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Blue Future Hardcover – Sep 9 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: House of Anansi Press; Canadian First edition (Sept. 9 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770894063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770894068
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.8 x 22.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 558 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


We are water ― it inflates our cells, dissolves nutrients, transports materials, and enables metabolism. Once again, Maude Barlow delivers an urgent warning that we are treating this priceless liquid in ways that are unjust, unhealthy, unsustainable, and suicidal. (David Suzuki, Scientist, Environmentalist, and Broadcaster. 2013-07-01)

As clear as a pristine mountain stream, Maude Barlow lays out a practical and inspiring vision for how we can defend water ― the source of all life ― from the forces of death. For decades Barlow has been on the front lines of this critical battle and her insights on how water can serve as our guide to a more just, sustainable world are a gift to us all. (Naomi Klein, Author of The Shock Doctrine 2013-07-01)

Maude Barlow is a force of nature. Blue Future is the inspiring climax of her visionary trilogy on the world water crisis. With the world teetering on the brink of a devastating water crisis, humanity urgently needs the vision, wisdom, and solutions in Blue Future. (David R. Boyd, Author of The Environmental Rights Revolution 2013-07-01)

Maude Barlow first establishes water as a human right, and then takes us through the titanic struggle, country by country, to make that right come alive. It’s jolting, compelling, astonishingly comprehensive, and beautifully organized. No one but Maude could have written this tour de force. (Stephen Lewis, Author of Race Against Time 2013-07-01)

Blue Future offers yet another clarion call to action. [Barlow] challenges all citizens to embrace water as a public trust. We owe much to Maude Barlow, a great Canadian and a leading global voice for public water. (Paul Moist, National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees 2013-07-01)

Blue Future is by far the most up-to-date treatise on threats to the world’s dwindling freshwater supply. The scenario [Barlow] presents is scary . . . Fortunately, she also proposes what must be done to prevent the corporate control of water. An extremely powerful book. (David Schindler, Professor of Ecology, University of Alberta 2013-07-01)

Passionate, encyclopaedic, prophetic, hopeful ― no one knows the planet’s water better than Maude Barlow. And nowhere has she set out the world’s water crisis more starkly than in Blue Future. (Alanna Mitchell, Author of Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis 2013-07-01)

The world's leading water warrior has issued a call to arms and a road map to transform our economies and priorities to protect our most precious resource- water. The book is an explosive rethinking of our future that could save the planet. (John Cavanagh John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies 2013-09-06)

If you read one book this year, make it Blue Future! Brilliant, compelling and optimistic, it's the seminal work on averting the world water crisis. Barlow's enthralling account of the water justice movement's remarkable progress brought tears and her roadmap for the future gives me hope. (Hauter Wenonah Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch and author of Foodopoly 2013-09-06)

Her work will inspire equal parts outrage and encouragement in anyone who concerned about this most vital natural resource. (Publisher's Weekly 2013-11-04)

...Blue Future is a provocative and inspiring treatse... (Athena McKenzie EverythingZoomer.com 2013-10-10)

About the Author

Maude Barlow is the author of sixteen books, including the international bestsellers Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Threat of the World’s Water (co-written with Tony Clarke) and Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water. She is currently the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians. She served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should be read by everybody. It tells you that the Harper government considers water to be a tradeable community. In 2012 the Harper government finally relented and agreed with the UN that water should also be a private right, without - however - entrenching this right in the Canadian constitution. Big business will still be granted water rights, making huge profits from bottled water sales, with water that belongs to the people. and only to the people.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely a must read for anyone who cares about and wants to do something about water. It is an amazing analysis of the current state of affairs in the world of this life necessity, and yet her writing is very accessible. Maude also is very hopeful that we can turn things around and offers a variety of strategies we can use locally or globally. She deserves the Order of Canada, but probably would never get one from this government who are allowing this precious resource to be abused, and ruined. Thanks
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maude Barlow's 'Blue Future' is a powerful and inspiring book that alerts the world to a looming disaster unless quick action is taken to conserve and fairly distribute our precious water. This third book in the author's triology on the world water crisis and her insightful solutions convey the knowledge and vision the world so desperately needs in attempts to put this planet on a sustainable path. An important read for everyone.

Inge Bolin, anthropologist
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very informative in many respects. Unfortunately, some parts long-winded and repetitive. The editor should have done a better job.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa295feac) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2606564) out of 5 stars A must-read book for any responsible citizen Feb. 15 2014
By LaurentG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you care about nature and democracy, this book is a must-read. Maude Barlow does an excellent job explaining how interconnected our actions are, and what it seems progress from an angle is pure devastation when looking at the big picture. The subject of the book is water and how modern society use it and abuse it, but the idea is bigger - the globalization experiment is based on deleting resources at an unsustainable pace. The author suggests democratic ways on how we should interact with nature and how to recognize when governments give in to the requests of powerful interests. The body of evidence is alarming. Decision makers at all levels of government should read this book if they are truly committed to their communities.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa290d2e8) out of 5 stars Nice to read, but misleading Sept. 15 2014
By Averroes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is well written, but it is ultimately misleading. The author is concerned about the widening gap between the rich and the poor and about environmental destruction - concerns that are widely shared, including by this reviewer. Few will disagree with some of the principles she advocates - "the human right to water", or "water as a common heritage".

But there are three problems with this book. The first is that the author overstates her case. She warns about "drought on an unprecedented scale, mass starvation and the migration of millions of water refugees". She ignores that 275,000 people gain access to drinking water every day, that the UN's Millennium Goal for access to drinking water has been met early, that refugees are mostly on the run because of wars and political persecution rather than water scarcity, and that the share of people living in poverty has consistently fallen globally according to the UN and the World Bank. The second problem is that she has a too narrow view of who the villains are - big corporations. The third problem is that she has an equally narrow view about who the heroes are - grass-roots organizations and civil society.

The book leaves no room for subtleties and the complexities of the real world of water, such as how to finance the much needed investments in water infrastructure and how to maintain it in good working order. Nor does it discuss how we can keep water affordable to the poor when most governments are highly indebted, aid is in scarce supply, and the effectiveness of aid is being challenged. In this book, there is no room for the failure of many publicly managed water utilities in developing countries. Nor is there room to discuss why so many wells in rural Africa break down so quickly, or why so many latrines that were given as gifts by charities or governments are not used for their original purpose, but rather used as storage or living areas.

If you feel that the world is being plundered by big corporations, and if grass-roots organizations are your only heroes, then this book will be a good read for you. If you want to better understand how water, the environment, corporations, governments and society interact globally, you may better look for other books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa29583b4) out of 5 stars This is a great book with lots of stats and facts May 14 2015
By Margaret M Cathey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book with lots of stats and facts. Everyone who is concerned with our water resources in the future will enjoy reading this book.
HASH(0xa290300c) out of 5 stars if things were only that simple... May 13 2016
By stonehenge_ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I (mostly) agree with the review of Averroes - while I don't think the author overstates her case (water is an extremely important issue), she certainly has a very biased perspective. This would have been a nice read if it was more balanced and more realistic about the real challenge: financing the water infrastructure, which requires trillions (!) of USD worldwide and ultimately has to be paid by someone. She does mention the problem, but clearly lacks the necessary understanding of the harsh reality of infrastructure finance. Wishful thinking hasn't worked in the past and will not work in the future.

After having read the book I actually had a chance to attend a talk by the author - unfortunately, instead of honestly discussing the real issues (including also failed community/government management of water) she seemed to be more interested in vilifying the corporate world, coming up with one cliché after the other...
HASH(0xa29030f0) out of 5 stars If you're thirsty, read this! April 19 2016
By RO&Co. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The best book I've read on the global water crisis! It is a warning to those complacent about water quality and quantity in the U.S.!