Does Flint, Michigan have clean water yet?

The Ongoing Water Crisis In Flint Is Black Genocide

And Governor Snyder should be in prison.

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It has been over 1,600 days and Flint, Michigan still does not have clean water.

And the contaminated waters effects will damage lives for a lifetime.

On April 25, 2014, Flint, Michigan switched from water purchased from the City of Detroit to water pumped from the Flint River. This was Governor Snyder's way to save money. I'm sure he could have just cut his salary, but that's neither here nor there. It wasn't long before people began complaining about the waters poor quality.

In October 2014 General Motors took its local auto plant off of the Flint water. According to them, the water was corroding engine parts. That January, the state office building had filtered water coolers installed to improve the water quality.

Shortly after that, it was found out that in addition to disease-causing bacteria and carcinogens, the Flint water was loaded with lead.

The levels of lead were 13,000 parts per billion. According to professor Marc Edwards, an internationally recognized water safety expert at Virginia Tech University, "If one glass of that water was ingested, that could hospitalize a child."

On Sept. 24, 2015, A group of doctors urged Flint to stop using the Flint River for water after finding high levels of lead in Flint children. They were dismissed as state regulators insisted the water is safe.

And then on June 14, 2017, it Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon was accused of failing to alert the public about an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the Flint area.

Almost 5 years later, Flint, Michigan is still dealing with contaminated and poisonous water and its long-term effects.

The local government in Flint, Michigan decided that the people living in the communities they were charged in taking care of were so unimportant and disposable that they forced them to drink water so contaminated that it corroded car engines. Let that sink in. And make no mistake, this was not an oversight or an accident. After so many complaints, they decided that the water wasn't good enough for them to drink, which is why the installed filters in their state building, but purposely continued to let these communities of color use this water. Pregnant women and children drank and bathed in this water for years.

Lead-contaminated water leads to anemia, slowed growth, and hearing problems in young children. For pregnant women it causes underdeveloped fetuses and premature births.

And now, 5 years later researchers from the University of Kansas and West Virginia University have said that the lead-contaminated water in Flint may be linked to higher fetal death rates and lower fertility rates in Flint. They have said that fertility rates had decreased by 12%, while fetal death rates increased by 58%.

How long will it be before we call this as it is? The local government knowingly poisoned an entire black community, and have continued to deny it while making minimal efforts to fix the water supply. Officially 12 people have died from Legionnaire, and 119 from pneumonia, but many think the death toll connected to the water may be way higher. Add in the fetal death rates and lower fertility rates ... this is black genocide.


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Environmental Fun Facts

After 3/4 of a semester, I realized my organizer had a fun fact every week.
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So, I recently discovered that my organizer is filled with environmental facts for every week. I figured I would share them.

Plastics take 100-400 years to decompose in a landfill. (Why you should #refusethestraw)

Apparently, every year the US produces enough plastic to shrink-wrap all of Texas.

Glass never wears out so it can be recycled forever. Fun fact from Farrah: glass is a liquid that moves really slowly.

You can reduce carbon emissions by 850 lbs a year by recycling all waste newsprint, cardboard, glass and metal from your home.

The US produces 21.5 million tons of food waste. If we composted all of this food, it reduces emissions at a rate equivalent to taking 2 million cars off of the road.

We could heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years with the amount of wood and paper thrown away.

In 2004, 55 billion aluminum cans were wasted! It only takes 46 billion to fill the Empire State Building 20 times!

On average, a person throws out 4lbs of garbage a day.

These facts really put our waste into perspective. We live in a throw away society. If everyone made an effort just to be a little more conscience about waste, it could make huge impact.

These fun facts have been provided by my House of Doolittle Recycled Planner.

Cover Image Credit: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/stanford.ucomm.newsms.media/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/10165436/environment_GettyImages-501231894.jpg

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Solving Climate Change Is The Key To Solving Poverty

Two insurmountable problems, one solution.

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It is rare that anything happens in a vacuum. Even more than most things, poverty is intertwined with a number of other issues facing our society. One issue you may not have connected to poverty though is climate change. For one thing, "extremely poor people cannot lift themselves out of poverty without access to reliable energy." This has to be done though without increasing and preferably reducing pollution, and carbon emissions.

This is easier said than done when "achieving universal electricity access by 2030 would result in only a 2% increase in global emissions." This is why the "rhetorical link the UN is making between anti-poverty and anti-climate " is important "it will push the environmental movement to focus its efforts where they should always have been - on wind and solar – and to make sure that the cost of new technology is borne by those who can afford it."

With both poverty and climate change being such major problems they can appear insurmountable, but they can even be tackled together. One of the best ways to reduce poverty is with jobs, and "solar and wind jobs have grown at rates of about 20% annually in recent years, and sustainability now collectively represents four to four and a half million jobs in the U.S., up from 3.4 million in 2011."

With this, we need to focus on how to help green energy businesses. Where to start? Well, currently "a total of $20.5 billion annually in corporate welfare" goes to fossil fuels, "how does this compare to renewable energy subsidies? In terms of permanent tax expenditures, fossil fuels beat renewables by a 7-1 margin."

An investment in renewable energy could both help us create jobs, and reduce carbon emissions. You might be thinking "what about the jobs we'd lose in reducing the fossil fuel? Wouldn't that pretty much just balance this whole thing out?" The thing is, the jobs are in renewables, not fossil fuel.

With all that the answer becomes apparent. We can increase jobs, reduce emissions, and help alleviate poverty and climate change. It's a win-win situation, and all it would take is altering where we send our funds.

If you would like to learn more about it than you can look at the UN's plan, and the World Bank's thoughts on the issue.

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