San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Monday, February 8, 2016

Waste All The Water You Want

I was watching a mildly interesting Super Bore yesterday when a commercial came on telling me how to behave.  I am always interested in commercials that inform me that I am stupid and uncaring if I do not behave the way the producer of the commercial wants me to.  Most of the time these commercials are produced by the government and paid for by the taxpayers.  All of the ads from the Ad Council that tell me to stop bullying and "pay it forward," whatever that means, are of this genre.  To my surprise this commercial was paid for by a profit seeking corporation.  Here is a brief description of the commercial:
"Colgate toothpaste will air its first Super Bowl ad in February's game, and it has little to do with oral care. The 30-second spot titled 'Save Water' aims to focus on the millions of gallons of water people waste by leaving the tap running while brushing their teeth.  The ad will be an adaptation of a 60-second ad originally created by Y&R Peru for the brand in Latin America last year. It will dovetail with an #EveryDropCounts social-media campaign, a spokeswoman for Colgate said in an e-mail. It all aims to point out that Americans on average waste 4 gallons of water per day by leaving the faucet running while brushing their teeth. The ad is set to air during the two-minute warning during the second half"
I have several comments to make about this advertising campaign and none of them are good.  Let's start with the fact that it is never good business to insult your customers.  I switch back and forth between Colgate and Crest.  After being told that I am a stupid idiot who does not even know how to brush his teeth properly I will no longer be using Colgate.  I do not appreciate having the money I spend for a tube of toothpaste being used to make a commercial telling me what to do. What business is it of Colgate's if I choose to keep the water running while I brush my teeth?  And where did they come up with that ridiculous "four gallon" number for the amount of water that allegedly runs down the drain while the "average Amerikan" brushes his teeth?  I find that impossible to believe.  Do the math yourself.  Fill up four one gallon jugs with water and slowly pour them down the drain while you are brushing your teeth.  By the time you have finished pouring the water down the drain you teeth will have either dissolved away from the hours of abrasion or you will be left with a mouthful of bloody stumps where your teeth used to be.  Come on Colgate people, have some respect for common sense.
Why is Colgate even concerned about water conservation in the first place?  What right does the Colgate company have to tell me how to brush my teeth?  I can't believe that Colgate would pay the $5 million it costs to run a 30 second ad telling me to turn off my faucet.  There is no way they can recover that cost.  So what are they up to?  My best guess is they are pandering to the greenies among us, hoping that they can convince them to buy Colgate products because the company is so obviously green.  Pandering to greenies is, I believe, a good way to increase profits these days.  Pandering to the semi-greenies is even better.  That is not because so many people have become tree-hugging environmentalists.  I believe it is simply because so many people want to pretend, due to peer pressure, that they "care about the environment," whatever that means.  People will pay a premium to be able to tell themselves that they are environmentally aware even though that awareness has no impact upon their daily behavior whatsoever.  Those people are the semi-greenies.  You can always spot them from a mile away.  They will engage in all sorts of tokenistic environmental behaviors that have no impact upon the real world but that allow them to tell themselves they are good people who care about mother earth, whatever that means.
The commercial was entitled "Save Water."  I had no idea that water was in need of saving.  Human beings are in desperate need of salvation but, the last time I checked, water was doing just fine.  There is no hell for water to go to when it dies, if it could die, which it can't.  Even if there were a hell for water to go to it would most likely put out the fire.  Of course I suspect if I asked the advertising executives at Colgate why they entitled the ad campaign "Save Water" they would not tell me it is due to the fact that water suffers from the consequences of original and actual sin.  On the contrary, I suspect I would be told that water suffers from the sinful activities of men, as men open their faucets and allow water to run, unused, down the drain.  I am not sure what that sin is but I am pretty sure most people believe it to be a sin to waste water, whatever that means.
Colgate and its greenie constituents would not have to spend $5 million on a Super Bore ad if the government would get out of the water business.  As is always the case, if there is a problem with water, and I believe there is, it can be traced to the activities of the government.  The problem with water, however, is not that people waste it.  The problem with water is that government claims ownership of all of it.  Water should be just like any other commodity.  It should be traded on the free market and it should be priced according to the inexorable law of supply and demand.  If water were to be regulated by the free market rather than the various governments which claim ownership over it, we would find that its price would vary widely around various parts of  the country as the relative supply and demand for it would set its price.  The best way to "conserve" water, if that is a desirable or even a possible outcome, is to let the price mechanism do the work for us.  I would put a lot less water on my lawn in the summer if I had to pay ten times the price I currently pay for it.  Thinking realistically I believe we all know that a free market in water will never happen because career politicians would lose too many votes from constituents who have become dependent upon taxpayer subsidized prices for their water.  So rather than letting the free market conserve water career politicians and their lackeys use guilt manipulative television commercials to do their work for them.
I conclude my post today with what will, no doubt, be a revelation for Colgate and the greenies who admire the company.  There is a physical law which tells the informed among us that energy can be neither created nor destroyed.  That is a rather simple concept that even a simpleton like me can understand.  There is another simple concept that is incomprehensible to all career politicians, environmentalists and Colgate executives.  Water can neither be created nor destroyed.  It is impossible to "waste" water.  Every drop of water that was created by God thousands of years ago is still here.  There is not one more drop of water in the universe today than there was the day God created it.  Water may exist in different conditions (liquid, solid, gas) but the total amount of water on the earth is exactly the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow, even if I leave my faucet running all night long.  Since the total amount of water extant on the earth never changes it necessarily follows that it is a meaningless concept to speak of conserving it.  Water is always conserved.  It is conserved by the earth itself.  And not only does the earth conserve water, it purifies it as well.  The natural water cycle, controlled by the providence of God Himself,  regularly cleanses all of the water on the earth more efficiently and effectively than the most expensive government operated water purification plant.  I suspect that gets to the heart of the issue for career politicians, environmentalists and the Colgate company.....they want to play god and attribute to themselves the ability to conserve water.  That is called idolatry and is not a good idea to practice it.


  1. Dear Welshy,

    For once I have to disagree with you. I have a relative who allows probably 10-15 gallons of water per day go down the drain while he brushes his teeth. I turn off the water while I brush. His monthly water usage during the winter months is regularly 2000 gallons more than mine. That’s over 60 gallons per day more. I admit that he also runs the water for 3-4 minutes while scrubbing his banana each morning. Personally, I just cut the ends off my bananas and squeeze them out from the other end; a squeezed banana always tastes better than a peeled banana. I also will admit that he has prostate problems while Mata, my hairy little wife, and I tend to use the forested area in our back yard to answer “nature’s call”. Even taking into account 20-30 extra flushes per day and one super clean unpeeled banana, his tooth brushing uses a lot of water each day, far more than four gallons

    Growing up in the jungle, there was a communal watering hole used by all the local animals: elephants, rhinos, hippos, zebras, peccaries, lions, bears, wolverines, pumas, etc. It was a fairly large body of water. There also was a very small pond back in the thicket which was close to our trees and inaccessible to all but the smallest animals. All us chimps would bathe in and drink from this small pond and use it for cooling off in the hot summer months. However, after several months of splashing in it and drinking from it, the pond would be almost dried up by the beginning of the next rainy season. That’s why my mammy would always tell us kids, “Ya’ll conserve that water now, ya hear?” Even us stupid little chimps realized the prudency of that exhortation. That’s because one summer we didn’t heed her exhortation and used up all the water in our pond by mid-summer. (We shouldn’t have had so many water balloon fights!) For the rest of the summer we had to bathe in and drink from the communal watering hole. Now Welshy, I understand that you probably had to put up with some mighty primitive conditions growing up as a poor Welsh boy, but did you ever have to drink from a pond where rhinos, hippos, and elephants were depositing poo by the ton, and which always had a yellow tinge? Believe you me, I learned the meaning of “conserve” really quickly. There might have been the same number of water drops on earth that summer as other summers, but I learned that I preferred to use water drops from some place other than the communal watering hole. I may be a semi-greenie, but find that preferable to being brown and yellow.

    Lancelot Link
    Secret Chimp, A.P.E

    1. Mr. Link:
      Actually, your argument proves my point about the conservation of water. I am beginning to think that, in addition to be a member of A.P.E, you might also be a member of SAPS (Socialists to Advance Parasitic Simians).
      The fact that water is conserved does not mean that it is not fungible. Water can be moved from place to place and presented in various conditions of purity without abandoning the doctrine of its complete conservation. You describe examples of the fungible nature of water that do not harm the doctrine of its absolute conservation.
      The Welsh are familiar with your water problems. We have long conducted experiments involving the relative purity of our many streams and rivers. The basic question is this, how far downstream from a cow is it safe to drink the water? Many Welshmen have taken ill in an attempt to answer that question.