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“Great Lakes for Sale” (April 7, 2022)

“Lake Michigan may be coming to Idaho.” That's what an Idaho radio commentator said in June 2021, referring to the idea that Great Lakes water could be sold and shipped out. Holding approximately 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, the Great Lakes are once again a target for the drought-ridden West. And in a potentially far bigger threat, Wall Street is creating markets that could lead to the trading of freshwaters as a commodity like corn or oil. The Great Lakes are in danger of becoming privately exploited on a large scale by those who have priorities other than stewardship.

In the next Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition livestream, Dave Dempsey, author of the book Great Lakes for Sale, offers ideas on how to prevent the fulfillment of this nightmare scenario. They include an attack on water commercialization, curbing abuse of the Great Lakes Compact, and devising plans for limited sharing of the Great Lakes to forestall humanitarian disasters.

Dave Dempsey has been working on environmental issues since 1982, when he joined the Michigan Environmental Council. He has also served as an environmental advisor to former Michigan governor James Blanchard, as Michigan policy director for Clean Water Action, as a member of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and as a policy advisor on the staff of the International Joint Commission. He is currently a policy advisor for FLOW (For the Love of Water), a law and policy center dedicated to protection of fresh water through use of the public trust doctrine. Dave has authored eight books, two of which were Michigan Notable Books. A resident of Traverse City, Dave was born in Detroit and has degrees from Western Michigan University and Michigan State University.

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