Millions of Americans still get their drinking water from lead pipes

Millions of Americans still get their drinking water from lead pipes. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2021, from https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/12/03/millions-of-americans-still-get-their-drinking-water-from-lead-pipes

 

https://www.economist.com/united-states/2020/12/03/millions-of-americans-still-get-their-drinking-water-from-lead-pipes

 

Lead poisioning is a threat that has been affecting the water of U.S. citizens for centuries. But recently, chicago has reached an all time low for unhealthiness concerning their tap. About 400,000 service lines are lead contaminated throughout the windy city. Although mayor lori lightfoot has made a mark on the cities unfortunate situation. Around 800 pipes are replaced every year, but to finish the job it would leak into the mid 26th century. Far too long for citizens to wait. Every year children are exposed to this substance, and are threat to mental defficienies and higher health risk as a result of their exposure. Although mayors are quicker to jump on their feet at problems like these than they were a century ago. For example, flint michigan is putting forth 100 million to mitigate this dilemma. And milwaukee is attempting to replace 1,100 lines per year in hopes to emulate cities like lansing, madison, and green bay. All areas who have successfully beat out the lead. Although, this problem is being tackled 500 years for chicago to have clean tap is a unrealistic time frame that needs to be reduced. 

 

This article highlights one of americas biggest water deficiencies to date. Over 25% of children have been exposed to lead through school pipes, and other sources. In a fast paced environment such as ours, with a rapidly increasing population we have little room for fuckups in terms of our resources. But why is this related to ES? Well, theres a number of reasons. Lets start off with the fact that chicago is an ecosystem. With inhabitants, habitats, natural and artificial resources that need upkeep and have flow. But the disruption to a major resource such as water has detrimental effects on the web that connects all aspects of this environment.
So the better we can understand our short comings when it comes to a life and death resource, the better we can reduce the effects. Overall, showing lead poisonings relation to environmental science. w

Scientists complete first global survey of freshwater fluctuation

Ramsayer, K. (2021, March 04). Scientists complete first global survey of freshwater fluctuation. Retrieved March 09, 2021, from https://phys.org/news/2021-03-scientists-global-survey-freshwater-fluctuation.html

 

https://phys.org/news/2021-03-scientists-global-survey-freshwater-fluctuation.html

 

A new form of measurement has been developed, one very applicable to our current climate crisis. To test the human impact on freshwater sources, satellites use lazer light pulses that are sent every second down to earths bodies of water. Once beamed down, they reflect back and give high precision surface measurements. This way, after large activities or projects are enacted with bodies of water we can see it’s increase or decrease. 

 

This part is more about the articles importance to environmental science rather than its relation, since we already are measuring the environment itself theres no further clarification needed. The reason this invention is so important, is because of the insight it gives us to future endeavors. Our population is growing faster than ever before, and we need to understand it’s impacts on fresh water. Are we loosing more than were generating? Is this rainy season lighter than we expected? Are there any threats being faced towards the great lakes water storage? Questions like these will be answered with this machine. This way, we can better predict and anticipate changes to our water storage. Overall improving our distribution of the human birth right to water. 

 

The world’s greatest drinking water

Heller, M., & Salzman, J. (2021, March 04). The world’s greatest drinking water. Retrieved March 09, 2021, from https://reason.com/volokh/2021/03/04/the-worlds-greatest-drinking-water/

https://reason.com/volokh/2021/03/04/the-worlds-greatest-drinking-water/

 

Earlier this year new york faced a threat to what is known as the best drinking water. Their city is well known for their great tasting tap. Despite many peoples beliefs that faucet water is unhealthy, they have maintained their clean water standards until this year. Before, the city had laid pipes from the catskill mountains all the way to city grounds where pristine spring water is available to all. But due to increased fertilizer use, amongst other things their reputation came under threat. Most thought that there would be a new purifying plant needed in order to stop this problem from further effecting citizens, but the mayor of New York had better plans in mind. Instead of spending millions of dollars on a new structure, he devised a proposal to restore the upstreams natural landscape. One quote I found to be influential to my view of this idea was, “a good environment will produce good water.” I have always admired our earth for being able to fully function without the need of extra human interaction. Although we have permanently destroyed its natural state that it once had, clean water is still one aspect that hasn’t changed. Animals continue to consume lake, and stream water without health complication. Giving way to the idea that a functioning ecosystem will produce the right material for its inhabitants to survive. Overall, I found this to be an interesting approach to a delicate problem. Which could have detriment to many if not handled correctly. In the end, this was the right approach. Mayor appleton was able to restore their tap to what it once and always will be. 

 

This article highlights one of the biggest threats to water, run off. When water comes down from the mountain, it takes everything with it. If fertilizer even graces the presence of that water, it is a whole lot more dangerous to be drinking. Which shows the articles relation to ES. Through keeping the natural state of the ecosystems water refinement, we have jumped into the study of the environment. 

How One of the World’s Wettest Major Cities Ran Out of Water

Bloomberg.com. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2021, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-02-03/how-a-water-crisis-hit-india-s-chennai-one-of-the-world-s-wettest-cities

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-02-03/how-a-water-crisis-hit-india-s-chennai-one-of-the-world-s-wettest-cities

 

The area of chennai is facing one of the worst water shortages to date. In a naturally tropical area, where they receive up to 2 times the amount of rainfall than london and 4 times Los angeles poor planning has destroyed much hope for a thriving environment. As time has passed, with industrialization, urbanization amongst other forms of pollution most water sources have become obsolete. Additionally, as a result of these human activities the area of their known bodies of water has drastically decreased. To scale these effects, the area of cheinais bodies of water went from 12.6 kilometers to nearly 3.2 over the past two centuries. Along with pollution, their ability to support life has also ceased. Although, one of the chenais worst environmental diasasters occurred in 2019, when they reached day zero. The point in time where the area has run out of all water. This caused much mayhem and distress across communities, but also signified their rock bottom status. 

 

This articles relation to environmental science spurs deeper than rainfall, and drinking water. For the biggest relation I found was to climate change. The article speaks about how the amount of rainfall has decreased by around 10% and temperatures have risen globally by 3 degrees over the past two decades. If this is true, then within 100 years (If we dont act faster than we are towards this dilemma) this area will have close to 60% less rainfall, along with a destroyed ecosystem that can no longer healthily house bodies of water or organic life. Additionally, a rising climate will continue to decrease any hope for regaining any aquatic area back. So you can see that this article has attachment to environmental science through its illustration of a problematic state being further influenced by climate change.

An inside look at Cuba’s constant struggle for clean water.

Derks, S. (2021, February 15). An inside look at Cuba’s constant struggle for clean water. Retrieved March 09, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/15/travel/cuba-clean-water.html?searchResultPosition=4

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/15/travel/cuba-clean-water.html?searchResultPosition=4

 

This article spotlights an aspect of current cuban struggle, in a rural area where there is no clean water. Most is polluted, or lost due to faulty pipes that are still awaiting renovation to be swapped for plastic pipes; These are meant to have less leakage. To combat this challenge, they utilize fish from local rivers or even polluted streams to clean the larvae that is within their water. Here water is only available every 5 days for 2 hours, but to mitigate the effects a man named Alexis Alonso Mendozan is responsible for turning underground sluices to change the direction of water flow. Overall, the concept of water is taken for granted in much of our lives. From the showers we take, to the clear cup of water gracing our lips we are truly blessed to have such a necessity at the tip of our fingers. Here it is an ordeal that concerns every being in need to water. It just goes to show how people are living across the globe. 

 

The concept of drinking water is something that applies to everyone’s needs. Hydration, hygiene, and health are all things that spur from this substance. But when its availability declines, each of these deteriorate extremely. For the plants, animals, and humans that rely on the areas source it becomes an environmental disaster. Why? Because this is an environment, that has a web of interactions, no matter the amount of cement there is in the ground. So when we come across problems as such, it is crucial to understanding the sciences behind it. Water is being lost for a reason, and an ecosystem is suffering because of it. This shows its importance to ES (environmental science) because of the detriment this problem has to a rural environment. 

 

“‘We’re getting Europes’s waste?’ U.S. hit by plastic debris lost from UK ship”

McVeigh, K. (2020, December 16). ‘We’re getting europe’s WASTE?’ US hit by plastic Debris lost from UK ship. Retrieved March 15, 2021, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/16/were-getting-europes-waste-us-hit-by-plastic-debris-lost-from-uk-ship

 

In the process of transporting a 10,000 tonne shipment of plastic waste from the UK, the shipment fell into the sea and washed ashore in Maine. This debris could have harmful impacts on wildlife in a bay in Maine, which contains a very old lobster fishery. There has been a crew deployed to clean up the waste from the shores. Conservationists are upset that there were not preventative measures in place to stop this from happening. There is general annoyance that this was not U.S. waste, and it is polluting our coasts. This incident represents just a small portion of the problem, as 1300 containers are lost at sea on average each year.

 

It is disappointing that plastic waste is now discarded on the shores and in the ocean that could have been avoided. There should be more measures taken to prevent spillages like these, because there is already too much plastic pollution in our oceans. However, I think it is ironic that there is outrage about the effects on Maine’s lobster fisheries, because fisheries like those contribute heavily to ocean pollution. There should be more focus on the effects of marine life and less on the fishery. I was astounded that 1300 containers of waste are lost at sea each year, which is pollution that is easily preventable. 

 

“A decade of plastic has entangled, choked, and drowned over 1,500 endangered marine mammals in U.S. waters, new report finds”

Lewis, S. (2020, November 19). A decade of plastic has entangled, choked and drowned over 1,500 endangered marine mammals in U.S. Waters, new report finds. Retrieved March 15, 2021, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/plastic-pollution-entangle-choke-endangered-marine-mammals-oceana-report/

Almost 1800 endangered animals have been entangled in or have consumed plastics since 2009. Researchers say that this estimate is a minimum and that things are only projected to get worse. In fact, plastic production is expected to quadruple in the next few decades, increasing the amount of plastic in ocean waters. Oceana’s report on plastics’ effect on marine life revealed that 90% of the animals observed had consumed plastic. This consumption can lead to malnutrition, drowning, choking, or infections. Oceana urged the government to take action and for companies to offer plastic-free alternatives for their customers.

 

This statistic was shocking and devastating because these animals are already endangered. We have put them in endangerment through our destruction of their habitats and through other harmful practices, but we still continue to harm them with plastics. Although it would be difficult to remove all the plastics from the oceans, because there are so many, we must do our best to stop plastic production and stop discarding our plastics in the ocean. I thought it was valuable that Oceana, after conducting their research, used their findings to urge change in companies and in the government. 

“U.S. industry giants pledge to cut plastic pollution in new pact”

Shrestha, P. (2021, February 16). US industry GIANTS pledge to cut plastic pollution in new pact. Retrieved March 15, 2021, from https://www.energylivenews.com/2020/08/26/us-industry-giants-pledge-to-cut-plastic-pollution-in-new-pact/

 

Major businesses in the U.S. have agreed to sign a plastic pact to move towards a circular economy for plastic. These businesses include Colgate, L’Oreal, Mars, and The Coca-Cola Company, and over 60 businesses have agreed overall. The goals are to designate certain plastic packaging as unnecessary and take measures to eliminate these by 2025. Additionally, in the next five years, they aim to make all plastic packaging 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable. Finally, they hope that by 2025, 30% of plastic packaging is made of recycled materials or bio-based. This agreement follows a similar one made in the UK in April of 2018. 

 

This Plastics Pact is very hopeful news, and could demonstrate a big step forward against wasteful single-use plastic packaging. It is admirable that these big companies are making this promise, because they set an example for the rest of the country and the world. However, making these goals is only the first step. The more important part is that these companies follow through and continue to strive for less plastic and less waste. Perhaps, once these 60 businesses complete this goal, it will show every other business that environmentally-friendly operations are possible and available. In this way, other companies will follow suit. 

“Real eye-opener: Microplastic pollution discovered in snow near top of Mount Everest”

Rice, D. (2020, November 20). ‘Real EYE-OPENER’: Microplastic pollution discovered in snow near top of Mount Everest. Retrieved March 15, 2021, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/11/20/mount-everest-microplastic-pollution-discovered/6342235002/

 

Microplastic pollution has been discovered in the snow near the top of Mount Everest. They were found in samples of snow from National Geographic. The majority of these microplastics discovered were fibrous. This means they were most likely from performance clothing and gear used by hikers or were carried from lower altitudes on the wind. These are the highest microplastics discovered so far.

Generally, Mount Everest is considered to be a remote, pure, and pristine location, so the discovery of these microplastics here represents just how far human pollution has reached. Microplastics have already been found in the depths of our oceans, and now in the highest peaks of the mountains. This invisible form of pollution is still harmful and can be found in nearly everything, from our food to our oceans to, now, Mount Everest. It shows the severity of human impact on the Earth and the extent of our plastic pollution. 

“U.S. generates m ore plastic trash than any other nation, report finds”

Parker, L. (2021, February 10). U.S. generates more plastic trash than any other nation, report finds. Retrieved March 15, 2021, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/us-plastic-pollution

 

While former President Trump promised to “continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills”, the U.S. was found to be the world’s largest generator of plastic waste by far. We produced 42 million metric tonnes of waste in 2016, in comparison to India’s 26 million, the second largest contributor. Meanwhile, many top industry leaders continued to view plastic pollution as an “Asian issue”. Overall, the U.S. generated 17% of the world’s plastic waste, despite making up just 4% of the population.

The facts of this article were humiliating to read, not only because of the insane amount of plastic pollution coming from the U.S., but also because of the horrible anti-Asian narrative. In blaming Asia for plastic pollution, we are distancing ourselves from the problem and living in denial that we are not the largest contributor to plastic waste. Moving forward, it is crucial to recognize this fact and begin to take action against it. We are just one country and are producing 42 million metric tonnes of plastic. In conjunction with the whole globe, there is an absurd amount of plastic being discarded every year that needs to be slowed. The irony of former President Trump’s statement is that we are making other nations our landfills by shipping off our waste to other countries, instead of them doing this to us. Our plastic pollution and the narrative that it is not our issue needs to stop in order to face the immense issue of pollution.