PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: The prompt is at the very end, with the VIDEO about the SCIENCE of FLINT (I hope you are fascianted!).
Today in Lecture we discussed the CLEAN AIR ACT and adding MTBE to gasoline to improve combusion and reduce knock and then finding it contaminated water supplies and could be found in the blood of many people sampled. While only found to produce toxicity in animal models at high doses, the precautionary rule dictated something else be employed as an oxygenating agent, and we went to alcohol, while still selling MTBE (leaking it) to other countries because they needed something inexpensive to replace LEAD.
We also discussed the unintended consequences of
- “Dumping car tires in the Atlantic Ocean (1972)” and “Corn ethanol as a ‘cheaper, cleaner, renewable fuel (1980s)” (see starting at beginning: https://youtu.be/pSwMEtuL-GQ )
- “Sparrow War in China (1958)” and “Distributing a Vaccine with a short shelf-life (2021)” (see starting at 42 seconds: https://youtu.be/1WRDwCep25k )
- “Cash for Ash (2012; Northern Ireland)” (see starting at about 1.00 minute: https://youtu.be/aAyPWcqiwzY )
- “MALARIA and Agriculture” (sometimes unintended consequences are simply unavoidable and require adaptation: see 6.42 min https://youtu.be/FydLdwwnGeI )
Then we discussed together the OVERVIEW of the FLINT MICHIGAN situation (see https://youtu.be/NUSiLOwkrIw ), which explained that FLINT was a city in decline with a budget that was underwater and looking for ways to stop their financial losses. Unfortunately, they hired bureaucratic bookkeepers instead of multdisciplinary teams and arrived at a potentially helpful financial solution, but as you will see a scientifically undefensible one when all the data was assimilated (retrospectively), unfortunately.
Then YOUR JOB in 500 words (2 pp.) is to explain to a “bureaucrat, such as a city manager or even the nominated and congressionally confirmed Administrator of USEPA (note that USEPA is not a cabinet position and does not have a Secretary, it is an agency in the Executive Branch of Government); or other leader who may have limited scientific knowledge” how and why FLINT’s decision to use a different water source to “reduce services to save money” spun hopelessly out of control to become an expensive unintended consequence, and how they can avoid making the same mistake!