Charles Fishman is an acclaimed author and three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious prize in business journalism. Tonight, in a talk sponsored by Baptist Health, he will talk with us about his book, The Big Thirst – “an entertaining and torrential flow of a book” (Nature magazine). It is a startling examination of the passing of the golden age of water and the shocking facts about how water scarcity will soon be a major factor in our lives.
The water coming out of your kitchen tap is four billion years old and might well have been sipped by a Tyrannosaurus rex. Rather than only three states of water—liquid, ice, and vapor—there is a fourth, “molecular water,” fused into rock 400 miles deep in the Earth, and that’s where most of the planet’s water is found. Unlike most precious resources, water cannot be used up; it can always be made clean enough again to drink—indeed, water can be made so clean that it’s toxic. Water is the most vital substance in our lives but also more amazing and mysterious than we appreciate. As Fishman brings vibrantly to life in his surprising and mind-changing narrative, water runs our world in a host of awe-inspiring ways, yet we take it completely for granted. But the era of easy water is over.
As dramatic as the challenges are, the deeper truth Fishman reveals is that there is no good reason for us to be overtaken by a global water crisis. We have more than enough water. We just don’t think about it, or use it, smartly. We must, Fishman says, rethink how we approach and use water. Knowing what to do is not the problem. Ultimately, the hardest part is changing our water consciousness.
Read an interview with Charles Fishman in The Coastal Star
Read our In Depth blog post about this event.