Pagan author, Dr. Brendan Myers, has been prompted to put his money where his mouth by pledging to donate the profits from the November sales of these books to a community group called Save Our Water. This comes after a recent move by corporate giant, Nestle, to extract and bottle the water from an aquifer supplying the idyllic small town of Elora, which is both Myers’ hometown and the inspiration for Fellwater, the setting in his fantasy novel series “The Hidden Houses.” The profits from November books sales will be used to help cover the costs involved in fighting Nestle’s extraction plan.
I grew up in the village of Elora, Ontario. As a child I knew its trees, flowers, and berry patches, its creatures great and small, and the sharp edges of the river’s stone walls, and I sometimes felt that they knew me. […]
I set my fantasy fiction series, “The Hidden Houses”, in Elora and its environs, although I renamed it “Fellwater”. In those novels, a faction of villains work to control, or else destroy, a magical water well. In early 2015, Nestlé corporation submitted a proposal to extract and bottle water from the aquifer that feeds the village, and other communities downstream. (A curious case of life imitating art, perhaps; although I’m sure Nestlé’s intentions are merely capitalist, and not the same as those of my antagonists.) […]
Elora’s rich, diverse, delightful, and bountiful watershed, the very flowing heart of the real-world fairyland that I still love, is clearly threatened by industrial water extraction. The company plans to take 1.6 million litres of water every day. That’s almost as much water from the aquifer as the village itself takes; effectively doubling the demand on the ecosystem. Yet where Elora residents pay $2140 per million litres, Nestlé will pay only $3.71 for the same volume.
In a recent interview with The Wild Hunt, Myers explained what he hoped to communicate with this pledge:
I suppose I’m saying that each of us can do more than think we can do, and perhaps more than we presently do, to protect the earth. Modern paganism is not only about spells and rituals and honouring the gods. It’s also about social and political justice. This has been the case since the 1700’s, when the first modern pantheists published tracts against mercantilism and monarchy. It remains true today with the activism work of Reclaiming, The Pagan Federation, and so on. Squabbles about which lineage of British Wicca is “authentic”, or about the relative merits of hard versus soft theism, are in my view red-herring distractions. More important than what you believe, is what you do. So this month I’m donating my royalties to a noble cause. So let’s all drop the hair-splitting and fight the real enemy.
Myers went on to explain that “climate change and global warming is the most important problem of our age— socially, politically, economically, philosophically, and spiritually.”
“We ourselves don’t believe that dancing around the Maypole will make bad weather go away. But when the world left us behind, it also left so much more as well. The idea of the heroic life!:
Myers and Save Our Water are among many others fighting Nestlé. Earlier this year Story of Stuff released a short film telling the story of the struggle to protect a California National Forest from Nestlé’s waterbottling operation during a time of drought. Elsewhere around the world, there are similar stories. As massive corporations like Nestlé attempt to privatize our shared water resources, communities are joining together to fight back, from the United States, to Canada, to India, to Germany and beyond.