I read this circulating article about an Ontario town that was outbid by Nestle to buy a well and I have some things to say about it.
There’s no provincial or federal policy in place that would prevent a private multinational company from buying a well over the Canadian town next to the well who wants a water supply?
List of things I find mind-boggling:
Ontario charges $3.71 for every million litres of water taken from its groundwater and surface water.
In Ontario [Federally issued water-taking permits] allow municipalities, mining companies and golf courses — in addition to the water-bottling companies — to take a total of 1.4 trillion litres out of the surface and ground water supplies every day.
1.4 trillion litres every DAY??
Holy F*CK that’s a lot of water.
I can appreciate why the town next to the well wanted to purchase it to ensure access to a safe water supply in the future.
A town without a safe water supply is going to rely on bottled water, which is probably going to be purchased from companies such as this one, who owns the well the town wanted as a source of safe drinking water… which is a historically successful business plan but by no means a good thing.
We all know Nestle does this stuff in places like Africa (they have also had marketing successes in Africa with their baby formula products, discouraging women from breastfeeding their infants, offering Nestle baby formula to be used instead until lactation ceases, selling formula to impoverished people who inevitably dilute it (with water) leading to malnourished babies) but Ontario? I shouldn’t be surprised and yet I am — not by the audacity of the company but that the provincial and federal governments aren’t protecting its citizens — which again, shouldn’t surprise me… there are lots of Canadians who don’t have access to safe drinking water (lots). Maybe it’s not surprise so much as mounting disillusionment.
Token heartstring-pulling hack science:
Plastic bottles are living in the ocean. Just putting that here. Recycling them is not a solution to overuse and overproduction. We only recycle a percentage and the process of recycling takes resources (in particular, water…) and pollutes (again, water, but also air/the ozone layer, which is important, but arguably weakening it may contribute to the melting glaciers, which for a while anyway should keep the rivers flowing).
Half (more than half? I don’t know, it’s a lot) of the Halloween candy everyone is about to go out and buy is also made by Nestle, and people are going to (maybe) read this article about water in Ontario and be mad about it or jaded or whatever, and maybe some people will start an online petition and some other people will be like NOPE I’M TOO DEPRESSED BYEEE but we are all going to eat the candy.
And lots of other Nestle stuff.
(note for the tl;dr-prone — the list is long, but the layout is easily scannable)
Closing arguments, call to action & humorous end note:
I will say to fellow humans out there — people who might have kids in their lifetimes, and just to people in general— you/we/I will be dead before all of this bananas shit comes to a head.
My kids and grandkids, but more importantly, the future of the human race will not be dead, and they’re going to be living in a literal garbage dump caused by greed and poor policies that existed generations before them.
We all talk a lot about our student debt and how the Boomers ruined the economy for our generation.
We are ruining the world.
And maybe as a demographic we are so jaded by our lack of economic opportunity compared to a generation ago that we can’t bring ourselves to consider that a future exists. Or maybe we’re arguing, “no no no, WE aren’t ruining the world, THEY are!”
But the future does exist, and we are they.
We are the stewards of the future.
It’s a big job, I get it — far too big for one person, far too much to face all at once, far too huge and murky a situation to feel like an individual contribution adds up to anything.
But kids, we gotta try. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from working in showbiz, it’s that you totally can do the impossible on zero budget. You just have to make a lot of phone calls.