H.2O: Environmental questions with Maude Barlow of the United Nations, part two

In part two of this three-part interview, Maude Barlow expresses her opinion on many environmental issues beyond H.2O. In case you missed it, here lies part one of this interview, where water rights are discussed.

Question 5: What people alive today or in the past deserve to be called environmental heroes and why?

Maude Barlow: I think the world of many living environmental heroes. Three spring to mind: David Suzuki from Canada; Vandana Shiva from India; and Robert Kennedy from the United States.

Question 6: If you had a billion dollars to command, what environmental project would you undertake?

Maude Barlow: If I had a billion dollars, I would undertake a global watershed restoration project. Our displacement and abuse of water is a major cause of climate change as well as the denial of clean water to billions. Restoring depleted and damaged rivers and aquifers through conservation and rainwater harvesting would bring back ecological health around the world and aid in the fight to stop global warming.

Question 7: In what way do you think nuclear power should be involved, if at all, in the transition away from using fossil fuels?

Maude Barlow: Nuclear power is not the solution to transition from fossil fuel use in reducing climate change. Nuclear power would result in the continued production and transportation of dangerous radioactive nuclear waste, and is far more expensive than other, more sustainable alternatives.

Question 8: How do you think the health of the world’s environment is related to the health of the world’s economy?

Maude Barlow: The health of the world’s environment is dramatically and negatively affected by the choices we have made around the economy. Most governments still buy into the mantra of unlimited growth (which one environmentalist compared to the cancer cell that has to turn on its host in order to survive) and unregulated global free trade with the promise of more and more “stuff” for all. Not only has the promise of equitable access to the wealth generated by this system proven to be totally false, this economic system has laid siege to the remaining resources of the planet.

We hope you enjoyed the second installment of this interview. Watch for part 3 in the coming days.