Let’s talk crap. Seriously.
By Dan Dennett
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Sometimes mentioning the unmentionable is a major step forward. Rose George’s witty, fact-filled talk about the problems we can solve if only we start taking shit seriously is just such a step. Human excrement is not just a major source of disease; it also can be a source of remarkably effective medical treatments, and of energy. Putting poop where it can do good rather than harm is surprisingly easy and inexpensive once we clear away the myths and taboos.
It’s often said that water will be in the 21st century what oil was in the 20th century, and among the most effective ways of preserving and enlarging freshwater supplies worldwide are revolutions in how we dispose of our excrement. It’s mainly social attitudes that stand in the way of adoption of these practices and systems. So here’s a great opportunity for social activists to participate in the meme-spreading that could wipe out the shit-spreading that’s fouling the environment. Don’t preach, don’t teach; reach out, in the ways Rose suggests.
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When I was a young fat old white guy injineer, there were a lot of jokes about “sanitary engineering”, but we learned how essential it is to human survival.
It’s sad that some MANY children die from “easily” preventable causes.
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