Free Essay About Saving The World’s Water Resources Against Capitalist Greed
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The world’s basic need which used to be in the public domain has been increasingly privatized. Water unlike any other needs cannot be replaced not even with soda thus; putting it in the hands of the private businesses will deny every creature of their access to water. Denial of human being and other creatures their access to water means denying them of their right to life.
In the case of United States of America, drinking water from the tap was previously normal until corporations started their campaign against tap water and selling the idea bottled water is cleaner than tap water. As a result, the consumption of the bottled water escalated overshadowing the country’s consumption of bottled soft drinks.
The war on bottled water
The documentary film entitled FLOW for the Love of Water mentioned that one of the reasons for the rise of bottled water consumption is that Americans were bombarded with the campaign that tap water is no longer safe. Goldschein in an article stated that in 2008, US consumed about 9 billion gallons with one person drinking 30 gallons. He added that despite the fact that the country still has enough water resources than the rest of the world, it has not stopped it from spending more than $100 billion for bottled water.
The person or entity that succeeded in twisting the mind set of human beings regarding water is brilliantly evil. It has twisted the minds of people by making it appear that bottled water is cleaner and hip. It has sugar coated the fact the manufacturing billions of bottled water a year is dwindling the oil resources, and gravely pollutes the environment. It has dulled the truth that by bottling water, the water that used to be free and accessible to mankind is controlled by few corporations.
But how did bottled water became such a fad in the country? Goldschein (2011) stated in his article entitled 15 Outrageous Facts about the Bottled Water Industry that in order to sell bottled water, beverage companies waged war against tap water in their advertisement in the traditional to the new media. Aside from the tap water war, big corporations like the Coca-Cola have been discouraging food companies not to serve tap water. They pushed them to offer more commercial beverages than tap water.
In the documentary film FLOW for the Love of Water, they tried to put into nicely looking bottle water from the tap and served it in one establishment to gauge the peoples’ choice of water. It turned out that people bought more from the nicely packaged bottled water with attractive ‘come-on’ phrase outside the bottle. When they asked people hoe the water tasted, most of them said that it was tastier than the other bottled water brands. The documentary film reflected that people choose their food and beverages based on the outside appearance of the product.
The potential business profit from water scarcity
The bottled water business is not only profitable in the US but more especially in the rest of the word with dwindling water resources like India and the Middle East. Aside from the distortion of the peoples’ mind set on water quality, bottled water industry has serious effects on the very life of people whose dire need is being capitalized for gargantuan profits of multinational corporations. India as a case in point has been suffering due to the absence of clean water. Most of their rivers were dammed for energy and irrigation purposes. The introduction of the use of chemical farm inputs manufactured by corporations in the West has contaminated the rural peoples’ sources of drinking water. Their access to clean water did not voluntarily disappear. It has been stripped out from them by corporations who dammed their rivers, and corporations that are contaminating what is left of their water resource. Today, big water corporations are eying to harness the clean water in Alaska to sell to those in need of water. Interlandi stated that after a several months, “80 million gallons of Blue Lake water will be siphoned into the kind of tankers normally reserved for oil – and shipped into a bulk bottling facility near Mumbai” (Interlandi, “The Race to Buy Up the World’s Water”).
Two centuries ago, the idea of shipping water in tankers is impossible. As mentioned in the documentary film FLOW for the Love of Water, the world contains more water than solid matter. The world assumed then that water will not be a problem as it is abundant. Goldschein in his article mentioned that the first documented selling of bottled water was in 1760s in Boston. They sold bottled water for therapeutic purposes. It is then unbelievable that today, it has become a necessity. The distribution of water which used to be free is now in the hands of huge corporations like Nestle’, Coca-Cola among others. The peoples’ basic needs which should be part of government service are becoming more and more unreachable as it is becoming privatized. Water business does not think of how to bring water to the people but, they think of how to destroy peoples’ access to water in order to sell more and gain more.
The problem with water plastic bottles
Aside from the dwindling water resources, bottling water causes severe impacts to the environment. In the website entitled Ban the Bottle, it mentioned that in order to meet the demand for bottled water, America is consuming seventeen million barrels of oil every year. It further explained:
“The energy we waste from using bottled water would be enough to power 190,000 homes” (Ban the Bottle, “Bottled Water Facts”).
The article moreover mentioned that out of the billions of plastic bottles used by the Americans, only a few are being recycled. It leads concern people to question where the bulk of plastic goes. Normally, the plastic bottled will accumulate everyday as it takes at least thousands of years for plastics to decompose. With all the plastics thrown all over the world, it will invade the remaining resources that the world has on clean water. Schriever mentioned in his article published in Huffington Post that plastic bottles do not biodegrade but they photodegrade. He explained that plastics break into smaller pieces over time. However, while they photodegrade, they absorb toxins. He said:
“Those fragments absorb toxins that pollute our waterways, contaminate our soil and sicken animals (which we then eat)” (Schriever, “Plastic Bottles Causing Flood of Harm to Our Environment”).
Schriever cited Ocean Conservatory’s findings that plastic is one of the greatest pollutants in the ocean. In every square mile of the ocean Schriever said, there are around 46,000 plastics floating. The thing that is unsettling is the fact that 10% of plastics end up in the ocean and settle in the ocean floor, and in there, it will never degrade. Imagine that every year, 10% of the used plastic bottles are accumulating in the ocean. If it will not end, the ocean will become a vast land fill for plastic. The flooding caused by Climate Change will exacerbate.
With the aforementioned facts about water bottles, why is the United States (which according to Catherine Fox of National Geographic is the number one consumer of bottled water) continues to manufacture and consume it? The FLOW for the Love of Water documentary has the answer. It is a huge profitable business as nobody will survive without water. It has not substitute.
Corporations in the US like Nestle is exporting bottled water around the world. This is aside from the fact that it is already amassing huge profit from telling the people of the US that tap water is dangerous. This propaganda of Nestle and other beverage corporations as mentioned earlier lead the US to be the number one consumer of bottled water.
The United was shaken by the case filed against Nestle for misrepresenting tap water as naturally spring-sourced. Arumagam in her article published in Forbes online magazine mentioned that Nestle’s advertisement says their Ice Mountain Water was filtered from the mineral rich glacier melts that feed the rivers. The advertisement can lure buyers that it is indeed natural spring water when the truth is, the water came from the tap and processed. Arumagam further mentioned that it is not the only time that Nestle is sued for water issues. In Connecticut, the company was sued for misinforming people that the water they are selling came from the deep wood of Maine when the truth is, it came from a place encircled by parking lots. For the love of profit, corporations are playing the people’s basic need which is water.
The battle against water privatization
In the developing countries where water distribution is privatized, Western huge corporations take over the control of water. Sues and Vivendi for example are controlling the world’s water especially in the developing countries. In El Alto, the documentary film showed that since the water system was privatized, the people were stripped of their access to drinking water. Suez controlled the water system and prevented them from going near it as if they were dirty creatures. Moreover, the people of Bolivia revolted against the World Bank’s privatization of their water which positively resulted in 2007 to ending Sues’ water contract and returned the water rights to the people. The experience in Bolivia clearly shows that when people are stripped of their control and access to water, they will resort to war.
The water as a basic right has become a commodity. It is already a fact that the water resources not only in the US but around the world are controlled by big corporations. They changed the peoples’ culture and inculcate the concept that bottled water means cleaner and tastier. Now, beverage companies are using 17 million barrels of oil in manufacturing plastic bottles to meet the demand for bottled water in the US.
The corporations’ greed went to the top by making money out of water scarcity. They grabbed the water rights from the people in the developing world to introduce a ‘more systematic water distribution.’ They dammed almost all the rivers in India that caused the killings of children due to absence of water. They are even fooling the people in the US by misrepresenting where their bottled water came from. All the mentioned facts are for the love of profit.
In order to save the remaining water resources, there is a need for unity and radical action from the people not only of America but all over the world. The experience of Bolivia where they have successfully ousted a big water company from their territory shows how unity and radical actions bring change. It needs systematic legal actions from all over the world against bottling water and against corporate control of water rights. In the United States, legal actions have started. In 2013, Massachusetts town legislated to ban plastic water bottles. It only needs the unity of humanity to unwaveringly continue the campaign and aim for banning not only of bottled water but the total stoppage of manufacturing plastic bottles and returning the water service as a duty of the government and not money making venture for private entities. As mentioned in the FLOW documentary film, it does not only need waging wars but a political will to end it.
Claim: There is a need to unite and wage radical action to stop companies from manufacturing plastic water bottles and return the water stewardship and control to the people.
Data: - The beverage companies are using 17 million barrels of oil every year in manufacturing plastic bottles in the US. - In the billions of plastics use thrown in the US every year, only few are recycled. 10% of the used plastic bottles are washed to the sea. Ocean Conservatory findings stated that in every square mile of the ocean, there are around 46,000 floating plastic bottles.- Plastic bottles do not biodegrade but they photo-degrade which means that they break into small pieces giving off toxins that are harmful to the environment, animals and human beings. - Water is not flowing freely for the consumption of human kind. Water from the ice caps are sucked by corporation and ship to waterless places in the name of profit. - Privatization of water system did not serve for the interest of the people but more for the interests of corporations. Privatization of water made water less accessible and most especially, it made water a commodity.
Warrant: The elimination of plastic water bottles will prevent the disastrous effects of accumulated plastics to the environment. The bulk of oil used for creating plastic bottles will be used to other more important purposes. Giving back the stewardship of water to public will compel the government to do its duties in delivering water services to the people without business interest.
Agiannis83. “FLOW for the love of water 2008.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 17 Jul. 2012. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
Arumagam, Nadia. “Nestle Sued Again for Falsely Representing Bottled Tap Water as Naturally Spring-Sourced.” Forbes, 19 Oct. 2012.
Ban the Bottle. “Bottled Water Facts.” Banthebottle.net. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
Fox, Catherine Clarke. “Drinking Water: Bottled or From the Tap?” National Geogaphic Kids. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
Goldschein, Eric. “15 Outrageous Facts About the Bottled Water Industry.” Business Insider, 27 Oct. 2011. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
Interlandi, Jeneen. “The Race to Buy-Up the World’s Water.” NewsWeek, 10 Aug. 2010. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
Locker, Melissa. “Massachusetts Town Bans Plastic Water Bottles.” TIME, 4 Jan. 2013. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
Scholtus, Petz. “The US Consumes 1500 Plastic Water Bottles Every Second, a Fact by Watershed.” Treehugger, 15 Oct. 2009. Web. 4 Mar. 2015.
Schriever, Norm. “Plastic Water Bottles Causing Flood of Harm to Our Environment.” The Huff Post Green, 29 Jul. 2013.
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