"Half the population of earth lives within 200km of the coast, and two thirds within 400km. Piping water 400km has been a solved problem for about 2000 years."
Part of my point is that the people who talk about a fresh water shortage aren't talking about a shortage of fresh water given an abundant supply of salt/contaminated water. They are talking about a shortage period.
"I think you're being a bit pedantic"
Slightly yes - but I was annoyed at the Apple to Orange comparison, especially as I admire Lewis' attention to detail when analysing the words of others.
" - of course Lewis isn't saying that as of 0900 this morning fresh water supply is sorted for the whole planet. "
No - he seemed to be saying 'with enough energy, if you live by the sea you should be ok'
"What he is saying is
1. with enough energy, there's no such thing as a matter* shortage"
Yes there is - that's the point. There is plenty of energy in many places with severe fresh (or any) water supply problems - that doesn't much if you don't have any water, or the money to acquire the technology, or the expertise to use it and maintain it.
"2. this new technique uses very little energy."
Yes that's great - I have no problem with that or the rest of the article. It was the apparent dismissal of the real problems of fresh water supplies, seemingly to have a quick pop at an organisation, that I objected to.... especially given the excellent stuff normally coming out of the person writing the article - had this come from Orlowski I wouldn't have batted an eye-lid.
* I could say "water", but this can be extended to almost anything.