Odds and Ends
Everything is possible when you don't believe
26 10, 10:27pm
Would the problem in Puerto Rico be recent? Because I generally don't include the aftermath of a natural disaster in my considerations of how far we've come.
Flint is, a special case that I hope doesn't repeat. I was under the impression it was caused in much the same manner as Minamata, Japan's issues, but on further reading, it looks like a black swan event. Someone didn't take into consideration that not all water sources, otherwise safe, were equal. The great thing about black swans is, once you see one, they're obvious, so, hopefully no one else will make the same mistake elsewhere. It becomes one more thing on the checklist.
I didn't say the water was perfect. Nor did I say the air was. I said it was better than it was, and it's still improving. Just in the past ten years, urea injection in diesel engines has greatly improved the air quality at stoplights...and going uphill following an 18-wheeler.
The regulations have gotten tighter over the years, and some communities haven't kept up with the pace of those regulations, sometimes even with upgraded or modern plants. This doesn't mean the water today isn't as good as the water in the 1960's. Most likely, in most places, it's far superior. Flint would be a probable exception, since it represents a mismatch of water source and pipe.
But complaining about these things is like whipping a galloping horse, because we haven't made it to the finish, yet.
I fully expect that some day, the superior plastic pipes we use today will be identified for something, maybe estrogen analogues in the water, and there'll be a hue and cry to upgrade again, to some newer pipe that is somehow superior to the currently superior pipe.