Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back to the Koalas.......

This is not quite so cute......

I confess to be a leading critic of corporate culture: not a fan of globalization, the G7, the IMI....or any of that shite.

For decades, I and my ilk have hated Nestle as being one of the worst of the worst corporate scumbags.

Pushing dried formula to Africans as an alternative to breast-feeding for instance. Oh, and ingnoring the fact, or not, that the dried formula must be mixed with water.....of which there was none, or none that was safe.

And selling same dried formula by the millions of tonnes to the UN, UNESCO, etc, etc, etc.......

I am sure anyone with a Santa Cruz zipcode could regale all of us for hours about the many and varied sins of Nestle.

I have a vague feeling that Nestle is a supporter of the Marine Stewardship folk....who are adopting sustainable fishery standards in the North Pacific. In fact, Nestle may even own the Marine Stewardship folk.....but I am falling back on the idea that this blog is opinion, not fact.

The Marine Stewardship folk may be on the side of the angels....but the last time I observed one of their press orgies at the Solutions For Solipsism....or Sautees for Sustainiblility.....or whatever the soon to arrive in Monterey Self-Love fest will soon be.......

Whoever they were, they were all drinking Fiji Water on the dias.

Fiji Water is pulled from an ossified source.....once gone, ain't no mo'.....9,000 miles away from Monterey and flown in little bottles to the Sipping For Self-Aggrandizement Fest.

Anyway, the most recent chairman of Nestle.....Peter Brabeck-Letmathe....a Swiss guy, not a dummy.

Swiss Pete is worried about water.....probably because every person to the left of Vladimir Putin kicked Nestle's ass for thirty years about the whole baby formula thing....but Pete learned from his mistakes, and he is now ahead of the game.

Pete is worried about not global warming....but the loss of fresh water that results from global warming and a bunch of other bad practices and policies.

Nestle has been tracking their water use, not just by volume, but by water use vs. volume of sales for ten years.....ever since La Leche League started picketing. Usage has dropped at Nestle from five litres per dollar of sales to below 1.8 litres per dollar.

Swiss Pete is one of the most complete corporate cocksuckers on the planet....Pete is Swiss, so he is not really worried about starving children in Bumfuck, Egypt....he is worried about his company's bottom line.

I once worked for a new hotel in Switzerland....the InterContinental on the wrong side of the river in Zurich. When it opened, the business plan called for the place to start making money in 50 years. Everyone laughed. Well, all the Americans laughed. At the time, Switzerland had a negative inflation rate.....and was actually paying 0 per cent for deposits. I think it went up to 2%. If you had put your student loans on the Intercontinental, you would have missed the dot-com and real estate booms....but you would be laughing hysterically in the cafe across from the bank right now.

The Swiss are the closest thing that Europeans have to Asians....they are in for the long haul.

When a corporate fucker like Peter Brabeck-Letmathe lets everyone know that he is worried about water......and has been already tracking his rapacious company's use of water for ten years......get on the bus.

Here are the facts that Swiss Pete lays out for us:

One litre of water produces about one calorie of food. This varies according to climate, crop, technology, etc....but take it to the Swiss Bank.

Meat requires ten litres of water to produce one calorie of food. Us white folks have had the market cornered on the whole meat thing for millenia. The average daily diet in California requires about 6,0o0 litres of water in agriculture alone.....compared to half that in those annoying Allah countries like Tunisia and Egypt.....

But those damn Africans, Asians and South Asians are catching up.

Mmmmm. Dead critters taste good!

And they all want to have hamburgers with Paris Hilton....and later mad sex at the clubs.

Oh...this is just food related water.

It takes about 16,000 litres of water to produce a litre of wine.......and multiply that by at least ten to start thinking about vodka or brandy.

Paris is a really high maintenance date......

We also drink three or four litres of water every day.....and we need a minimum of 300 litres for showering and pissing.....and maybe another 300 litres for making tires and the plastic that covers the water bottles we take to the gym.

Divide all these faggy Euro-numbers by about eight to get manly American gallons......we are about at 800, and we have not started on the landscaping yet.

Speaking of landscaping.....and groovy new feel-good stuff: it takes up to 10,000 litres of water to grow soy for one litre of bio-fuel, and about 4,000 litres of water to make a liter of corn biofuel... drive to the club with your litre of vodka.....better hope that the club is close, or you are taking a taxi.

Even so......your life-style is burning through tens of thousands of litres of water a day....while African and Asian women are walking miles and miles every day with buckets on their heads to give their families cups of water to continue to live. Recently it was a Nobel-prize winning breakthrough idea for folks to teach Bangladeshi women to strain their drinking and cooking water through scarves before strain out the amoebas.

And, at least in America.....all the places where we are growing bio-fuels are sitting atop aquifers that have been draining and shrinking alarmingly for decades. In the San Joaquin Valley in Cali, subsidence of thirty feet is the last decade. If you want to laugh for days amongst your Annie Proulx's great book "That Old Ace in The Hole". Or call me....I will lend you the fifthteenth copy I have bought because I lent out all the others......

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe is convinced that we will run out of water long before we run out of fossil fuels. This is like hearing that Dick Cheny is worried we will run out of Berdan primers before Dick runs out of friends or quail to shoot...

Swiss Pete thinks that water should be commoditized....except for a basic survival minimum. Localities and those who own the local water rights can wheel and deal and the Market will make everything cool....

Did I mention that Cal-American Water Company is German?

I am going back to praying for rain.......

Along with the Koalas.


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