Friday, February 04, 2011

What's in a name?

There is growing trend, and I'm not quite sure if this is new or not of giving names (or phrases) to ideas that stifles any rational thought.
As an example, everybody is aware of the contentious issue known as "climate change". We can blame any anomaly in the weather on "climate change" from the current snowbound U.S. to the flooding and previous drought in Australia. Possibly the devastating cyclones we've just experienced in Queensland will also be attributed to climate change. And, if there is any uncertainty about cause and effect, then the prophet of climate change Ross Garnaut will tell us that that is also due to climate change. 
But before carried away with this single issue, it's just an example of what I want to rant about and this is the new phrase bandied about, "drinking water".
This is such a new phrase that when a friend first used it, my ears pricked up and started burning. I was incredulous and irritated by the use of such a misnomer in our discussion.
Apparently our dams are now full or empty or whatever of DRINKING WATER!. What used to be just plain water that we would use to wash ourselves, shower,bath,laundry,car wash,industrial processes and farming irrigation was is entirely drinking water. I don't know if all those trendy people going around with bottled water are aware of this or not...maybe like innocent children who think that milk comes from a bottle, they think that all drinking water only comes from a bottle. Maybe that's where the phrase originated, in a need to educate the ignorant. But that's only my theory.
Now what really really really riles me is that the recent flood devastation in Queensland might well have been avoided if those who were/are in control of the dam, didn't think of the dam, that had reached over 140% capacity, as drinking water.
Subject to a pending inquiry, we might eventually learn that if it wasn't for this mental block, this notion that millions and millions of litres of water is drinking water, those in control wouldn't have been so reluctant to release water from the dam earlier than they did and have prevented the terrible disaster that occurred.
I think it is much easier to regulate a dam if the water that is drained off into the river system is just plain water and not drinking water. Don't you?

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

For as long as I remember, we've used the term "drinking water" here. Meaning potable. Perhaps it should be called drinkable water instead. Meaning that it's clean enough to drink right? But it can be used for so much more. But if they refused to open the dam because they were holding this precious resource when they were about to get oodles more then they are incredibly stupid regardless. Sometimes too much of a good thing makes it bad.

The whole climate change thing has gone too far. It's a new religion. And it's not to say that people really should stop polluting but the planet has been through worse according to the history told in the rocks.