Ahhhh, fresh clean water. Sometimes, there’s no other beverage that hits the spot quite like chilled H20 and yet the ubiquitous thirst-quencher – which covers 71% of our planet’s surface — is oftentimes elusive to humans. Water.org says that less than 1% of our global water supply is accessible for human consumption, but as we all know, the tasteless and odorless liquid — consisting of a solitary oxygen atom to which two hydrogen atoms are bonded — is absolutely necessary for our basic survival.
The World Water Council cites ever-accelerating urbanization and industrialization as among the major factors contributing to our global water crisis. The resulting stress on what was once thought to be an infinitely replenishing resource is already playing out in the real world, where excessive draws on groundwater supplies have compromised agricultural production and people in third world regions succumb to incessant pollution and water borne illness issues. Overall, approximately one out every eight people (= 884 million) cannot draw on safe water supplies and it is anticipated that in just 10 years, roughly 135 million more people will end up dying if we fail to provide them with sound and safe water services.
The upcoming 24 hour long Dow Live Earth Run for Water event – scheduled to occur in nearly 100 cities across 50 countries on April 18 – is a high profile collaboration between Dow Chemical Company and the various non-profit and strategic partners that comprise Live Earth. The former is one of the top manufacturers of plastics and agricultural chemicals in the world and the latter was organized to “ignite a global movement” aimed at raising awareness about climate change and devising practical methods to help combat it. Wassup with that?
Promoted as the most prominent global water crisis initiative ever to be organized, Run For Water consists of multiple 6 km run/walks as well as live musical performances from multi-platinum three-time GRAMMY Award-winner Rob Thomas and two-time Grammy Award-winner Melissa Etheridge (both appearing at the Los Angeles and Atlanta events) and water education villages to raise awareness and educate attendees. Interesting to note is the fact that the length of the runs are symbolic of the typical distance that people in third world nations have to travel via foot just to access the resource that most of us can drink at whim from our sink.
Even more interesting is how and why Live Earth ever chose to cozy up with the notorious chemical-making-conglomerate in the first place. Dow isn’t exactly the first company that comes to mind when you think to yourself….hmmm, do they have Mother Nature’s back? Ecorazzi readers may recall reading about the many environmental disasters triggered by Dow Chemicals’ products and the fact that in many cases, they’ve been lackadaisical about cleaning up their messes (or simply just flat out resistant to take responsibility for them).
One can only imagine that their deep pockets proved to be too seductive for the Al Gore-Kevin Wall-founded Live Earth, which is often the case when do-gooders with notoriously tight budgets end up cozying up in bed with the enemy — sort of like when Sierra Club agreed to endorse Clorox‘s Green Works line of planet friendlier cleaning products in exchange for the sum of $470,000. Companies that have a tendency to wreck our planet for a living seem fond of greenwashing public perception by allying themselves with organizations that are legitimately trying to do right by Mother Nature — and sadly, it’s the little guys chugging away for the most noble causes that always seem to turn to the dark side in order to keep afloat.
On the positive side of the Dow Live Earth Run For Water event, in addition to performances by Thomas and longtime eco-advocate Etheridge, Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, Jacques Cousteau’s granddaughter Alexandra Cousteau and Grammy Award-winning Beninoise singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo will also be in attendance. Interested parties who set up their own water fundraising page or choose to donate money directly to Global Water Challenge (up through April 8, 2010) will also have the opportunity to win a generous prize package consisting of:
- Free admission to the New York or Los Angeles Dow Live Earth Run For Water event
- Round trip air flight for 2 to either New York or Los Angeles (with carbon offsets purchased on your behalf)
- Ground transportation in either city
- 2 nights hotel accommodations
Winners will be notified on or around April 9, 2010. For more information, take a moment to check out Live Earth’s site and for anyone who simply wants to jump in head first by organizing their own event (if one isn’t already taking place in your neck of the woods), click here. For all others who question why they should bother supporting this Live Earth-Dow Chemical alliance, it may be worth recognizing that rallying around a noble cause — no matter who is at the helm — can oftentimes have a far more beneficial, world-changing effect (as opposed to symbolically sitting out in protestation). If you really want to make a statement, review Dow’s product line and make a conscious effort to channel your consumer dollars toward items that are produced by ethical and eco-minded corporations instead.
Via Live Daily