Friday, August 17, 2012

Do we need gadgets to check the quality of Nature’s services?

 

This water drinking app (see below) is a great idea, where you check to see if there are any drinking advisories on Canadian drinking water, but it’s got to run shivers down your spine.

Have we become so inured to poor water quality through the shifting baseline syndrome of industrial pollution that we need to check an app on our Smartphone before we drink any municipality’s water?

Back in the day, we would just come to a stream and drink the water, just turn on the tap and drink.

Now, because pollution is so ever-present, it becomes a good idea to check advisories immediately before we drink the water or, even swim in the water.

And few see the alarm in this state of our existence because most of us have grown up where water quality has been questionable in our lifetimes (because of past industrial practices) that it seems normal. Sadly, it probably is.

Sadly, we’ll all probably need more and more apps to check and see if those ecosystem services nature provided for us (an absolutely absurd way to view Nature, as if Nature was just another company) have been contaminated by us because we’re blind to our affect on our environment because we created an economic system that is blind to the environmental damage it incurs—until of course we can catch a polluting corporation and take them to court. (And in the US we are possibly electing a new president whose political party thinks environmental regulations are keeping corporations from people giving people jobs.)

We are so in denial about our environmental health:

Introducing the Waterkeeper Drink Guide "The Waterkeeper Drink Guide is a smartphone app that shows you current Canadian drinking water advisories. Using a sortable list or map view, you can quickly and easily identify communities across Canada where there are concerns about the quality of the drinking water. There are four types of drinking water advisories in the Waterkeeper Drink Guide. These advisories are updated daily by The Water Chronicles, based on information from official government sources: Boil Water Blue-Green Algae Water Shortage Do Not Consume. " Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

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