One hundred years ago scientists said the earth was drying up, and the only way we could save ourselves was by building massive irrigation canals like the Martians did.
Water is such a universal necessity and for most of us so easily obtained, that it is hard to imagine a time when our supply of moisture will fail us entirely, choking off all forms of life in the world and leaving the earth’s surface a parched, burning waste of desert sands. Yet (says the “San Francisco Chronicle”), many eminent scientists are convinced that in no far distant age humanity must face exactly this dreadful catastrophe. They believe that the world’s supply of water is steadily growing less, and that as a result the most fertile of our garden spots are slowly but surely being transformed into uninhabitable deserts. This earth of ours, they warn us, is drying up, and within a comparatively few centuries the human race may expect to be menaced with death from thirst and for lack of the food which the withered crust of the globe will no longer produce. Must Irrigate Like Mars. Colonel H. de Haig is one of the scientists who make these gloomy predictions, and the reasons on which he bases them seem to be quite incontrovertible. According to him, our hope of escaping the water-less day that threatens us lies in establishing some such world-wide system of irrigation as Professors Schiapparelli, Lowell, and Pickering think has been in use for some time on Mars. Mars, our nearest planetary neighbor, is believed to have reached the dried-up stage long ago and to have been suffering for many centuries from lack of water. Yet there are abundant evidences of life there, and it is thought this life is made possible only through the use of an irrigation system more ingenious and more extensive than any we of the earth have ever dreamed of.