“We’ve seen the price of food become more expensive than ever three times in five years. Normally we’d see three price spikes in a century,” said Kaufman. “And part of the reason is this new kind of commodity speculation in food markets.” In an article published Oct. 24 in Nature[subscription required], Kaufman describes what he calls “Wall Street’s thirst for water” — the push to turn water into a commodity like food, with the same instruments that produced the mortgage-backed security collapse and 2008 financial crisis.Public or Private: The Fight Over the Future of Water [more inside]
Fast Company covers the twisted economics and ironies of the bottled water industry. "In Fiji, a state-of-the-art factory spins out more than a million bottles a day of the hippest bottled water on the U.S. market today, while more than half the people in Fiji do not have safe, reliable drinking water."
The Ty-D-Bol Man looks pretty mellow today. When I was younger, my father - a pediatrician - would routinely clean out the medicine cabinet of old cold medicines, antibiotics, high potency barbiturates, illegal diet pills and other nostrums. Rather than throw them into the garbage "where someone might get their hands on them" he would flush them down the toilet (just like the poison control people recommend). Apparently in doing so he was making sure that everybody got them. Think the quantities are too small to make a difference? Not so, say Canadian fish, who seem capable of getting confused by the residue from birth control pills and changing gender. Don't worry too much about them, though. They're all on Prozac, so they're OK with it. [NB: see comments for .pdf version of first link]