Water By Moritz Waldstein — Date 10.11.2016

Water Conspiracies

As concerns about water become increasingly real around the world, water conspiracy theories abound. Let's examine a few.

The Water Engine

The theory: Big industry has a central place among water conspiracies. This time it’s the oil industry. In their determination to control the world’s fuel and energy corporations have allegedly used their influence to suppress an almost endless number of alternative fuels and energy-generating technologies, including technology to manufacture cars that run not on gas, but water.

Any proof? Firstly, no-one, not promoters, not believers in water conspiracies, not even developers of water-powered cars claim it’s possible to use water itself as a fuel. Instead, these inventors and entrepreneurs assert that energy is generated inside of their cars through a process that involves splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, via water electrolysis inside a device called a hydrolyser – which recombines these two gases inside a fuel cell to restore the water to its former state.

It’s a nice idea, but the fact is due to principles of energy conservation and entropy, the system that would operate inside a water-powered car would actually use up more energy than it produces. Simply put: it couldn’t work.

 

Bottled Water Conspiracies

The theory: The world has a seemingly unquenchable thirst for bottled water. Bottled water, with all it’s unfathomable waste and environmental destruction represents 30% of liquid refreshment sales, far exceeding the sales of milk and beer (only soft drinks sell more).

All the while however, the actual product the expensive water industry sells is no better quality and often worse than the water from your tap.  In fact, often it is tap water. And so the conspiracy theory goes: companies are deceiving the public into paying 2,000 times the cost of tap water. They do this by deliberately marketing to our real concerns and fears about tap water.

Any proof? Companies in the bottled water business, like PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Company and Nestle make over $110 billion a year selling bottled water worldwide. According to the Beverage Marketing Association, a trade group, nearly 50% of all bottled water sold in the U.S. is just tap water that’s been purified. The regulated standards for bottled water and tap water are actually very similar. The biggest difference is that bottled water is produced specifically for “human consumption.”

 

Fear of Fluoride

The theory: Conspiracy theorists claim fluoride is responsible for everything from cancer to mind control. Award-winning investigative journalist and author of The Fluoride Deception, Christopher Bryson writes: “the campaign to fluoridate water was less a public health innovation than a public relations ploy sponsored by industrial users of fluoride—including the government’s nuclear weapons program.”

Any proof? John Doull, former Chair National Research Council says: “When we looked at the studies, we found that many of these questions are unsettled. Consequently we have much less information than we should, considering how long this has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began. As a result of ignorance, controversy is rampant.”


Flint’s Toxic Water

The theory:  As water conspiracies go, Flint is especially relevant and disturbing. Flint native, Janay Young put it this way: “Over the past two years the government has said it’s safe to drink this water. But all along the water was testing high for certain things. And they were lying to us.”

The proof: For over two years local complaints about odd-tasting and brown-looking water went ignored. And while a carcinogen called TTHM, and, even lead, were showing up in dangerous levels, the government insisted the water was safe.

As of recently, officials are finally acknowledging the crisis. Filters and bottled water are being distributed to residents. And the city has switched the water source back to Lake Huron from the Flint River. They have also promised to fix the damage to the 700 miles of pipe that make up Flint’s water system. The top official at the state agency in charge of regulating the water resigned. While Gov. Rick Snyder has apologized several times.

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