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  • WaterWired
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  • Western Water Blog
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  • xAnalytical
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Thursday, 18 December 2008


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Torrent Files

Good article! Thanks!


I never heard abou the movie but aftr you review i must see it. I love the theme of ecology and earth problems but most of the films are repeated on them selfs. I'm curious about this one. Thanks for the post.


I will watch this Documentary movie later. Thanks for introducing. I am very excited reading your post. You discus about pollution this is very big problem around the world. Thanks.


Michael: I'm afraid I'm going to have to challenge another part of your review:

"What effects does that have on the water resources in the area? I don't know, but with enough information, those effects can be determined."

These effects have been studied, and Nestle's original pumping rate was clearly damaging the watershed.

Further, why did you suggest people view the Nestle video without subjecting it to the same level of review you subjected the Mecosta County sequence in FLOW?

Jim Olson pretty much knocked the factual stuffing out of Nestle's corporate video (read Olson's comment contained in the (, and it seems clear that Nestle's repeated protestations of "no impact" are at best greenwash, and at worst, an outright lie.

While I'd love to ask Noah Hall about his appearance in what appears to be a fact-challenged Nestle corporate video and his contention that it's "balanced," his blog doesn't accept comments.

I'm concerned that yourself, Hall and Zetland's Aguanomics blog all touted the Nestle corporate video without subjecting it to any real review on the facts - the kind of facts offered up by Olson in the above-referenced comment.

If we're going to witness the rise of a new water punditry on the Internet, then we should at least try to maintain some small bit of grip on the facts.

Olson's comment can be viewed at:


Thanks for your comment, Tom.

You answered my question.

Tom Chandler

"What I'm clumsily asking is this: it is only because it's a bottled water plant that upsets you?"

"Clumsy" could be accurate - you might have researched this before offering up a set of fairly loaded questions based on a Nestle corporate video.

I'm not here to defend FLOW, but I can say many of us are opposed to Nestle's bottling plants due to their repeated use of predatory tactics - many of which I've documented on my site.

For example, when Nestle's Mecosta plant opened, the original pumping levels (levels OK'd by the former DEQ head featured in the Nestle video - who now works for a private property rights group) damaged the watershed, and a judge ordered Nestle to cease pumping entirely.

Nestle reduced its pumping levels to half its original allotment to continue production, and then challenged the decision - not because they weren't damaging the watershed (they clearly were) - but on a legal technicality that gutted the rights of citizens to bring suit under Michigan's environmental law.

While their argument eventually found a receptive audience in a very-conservative Michigan Supreme Court (and that decision will be revisited), what remains clear is when Nestle crows about "no impacts" in their video, they're clearly referring to the pumping levels they were forced to adopt due to citizen action.

In other words, they did the wrong thing, fought to keep doing it, lost, were forced to do the right thing, and now they're crowing about it.

It's an egregious example of corporate spin, and it's amazing they've gotten so many to play along

Sadly, this is only one example of Nestle's litany of dirty tricks. Why am I involved? In a clear attempt to intimidate local opposition to its McCloud, CA plant, Nestle subpoenaed the personal financial records of opponents.

Many of those people are friends of mine, and while I'm far from a raving anti-corporate activist (or even a bottled water hater, though I think it's ridiculous), a quick survey of Nestle's actions in Michigan, Maine, Florida and California convinced me they're a bad corporation - one that strives to impose a predatory business template on small rural communities.

One shining example is the tiny town of Fryeburg, Maine, whom Nestle has sued five times in an attempt to force a 24/7 truck loading station into a residential area. They keep losing (at one point arguing their right to grow market share superceded the town's rights), and it's clear the goal is to bankrupt opponents, not win on legal merit.

I've got a Web site jammed with examples (Nestle's cynical legal maneuverings in Michigan are included).

Nestle really is the bad corporation so many portray it as - one who's shown disregard for water resources (check the history of their Florida plant), bullied opponents through legal means, and repeatedly used predatory tactics to usurp local control. While their video is compelling, it's built atop a lie, and deserves a harder look.

Thank you,
Tom Chandler

David Zetland

Glad you didn't read my review in advance, since otherwise I'd think that you were just copying me. Glad to see that we agree on this film and its bias (I say that they left off "government failure"...)

Good luck with Blue Gold. I can't bring myself to see it just yet...

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