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Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Waterby Peter H. Gleick
Synopses & Reviews
Peter Gleick knows water. A world-renowned scientist and freshwater expert, Gleick is a MacArthur Foundation andquot;genius,andquot; and according to the BBC, an environmental visionary. And he drinks from the tap. Why donandrsquo;t the rest of us?
Bottled and Sold shows how water went from being a free natural resource to one of the most successful commercial products of the last one hundred yearsandmdash;and why we are poorer for it. Itandrsquo;s a big story and water is big business. Every second of every day in the United States, a thousand people buy a plastic bottle of water, and every second of every day a thousand more throw one of those bottles away. That adds up to more than thirty billion bottles a year and tens of billions of dollars of sales.
Are there legitimate reasons to buy all those bottles? With a scientistandrsquo;s eye and a natural storytellerandrsquo;s wit, Gleick investigates whether industry claims about the relative safety, convenience, and taste of bottled versus tap hold water. And he exposes the true reasons weandrsquo;ve turned to the bottle, from fearmongering by business interests and our own vanity to the breakdown of public systems and global inequities.
andquot;Designerandquot; H2O may be laughable, but the debate over commodifying water is deadly serious. It comes down to societyandrsquo;s choices about human rights, the role of government and free markets, the importance of being andquot;green,andquot; and fundamental values. Gleick gets to the heart of the bottled water craze, exploring what it means for us to bottle and sell our most basic necessity.
"Tap water is safe almost everywhere in the U.S. So why does someone buy a bottle of water every second of every day? And where do the thousands of plastic bottles discarded daily end up? Gleick, recipient of a MacArthur fellowship and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, argues passionately for a new era in water management. '[P]ublic access to drinking water would be easy, and selling bottled water... difficult,' he writes, and government regulatory agencies should protect water from contamination and the public from 'misleading marketing' and 'blatant hucksterism.' Bottled water companies should be forced to include the true environmental costs of the production and disposal of plastic bottles in the price of bottled water, leaving it as an expensive option that most people will avoid With the gusto of a born raconteur and the passion of a believer, Gleick makes a sound case for improving the developing world's access to and the developed world's attitude toward safe, piped drinking water purified by the natural hydrologic cycle. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
The creation of the bottled water industry, the sources of the water used, the often specious claims as to its purity, given in conjunction with condemning tap water, is a fascinating and often horrifying story. This volume includes all the details of the industry and its impact, from 19th-century claims about health to similar strategies today, examining the sell as much as the reality, particularly the environmental impact--both through water use and the production and discarding of the plastic bottles--of a commodity whose value is almost pure invention. A specialist in water and the president of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, Calif., Gleick publishes The world's water, a biennial report, also with Island Press. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Peter Gleick knows water. A world-reno
Peter Gleick knows water. A world-reno
Peter Gleick knows water. A world-renowned scientist and freshwater expert, Gleick is a MacArthur Foundation "genius," and according to the BBC, an environmental visionary. And he drinks from the tap. Why donand#8217;t the rest of us?
Bottled and Sold shows how water went from being a free natural resource to one of the most successful commercial products of the last one hundred yearsand#8212;and why we are poorer for it. Itand#8217;s a big story and water is big business.
About the Author
Peter H. Gleick is President of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California, and is a recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship for his work on water issues.
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