Thursday, May 06, 2010

Black Gold

--Water, Pavel Constantin (Romania)

Down by the banks of the River Charles

That's where you'll find me

Along with lovers, muggers, and thieves.

I love that dirty water

--Dirty Water
, The Standells

Up from the ground came a bubbling crude.
Oil that is. Black gold. Texas tea.

--Beverly Hillbillies
theme song

Dirty water and Willie Horton ushered George H.W. into the Bush White House, and in a sense set the tone for the world to come.

Bush 41, the child of Ronald Reagan, viewed terrorism as warfare, and this legacy still affects our daily lives. George W. Bush took those ideas and turned terrorism and warfare on its head. All with the help of dirty water and a touch of racism.

Today we are flipping out over perceived terror threats when real threats to our health and safety are not being addressed by any level of government.

The dirty water is back, both in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the tap water of Boston ("'Boil-Water' Issued for Nearly 2 Million in Mass.")
Millions of Bostonians were left without water last week when the system failed. It is but a few days in such a situation to disease and pestilence. What happens when the water and sewer systems of the older, tax-starved, rust-belt (former) metropolises -- Cleveland, Buffalo, Detroit -- crash?

According to the Boston Globe [a paper that almost went bankrupt last year], "
A major pipe bringing water to the Boston area sprung a 'catastrophic' leak dumping eight million gallons of water per hour into the Charles River." Connections in a series of Rube Goldberg connecting pipes which had patched the "riddled with leaks" 1940's Hultman aqueduct failed. Speaking on the pipe failure, Governor Deval Patrick said, "We have so much neglected infrastructure."

The BP oil spill and the Boston water failure show threats come in many packages, and we ignore the less sexy ones at our peril. Terrorism is a threat, yet it pales to insignificance when compared to Hurricanes Andrew or Katrina, massive oil spills and the crumbling utility infrastructures of our cities.

The Environmental Protection Agency's website cites water profligacy and an "infrastructure gap" for both wastewater and drinking water over the next 20 years, and addressing the repairs could top $200 billion (at today's costs.)

When the inevitable happens, what level of government
will possess the funds and ability to address the calamity? Should cities like Detroit even be saved, and is the cost worthwhile? The same formula should have been applied to the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) before we deployed one set of boots to occupy foreign ground. Our own ground has rotten, past-expiration date utilities under the surface -- that should take priority in our national interest.

Our government is
reactive versus proactive in all actual threat areas. It fails to reform decrepit financial instruments; it fails to protect us from avoidable oil spills off our shores, and fails to protect us from predictably failing utilities. All of these situations pose a significantly greater threat to our well-being than a shoe- or underwear bomber

Bacteria in our water is more dangerous than the terrorists that we are told want to kill us. There is bacteria in my water but there sure aren't any terrorists camped out in the alleys.

Willie Horton is gone, but the dirty water remains.

--Jim and Lisa

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous CTuttle said...

Aloha, Jim and Lisa

I'm planning on taking military hops to the Gulf Coast to volunteer/blog the clean up in Jul/Aug. I'm taking the Hazwoper course to be able to participate in the cleanup. I'm anticipating on starting along the Texas coast and work my way along the Red Neck Riviera to Fla...! I'd love to meet ya'll(finally...!)

Friday, May 7, 2010 at 3:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Aloha, CT,

Thank you for helping. Our meet-up is a must.


Friday, May 7, 2010 at 4:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

We'll go out of our way to link up. I actually like ALA so we'd come there also, if need be.
Keep us informed.

Friday, May 7, 2010 at 5:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

Good post! I remember reading some about the failing infrastructure a few years ago in the wake of the bridge collapse in MN(?). For profit privatization of what was once public utilities is having a long term devastating effect on our nations urban centers. Water is of course the most obvious and deadly. Because Jim and Lisa are absolutely right that it only takes a few days before diseases began to appear. And the economic crunch felt by municipalities and states can only make matters worse. And of course teabaggers would rather see Americans bath in bacteria infested water then pay another dime on a Hamilton. And rather see the entire Gulf fisheries destroyed then require corporations like BP to maintain reasonable safety standards. A teabagger I allowed on my FaceBook page made that clear when talking about corporate regulations and said "you can't legislate morals and ethics". Never mind that the entire body of laws is the legislation of morals and ethics.

Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 6:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

Hey CTuttle, any relation to the star of Man with a Plan Fred Tuttle? And add my thanks for the clean-up help. I wish I was in a position to help.

Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 6:54:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Ain't the 10 commandments a form of legislation?
Ain't teabaggers and right wing crazies bound by that legislation?
Just askin'
Fuck me dead.

Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 12:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BBC today..

"ain't no wake-up call loud enough, no mo, no mo.."

Nature loss 'to damage economies'

By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News
The abundance of mammals, birds, reptiles and other creatures is falling rapidly
The Earth's ongoing nature losses may soon begin to hit national economies, a major UN report has warned.

The third Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) says that some ecosystems may soon reach "tipping points" where they rapidly become less useful to humanity.

Such tipping points could include rapid dieback of forest, algal takeover of watercourses and mass coral reef death.

Last month, scientists confirmed that governments would not meet their target of curbing biodiversity loss by 2010.

Continue reading the main story
Humanity has fabricated the illusion that somehow we can get by without biodiversity

Achim Steiner
UN Environment Programme
"The news is not good," said Ahmed Djoglaf, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

"We continue to lose biodiversity at a rate never before seen in history - extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher than the historical background rate."

The global abundance of vertebrates - the group that includes mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish - fell by about one-third between 1970 and 2006, the UN says.

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 7:36:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The acidification of the worlds oceans is a point that gets short shrifted and gets little play in the media.
Why is this not a concern???

Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:53:00 AM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home