Many of you have contacted me wanting to know how you can help the people of Flint with the two-year long tragedy of drinking water contaminated by the radical decisions made by the Governor of Michigan. The offer is much appreciated by those who are suffering through this and who have not drank a glass of unpoisoned water since April of 2014.
Unfortunately, the honest answer to your offer of help is, sadly, you can't.
... and this all could have (possibly) been avoided had the 69% (in Detroit & 47% state-wide!!!) ABSENTEE voters in 2014, gotten out & realized the imperative of keeping out the likes of Rick Snyder. Too late for all that now, but now, the battle is all uphill. Can we do it? This Democracy was, is & always shall remain in the realm of the possible. Let's now prove it!!!
Thank you Michael Moore for your efforts. How I hope this event FINALLY wakes up this country as to how we are being eviscerated from within, by the Austerity-inspired "powers-that-be". As Chris Hedges recently stated, when explaining the numerous shootings of innocent black men for petty offenses, "This is how empires die". And this is how the Oligarchs kill Americans-by poisoning their water all in the name of saving money. How disgustingly sad, and criminal. Throw this son of a bitch Snyder in jail. And give him some Flint water, to wash away his thirst
This governor must be impeached, arrested, tried and convicted. This is a felony of monstrous proportions, a terrible atrocity. If this criminal does not end up in prison (and it had better not be one of those plush rich people's prisons), there is no justice in this country.
Thanks a million Michael! Too many people are acting too dumb about this- like they really don't understand the magnitude of Snyder's crimes, We need to get this word out- your word- right now. I'm an old school teacher and i have experienced first hand what lead poisoning does. It's heartbreaking to see those kids, such nice kids, struggle so hard trying to keep up with the other kids . Back then it was one ignorant landlord, one family at a time. nothing like this has ever been done before, and it must not happen again. Snyder needs that jail cell and needs to stay there for as long as his Flint's children suffer from his crimes
I certainly want something done and totally agree that the people who vote for low taxes at the expense of their fellow citizens need to take the financial hit and feel the guilt of the tragic consequences of their selfishness. However, I did hear a report that the Flint River was not the source of the lead. The river water was treated incorrectly with something that caused the lead within the homes'plumbing systems to leach out. That would be a system error. If the Governor believed that the river was a safe water source, I can't sign the petitition. If he knew there would be any cost at all to the health of the citizens, I'll sign in a heartbeat. I have no problem with removing him from office, as he seems to govern only for the benefit of the wealthy. Can someone who really knows whether this was a malicious disregard for the welfare of the victims enlighten me? Did all the people of Flint, even the well-off, receive the same water and are their children also suffering from lead poisoning?
Part of my job is translating water manuals for people all over the world who have been harmed by the US. It is not too early for the people of Flint to begin preparations for spring construction of a people's water system that collects pure rainwater from roofs.
I wanted to sign the petition to help people in Flint but you could only sign in with Facebook. I hate Facebook and won't use it. There should be another way to support the petition without being required to sign in with FB.
Flint was my hometown until after graduation from high school. The Flint River became badly polluted thanks to the nearby factories that operated in Flint for well over a century. General Motors was, by far the largest contributor.
Today, the river is far less polluted than it was when I was a kid growing up. The aftereffects are still in full force. The present water crisis results from the highly corrosive nature of the River water.
Virtually every city and town in America would suffer the same fate as Flint if water as corrosive as that found in the Flint River were pumped through the local water mains. That's because lead pipes were commonly used for water distribution and supply lines when these systems were installed. Very little upgrading has been done to replace the hazardous lead pipes in most communities. Also, up until the 1980's when galvanized and copper pipes were being installed, the connections were virtually always soldered together using lead-based solder.
Over time, if left alone, lead pipes and lead solder becomes coated with a type of scale that coats the inside of the pipes. This scale sequesters the lead content of the pipes and solder below the scale by preventing the water from coming into contact with the lead contaminated surfaces. That's most likely why the municipally supplied water coming out of the tap in your home is not harmful to drink, bathe in, or cook with.
Apparently there is a commonly used treatment process that effectively reduces the corrosive nature of water. If this had been done to the water from the Flint River before it had been pumped into the municipal distribution system, this crisis most likely would not have arisen. The estimated cost for treating the water to reduce its high corrosion factor was $8.5 million.
Unfortunately, a single unqualified Emergency Manager appointed by the State's governor made a fateful decision that's had disastrous results. By deciding to forego the treatment process the unelected administrator authorized or ordered the local water district to begin pumping River water that had not been treated for corrosion abatement, into the City's water distribution lines.
In a matter of days the corrosive water had scoured the protective layer of scale from the pipes and solder. That's when lead began leeching into the water being supplied to the homes and businesses and schools throughout the community.
This switch to using Flint River water was accomplished in late March 2014. Almost immediately Flint residents began complaining about the water coming from their faucets.
The important fact everyone in America needs to understand is that Michigan is unique amongst the States in the United States. The current governor of Michigan managed to get the republican dominated State Legislature to enact a statute that granted to him the authority to appoint an "Emergency Manager" to take control of any municipality facing serious fiscal issues. When such an Emergency Manager is installed, the locally elected officials become powerless to counteract any decision the Emergency Manager makes.
In this case, the Emergency Manager ignored what had transpired in 2010. At that time the community investigated a proposal to use water from the Flint River. At that time the City Council rejected that proposal when the State agency having jurisdiction over drinking water issues said existing State and federal EPA standards would prohibit them from certifying the River water as being safe for human consumption.
The blame for the decision made by the Emergency Manager rests solely upon him. His appointment had made it impossible for local government officials and Residents to intervene, even if they had been made aware of what was about to happen.
The responsibility for what did happen rests with the governor and the State Legislators who passed the Emergency Manager statute. In that regard, the Residents of the State of Michigan had previously passed at least one referendum that required the Legislature to do away with the statute. The governor turned around and had the Legislature rewrite the statute so that it was not subject to referendum and could not be revoked.
High lead levels in the blood streams of children living in Flint were being reported at least as far back as the spring of 2015. People in Flint were coming down with skin lesions characteristic of lead exposure. People were reporting loss of hair from their scalp.
Flint has had at least 10 deaths from Legionaires' Disease with many more non-lethal cases being diagnosed. The type of damaged pipes now present in Flint have been determined to have a causal link to outbreaks of Legionaires' Disease in the past. The environment inside the uncoated lead pipes contribute to the growth of the organism responsible for causing the disease. A study conducted by local health professionals has tied the rise of the incidence of the disease to the time frame in which the switch to the River water was made.
All of these indicators required action on the part of officials. No action was taken. Information regarding the lead contamination was withheld from the public and from the federal EPA by State officials. The governor's office and State agencies under his supervision issued public denials that the water in Flint was unsafe, and encouraged the Residents of Flint to continue using the water.
Yes, the governor was aware something was wrong. If he didn't understand what that problem was, it was his responsibility to find out, and fast, for the safety and well being of the Residents who were his responsibility. There is no shifting of blame to local government officials. The sole government official in Flint having any authority that could have been exercised was the Emergency Manager, who reported directly to the governor.
There are other scandals brewing over what was really taking place. There are indicators that show Flint was the target of a profit making scheme being orchestrated by State officials. That's a side issue.
The real issue is this: If you were a resident of Flint, and you had children currently 8 years of age or younger, and you lived in a house that used purified, uncontaminated well water so that no lead contamination were present, if you sent your kids to public school or preschool or daycare, if you took your family out for a family dinner or bought take out from a restaurant and brought it home for the family to eat during the last two years, your children most likely would have ingested sufficient quantities of lead to have suffered irreversible neurological damage from that exposure.
That's the reality every parent in Flint will live with for the rest of their child's life. The only thing they can do is watch and wait to see if any signs of damage develop in the future. With toxic lead exposure symptoms may not manifest for 10 or more years after the toxic lead exposure occurred.
To date, no one has stepped forward to begin replacing the damaged lead pipes.
Given the results from petition drives I've witnessed in the past, you're better off sending a case of water to Flint Residents.
As Moore said, there's nothing you can do to help. Sure a petition might make some politicians feel like they have to do something. But if the plight of Flint Residents isn't enough to have already forced them to take action as a matter of conscience, I doubt any petition is going to motivate them to take any action that will make a difference.
Do you think a petition will cause the heartless Governor Rick Snyder to take action other than to hand it to the PR firm he hired to handle this crisis and ask them what he should do about it?
If you really want to make a difference, go out into your own community and commit simple acts of kindness. If more people did that it would spread and we'd manage to teach ourselves to "Just Say No" to trickle down economics and to every politician who thinks Reagan's austerity for the poor and largess for the wealthy is a good idea.
Since when is a city's water supplies not tested routinely and often? The issue appears to be complicated by a known high level of another chemical in addition to lead that is in the water that is hazardous but was ignored as well as that the water was known to be corrorosive to older lead pipes and conduits. People seem to act like the use of lead pipes and lead solder wasn't known...but it is well known everywhere and moreover it is the responsibility of decision makers like the governor and that financial manager to be well informed by proper test results and reports by experts. These people's health was sacrificed by disregard for their safety. How can there not have been routine testing of a city's drinking water? Please remember that the existence of lead pipes and solder is well known. This sad episode points out the inappropriateness of a single individual such as the financial manager having autocratic control over decisions that affect others. He was either negligent, uninformed or unskilled and someone else with the appropriate training in water resources called in to make the decision based on thorough testing.
The people of this country have an increasing tendency to leave it to someone in charge instead of their getting involved far too often. Flint shows why that may not be a good idea.
Perhaps it's not the politically correct thing to say. In this instance I think it can be overlooked. He has a strong emotional attachment to the City. Plus he actually has a heart and genuinely cares about people in general; people in Flint, especially.
I've been back to Flint three times during the last forty years, and this situation has me pretty damn upset. How much more Michael?