When scientists determine whether another planet is able to sustain life, one of the things they look for is water in its three forms, liquid, solid, and vapor.  Water is in fact a natural resource and is one of the primary components that maintain life on Earth. In fact, water covers about 70% of Earth’s surface! The problem is that only about 3% of this water is fresh water and of this 3%, about 68% of fresh water is stored in icecaps and glaciers, according to the USGS. What many fail to realize is that many people depend on the seasonal freezing and melting of these glaciers and icecaps as their fresh water source. Because of increased temperature and shorter winters, people find themselves with shortages of water. In addition, the fresh water stored away in the Arctic is melting into the ocean, leading to a decline in the 68% and 3% ratios previously stated.  Some people believe that an increase rainfall will replenish the lands that suffer from drought. WRONG! According to Mann and Kump, “a combination of warmer water, more intense rainfall events, and longer periods of low river and stream flow will also exacerbate water pollution”(Dire Predictions, p 123).  Throughout time, societies have gone to war resources, such as land, gold and diamonds. We are now in what people believe in war over oil in the Middle East. According to Mann and Kump, as well as many other scholars, water will soon become a source of war, because of its increase in scarcity, the displacement of people because of rising sea levels and severe drought, and the creation of accessible borders now becoming accessible in the Arctic circle due to the receding polar ice cap and Arctic glaciers. With the scarcity of water, and the potential increase of this scarcity, I do not understand why people still waste so much water. I do not understand why people cannot just simply turn the water of while brushing their teeth and shaving, which saves up to 7 gallons of water a day, why people ignore leaky faucets, and most mind blowing, why people would build ski resort in the middle of a desert! Instead of wasting so much water in the desert, and at ski resorts that lack snow, why don’t we just use those snow machines and cover the exposed Arctic Eurasia, where “each decade the snow-free period… increases five or six days, exposing dark ground that absorbs sunlight more effectively than snow”, land that is being eroded at increasing and what should be alarming rates (Mann & Kant, p 138).  “On average, the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the globe as a whole, and the region’s vast land masses are warming at five times the global temperature” (Mann & Kant, p138). I was not aware of this until I read Dire Predictions and I am very sure I am not the only person. We need to begin educating our country, both through books such as Dire Predictions, and through school’s science curriculum’s, so that people are more aware and can elect government officials that actually plan to do something about it, and not just slightly skip the topic of global warming just to fulfill the criteria for being a well-rounded politician. I feel that because the U.S is not directly feeling the heat of global warming, we do not feel an incentive to act, and ignore those who are suffering the most, forgetting that we too will one day be in the same position if we fail to act quickly. Saddening, yes. Surprising, no.

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