Punch,  54 (1868), 230.

Density and Dirty Water





Pollution, Analytical Chemistry, Disease, Death, Industry, Sanitation, Morality, Progress

    Anticipating a performance at the forthcoming Handel Festival of 'They Loathed to Drink of the River' from Georg F Händel's oratorio Israel in Egypt, discusses a report in The Times concerning William Farr, who could find no evidence of a decline in the mortality rates from fever, a result that Farr linked to a rising population and therefore water contamination. Punch agrees on the link between population and contamination, but adds that an increased 'moral density' pollutes the streams, kills its fishes, and discolours flowers. Suggests that decreasing the 'moral density' of the population would lower the population and therefore the death rate. Offers this for consideration by those who dismiss conservation of the environment to be backward-looking.

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