Matthew Dons: A Walk Around His Tokyo

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Matthew Dons: A Walk Around His Tokyo

In the eyes of Matthew Dons, whomever you are in this world, if you could make it over to Japan, you absolutely should be here. Why? Because Japan.
Today on the podcast, we take a long walk past the houses and trains, the fields and shrines, while looking at how things work here compared to anywhere else. There is learning but there is also a lot of laughing, mostly my own. Listen and enjoy.
Reminder also, Matthew is fighting to live longer, in a relentless battle against cancer; you can help his family afford this struggle by going to http://matthewdons.org and join the almost 900 people that have already donated.

Marcela Olivera: After the Water Wars

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Marcela Olivera: After the Water Wars
Photo by Kris Krug / Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/

Photo by Kris Krug / Flickr

The year was 2000 and on the streets of Cochabamba, Bolivia, people marched and demonstrated against the privatization of their water.  In what became known as the water wars, the people on the streets emerged victorious, kicking out private water companies and re-instating the municipal system.

It was a huge moment in the war for who controls public resources, but as Marcela Olivera explains on the program today, it was only one battle is a very long process that is complicated and incomplete.  But the core question remains as it did in 2000, who has the right to claim and control resources that are essential for human existence?

Food and Water Watch

Making Private Water Public Again

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Making Private Water Public Again
Tap Water

Photo by Sammcox/ flickr

Has your water utility been privatized in the past decade? Are today’s water companies really investing in infrastructure and improvements? How much democracy is there in your water bill? If any of these questions sound familiar, you probably care about who is in charge of bringing water to your home. And after all the promises that came with the privatization of water systems, many cities around the world have determined they want their water utility to be transparent, democratic, and public again. They call it, the re-municipalization of water. And on virtually every continent, it is taking root.

Today on the podcast, in an effort to understand what is happening with water companies and the re-municipalization of water, we hear from Dr. David McDonald of Queen’s University Canada. Over the past few years he has been studying and speaking about what is happening with water around the world.  He co-authored the recent book “Remunicipalisation: Putting Water Back into Public Hands” which looks at case studies of from around the world. Cities like Paris, France; Hamilton, Ontario; Buenos Aries, Argentina; and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. (available for free download)

Visit the Municipal Services Project for more background information and news on this issue.  I also recommend their video below which is a great tool for better understanding what is going on with our water systems.

ctrp359 Fiji Water vs Fiji Government

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Photo by Flickr Member: storm2k

Just over a year ago Anna Lenzer’s exposé on Fiji Water rocked the carefully crafted eco-friendly image the bottled water company once had.  From the political, to the environmental, to human rights issues, the piece featured in Mother Jones Magazine showed that Fiji Water was not the company it claimed to be.

One year later Fiji Water is once again making waves, this time by their own initiatives; announcing the closing of their operation in Fiji followed by a re-opening less then 2 days later.

Anna Lenzer returns to the podcast to talk about what is behind these activities, and what else has been going on over the course of the year since her article was published.

The original piece in Mother Jones: Spin the Bottle
You can also read Anna Lenzer’s recent work on the Mother Jones Blog
We also mentioned Fiji’s announcements on their blog.