|David Uessem painted this.|
Unfiltered Fervor: The Rush to Get Off the Water Grid
Dec 2017, NYTimes
Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of living off the grid. I read Walden in college, I studied sustainability in grad school. I love chopping wood and growing my own food and tending my own livestock. Although right now I live in an apartment and do none of those, I support the general idea of sustainability.
But here's news to me - The water consciousness movement. It looks to rid the public of the bad things (flouride, chlorine) put into our water by our omniscient, flawless, and hyper-articulate government so they can dominate us and make us do whatever they want. Raw water is the answer.
"Raw water" has turned into a big market, and people are willing to pay big bucks for water that is pure and never been touched by an ill-intentioned government. And then they get hepatitis and herpes from the water.
But we should consider that flouride in water is one of the great public health interventions of our time, and that chlorine is in your water because it cleans your water. Even if you get your water from the rain, you're supposed to put chlorine in your cistern to kill the little buggers that would eventually grow there and give you diseases. Also, distilled water, by definition, has no minerals at all. But we need some of these minerals, albeit in very small amounts, to remain healthy.
On the other side, our public water infrastructure also tests our water to make sure it isn't contaminated by it's source. That testing is expensive, and I wonder how rigorously is this raw water tested.
Then again, there is the lead thing, and that's a valid concern and a perfect example of where the government messed the f up, and should have a lot to do with why people don't trust their water supply. But the people affected by lead in their water are definitely not the people who can afford to buy this raw water. California tends to be a big market for this stuff.
In this context, it's hard to forget that California was (is?) a desert, and we basically picked up the Colorado River and threw it over the Rocky Mountains to create the largest man-made garden on Earth, which then feeds almost one-fifth of the entire world. [Hyperbole, for effect, but not entirely untrue, read up yourself here.] Is this related? Not sure, but history should be part of a conversation about how we get our water.
I will give props to the company from Arizona that sets you up to extract water from your environment like one of those desert beetles. (Actually, more like rice in a salt shaker, according to the above nyt article).
On the flipside, Paris just fitted their public fountains with carbonated water, or bubbly water, as they call it.
And for the entreprenurial at heart, I was thinking of selling rats that have been "liberated from science" to folks who are against animal testing. Despite the fact that many cosmetics put that little bunny rabbit drawing on their products to signify they haven't been tested on animals, it is against the law to sell cosmetics in the US unless they have been thoroughly tested on animals and then on humans, which means that label is totally bogus, and yet totally legal to put on the product, go figure.
So in the same vein, and to the same audience, you can buy the rats anywhere you want and just say they were taken from cosmetics-testing laboratories. You can raise them as your own cute little pets, and feel good about yourself, and you can even satiate them with water contaminated with herpes!
And, finally, in other news:
Rats free each other from cages
Dec 2011, Nature