Recent comments

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Gary, I agree that population growth is an issue. Not a secret there. You better watch out you might be called a racist by the open borders crowd. Just strategy, however. No one seems to be saying how massive immigration is a significant part of the problem of limited resources to begin with. Not a coincidence many would think but not say. Gotta be brave to bring up that reality.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Hahah... and then build a wall, Zebby. But, wait till I get back over there.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Alfred, that is one great commentary. Not sure how much is tongue-in-cheek, but it expresses much of the problem perfectly.

    And, Gary, you did a pretty darn good job yourself.

    Thanks to both of you.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    This year, they had a fairly decent and wet monsoon season in the southwest. With a warmer pacific, the monsoons may get wetter and moister. This season, months worth of rain fell in hours during certain times during the monsoon season. Granted, they were suffering through a massive drought, so a good monsoon season was needed. I have family in NM, and yes, water is a serious issue, and is discussed reguarly. When I was there this year, I sat and watched a PBS roundtable discussion between the Albuquerque city council, and the Zuni Nation on this very issue. It was quite an interesting discussion, and I do think they are very much thinking of the future in that region.

    The problem will always remain population growth. I don't think the southwest can sustain large population growth. Is it an attractive place to live? Hell yes. I love it there. My wife was born and raised there. It's a beautiful place with great weather, and the culture is way better than what is found in other places. I'll take it anyday over what is here in the southeast, which is filled with water, but defunct in intelligence, and a laid back entrepeunerial spirit that you find in the west. The east is highly parochial, and less transient.. Those that move here from the west will have to learn to cope with it. Timothy Leary wrote books on this subject about the "western high". I can see what some crave the west, especially individuals trying to escape the hive mentality. And this is coming from someone that has lived in a few different places of the country. But, water is the big limitation to "growth" in the southwest. If you live in a place like NM, AZ, or SoCal, then you shouldn't have more than one kid. If you want more than that, then move to a wet climate where the resource battles will be less in the future. But, on the same token, greener energy like rooftop solar will be much more sufficient in the southwest, than it ever will be in a place like smoggy, grey and moody NY, where you recieve lots of moisture, but sunshine is a rarer commodity. So pick your poison. In the southwest, they have a real chance to build a solar economy, and have a good supply of "free'er energy". In the northeast, midwest, and southeast, i'd say that's not the case with the high populations they currently have. But, yes, the population is way out of whack on all sides of the country, including Seattle. It's been out of whack since the early 1900s since we started using oil, and creted the phantom growth since the black gold made life much easier than before.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Time to build a pipeline from the great lakes to the southwest/west. :) Move over Keystone.

    Ron, thanks for the book recommendation. I'll have to look it up.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Now, boys! Calm down and remember history. What is likely to happen is this: People will start moving to where the water is. Back to New York they will go, and yes, the global cooling that is now New England. The Great Lakes are brimming with fresh water--all of it freshly chilled with ice. The Southwest was settled on a dream. And just for the record, since someone mentioned it, the Spanish-speaking population in all of it, circa 1846, was about 9,000 people. Twenty years earlier, why did Mexico invite Stephen Austin, et al., to settle what was then the "northern" provinces? They needed the bodies to work the land. Well, you know Americans. They also wanted their civil rights, ultimately wresting the Southwest from Mexico. Now that Mexicans are taking it back, there is even less water to go around.

    Everyone will move, and they will have to move. The cost of the alternative remains astronomical. Of course, the climate might change again and the big dams refill. And there is always pumping out the groundwater. The only problem there is that the acquifers will never recharge. Much of it is fossil water. So, relax, pop a beer, sit back, and observe. However, those of you with property in the Southwest might consider selling now. We have lovely starter homes in Seattle priced at $500,000 and above. Just bring enough to pay the taxes. No Prop 13 here! But we do not have to desalinate our water--yet. After all, our snowpack this year is 21 percent of normal!

    If I were still teaching, those are the facts I would be mentioning. A smaller population can adjust to change. A large and growing population has fewer choices. The economics are important; government policy also figures in. But how do you adjust for 320 million people in a country that planned itself when the population was a third of that?

    No one "stole" it; the world just outgrew itself. Humans have always been "on the move." Now, where can you move to? Where is it any better? No one wanted to listen back in the 1960s, so here we are. Even now, no one wants to see this as a problem of population. If we tinker it better--if we plan it better--if we let the "market" prevail--things will work out. Just get the government off my back. A wonderful sentiment, but totally hopeless, unless you believe in miracles.

    The miracle is that it still works for some folks, generally older people with substantial assets. But 80 percent of America is now on the edge--living from paycheck to paycheck. It can't last and we know it. Everyone is just playing for time. And the 20 percent that still has assets is being asked to draw them down even more.

    Even if we had listened, there is no guarantee we could have worked things out. But we sure as heck would have had a better chance. Now that the odds are against us, even Vegas is going broke. Caesar's just went into bankruptcy, yes, Caesar's. The Empire is done for sure.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    J.Thomas, the problems here go far, far back into the history of water wars in the West. To my way of thinking, there needs to be a completely new look at water allocation not just involving the Colorado River's water, but virtually every stream in the West. Part of that examination would need to be a good attempt to establish realistic carrying capacities for available water supplies -- both surface and groundwater. Any realistic estimate of carrying capaciites would need to be extremely conservative and based entirely upon minimum estimates of water availability.

    As it is, current water compacts were based upon the myth that if enough dams were built upon enough rivers, there would always be enough water. Those compacts completely failed to consider the possibility that population growth in the Southwest would be as explosive as it has proven to be. They also ignored the certainty that at some future times, we would face extended periods of drought just as had happened in the past.

    Those water compacts are very old in most cases and were based upon very poor projections that were rooted in hopeful ignorance. Many date back to times when some people still believed that water would follow the plow. In some cases that mythology was simply replaced by a new myth that water would somehow follow increased agriculture and populations in Southwestern cities. But I don't think anyone back then could possibly have imagined such sleepy places as Phoenix and Las Vegas exploding into the megatroplises they have become.

    Taking a new look at water, however, will be nearly impossible. Because most rivers cross several state lines, it's only logical that any attempts to reexamine water compacts would need to be under direction of the Federal government. Given the mess our lawmakers have succeeded in making out of the Federal government, (and most state governments, too) it would make more sense to hire a bunch of Zunis to do a rain dance.

    Taking a new look at water would have to be completely apolitical. The chances of that actually happening are even more remote than hoping that powerful interests that stand to profit from exploiting water would have personal visits from God herself. Hoping that another mythical thing called unregulated market forces will somehow solve a problem it created itself is simply stupid.

    Perhaps the only other hope out there is that effects of water mismanagement by our current hodgepodge of profit motivated greed and its political purchases might be somehow overturned. But that can happen only if the water crisis becomes so terrible that it begins to affect ordinary people and they face unimaginably terrible consequences. Then, just maybe, they might wake up and demand responsible management from government. By then, though, it will probably be far too late for anything that could work.

    I can't help seeing the Old Ones, the Anasazi, in all this. Do you suppose they argued about their futures as they were leaving Chaco and Mesa Verde and other places they had called home because they had slowly destroyed their own environments?

    They didn't change their ways until it was too late. Are we following the same path?

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    I wish you had a clue.. But hey...troll on.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    "Somalia does no wrong" crowd.

    Wish I had a clue what you were talking about.... nah, not really.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Yeah, I already know that youre a card carrying member of "Somalia does no wrong" crowd.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    But, in a sane market, you would never get to the point where it's high boom and high crash.

    Much better a periodic boom and crash than the disfunction of government control. (which was the cause of the boom and bust you just lamented).

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    And like I stated EC.. I stated the market is overcorrecting. I understand how it works. But, in a sane market, you would never get to the point where it's high boom and high crash. But that's how it works in the good ol' USA.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    The market is still over correcting from that era from almost a decade ago

    That IS market forces. You've never seen it because you apparently don't know what the term means.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    I've never seen market forces limit development.. EVER. The housing bust is complete proof of that, as hundreds of thousands of "second homes" that were seen as "cant lose investments" all the suddent flooded the market, because the bubble forced everyone to overspeculate and overbuild. The market is still over correcting from that era from almost a decade ago.Look at what is happening in the Grand Canyon as another case in point. The developers are trying to railroad through a "small city" on the canyon rim without any forsight in what will happen with water resources. The NPS already stated they are opposed to it, because of the water issues.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Simple JT - This is an issue where government has a role. They just are totally screwing it up. Market forces would work over time but by limiting development in the nearer term by pricing water appropriately rather than subsidizing pipelines we can avoid alot of pain.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    It would be interesting to hear what solutions would be proposed by those sparing about the role of government vs. the marketplace in this issue.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Quite the imagination Lee.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Rick, it's the clumsy "invisible hand" of the marketplace that is CAUSING this. How can we expect the marketplace to correct it?

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Where is that magical 'invisible hand' of the marketplace correcting this?

    In government handcuffs.

  • Essential Paddling Guide '15: A Channel Islands Getaway   1 week 3 days ago

    Kayaking the sea caves on Santa Cruz is fantastic. And if you're already out that far, try to overnight on San Miguel and Santa Rosa--great hiking and views of the Pacific.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Where is that magical 'invisible hand' of the marketplace correcting this? [note that I did not make the 'trickle-down' joke that was a lob over the net]

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 3 days ago

    Zebulon, lawns, golf courses, I think golf courses in most of California are covered under ag water. Your point is good one though. On the second issue, water rights in California, there is a landmark book on the subject, really a god read, titled "The Great Thrist, Californians and Water: A history" by Norris Hundley Jr. Mr. Hundley is a Professor Emeritius of American History at UCLA. It was extremely educational for me and changed my perceptions of the issue here in California. The book "gives the reader a rich history buttressed with admirable objectivity. Above all, he has taken a subject of complexity and giver it clarity." American Historical Review. Much detail on the first water rights, privitization of said, etc.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 4 days ago

    Trailadvocate, if you are just some mere white boy, then you can not sit there and rail against Mexicans by pretending that you have more of a right to live in the region, than them. 9 times out of 10 their ancestors were in the southwestern region long before your ancestors. Get a grip. You sound really out of touch.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 4 days ago

    Complaining is great, but it really doesn't solve anything.

    Here are some real world potential solutions:

    - banning lawns from the west/southwest. They look pretty but really don't belong in our climate and suck up a ton of water

    - rework California water rights. System was devised 100 years ago when there were maybe 2-3 million people living in CA. Let's sell the water to the highest bidders and it'll be used more rationally.

  • Lake Powell Running Out Of Water At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area   1 week 4 days ago

    Good points, Dr. Runte. Colorado water allocations were set many years ago and Utah's beef is that they have never been able to use the state's entire allocation. Bummer! All that left over water is "just being wasted."