Bottled and Sold

Bottled and Sold Cover

Bottled and Sold

The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water

By Peter H. Gleick

Island Press, Paperback, 9781610911627, 211pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2011

Description
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 don 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 years and why we are poorer for it. It'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 scientist's eye and a natural storyteller'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 we ve turned to the bottle, from fearmongering by business interests and our own vanity to the breakdown of public systems and global inequities.
"Designer" H2O may be laughable, but the debate over commodifying water is deadly serious. It comes down to society's choices about human rights, the role of government and free markets, the importance of being "green," 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.


About the Author
Dr. Peter Gleick is renowned the world over as a leading expert, innovator, and communicator on water and climate issues. He co-founded and leads The Pacific Institute in Oakland, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012 as one of the most innovative, independent non-governmental organizations in the fields of water and economic and environmental justice and sustainability. Dr. Gleick's work has redefined water from the realm of engineers to the world of social justice, sustainability, human rights, and integrated thinking. His influence on the field of water has been long and deep: he developed the first analysis of climate change impacts on water resources, the earliest comprehensive work on water and conflict, and defined basic human needs for water and the human right to water work that has been used by the UN and in human rights court cases. He pioneered the concept of the 'soft path for water, ' developed the idea of "peak water," and has written about the need for a "local water movement." Dr. Gleick received the prestigious MacArthur "genius" Fellowship and was named "a visionary on the environment" by the BBC. He was elected both an Academician of the International Water Academy, in Oslo, Norway and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. "Wired Magazine" featured Dr. Gleick as "one of 15 people the next President should listen to." He received his B.S. from Yale University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Gleick serves on the boards of numerous journals and organizations, and is the author of many scientific papers and nine books, including the influential series "The World's Water" and "Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water", as well as "A Twenty-First Century Water Policy".