Cyracuz
 
Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 02:21 pm
Apparently, some people have already begun buying water around the world with the goal of profiting from the basic human need for this substance. There is the director of Nestle, for instance, who says that he doesn't think that the access to safe drinking water is a human right. He thinks water should be treated like any other trade commodity. This is the head of the 27th largest corporation in the world. I take that to mean that his opinion is a weighty one, and that scares the **** out of me.

I do not understand how anyone can justify owning water reserves.
I am not talking about a tank filled with water. I am talking about lakes and rivers and any other place where drinking water naturally flows as part of the global cycle of water.
People own lakes, but they don't own the water in them. The water is ever changing, flowing constantly, pouring through lakes.
No land owner can deny me water from a river that flows though his land.
Except that some places they apparently can...

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Type: Question • Score: 7 • Views: 7,977 • Replies: 80

 
Frank Apisa
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 02:26 pm
@Cyracuz,
Next thing ya know they will be bottling the stuff...and selling it in supermarkets!
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Oct, 2013 03:04 pm
@Cyracuz,
I suppose you are unfamiliar with water law in the western states of the US. Justified or not, that water is owned, and just because it flows through your land does not mean it belongs to you.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 04:13 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Next thing ya know they will be bottling the stuff...and selling it in supermarkets!


Very clever. I occasionally go into the store and buy bottled water. Very rarely.
This water comes from glaciers, and has been filtered through blablabla... But if I were to travel to the place that water comes from, no one would prevent me from filling my bottle.
Such springs are replenished by rainfall. And the water I drank yesterday will be rainfall in the future. It is perfectly reasonable to charge money for bottled water. There is considerable effort and expense in bottling and distributing it, and that is what we pay for.
Similarly, the water in my tap doesn't cost anything. The technology to get it to my tap, and the maintenance of that technology does cost something, and therefore it is not free.
But water itself... You can no more put a price on that than you put a price on air.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 04:27 am
@Cyracuz,
if you were going to build a house in a rural area of specific tates of our west, you may not be allowed to put in a well without seeking an "allocation" for the water . In the Eastern US, most states are either "Riparian" or "Reasonable USe" states wherein you may sneak in UNDER an requirement for an allocation if you only have a well which produces less than 10000 gal per day.
We estimate that , in the average household, the residents will consume less than 200 gal per day each.

If you are a customer of a regional public water purveyor, (in the Eastern US) you will be paying about 13 to 15 $ per thousand cubic feet for the WATER. (That's beyond paying the cost for the water pipe hookup.
SO, it aint free even in water RICH states
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 04:48 am
@farmerman,
What you relate sounds similar to how it is here. Everything is regulated, and perhaps even more regulated, since Norway is much more socialist than the US.

But what Nestle wants to do is different. They want to buy water reserves, and then allow access only through them, for a price. Kind of like what the church did with Jesus.
From a capitalistic perspective it is ingeniously clever in it's simplicity.
From a humanistic perspective it is just alarming.

We see it everywhere. Monsanto is slowly establishing it's monopoly on life by creating and selling seeds that won't reproduce, so that farmers have to buy their seed from Monsanto every year. They want to outlaw natural plants, or patent them, if they can. Pretty soon someone will find a way to claim ownership of the air itself.
In my opinion it's high time we took a good look at this idea about owning things.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 05:02 am
@Cyracuz,
Quote:

But what Nestle wants to do is different.
since water is a renewable resource I wonder how they will quantify the concept of "reserves". Seems almost an engineering contradiction

Many seed corn companies do NOT develop GM hybrids for market and, Im sure that the Monsanto position will be further testable in our courts
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 05:27 am
I am certainly not someone to defend Monsanto, but i think you might need to learn a little more about agriculture. In Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, and particularly in Illinois, farmers produce seed corn. That is to say, the corn they grow is for planting to produce corn for animal feed, for human consumption or for industrial uses. The seed corn they grow is a product of hybridization--there are three rows and a "bull" row, then six rows and a "bull" row, and so on across the field. After the "bull" rows have pollinated the other rows, they are cut down. The other rows produce the seed corn. If you plant that seed corn, you get field corn, you don't get more seed corn, because it's an artificially produced hybrid. The purpose of seed corn is to produce high crop yields which would not otherwise occur, or any other of a number of qualities, such as a short-growing season, or resistance to drought--etc. The corn which is grown from hybrid seeds reverts to type for the corn which was pollinated.

Monsanto may be an ugly corporate monster, but producing hybrid seed is a fairly common agricultural practice, and even very small, very humble farmers do it.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 05:34 am
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:

Quote:
Next thing ya know they will be bottling the stuff...and selling it in supermarkets!


Very clever. I occasionally go into the store and buy bottled water. Very rarely.
This water comes from glaciers, and has been filtered through blablabla... But if I were to travel to the place that water comes from, no one would prevent me from filling my bottle.
Such springs are replenished by rainfall. And the water I drank yesterday will be rainfall in the future. It is perfectly reasonable to charge money for bottled water. There is considerable effort and expense in bottling and distributing it, and that is what we pay for.
Similarly, the water in my tap doesn't cost anything. The technology to get it to my tap, and the maintenance of that technology does cost something, and therefore it is not free.
But water itself... You can no more put a price on that than you put a price on air.


Actually, the line is a play on a line from a movie (I think it was The Shawshank Redemption. ) It was cute and I thought it fit here.

In general, I agree with you on this issue.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 05:42 am
Here's an interesting take on this which i just saw at Facebook:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1383796_526733284086408_347208135_n.jpg
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 05:54 am
@Frank Apisa,
Actually, I think the movie was The Hudsucker Proxy.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 06:07 am
@Setanta,
The practice of taking seed from this years harvest to use to plant next years harvest has been the practice for as long as humans have had agriculture.

What Monsanto wants to do is produce seed that doesn't give any new seed, so that you cannot get the seed for next year's harvest from this year.

There is a vast difference between that and what you are describing. Any farmer can use his knowledge about nature to do what you describe. If Monsanto has their way, no one will be able to except them.

Quote:
Monsanto may be an ugly corporate monster, but producing hybrid seed is a fairly common agricultural practice, and even very small, very humble farmers do it.


And they should be allowed to continue doing it without having to pay some corporation who just shouldered it's way into the game. People did this long before Monsanto existed.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 06:46 am
@Cyracuz,
It sure is nice to have big, evil targets to shoot at.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 07:40 am
@Setanta,
It sure is.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 07:56 am
@Cyracuz,
I don't think you know a goddamned thig about modern agriculture. In the West and the industrialized East, farmers haven't produced their own seed for more than a century--except, of course, for those farmers who specialize in prducing seed. Whether you're going out to plant a vegetable garden behind your house, of seeding large fields on a commercially viable farm, you buy your seed. Before Monsanto, other companies filled that market niche, and neither they nor Monsanto produce the products they sell--farmers do. As for crops which produce sterile seed, i seriously doubt that you can come up with any evidence that Monsanto does that with an eye to increasing their profits. Once again, everyone buys their seed every year. With genetically modified crops, it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the product is sterile for the purposes of re-planting, so i suspect that would just be a by--product of the use of GM crops.

GM crops are not necessarily the product of some evil corporation's witches cauldron, either. Golden rice has been produced from the modification of an ordinary rice variety in order to supply beta-carotene in the end product. From the linked article:

Quote:
Golden rice is a variety of Oryza sativa rice produced through genetic engineering to biosynthesize beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, in the edible parts of rice. The research was conducted with the goal of producing a fortified food to be grown and consumed in areas with a shortage of dietary vitamin A, a deficiency which is estimated to kill 670,000 children under 5 each year.


Note that the lunatic fringe of the environmental movement and the anti-globalization movement are loudly opposed the planting of golden rice. I guess we gotta let those half a million children a year die so as not to offend the sensibilities of the extremist, university activist crowd.

I see you have no comment on the image i posted calling on people to buy their food locally. If you were to begin a process of replanting from your own harvest, you'd soon have einkorn or emmer rather than wheat, something like teosinte rather than corn, and rye grass rather than rye. If you really want to live the good life as your ancestors did, why don't you build yourself a boat and go out and kill a f*cking whale?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:20 am
@Setanta,
The implication here is that there was a time before the "food crisis" where everything was fine. Pretty much through the history of food, people have faced poor diets, malnutrition and starvation. Human life expectancy keeps rising and I am pretty sure that the rate of human starvation is lower now than it ever has been.

The good old days weren't always good...
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:31 am
@maxdancona,
Since i reached maturity in my reading, i have been convinced that there is no such thing as the good old days. A hundred years ago, not only was it unlikely that you could always reliably find nutritious and sanitary food, but very likely half your children (more if you were poor) would die before reaching adulthood--that is, of course if one's wife did not die in childbirth or from child bed fever.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:36 am
Additionally, the reliance on the horse (even as recently as a hundred years go) meant that the streets were full of horseshit, and that attracted flies, a major vector for disease, and especially lethal to infants and small children. Urban livery stables were also a vector for tuberculosis. The much maligned automobile was the most significant cause of the increase in good public health over the last century. The poet John Keats was the son of a hostler, and they lived above the stables attached to an inn. He died of tuberculosis.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:44 am
One more thing--bottled water has been sold for centuries and centuries. Vichy water, a mineral water, was first exploited by the Romans more than 2000 years ago. The English have, for as long as memory lasts, been devot├ęs of bottled water. The song Jack and Jill was originally a protest song in the reign of Charles I. He was trying to fight a war with the Scots to impose the Anglican Church on them, something they weren't buying. One of his revenue measures was a tax on every jack (a liquid measure of 2 1/2 ounces) and every gill (pronounced as jill, and a liquid measure of five ounces) of bottle water, honey and beer. That pissed the people off as much as ship money, probably more so.

People have been buying and selling water forever.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Oct, 2013 08:53 am
@Setanta,
The issue with Monsanto is that they produce a GM open pollinated corn that contains a Bt (bacillus thuringensis) spliced into its genome. This prevents attack by corn borers and ear worms . It Is open pollinated because hybridization would cost more in development. Farmers saving seed from this varietal can save huge amounts of money in growing their high moisture feed corns or corns for ethanol.

We grow a standard Pioneer hybrid for our weather and soil and I don't have to worry about OTHER crops becoming Bt immune. Weve never grown Roundup ready GMs also because we already see that there are "Supwrweeds" that have developed good resistance and immunity to Glyphosate herbicides
0 Replies
 
 

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