Mad Max and water scarcity

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Mad Max and water scarcity.

By Beulah Devaney

15.05.29-drought-590.jpg

Hollywood is in California. So it is worried about water scarcity. Fikret Onal under a Creative Commons Licence

The new film Mad Max: Fury Road takes place in a world without water.

There are other recent films about water scarcity eg. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and Jake Paltrow’s Young Ones. But Mad Max is the next step in Hollywood’s campaign to tell everyone about the world’s water crisis.

People talk about many things in the film: the strong feminist Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron; and how Tom Hardy acts in place of Mel Gibson. And screenwriters George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris have clearly done a lot of research on how water scarcity will affect humans.

Jay Famigletti (NASA’s chief water expert) said that the scenes of drought and dust in Mad Max are close to what California’s Death Valley will look like in 50 years.

But there are many countries where the drought is worse in the world – the worst is Somalia, so let’s look at the film’s predictions.

Transnational companies will control the world’s water supply

In Mad Max, Imortan Joe, an obsessive, violent man, controls the water supply. And there are similar people in the real world.

In 2012, The Centre for Research on Globalization published a list of the world’s ‘Water Barons’ - powerful men who were buying up water stocks.

Water is a good investment for transnational companies: water stocks have grown faster than all other resource and commodities stocks over the last 15 years. Because the world population is growing, and because there is increasing water scarcity, there is even more demand.

Investment companies in the Middle East have been telling clients to invest in water for decades. Many people are angry that Nestlé is trying to privatize water. Nestlé now owns 70 per cent of the world’s bottled water brands.

There will be a new class system

Joe can choose the best women and keep control over everyone with the very big water tap in the side of his castle in the mountains. People who control water will be able to create a new power structure.

If a few transnational companies keep control of the world’s water, there will be a new class system: people who have water and people who don’t. And this will mean that ...

Water will become a way to show your wealth

One of the scenes from Mad Max that people talk about most is the one where supermodels have showers in the desert. These are Imortan Joe’s best women. They have escaped and are the reason for the film’s big, long car chase in the desert. This is one of the ways the film talks about water as wealth. The other important scene is the first time Imortan Joe opens the tap.

Today, money is important because it can buy things. But in the future, in drought, just having water will be a symbol of wealth.

In a world without water our needs become limited to a very few basic things: hydration, nutrition, shelter.

People will fight over water

Famigletti says out that there are many reasons people will fight over drought in the future: neighbours will fight to control a well, businesses will say people cannot have the water.

Water scarcity will also become a reason for migration: large parts of the world will have no more water, so drought refugees will become more common.

People will probably fight all around the world because of migration due to drought. The situation now in Yemen shows that. Researchers think that 70-80 per cent of conflicts are a result of water shortages. This is much more than Max and Furiosa’s battles with Joe’s men in the film.

Hollywood will continue to play a role in the battle against water scarcity

Could humanity be saved because Hollywood is in California where there is drought?

It is clearly a very good thing that Hollywood is helping activists fight water scarcity.

Famigletti often says: the world of Mad Max was clearly inspired by California’s very dry landscape. It is very important to know about the world’s water crisis, especially in Western countries that don’t yet have drought. Hollywood has made everyone think about this because they show water as something that everyone needs.

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: http://newint.org/blog/2015/05/29/mad-max-water-scarcity/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).