Michael Moore: “Don’t Send Bottled Water” to Flint

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With the Flint water crisis finally receiving the kind of national attention that (maybe? might?) result in real action, filmmaker and Flint native Michael Moore has a request: Hey, maybe not so much with the bottled water.

In a “letter to America” on his website, Moore acknowledges that the generous donations of hundreds of thousands of bottles of water, from celebrities, organizations, and everyday citizens, are “unbelievably amazing.” But they’re a short-term fix, and not even an effective one:

Flint has 102,000 residents, each in need of an average of 50 gallons of water a day for cooking, bathing, washing clothes, doing the dishes, and drinking (I’m not counting toilet flushes, watering plants or washing the car). But 100,000 bottles of water is enough for just one bottle per person – in other words, just enough to cover brushing one’s teeth for one day. You would have to send 200 bottles a day, per person, to cover what the average American (we are Americans in Flint) needs each day. That’s 102,000 citizens times 200 bottles of water – which equals 20.4 million 16oz. bottles of water per day, every day, for the next year or two until this problem is fixed (oh, and we’ll need to find a landfill in Flint big enough for all those hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles, thus degrading the local environment even further).

Moore’s suggestion? He offers up a five-part plan: the removal and arrest of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder; making the state pay for what the state did; turning over the situation to a federal emergency manager; evacuating “any and all Flint residents who want to leave”; and installing FEMA-managed temporary water systems in the homes of those who stay. For more details — and to sign Moore’s petition to arrest Governor Snyder — read the letter here.