Sunday, February 13, 2011

Is Blue Gold the New Black Gold?

Flow the film:



"Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed; A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed. Then one day he was shootin at some food; And up through the ground came a bubblin crude. Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea..."  Believe it or not, a case could be made the story of the Beverly Hillbillies should be each and every one of our stories, as a conservative estimate of our oil wealth states that every man, woman, and child alive in all 50 United States of America is worth a minimum of $5 million!

However, oil, even though it is a natural resource, is not considered something essential for life; therefore, in a capitalist economy, it's first come, first serve. And those few first-comers have profited so immensely that they gained the ability to deceive and control the rest of us enough to expand that wealth into a powerful cartel.

Which leads us to H2O. Water, that is, blue gold, nexus sea... Okay, I tried. Anyway, aside from the often discussed "contamination" of our water supply, there is another issue surrounding our water, even more important,  and that is the individuals, corporations and governments preparing to take over the supply and delivery of our water through privatization and theft. And unlike oil, water is essential to human life, right after the air we breathe.

Water is a $400 billion dollar global industry already. Keep in mind that only 2% of the world’s water is fresh, and that 20% of the world’s population does not have access...that’s 1.2 billion people.

The Great Lakes contain 6 quadrillion gallons that is spread over 94,000 square miles...that's enough to cover the US in 10 feet of water. Almost 20% of the world’s fresh water supply is held in the Great Lakes.

In 1998, a company received a permit that allowed it to pump water from Lake Superior, and ship 50 freighters of the pumped water to Asia. Politicians found out and promised to craft legislation that would prevent that from ever happening again. What they didn’t say was that they were going to insert convenient loopholes, one of which would allow water shipped to foreign lands if it was contained in bottles.

Michigan does not even charge royalties for its water. Former Gov. John Engler gave the global corporation, Nestle, aka, Perrier millions of dollars in tax-breaks, only charging them $100 per year to drill, pump and pipe hundreds of gallons of water every minute.

Consider the strategic purchase of the the Bush family. In 2006, W, under his daughter Jenna's name bought 100,000 acres in Paraguay which is sitting on top of the Guarani aquifer, the world’s largest aquifer .

Then there is T. Boone Pickens, who bought up huge amounts of land in TX panhandle, that's over one of the largest aquifers in the US, the Ogallala aquifer. Under TX law, any water you can access under your property is yours, for the selling. Only there was one problem. Pickens does not own the Ogallala aquifer or the land between his property and Dallas, El Paso, and San Antonio, his targeted areas to play water god. But that's not enough to stop Pickens. He changed TX water laws by spending millions on lobbyists and politicians to transform his property, Mesa Vista, all 68,000 acres, into a water district. Now, his property is like a town with special priviliges, such as eminent domain. He can buy up people’s land in order to lay his pipeline whether the owner wants to sell or not.

So, yes, there is an emerging water cartel including industry giants such as Suez and Vivendi of France, the German-British conglomerate RWE-Thames, and more recently, the Carlyle Group, a huge global investment firm with $97.7 billion in assets, who in the process of buying Mountain Water Co.

Links:

A bid by the Shell Exploration and Production Co. for a 15 billion- gallon water right

Charity Water

Food and Water Watch


The Natural Resources Defense Council

Americans alone spend $16 million on bottled water.
Consumers of bottled water pay, on average, $12/gallon. That's 4,000 times as much as conventional tap water. And we complain about the price of gasoline?

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