We have gone through a typical exciting news day in the Prozac Nation. Browsing through the headlines from the Corporate Media, what major issues confront the American people today?
Was it Obama's foreign policy blunders in the South China Sea? The policies that cost us billions of tax dollars and ended up losing US military navigation and oil development rights to China?
Was it the Pentagon's slight oversight in Turkey that has now placed an atomic missile base and two squadrons of F-22s into the hands of a Moslem Brotherhood madman?
Maybe it was the third fatal ambush of police officers in Kansas City today.
No, it was none of these things. What we learned today is that Melanie, Michelle, and Loretta are accusing each other of copying their speeches. Gretchen and Meghan are saying that an older guy made a pass at them. Taylor is having trouble with her new boyfriend. Some bad boys are fighting outside the convention in Cleveland.
Buried deep behind these important topics was the minor story that 330 people in Utah have been poisoned by toxic levels of Cyanobacteria which began in Utah Lake and spread into the Jordan River. Farmers have been prohibited from using the contaminated water and already the toxins have taken a toll on local livestock and wildlife.
This isn't the only problem with Cyanobacteria in the US: Florida has been forced to declare a state of emergency in four counties because of this toxin. The citrus crop is endangered and beaches have closed.
The Politically-Correct Department of the Interior blames this phenomenon on overuse of fertilizers. The reality is that United States has invested practically nothing in water treatment technologies since the 1970s and nothing in water supply infrastructure since the 1960s. We have seen in Flint and Detroit that drinking water supplies are contaminated generally in the US, and an investigative report from The Guardian discovered 33 other cities with dangerously high levels of lead before they were pressured to stop testing.
Salmon tested in the Pacific Northwest have been found contaminated with dangerously high levels of narcotics, mostly amphetamines and cocaine. Seattle and Portland have among the highest national levels of drug users in the world, and their pretentions of being America's Greenest Cities, their wastewater treatment facilities are obviously failing. The narcotic levels in the wastewater there also likely accounts for public indifference to the problem.
The American Society of Civil Engineers warns that US Wastewater Treatment System is well on its way to complete failure. The majority of sewer systems currently operating in the US were installed in the late 1940s. "the condition of many of these systems is poor, with aging pipes and inadequate capacity leading to the discharge of an estimated 900 billion gallons of untreated sewage each year."
So where does all this untreated sewage go? According to a 2009 EPA survey of US Waterways (apparently the last year the EPA bothered to conduct such a survey), "36% of stream miles were unfit for use by fish and wildlife; 28% were unfit for human recreation; 18% were unfit for use as a public water supply; and 10% unfit for agricultural use."
This explains in large measure why we are experiencing outbreaks of diseases like cholera, typhus, and plague in many urban areas. Many pundits here attribute these diseases to immigration; the reality is that our own negligence of basic sanitation are causing them.
The United States was formerly the world leader in water technology. Today, Germany leads the world in wastewater treatment, with Russia and China not far behind. German water technology exports amount to $1.1 billion annually, or 33% of the EU market share. The new technologies, besides their efficiency, are also relatively inexpensive. Developing countries are investing in German technology, including a new plant in Mexico City which will be one of the world's largest when completed in 2017.
With fish dying of narcosis and agricultural lands disappearing before drought and pollution, will the US reclaim its leadership role in water reclamation again? Not likely. The ASCE reports that Congressional spending on these projects is about 1/10 of what is needed: with most allocations going to repair, little for new systems, and none for research and development.
And the American public is unlikely to care especially about these issues either. Cyanobacteria poisoning, cholera outbreaks, and water pollution can all be tolerated, so long as the sewage comes from transgender-friendly toilets.