Together, let’s put an end to deteriorating health

Running Our of Fresh Water

Dear Friends,

Can you name this Beautiful Creature?

Last week I introduced you to Maude Barlow—the founder of the Blue Planet Project and one of the leading activists in
the world. Barlow works ceaselessly to promote clean, drinkable water as a global right for all human beings, rather than a commodity to be privately owned and traded on the open market.

Water is fundamental to life. When we look to other planets for signs of life, we look for signs of running water. Water brings out everyone to haggle over the issue: “free trade” consortium, or the neo-liberal cartel we spoke about last week, and the social justice movements, like Via Campesina, Food Sovereignty and the Blue Planet. The polarization is great and the dispute illuminates the different forces that have changed the face of our planet. Water is one of the best examples that points the reason for the de-evolutionary process our planet is presently undergoing. Let me explain.

For starters, water has been called “blue gold” because, due to our mismanagement of our environment, we have damaged the hydraulic cycle, and all over the world we are running out of water.

Some frightening facts to consider:

  • The world is running out of fresh water—scientists say that by 2025 two-thirds of the world’s population will face water scarcity.
  • The World Health Organization reports that contaminated water is implicated in 80% of all sickness and disease worldwide.
  • Scientists call them “hot stains”—the parts of the earth now running out of potable water. They include Northern China, large areas of Asia and Africa, the Middle East, Australia, the Midwestern United States and sections of South America and Mexico.
  • In China 80% of the major rivers are so degraded they no longer support aquatic life, and an astonishing 90% of all groundwater systems under the major cities are contaminated.
  • 90% of wastewater produced in the Third world is discharged, untreated, into local rivers, streams and coastal waters.
  • 2.1 million Indian children under the age of five die every year from dirty water. The coasts of Mumbai, Madras and Calcutta are putrid. The sacred Ganges, where millions come to worship, is an open sewer.
  • The average human needs fifty liters of water per day for drinking, cooking and sanitation. The average North American uses almost six hundred liters a day. The average inhabitant of Africa uses six liters per day. A newborn baby in the global North consumes between forty and seventy times more water that a baby in the global South.
  • In 2006, the number of city dwellers surpassed the number of rural dwellers for the first time in history. The urban populations of the Third World are growing exponentially, creating enormous slums without water services. By 2030, says the UN, more than half the population of these huge urban centers will be slum dwellers with no access to water. One report cited a current example of an area in Mumbai, where one toilet serves 5,440 people.
  • We now know that we are polluting and depleting this earths finite stock of water so fast that we are mining the ground water faster than it can be replenished.

(Facts derived from the book “Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water” by Maude Barlow. Published in 2007).

We are running out of clean water. Our global industrial practices demand unsustainable amounts of water just as they have for oil. Rather than taking a step back to reflect on the way in which our interaction with Mother Nature is damaging her finely evolved ecosystems (the inner-connected networks of life), many countries are now looking at desalination as the answer to their water needs. But it requires a tremendous amount of fossil fuel to run these plants and turn ocean water into drinkable water.

There are 87 corporations now building desalinization plants. The biggest water company of all is General Electric, followed by Proctor and Gamble, with Dow Chemical now getting into the game. You go anywhere in Africa today and it is Coca Cola water. You can’t drink the water out of the tap. You can’t find purifiers.

The writing is on the wall—water is the hottest property out there and corporations are beating a path to own it. The path we choose to correct this shortage will have monumental ramification on the rest of our lives and the evolutionary future of our planet. How do we make the right choice?

We need accurate information. We need to be woken up. We need to act!

One of the most illuminating books that I have ever read on how neo liberal ideals have been thrust upon the world is, “The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” (2004) by John Perkins. This is an unbelievable exposé on how thoroughly the “Global North” has exploited the rest of the world’s resources to feed its ever-growing consumption habits. But our thirst is unquenchable and unsustainable. If you are unfamiliar with John Perkins you will find this TV interview absolutely riveting. I have transcribed some of his comments below.

The first question asked of him was, “What is an economic hit man?”

I think it is fair to say that in the last several decades we, economic hit men, have managed to create the world’s first truly global empire, and we have done it primarily without the military, for the first time in history, through economics. We work many different ways. But perhaps the most common is we will identify a third world country that has resources our corporations covet—like oil, and then arrange a huge loan to that country from the World Bank or one of its sister banks. But the money doesn’t actually go to that country but goes instead to our own corporations to build big infrastructure projects —power plants, industrial parks, ports and things like that, that will benefit a few rich people in that country as well as our corporations but doesn’t really help the majority of the people—the poor, who are not connected to the electrical grid, or if they are, they only use a couple of light bulbs. However these countries are left holding a huge debt… and it is such a big debt by intention that they can’t possibly repay it. [The solutions?] Sell your oil real cheap to our oil companies or vote with us on the next critical UN vote or send troops in support of ours.

We have truly created a global empire and an empire needs an emperor. An emperor is someone who is not elected, doesn’t serve a limited amount of time and also doesn’t really report to anyone else. It is obvious that the President of the US doesn’t have this role, but we do have the equivalent of that in the group of people that run our biggest corporations—I call this the “corporatocracy”. They all are driven by one big motive and that is to create huge profits for a few wealthy people. They report to no one except maybe their boards, but they all are on each others boards so they take care of each other that way too.

We can look at the power base [of the corporations] as being like huge clouds drifting around the planet, and they know no boundaries or borders. They don’t listen to any one laws of one country or the other, they go their own way—these are the big multi-national corporations.

The US doesn’t forgive debt without tremendous strings  attached. We want our corporations to go in there to privative their water systems and their sewage systems and their utility companies.

If we truly want to end terrorism, if we truly want to end violence in the world we must get rid of the root causes of anger and disappointment and frustration and terror by taking care of starvation, poverty, exploitation of resources. This is something that we should dedicate ourselves to.

Let’s face it, the media is funded through advertising by the corporatoracy or owned by it. There are a lot of reporters who understand these realities but they can’t get published because of this.

Now that hurts! And, it is just the “tip of the iceberg”. Get his book, you will find it utterly fascinating and compelling. To learn more regarding neo-colonialism read Dohrea’s essay on “The Dynamics and Development of Western Power from Colonization to a Global Regime”. Her special studies in school is Social Justice.

Even the best of our news shows such as NPR’s News Hour with Jim Lehrer doesn’t confront us with the brutal facts. Last Friday evening’s broadcast reported on a phenomena in Nigeria, where one half of the population is Christian and one half Muslim, that is called “Chrislam”—a blending of Christianity and Islam. As they ended this segment on the social progress that was being accomplished because of this movement, they concluded by saying that Nigeria with “all its wealth of oil” has very few people who have money, and the vast majority are extremely, devastatingly poor. Inferring that the Nigerian African “just can’t manage their resources and moneys well”. There was no mention that in fact the owners of these vast oil riches in their own country were the transnational corporations—Mobil, Chevron, Shell Oil and so on. The oil moneys pays off the elite and carefully picked leaders of their country, but the rest of the money goes out of their country, leaving the people right where they have always been—enslaved by either colonialism or poverty. Why was this not mentioned, even by NPR?

To understand more what is going on in Africa, Read Dohrea’s critique “In The Name of Global Equality” (2009) on George B. N. Ayittey’s “Misleading Africa” (2009).

Is it possible to create a world of social equity, environmental quality and economic sustainability? It is not only possible—but it is an imperative!

Sincerely yours,

Seann Bardell

Clinical Note: Garlic, Supernatant, and the Original—our powerful therapeutic foods trio for broad spectrum antimicrobial treatment, GI protection and healing, enzyme, vitamin and fatty acid production, and much more.


The Last Quiz Answer: This magnificient foot belongs to an elephant eking out its living with its family in the Namibian desert.

An excerpt of the documentary Blue Gold— World Water Wars.

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