Barack’s got a drinking problem … that has to end

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Barack Obama has a serious problem in terms of his personal habits.

It isn’t that fact that, according to The Washington Post, Obama is too perfect and the rest of America’s males can’t keep up.

It isn’t his sneaking around smoking cigaretters while putting forward policy to cut youth smoking.  

Considering the fact that the last President was an alcoholic, it seems reasonable to wonder why there is all of this attention on a few cigarettes and not a word on Obama’s drinking problem. A problem, by the way, that he shares with 100s of millions (if not billions around the world) and which is documented as helping wreak havoc on global society. Alcoholism can be so ruthless, despite having countless therapies and other such programs attempt to cure this condition, which can be extremely difficult to treat. Books about alcoholism, lectures, support groups have been made available as well, to every individual living in the country; still, this demon lingers on, capable of devouring countless people each year.

Barack loves water in a plastic bottle.  

Between 2002 and 2005 Americans increased their use of personal sized bottled water 13 billion bottles to nearly 28 billion bottles
, making our share of the world consumption 17%.  And yet there are few places in the US where the tap water is not potable – we do not have the problem – so endemic in much of the world (Mexico City, anyone?) – of water that might get you sick.  And in fact much of the bottled water we buy IS tap water.  Water, like many non-carbonated drinks, is packaged largely in bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), of which Jackson notes

  • it is made from petroleum [and it takes a LOT of petroleum to move it around — think 1/3rd of bottle as filled with gasoline and you’re about right)
  • only 14.5% of the bottles for non-carbonated drinks are recycled
  • this puts 2 million tons into our landfills
  • the bottles do not degrade for hundreds of years

Michelle Obama is leading the way, from the bully pulpit of the White House lawn, on the value of fresh (organic) gardens grown in our own soil.  President Obama can easily take a step forward by moving beyond plastic bottles to tap — whether served in a glass or in a reusable (steel? metal?) bottle.   Michelle’s garden won’t make a dent in our nation’s obesity or global warming problems, but the millions now gardening in part because they watch her as a role model can.  President Obama drinking from a glass of water won’t make a dent in solving our oil addiction and helping prepare us for Peak Oil, but the millions who might choose to save some money by drinking (filtered) tap water might make a dent.

Symbols matter as part of leadership. That casual reaching out for a plastic water bottle is not leadership in the right direction.

It is time for President Obama to end his drinking problem, to take the leap and leave those plastic bottles behind.

Okay, and by the way, the water in water bottles is not (NOT) healthier for you than tap water in most parts of the United States and even around the globe and is far (FAR) more expensive, not just for society, for you.

Other discussions to look at:

Some resources to consider:

While Penn and Teller are global warming deniers, sometimes that can make a point:


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  1. Seriously, a few calls might well work the job.  Imagine a stainless steel bottle with the presidential seal.  Awesome.

    send this diary to the man

    • Inky99 on July 7, 2009 at 12:42 am

    I’m sure that’s a factor with him.


  3. You totally had me!

    My hat goes over too you humbly, good diarist.

    But what will you do for an encore?

  4. Post July 4th weekend. One weekend, one small Long Island suburban town.

    Recycleables rescued from the woods, a local sump, and several stupormarkets. Note well how much of this is plastic water bottles of one form or another.

    If I didn’t make an effort to recycle this stuff, NO ONE WOULD. It would still be laying where it was, or sent into landfills with mainstream trash.

    Chlorosilane approves of your essay. ;-7

    • Edger on July 7, 2009 at 2:22 am

    probably uses ice cubes made in plastic trays. Let’s face it – the guy is hopeless. 😉

    • marc5 on July 7, 2009 at 3:01 am

    On the business circuit it’s almost impossible for me to entirely avoid plastic water bottles, but I have managed to mostly eliminate home usage. I think it would be easier for the President to manage as he has a staff to lug around glasses and/or his own water “barrel”.

    I’m with you, this is a simple lead-by-example bully pulpit action that can make a difference.  

  5. I drank two bottles of water today while working outside, and the guy i got to help me had two. I recycle EVERYTHING. Even my dog eats the contents of the vacuum cleaner if she finds where I dump it outside. Food issues. Rescue dog.

    Crazy as hell.

    But still…I know better.

    I even have a steel bottle. 🙁

  6. we accumulated and the worry of leeching so we popped for a water filter under the sink. Costs less then 15$ a month for new filters and I don’t have to lug bottles home or deal with recycling them. We have steel water bottles we then fill for either outside or walks/biking and the gym. I even give my cats ‘whole wheat water’ as my mother in law called it. I just leave the water bottles on the window seal so I don’t forget them.

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