The Watering Hole, Tuesday April 14, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics

Today environmental news  and food politics cross paths, in the UK anyway.

Warmer Waters Threaten Future of Traditional Fish and Chips

I can just see the proposals now for a pipeline connecting the Great Lakes with California after seeing this bit: Record low snowpacks in Southwest is bad news for water supplies

And the last bit of good news…

Mercury levels in Arctic birds found increasing over the past 130 years

Open thread, discuss.

48 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Tuesday April 14, 2015 – Environmental News and Food Politics

  1. So far, the Colorado Rockies seem to have escaped the drought that’s devastating so much of the west. Our little lake (65 acres) is full with a dribble of overflow — the earliest in the last 7 years that’s happened. I haven’t seen any official stats as of the moment, but the Front Range still has a visibly “typical” snowpack for this date so if nothing changes I assume inflow here will continue for at least another 6-8 weeks. That should maintain stability till the summer rains show up — if, indeed, they do. I would also assume that Colorado River runoff should be close to “normal”, which is certainly a blessing for lower basin states Nevada, Arizona, and California.

    In the short term we’re looking at “normal” till tomorrow night, and then several days of rain/snow here at 6000 ft. elev., which means the potential for lots of snow in the mountains. It’ll be interesting to see if the precip actually shows up — predictions are a tough call these days.

  2. “If they get to nominate Hillary Clinton, why don’t we get to nominate Dick Cheney?” — Billy Kristol

    Please proceed, Mr. Kristol.

    • Because, Mr. Kristol, the United States does not want to see its president arrested as soon as he sets foot in the wrong country. And when it comes to war crimes, I don’t think there’s really any diplomatic immunity. There shouldn’t be, anyway. There probably is, but there ought not be.

  3. I seriously think we should consider a national aqueduct system. I don’t care what the Nestle CEO says, water is a right not a privilege. If we don’t stop looking at absolutely everything as a potential for making money, we’ll never survive as a species.

    • That would be a job creator, that’s for sure. I remember “watching” as the Central Arizona Project was constructed. It probably took about 20 years to build a canal system from the Colorado River, up over some desert mountains and then across the Sonoran Desert to Phoenix, then down to Tucson. Not sure of the total mileage, but I’d guess it to be at least 300. I also recall that about the time Colorado River water came through my drinking water tap I suddenly started to miss the old days when I didn’t have to buy “purified” water to drink — it tasted a lot better, but added a lot to the monthly dollar outflow.

      Bottom line, aqueducts do indeed work, but they’re far from an overnight solution, and much trickier to design and build than was the interstate highway system.

      Why not figure out a way to make desalinization work on a massively large scale? There’s certainly never going to be a shortage of seawater.

      A few decades back I remember being amused by a (bogus) proposition to melt the polar caps into huge pipes that ran to each continent from N and S poles. The (bogus) thesis was that no pumps would even be needed — the earth’s spin would generate enough centripetal force to “pull” the water all the way to the equator. Of course, today that wouldn’t be much of an idea since the polar caps are disappearing anyway, thanks to global warming.

      Funny how a planet that’s about 3/4 covered with water can have water shortages, but that pretty much shows that humans really aren’t nearly as bright and “intelligent” as they claim to be. 😯

  4. Another reason water tables are so low would be the energy exploration boom across the western states. ONE single horizontal frac well uses anywhere between 2-12 million gallons of water.

    An old 2011 EPA report estimated that 70 to 140 billion gallons of water are used to fracture 35,000 wells in the United States each year – approximately the annual water consumption of 40 to 80 cities each with a population of 50,000, according to Earthworks.

    With oil companies literally running over each other to drill horizontal frac wells this has probably tripled. Many farmers are selling water rights (the total acre feet of water allocation) they hold directly to big oil at inflated rates:

    Desperate to pay their bills, some farmers in New Mexico’s southeastern Eddy County have been selling the water from their supplementary wells to oil and gas companies, says the Albuquerque Journal. More public notices are being posted about water-rights holders seeking to have the purpose of a supplemental well changed from agricultural to commercial, or even to transfer the right to it.

    “A lot of folks are doing that. I can’t blame them. The Carlsbad Irrigation District doesn’t have the water the farmers need, and our farmers have to have some income coming in,” Mexico Interstate Stream Commissioner Jim Wilcox comments.

    Whatever farmers who drain their aquifers for fracking stand to gain can only be short-term. Hydraulic fracking requires vast amounts of water which, along with chemicals and fine sands, is blasted into the ground to break open shale formations. Afterwards, the chemical-glutted water is often unrecoverable and could even further contaminate the groundwater.

    As Think Progress points out, the farmers’ supplemental wells actually get their water from the same source that provide potable water for residents. By selling water for fracking, the water supply of New Mexico could be permanently endangered, if not destroyed and poisoned.

    • I’m noticing more and more that in human’s modern world, the word “money” becomes, with each passing day, more intimately parcel to the definition of “insanity.” Speaks volumes about human’s nonsensical priorities.

  5. Finally. Now we know. No need to wonder any longer. The truth is revealed. [cough]

    Religious Right Pundit: Hillary Clinton Too Ugly To Be President

    Don Feder of the World Congress of Families is out today with a column titled “Top Ten Reasons Why Hitlery Will Never Be President,” in which he calls the former secretary of state “a frustrated, middle-aged feminist who’s perpetually incensed.”

    Feder, decrying Clinton as an elitist and a radical ideologue, ends his piece by asserting that Clinton will be brought down by “the hideousness factor.”

    The “pro-family” activist writes that “Lyndon Baines Johnson was the last profoundly ugly candidate to be elected president,” adding that “voters don’t want a leader who looks frazzled or frumpy.”

    • Don Feder is obviously unfamiliar with the Trump’s and Rand Paul’s hair, Chris Christie’s humongousness, Carly Fiorina’s face-stretching, Jeb Bush’s last name, Ted Cruz’s smarmy face, Marco Rubio’s hydration issues and receding hair at 43, Mike Huckabee (see Christie), Booby Jindal (this is obvious, no?), and Ben Carson, too tan.

      That leaves Guv. Goodhair from Texas who by all appearances fits the bill, except for, yanno, that inferior brain thing.

  6. Percy sledge was working in a hospital by day and singing in a band by night. One day his girlfriend broke up with him. Depressed when he arrived at the gig, he told his band mates to play something slow, anything. He then improvised “When A Man Loves A Woman” right on the spot.

  7. From the Makes Perfect Sense to Wingnuts Department:

    Blaming the murder of two police officers by a couple who had spent time at the Bundy ranch on a government “false flag” operation, [Alex] Jones claimed that the government backed down in Nevada because they want to provoke a civil war by staging a false flag attack on a daycare center and blaming it on right-wing extremists.

  8. Gary Cass: Satan Using ‘Gay Abortionists’ To ‘Attack Humanity’

    Warning that “gay abortionists” are out to “destroy the fruit of heterosexuality,” Cass declared that Satan uses both abortion and gay marriage to “attack humanity at the core of their essence where the image of God resides, to destroy them sexually, to destroy the fruit of their womb.”

    “If you’re Satan, that makes perfect sense,” he said. “It’s all an attack on the image of God”

    It’s tricky to find the right words, but I’ll try: for some weird reason or other, I think both Cass and his thesis might be fucked up.

    • Let us pray. God, we give thanks to you for providing us with this plentiful bounty here on Earth to craft the weapons that we use to kill your creations.


    • I can understand creating a fantasy world if one is dissatisfied by reality but, for the life of me, I can’t understand why one would create a fantasy world that makes one piss ones pants in sheer terror.

      • What puzzles me is that Old Clootie is seeing to the diminishment and eventual end of the human race because it tickles the shit out of him to wipe out god’s image (see above — Gary Cass thesis), but the real question has gotta be what’s Old Clootie gonna do fur amusement once he’s finished wiping out that there image? I mean, think of it: a universe without Republicans means god is gone for good, right? Puzzling. Very puzzling. Makes me think Satan hasn’t thought his project through.

        Also, are Islamists god’s image too? How can that be? Puzzling. Very puzzling.

  9. I have an idea for a new product that combines digital TV with 3-D printing technology. I came up with this idea after seeing the Alpine location of the German airline crash site. I was trying to think of a good name for the ability to “feel” the mountains and valleys when I realized that when such a technology is introduced it will be quickly adopted by the porn industry and probably be known as Titty TV!

  10. It’s softly raining here, and I have the window open in the bedroom, but it’s not coming into the house. The feline moisture indicator is still on her bed by the window sill.

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