Friday, September 29, 2006

Water: Why India May Fail To Become A World Power

This New York Times story on the severe water shortages New Dehli faces tells me one thing: India may well never reach their predicted position as a world power. People who believe that India and China are on their way to becoming dominant nations in the 21st century are ignoring environmental issues. These nations are in real trouble. The US is too, but we have the proper level of democracy, political power, and money to deal with these environmental issues to some extent. China--well, maybe. Authoritarianism might buy them a little time. India--no. You simply cannot build a powerful nation or even a decent middle-class without access to the world's most basic resource. New Dehli is suffering under massive water shortages, not to mention intense pollution, and a lack of government will to do anything about it. India is all about the money in their rapidly industrializing economy but if they don't solve their water issues, forget it. How can these cities continue to grow and prosper without water? They can't.

If I were a betting man (and I'm very much not), I would place my money that India is not a large world power in 2050 and I would say this because I don't think they will solve any of the environmental issues getting in the way.