Something happened last week, on Wednesday to be precise, that illustrates a systemic problem. Our nation stands for grand principles, except when it doesn’t. It is a yet another sign we have lost our way. Few media outlets made much of it. Hardly anyone commented about it in op-eds or commentaries. Yet it is a subject vital to us all. In this regard, the world is almost one (and yet strangely divided).
Everyone knows that safe drinking water is essential for life. It should go without saying. And yet the UN took a vote anyway. Not surprisingly there were no “No” votes. However while 122 nations voted yes, forty abstained, the US, Canada, UK and several European among the abstainers. Far be it from the later group to do or say anything to hurt the powerful water privateers and bottlers ripping off Americans and other countries by, in most cases, using our public water supplies to bottle water and sell it at a huge markup. I am, however, very disappointed in our White House over the vote. Our nation supposedly awaits another process in Geneva with the Human Rights Council (as if we have paid the Human Rights body much other than lip service during the past 9.5 years.) Talk is cheap.
I doubt anyone would question the need for and use of bottled water in crises and natural disasters. Few would quibble that it should be available for those times when one’s household plumbing is being repaired. Yet Americans have become far too enamored and dependent upon an expensive water source. Now the privateers are now looking for an even more lucrative way to “own” a public resource by buying up city and town water plants. “Let the profiteering and plunder begin.” Except that it already has. One privateer “owns” part of the Sacramento River Delta. Another encircles the world in search of water systems to take over. It gives new meaning to the term “hostile takeover.”
Here’s the article. Read it and weep. No doubt some of the very same people who call themselves “right to life,” believe we have no right to water. However, even in the era of Obama, the US could not would not get its collective head screwed on straight and admit what we all know.
The United Nations General Assembly has declared for the first time that access to clean water and sanitation is a fundamental human right. In a historic vote Wednesday, 122 countries supported the resolution, and over forty countries abstained from voting, including the United States, Canada and several European and other industrialized countries. There were no votes against the resolution.
Meanwhile, the messages are:
World: Water a Human Right (US, Canada, UK and Some Others: Not So Much)