Posts tagged water.
By acting now, in the spirit of common but differentiated responsibility, we accept our duty to one another and to the stewardship of a planet blessed with the gift of life.
Pontifical Academy of Sciences’ climate change report
We are committed to ensuring that all inhabitants of this planet receive their daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink, as we are aware that, if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us.
The Vatican’s Academy of Sciences published a report titled, “Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene.” It has a special focus on climate change impacts on human’s main source of fresh drinking water supplies - mountain glaciers.
I found it interesting that the report begins with a defense of climate science and a response to common misconceptions. I think this is the first time I’ve seen this, and I’ve read thousands of climate reports over the years.
It also has three sharp, concise recommendations on how to help deal with the impacts - adaptation is one of them.
A dog walks on cracked ground at the Las Canoas dam, some 59 km north of the capital Managua on April 26, 2013.. A large area of the dam has been dry since last February, as most of its water have been used by rice farmers for their crops, affecting around hundreds of peasants living in the area, according to local media.
[Credit : Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters]
Josh Fox, the filmmaker behind Gasland and Gasland II is the guest on Andrew Sullivan’s Ask Me Anything series this week. Yesterday, he discussed how he got involved in this fight. Today, he has a great answer to the question of whether natural gas is a necessary evil.
Josh Fox. Articulate.
Lying just outside the Amazon Basin, the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in northeastern Brazil is subject to a regular rain season during the beginning of the year. The fresh water collects in the valleys between sand dunes creating lagoons for half of the year and almost completely disappear during the dry season.
The United States has double the amount of oil and three times the amount of natural gas than previously thought stored deep under the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, according to new data the Obama administration released Tuesday.
In announcing the new data in a conference call, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also said the administration will release within weeks draft rules to regulate hydraulic fracturing, technology that has come under scrutiny for its environmental impact but that is essential to developing all of this energy.
“These world-class formations contain even more energy-resource potential than previously understood, which is important information as we continue to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil,” Jewell said in a statement.
This article is circulating among the anti-peak oil crowds. To me, the bigger story is about the left’s environmental heroine, Sally Jewell, who used to frack wells. As new head of the Dept. of Interior, she will (with Obama’s encouragement) - will - allow aggressive fracking on more public lands, possibly much more in our National Parks. To forgiving environmentalists, she’s Obama’s replacement for the DOI and former CEO of REI.
More doom reality:
Bottled Water Sales: The Shocking Reality
The Beverage Marketing Corporation, which tracks sales and consumption of beverages, is reporting that sales of bottled water grew nearly 7 percent between 2011 and 2012, with consumption reaching a staggering 30.8 gallons per person.
Despite having one of the best municipal tap water systems in the world, American consumers are flocking to commercial bottled water, which costs thousands of times more per gallon. Why? Four reasons:
- First, we have been bombarded with advertisements that claim that our tap water is unsafe, or that bottled water is safer, healthier, and more hip, often with celebrity endorsements. (Thanks a lot, Jennifer.)
- Second, public drinking water fountains have become increasingly hard to find. And the ones that exist are not being adequately maintained by our communities.
- Third, people are increasingly fearful of our tap water, hearing stories about contamination, new chemicals that our treatment systems aren’t designed to remove, or occasional failures of infrastructure that isn’t being adequately maintained or improved.
- Fourth, some people don’t like the taste of their tap water, or think they don’t.
Some people, including the bottled water industry, argue that drinking bottled water is better than drinking soft drinks. I agree. But that’s not what’s happening. The vast increase in bottled water sales have largely come at the expense of tap water, not soft drinks. And even if we pushed (as we should) to replace carbonated soft drinks with water, it should be tap water, not expensive bottled water.
This industry has very successfully turned a public resource into a private commodity.
ORANGE ALERT A rubber glove, used as a marker, bobs in floodwaters in Fox Lake, Illinois. More snow and rain threaten to exacerbate flooding conditions in the Midwest from Oklahoma through Michigan, which has led to at least three deaths. (Photo: Jim Young / Reuters via The Telegraph)
Spring floods. Bad urban planning. Nothing ever changes…
Flooding. The Grand River, downtown Michigan. Note the bridge.
You know a flood is bad when a Duck paddles past your window…
…belonging to Anderson Eye Care at the Riverfront Plaza Building in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., as The Grand River reaches an all time high of 21.85 feet, a full 2.2 feet above the record set in 1985. Previous water levels can be seen marked on the wall.
Picture: AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Cory Morse
Spring floods have arrived. Above, streamgauge data showing today’s floods along the Mississippi River and local tributaries just north of St. Louis Missouri.
Streamgauges small machines placed in a water body, such as a river like the Mississippi, or an aquifer underground. So, streamgauges measure the flow and height of rivers and water supply around the country. They help cities and governments manage dam and levee systems, drinking and agricultural supply, and help emergency crews evacuate homes and businesses when appropriate.
They’re critical infrastructure. And they serve to increase the health, safety, and welfare of 100’s of millions of Americans.
Nearly 400 streamgauges may be shut down due to Obama’s budget cuts. The U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) has a map of gauges scheduled to be shut down, here.
China’s pollution problem in photos
Sinkhole in Chicago neighborhood swallowed three cars this morning. As usual, this one was caused by a water main break. The water eroded the soil and rock under the road, creating a void and ultimate collapse. We’ll hear a lot more of these incidences in the coming years. America’s infrastructure is in rough shape, and water, sewer, and gas lines average close to 50 years old. Replacements costs are extremely high - most cities wait for a break to happen before replacing pipes, which is more expensive and dangerous over time. But, cities around the country are deferring maintenance due to a dwindling tax base. Via NBC.
On April 12, 2013, Sally Jewell was sworn in as the 51st Secretary of the Interior.
In nominating Jewell, President Obama said, “She is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future. She is committed to building our nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country. She knows the link between conservation and good jobs. She knows that there’s no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress; that in fact, those two things need to go hand in hand.”
As Secretary of the Interior, Jewell leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees. Interior serves as steward for approximately 20 percent of the nation’s lands, including national parks, national wildlife refuges, and other public lands; oversees the responsible development of conventional and renewable energy supplies on public lands and waters; is the largest supplier and manager of water in the 17 Western states; and upholds trust responsibilities to the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.
Prior to her confirmation, Jewell served in the private sector, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer of Recreation Equipment, Inc. (REI).