22.3.10

World Water Day 2010

Do you drink corporate bottled water? If so, you might want to learn more about it:

The Story of Bottled Water, released today, World Water Day 2010, tells the story of manufactured demand — how corporations get people to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap.

Just over five minutes in length, the film explores the bottled water industry’s attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces.

The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all.




Since 1993, International World Water Day has been held annually on 22 March to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

Every year, more people die from the consequences of unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war. Clean, safe, and adequate freshwater is vital to the survival of all living organisms and the resilience of ecosystems, communities, and economies. However, the quality of the world’s water is increasingly threatened as human populations grow, industrial and agricultural activities expand, and climate change threatens to cause major alterations of the hydrologic cycle.

An investment of US$20 million in low-cost water technologies, such as drip irrigation and treadle pumps, could lift 100 million poor farming families out of extreme poverty, according to the report,Clearing the Waters: A Focus on Water Quality Solutions'. It adds that repairing leaky water and sewage networks can also secure not only supplies but reduce pollution and generate employment. In some developing countries, 50-60 per cent of treated water is lost to leaks and globally an average of 35 per cent is lost. By some estimates, saving just half of this amount would supply water to 90 million people without further investment.

But while there are solutions, much more needs to be done, notes the UNEP report. The facts are:

  • Globally, 2 million tons of sewage and industrial and agricultural waste are poured into the world's waters every day;
  • At least 1.8 million children under five years-old die every year from water-related diseases, or one every 20 seconds;
  • Every day, millions of tons of inadequately treated sewage and industrial agricultural wastes are poured into the world's waters;
  • Over half of the world's hospital beds are occupied with people suffering from illnesses linked with contaminated water.
Take time to learn more about water, how we depend on it, and how our civilization is currently using it.

29 comments:

Purple Cow said...

I cannot thank you enough for this informative post. Very interesting indeed...what common sense tells us but with facts to back it!

michael~ said...

Water is a major issue for me PC. There will be many post about the challenges, but also the solutions of our looming 'water crisis'.

Thanks for reading!

Yul said...

Ban dihydrogen monoxide!

michael~ said...

@Yul

Really? A good indicator of a person's values is what they are willing to laugh at, or poke fun at. At least you are brutally honest about who you truly are. I suppose you have some good genocide jokes too huh?

Yul said...

I do, in fact.

Do you know how many Germans you can fit in a Volkswagon?

Two SS stormtroopers in the front, two Gestapo interogators in the back and 123 Jews in the ash tray...

As you can tell, unlike the many, I'm not a pretentious moralist.

Yul said...

btw - Do you know the easiest way to unload a truck full of babies? With a pitch fork.

Yul said...

"Speak your language..." unless it could possibly offend some pretentious a-hole.

michael~ said...

@Yul

I am pretentious, no doubt, but I take offence to being called a moralist! That hurts...

If you are just joking around - or taking on the role of some sort of jester, or trickster function - they I'm all good with that.

My problem (if it is mine) might be that I take these issues so seriously. I mean with all the intentional smoke-screening, faux debating and propagandizing going on everywhere why not actually discuss the issues? I'm firmly Habermasian on that front.

I just don't think taunting helps us in coming to an understanding of the issues or each other.

But i should probably just lighten teh fuck up...

thanks for the feedback.

m-

Yul said...

I'm just trying to gauge your tolerance for a legitmate discussion of the issues. I suspect you have a low threshold for tolerating reality.

I lived in South America for four years ('66-70). I drank bottled water the whole time as the "tap" water was likely to make you sick (amoeba's) unless you boiled it. But it was perfectly okay for bathing and cooking with.

"Tap" water is not necessarilly "drinking" water. Irrigation water is not necessarily "drinking/tap" water. "Bottled" drinking water should not be banned just because it uses "plastic" or more expensive/cumbersome "glass". "Drinking water" from a tap world-wide is an impractical and excessively expensive goal.

You've also confused a whole bunch of issues together here. Perhaps you should "untangle" them before trying to propose or impose feel-good legislative state "solutions" to non-problems, especially in light of the bunk-filled "Global 2000 Report to the President of the US" (Carter) which grossly overstated the "water problem" way back in 1980 based upon a Club of Rome/population control agenda.

Yul said...

btw - Don't you think it's time to end the Left's silly crusade against bottled water?

Yul said...

At a minimum, a responsible activist should prioritize his efforts to as to avoid doing more harm than good, encouraging the throwing of good money away on bad or useless projects. But then, many of today's "green" causes would soon find themselves w/o volunteers...

michael~ said...

@Yul

There is indeed a lot of unpacking to do here.

I guess I’ll start by saying that it is quite obvious that we will go nowhere if we continue dialoging like this. Honestly, I can’t even begin to take you seriously. It’s like your reading from the ‘white guy in suits’ handbook. I’ve heard everything you have to say before and frankly it wears on me.

You started with Plato, and now Bjørn Lomborg? I mean come on? Next you’ll be spewing all the canned rhetoric about Leo Strauss and Adam Smith. I bet you have a picture of Ann Coltier stashed somewhere secret for those lonely nights on your corporate business trips to don’tcha?

You don’t even have the ability to ‘hear’ what I have to say because your whole way of life, and everything you value, is exactly what I argue is wrong with our culture – therefore your entire identity depends on the denial of any and all evidence or information I would present to you. You simply cannot process. As only one example, you still believe that the left/right binary and ‘political spectrum’ paradigm actually means something. You actually still use those labels and speak that language…

So let’s not dance to that song.

Do yourself a favor and look into the research on moral development and value hierarchies. Google the names Clare Graves and Lawrence Kolberg. You will find that at a certain stage of development we all think that government is ‘bad’ and that ‘freedom’ has something to do with a certain notion of ‘individualism’, or that there has ever been something called ‘free markets’. It’s called ‘conventional-operational thinking’.

But, like many other beliefs, at even lower stages of development, those ideologies must be given up in order to mature into a more expansive worldview, one that includes valuing the suffering of people you have never even met, people who are nothing like you, and who may even hate you. Some researchers call post-conventional thinking.

There are even stages of adult development where people come to truly understand massively complex networks and ecosystems – an understanding that allows them to imagine where all those products and ‘goods’ circulating within our consumer culture come from, the materials needed to make them, the effects they have and the forms of life and experience people necessarily have being involved in such systems, and at various places in the systems.

Either people get how this planet works, and have a deep moral imagination that encompasses all humans (at least), no matter who they are, and how certain systems of production necessarily work, or they just don’t – because they can’t.

Something to consider anyway… But let us not play games. You spoke your language, now move on.

Yul said...

But let us not play games.

That would seem to be the only thing you're capable of doing, mikey. Did you address the topic of this post? Nope. Did you address a single point I made regarding your "anti-bottled water" crusade? Nope.

I guess you've gotten so far beyond "conventional operational thinking" that you're no longer capable of making a simple reasoned argument in reply to pointed criticism and so, find your best response in ad hominem. That must put you into that advanced stage of adult development that most conventional thinkers, such as myself, would recognize as either "senility" and /or some advanced form of age related "dementia."

But you're right about one thing though. All such "moral" thinking which centers itself upon recognizing the value in "suffering" experienced by "people unmet" (aka - of people you do not "know" or "know" nothing) certainly has very little in common with what us conventional thinkers would typically identify as an exercise in uncovering or discovering "truth". It would seem to have more to do with some form of quasi-religious belief in a godless humanism.

btw - I am a Straussian. You are a Marxist. Now that we both know who we are, we won't have to listen to each other deny just who we really are.

Yul said...

Now if only you understood the meaning in the suffering of people you actually knew something about, we might actually be able to establish a dialogue....

Nietzsche, GoM (Essay III)

If we leave aside the ascetic ideal, then man, the animal man, has had no meaning up to this point. His existence on earth has had no purpose. “Why man at all?” was a question without an answer. The will for man and earth was missing. Behind every great human destiny echoes as refrain an even greater “in vain!” That’s just what the ascetic ideal means: that something is missing, that a huge hole surrounds man—he did not know how to justify himself to himself, to explain, to affirm; he suffered from the problem of his meaning. He also suffered in other ways as well: he was for the most part a pathological animal, but the suffering itself was not his problem, rather the fact that he lacked an answer to the question he screamed out, “Why this suffering?” Man, the bravest animal, the one most accustomed to suffering, does not deny suffering in itself; he desires it; he seeks it out in person, provided that people show him a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering. The curse that earlier spread itself over men was not suffering, but the senselessness of suffering—and the ascetic ideal offered him a meaning! The ascetic ideal has been the only meaning offered up to this point. Any meaning is better than no meaning at all; however one looks at it, the ascetic ideal has so far been the “faute de mieux” [for lack of something better] par excellence. In it suffering was interpreted, the huge hole appeared filled in, the door shut against all suicidal nihilism. The interpretation undoubtedly brought new suffering with it—more profound, more inner, more poisonous, and more life-gnawing suffering; it brought all suffering under the perspective of guilt. . . . But nevertheless—with it man was saved. He had a meaning; from that point on he was no longer like a leaf in the wind, a toy ball of nonsense, of “without sense”; he could now will something—at first it didn’t matter where, why, or how he willed: the will itself was saved. We simply cannot conceal from ourselves what is really expressed by that total will which received its direction from the ascetic ideal: this hate against what is human, even more against animality, even more against material things—this abhorrence of the senses, of reason itself, this fear of happiness and beauty, this longing for the beyond away from all appearance, change, becoming, death, desire, even longing itself—all this means, let’s have the courage to understand this, a will to nothingness, an aversion to life, a revolt against the most fundamental preconditions of life—but it is and remains a will! . . . And to finish up by repeating what I said at the beginning: man will sooner will nothingness than not will . . .

Yul said...

After all... "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how." --Friedrich Nietzsche

But your "why" is a complete self-delusional fantasy...in seeking to alleviate the "suffering" of "persons unknown" you ignore their actual struggles and suffering and substitute your own unreflected upon and totally self-derivative "meaning" upon them as "truth". Talk about unmitigated hubris...

So, in future, try and create a meaning for your currently immoral and useless existence in a more "moral" manner, one which would impose no inane self-derivative "meanings" upon others nor influences the "objects" for which they would choose to suffer (or not) in their own lives.

If people wish to pay for bottled water, so be it. Who are YOU to deny them that convenience? The earth has both room and means for the disposal of hundreds of trillions of them...

michael~ said...

LOL.

A few quick notes:

1. I am not a Marxist, Marxian or even a Neo-Marxist. I have read Marx and studied his work, and happen to agree with much of what he wrote, but many of his ideas are flawed, in my opinion.

2. Again with the 'left/right' framing huh? That's your brain damage not mine. It's a simple paradigm to control your mind using simple binaries to polarize your value system Yul. Good v. Evil, etc, etc... I hope you break free of that some day.

3. Who am I to tell people what to do? LOL. I'm a person who shares this planet with the people seeking to consume it to dust.

4. I know you value 'freedom' above anything else (you have to, it's your programming), but there is much more going on in our complex global ecology than you are able to imagine.

5. ad hominem indeed... Why would I waste my time addressing your remarks? All you are capable of seeing in the world is left/right, and the "necessity" or "right" you believe people have to unrestricted and unrelentless consumption.

---

Why are you even bothering to read this blog anymore? Don't you a rally or business meeting to get two? Hop in your Lexus and hurry on over to Walmart, there's a super sale going on! More Plasma T.V's hurry!!!

Yul said...

Another post, and again, totally "off" topic and "on" ad hominem. Or is that just my "binary" thinking, leading me astray again?

Consume this planet into dust? Isn't that what where this planet came from? So who are you to try and reverse the natural order?

But then I'm happy you're such the anti-consumer that you drive no car, consume no energy, have no productive job, have no computer or light bulbs in your cave and live happily with your unshorn poodle.

Keep up the great example. The world always needed a few "less modern" cavemen.

michael~ said...

@Yul

LOL. Unshorn poodle? You are starting to grow on me, funny stuff.

I'm not getting into arguments with you my man - I have better things to do with my time. You can't even begin to know where i'm coming from, or even see causal relations, you don't have that cognitive capacity... I wish you did.

You have Commies to hunt down and Evil Doers to castigate, so why even get into it with Left-socialist-pinko-hippie-add some other label you learned in your indoctrinations-caveman like me? God graced you with the Truth of Capitalism, and Jesus wants you to kill Iraqis and shop till you drop (or until we all drop), so use that "freedom" well my friend...

Yul said...

I'm not the one trying to thrust fossil energy and bottled water drinking abstinence upon the entire free world my friend. That would be the totalitarian side of YOU that's trying to legislate that little trick.

As for "causal relations", you wouldn't recognize an actual scientific one from a phoney moral crusade if it bit you.

Ugh. Carbon-dioxide in air, bad. Water in air, good. Global warming due to too much carbon dioxide in air. Water vapor not matter....

BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!

Yul said...

Just call me beautiful, Dr. StrangeLove...

Emerson, "Conduct of Life" (Beauty)

We say, love is blind, and the figure of Cupid is drawn with a bandage round his eyes. Blind: — yes, because he does not see what he does not like; but the sharpest-sighted hunter in the universe is Love, for finding what he seeks, and only that; and the mythologists tell us, that Vulcan was painted lame, and Cupid blind, to call attention to the fact, that one was all limbs, and the other, all eyes. In the true mythology, Love is an immortal child, and Beauty leads him as a guide: nor can we express a deeper sense than when we say, Beauty is the pilot of the young soul.

All I can see is the carbon dioxide, Yul... the water vapor doesn't matter at all.... if we are to control the world, we must pretend it never rains on planet earth! Do you think they'll buy it?

BWAH-HA-HA-HA-hA!

Yul said...

Goose-stepping our way toward's Michael's free H2O paradise....

michael~ said...

Yul,

Not sure what your intention was with that link, but I'll take the bait:

Bottomline, forcing people to use 'public' water supplies or systems is wrong. They want to use well-water they should be able to do so! No-body should own water, ever, period. Including municipalities.

Water should be FREE, always and forever - just like AIR.

Would you like it if Bectel started charging you $5.00 an hour for oxygen? Or selling you Oxygen-in-a-can for $3.50 at 7/11?

Maybe we should we let corporations commodify every material thing on this planet? Maybe Haliburton can patent DNA, or blue eyes? And then we’ll have to pay them for the privlage of having babies, or be charged a fine for having kids with blue eyes...

viva la Corporations!

Yul said...

The water in plastic bottles IS free. You just have to pay for the bottle, though, just like someone needs to pay for the pumps and pipes that bring the water to you and prevent waste waters from contaminating supplies.

ps - As a certified SCUBA diver, I frequently "pay" for air. But it's not the "air" I'm really paying for... I'm paying for the cost associated with machinery and energy required to compress it and put it into a "convenient" storage tank.

Yul said...

viva la Corporations, indeed!

They give you choices you wouldn't otherwise have.... especially if the "government" dictated what should and should NOT be available.

Yul said...

btw - In future, please pay for your OWN pipes/pumps. I'm sick of subsidizing you and being criticized for it. -Your local Water Company

Yul said...

Library's. Hospitals. Universities Light Houses. Water Works. Fire Departments.

These weren't the inventions of "governments" and/or "governors". These were the inventions of free men who banded together privately and solved a young nation's problems... but today's liberals are far too lazy to follow their example...

michael~ said...

So lets get this strait:

1. You are saying, yes, corporations should commodify (own and sell) everything - including oxygen, and babies, and DNA, and every single tree, etc. Corporations should OWN everything, period - and we should pay them to let us breath, drink water and have kids.

3. You are also saying that water is always free for everyone and everywhere, we just pay corporations to put it in plastic-chemical bottles for us, and to get rid of all the nasty stuff put there by other corporations.

4. And that our taxes shouldn't pay for pipes and pumps, thereby allowing poor people public access to water, but we should instead pay water companies to own water, and then sell it back to us in containers so that they can make a lot of money?

5. That without corporations we wouldn't have choices in life, because they grant us our ability to be free and live.

6. (this is my favorite) You would rather have privately own, profit driven autonomous organizations (like Blackwater) in control of all resources and regions and all means of coercion - rather than democratically elected 'governements'.

OK.

Comments: The ‘logic’ of corporate practice is to maximize profit any way possible and compete with any other entities that try to miniize the financial gain of its sharholders. This is fact. Combine the single-minded pursuit of profit and personal gain for shareholders with the legal protections of “limited liability” for owners, and wnat you are left with are powerful private interest orgnizations ('corporations' as they were named in fascist Italy) gaining tremendous influence over politcians, and ultimately subverting democratic, citizen political processes.

“Fascism, is a radical nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to organize a nation on corporatist perspectives; values; and systems such as the political system and the economy. Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community, brought togethr by private interests, that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum.” – Wikipedia

Well now your making jokes about the genocide of Jewish people make sense...

Yul said...

1. You are saying, yes, corporations should commodify (own and sell) everything - including oxygen, and babies, and DNA, and every single tree, etc. Corporations should OWN everything, period - and we should pay them to let us breath, drink water and have kids.

Nope. I'm saying that they should commodify whatever they want. Take oxygen. Ever see the NFL running back breathing out of a bottle after a series of downs? What's wrong with selling him oxygen? Ever been in a hospital and couldn't breath? What's wrong with selling patient's oxygen? If we left it up to the "government" to commodify oxygen, those hospital patients wouldn't even have a life-sustaining product available to them, they'd simply "expire" whilst the government "death panel" gleaned over their leeching lists and whined about donations being made for research by the March of Dimes instead of the NIH.

3. You are also saying that water is always free for everyone and everywhere, we just pay corporations to put it in plastic-chemical bottles for us, and to get rid of all the nasty stuff put there by other corporations.

...and transport it to the overlook atop El Capitan and put it into a refrigeration machine that cools it perfectly to a temperature of 38 degrees Farenheit so that it's dispensed the moment the thirsty yuppie climber reaches the summit and can finally rest his weary arms (not having carried the extra "water-load" himself).

4. And that our taxes shouldn't pay for pipes and pumps, thereby allowing poor people public access to water, but we should instead pay water companies to own water, and then sell it back to us in containers so that they can make a lot of money?

Nope. That the people who need access to water form a corporation to supply it, and share the construction costs in whatever manner seems fit on a totally voluntary basis, those not contributing being left to pay said corporation whatever they mightr choose to charge for access to its' "surplus".

5. That without corporations we wouldn't have choices in life, because they grant us our ability to be free and live.

They supply even the poorest worker the inexpensive mass produced products they need to maintain their own unique cultures and lifestyles.... from pop music to strawberry Ripple.

6. (this is my favorite) You would rather have privately own, profit driven autonomous organizations (like Blackwater) in control of all resources and regions and all means of coercion - rather than democratically elected 'governements'.

That's quite a strawman. I said I have no problem with private corporations participating in American wars, as arms sellers like Lockheed Martins, as service suppliers like Haliburton who operate the servvices in "green zones", to Blackwater, which protect US government officials from terrorists. Never once did I state that I wished them as a "replacement" for democratically elected government. Private soldiers are just as "capable" of killing enemy combattants as are "public" ones.... and it beats the heck out of forced military conscription.

Yul said...

The ‘logic’ of corporate practice is to maximize profit any way possible and compete with any other entities that try to miniize the financial gain of its sharholders. This is fact.

That's the logic of all "life on earth", corporate or not. THAT is a fact.

Combine the single-minded pursuit of profit and personal gain for shareholders with the legal protections of “limited liability” for owners, and wnat you are left with are powerful private interest orgnizations ('corporations' as they were named in fascist Italy) gaining tremendous influence over politcians, and ultimately subverting democratic, citizen political processes.

And for-profit coporations are vastly different from unions and other special interest organizations trying to curry political favor from politicians, how?

Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum.” – Wikipedia

And "totalitarianism" is usually associated with socialism/communism and the Left. So what's your point?

Nothing to excess, I always say.

Well now your making jokes about the genocide of Jewish people make sense...

Would you prefer I make jokes about exterminating Nazi's? They and the KKK are the only groups people seem to be allowed to criticize anymore... unless you take a poke at white men in general.

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