This is what happens when some people take cost cutting to an extreme. Idiots ignore infrastructure because it costs money. Idiots to do stupid things in order to save money. And people are harmed.
For life. And it costs 10 times as much to fix.
[Via Boing Boing]
When Marc Edwards was a young Virginia tech engineer, he landed a job with Cadmus Group, an EPA subcontractor who’d been hired to investigate problems with the DC water-supply, but when he discovered a lead contamination crisis and refused to stop talking about it, he was fired. (more…)
Why do we keep having these stories of health concerns or failure to properly protect our citizens? Why are there institutional problems stemming from not only bad science but then covering up the extent of the disaster?
Because anti-science idiots often run the government and get rid of anyone who tells the truth. We see this with climate change at the Federal level. We see it with water at the municipal level.
Whistleblowers are fired or put in jail. As happened to Edwards.
He responded with a protocol for citizens to do the science themselves and then overwhelm the corrupted agencies in ways that the agencies could not respond to.
This is a great example of how a distributed approach can more rapidly gather data and arrive at solutions than a rigidly hierarchical approach. Because the people of Flint were actually not represented by elected officials. Flint was under the authoritarian rule of a state selected manager who had almost autocratic powers.
And the state was made up of officials whose ideology was anti-science, anti-spending and pretty much anti-reality.
Eventually Nature always wins. But a huge number of people have been hurt and money was not really saved. So saving a penny results in spending a dollar to fix things.
Maybe we can use similar approaches to provide incentives for a government that responds to its citizens rather than cover up reality.