Recent comments

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

    EC, I understand your point of view, this is not the forum to get to deep into the issue, even if I was informed enough to do so, but there are many creditable historians, economists, etc. who disagree with you. The free market economic theories now labeled by many as neo-liberalism (begun with the administration of President Reagan in 1980 with the appointment of Milton Friedman as his chief economic advisor), are contentious and proving out of balance with the general economic health of this and many other nations, according to many. The balance between a free market and the governmental oversight (us) is out of wack. There are many books, essays, lectures on the subject, if you like, send me an email and I will list some you may find interesting, agree with them or not. On the issue of population, we do wring our hands trying to deal with the problem, but evidence shows that the education of all citizens and the empowerment of women particularly, is extremely positive, perhaps our most important social goals. Of course this includes family planning and reproduction (sex) education in our schools, a women's right to make her reproductive health care decisions with her doctor, and the list goes on. Please excuse Traveler, other subscribers, will stop here, these are only my views on the above issues, right or wrong, and not the purpose of this website.

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

    In the long run, does that even matter?

    Yes

    Now, tell us what policy of Ronald Reagan 26 years ago is causing incomes to fall today. More empty accusations.

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

    Meanwhile the trolls will continue to pick at a few words here and there without offering anything of substance. Just as right now we hear pandering politicians trying to divert attention from the mess they've made by fussing about whether or not we face terrorists who are perverting a world religion and why our President won't use the word Islamic as part of his description of them. In the long run, does that even matter?

    Those who try to hold our lands and waters hostage for their own profits use the same tactics. Unfortunately, there are some people gullible enough to actually listen and allow their attention to be diverted. That's how illusionists create their "magic." They divert our attention and, presto, the rabbit is gone.

    I'm waiting for some of our trolling friends to respond to J.Thomas' challenge to tell us all what they think needs to be done to solve the woes of Lake Powell. But it's much, much easier to attack than it is to actually seek or even suggest solutions.

    Ron, you are an old fire dog. Have you read "Inferno by Committee" by Tom Ribe. An excellent account of the Cerro Grande fire at Bandelier that burned up part of Los Alamos. (Sorry, off topic, I know.)

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

    instead of admitting that it began mostly as a result of policies set in motion by a president who has been gone for something like 26 years.

    And your evidence of that ? Oh, that's right you don't need evidence, you just need to make it up.

    disastrous years under President Cheney

    Just shows how ingnorant of US history and politics you are.

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

    Thanks, Ron. You're right. But of course there will be those who will try to blame income disparity on our current president instead of admitting that it began mostly as a result of policies set in motion by a president who has been gone for something like 26 years. The gigantic snowball of destruction he unleashed will continue to roll for a long time and will crush many in its path. In something so ponderous as world economics, changing anything once it starts is nearly impossible. It's hard to imagine where we would be now following the disastrous years under President Cheney and his little buddy were it not for the efforts of the current administration.

    Changing old and misguided water policies and the problems they create will also be equally difficult.

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

    But it is getting harder for many,

    Ron - perhaps you should be asking why. Income disparity has worsened dramatically under the current administration. Not that there is anything wrong with income disparity, but there is something wrong with increasing income disparity when the income at the lower end is declining rather than rising as it has been in recent years.

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

    Alfred, must agree with Lee, a truly excellent post. Thanks also to Gary. Alfred you remind me of my own professors in college in the early sixties, and believe it or not, many citizens groups are wrestling with this issue today. For example, the Sierra Club has a population committee, it is always listened to within the ranks, but try to talk about population in the political arena!! The answer is lets wait until after the election, of course the next election is right around the corner. I know you already are aware of this, and you are probably right, we need to enjoy what we have. But it is getting harder for many, 80% of US citizens are feeling the pinch, 60% have less wealth than the top 10% (get into the 1% and it is even more alarming), and it is getting worse. In any case thank you, a very thought provoking post, we must keep trying.

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

    Zebulon, what is it, the Great Lakes holds 20% of the North American fresh water supply, it will be next on the list I am afraid. Spent 3 weeks last fall traveling around the area, it was pretty special. Thanks for the note Zeb, the book is very educational, I know you will enjoy it.

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

    Gotta be brave to say racist things and take a chance at people noticing it and properly identifying it?

  • Is Anybody Alive Out There?!? A Private Float Through Grand Canyon National Park   1 week 4 days ago

    If this kind of experience is to continue, we must protect the place that makes it possible.

    Here's an article from Smithsonian that should be required reading for anyone who respects the Grand Canyon.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/who-can-save-the-grand-canyon...

    How many people are even aware of this proposal?

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