ON THE WATER
NEELS BLOM: More than hope needed to alleviate Cape water crisis
‘The Cape’s water crisis is a national emergency. Parliament must mobilise all hydrologists, engineers and able-bodied workers to rush to the people of the Cape’
Hope, certain evangelists have been known to say, is what keeps humanity going, in dire times especially. And when, you may ask, throughout the ages of the Anthropocene, have the times of humanity not been dire? The evangelists may have a point, or at least a good business model. In the trenches there are no atheists, they say. There, desperate men buy hope with the currency of faith. There, before the rationality of despair, humanity grasps at irrational straws: one more minute, please, just one more breath, a last glimpse of the light. Flyfishers know this. As the light fades after a day’s futile fishing, he makes one more cast fully knowing his presentation is wrong, and that his favourite fly (Oscar Wilde) is antimemetic, that his bond is in arrears, his toenails in-growing, yet he hopes, and he fishes on. But in the end, he finds the sparkling trout stream is naught but dust. The peddlers of hope say something like this: a human being can live for weeks without food and for day...