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The Daily Show's Trevor Noah makes a plea for Flint, Michigan, and its lead-poisoned residents.

January 16, 2016

The lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan, is anything but funny, but on Thursday night’s episode of the The Daily Show, comedian Trevor Noah highlighted just how outrageous the situation is. “I have a very simple rule in life, “ Noah begins the segment. “If the water is browner than me, then I don’t drink it.”

Flint’s problems started back in April 2014, when the city began drawing its drinking water from the Flint River to cut costs. But the river’s water was so corrosive, the pipes began leaching lead into the system. Within a year and a half, the proportion of Flint’s children with dangerously high levels of lead in their blood had nearly doubled.

The city switched back to the Detroit water supply in October, but the faucets are still dripping lead and the pipes are damaged to the tune of $1.5 billion (which, Noah helpfully reminds us, is the Powerball jackpot’s exact payout). This week Michigan Governor Rick Snyder asked President Obama to declare a major disaster, and the state’s top prosecutor is investigating whether any laws were broken.

“You know what they say," quips Noah. “Things could always be worse. Or as they say in Flint, Michigan, things could always be like this.”

onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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