What Is the Greatest Envoirnmental Concern?

Just last week there was a news article about the Cal. Governor making a trip to Fresno to talk about the pending budget crisis there.  As you recall the voters had just voted down the tax hikes and were in no mood for greater government spending.   As important as that issue is in California it was not foremost on the minds of the folks in Fresno apparently.  After the remarks the question and answer period was dominated by questions about water.   Fresno sits in the heart of the agricultural heartland out there and the water use has been restricted by a Federal court to protect some fish that allegedly will die if the water tables and canal system is drained as much as the farmers would like.

The facts are we have tremedously improved the emissions over the last three decades from all vehicles and we have abundant supplies of natural gas and coal.  There are those who continue to be alarmed about Global Warming and the alleged link between human activity and the rise, if there is one, in ambient temperatures.   I think that we need to worry much more about water supplies first before we get all alarmist about green cars and rising ocean levels.  If we continue the present course we are going to run out of potable water long before we fry in the heat or drown in the rising oceans.   California is facing a crisis now with water and the same is true for most of the US.  It was only a few months ago that in the Southeast they were dealing with a severe drought that has only been alleviated in the last few months with heavy rains.  Everywhere west of the Mississippi there is a water problem of greater or lesser concern.  Without enough water we won’t have the other matters to worry about.   Water is necessary for the production of electric power whether from traditional methods or even solar power.  Most of the solar power methods will use turbines to drive the generators.   All our industrial base requires tremendous amounts of water in the production of durable goods.  The high tech industries and chemical and pharmaceutical industries need lots of water for their processes.  These few issues don’t even begin to cover the use of water we all like to have for a daily personal use.  The averge American family uses thousands of gallons of water each month.  

We are going to have to set priorities for our time, attention, money and efforts.  If we don’t make water the number one issue then all the others won’t matter.   When the wells run dry our industrial base and standard of living will diminish rapidly.  The growin world population and the explosion of the US population do not augur well for our future in this regard.  More people requires more water.  We need to become very innovative about finding new sources of water and controlling the population growth if we are to survive.   That is the inconvenient truth that no one wants to discuss.  We’ll run out of water soon at this pace.  Oh, there will be water, but not enough.  You might think we can do without food production in the US and merely import all of it.  We already do import great amounts.  But if we are running out of water what makes you think they will have water in Mexico or other agricultural lands around the world. 

Remember again and again that only 3% of all the water in the world is potable.  That is all we have to work with unless we do figure out how to desalinate the oceans economically and very soon.  Only 1% of that potable water is in our lakes, rivers, water vapor, and water tables.  That is a thin margin.  Global Warming won’t change those numbers.  Our use of that water will affect it.  We can’t continue to make our economic success dependent upon a constant growth of population.   We and others around the world are doing that right now.  All economic projections and forecast assume the continued growth of “consumers” and their increasing numbers.  If the ice caps are really melting maybe we should start now figuring out the best way to pipe all that water from Greenland to the lower 48 for industrial, agricultural and personal use.  That way it wouldn’t ever reach the oceans.  Believe me we could easily consume all of it especially if we keep protecting fish over the lives of man.   We could make areas that are not fertile into crop and livestock resources.  Driving a green car and a perfecft ozone layer and pristine air won’t matter a whit if there is nothing when you turn on the water tap.  Think about it.

Read true stories about survival on the seas or in any remote area.  The first concern is always water.  Enjoy that hot bath tonight while you can.  www.olcranky.wordpress.com

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Filed under business, Economics, Environment, Global Warming

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