Sunday, February 12, 2006

Pot Calls Kettle Black

Is there anything on earth that cannot be massaged to make the Americans look bad? alJazeera doesn't think so.

"A new study published in the US says that bottled water consumption has more than doubled globally in the last six years and is heavily taxing the world's ecosystem.

"Emily Arnold, [who ?]the author of the report published by the Washington-based environmental group the Earth Policy Institute, says bottled water can cost 10,000 times more than tap water despite often being no healthier.

This article is based on an article written by none other than Emily Arnold herself

"Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing, producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy," she says.

"The study says that at as much as $2.50 per litre, bottled water actually costs more than petrol.

Thristy Italians

'It added that the US was the largest consumer of bottled water, with Americans drinking 26 billion litres in 2004. Mexico came in second at 18 billion litres followed by China and Brazil at 12 billion each.

Working up a thirst
Top 10 bottled water consumers in 2004 (billion litres)

1. United States 25.8
2. Mexico 17.7
3. China 11.9
4. Brazil 11.6
5. Italy 10.7
6. Germany 10.3
7. France 8.5
8. Indonesia 7.4
9. Spain 5.5
10. India 5.1

"In terms of consumption per person, Italians came first at nearly 184 litres, or more than two glasses a day, followed by Mexico and the United Arab Emirates with 169 and 164 litres per person respectively.

What Emily left out is the U.S. populace consumes less than one eight ounce glass of water per person per day; half the intake of the Italians and Arabs. So she compensates by taking the total consumption. America bad.

"The study said that demand for bottled water soared in developing countries between 1999 and 2004 with consumption tripling in India and more than doubling in China.

"That has translated into massive costs in packaging the water, usually in plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is derived from crude oil, and then transporting it by boat, train or on land. [don't trains go 'on land'? The original article says 'trucks'.]

"Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 US cars for a year," according to the study. [Shouldn't that be 'study'?]

"Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year."

Waste worries

"The plastic bottles pose a further environmental risk once the water has been drunk.

"The study ['study'], citing the Container Recycling Institute, said that 86% of plastic water bottles in the United States end up as rubbish and those buried can take up to 1000 years to biodegrade.

Top bottled water consumption per person in 2004 (litres)

1. Italy 183.6
2. Mexico 168.5
3. UAE 163.5
4. Belgium 148
5. France 141.6
6. Spain 136.7
7. Germany 124.9
8. Lebanon 101.4
9. Switzer.. 99.6
10. Cyprus 92.0

Notice who Emily left off the list? Where's the Great Satan?

Source: Earth Policy Institute

"In addition, some 40% of the PET bottles deposited for recycling in the US in 2004 ended up being shipped to China.

"The study said that the rapid growth in the industry has also led to water shortages in some areas.

"It said that while consumers tend to link bottled water with healthy living, tap water can be just as healthy and is subject to more stringent regulations than bottled water in many regions, including Europe and the United States.

"In fact, roughly 40% of bottled water begins as tap water," the study says. "Often the only difference is added minerals that have no marked health benefits."

From the original article ...
"In contrast to tap water, which is distributed through an energy-efficient infrastructure, transporting bottled water long distances involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels."

Emily is a whiffle-head. Public servants are the last people you want lookingout for your interests regarding clean water, ask the people of Walkerton what they think of Stan and his brother looking out for them.

I've been designing water distribution and fire protection systems for many years and it's accepted in the industry that about 1/3 rd of the potable water is lost thru leaks in transmission. It's not the quality of water leaving the filtration plant you look at, it's the quality of the water coming out of the tap. There is every kind of piping you can imagine buried under cities, the really old mains are brick or clay, then there's galvanised or black steel for the big diameters and copper or PVC for smaller ones. Lead in solder was only banned in the '89 building code and replaced with silver, but lead is everywhere in domestic distribution lines. To insure safe tap water at ground level, you want it to run three minutes before consuming.

When a new building goes up you have to determine the water flow in the street under dynamic conditions, this means opening a downstream fire hydrant and measuring the pressure at the next hydrant upstream. You wouldn't believe the crap that comes out for the first minute or so, the flow loosens the rust from the walls of the pipes and the water is dark brown.

You just know Emily was sucking on a bottle of water when she wrote the 'study'.

I'm currently having coffee boated and trucked from Brazil mixed with water from my well, this afternoon I'll have a Lager from Germany [probably brought over by boat then put on a truck] and with dinner I'll have some fermented grape juice from Italy; the world's real water hogs [brought over by boat then put on a truck].

Italics Mine

The original article is so bad it would take hours to 'fisk' and I want to go play with my new camera and maybe burn some fossil fuels while I'm at it.


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