It will not be long before we in the affluent countries have to pay for water – and some day air no doubt. It will be illegal to get water for free, from the sky or river because someone will “own” it and you will have to buy it. We pay now for water supply – but this story will get much worse, gradually.
Is this man stealing water?
Long ago people could find food, water, shelter materials, tools , medicines and all sorts of things, in nature. This perfect time is described disparagingly as ‘hunter-gathering’. Some tribes still live this way, happily, until a logging company cuts down the forest or evicts them – make way for “progress”, for money making. See Survival International.
Such a period in pre-history may well be what is referred to by the story of the garden of Eden, in the Bible. Then came the “Neolithic Revolution” – farming and settling. Man was “cast out” from this idylic time of plenty and free time and became shackled to the land, a servant to food supply. The best soils would be highly prized. Soon after came the discovery of discrete pockets of special materials – metal ores. These became hugely desirable and thus began competition and fighting for land.
The powerful take control of the resources and control – then sell to the rest of humanity. Nowadays oil is a good example. Soon water too. We started to get money, slaves, capitalist economies, and now global corporations, wars, cities, global warming. Thanks. We are so used to it we take it as a fact of life.
So ordinary people began to lose access to foods but many still farmed and gathered and got on with their lives while the Kings feuded.
Then came a land grab – the Enclosures Act UK – people lost access to huge areas of previously open / common land. It was effectively stolen from them, by force. Huge estates were owned by a few and people were forced to pay taxes to their over lords and tithes to the church – another big land owner and power block.
Not only had they lost their access to enough land to live, they had to pay part of their production and be homeless if they couldn’t. So they might lose another basic human right – shelter.
In Scotland there is still ownership of massive land masses by private owners – the rump of the feudal system and tenants must pay rents and have far less security. The memory of the ruthless Highland Clearances is still vivid in many people’s minds – if in Scotland , visit Croick Church for a poignant look at how god fearing, literate folk were evicted, confused as to how their over lords could abuse them like this?
So, now that we have to pay for food, excepting a few who can produce some on the land they own – the majority are dependent upon markets – or starve. Those people “outside society” who travel and thus do not pay rent – again the Scottish travellers, gypsies, new age travellers – have been forced to settle down, vilified and become figures of hate or mistrust. Or we have the image of a tramp.
The Industrial Revolution, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, drove the population of first Britain, then Europe and soon the world into paid labour subsistence, causing major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation having a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain. They had no choice.
We are starting to get a picture here – why we have to work – to pay the rent – to pay for food – essentials for life, not luxuries like tv’s or books. Some people do not have to work, though they might to relieve boredom or to satisfy an urge. These people either own land or so much money they do not need to do anything to pay for subsistence / living – they can charge you rent – they can buy your labour. And make a profit.
Next comes the further controlling of food – the patenting of seeds – the use of our “laws” to enforce this and thus make it illegal to hold back some seed from your harvest for the following years planting – this which has been the very foundation of good farming right back to the Neolithic Revolution, over 8,000 years ago, in Mesopotamia and the Golden crescent. Thanks to Monsanto and other giant powers, you have to buy even the grain – and the pesticides they are genetically dependent upon to survive – you still have to sweat and harvest before you sell … you take all the risk of crop failure though.
So what is next? – after losing the basic human right to land, shelter, food, medicines – helped by eradicating those who held the knowledge about herbal lore – wise women, often better known as witches by the church-men who feared their knowledge and respect amongst a population needing controlling: Water of course!
Now they really have you by the throat. You see, you can go for months without food before you starve – you can get by without shelter – but without clean drinking water you die – quickly – in 2-3 days. You may not be in prison but you are like a zoo animal, trapped in an economic reality – a matrix.
It is coming – I refer you to this blog about water laws in Colorado State, New Mexico maybe too, where it is illegal to collect rain water falling on your land, your roof, and it is illegal to use washing water to water your plants – read the blog: http://www.groovygreen.com
Before we get too bloated with injustice though – lets not forget that millions of people – fellow humans – die each year because of no access to clean drinking water. They walk miles – they drink contaminated water – they contract diarrhea and water born diseases – every day. They are not watering their lawns, washing clothes or flushing toilets with good clean drinkable water – like we do! They die quietly.
Nearly 2 million people die each year due to waterborne-related disease (90% of which are children under the age of 5). Some claim it is 2.2 million a year – SunWater.
Check out Water Aid – “help bring water to the 1.1 billion people worldwide who have no access to safe drinking water. – 13 March 2008
Global Missions say 25,000 people die every day – from lack of clean water.
UNICEF say 4000 children die every day, because they simply don’t have access to an adequate supply of clean water. “Clean water is an inviolable right, not a privilege,” – UNICEF.
Water Supply Statistics and Facts
I should just repeat the statement – millions of people die each year- just because they cannot get clean water. That is sick. A million is 1,000,000. A lot of dead bodies – children with great brains, ideas, laughter and amazing muscles – works of art – the pinnacle of evolution.
For ‘us‘ the loss of water rights is gradual, over generations maybe, so you do not notice, do not care. We have access to water and we do not fear losing this so we do not fight for the erosion of our basic human rights – they just ebb away, bit by bit, like sand castle washed away by the tide – crumbling.
Does it seem ridiculous to you that anyone should expect free water, free food, free shelter? Then that shows how far humans have come – because once upon a time we used to have that and we lost it. It was taken away. (Free as in no monetary cost, though a lot of labour may be involved, usually is).
We can afford many things – massive military campaigns and weapons arsenals, exploration of space, sports-star wage bills, computers that last a year, new clothes every few months – enough calories to make us obese and then the gym machines to burn it off – or the complex technology to repair the damage, take out broken hearts, abused livers or just enlarge breasts, fatten lips, move fat.
We borrow the money then work to pay it off – or rather just stay afloat and service the debt – and it is making us miserable. What a life – work work work. Hell. The people living back in the Neolithic only needed to work 3 days a week. The rest they played, created, invented. Hence us being here.
That was before we over fished the seas, cut down all the forests, salted the lakes and dried up the aquifers. Melting the ice caps took talent though – we really should be proud of our latest folly. Changing the planet’s atmosphere – which we need to live – that is either brave or very stupid – a bit like a scientist experimenting on her own body. “Oh, so that is what a heart looks like? ….” or our final words cold be: “Oh, so that is what the atmosphere was for? …”
Where are we at? We work, to be paid, to buy stuff. We work to buy not just luxuries and all the rubbish that is polluting the planet – all the energy that is released to move it all around – all the carbon, the methane – we also have to work to live. To have a shelter, safety, food – and now water.
How long the air? Well much of that is already polluted, causing asthma, sickness, death. But when will we have to pay for the air we breathe? The odds are we will be well dead before it happens – but our children, if they can survive the heat, the drought and the disease – I bet some State or Federal Law will enforce some corporation’s insistence that we must pay – because it is purifying the air we need – they will sell bottles of air and our offices, homes and cars will be oxygenated capsules – whilst outside stinks. The pieces are in place – water coolers, bottled water, air conditioning. You watch how you become dependent upon those. A thirsty man will pay a fortune for a drink – with his freedom and his soul. Beware.
Fight laws banning you from accessing water. Fight, or lose it.
“Clean water is an inviolable right, not a privilege,” – UNICEF
Maybe these people will some day fall foul of a law saying you cannot gather rainwater?