Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's not OVERexploitation

At least once every day I get the feeling that pinko lefties like myself and conservatives are talking past each other.

These people think "why doesn't he get a job" is a punchline and don't see that homeless people are anyone's responsibility.

This guy wants you to believe that a society is barbaric if it doesn't have the death penalty.

Then I read an article today where a bunch of businessmen who formed a think tank called the "Montreal Economic Institute" are telling us that we should be selling our fresh water to Americans. At the price of desalinating sea water this works out to $65B of which 10% could be captured in royalties by the province of Quebec (because you don't want the people of Quebec getting too much for their own resources).

It's hard to explain to conservative, business types what's wrong with this. They don't seem to get it no matter how you explain it. You can tell by this quote at the end, where the paper they wrote attempts to allay what they think are our fears:

“Water clearly is a resource that is essential to life, and turning it into a business may arouse fears that it could one day be overexploited,”

It's not overexploitation that we're worried about. It's exploitation, period.

We've seen what privatization does to water. All over the world, the IMF and WTO have been forcing developing countries to privatize water, electricity and all sorts of other vital commodities. It always ends badly with a small number of very rich corporations and a large number of poor, resource-strapped people.

We know where you're heading, and we don't want any of it. And we don't want you people making money off our water. It's not yours, it's ours, and you don't deserve to get rich by skimming off of us.

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Beijing York said...

The situation throughout Africa and in India is horrible. In some privatizations, companies are created over-night to capitalize on the opportunity and with no track record, they just as quickly disappear leaving the municipal governments strapped to find a way to get potable water to their citizens.

Greg said...

I'm thinking of the poor guys in Cochachamba who basically had to go to war with their army and local police in order to collect rain water off the roofs of their tin shacks.

We ought to be able to head this thing off before it gets that far here.