Segments in this Video

Our Real and Virtual Water Footprint: Introduction (01:49)


Silver Donald Cameron introduces Stephen Leahy and his book, "Your Water Footprint." The average American uses 2,000 gallons of water a day; most is embedded in our food.

What is Virtual Water? (03:48)

Leahy explains hidden water and water footprint. He cites examples of a cup of coffee and a cell phone.

Global Trade (02:48)

Leahy explains water degradation and how global trade is like rivers of water; simpler lifestyles use less hidden water. Leahy discusses California's water shortage.

Saudi Arabia's Land Management (03:21)

Saudi Arabia's underground water source is nearly empty. Saudi Arabia and China purchase land in other countries for the purpose of growing food. Leahy reflects on why authoritarian countries appear better equipped to handle water shortage issues.

Water-Stressed Countries (03:33)

Much of Denmark's economy is centered on the production of foodstuffs like pork, resulting in water pollution issues; flooding affects government decision-making. Leahy discusses Germany's perspective on a green economy and their confusion about Western democracy's political paralysis.

Infinite Growth in a Finite Situation (04:11)

California is using more water than they have— well beyond a renewable capacity. Leahy explains what will happen when the water bubble bursts.

Tragedy of Commons? (03:10)

Leahy believes that water issues are the result of a lack of long-term vision and understanding how the planet works. The average North American's water footprint is approximately 8,000 liters per day — 300-400 liters is direct use. Leahy provides examples of products with heavy water consumption.

Reducing Remote Water Use (02:55)

Consumption of materials goods is the biggest contributor to our water footprint— half comes from food. Leahy suggests ways to reduce our water footprint.

Consumer Lifestyle (04:27)

Leahy discusses ways to reduce consumption, including identifying what makes us happy, and storage sites. He believes people are willing to "do things differently."

Abandoned Farmland (04:58)

In places where farmers pump water from underground, land eventually becomes too toxic to grow plants. A shift in rainfall or dry wells also causes farmers to move. Leahy discusses producing food sustainably and ways to correct farmland

Land and Water Education (02:52)

Leahy discusses educating people on how the planet works. Cameron considers an ecology-based curriculum in schools.

Media and the Environment Beat (05:53)

Leahy discusses the status of environmental journalism and the resolution for his work. Learn how to become involved in Leahy's activities.

Leahy's Journalism Shift (06:05)

Leahy uses crowd sourcing to help finance his work; he compares it to "regular journalism." Leahy is part of a network of journalists who provide assistance to each other and collaborate on stories; he cites a climate change story.

"Your Water Footprint" (03:27)

Leahy explains the visual format of his book; it will not work for all materials and all subjects.

Societal Values and Norms Project (05:14)

Leahy's project may take the form of an autobiography. He considers how society created the environmental "mess" we are in and what prevents us from correcting it.

Articulator of Citizen Thought (03:05)

Leahy states that many people know things are not right with the planet but do not know what to do about it; communicators have an important role to express sentiments. Cameron reflects on the potential impact of Leahy's societal values and norms project.

Our Real and Virtual Water Footprint: Wrap-Up and Additional Resources (00:39)

Cameron reiterates Leahy's work and suggests other Green Interviews.

Credits: Our Real and Virtual Water Footprint: Stephen Leahy (00:16)

Credits: Our Real and Virtual Water Footprint: Stephen Leahy

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Our Real and Virtual Water Footprint: Stephen Leahy

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This episode of the Green Interview features Stephen Leahy, an independent environmental journalist and author. Leahy is the lead international science and environment correspondent at Inter Press News Service Agency (IPS), where he writes about climate change, energy, water, biodiversity, development, and native peoples. In his award-winning 2014 book Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts about How Much Water we Use to Make Everyday Products, Leahy presents the real and hidden water consumption associated with all the goods and services we consume. From the unique vantage point of an environmental journalist with more than 20 years experience, Leahy discusses his new book, the current state of environmental journalism in Canada and abroad, and how we can go about conserving water.

Length: 63 minutes

Item#: BVL110321

ISBN: 978-1-68272-590-0

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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