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Activists Demand Answers About Detroit Water Shutoffs on ‘Democracy Now!'
Water shutoffs in Detroit have commenced, but activists aren't so sure that unpaid bills are the city's only concern.
Many, like the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, say the city is actively trying to privatize the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). That's why they appealed to the United Nations to restore water services and stop further cut-offs.
So far, the DWSD says half of its 323,000 accounts are delinquent and has begun turning off the taps of those who do not pay bills that total above $150 or that are 60 days late. Since March, up to 3,000 account holders have had their water cut off every week.
Maureen Taylor, state chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and Meera Karunananthan, international water campaigner for the Blue Planet Project, appeared on Democracy Now! to discuss the shutoffs and what they believe are the true reasons they are taking place. Karunananthan's group was among those that submitted the report to the UN. The portion on the shutoffs begins at the 47:55 mark.
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By Dr. Brian R. Shmaefsky
One year after the Flint Water Crisis I was invited to participate in a water rights session at a conference hosted by the US Human Rights Network in Austin, Texas in 2015. The reason I was at the conference was to promote efforts by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to encourage scientists to shine a light on how science intersects with human rights, in the U.S. as well as in the context of international development. My plan was to sit at an information booth and share my stories about water quality projects I spearheaded in communities in Bangladesh, Colombia, and the Philippines. I did not expect to be thrown into conversations that made me reexamine how scientists use their knowledge as a public good.
The shipping industry is coming to grips with its egregious carbon footprint, as it has an outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and to the dumping of chemicals into open seas. Already, the global shipping industry contributes about 2 percent of global carbon emissions, about the same as Germany, as the BBC reported.
The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC overlooks the Tidal Basin, a man-made body of water surrounded by cherry trees. Visitors can stroll along the water's edge, gazing up at the stately monument.
But at high tide, people are forced off parts of the path. Twice a day, the Tidal Basin floods and water spills onto the walkway.