Part III. Blue Gold

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”—Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey, 1957

“Water is life’s mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”—Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian biochemist and winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

In virtually every nation on Earth, at least some of that country’s citizens can stand on the ocean’s shore and gaze into the seeming infinity of eternal water. Even landlocked nations often have seas and lakes large enough to provide this vista. Romanians, Bulgarians, and Ukrainians look across the Black Sea; Turkmen, Kazakhs, and Azerbaijanis view each other across the Caspian; Ugandans can look across Lake Victoria and see, on the ...

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