Monday 10 March 2003

Water, water everywhere and hardly a drop to sell

Alex Bell says that the next world war will be about water:
Water as a reason for war arose because it's the only genuinely essential liquid to be found in wells, many of which are said to be running dry.
Like other environmental problems, what is needed is a proper application of property rights in water resources. Despite Mr Bell claiming that there is a water shortage, he goes on to say:
At the Johannesburg environment summit last year, Wateraid, a pressure group, claimed rectifying much of the world's water could be tackled at the cost of $25bn. Homeland security for the US has a new budget of $40bn. You could fix the world's tap for less than 1% of the US annual defence budget.
So money could fix most of the problem - paid for by the capitalist US, of course. And how come America has so much money to spend on defence? It's because the US more-or-less recognises property rights and that is the only way for countries to prosper. So, instead of bailing out failed socialist regimes, let's send them some books on basic free market economics, with a copy for Mr Bell.