Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pulse of the Planet #9

CounterPunch's "Pulse of the Planet" series kicks off 2009 with Barbara Rose Johnston's article, "Water Culture Wars." The series was initially derived from conference papers delivered at the "Pulse of the Planet" panel during AAA's 2008 annual meeting in San Francisco.

Johnston describes the controversial events that transpired at the 5th World Water Forum in Istanbul, Turkey and the recommendations that were drawn from the "water and cultural diversity" sessions. In these sessions, Johnston and other presenters stressed that "Water is a fundamental human right and a core element that sustains cultural ways of life and the environments on which we all depend." She also sheds light on how water development projects often violate human rights and lead to the displacement and impoverishment of millions, particularly ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples.

Prior Pulse of the Planet Articles:
"Ecological Crisis and Eco-Villages in China" ~ Shannon May
"How Dow Chemical Defies Homeland Security and Risks Another 9/11" ~ Brian McKenna
"The Inequities of Climate Change and the Small Island Experience" ~ Holly Barker
"What the Next President Must Do to Save FEMA" ~ Gregory V. Button
"The Clean, Green Nuclear Machine?" ~ Barbara Rose Johnston
"Carbon Offsets: More Harm Than Good?" ~ Melissa Checker
"The Human Right to Eat" ~ Joan P. Mencher
"Dam Legacies, Damned Futures" ~ Barbara Rose Johnston


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Valerie said...

CounterPunch really? Not anthropology majors or anthropologists are liberals (not that they're is anything wrong with being a liberal but all perspectives should be welcome in the social sciences).

While I do believe that all should have access to the water in their area there is no fundamental 'right to eat' and it goes against Darwinian ideas of 'survival of the fit enough' to have such a thing.

It all boils down to if you believe that a person who isn't putting in their fair exchange with their people (whatever culture that may be)should still be able to eat. I think if they aren't holding their weight with their tribe/group than that tribe/group has the right to be as charitable as they want with or leave the lazy bugger out to dry (starve/die/whatever) if they wish for the good of the survival of their group - and us as non-group members should have no say in it whatsoever, because to do otherwise would be to engage in a form of neo-liberal imperialism just as bad as that of any conservative trying to push their moral views on a more liberal tribe/cultural group.

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Stephen E. said...

Yeah Johnston's article was really good. I'm totally for her... "Water is a fundamental human right and a core element that sustains cultural ways of life and the environments on which we all depend." Drinking out of plastic bottles isnt good for humans or for the environment so I'm saving up to buy gold or metal reusable water bottles.

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