Multimillionaire Chen Guangbiao set out to simply make a point. Instead he made a profit.
Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune in the recycling business and is a high-profile philanthropist, is selling soda pop-sized cans of air, purportedly from far-flung, pristine regions of China such as Xinjiang in the northwest to Taiwan, the southeast coast. He says 10 million cans have sold in the last 10 days as pollution levels climb to record highs.
This is exactly how the current capitalist system is supposed to work.
Businesses of all sizes externalize costs. Which means pumping pollution into the air where everyone suffers so that businesses don't have to pay to dispose of their pollution properly.
More importantly, capitalism functions on scarcity. If something isn't scarce then you can't make money on it.
This applies to clean air and clean water.
Thus our system encourages exactly this outcome, where the rich can breath and the poor choke.
We will eventually see this everywhere unless we stop letting the markets decide what kind of society we will live in.
Who knew that Mel Brooks was foretelling the future?
8:30 PM PT: Don midwest had the great point of how bottled water cost 1000x more than tap water.
So I did a quick search. As you probably know, one of the largest bottled water companies in the world is Coca Cola. They are also a leader in privatizing public water systems.
Well, as you might have guessed, Coca Cola is also guilty of poisoning rivers.
As dharmafarmer pointed out, Koch industries makes both fracking poisons and water bottles.