This weekend I learned two things: Canada has a remarkable amount of water, a remarkable amount that we use and a phenomenal amount that we waste. Water is an issue, or a commodity according to many companies and governments, that will become the oil of the future. 
     Not 25 or 50 years from now. But tomorrow and next week and next year.
     In fact, it’s an issue today. 

     Global water companies are buying the water rights of cities, regions and countries, bottling it and selling it back to citizens at much higher costs than publically owned water. In Bolivia, privatization went as far defining rainwater as private and not allowing people to collect it.
     Actually, I knew this marginally. But Blue Gold, an excellent documentary, open my eyes wide to the issue, it’s politics, it’s economics and it’s growing and, in some cases, devastating social consequences.
     Which leads to second thing I learned – that people, the clichéd grassroots, really can flex extraordinary power, locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. For example, the people of Bolivia and Uruguay rose up and forced the multinational corporations that controlled water out their countries.
      Leading to my second realization, people, people, people, ordinary and silent most of the time, have great power, unrealized power, by coming together. They have in fact more real power than any activist, no matter how committed or how worthy the cause. Politicians know how to react to activists, how to marginalized.
     Put thousands of people in the street coalescing around one or two issues, and governments haven’t a clue what to do. Look at what’s going in Quebec right now. The growing mass civil movement has brought down the Minister of Education who was also Deputy Premier. Who knows where this uprising will end.
     I hope that the occupy organizers (?) are watching and learning how to really shake a government or a multinational corporation to its core.


Leave a Reply.