Tag Archives | air

‘Spaceballs’ Is Now: Air, Water And The Monetization of Human Life

perri-airImagine going for a walk in the park with your family, your child runs up to the water fountain and presses the button for some a bit of refreshment.  Nothing comes out.  At first she’s confused, but sees the coin slot/card swipe that will sell you 15 second of flowing water for just 50 cents.  You as a loving dad, pull out your card and swipe it so she can have a drink.  Think this image is impossible?  Do you imagine this to be something only a mad man would think of, to deprive humans of the right to water?  Unfortunately there are interests buying up rights to all clean water sources.  People like oil baron, T. Boone Pickens and Nestle chairman, Peter Brabeck see water as a commodity like any other, not a right.  The Nestle chairman explains his stance in light of his goal to treat water as a foodstuff and the outrage his views have caused:

 “The fact is they [activists] are talking first of all only about the smallest part of the water usage,” he says.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Selling Fresh Air In Cans

The smog in China is now so bad that an entrepreneur is successfully selling cans of fresh air. He says he’s not doing it to make a profit, but just wait until he’s created an insatiable demand. For those of you who thing it’s ridiculous, what would your grandparents have thought about your regularly buying small bottles of water for $5? Maureen Chowdhury reports for NPR:

In response to the growing concern over China’s air pollution, a theatrical Chinese entrepreneur is selling cans of fresh air.

Chen Guangbiao, a multimillionaire, philanthropist and environmentalist, is selling each can for 5 yuan (80 cents) according to…

Continue Reading

Selling The Rights To The Air Above The City

Where else could we be headed? Artist Theo Games Spetrophilos talks to We Make Money Not Art regarding his Air Futures project, a dystopian vision of a future commodities market for the air around us:

Generally speaking, owning or renting land or a building gives one the right to use and develop the air rights. What would happen if the regulation of air rights was given free rein, if air became a commodity that could be bought and sold? How would the trade physically manifest itself? Can we imagine that one day an Air Bank will open in the heart of Manhattan?

Air Futures is the speculative evolution of the air rights trade in New York, where volumes of ‘air’ are bought and sold to facilitate complex development manoeuvres over the city’s grid.

At the moment, the air rights trade allows the transfer of these developable volumes under strict rules. For example, you sell the space above your building, and the new owner can build his new building over your plot or bend over it.

Read the rest

Continue Reading