Thursday, April 03, 2008

moving on

We really have to discount pandemic as a trigger for the end of the world as we know it. It's just too unlikely to be efficient enough to get us all. We aren't all that stupid despite outward appearances.
Drought is our next candidate. Those of you that believe in intelligent design may skip this post. Because we all know God is on your side blah, blah, blah... If you just can't not skip it this may be news to you that we are in the middle of a climate control problem.
We can all debate whether it's all our fault or it's someone or something else's fault but really who cares about blame? If I say it's all your damn fault will the problem go away? Cause if it will I will gladly take out ads everywhere blaming you.
Let's get a little technical here. Because we have a need for water to drink and to farm and water to create electricity we made a few changes to our landscape. We diverted a few rivers here and there,okay more than a few. We diverted pretty much every damn river we could .
Then we added some dams, a few thousand of them.
It wasn't just us. Everybody did it okay?.
Diverting all that water changed the landscape a bit and the weather a bit more.
Then we all got busy making babies.Then we made some more babies.
Human beings have some faults and the need to drink water may be one of them. Our need for flush toilets, daily showers, green lawns, swimming pools, hot tubs and fruit and veg year round may be some other faults. Our love of bread,cake , rice, corn and donuts ain't helping either. Our love of french fries and all things potato may in fact be our true downfall.
The fact that we like constant electricity to run our air conditioners, furnaces, televisions, stoves, fridges and microwaves means we need water and lots of it.

Growing food in the ground requires water. Because we like to grow billions of acres of food at one time we need billions of gallons of water on tap. Because we want to grow that food anywhere we want (including semi arid desert) we need more and more water.
Combine this with our stunning laziness and lack of creativity in how we deliver that water to the fields (essentially we like to use giant sprinklers around the clock) and you can begin to see why drought might start being an issue.

We have never had any education about water as a resource. We see the big lakes and think "wow, that's a lot of water" and never think about it again. Where does that water come from anyway?
Could it really come from melting snow and pouring rain? Really?
So what happens if your climate changes? I think the Southern US can answer this question.
First you begin to notice the shore of the lake at your cottage looks a little different. You have to move the boat dock out every spring. Irritating as hell but it's not really that big a deal..right?
But shallow water warms faster and even those who never got past grade nine science get that it's faster to boil a little amount of water for a cup of instant coffee than a full kettle. We also know when water warms up it begins to evaporate. Ooops.......less water. Pretty soon your lake is smaller and you start seeing that old fridge and four tires your neighbour dumped in a few years back.
Worse, the reservoirs created to supply clean drinking water are beginning to dry up. Without the reservoirs other sources of water need to be tapped into. We have to recycle the water used for toilets and showers. Grey water and sewage. It needs to be treated and filtered and a percentage of that water gets lost in the process. We keep losing water.
Just a little bit here and there. Hardly noticeable really and of course we don't see it. We haven't stopped making those babies though and they need water too.
Soon our population begins to overcome available water.
We have to tell people to stop watering their lawns. They for the most part ignore the order until it becomes a law. It's mandatory now and the police may notice. Probably not though . There is always one or two assholes who would rather pay a fine than curb their god given right to a green lawn in the desert and the police are busy trying to get the drunks off the road.(Drunk drivers are the same people who water their lawns all day in ninety degree weather during a water advisory)
Then the boil water notices start coming. The grey sewage water isn't as clean as hoped for. It's just a nuisance , not something to be worried about. It'll get better, we will just divert some water from someone else. They wont miss it......
Soon everyone is playing the credit card game. We all know this's where you pay the minimum balance on one card with another card and then use another to pay the minimum on that other one......
It's called water rationing.
Then all those underground springs start to dry up. Everyone loves their bottled spring water don't they? Billions of bottles sold every can't last forever at this rate of consumption. Now all those people who used to only drink Perrier have to drink tap water. More stress on a resource already in trouble.
So what do we do? Maybe it's time to drain off some more of that lake water a little faster and divert it to a drought stricken south...the place we are growing our strawberries and potatoes . Don't ask me why we chose California to grow our favorite food, it's irrelevant . We need the water and the year round strawberries,blueberries and raspberries.
The lakes are getting lower and lower.
Problem is those big dams(Niagara Falls) need more of that water to move those turbines so we can heat the water in our swimming pools. Choices, choices.
Here is an important point, climate change doesn't always mean global warming. Some places already prone to being very warm (California,Arizona the South) will get a little warmer and this temp or two higher is going to cause some changes in weather. It may be a little windy to say the least. Wind is no friend to farmers. That rich, nutrient filled topsoil will begin to drift away. The lack of rain to fix the soil in place can't be replaced by a sprinkler. It's getting harder to grow food. It may cause the seasons to stretch a little bit, what's wrong with three extra weeks of winter, or summer? Maybe just a huge surge in the need for electricity is all.

Now we move into catastrophic crop failure, a topic for another day.

Drought doesn't have to be a sudden dramatic event. It can be a slow process, so gradual it can seem like nothing at all. It may start with a little trouble finding your supply of spring water but it will end with water hoarding and wars between states,provinces,countries over who owns the lakes and the ocean.
I guess whoever has the most advanced desalinization technology in place ( Saudi,UAE) wins.

What happens to a planet made of water if everyone drinks half of it and uses the other half as a toilet? Will the weather improve?

See why I don't really care about oil?
The loss of water resources isn't just inconvenient it's actually life threatening.
Climate change is just a buzzword to get peoples attention diverted. In and of itself climate change is meaningless. It is what will happen to our resources as a result of these changes we should be paying attention to.

Stop watering your lawn. If you don't have enough rain to keep it green then you shouldn't have a lawn. Plant appropriately for your climate. Get a big cactus.
Lay off the concrete paving. It absorbs heat and makes it hotter. Any idiot knows it's hotter in a city then it is in the country. It's all that damn concrete. Plant as many trees as your plot will allow. Trees should be the only thing you ever plant...okay you can have some flowers but they better be nectar flowers so the bees and butterflies can get a meal off of you.
Try skipping the twenty minute shower and do you really need three bathrooms? Be honest here. Wouldn't one full bath and a downstairs toilet do the job? Our ancestors had an outhouse with no running water and a built a bloody country. I think you'll survive without two extra bathrooms. Wash your clothes when they are dirty not because you wore them for four hours.
Do you need to flush your toilet every time you pee? Is your pee so foul and terrifying it must be removed instantly? Is your pee afraid of someone else's pee?
You should only flush your toilet when it is too awful not to .

Save as much water as you can. Harass everyone you know to save. There is nothing much we can do about drought unless you know someone adept at a rain dance and they wont mind dancing for a year or two. It's up to us to convince the rest of us that it's a bad idea to grow strawberries in a place that wants to be a desert...stop buying strawberries in January. It's UNNATURAL and weird.
You buy your food when it's in season. If you stop the demand then there is no need to grow.
Water is saved.
Consider how many potatoes and loafs of bread you eat. All that wheat sucking up all that water.
Do we really need fourteen brands of bread? Must there be fresh bread delivered every day?

All that water........drip,drip,drip.


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