Does Drinking Bottled Water Lead to War?
Someone thinks so. Classical Values has a long, astonished post on the subject. Money quote: "the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom has launched a three-year 'Save the Water' campaign, on the notion that drinking bottled water encourages privatization, which can lead to wars over water." First they came for your toilet paper, now this.
Classical Values knows the debate over water has been around for a long time.
This whole thing makes me nostalgic for the good old days when no Communist would ever drink a glass of tap water. Because, of course, only they knew that the real reason they had put fluoride in our water was to destroy our precious bodily fluids in what a distinguished American general properly called "the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face."
Today, of course, the Commies don't mention the fluoride in our drinking water. Instead, (in a pot calling the kettle black move that everyone seems to have missed), they complain about Dick Cheney putting arsenic in our drinking water.
TE Lawrence in his book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom mentions the word "wells" so often and in important connection with every move, march and consideration, that it bids fair to be part of the strategic landscape. But more pertinently Lawrence described the rules of water use in the Arabian desert.
Men have looked upon the desert as barren land, the free holding of whoever chose; but in fact each hill and valley in it had a man who was its acknowledged owner and would quickly assert the right of his family or clan to it, against aggression. Even the wells and trees had their masters, who allowed men to make firewood of the one and drink of the other freely, as much as was required for their need, but who would instantly check anyone trying to turn the property to account and to exploit it or its products among others for private benefit. The desert was held in a crazed communism by which Nature and the elements were for the free use of every known friendly person for his own purposes and no more. Logical outcomes were the reduction of this licence to privilege by the men of the desert, and their hardness to strangers unprovided with introduction or guarantee, since the common security lay in the common responsibility of kinsmen. Tafas, in his own country, could bear the burden of my safe-keeping lightly.
It is clear from Lawrence's description that ownership of water clearly predated the practice of bottling. While every local Arab tribesman was free to drink water from wells at need, according to a "crazed communism by which Nature and the elements were for the free use of every known friendly person for his own purposes and no more", this privilege extended only to the regular inhabitants. Outsiders were according no such freedom. Outsiders trying to take tribal water would cause war alright, and this before bottling.
Most fads, like the hula-hoop and the yo-yo are harmless because everyone knows they are a game. Fads become dangerous when people stop regarding them as entertaining nonsense and invest them with a coating of scientific rationality. You never worry about a man in a Superman costume at fancy dress party until he tries to climb out the window and tries to fly. Similarly, I don't spend nights worrying about wars that will be caused by bottling water or that the world will be destroyed if we use more than one sheet of toilet paper per day. But what does terrify me sometimes is the thought some people actually think this is true. Ask General Jack D. Ripper about fluoride.