Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Among Other Things, Our Water's Rotten

There's a famous line in Hamlet where he says, "Something's rotten in the state of Denmark." (At least, I think it was him.) But there's more than one thing rotten in the state of the USA. You can write your own litany. I just want to talk about one: the watercourses of this nation. Inspiration from this piece I ran across recently. A long while back, I think it was in the Nixon administration, the Environmental Protection Agency was established to keep track of how we're screwing up the ecology of the nation and to enforce what laws the people passed to preserve it. Well, way down the line from then--and the environment was pretty screwed up then--we are here. And the EPA reports that more than half--MORE THAN HALF--the water in the United States is unfit for living things. 
Fifty-five percent of U.S. river and stream lengths were in poor condition for aquatic life, largely under threat from runoff contaminated by fertilizers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday.
High levels of phosphorus and nitrogen, runoff from urban areas, shrinking ground cover and pollution from mercury and bacteria were putting the 1.2 million miles of streams and rivers surveyed under stress, the EPA said.
"Under stress"--a polite euphemism for "not fit water to support insect life and crawfish." Do you realize how filthy bad water has to be not to support a mud bug?
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