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Sat Apr 25, 2020, 11:56 AM

The Greater, Ignored Plague, Disease and Water Use and Storage In India.

The paper I'll discuss in this post is this one: Household Water Storage Management, Hygiene Practices, and Associated Drinking Water Quality in Rural India (Sarah L. McGuinness,* Joanne O’Toole, S. Fiona Barker, Andrew B. Forbes, Thomas B. Boving, Asha Giriyan, Kavita Patil, Fraddry D’Souza, Ramkrishna Vhaval, Allen C. Cheng, and Karin Leder, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, 54, 8, 5062-5070).

Echolalia is the practice of repeating yourself or others without meaning, often thought as a sign of psychiatric symptoms, senility, for example, among old people.

And then, of course, there is a process of repeating one's self for emphasis, as when nothing meaningful gets through until it is, or nearly is, too late. (Think of the then old man Winston Churchill whining that the Nazis might be, um, bad people in the 1930's, when he was largely ignored.)

As the poet Amari Baraka put it in one of my favorite pieces of verse:

Duncan Spoke of a Process
And what I have learned
of it, to repeat, repeated
as a day will repeat
its color, the tired sounds
run off its bones

...as a day will repeat its color, the tired sounds run off its bones...

I am old and the sounds that run off my bones are tired sounds...and I repeat myself, and whether what I write is senile echolalia or a warning issued in the hope it is not entirely too late is not for me to judge, but for any interested reader to judge, if there are interested readers: I am infinitely more obscure than Winston Churchill was in 1938 and everything I say, whether it is echolalia or otherwise, will die with me, obscure.

One of the tired sounds I repeat is that so called "renewable energy" is a grotesque failure if the reason for embracing it was in any way connected to addressing climate change. This should be clear from the simple reality that climate change has not been addressed. It is getting worse, not better.

In 1976, a guy named Amory Lovins, then 29 years old, wrote this piece of unreferenced appalling drivel on the subject of Energy and the Environment: Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken? in a social science journal, Foreign Affairs. The claim made in this intellectually appalling text, that so called "renewable energy" and energy conservation would save the world has become "The Road Most Taken" in attempting to address climate change: Many hundreds of thousands of scientific papers have been written on the subject of so called "renewable energy," the research funded by rich sources of grants, and as some people on this website never tire of pointing out, wind farms and solar cells are enormously popular, if entirely ineffective, bourgeois conceits.

Since 1976, Amory Lovins, who is now 73 years old has been engaged in echolalia, having become famous for writing the aforementioned piece of appalling drivel, declaring himself the Chief "Scientist" of an ignorance factory called the "Rocky Mountain Institute," inviting people to tour, for a fee, his obscene (but very energy efficient) McMansion in the very, very, very upscale community of Snowmass, Colorado, just down the road from the hip, hip, hip, hip skiing community of the "Stars," Aspen. Amory Lovins' echolalia has been to repeat, "as the day repeats its colors," the hip, hip, hip mantra that energy conservation and so called renewable energy will save the world. He makes a lot of money doing this, but he still asks you to contribute money to support his "genius."

In my opinion, he was senile - or at least uneducated - at the age of 29, since the subject of conservation and energy had been discussed in predictive terms that actually involved accurate predictions, based on data as opposed to handwaving, by the British economist William Stanley Jevons. His famous theory is known as "Jevons Paradox" which states, simply that the more efficiently a resource is utilized, the more of that resource will be utilized.

I repeat myself, "as the day will repeat its color..."

Here is what I wrote about Amory Lovins theology back in 2014, since I am not really a modern liberal who thinks that liberalism involves supporting huge wind farms in pristine wilderness, including offshore wilderness, and electric cars laced with cobalt mined by enslaved children in Congo, but I am an old liberal, inasmuch as I care about poverty, like Lyndon Johnson, like FDR and his remarkable wife, Eleanor Roosevelt:

Seen from this perspective, Lovins’ writings are all marked by myopic bourgeois provincialism. The huge flaw in his 1976 conceit, and his conceits forever thereafter, was that for him, people living in the United States, and maybe Western Europe, represented the only human life that mattered. Chinese and Indians, for two examples, may as well have not existed if one reads his 1976 fantasy; he blithely assumed that they would agree to remain unimaginably impoverished while Americans pursued hydrogen HYPErcars[5] in every suburban garage and solar heated molten salt tanks[6] in every suburban backyard. Apparently, from his high perch in the überrich suburb of Aspen – Snowmass, Colorado – where he lives today in a super-efficient McMansion, he continues to issue rhetoric equally oblivious to the status of the larger fraction of humanity, this while collecting “consulting fees” from companies that among other things, mine and refine oil sands[7]. Consideration of the two to three billion people defined by the IEA today as living in “energy poverty”[8] – 1.3 billion of whom lack access to electricity for any purpose, never mind for the purpose of charging up their swell Tesla electric cars, and/or the 38% percent of human beings on this planet who lack access to what the IEA calls “clean cooking facilities” – is definitely not in the purview of a person who writes books with awful titles like, um, “Winning the Oil Endgame.[9]”

Current Energy Demand; Ethical Energy Demand; Depleted Uranium and the Centuries to Come

..."as the day will repeat its color"...

Here is another thing I repeat frequently:

The amount of money "invested" in so called "renewable energy" in the period between 2004 and 2018 is over 3.036 trillion dollars; dominated by solar and wind which soaked up 2.774 trillion dollars.

Source: UNEP/Bloomberg Global Investment in Renewable Energy, 2019

Then I point out, "as the day will repeat its color" that this expenditure on so called "renewable energy" took place on a planet where more than 2 billion people lack access to even primitive sanitation using this link from the organization, recently maligned by the US's Chief Ignoramus, the World Health Organization:

Lack of sanitation for 2.4 billion people is undermining health improvements

To step outside of echolalia briefly this 2015 link has an update: WHO and UNICEF launch updated estimates for water, sanitation and hygiene

Some 2.2 billion people around the world do not have safely-managed drinking water, while 4.2 billion go without safe sanitation services and three billion lack basic handwashing facilities, according to a new report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Then I point out, "...as the day will repeat its color..." that these billions of dollars that have been spent on so called "renewable energy," exceeds the entire GDP of India, a nation with 1.35 billion people in it, for everything Indians do, eat, educate themselves, build shelters, factories farms and drink.

This, I guess, brings me to the paper referenced at the outset of this repetitious diatribe. From the introductory text:

The consumption of contaminated drinking water contributes to the global burden of diarrhea and other diseases, especially among young children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).1,2 Despite the recent call for universal and equitable access to safely managed drinking water in the Sustainable Development Goals (an improved water source that is located on premises, available when needed, and free from fecal and priority chemical contamination),3,4 microbial contamination of water supplies remains widespread, with 2017 estimates suggesting that 2.1 billion people worldwide remain without access to water meeting these standards.3,5

The optimal approach to ensuring safely managed drinking water is to provide treated piped supplies directly to households.4,6−9 However, while access to piped water supplies in LMICs is increasing,3 financial and logistical barriers to their widespread implementation remain, and existing piped supplies are often intermittent, compromising water quality and availability.6,10 Most previous trials of low-cost water treatment solutions for LMICs have evaluated in-home pointof- use interventions such as chlorine products and filters, but these have recognized limitations, including the need for high user adherence to consistent sustained behavior change.7,11 Few studies have evaluated alternative approaches, such as community-level treated water supplies, in part because randomized trials of such interventions are challenging to design and conduct.12 The delivery of treated water supplies or treatment of existing supplies reduces the requirement for user behavior change, increasing the potential for sustained and consistent access to clean water.13,14 However, fecal contamination of water can still occur during collection, transport, or subsequent storage of water within the household.8,9 Household water storage is a common practice in settings where on-premises supplies are unavailable or intermittent.9,15...

The authors toured rural Indian villages, where they conducted surveys and then sampled the drinking water of the people they surveyed and ran microbiological tests for fecal pathogens. Some excerpts of their procedures:

Survey Visits. Household survey visits were used to collect demographic and socioeconomic data, information about household water source, storage, and treatment practices, sanitation and hygiene practices, and health data. Questions included two core questions devised by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP): “Do you treat your water in any way to make it safer to drink?” and “What do you usually do to the water to make it safer to drink?”34 At each visit, surveyors requested permission to view and photograph the household’s main handwashing station; if permitted, then surveyors visually assessed for the presence of soap, detergent, or other cleansing agents. Permission was also requested to view and photograph any water storage vessel(s) within households. Responses and photographs were collected on handheld electronic tablet devices using household number codes, with the identified data transmitted to a central database via the cloud...

...Water Sampling Visits. During the pretrial consent process, permission was sought for collection of household water samples at subsequent study visits. Among a random sample of households (165 per village per survey round), drinking water was collected by a designated water sampling team. Participants were asked “If you or your child wanted a drink of water right now, where would you get the water from?” Permission was then requested to view the relevant stored water container or water source, and participants were asked to collect drinking water in the usual manner. This water sample was obtained from the householder and decanted into a sterile 120 mL sample bottle containing sodium thiosulfate sufficient to neutralize 15 mg/L chlorine in 100 mL of the sample (Colilert, IDEXX Laboratories, USA) by a member of the water sampling team using an aseptic technique. The water sampling team documented the storage vessel location...

The documentation also included details about how the water was stored, covered or uncovered, and how it was delivered, by ladle, for example. The scale of the documentation can be seen in table 1 in the paper, which reports on the findings of homes with contaminated water:

Some graphical results from the paper:

The caption:

Figure 1. Reported main and secondary sources of drinking water over time. RO = reverse osmosis. Tank refers to project tanks.

Some sample pictures of storage systems observed:

The caption:

Figure 2. Examples of household water storage containers. (A) Reverse osmosis home filtration device attached to the wall. (B) Refillable plastic reverse osmosis water storage vessel with a tap on a bench. (C) Two gravity-fed water filters (ceramic on left, cartridge based on right). (D−F) Typical glazed ceramic and metal water storage containers, some covered with metal lids and located on the floor; smaller metal vessels are for retrieving water.

The findings of risks in the sampled water:

The caption:

Figure 3. Microbial quality (E. coli colony forming units/100 mL by WHO risk category) of source and household drinking water samples across all time periods. Numbers within bars represent the proportion (%) of samples in each risk category. RBF = riverbank filtration. Tanks (river) refers to samples taken from project tanks during control periods (river water delivery); Tanks (RBF) refers to samples taken from project tanks during intervention periods (RBF-treated water delivery).

Some longitudinal data:

The caption:

Figure 4. Water quality reliability for households (HHs) contributing two or more drinking water samples (2550 samples from 1034 households).

The data speaks for itself, doesn't it?


..."as the day will repeat its color"...

As for that 29 year old kid referenced above who was not familiar with Jevons in 1976 but was declared a "genius" by some people who also hadn't read Jevons, and of course, by himself, he is now 73 years old; he was born in 1947, the age of the "baby boomer."

I am a baby boomer, profoundly ashamed of my generation and the way we so facilely latched on to what can only be described as silliness and delusion.

Our mantras about so called "renewable energy" did not work; they are not working; they will not work.

To my knowledge, there isn't data on the carbon dioxide concentrations in 1947, when Lovins was born, but the data at the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide observatory goes back to 1959, when the concentration was 315.97 ppm.

Less than 20 years later, the world would embrace the "conservation and renewable energy" Mantra Lovins proposed.

Here is the latest weekly data on the concentration of carbon dioxide in the planetary atmosphere as of this writing:

Week beginning on April 12, 2020: 416.27 ppm
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 413.63 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 3 92.85 ppm
Last updated: April 25, 2020

..."as the day will repeat its color"...

I do not know what world energy demand was in 1947 when Amory Lovins, but I do know what it was in 1973, just three years before he wrote his now famous drivel about so called "renewable energy" and conservation. It was 253 Exajoules, as reported in the 2011 World Energy Outlook.

..."as the day will repeat its color"...

In the most recent year that we have data, 2018, world energy demand was less than an Exajoule short of 600 Exajoules.

By the way, world wide, energy efficiency, has risen dramatically since 1976.

At times, we tend to focus on the income disparity of the United States, which is now sure to grow, as the right wing through inattention and manipulation has brought on what is sure to be a world wide economic depression.

..."as the day will repeat its color"...

As scientist who has echolalia dating back to 1976 uninfluenced by data is not actually a "scientist" at all, even if his title is "Chief Scientist" of an organization like say, "The Rocky Mountain Institute." Arguably, he is nothing more than the leader of a cult.

Hopefully, in this time of cults, political, economic, spiritual and otherwise, this emerging worldwide economic depression doesn't end like the last one did, with the worst war in human history.

One way to prevent that in my perhaps naive opinion is to consider that those people in India are human beings, just like people in Africa, in Mexico, in Canada, and, indeed the United States, that they matter, as all human beings worthy of being called human beings matter, because there is no justifiable reason that these people in India and in similar places should...

agree to remain unimaginably impoverished

...while we obliviously wax romantic about our Tesla electric cars, wind turbines, and efficient refrigerators.

I might mention that one of the best and well known ways to sterilize water, and in fact, to remove some very dangerous pollutants is to irradiate it with ionizing radiation.

As the day will repeat its color, even in a time of the rising celebration of ignorance, I continue to believe, even as my life approaches its end, "the tired sounds running off my bones" that intelligence and decency can yet prevail.

I wish you health and safety in this spring weekend, and some measure, within the limits of our time, peace and happiness.

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