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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Poisoned Water for showing us the real life
example of how money comes first and safe drinking water comes second!

Poisoned Water
The Flint Water Plant

Poisoned Water (2017) - 60 minutes
Poisoned Water at Amazon.com

Citizens and scientists uncover the
disturbing truth about public water systems.

Water. Turn on the faucet and it's always there. Without it we perish. But how safe is our tap water? In this special report, NOVA investigates what happened in Flint, Michigan when local officials changed the city's water source to save money, but overlooked a critical treatment process. As the water pipes corroded, lead leached into the system, exposing the community - including thousands of children - to dangerous levels of poison. NOVA uncovers the science behind this manmade disaster - from the intricacies of water chemistry, to the biology of lead poisoning, to the misuse of science itself. NOVA follows ordinary citizens and independent scientists who exposed the danger lurking in Flint's water and confronted those who turned a blind eye. Still, there's a disturbing truth that reaches far beyond Flint - water systems across the country are vulnerable to a similar fate. How can we protect ourselves from poisoned water?

1-14-21 Flint water crisis: Michigan charges ex-governor Rick Snyder
Michigan's former governor has been charged over the deadly contamination of water in the city of Flint. Officials charged Rick Snyder with misdemeanour wilful neglect of duty, punishable by up to a year in jail. Nine manslaughter charges have also been levelled against the state's former health director. Both men appeared in court on Thursday. Twelve people died after the city switched its water supply to the Flint River in 2014 in a bid to save money. An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease followed, and residents were found to have drunk water poisoned with lead. The criminal charges on Wednesday followed a new investigation into the case. Prosecutors dropped previous charges in 2019, pledging a more thorough probe. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she will give more details at a news conference on Thursday. Ahead of the event, Mrs Nessel's office announced that the state's former health director, Nick Lyon, would face nine charges of involuntary manslaughter. If found guilty, each charge carries a sentence of 15 years in jail. He had originally been charged with two manslaughter counts, but those charges were dropped in 2019. He pleaded not guilty on Thursday. A lawyer for Mr Snyder, a Republican, said before Thursday's hearing at the Genesee County jail: "We believe there is no evidence to support any criminal charges against Governor Snyder." During his court appearance on Thursday, Mr Snyder only spoke three words - "yes, your honour" - confirming that he still lived in Michigan. He was told he could not leave the state without the court's permission. He is accused of two counts of wilful neglect of duty and was freed after paying a $10,000 (£7,300) bond. The environmental disaster attracted global attention as activists accused officials of racism. Flint is a majority-African American city, where over 40% of the residents live in poverty, and some suggested that authorities' indifference to the community led to the crisis.

8-20-20 Flint water crisis: Michigan 'agrees to pay $600m'
The US state of Michigan has agreed to pay a settlement of $600m to victims of the Flint water crisis, US media say. Most of the money will go to children in the city who were exposed to drinking water poisoned with lead, reports add. At least 12 people died after Flint switched its water supply to the Flint River in 2014 to save money. An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease followed, and nearly 100,000 residents were left without safe tap water. The settlement is expected to be formally announced later this week, the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal say, citing sources familiar with the case. There has been no official comment from the Michigan state government yet. Anyone who lived in Flint between 2014 and 2016 could be eligible for the settlement money, US media say. However, almost 80% of the funds will go to residents who were under 18 at the time. Experts say children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning, particularly babies and children under five who can experience brain damage before their brains are fully developed. Flint is a majority-African American city, where over 40% of the residents live in poverty. In 2014, Flint switched its water supply away from Detroit's system, which draws from Lake Huron, and instead used water from the Flint river. Flint was in a financial state of emergency and the switch was meant to save the city millions of dollars. But the water from the river was more corrosive than Lake Huron's water and was not treated properly, causing lead - a powerful neurotoxin - to leach from the pipes. Residents started noticing that tap water sometimes came out blue or yellow - and many began to lose their hair, or develop rashes on their arms and face. Despite this, local officials and leaders denied anything was wrong for over a year, even as residents complained that the water tasted and looked strange. (Webmaster's comment: As always it's money first, safety second.)

8-1-18 It took one brave doctor to expose the Flint water crisis. Here’s how
The people of Flint, Michigan, were drinking poisoned water, and the authorities were doing nothing. That’s when Mona Hanna-Attisha decided to take action. IT’S the morning of 24 September 2015, and Mona Hanna-Attisha is hours away from the biggest moment of her scientific career. Then her phone rings. As she recalls in her new book, it was a representative from her medical school at Michigan State University, calling to say the institution wasn’t in a position to support her in what she was about to do. “I felt like I was being thrown under a bus,” she says. Hanna-Attisha was about to go public with some controversial and horrifying evidence: that the children in Flint, Michigan, were being poisoned by lead in the drinking water. Her revelation went against the state, the scientific consensus – and now her university. Just a month or so earlier, Hanna-Attisha had been urging the children in her care to drink the water in place of unhealthy sugary drinks – she felt it was her duty as an associate professor at MSU’s College of Medicine in Flint and a paediatrician in the city’s Hurley Medical Center. What had changed? Concerns had been growing about Flint’s water supply for well over a year. When car giant General Motors (GM), founded in Flint, began downsizing its operations there in 1978, the city’s economy went into a long decline. In April 2014, as a money-saving measure, the city stopped buying its water supply from nearby Detroit, opting instead to pull water from the Flint river. It wasn’t long before locals began to complain that the water smelled and tasted bad.

7-17-18 ‘The Poisoned City’ chronicles Flint’s water crisis
Journalist Anna Clark weaves together history and science to explain the public health disaster. America is built on lead. Networks of aging pipes made from the bluish-gray metal bring water into millions of U.S. homes. But when lead, a poison to the nervous system, gets into drinking water — as happened in Flint, Mich. — the heavy metal can cause irreparable harm (SN: 3/19/16, p. 8). In The Poisoned City, journalist Anna Clark provides a thorough, nuanced account of the public health disaster in Flint — one that, she argues, was magnified by government malfeasance and decades of systemic racism. Trouble first began in April 2014. To save the cash-strapped city some money, Flint’s emergency manager switched the city’s source of water from Detroit’s water system, which drew from Lake Huron, to one that tapped the Flint River. But the city’s water treatment program didn’t include corrosion control, which the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality said wasn’t necessary — a violation of federal law. The result: Corroded pipes leached lead into drinking water. Residents, forced to use the brown, smelly tap water, developed rashes and lost clumps of hair. Twelve people died from Legionella bacteria, which the corrosive water dislodged from pipes, and dozens more were sickened. Despite residents’ complaints, as well as an independent analysis that found higher-than-allowable lead levels, state officials insisted that the water was safe, even when their own internal records showed it was not. “Anyone who is concerned about lead in the drinking water in Flint can relax,” said one spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. That’s when one of the book’s heroes, pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha, enters Clark’s story. About 18 months after Flint switched to its new water source, the percentage of children under age 5 with high blood-lead levels nearly doubled from 2.1 to 4 percent, Hanna-Attisha discovered after taking a close look at Flint kids’ medical records. (Hanna-Attisha’s own account of her experiences, What the Eyes Don’t See, was published in June.)

9-25-17 Don't forget about Flint
Don't forget about Flint
The Flint water crisis is far from over. Beyond the headlines, the horrors continue. If you want to understand what some of us mean when we say that Washington, D.C., doesn't care about the post-industrial America of poverty, drug abuse, and spiritual despair, what even President Trump means when he talks about "American carnage," get off exit 7 on I-475 in Michigan and head down Court Street until you get to the Flint Children's Museum on the campus of Kettering University. In many ways, the museum — with its cheerful twin yellow towers popping out from either side of the large brick structure in a kind of invitation to exuberance — resembles many other institutions of its kind. Just about every medium-sized city has a place like this. There are colorful hands-on exhibits on circuits, bridge-building, and gravity; a pretend post office and grocery store; a climbing wall; a "Tot Spot" with rubber tumbling mats and age-appropriate toys. But there is one thing that isn't quite right. Even for a public building in a city whose population has been declining steadily since 1970, the place will seem unusually quiet. Another thing you will notice almost immediately is that the drinking fountains are all turned off or torn up and covered with signs. It's possible that there would be more children here, that my daughters would not have been able to enjoy the run of the place on a weekday afternoon in the middle of July, if it were not for the fact that as many as 276 infants were poisoned and died in their mother's wombs in the city of Flint between April 2014 and October 2015. That sickening statistic comes from a new working paper, which reports that during the period in which municipal water in this city was drawn from the Flint River rather than Lake Huron, fertility rates dropped by 12 percent and fetal death rates increased by nearly 60 percent. Health of children at birth was also affected. Older children have been diagnosed with severe cognitive disabilities, behavioral disorders, deafness, late puberty, and other impairments directly attributable to drinking and regularly bathing in water with a lead content of 400 parts per billion (the maximum, if hardly desirable, permitted concentration is 15). Adults have suffered from memory loss, thinning hair, and erratic blood pressure.

Poisoned Water
The Flint Water Plant

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Poisoned Water for showing us the real life
example of how money comes first and safe drinking water comes second!