“Oh, God, there you go again. You’ve always got a disaster up your sleeve.” – Joanne Garfield, Parable of the Sower
While reading Parable of the Sower, I couldn’t help but think this statement is the perfect way of portraying how I felt about our latest Butler piece. She has a knack for giving us some bleak futures to look forward to, as she refuses to let us go on like the Joannes of the world. She is warning us, and a warning is exactly what we need.
With the recent events going on in California regarding the drought, calling Parable of the Sower a “prophetic odyssey” has become frighteningly more accurate. A similar setting, with a similar set of problems written more than 20 years ago just goes to show that a problem of this scale has been recognized and ignored to the point where it may be too late.
In an article by the New York Times titled “Silicon Valley’s Water Conservation Conundrum”, it discusses how even today water conservation technology is simply not a “rational market”. Basically, some of the most intelligent and innovative scientists in our generation are very capable of making efforts to better water conservation technology, yet they don’t because it just doesn’t pay as much as social media.
“The lack of interest by Valley investors in water can be seen in the drastic decline in new investments in water and wastewater startups last year, even in the face of a worsening drought. New investments declined 39 percent last year to $358 million, and the number of deals fell by 42 percent to the lowest level since 2009, according to the i3 research group of the Cleantech Group based in San Francisco.”
The unfortunate truth is that as long as water remains inexpensive, there remains no reason for innovation. Despite the fact that certain companies, such as WaterSmart, are starting to make the push to water conservation, it may be too late. Even scarier is the fact that this is no longer just a California issue, but a issue that affects the world. If only people listened to people like Butler sooner.
The article is: “Silicon Valley’s Water Conservation Conundrum”, by John Markoff