The watering Hole, Tuesday May 5, 2015 – Environmental news and Food Politics

I often joked that a stick of dynamite is a powerful rivers restoration tool that is under utilized. Science backs me me up.

Actually, dynamite would be irresponsible in and of itself, but you get the idea. There are alternatives to dams for hydroelectric, flood control and irrigation. As a nation, we don’t have the same courage to fund their replacements that we had when we built many of them in depths of the Great Depression, when we REALLY had no money as a nation. Removing dams would be the number one improvement in rivers to get our salmon and steelhead runs back on the recovery track.

Open thread, discuss.


57 thoughts on “The watering Hole, Tuesday May 5, 2015 – Environmental news and Food Politics

  1. Hoover dam.

    I could go on for pages about that one.
    After mankind is extinct, it will crumble and the canyon will try to return to normal.

    • I was a college kid at Arizona State U. when Glen Canyon dam was completed. I couldn’t see the sense of it way back then, and today I view it with orders of magnitude less enthusiasm. An even worse idea — one that never came to fruition — was the proposed Bridge Canyon dam on the Colorado. It was to be a high dam — hydroelectric its main purpose — in the canyon just above Lake Mead. It would have backed water up into then Grand Canyon National Monument (now the lower end of Grand Canyon National Park) and was somehow defeated in Congress by 1960’s ‘environmentalist’ Representatives (today a contradiction in terms). So the dam wasn’t built; instead a huge coal-fired power plant (the Four Corners Power Plant) was built not far from Glen Canyon dam, with coal supplied via a coal-water slurry from a large coal deposit on the Hopi Indian Reservation.The coal plant has caused episodes of air pollution over the Grand Canyon and been strongly criticized because of it; plus, with its coal-water slurry it’s one of the most “efficient” water-wasting projects ever built in an arid area.

      Today there are still many (myself included) who support Edward Abbey’s proposal to destroy Glen Canyon Dam and to restore the free-flowing Colorado River. Getting rid of those polluting power plants would be a nice add-on, also legislation to PREVENT AND PROHIBIT further human intrusion in the Grand Canyon and on its north and south rims. There are efforts always to allow/enable uranium mining, and there is currently a proposal by a multinational developer who is trying to capitalize off the Grand Canyon by building a huge mega-mall in the small town of Tusayan, Ariz., just south of the park. To do so would be a disaster from most every aspect, especially from a water use / availability standpoint. The Center for Biodiversity puts it this way:

      This sprawling “mega complex,” as Stilo Development Group calls it, will overwhelm the park’s already crumbling infrastructure, threaten water supplies, and suburbanize America’s greatest natural treasure. Just the idea of it is sickening: 3 million square feet of commercial lots, 2,100 residential units, hotels, shops — and all just a mile outside the park boundary.

      Grand Canyon National Park’s superintendent calls this proposal one of “the greatest threats to the Grand Canyon in the 96-year history of the park” — and rightly so. The water it will take to feed this sprawl will diminish flows at sacred Havasu Falls and at springs within the park, including Indian Gardens on the Bright Angel Trail.

      A new way to spell Travesty.

      But there’s money in it, so . . .

      Frankly, human extinction cannot come fast enough to suit me.

      • The truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense (Mark Twain)
        Barry Goldwater, a staunch republican (for his day) was oddly, one of the strongest proponents of preserving the natural beauty of Arizona.
        There are few places on earth more captivating than The Grand Canyon in winter.
        No tourists, no hunters and wildlife gets a reprieve from the endless bus loads idiots with plastic water bottles.
        What pisses me off even more is how the tribal elders have sold out for the dollar.
        I will find my way back out there some day but for now I am trapped in hee haw hell caring for two elderly parents.

        • Barry Goldwater was one of my heroes back in those days. I voted for him for pres in 1964 not because of party or politic but because he was a STRONG advocate of preserving Arizona.

          As for tribal elders, I saw something recently where the Navajo were wanting to run a tram of some sort into the Grand Canyon to make it more accessible to tourists. What bullshit. If a visitor wants to explore the canyon, I recommend first reading Colin Fletcher’s “The Man Who Walked Through Time” and then get a good walking stick, a backpack, and go for it.

          Meanwhile, the Hopi are still sending coal to the Four Corners Power plant and still wasting millions of gallons of water in the process — even as NE AZ (Navajo and Hopi lands) are bracing for severe water shortages thanks to overuse and the SW drought.

          And humans call themselves ‘intelligent.’ Absolute bullshit.

        • Mark Twain should take over the Daily Show…. shit, he’s dead.

      • We are somewhat looking at this through the lens of history at decisions made then tainted by what we know now. Take a listen to this Sting classic, written during the Miner’s Strike of 1984 in UK, Margaret Thatcher and her plan to rein in the coal miners and supply power by North Sea oil and gas and by nuclear. Chernobyl is still 1 full year away at this point. I think that the wisdom and the courage we lack is being able to say we were wrong and to do what is now right.

    • Sounds like Republicanism is really working well. Louisiana, Kansas, Wisconsin — prosperity for . . . ummmmm . . . the prosperous? As for education, well we all know it sucks. Turns out lotsa leftist commie fascists like Obama. Better off without it, especially since we already got Duck Dynasty!

    • I read someplace that old Walmart stores that are now closed and vacant are going to be converted into FEMA concentration camps.

      • Well at least there are nice, retired and friendly greeters waiting for me…. beats having a broomstick up the kakpipe anyday.

    • Shipped in from China and bought on credit cards that will never be paid off ….. welcome to the new Feudalism!

  2. ISIS claims responsibility for the attack at the Dallas “art” show.

    ISIS: The Brian Williams of terrorists.

    • Well, Ben Carson recently let it slip that he’d heard about ISIS having basecamps in Texas. It was all making perfect sense till they caught and arrested the dude in Phoenix.

      Actually, I think maybe they should catch and arrest Pam Geller too. Maybe toss her into the same cell with the shooter, see who wins. Let god speak, iow.

  3. Big day today – hopefully. We in Alberta are having an election and after 44 years of conservative rule where boom after boom means we have no savings and nothing to show for it, the New Democratic Party is leading the polls by a wide margin! Very fractured – Edmonton will vote NDP, Calgary will vote PC and rural area will vote Wildrose (Tea Party North).

  4. This should help the world sleep easier.

    Glenn Beck Wants Ted Cruz’s ‘Velvet Hand’ In Control When America Descends Into Martial Law

    The world is about to change,” Beck stated. “Mark my words, this next presidency, we will see martial law … In this next presidency, we will see martial law, either regionally or across the entire country, I don’t know. But you will see martial law because there’s going to be a breakdown of the system.” […]

    Saying that it is important to have a “constitutionalist” in power when this societal breakdown comes, Beck said, “I want Ted Cruz because I believe we are going to face tough times and we may go into martial law and I want somebody that will take that and with a velvet hand, put uprisings down if we have them and then let the hand off and restore our freedoms again”:

  5. Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. The Xtian Caliphate.

    Gohmert Statement on Jade Helm Exercises

    “Over the past few weeks, my office has been inundated with calls referring to the Jade Helm 15 military exercise scheduled to take place between July 15 and September 15, 2015. This military practice has some concerned that the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law.

    Certainly, I can understand these concerns. When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned. We have seen people working in this administration use their government positions to persecute people with conservative beliefs in God, country, and notions such as honor and self-reliance. Because of the contempt and antipathy for the true patriots or even Christian saints persecuted for their Christian beliefs, it is no surprise that those who have experienced or noticed such persecution are legitimately suspicious.

    • There’s that “those who support the Constitution” wingnut meme again. I have to wonder: have any one of them ever read the thing and/or tried to comprehend that which it actually says, or do they just figure that whatever they believe must be in it because because?

      Where, e.g., are “Christian beliefs” mentioned or described or protected? Interesting that the words god, Jesus, Christ, Christian, and belief are all mysteriously absent from the document. I wonder what that might mean? Maybe that none of those words were considered at all foundational? Horror of horrors.

      • They keep a copy of it in their breast pocket, that and wearing a flag pin make them Constitutional scholar!

        • ‘Yesterday I got a copy to keep in my pocket. Today I tried to read it. Tomorrow I’m buying a dictionary for looking up words. Like Article for example. I always thought that was something in a newspaper. And then after. . . . . . etc.

    • Po, po Louie. His fictitious imagination working double overtime this week.

    • Never a surprise when Gohmert, et al, fold religion into the Constitution.

      • Oh please! Jesus didn’t sign the declaration of independence, did he?
        Now, I’m pretty sure that a guy with a given name of Jesus signed the Caesar Chavez petition to grant migrant farm workers basic rights.
        Prolly not the guy pictured here, tho.

  6. Personally, I don’t unnerstan what the big deal is about Sicko da Mayo.
    If eating Miracle Whip made somebody hurl, what the hell do I care…Oh…what?
    That’s very different…..Never Mind.

    • 10 years ago today, I had rotator cuff surgery. I woke up in post-op with the dry heaves. The stuff they gave me to stop them made me sleep for another couple of hours, which made my wife have to stay there until I woke up again. Then I couldn’t leave until I ate some crackers and drank some 7 Up. I didn’t eat any mayonnaise though.

    • #putin is saving Russians from the neo-Nazis Banderites who took over Ukraine…. !!

  7. There is simply no going back when a friend you love and admire starts promoting the candidacy of Ben Carson.

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