Published on April 30th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer5
You Might Need This Some Day
Here’s a green living idea – a survival tool that you might need in the future after a few decades of climate change and peak oil. You might want to bookmark this page.
IDE; which describes itself as “creating income opportunities for the rural poor”, has invented a very simple-tech treadle device for bringing up water from an aquifer for people in the third world.
The rural poor, in this case in Zambia, were being charged prohibitively for mechanical water pumps that were produced overseas and imported. IDE made it possible to manufacture these simpler pumps locally, beating the imports on quality, price and effectiveness, and bringing jobs into the bargain, and just started shipping the first ones in July.
You may be thinking, but I’m not the rural poor. And I’m just temporarily unemployed in this recession. I have the internet. I’m suburban. I’m not poor – yet. But…
But as the age of oil ends, and climate change sets in, about a billion more of us will become poor – in energy, at least – and we will all do well to know the simple tech ways to take care of basic needs like getting water.
I’m not saying we should rush out and buy a treadle pump and keep it in the garage with the kids’ last summer’s faded plastic WaterSoakers™ and My Little Pony™ Skateboards. I’m just saying that, because the next decades might be a lot more difficult than the last century, that it makes sense to think about how to do the simple things we really need to be able to do, to survive.
In California, 20% of the state’s (fossil) energy is used to move water around the state so it comes out your tap, for example. Already there’s not enough to go around. We have 17% unemployment in our farmland now, due to drought.
Of course that makes people angry. People may not connect it with the rise in temperatures in California that exacerbates drought.
As climate change devastates farming in more states, and fossil energy becomes scarce; food will become expensive.
As more climate change disasters mount up, more states will use up disaster relief and FEMA funds, and just when we will need it the most – less municipal money will be available to do the things we have always taken for granted, like move water around states and up hills to come out of your taps. That’s why you should remember this treadle pump for when you might need one.