Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Rain, Rain, Come Our Way

(Cartoon by Ted Rall and found here.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Yes, California is in the midst of a three-year drought, and, unless we have a March Miracle, we will start rolling into a fourth year. Governor Brown's declaration, even if a little late in the game, has at least raised the consciousness of residents of the state, especially in the southern half, that we will be facing both water shortages and water use restrictions.  The griping has already begun as talks of fines for poorly adjusted sprinkler systems which water sidewalks rather than lawns have been mentioned in city councils.  Central Valley farmers (especially the agri-corps) have announced that there will be layoffs because there won't be enough water for many of the crops which are shipped all over the country and to other nations.  Food prices as well as water bills will rise for all of us.

OK, Californians have a history of wasting water.  We raise cotton and rice and other water-intensive crops.  We have beautiful green lawns in the middle of what is essentially a desert.  We have swimming pools in back yards.  We have a burgeoning population which just can't be supported by our geology.  Newspapers all over the country have been filled with articles on all of this, but few, if any, have said much about the story behind the drought:  climate change.

What amazes me is that world scientists (the rational ones, at least) know the primary cause of climate change -- the reliance on carbon-based energy generation -- and yet world leaders (especially those in the U.S.) have done nothing to dramatically curb the use of oil, coal, natural gas to generate power.  It's not as if there aren't existing alternatives and the technology for developing even more effective, non-lethal sources.

What there isn't, however, is the will and therefor the funding for such alternatives.

From McClatchy DC:

Investment in clean energy is faltering at the same time the United Nations and others say it needs to quadruple to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change.

New figures released at the U.N. on Wednesday show that global clean-energy investment dropped by 12 percent in 2013, the second straight year it declined. The Bloomberg New Energy Finance numbers show $254 billion in investment last year, far below the $1 trillion a year average that the International Energy Agency estimates is needed to avoid a climate crisis. ...

“This is incredibly important. The time is now,” said Lisa Carnoy, the head of global capital markets for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Carnoy was among some 550 financial executives who attended an investor summit on climate risk Wednesday at the U.N., organized with the investor and environmental coalition Ceres.
The overriding message was a call for more green investment. ...

He said America’s glut of cheap natural gas from fracking had made it more difficult to attract investment and that the news media had focused far more on clean technology failures than on successes, which helped drive policies in Congress.  [Emphasis added.]

Ironically (and sadly), it reminds me of that old motor oil commercial:  "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later."

Read more here:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the water waste is structural: by that I mean water companies that use recycled water (destined for golf courses, car washes and parkways) will gripe about sprinkler heads and car washing in the driveway but not a word about "hot water recirculation" (google it). That's because they get to resell that clean water (that you pay for) going down the drain while waiting for the hot water.


7:13 AM  
Blogger Conni said...

I heard you might get some rain this weekend.

4:29 PM  

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