
Here at the cabin, the sunny days of summer days are gone. Grey skies and fall rains have returned and our hydro electric system has replaced our solar panels in providing most of our energy needs. Here is the intake flume on a normal autumn day.
When I awoke yesterday morning, Environment Canada was giving a severe rainfall warning. Its epicentre was forecast to be my local small town. A “Hard Rains a Gonna Fall”, to borrow from Dylan….
The plan was for me to head over by ferry from Vancouver Island to the city of Vancouver, located on the mainland. Francis has been there with the grandkids for the past few weeks.
Travelling was questionable as you can see from these photos…
The rains did subside. This morning I managed to make it out of the woods.
I’m now on the way to the metropolis for a few days – then a week long vacation to enjoy the fall colours.
Talking about liquid sunshine, I’ve been reading about the basic human right to water in a book written by Vandana Shiva, a world renowned physicist and environmental activist. Her work brings attention to genetic food engineering, cultural theft, and natural resource privatization which she links to rising fundamentalism, violence against women, and planetary death.
Vandana will be speaking about Earth Democracy on October 28th at the University of Regina, sponsored by the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation.
Here she writes about the corporatization of water:
The erosion of the power of the nation-state concentrates power in the hands of corporations. It does not devolve power to the people; it does not move power downward into the hands of the local community. It removes power from the local level and transforms institutions of the state from being protectors of the health and rights of people to protectors of the property sand profits of corporations. This creates a state more committed to protection of foreign investments than the protection of its citizens…
As we saw in Bolivia, the theft of common resources through the privatization of water, for example, is condoned; collecting rainwater was forbidden (emphasis mine). Options for survival may only lie outside the law.
pg.87 Earth Democracy – Justice, Sustainability and Peace by Vandana Shiva
For more on Water Justice you can visit the Blue Planet Project, is a global initiative by the Council of Canadians working with partners around the world. to achieve water justice based on the principles that water is a human right, a public trust, and part of the global commons.
In Peace and Solidarity
(ah, those sunny days)