A Water Ethic: Cure for the Coming Crisis

Annual Meeting of the Great Barrington Land Conservancy

At the June 2nd lecture for the Great Barrington Land Conservancy, author Kirpatrick Sale  spoke about how for centuries humans have attempted to have control and dominance over the forces of nature, most especially of water, but in the 21st century we have come to the point where our control and use of water has reached a crisis. We depend upon water even more than we do oil, but what isn’t being polluted and defiled is being used up, in this country and around the world, at a disastrous rate. It is no exaggeration to say that the wars of the coming century will most likely about water, and when they are over there still won’t be enough to go around.

“The only way we can escape from the coming crisis is by developing a ‘water ethic,’ similar to Aldo Leopold’s land ethic, but about this precious and vital resource.”

Mr. Sale’s talk was part of a weekend of festivities dedicating the William Stanley Overlook on the Great Barrington River Walk.  The Observation Platform for the Overlook is directly across the Housatonic River from the site of the historic Horace Day rubberwear factory. It was here in 1886 that Stanley successfully transmitted high voltage alternating current electricity. Interpretative signage tells the story of Stanley’s experiments and his role in Great Barrington’s industrial history.


Event Speakers

Kirkpatrick Sale

Kirkpatrick Sale is a widely recognized formulator and early proponent of the notion of “bioregionalism.” His development of this concept in his books, lectures, and regular radio broadcasts fueled the ever-growing interest in a local approach to the solving of growing political, economic, and environmental problems. A scholar and author, his many books have explored radical … Continued