Heart of Dryness: How the Last Bushmen Can Help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought

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9780802715586: Heart of Dryness: How the Last Bushmen Can Help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought
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The dramatic story of the Bushmen of the Kalahari is a cautionary tale about water in the twenty-first century―and offers unexpected solutions for our time.

"We don't govern water. Water governs us," writes James G. Workman. I n Heart of Dryness, he chronicles the memorable saga of the famed Bushmen of the Kalahari―remnants of one of the world's most successful civilizations, today at the exact epicenter of Africa's drought―in their widely publicized recent battle with the government of Botswana, in the process of exploring the larger story of what many feel has become the primary resource battleground of the twenty-first century: the supply of water.

The Bushmen's story could well prefigure our own. In the United States, even the most upbeat optimists concede we now face an unprecedented water crisis. Reservoirs behind large dams on the Colorado River, which serve thirty million in many states, will be dry in thirteen years. Southeastern drought recently cut Tennessee Valley Authority hydropower in half, exposed Lake Okeechobee's floor, dried up thousands of acres of Georgia's crops, and left Atlanta with sixty days of water. Cities east and west are drying up. As reservoirs and aquifers fail, officials ration water, neighbors snitch on one another, corporations move in, and states fight states to control shared rivers.

Each year, around the world, inadequate water kills more humans than AIDS, malaria, and all wars combined. Global leaders pray for rain. Bushmen tap more pragmatic solutions. James G . Workman illuminates the present and coming tensions we will all face over water and shows how, from the remoteness of the Kalahari, an ancient and resilient people is showing the world a viable path through the encroaching Dry Age.

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About the Author:

Workman creates natural resource markets for water, energy and seafood.  He wrote the award-winning Heart of Dryness: How the Last Bushmen Can Help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought, and the forthcoming Sea Change: The Unprecedented Rebirth of America's Wild Ocean Fisheries.  Workman studied at Yale & Oxford, taught at Wesleyan and Whitman, but his real education came blowing up dams, releasing wolves, restoring wildfires, guiding safaris, smuggling water to dissidents after breaking down alone in Africa's Kalahari Desert, and becoming a father. A former investigative journalist, he was enlisted by U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to advance President Clinton's conservation policies, later joined the World Commission on Dams under Nelson Mandela, and advises corporations, governments and international NGOs. Based in San Francisco, he writes for Environmental Defense Fund, and has co-founded AquaShares, the world's first online market that lets families and firms monetize and trade water savings.

From Publishers Weekly:

Passing references to water woes along the Colorado River and rainfall shortages in the Southeast that have cut hydropower pepper this dramatic report on the looming American (and global) water crisis. Workman filters his apocalyptic forecast through a slice of micro history: the (almost genocidal) 2002 decision of Botswana to force a minute population of Bushmen—inhabitants of the arid Kalahari Desert for tens of thousands of years—off their ancestral lands by sealing the only borehole that provided water to 1,000 desert dwellers and then dumping stored water into the dry sand. The heart of this numbing report on the government's use of water as weapon is Bushman matriarch Qoroxloo, whose ability to wring precious liquid from deep roots and animal carcasses is testament to a wise elder's gritty determination to help her band survive against formidable political and geographic odds. The author's belief that water-starved Western cultures might adapt to a coming age of permanent drought based on pragmatic Bushmen ways posits an unlikely cultural transformation, but his journalistic depiction of a tribal David's triumph over a governmental Goliath is riveting. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Walker Company, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The dramatic story of the Bushmen of the Kalahari is a cautionary tale about water in the twenty-first century--and offers unexpected solutions for our time. We don t govern water. Water governs us, writes James G. Workman. I n Heart of Dryness, he chronicles the memorable saga of the famed Bushmen of the Kalahari--remnants of one of the world s most successful civilizations, today at the exact epicenter of Africa s drought--in their widely publicized recent battle with the government of Botswana, in the process of exploring the larger story of what many feel has become the primary resource battleground of the twenty-first century: the supply of water. The Bushmen s story could well prefigure our own. In the United States, even the most upbeat optimists concede we now face an unprecedented water crisis. Reservoirs behind large dams on the Colorado River, which serve thirty million in many states, will be dry in thirteen years. Southeastern drought recently cut Tennessee Valley Authority hydropower in half, exposed Lake Okeechobee s floor, dried up thousands of acres of Georgia s crops, and left Atlanta with sixty days of water. Cities east and west are drying up. As reservoirs and aquifers fail, officials ration water, neighbors snitch on one another, corporations move in, and states fight states to control shared rivers. Each year, around the world, inadequate water kills more humans than AIDS, malaria, and all wars combined. Global leaders pray for rain. Bushmen tap more pragmatic solutions. James G . Workman illuminates the present and coming tensions we will all face over water and shows how, from the remoteness of the Kalahari, an ancient and resilient people is showing the world a viable path through the encroaching Dry Age. Seller Inventory # NLF9780802715586

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Book Description Walker Company, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The dramatic story of the Bushmen of the Kalahari is a cautionary tale about water in the twenty-first century--and offers unexpected solutions for our time. We don t govern water. Water governs us, writes James G. Workman. I n Heart of Dryness, he chronicles the memorable saga of the famed Bushmen of the Kalahari--remnants of one of the world s most successful civilizations, today at the exact epicenter of Africa s drought--in their widely publicized recent battle with the government of Botswana, in the process of exploring the larger story of what many feel has become the primary resource battleground of the twenty-first century: the supply of water. The Bushmen s story could well prefigure our own. In the United States, even the most upbeat optimists concede we now face an unprecedented water crisis. Reservoirs behind large dams on the Colorado River, which serve thirty million in many states, will be dry in thirteen years. Southeastern drought recently cut Tennessee Valley Authority hydropower in half, exposed Lake Okeechobee s floor, dried up thousands of acres of Georgia s crops, and left Atlanta with sixty days of water. Cities east and west are drying up. As reservoirs and aquifers fail, officials ration water, neighbors snitch on one another, corporations move in, and states fight states to control shared rivers. Each year, around the world, inadequate water kills more humans than AIDS, malaria, and all wars combined. Global leaders pray for rain. Bushmen tap more pragmatic solutions. James G . Workman illuminates the present and coming tensions we will all face over water and shows how, from the remoteness of the Kalahari, an ancient and resilient people is showing the world a viable path through the encroaching Dry Age. Seller Inventory # NLF9780802715586

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