Click here to support the Daily Grail for as little as $US1 per month on Patreon

News Briefs 20-01-2011

If you’re going through Hell, keep going…
(with dedication to Susan)

Thanks to Richard, Rick & Kat.

Quote of the Day:

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Henry Ford.

  1. water
    Always is amazing isn’t it, the predictions of doom. We won’t run out of water. We are not consuming any water on this planet, all of it gets recycled. By nature or by us, or both. What is happening is that some areas are falling behind with the recycling. They have to catch up.

    Not too long ago I read that there is more energy in waste water than previously thought. This sounds really promising too – use the energy from waste from dirty water to make clean water. Sounds good to me.

    1. Regional scarcity
      Ok, sure: it’s not like the water evaporated into outer space or anything. It’s just like where there used to be freely available drinking water there’s less and less. Meanwhile some folks are getting more rain water than they could possibly need —I doubt the people living in Brisbane are thinking about storing part of the water flooding their neighborhoods right at this moment.

      So some areas have less water than they used to, and some areas have more water. Now the trick is to transport the excess to where is needed. And that’s of course a business opportunity many companies will be more than happy to seize.

      Meanwhile here in Mexico city, many poor neighborhoods have to pay a pipe truck to deliver them the water, and that is much more expensive than what other citizens pay in their water bills. And let’s not even talk about bottled water here…

      1. flow
        Water was actually never free. It was always collected and stored, sometimes cleaned before use and sometimes after. Somebody did that work and got paid for it.

        I got to this continent about 30 years ago. The population in the US and Canada has risen by about 50% or so since then. I’m not sure about Mexico, but it would surprise me if the increase was less.

        So yes, requirements change. Someone has to do the work, and they have to be paid.

        1. Shrinking resources
          It all boils down to an increasing population that in itself translates into an increase in energy demand, coupled with a shrinking of natural resources.

          We can all see it in terms of energy: Back in the old days acquiring drinking water demanded a less amount of energy in certain areas. Nowadays due to certain external effects (overpopulation, climate change, etc) the things that people were used to as being energetically inexpensive are turning more and more expensive. So that’s a worrying concern for folks who are already struggling to make a living. It’s like coming home and finding out there’s a park-meter placed next to your TV sofa! We would all go “WTF!” and get outraged.

          But perhaps we should see it in terms of checks and balances. That some things people saw as inexpensive were actually a luxury, because somebody else someplace else was getting the bill in an indirect way. Now climate change is forcing things to level up and people are not happy because the illusion is broken.

          1. indirect billing
            Sure, all the things that are “free” are usually paid for by someone else, or indirectly by the user.

            City water in most countries costs money, more or less based on consumption, and charged as monthly fees. So does sewage, where the pricing is often tied to the fresh water fees. Nobody wants to measure your sewage, it seems unappetizing.

            These monthly costs are often hidden in the rent people pay. And I suppose in some places where people who don’t pay rent, they would not see the costs for water either.

            In other cases the cost is hidden in taxes. Water looks like its free, but it is getting paid for.

            Then there are people who don’t get city water, they pump it out of their own wells. They pay for the fuel or electricity, and for the pump repairs. Nothing free there either.

            Don’t have to filter your water because you live near a clean river or lake? That works for the first 100 people or the first 100,000. Then it gets more expensive. Its actually easier to judge if you use an above ground lake, compared to a below ground aquifer – you can see more directly how fast it replenishes. With aquifers you can fool yourself for a while, thinking that its really big.

          2. We have been fooling ourselves
            What angers me is that people who don’t get to enjoy the infrastructure needed to provide basic services are nevertheless charged with them in one indirect way or another.

            Getting to subterranean aquifers and sewage: those are the kind of projects elected politicians are more reluctant to undertake. Why? because all the work is hidden from people’s sight. You only begin to care about clean water or sewage waste when something starts to go wrong.

            No, politicians prefer to build bridges or parks, or put statues on city squares. Things that are left for everyone to see —preferably with a nice metal plaque with their name on it.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.