2015 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Water, Water

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Join host and moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson and his panel of experts for a lively discussion about the past, present, and future of water on Earth.

Earth is the only place in our solar system with liquid water on its surface. Even though water makes up only 0.03 percent of the Earth’s total mass, it covers 70 percent of the planet’s surface. Where did this water come from? Why is it mostly in liquid form? How much of it is drinkable and how vulnerable is this valuable resource? Will we ever run out? Will wars of the future be fought over access to it? Will future generations harness water from space? Is water essential to all life in the universe—or just to life on Earth?

#IsaacAsimov #debates #Earth #water #panelists #naturalresources

2015 Asimov Panelists include:

-Heidi Hammel, Planetary Astronomer,Executive Vice President of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
-Tess Russo,Hydrologist,Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University 
-Ellen Stofan, Planetary Geologist, Chief Scientist of NASA
-Kathryn Sullivan, Geologist, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator
-Charles Wald, General, U.S. Air Force, Retired; Director and Senior Advisor to the aerospace and defense industry for Deloitte LP

The late Dr. Isaac Asimov, one of the most prolific and influential authors of our time, was a dear friend and supporter of the American Museum of Natural History.  In his memory, the Hayden Planetarium is honored to host the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate — generously endowed by relatives, friends, and admirers of Isaac Asimov and his work — bringing the finest minds in the world to the Museum each year to debate pressing questions on the frontier of scientific discovery.  Proceeds from ticket sales of the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debates benefit the scientific and educational programs of the Hayden Planetarium.

2017 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: De-Extinction

2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?

2015 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Water, Water

2014 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Selling Space

2013 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: The Existence of Nothing

2012 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Faster Than the Speed of Light

2011 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: The Theory of Everything

Rose Center Anniversary Isaac Asimov Debate: Is Earth Unique?

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© American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY

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27 Responses

  1. Shane Martin says:

    I find it amazing that nobody talks about the real driver of this water crisis that goes beyond even climate change. There are too many people. If we had a significantly smaller world population, our activities would be causing much less harm to the environment and our quality of life would be better.

  2. George Crannell says:

    If you're gonna have a mission to "BAG" the asteroid, you can have the "GLAD" garbage bag company to pay for it.

  3. b m says:

    Lake Ontario is dry…..the Americans took it.

  4. b m says:

    Subs make O2 and water so why not.

  5. wessam sharaf says:

    they are fucking actors, speaks about a lot of bull shit science brain washing you.
    you can`t see it?did you see the presentation they are super super expert specialized in bull shit.

  6. Ultraviolent Light says:

    Best of the Asimov debates on Youtube, imo!

  7. Mir says:

    Kathryn Sullivan says: it needs a lot of energy to bring purified water to people. c says : or sunlight . Exactly this represent a "commercial" scientist argue with "scientist".
    Please no offense for Mrs.Sullivan.
    P.s. i am totally on point of view for sunlight. Sun produce so much light that can be accumulated as energy ,this branch of science and technology is advancing ,it is just lacks investment 🙁

  8. Battery Exhausted says:


  9. Battery Exhausted says:

    Surprised no-one mentioned #veganism here.
    If we didn't give 90% of that water to 'agriculture' (TO FEED ANIMALS WE LATER KILL AND EAT)
    we could save loads of water, help save the planet etc. #GOVEGAN


    can we please have a stephen hawking semi-annual memorial debates!!! pretty please!!!

  11. julian to says:

    use global warming heat to desalinate sea water.. Don't ask me how, that's you guy's job

  12. mark Tanner says:

    1:35:00 The last panelist was so mad by Neil interrupting her!

  13. LenGarden says:

    I really appreciate Neil's strict attention to language in order to keep pre-suppositions out of the descriptive language of science.

  14. Fredrik Johansson says:

    The irony here is that a person can actually get arrested for collecting rainwater in several states in the US. Yea America, you lead the way 😀

  15. Kung Fu says:

    Their understanding is wrong. Research the flat earth.

  16. Nicholas Powers says:

    Earthship technology would help make a dent in this problem

  17. Regular Apistevist says:

    The most funniest and informative panel I’ve ever seen!

  18. Joseph Appenzeller says:

    The sinking pole, why was it caused? Only part of the debate I found challenging. Not to mention the lack of commentary over water rights…

  19. qed qubit says:

    about Neil's question about parking a comet in orbit (@40min): a hexapod robot with a pipe through its body with a coil around the pipe, and a solar panel on it, would make a remote controllable 'plasma'(?) rocket , of it(exiting the evaporating gasses). So yeah,that be cool, as long as no blind physicist declares nearly vacuum to be completely absolutely vacuum , and therfore non-conductive.

  20. Sharon Gallagher says:

    You mean the Governments around the world are conspiring with sellout "in name only" scientists to take control of the Air Water Food and reproductive rights of every human being on earth by creating the Deception of Global Warming ? Sorry you changed it to Climate change because Earth has begun its cooling cycle again.. how inconvienient for your cause…

    Useless Liberal Dominators..
    You can not hide your face from God Almighty.

  21. mad cobra says:

    Waow they didnt talk about increasing population.

  22. EpochDeus says:

    39:39 why not just heat the material till the water evaporates out?
    (caution, may cause water explosion)

  23. Hachi de Fibonacci says:

    Water prices will rise. Learn to conserve water. Nation wise a country must lower it's water consumption.

  24. assaqwwq says:

    18:03 "green women" was that a star trek reference?

  25. azralandar says:

    The climate has changed forever… We should ofc focus to hold as long as possible as a speccies, including the envioment we can survive with. However, our main energy focus should be on creating space, where we can control the envioment.. Dont turn this into a religion, where we spent time and energi in something that wouldnt be a permanent solution for our futures.

  26. Science And Tech says:

    WOW. Great panel. Neil is covering all of the major issues of our time with these wonderful Isaac Asimov Debates! It was a profound awakening as well, to the overall situation on the humanity, and really put it into the light, like what Neil said in Cosmos. On the last second of the last day of the cosmic year, humanity started using the scientific method, and went from Galileo gazing through a telescope, to putting humans on the moon.

    But how did we get this far without a basic water system figured out? Humanity didn't even get their water situation sorted out after all this time. All humans living on less than half a percent of all the drinkable water there is. It really is such a young species.

  27. Bit Toonie says:

    Water isn't free… The infrastructure is paid through unethical taxation.. Reduce my taxes and I will gladly pay higher rates for my water.

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