Before we begin, please go fill a cup with the water you drink and sit with it a moment. Here is truth: If you do not have what is in that cup, you will die within 3 to 5 days. In the desert, it’ll be closer to three days. What’s more, as you sit with that cup, there are people dying at this very moment because they either haven’t got any of it or do not have clean sources of it. Take a drink. And ask yourself, “Can this be denied to any living being by anybody calling themselves a human being?” Does it seem right to you that water should be a commodity someone can own and deny to others?
What I’m about to say might unsettle some people, but it must be said: Water is sacred. Water is holy. Water is a unique entity upon this earth in that there is simply no method by which human beings can exist without it. It cannot be done. There is much we do not understand about water. But every religion on the face of this planet understands it to be sacred beyond the need to define why that is so. It is accepted without the need for explanation. In Genesis, water is already present when God begins to create. The very first thing Jesus does in the Gospels is to be baptized. What’s more, there is no precise explanation as to exactly how and why baptism is necessary. But what is certain is it must be done with water. To this day, it is still done.
In the Old Testament, there are miracles performed by Moses and Elisha where undrinkable water was made drinkable. I’ll come back to this later. Islam has water fountains outside of or in mosques for ablutions to be done before prayer. Judaism has a ritual bath called a mikveh. Indigenous peoples worldwide hold water to be sacred. The water of Lourdes is world famous for healing. Glenwood Springs, Colorado, attracts people from all over the world to come to its waters. We cannot deny the sacred nature of water. It occupies a place in human consciousness beyond the fact it is necessary for life. Human beings are drawn to places of water like springs, creeks, and the ocean. Sacred books of all traditions impart reverence to water. There is a spiritual, mystical dimension to water that humanity forgets to its own peril. If this was not so, it simply would not be used for things like baptism, ritual ablutions, or the placing of holy water fonts in churches. Water is life.
In the desert, I observed that doves fly to water twice a day. Usually early evening and morning. This is probably the root of daily prayers which are often done morning and evening. Humanity once lived within the rhythm and balance of the natural world and did not imagine itself above the laws that govern it. We are not above the natural world. And if we forget that the natural world does not bend to our will or some ridiculously childish and infantile “market forces” ideology, we shall all perish and nature will not bat an eyelash just as we did not bat an eyelash as entire species became extinct due to our greed.
We now come to today where the people of Flint, Michigan, do not have access to clean water due to the willful neglect of the government they have paid taxes to. Yet, the state of Michigan wants to enter into a deal with Nestle to sell water for bottled water? First off, this is immoral. Here’s the truth of the situation: The people of Flint are sacrificed so one corporation can make profits selling what rightly belongs to the people of Michigan and the government has a duty to provide in a safe and clean condition. Ok, so remember what I mentioned above about Moses and Elisha performing miracles to make unsafe water into safe water to drink? Consider this: Here’s the government with the power to perform these same miracles on a daily basis and refuses to do so. Think about that. Humanity has the power to turn unsafe water into safe and clean drinking water and stubbornly refuses to do so.
Humanity could provide safe and clean drinking water to every human being on this planet, thereby alleviating tremendous levels of human suffering. What’s more, it could do so at a fraction of the cost it collectively spends on weapons to destroy human life. But it does not do so. Why? This is why: “Who’ll pay for it?” Ah, but there’s a hidden saying embedded in that phrase, which is this: “How will we make money from doing that?” We have reduced human life to a series of numbers on a computer spreadsheet someplace where it simply isn’t profitable to save human lives. Unless it can be proven those lives will benefit “The Market”, those people will be neglected and die. The Market is, quite frankly, a strictly economic Nazism with its own set of fiscal eugenics Final Solutions going on worldwide. And humanity consoles itself by thinking people died from cholera in Yemen by some unfortunate outbreak of the disease and not because, frankly, they had no safe drinking water and were kept from safe water by Saudi warplanes being refueled by the United States Air Force.
Water is sacred. Water is holy. Water is life. These three things are truth. Not “the” truth or “a” truth, but Truth. Anyone who denies this is on the path that ends up making a commodity of water and one that can be withheld whenever market forces decide it’s profitable to do so. We need to establish some things that no one is allowed to overrule or circumvent. Water is absolutely necessary for life. Therefore, no one has the right to own it, withhold it from others, or deny their responsibility to keep it clean. This means we pay taxes to government to provide it to us in a safe and clean condition. That also means they don’t let corporations pollute it and anyone who pollutes it goes to jail for poisoning people. It means they don’t sell it to golf courses at the same rate we pay to drink it, then tell us to ration during droughts while golf courses remain as green as ever.
Water belongs to every living being on this planet but it is owned by no one. That means no one gets to own a water source we rely on, lock it up, and deny it to us if we don’t pay their price. Water is the common property of every living being that manifests here. If this were not so, how did the infant pay for the water its body is mostly composed of? “The mother did”. Oh, is that so? And the rain that went into that water, can you show me the receipt where Acme Water Corporation paid God for the water delivery to the aquifer they’re sucking dry? I mean, all corporations have to pay for raw materials they use, so where are the invoices for the water they got from Nature? “They bought it from the government.” But that water was not theirs to sell. Don’t forget that part. Show me the Bill of Materials that show me how corporations manufacture water from hydrogen and oxygen then I’ll agree they can sell that.
We need to get our priorities straight here. The Market is not some sacred entity beyond question. But water is. When human beings die within 3 to 4 days if they don’t drink water, you simply do not have the moral authority to put a price tag on it. You don’t get to turn it into a commodity by exploiting cash-strapped local governments who sell the water rather than providing it in a safe and clean state to the people who already paid for it by their taxes. That’s what the taxes are for! If the local government is cash-strapped, I’d say it’s time to start looking at where the money actually went as opposed to where they claim it went. If local governments are not getting enough tax revenue to provide safe drinking water, it’s time for the federal government to damn well pitch in and help. Or local corporations to start paying their fair share for a change. Local corporations want the water, but they don’t want to pay the genuine price for it.
Consider this: What if this is all not just an accident? Perhaps municipal water treatment plants are being allowed to deteriorate with the intention of privatizing them? Or forcing people to buy bottled water to obtain safe drinking water? Look, many people don’t know the true scam of bottled water. The scam is that, surprise, it’s tap water. Yes! They find local governments that have relatively good, clean, drinking water without off tastes. They then purchase this water for, say, around a penny or two cents per gallon. Sometimes even less than that. They then bottle it in a plastic bottle that costs about a penny to a nickel to make. Label it. Then sell it at around two bucks a liter. They are selling your own water back to you at a huge profit margin. It’s basically a faucet that they turn on and billions of dollars flow right into their pockets.
Here’s something else to think about. Landfills are anaerobic environments sealed from leaking. How many times have you seen people throw away half-full bottles of water? That water goes into a landfill and will stay there over a thousand years, lost. Another thing is that when water is used in a community, it goes to the water treatment plant afterwards and returns to the local aquifer. Water bottled in a community and shipped all over the world returns to no aquifer. Basically, communities are looted of water, aquifers are sucked dry, and the bottled water companies move on to another one to rob. By the way, the more an aquifer is sucked dry, the more saline and turbid the aquifer water becomes. That’s a consequence of moving water out of an aquifer faster than it is being replenished.
Water is already becoming a scarce resource. We are allowing to happen a very dangerous situation with the privatization of water. The scarcer water becomes, the higher the price will get, and the more of it will be sequestered in bottles where it can be sold at prices that can go up daily like gasoline. Already bottled water often costs more than gasoline liter by liter. The reason water is becoming scarce is due to the fact it is used more and more by industries, water bottling corporations, and the senseless growth of desert cities in the United States. I tell you, Arizona alone would suck the entire Colorado River dry if it could so it could grow Phoenix bigger than the obscene colossus it already is. In the middle of a desert where temperatures soar up to 120 degrees in summer! Last summer, they had to close Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport because it was too hot for aircraft to take off. Yet, you’ll see green lawns and golf courses all over Phoenix and people think they’re entitled to this and the water that makes it possible.
Many of the fastest growing cities in the United States are in deserts. Why? Land is cheap. Why? It’s a desert, of course! There’s no water! It’s hot as hell in the summer and people live in desert cities who are not desert people but want a non-desert lifestyle in the middle of a desert! Therefore, an aqueduct is built and rivers are sucked dry to meet more and more demand from cities built to sizes they damn well have no business being considering where they are. Phoenix grew past a remotely sustainable size decades ago. Tucson is at this very moment asserting itself to grow some more and none of these pro-business idiots seem to remember that, hello, we’re in the middle of the Sonoran Desert here, people.
We need to return water to a publicly held property and enact strict laws governing its use beyond drinking, bathing, and agriculture. But speaking of agriculture, we’re going to have to find more water-wise methods of growing crops, too. As it is, 80% of the water California uses goes to agriculture and, well, it’s food. What are you going to do? But at the same time, are we growing sustenance or are we growing boutique crops? Be that as it may, if cuts are to be made, they need to be made in industry, recreational use, lawns, golf courses, and the military. Oh, yes, you wouldn’t believe how much water the military wastes. And pollutes. But most of all, we need to put economic growth behind water consumption. Growing the economy means nothing if people haven't got water to drink. You can't drink money. Click To Tweet
We have an economic system willing to create man-made droughts in order to generate more profits. No matter what, the wealthy will always be able to afford water. This economic system we call capitalism is dangerous to all life on Earth. We need to start charging the corporations for water at a rate that goes up with every profit margin increase. But what we really need to do is understand the peril we are in allowing this economic system to chart our future based on projections for future profits.
Capitalism does not see water as sacred, holy, or as life. It sees it as money. It sees it as a product to be sold. It sees it as something human beings don’t actually have a right to. And they’ll tell you so themselves, too. They’ll come right out and tell you that water, food, and shelter, are not rights. Excuse me, but these are simply not ideas that should even be entertained. We are in the very future we were warned about thirty years ago. It’s too late to think we’ve got even ten years to sit on our collective butts and talk about nonsense like “market-based solutions” and other hogwash Wall Street comes up with itself to kick the can down the road and avoid culpability. We are living on borrowed time. And borrowed water. #Water4Capitalism
“There is enough on earth for everybody’s need, but not enough for everybody’s greed.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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