Water is life. If you’re reading this, then you owe your ability to read to water, because without water you would never have been. This blue planet we live on is a bit more than 70% water, just like the human body, which in my spiritually seeking mind is not a coincidence. Scientist probing the depths of space looking for life are often actually looking for water because water makes life, as we understand it at least, possible. Most people know this. People in power certainly know this. People in charge of large multinational companies such as Nestle know this (which is why they are so hell bent on making it even more of a commodity). People at oil and gas exploration companies know this too. Yet despite this near universal knowledge, we are led to believe that it is perfectly reasonable to use this basic building block of LIFE for something so ephemeral as fossil fuel extraction. This is insane. We cannot drink any sort of fossil fuel. We cannot water crops with it. We cannot revegetate or reforest denuded landscapes with fossil fuels.Yet as I type this, millions of gallons of water are being pumped into fracking wells to free up ancient sunlight from where it is trapped. Additionally, oil wells are drilled into the oceans with more offshore areas being opened up all the time. Even if there was literally a ZERO percent possibility of drinking water being contaminated by using water for fossil fuel extraction it would still be unthinkable, nonsensical, and idiotic. Why? Because we absolutely MUST have water but man can easily exist without gasoline, oil, propane, or natural gas and has done so for almost the entirety of human existence. Unfortunately though, fracking continues nearly unabated and nearly unregulated in various places throughout the world and deep water rigs are still approved despite the disastrous consequences of the BP oil spill. It’s a monumentally uneven, morally bankrupt exchange. This is madness and it must cease if we are to continue as a species to exist on this planet. It really is as simple as that because as mentioned before, WATER IS LIFE.
I believe that things would be so different if we were all really in tune with our life places in the bioregions that we inhabit and if instead of plastic bottles from the store we got our drinking water from local lakes, streams, wells, and rivers. I believe it would be different if we had to, I mean really had to, learn and deeply connect to the ecology of the areas where we live. I believe it would be different if we saw the destruction of water, soil, and air as human rights issues just as we see bigoted laws being passed such as the recent “religious freedom” law in Indiana as a human rights issue. Imagine if we all collectively stood up for the biosphere (the part of the planet that supports life) the way we do for LGBTQ rights or for people of color (which are incredibly important issues as well). Polticians and businesses shudder at the thought of a mobilized, motivated and informed public when it comes to water, air, and soil because their game would be over. To avoid this, they divide and conquer with wedge issues (some of which are important, see above) while blithely destroying that which makes life possible in the name of profit, thinking that money will make them immune to biological laws.
Lately I have been taking photos of water as a means of connecting with the local watershed. Every moment in a flowing stream is sublime, unique, never to replicated. Water is beautiful. We long to be near it, to see it, smell it, touch it. We build homes and cities along its banks and beaches. It calls to us. Right now it calls to us, asking us in our billions to take care of it, restore it to health, and to use it wisely. Perhaps these photos and the video will awaken that desire in you.