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Sambodian Taxi Ride

The hydrological paradox: flash floods in the streets, aquifers running dry

The hydrological paradox: flash floods in the streets, aquifers running dry

São Paulo has an excellent taxi fleet, but I find that the drivers tend strongly to Malufism — supporters of a former mayor and current federal deputy currently subject to the Red Notice of Interpol and a standing arrest warrant in New York Country for corruption, as well as parliamentary immunity here in Brazil.

Source: Ricardo Kotscho – R7.

Everyone blames the government. But which government do they blame?

Up to his neck in water, or better, in the lack of water, and because there are no elections this year, the eternal state governor Geraldo Alckmin finally has decided to act: starting today (January 8), those who consume more than the average consumption over the past 12 months will pay a heavy fine: as much as 100% of the monthly bill.

While still campaigning for reelection, and having, with the help of a friendly news media, succeeded in concealing the risk of a collapse of the water system, Alckmin proposed the precise opposite of what he is doing now, promising discounts for those who consume less.

There is no longer any way to avoid the problem, however. Even with the use of reserves from the second dead volume, the Cantareira system is at 6.8% of its capacity, the lowest index since the beginning of the drought.

Not even the strong summer rains have been able to reverse the situation. On the contrary, water remains scarce at the spillways and Alckmin is beginning another government in the way he concluded his last, chasing his losses. I have not yet heard anyone speak of electoral fraud.

The water crisis; the north shore roads that are torturing the tourists; out-of-control deforestation; increasing violence: none of it sticks to the teflon governor. Nothing is Alckmin’s fault.

And while the governor is rarely seen on the news discussing the various crises of São Paulo, there is another explanation of this strategy.

Most voters think all politicians are really to blame, but when you ask them about the candidates and which is saying what, most answer incorrectly.

Last October, during the election, when the Datafolha market research company asked who was responsible for the crisis in the city’s water supply, 53% named the federal government and the city government. That is to say, the PT of Dilma and Haddad is to blame.

I witnessed a fine example of this generalized ignorance about the three levels of government when an enormous pothole opened up here at home. I even wrote a post about it as repair work was beginning. It was just as the World Cup began, I remember it well.

Six months later, the project is still not finished, because it involves a fissure that is moving, heading up Ministro Rocha Azevedo toward the Avenida Paulista, and holding up traffic along the way.

“Look at this crap the PT is doing … Every day the same, and the city does nothing …” said the blasphemous taxi driver, who spoke with the vehemence of a true believer. I also pointed out the Sabesp logo on the side of the truck parked next to the work site, but he was not having it. “So what? This Sabesp crap is the city, right?”

To no avail, I tried to explain that Sabesp is the central sanitation company for the state of São Paulo, controlled by the state government. The man was furious, and so we continued our ride with the driver cursing the city and the PT. The man listened exclusively to Jovem Pan on the radio. Alckmin, as we know, was reelected with one hand tied behind his back.

The federal government shares the blame, of course, but its failure to make citizenship an obligatory subject in the schools is worst of all ….

I suggest that Datafolha conduct another survey on the topic. I suspect that an absolute majority of the population can answer the questions correctly. And this is how people vote, election after election. Then they complain about the governments and politicians they have just elected.

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