So, women on the pill peeing into the sewers kills fish. We must clean this up.
To reduce dangers posed by these concentrations, the EU proposed in January that it would set a level of 0.035ppt for ethinyl estradiol in water in Europe. Achieving that target will not be easy, as Owen and Jobling point out in a recent issue of Nature. They calculate that, for a town of about 250,000 people, it would cost about £6m to install a system that uses granular activated carbon to cut EE2 levels, with a further £600,000 being needed to operate the system each year. To upgrade the 1,400 sewage waterworks in England and Wales would cost a total of more than £30bn, they add. \”The question we have to ask ourselves is straightforward,\” said Owen, a former head of environment and health at the UK Environment Agency. \”Are we willing to pay up or would we rather settle for environmental damage associated with flexible fertility?\”
Leave aside any concerns over the science for a moment and accept it as true. Then we do indeed face this particular problem.
But then we get into the relams of pure and entire fuckwittery:
Nor is it necessary that the public should pick up the tab, added Owen. \”The pharmaceutical industry makes billions out of the drugs and treatments it sells. If these pollute the environment, what is wrong with making them pay to have it cleaned up?\”
Now they say that there are some 2.5 million women on the various flavours of pill. Sounds a little low to me but we\’ll run with it.
Leave aside the capital cost of installing this necessary equipment and look just at the running costs. Some 10% of the £30 billion capital, or £3 billion a year, spread over (just to make it easy) 3 million women.
£1,000 per woman per year.
Cost to the NHS of the pill for a year for a woman? Looks like £50 or less to me.
So, Big Pharma is making profits of £950 a year more than they are actually charging are they? For that\’s what they would have to be doing in order to be making the profit that could be confiscated to pay for the damages.
And we used to employ this Owen chappie at the Environment Agency? Seriously, our tax money went on someone as fuckwitted as this?
The truth is of course that the benefit of the pill goes to those who are able to control their fertility through the use of it. This is not unusual, that the social benefit of a product goes to those who use it, not those who sell it.
But, of course, if the recipients of that social benefit are causing a social damage as well then we\’re in the realm of Pigou Taxes, aren\’t we? Thus the logical answer to this is that women who take the pill should be charged an extra £1,000 a year in tax for the privilege of taking that pill which causes such damage.
I do, really I do, look forward to the Green Party campaign on the basis that the polluter should pay.