of the developed world comes from endless
supplies of clean hot water, stored and unused.
Purchased at the price of burning an amount
of fossil fuels we can never begin to estimate.
This is proof of how our neuroses about purity have shifted.
In the England in the middle ages every village employed
a man to collect urine for washing sheets and fulling.
The Piss Man was his title, and clean bedding was for the rich.
When it was clean it was rarely white, the colour of purity,
the colour of scientists' lab coats. Bedding had a greenish hue.
We have gone from collecting piss to boiling away water.
And even as we laud our scientists as modern secular saints,
make their websites shrines at which to leave prayer-like offerings,
we ignore their warnings to reduce our use of fossil fuels.
We like to think they are going to be our source of plenty.