Fresh Water’s a vital resource
So you take all you’re needing, of course.
So your neighbour has none
So he takes up his gun
And the shortfall is resolved by force.
THERE is a growing feeling that resources vital to sustain human life, such as fresh water, land and fossil fuels, are being used too fast to ensure our long-term presence on the planet. It seems obvious that nations should cooperate on this problem, and yet successful cross-border solutions and agreements are hard to find. Why don't we act for the common good more often?
The problem of water shortages due to over-exploitation are well known - just Google "water shortages" to fing examples from all over the world. There are of course other shortages - food is an obvious one which will be exacerbated by climate changes - which could also reduce the effective living space due to sea level rises - or increased temperatures in an around some dessert areas.
Some raw materials have very uneven distribution around the world - with it being high on the list, but some rare materials, essential in some modern electrical devices, are in short supply and only available in a small number of countries.
Petros has been using gaming models to explore what happens when two societies both want a scarce resource, using model which can involve violence. This model suggests that as supplies start to become short the "safe" solution - that both sides work together to optimise the resource - is unlikely to happen. Hoarding what you can grab is a more likely strategy - ending up in violence.