Fix it again, Bob

Chicago had a health problem, so they fixed it. All their sewage ran right into their drinking water, so they turned the river around and made a new hole in the lake.

They had to hurry before someone sued them for draining the lake. Or flushing their crap into the largest river in the United States.

It’s odd that for such a major geological, engineering, and social event, so little comes up on the top of Google. It’s attracted little (electronically published) attention relative to the magnitude of this alteration of nature. The Wikipedia article states, without citation, that the Asian carp that they are trying to keep out of the Great Lakes were introduced as environmental remediation.

Speaking of the environment, this blogger is concerned that ecosystems that “evolved in isolation” are now connected so that species that “simply were not meant to cohabit” are now in contact. Adaptation to changing environment is evolution; it isn’t anything else. Yeah, I know that humans are supposed to be changing things too quickly for evolution to work, but you don’t see anyone making plans to gradually change things, either. Evolution is supposed to have got us here, but now it must stop.

The whole saga — dumping sewage in a lake, reversing the flow of a river, using carp to clean algae, using poison to kill the carp (and whatever else), possibly sterilizing the sewage… it’s an unbroken story of unintended consequences and solutions causing more problems. But we clearly need more solutions! So don’t stop now!

This one news article seems to be primary source for the blogger and the Wikipedia story, so it sets the tone for all of the easy-to-find reading. And that is one of sneering disdain for the whole project combined with a general sense that sterilizing the sewage would solve most of the problems.

Doesn’t the very pattern of events here suggest that something unexpected and undesired will follow? Shouldn’t we be talking in terms of cost and benefit rather than obvious solutions?

I am just amazed that the tourist boat ride on the river focusing on architecture covered almost all of the same material. This is obviously not a subject of popular debate.

One for the record books

I have come across something so stupid I can hardly believe it is real. In fact, I would be sure that it was fake if it were not for the source. Not that the source is anything great, but you would think that a newspaper would get the news in their own back yard right.

The thing that makes this particular act of stupidity so amazing to me is that I cannot understand for the life of me why it was ever undertaken. Most of the time when the government does something stupid it is because there is an ideological reason to believe it will work or somebody’s pockets are being lined. Often both reasons are in play at the same time.

But in this case I can’t think of any particular ideological reason to push the “solution” that was chosen. And while somebody undoubtedly got paid to put this solution in place, but I can’t think that it was very big money. If I had the talent to sell this type of scam, I would choose a more lucrative scam. So I am at a lose to figure out why anyone would be so stupid as do what this government did.

Now I am deliberately hyping how stupid this is because I want to get your expectations up. I want to see if even when you are expecting to read about something really stupid you are expecting something as inexplicably stupid as this.

The link above is to a blog post. I clicked the link embedded in the blog post to read that actual news paper article in hopes that it would tell me why they thought that this insane idea would work. But it was a waste of time because no explanation was given. All you need to know is in the blog post.