Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thirsty Feminists Advise Georgia Governor

Alright, I suppose that the only thirsty feminist doing any advising right now is me, and if I’m really thirsty I could just go get a glass of milk. But, the drought situation is getting serious here in Georgia and I’m not the only one to have noticed that our governor has some pretty funny ideas about what to do about the situation. It is still largely up to the individual counties to decide what conservation measures to put into place, and, considering that some are already worried about their areas going completely dry, the conservation measures being taken are too small and the punishments for infractions are too lenient. So, I am shifting into letter-writing gear. Here is what I have to say to Governor Sonny Perdue:

Dear Governor Perdue,
As an elected official, I realized that you are trying to be an advocate for us, the citizens of Georgia, during this drought. In October you asked the President to declare a state of emergency for Georgia, so that we might share less water from Lake Lanier with our neighbors. Today you asked God to send us some rain. As far as asking the higher-ups for help on our behalf, you’ve done a top-notch job.

Yet, being a governor is a more difficult job than being an advocate, and in difficult times leaders must, well, lead their constituents. Sir, the citizens of Georgia want to avert disaster, but need to be told how. It is up to you to instruct the population on what needs to be done to better conserve. Chris Browning, assistant director of Fulton County Public Works, has been widely quoted as saying “It is really up to our customers to find ways to conserve.” Yet, with none of the north Georgia counties hitting their conservation targets, it is evident that people are unclear as to what needs to be done and need guidance. In case you too are short on ideas, I would like to make a few simple recommendations:

1. Restaurants should not be serving water unless a customer orders it. This does two things - it conserves the water that people who order soft drinks usually leave untouched on the tables, and it also keeps conservation forefront in the public’s mind as servers continuously say “Can I take your drink orders? I’m sorry I won’t be bringing water to the table unless you order it, since we are in a sever drought right now.”

2. Businesses and homes alike should be using hand sanitizing gels for hand washing instead of water.

3. If it’s yellow, let it mellow.

4. Restaurants and private citizens should be using paper plates and cups, instead of dishes that need washing. I know that you are probably loath, as I am, to add more solid waste to our land fills. Yet, Georgia has a healthy recycling system, and we are in an emergency. Perhaps recyclable paper plates, just for awhile, might be the lesser of two evils.

5. People should be showering every other day, unless they are stinky. Really though, most Americans spend their days in front of computer and TV screens, so we aren’t working up much of a sweat. A sponge bath might cut it on alternating days.

6. Teach the people this trick – you collect the run-off water from your shower and flush your toilet with it. Really – just quickly dump an entire bucket of water into the bowl of the toilet when you’re, well, finished and it triggers the flushing mechanism.

7. The golf courses might just have to go brown.

8. Perhaps people who still insist on watering their lawns, despite the crisis, don’t deserve the luxury of two warnings before their water gets shut off. Perhaps a fine for the first time is sufficient to get the message across that this is serious.

The citizens of Georgia are by and large very religious, and I am sure that they are following your advice that they pray. I hope that on your next address to the people, you will provide them with something else that has recently been in short supply – sound advice and guidance.

La Pobre Habladora

OK – I might try to smooth out the snarky spots before putting a stamp on it. Or perhaps not. Feel free to send this letter yourself, or let us know if you write (or have written) your own. And for daily updates on the southern drought situation, check out this site.


Casmall said...

I went to the Atlanta Water Shortage web site (linked) - can't you believe that we haven't even cut back 10%?

La Pobre Habladora said...

Ha! Perdue is now looking for ideas... from 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders! We need to find a kid and give them our ideas - for a cut of the prize money, of course.

Mächtige Maus said...

As an Okie well aware of water-shortages, I have to say I am always amazed and appalled at how nonchalant communities in the area can be about the issue. There is a small locality near here that, to solve the problem, pay a crazy amount of money to build a new water shunt to bring in water from a far away source. Had restrictions been in place at the first hint of drought, such drastic and short term measures would not have been necessary.

Really, why only be concerned when it is too late? How hard is it to take the conscientious approach up front?

La Pobre Habladora said...

To me, this seems a very Republican attitude. Look, when we faced a drought in liberal C-ville, everyone wanted to one-up each other about how much they were doing to conserve. Here people consider measures extreme because they aren't allowed to water lawns or because car washes can only operate if they are using a water-capture system.

I do realize that some businesses, namely gardening and landscaping businesses, have already been hurt by the drought. But all businesses will be hurt if we let our city run dry, like this one Tennessee town.