Like the “Fifty things to do before you die” lists, New Year’s resolutions are driven by a nagging, narcissistic dissatisfaction that feels an awful lot like guilt. But the “fifty things” lists are more ambitious than the typical beginning-of-the-year vows to go to the gym five times a week and organize your iTunes library. They’re usually based on the premise that you’re, if not affluent, at least comfortably middle-class, and are convinced that no life is well lived until one has, for example, scaled K2, jammed on a violin over the Hungarian minor scale with a blown-away Yo Yo Ma, taught English to the grateful inhabitants of Lesotho, made perfect soft-boiled eggs at several different altitudes, and impressed residents of Beijing with flawless Mandarin.
Of course, the must-do lists of the billion or so poor of the planet are no doubt less ambitious but more immediate: Get access to clean water before I die, eat before I die, get decent medical care before I die, etc. Everything’s relative.
This year, I’ve decided to come up with a hybrid of the two sorts of list, water related of course: Ten New Year’s Resolutions to Do Before I Die. Rather than just bore the reader with my self-involved and possibly grandiose goals, I’ve linked each item to a compelling–and in some cases fascinating–bit of information about everyone’s favorite sugar-free beverage.
- Collaborate with Dr. Peter Gleick to put a stop to the gargantuan, insane, destined-to-fail desalination project moving relentlessly forward in Southern California.
- Help Matt Damon move mountains.
- Get myself appointed Obama’s special peace envoy to broker settlements to supposedly imminent water wars.
- Work feverishly with NASA scientists to figure out how to efficiently transport moon water to Earth.
- Save the salmon!
- Fish for Asian carp in the Great Lakes.
- Work with Willie Nelson to develop an iPhone app version of his home water-from-air system.
- Jet-ski the Golden Age Lake!
- Join up with Food & Water Watch. (This may be the only attainable goal on this list.)
- Not go for months without posting.
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