Friday, December 19, 2008

Quotation of the Day, 12.19.08

“Since Thomas Crapper invented the water closet, many sanitation experts have come
to view it as one of the stupidest technologies of all time: In an effort to make them
“invisible,” it mixes pathogen-bearing feces with relatively clean urine. Then it dilutes
that slurry with about 100 times its volume in pure drinking water, and further mixes the
mess with industrial toxins in the sewer system, thus turning “an excellent fertilizer and
soil conditioner” into a serious, far-reaching, and dispersed disposal problem.
Supplying the clean water, treating the sewage, and providing all the delivery and
collection in between requires systems whose cost strains the resources even of
wealthy countries, let alone the 2 billion people who lack basic sanitation. The World
Health Organization has stated that waterborne sanitation cannot meet any of its
declared objectives—equity, disease prevention, and sustainability—and suggests that
only with more modern (waterless) techniques can the world’s cities be affordably
provided with clean water for drinking, cooking, and washing.”
Natural Capitalism, Hawken, Lovins & Lovins

Hear that? Flush toilets are bad. Bad for poor people too.

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