Monday, August 25, 2008


London Free Press Editor-in-Chief Paul Berton was at least half right last week when he wrote that "people across the country are watching London" after Council voted to ban the sale of bottled water on city-owned property … if by "people" he meant that fraternal community of journalists, politicians, bureaucrats and activists in which he sports. By a common cue, the whole gaggle has been blaring by the hundreds as if by their chorused bleats and honks they could convince themselves that they have anything important to say or do. Actual harm to the lives, health or welfare of Canadians through the consumption of bottled water on municipal properties is none the worse for wear of anyone having been able to notice. One can expect the same of any improvements resulting from the ban, aside from an elevated sensation of smug satisfaction. No one has ever accused politics of being a zero-sum game!

What one lacks for the observable impacts of water bottles, either coming or going, one can at least make up for in snide anti-capitalist historical revisionism. In familiar fashion, the Canadian Press digs up one Richard Girard, "a researcher with the environmental advocacy group Polaris Institute," to pin the blame for a perceived problem square on the one target that has always served as the most convenient case for municipal governments and activists: corporations.

"Corporations have created a distrust in municipal tap water systems by marketing their products as the only healthy way to drink water."
Am I the only one who entirely missed all these years of corporate anti-tap water advertising? On the other hand, memories of health and environmental activists warning against pernicious and "unnatural" treated water supplies are undiminished even through the long years preceding the boom in bottled water sales. Corporations may step into voids, but activists do voids.

See also at The Gods of the Copybook Headings, The Rime of the Ancient Statist:
Striving far above their station, to say well past common sense, Monday the London City Council banned "sales of bottled water at all city-run facilities, including arenas and community centres, and possibly even golf courses."  This bit of petty authoritarianism was taken under the aegis of the current Green fad, which is showing signs of wearing down - even in it's statism London is behind the curve.  The impracticality of the ban was quickly made clear when the council stepped away from banning the bottle at outdoor events.  People buy bottled water because they find alternatives too inconvenient or perceive them to be of low quality.  Greenista fantasies that plastic bottles will destroy the earth, will be forgotten within a few years.  The ban, however, will remain on the books, providing employment for the bureaucrats who administer the law, and distracting the police from fighting genuine crime.


Carmi said...

I don't know what all the fuss is about. I was down at the Springbank Non-Dam earlier today, mulling over how I was going to use my taxpayer unfunded ginormous pile of twist ties to fix the broken gate.

As I pondered the engineering possibilities, I got thirsty. Since I once read in some paper that municipal water is bad for you and water fountains are full of nasty bacteria, I did the next best thing: Stuck my head right into the flowing river and sucked back for all I was worth.

It was a little brackish at first, but I figured that was part of the appeal.

So far, that vestigial 11th finger that's started to grow on the side of my left hand isn't slowing my typing down. So I'll venture that my little experiment has been a success.

mariposa said...

I think city council bought into the "dihydrogen monoxide" email scare.