Saturday, February 27, 2016
Mark Ruffalo & Bill Maher Expose Degraded State Of Our Water
"The whole nation is Flint. We just don't hear about it until people get sick". Mark Ruffalo on REAL TIME last night.
"I know people don't want to hear about any more bad shit, that hurts you. ...but chloramine - you really gotta put that at the top of your list." Bill Maher on REAL TIME.
Last night's 'Real Time' instalment was notable for not only the way it totally trashed the juvenile Repuke debate the night before ("the level of toilet humor and kindergartners") but also exposing the deplorable state of our municipal water systems. This was especially thanks to guest Mark Ruffalo, currently starring in the Oscar nominated film 'Spotlight', and also nominated for Best Actor. Ruffalo is also the founder of the non -profit: www,waterdefense.org
Ruffalo began by pointing out that contrary to the myth California was some liberal, environmental bastion, it actually more resembled a "regressive, libertarian, wild West oil and gas state". In other words, with California guv Jerry Brown fulfilling the role of John Hickenlooper here in Colorado - both in the pockets of the fossil fuel frackers.
Ruffalo also related taking a group of actors, producers and artists on the 'toxic tour' of LA. This included going to four drill sites in Los Angeles proper, all in relatively poor (91 % minority) neighborhoods. At each venue the fossil-fuel monkeys were using acidification, extreme drilling, fracking to get their stuff out of the ground with horrific health consequence, including nosebleeds, stomach issues and neurological problems as well as asthma.
As he pointed out, sadly - thanks to the bought and sold media which prefers PR to facts and truth - "the whole nation is like Flint (Michigan). We just don't hear about it until people get sick".
This then led into the discussion of the mass use of a toxic water purifier called chloramine, with Bill Maher referencing a recent visit by activist Erin Brockovitch to get people to pay attention to what's happening to their water. Chloramine is a cheaper substitute for chlorine - that used to be used in the 'old' days (1960es, 70s) but has now become too expensive for budget -stressed, low tax cities that think they can run only on Repuke administrations and "less government".
Chloramines (one form of which is what was used to purify the water in Flint) are basically ammonia and chlorine compounds that are far more corrosive to lead pipes (which are all across the country) than chlorine. As Bill read out the chloramine -affected cities: Washington, DC, San Francisco, LA, Denver, Miami, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Diego, Portland, Austin, Houston - viewers had to sit up and take note, or should have.
As Bill also pointed out: "It kills all fish and other animals, people on kidney dialysis treatments can't drink it and these should be indicators that maybe we shouldn't be using it"
As Ruffalo asked: "We are one of the biggest industrial nations in the world. Why can't we trust the water that comes out of our tap?"
Then answering: "Because we don't trust the agencies that are supposed to take care of us! We're the richest country in the world and we don't give a damn about our people!"
Which is also a point I've made multiple times before, in connection with the refusal to label GMO foods, the extent of fracking's contamination of our air, soil and water and the use of cancer causing pesticides and weedicides. All have been swept under the rug by a complicit and now useless media that is often compromised by having the CEOs of the offending industries sitting on their boards.
The water and lead contamination issue has only come to the fore because of the outside investigations of a Univ. Of Virginia prof who found extraordinary corrosion in lead pipes- thanks to a chloramine used to disinfect Flint River water. But now we know this isn't confined to Flint by any means as noted in a recent WSJ piece ('Lead Pipes Vex Many Cities').
The piece noted that Flint alone "has no choice but to spend an estimated $55 million to replace all the lead pipes leading to homes".
"Now, utility officials across the country are calculating the cost of getting rid of their lead water lines, a task that could take years, disrupt tens of millions of homes and businesses and require billions of dollars in spending".
Will the cheapskate bastards who rule our cities finally raise taxes and get the damned job done? Not bloody likely, despite the risk that hundreds of Flints are now likely to erupt in the coming years thanks to: 1) using cheap disinfectants to purify water supplies, and 2) inattention to our overall crumbling infrastructure -which some morons actually believe to be just a ruse of the American Society for Civil Engineers. What? So THEY can get rich? Give me a fuckin' break. But I suppose these deadheads think it's similar to "climate scientists getting rich from the global warming hoax".
The bottom line, as the article also notes, is the EPA estimates there are "10 million lead service lines that link water mains in streets to buildings"
The American Water Works Association, which represents 4,000 water utilities, estimates the average cost for each replacement line at about $5,000 - for a total of $32. 5 billion (based on a lower limit of 6.5 million lines to replace).
Tracy Mehan III, executive director of government affairs for the AWWA believes all lead lines will eventually have to be replaced, adding that municipalities will likely have to raise funds through a blend of local, state and federal sources"
And dare I say the T -word? Yes, I will: TAXES!