Satire About Water Pollution Following Jonathan Swift's Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

satire about water pollution, following Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" as a model. Water pollution is an important problem facing the world, but that does not mean that it cannot be viewed with humor. This argument will provide a preposterous solution to this serious issue.

It seems that everywhere one looks today; the topic of water pollution is in the news. Many people are quite tired of this constant sermonizing about water pollution and the dire circumstances the country faces if the waters continue to be polluted without end. Humbug. Water pollution is no more an issue than is crime or violence in society today, although there are many people who would have you think differently. Simply to amuse these ill-tempered beggars, this writer will entertain some of their arguments while discussing just what water pollution is, and why it is so "important."

In 1972, Congress passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments, which were immediately vetoed by President Nixon, which shows just how much this perfect president felt about the issue of water pollution. Congress, in their endless wisdom, did not listen to the President, and overrode his veto, creating more laws in 1977 and 1981. More laws filling up the legal books and creating a nice bulge in lawyer's pockets, but doing little to clean up the nation's waterways. These laws tried to limit "point discharge" of pollution into rivers, lakes, and streams, but they, like most laws, were flawed. These researchers note, "Originally, it was expected that by gradually eliminating point source pollution discharges, the 1985 goal of no pollution discharge would be achieved which, in turn, would lead to clean water" (Freedman and Jaggi 21). The government hoped to end water pollution, but it has turned into ongoing problem with no end in sight.

Some authors believe that the growth of the suburbs has helped create more water pollution. How can that be, when the spread of cities uses more water, and often covers up existing streams, rivers, and lakes? If there is less water to worry about, how can there be more pollution? Everyone knows growth means progress, and if a few lakes disappear, so be it. In addition, many people believe that this growth adds pollutants to the groundwater, which then pollutes bodies of water far away. Who can tell where groundwater goes anyway? Some critics feel privates wells also reduces water supplies and adds to pollution. However, it is the opinion of many folk that if people in rural areas have wells, that is their problem. They should live where they have access to piped or bottled water, anyway. An expert in water pollution writes, "Added to the pressures from expanding populations in the countryside, undeveloped rural regions can also attract industrial development. Some industries contribute their own source of contamination to streams and groundwater systems" (Goldstein 120). Thus, it is not the urban sprawl that is creating water pollution, it is industry, and people should worry more about dirty industries than groundwater and issues they cannot see and touch. Besides, the water the people use and pollute is miniscule compared to all the water on the planet. Another writer notes, "Only a tiny fraction of the Earth's fresh water reservoirs is easily accessible for human use. Lakes, wetlands and rivers, however, do not comprise the remaining major fresh water compartments" (Krautz 144). Therefore, what Americans pollute is a tiny fraction of the water on the planet, so there will always be more available to use. Why worry?

Industries like paper mills and factories often add many pollutants to the waters nearby, but industries like this often deny having any effect on the waters of a region, and who can blame them? The varying degrees of pollution are difficult to measure, and even experts cannot agree on how much of a substance pollutes the water. One writer notes, "Pollution is simply a question of the degree of dilution. Any substance can become a pollutant threatening an ecosystem if its concentration is too high" (Krautz 144). Thus, if someone places his or her dirty feet in the rushing water of a stream, then some people could consider it a pollutant! That is just silly. Removing the feet from the water shows they are clean, and the water looks not one bit more dirty than before. It has already cleaned itself, just like a swimming pool cleans itself overnight.

Many contend that much of the problem with water pollution is…

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