These people are crazed loons

A plan to extract millions of litres of water out of a Unesco world heritage site, send it by pipe to the coast and ship it to foreign markets for bottling has ignited a campaign over water resources in New Zealand.

An export company is proposing to collect 800m litres a month of the “untapped” glacial waters of Lake Greaney and Lake Minim Mere, mountainous dams that are fed by rainfall on the Southern Alps.
….
Jen Branje, the founder of protest group Bung the Bore which initiated the petition to parliament, said the government must halt the practice.

“We want a ban on all bottled water exports until we have legislation in place to protect this resource.

“Currently it is being given away willy-nilly for free and it is depleting our own reserves and that shouldn’t be happening.”

According to government figures, New Zealand’s annual freshwater resource is 500tr litres, of which 2%, or 10tr litres, is extracted.

This particular effort is 10 billion litres a year or so. That’s 0.002% of a renewable resource’s annual regeneration capacity.

We’re not exactly hitting Hardin’s limits to Marxian extraction yet, are we?

40 comments on “These people are crazed loons

  1. “We want a ban on all bottled water exports until we have legislation in place to protect this resource.

    You know what else is given away for free? Oxygen! And evil Gaia -raping human beings are *stealing*it*for*free* and replacing it with horrible polluting carbon dioxide.

    I call on Ms Bantje to campaign to ban that too.

  2. Speaking of crazed loons, I turned up to my office today to find Greenpeace outside, pouring oil all over the plaza in front. We just used another entrance, but I’m sure the TV cameras will be all over this shortly. God only knows what they’re protesting, but this is unusual in France. It’s a common occurrence at Shell and BP.

  3. I do find this somewhat amusing. I have a house in the Alpujarras. Just down the valley is the bottling plant for one of Spain’s more renown table waters. It’s also the same water comes down the irrigation channel & floods the garden if I forget to shut the sluice gate. The same water goes in the reservoir down the valley, gets pumped back up with the fuck chlorinated out of it as our tapwater. (You can guess which we drink) But most runs down the valley & ends up in the Med.
    There is no sign of the Med drying out, as yet. How’s the Southern Ocean holding up?

  4. Yes, they are loons. I’ve got got a consent nearby(ish) for 6,000m3/day, no one cares because we are not bottling it.

  5. bloke in spain – “Just down the valley is the bottling plant for one of Spain’s more renown table waters.”

    Down the valley? How is your septic tank?

    “There is no sign of the Med drying out, as yet.”

    The Med has dried up many times in the past and it is noticeably different from the Atlantic because of its higher salt content. At one time (well, perhaps many times) the Straits of Gibraltar were closed but eventually the sea broke through. One of the most spectacular sights no one ever saw – a prime candidate if someone invents a time machine.

  6. “…I turned up to my office today to find Greenpeace outside, pouring oil all over the plaza in front.”

    I hope the Greenpeace activists clean up the oil in the plaza when they finish their histrionics. Or pay for it to be cleaned. They deserve to be horse-whipped.

  7. @SMFS: “One of the most spectacular sights no one ever saw – a prime candidate if someone invents a time machine.”

    Indeed! Provides a pivotal moment in Julia May’s ‘Saga Of The Exiles’ novels. Which would make a great ‘GoT’ type miniseries, if they poured enough money into it.

  8. The law of big numbers – They are scary to greens and Guardian journalists. Useful to know when you have an axe to grind.

  9. hope the Greenpeace activists clean up the oil in the plaza when they finish their histrionics. Or pay for it to be cleaned. They deserve to be horse-whipped.

    Turns out it was molasses. 🙁

  10. Turns out it was molasses.

    Molassess is not to taken lightly. It is deadly toxic*. The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 killed 21 people and injured another 150.

    Clearly these people are dicing with the lives of others and deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    * Whenever it showed up in my mother’s baking the results were always lethal.

  11. @bis

    At a guess, Lanjarón.

    Not sure I could identify it always (after all, it is only water), but for me I always have the sensation that it is ‘clean’ and taste-free yet invigorating. The right amount of the right minerals I suppose.

    There are others, Solares for example, that are the exact opposite and I never would order.

    We are of course lucky in the Bilbao area. The tap water is equal or superior to British tap water. The advantages of having plenty of rain 🙂

  12. @Tim Newman:“Turns out it was molasses.”

    Were they confused, and should have been protesting the ‘obesity crisis’ at Tate & Lyle instead..? 😉

  13. @JuliaM – snap! I was thinking of posting the same reference to the Saga of the Exiles.

    It would make a magnificent HBO-type series. Julian May said in 2015 that a British producer was working on ‘a major TV/movie’ adaptation of it and the Galactic Milieu books. I rather hope that some Yanks with deep pockets get hold of the rights and go hell-for-leather on Saga of the Exiles,

  14. BiS,

    If it stinks of chlorine, you can drink it. Danger lies in the crystal clear stuff because the e coli are invisible. In a chlorine soup they are dead.

    I had forgotten that bottled water was ‘extracted’ – I always thought that the whole point of it was to extract money from the stupid fashionistas.

  15. At the right time of the year, Snr Bilbao, we get our Lanjaron slightly fizzy with ice crystals (and possibly goat shit).

    The overflow from the fosse irrigates the oranges, SMfS. They grow the size of grapefruits, full of sweet juice. What goes around comes around.
    If you look at Google Earth you can see the deep valley in the seabed off our coast, supposed to be the remnant of the Great Flood. Whether that happened’s another matter. I would have thought, at the time, the Med was getting the run-off from the Alpine, Iberian & Atlas icesheets. Plus water from father east & north via the Black Sea. Whilst the Atlantic was considerably lower than current. So it seems more likely the breakthrough would happen in the other direction.

    The climate, here on the coast, is pretty well semi-desert. I’m told we get less rainfall than the Sahara. It thundered a bit last night & we got maybe a centimetre, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that was the last rain we get until November. This coast would be uninhabitable but for the mountains that back it & where the rain falls. But we’re not petitioning to close bottling plants. Southern Alps are South Island, aren’t they? Much the same climate as Scotland. Where they have about two dozen words for rain but use the English for describing a dry day. These enviro-mentalists are truly barking.

  16. “Southern Alps are South Island, aren’t they? Much the same climate as Scotland.”

    The west coast, where this water will come from, is one of the ‘rainist’ places on earth. In places, 10,000mm per year, well over 10x the UK average.

  17. Never forget the Greenpeace campaigned against the dumping of the Brent Spar at sea, a protest that ultimately led to German petrol stations being firebombed.

    After the Rainbow Warrior was bombed in Auckland harbour by the French security services and sunk, Greenpeace towed it out to sea and dumped it.

  18. bloke in spain – “The overflow from the fosse irrigates the oranges, SMfS.”

    So their bottled water has what is left over? Could be worse I suppose. Might even be good for them.

  19. “We want a ban on all bottled water exports until we have legislation in place to protect this resource.

    “Currently it is being given away willy-nilly for free and it is depleting our own reserves and that shouldn’t be happening.”

    I still haven’t figured out why I have such a low opinion of wogs. Although, in truth, she sounds stupid enough to blend in seamlessly into the population of Portland, Oregon.

  20. @SMfS
    You might be surprised to learn that the Guadalfeo has tributaries. The bottling plant’s on one of them & we’re on another. Interestingly, way up our one it has been given the name the Rio de Culo de Perro. You might want to run that through Google Translate

  21. I thought that Noah’s Ark thing was about the Black Sea, not the Med.
    Stand to be corrected. Anyone?

  22. Several ME civilisations have tales of a “great flood” wiping out the world and leaving only a handful of survivors. It’s not implausible to suggest that there may have been some real event behind them.

  23. @Chris Miller – alternatively they just copied the original idea to give themselves some continuity and credibility. Borrowing material is quite clearly done from prior religions and stories. The story of the seven sleepers is a good one to look up. Why god sees the need to reveal the same thing over and over again I have no idea.

  24. Bosphorus breach and Black Sea flood is after sea level recovery after Late Glacial Maximum: sea level lowest at c. 22ka BP, flood sometime in last 10ka.

    Messinian Salinity Crisis where Med just about dried out is due to closure of Straits of Gibraltar nearly 6Ma BP with several breach events, the last of which about 5.3 Ma BP. So not the same time at all. It takes about 1 ka for the Med to dry out.

  25. bloke in france – “I thought that Noah’s Ark thing was about the Black Sea, not the Med.”

    As pointed out just above, the Mediterranean flood was not at a time likely to make an impact on humans. The Black Sea? Perhaps. The people working on the Black Sea clearly wanted to get in the papers because they claimed it might be linked to the Biblical Flood.

    But it is more likely to be a river thing. Bronze Age peasants are much easier to impress than modern TV audiences.

  26. Could be the Laurentian flood (Hudson’s Bay) but I doubt it.
    More likely Nile, Tigris, Ganges, Yellow rivers and others. Rivers that flood reliably were the seedbed of agriculture, but from time to time would flood very unreliably. A 1,000 year flood might have killed >100K people. That would be memorable even before writing it down.

  27. Excavator man
    March 27, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    The great thing about Timmy’s place, occasionally someone you have never seen comment before (apologies if I have missed it, I don’t read everything here) pops up and answers a completely irrelevant but quite interesting query. The breadth of knowledge here is something to behold.

  28. Martin – “What is 22ka BP?”

    The politically correct form of a long time ago.

    A “ka” is a kilo-annum. Thousand years. BP is Before Present. So you don’t have to do that icky thing where you mention the Baby Jesus.

  29. 6 Ma ⋙ 22 ka ≫ 2 ka so putative birthdate of Jeebus largely irrelevant on these sorts of timesscales

  30. Jen Branje, the founder of protest group Bung the Bore

    Well, that identifies the bore. The only question is where to stick the bung?

  31. The end of the last glacial period and the attendant significant rise in sea levels, while not being instant and catastrophic, occurred well into the point of human evolution when oral traditions had evolved. There is a lot of evidence of (for the time) major population centres dependent on the sea as a source of food then being slowly overwhelmed by the sea, and this would have happened worldwide – explaining the cross-cultural nature of the inundation myth. There’s increasing archaeological interest in sites in shallow sea water where a lot of human history seems to lie largely unexplored

  32. Part of the problem in NZ is that pollies are giving licences away for nothing (to their mates?) on the theory that a bottling plant will generate jobs for the local economy. Much better if they sold it for 1c per litre.

  33. My apologies for posting in haste earlier, and thinking that folks would understand ka, Ma, and BP. BP and bp are actually subtly different, and ‘present’ is defined as 1950 for use with small numbers of years!

    The (re-)flooding of the Black Sea is discussed accessibly in Angela Coe’s Open University book “The Sedimentary Record of Climate Change”, although much of the book will be incomprehensible to non-geologists. It probably occurred comparatively recently in geological terms, and was probably not a unique event. At the height of the last glaciation, or the ‘Late Glacial Maximum’ (LGM) dated to around 22ka BP, sea levels in the Med may have been 140m lower than present. They seem to have been 125m lower in the major oceans, which would give a huge current at Gibraltar. The Med has nett evaporation, and even today there is a deep current into it from the Atlantic. During the last glaciation, which wasn’t a very severe one, the ice piled up on land and the sea levels dropped.

    The Black Sea almost certainly more or less emptied in previous glaciations too, but the Mediterranean is an altogether different proposition, being much bigger and deeper, and it only seems to have dried out (which is calculated to take 1000 years under present climate) if the Straights of Gibraltar were sealed off. This seems to have happened due to plate movements around 6 Ma BP or a little less, and this lasted until around 5.3 Ma BP before the reflooding of the Med basin(s) occurred. The time difference allowed for the formation of salty sediments in the floor of the Med. It is this event that is in the Julian May books, but even though they are fiction, the event isn’t.

    Sure, a few ka is a long time to the layman, but not to a historian, and certainly not to a geologist. But even 1 Ma is a 1000 times longer than a ka, and I know that not one of my immediate family is as comfortable with these timescales as I am, so I don’t expect many people to be either.

    Incidentally, I have contributed before, describing the steam shovel that can be seen working at Threlkeld in the Lake district – in response to Chuck Berry’s lyric (and his death). I am surprised that steam shovels were to be seen by CB, as they were quickly superseded by diesel as it has a lower manpower requirement. The Threlkeld Ruston is from 1908, and is the world’s oldest: there appears to be a larger one in Tennessee that is not much younger (it is anecdotally alleged that it worked on the Panama Canal), but it isn’t in working order.

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