Open thread Dec. 22, 2020 Dan Crawford | December 22, 2020 8:40 am Tags: open thread Comments (7) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
I had been in favor of vaccinating teachers before over-65ers (I’m 76) because I want life to return to normal as fast as possible for the kids (back in school by beginning of year?) by protecting teachers. Grandparents won’t object to saving grandkids — we’ll take one more chance (if we lasted this long we probably know what we are doing anyway).
Since then it has occurred to me that if we take care of (we) oldsters first — who account for 80% of the deaths; and probably the longest hospital stays, lingering — we can clear out the ICUs in a sudden hurry and take all the crazy pressure off the overtaxed medical staff, maybe very all-of-a-sudden. It’s a matter of logistics.
I should probably write a longer piece on this but I’ll try to summarize best I can.
Had lunch with a prominent client scientist in my region that frankly scared the crap out of me. The hydrologic cycle is being seriously disrupted.
Here is what we know:
The Powell 100th meridian has moved east, by a lot.
Approximately 85% of our produce comes from drought areas (Mexico, California, etc)
Approx. 50% of water usage is due to agriculture and most of that happens in western states. My farm is in cow town, Texas and we have very poor surface water and rain patterns, so we pump from the aquifer.
Major municipalities are being forced to stop pumping from aquifers. City of Houston vs. Dow Chemical Co. is and interesting case where the fight over land to impound water is being fought over.
Google, et. al. use billions of gallons of water to cool their data centers and that has significantly increased this year.
He also mentioned that 2 feet of sea level rise is expected for the north western gulf coast and that will be catastrophic for Galveston and Houston, just by itself. He said further to that the flooding is an obvious issue but they need to quantify how many water sources are in low or semi-low areas that could become useless if storm surge reaches them (he isn’t a public works guy).
Been researching for almost a year now and no one seems to be tackling the issue.
Why you ask? Well we have to get anecdotal.
I have a farm, I pump from a well to irrigate on an active drip irrigation system. We are in on again off again drought (well west of the new Powell Line) and also the city of San Antonio is pumping 4 million gallons a day out of the aquifer. Hydrologist pays me to collect rain water, I do. I explain to him if I trap rain water, it doesn’t go into the aquifer. So basically a negative feedback loop. See, harder issue to solve than what’s on the surface.
May I lift this comment to a post and label it as such? Dan
Also forgot the big one, water is now a listed commodity.
Please add to your remarkable posts when possible. Just build over time on each aspect of the problem mentioned.
I do appreciate this.
Sure thing Dan. Working on a set of pieces, a series of four, water, land, air, and energy. First one will be a full on of water, the current issues, and what we can rationally do about it in the near and long term future (stop growing walnuts in the desert!).
Thanks. You have a big tiger by tale. I got just couple of points that need verification to add in.
“Google, et. al. use billions of gallons of water to cool their data centers” consume purified water, but where is it returned to? Only a small amount evaporates to be redistributed by the atmosphere, but it would have to be purified again. OTOH, closed loop systems avoid all that. The bigger issue with environmental protection is forcing business to pay their own externalized costs. Water management is immediate enough that it could be a great starter model for that long run larger effort.
“Approximately 85% of our produce comes from drought areas (Mexico, California, etc)” reminds me of the old lettuce conundrum. Labor wars were fought over migrant lettuce pickers back in “The Grapes of Wrath” days. Lettuce requires a huge amount of land and water too. Yet iceberg lettuce provides practically no food value whatsoever and the other lettuces provide only a few vitamins. The avocado is a superfood however. Beef production is incredibly wasteful of resources. Before I married I lived off beans, rice, and bread with fish just on alternating weekends. Now i have to fix pot roast, roast pork, and a turkey later today.
The pandemic has brought food insecurity to US shores, but much of the world has been living with it for ages. Climate change will bring that all back home.
A quick Google got me –