“Monkeys is the craziest people.” - Lew Lehr
With all due respect to the late Mr. Lehr, I beg to differ. Monkeys may be crazy people, but they’re not nearly as nutty as people people.
Submitted for your consideration, this bottle of Fiji Water from our hotel room in Washington, D.C.:
Note the tag bearing the legend “Carbon negative. Globally positive.” And lookee: there’s a bit of bragging about being a “1% for the planet member.” There’s even a picture of ol’ Momma Gaia! It’d be easy enough to assume that, by purchasing that bottle of water - why, it’s only six bucks, Madge! - you’d be doing your bit to help the Earth’s environment. Save the whales. Collect them all; win valuable prizes.
You’d be wrong.
Put aside, for the moment, the idiocy of spending Six! Fucking! Dollars! on a 750 ml bottle of water. Water, not vodka. Water, not beer, gin, or Fine Wine. Water that, if one were sufficiently desperate, one could obtain virtually free of charge from any tap, spigot, or garden hose.
Put aside, for the moment, the environmental costs of manufacturing the plastic bottle in which this precious fluid is contained. I happen to believe that plastic packaging is, in many of its applications, a reasonably cost-effective and environmentally responsible option, provided there is an infrastructure that facilitates collecting empties for recycling and/or disposal for fuel value. Alas, most states lack the kind of deposit laws that help make that infrastructure effective.
No: let’s look at the monumental stupidity of taking water from Fiji, way off in the South Pacific; bottling it; and shipping it halfway around the planet, with the concomitant expenditure in bunker fuel and generation of carbon dioxide. I’m not overly concerned about the carbon dioxide - one major volcanic eruption can spew more CO2 than the entire output of the industrial West over the last century or two - but I don’t like precious petroleum pissed away for no good reason. And shipping water from the antipodes in order to satisfy the thirst of urban hipsters is - to me, anyway - no good reason.
I’m a believer in the free market and all of its various idiotic implications - reality TV, Pop-Tarts, and ads for litigators being only a few examples. If people want to spend their hard-earned money on bottled water, that’s their choice to make. But don’t insult my intelligence by claiming that Fiji Water is somehow good for the environment. I call bullshit, Mr. Bottledwaterdrinkypants!