President Joe Biden’s plan to replace every lead water pipe in the country with infrastructure that won’t damage children’s brains responds to Americans’ greatest environmental concern. A new Gallup poll finds that water pollution—both in our drinking water and in our rivers, lakes, and reservoirs—draws more concern from more Americans than other environmental issues:
Of six environmental problems facing the U.S., Americans remain most worried about those that affect water quality. Majorities express “a great deal” of worry about the pollution of both drinking water (56%) and rivers, lakes and reservoirs (53%).
Fewer, though still substantial minorities ranging between 40% and 45%, express a great deal of concern about the loss of tropical rain forests, global warming or climate change, air pollution, and the extinction of plant and animal species. Although less than half of Americans register the highest level of worry about these four issues, broad majorities say they worry at least “a fair amount” about each [Megan Brenan, “Water Pollution Remains Top Environmental Concern in U.S.,” Gallup, 2021.04.19].
Evidently counting on the Rapture to obviate their need for a sustainable supply of clean water, Republicans express far less concern about water pollution, climate change, and other earthly degradations than Democrats:
Hey, Republicans, how about we make a deal? All of you who think we’re not long for this sin-filled world and thus don’t have to make an effort to save it can go ahead with your personality-cult breakfasts and pray to your idols. But just stay out of the way of President Biden and the rest of us, the majority of us, who think Earth matters and who want to use science and good sense to solve problems and maintain a livable habitat for generations to come.
Take a Pascalian perspective: if we’re wrong and the Rapture is coming, replacing lead pipes won’t stop your divine salvation. But if you’re wrong and we’re stuck in this material realm, we’re going to need clean water and healthy brains for as long as we can last.
- Sioux Falls replaced the last of its lead water pipes with copper in 2017.
- In 2014, around three dozen Pierre homes tested high for lead in their water.
- The DENR (now rebranded in its web banner as the DANR, for the agribusiness interests who have taken over and supposedly know more about water quality than environmental experts) provides information about lead in drinking water here.