flint water protests Bill Pugliano/ Stringer via getty images

当民主辜负人民的期望

纽约——民主国家不会爆发饥荒是诺贝尔奖得主阿马蒂亚·森的名言,因为负责任的政府会尽一切可能避免发生大规模饥荒。同样的道理也适用于清洁饮水;像粮食一样,清洁饮水也是我们生存和福祉所必不可少的资源。

但最近发生在美国的事件令人失望地凸显了上述名言的局限性,证明民主国家可以如何辜负他们本应为之服务的民众。2014年,密歇根州弗林特市政府停止从底特律购水,并开始从临近的河流中采水使用。成本问题驱动了上述决定。民众对饮水质量的担忧遭到了漠视。

结果是河水腐蚀了这座城市已经老化的水管;流出龙头的自来水可能含有高浓度的有毒铅金属。但这个问题似乎并未得到重视。即使在企业和医院宣布河水不适宜饮用并改用其他水源后,市、州两级政府仍然对此视而不见。

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