Sep 162009

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“A few generations from now our descendants will wonder, ‘What took them so long to figure out that we’d reached the limits to growth?’ “The answer, of course, is that growth is the core of the myth holding the American psyche together. If it’s false, what’s the meaning of life, the universe, everything.” Dan Bednarz, Watching Myths Unwind, 08/21/09.

“The International Union for Conservation of nature says two-thirds of the world’s population will face water shortages by 2025.” UPI, 03/07/09.

There is plenty of water on the earth but most of it is not where humans can use it. And that which is available is rapidly disappearing as 2 billion more people will be added to the planet by 2050 for a total of 9 billion. The problem; too many people using water at an excessive, and unsustainable rate.

Shortages of water and other resources are a reality around the world, including the United States. In the case of America, the problem lies with massive numbers of legal and illegal immigrants crossing our border, plus their high birth rate. The U.S. Census Bureau makes that clear in a recent report. These new residents will make up most of the nearly 100 million added to our nation in less than 40 years. “Even under the assumption that net international migration is maintained at a constant level, the
population will grow to 399 million by 2050.”

These immigrants will come from Mexico and other nations south of the border. But you If our population grows by 100 million in 30 years, America's history will end. don’t hear the news media cover this story, which will have a negative impact on the future of our nation. For that matter, our elected officials in Congress and the White House won’t even comment on the topic. These new residents represent consumers and cheap labor for corporations as well as votes for politicians-votes from a Spanish-speaking demographic that does not want to assimilate or speak English. They also have a negative opinion of the European “gringos” who stole their land and they want it back. But our leaders are putting personal gain over their oath of office and their responsibility to America and its citizens.

According to Diana Hull, President of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), “more than 80 percent of U.S. population growth will continue to be a direct result of immigration and births to immigrants. In California-where the population increases by a half million per year–that immigration component accounts for virtually 100 percent of the growth.” Meanwhile, American citizens have been fleeing California over the past two decades.

“Water is a precious resource, and as with other resources, we must learn to use it more efficiently. But we must also limit the demands that we place on our resources, and that means limiting immigration as well.”

Ground zero for water shortages is the American Southwest, which is also the destination for many of these immigrants. The June 2009 USGCRP report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, describes the future for the region. Some points from the Union of Concerned Scientists:

  • The arid region of the Southwest is projected to become drier in this century. There is emerging evidence that these changes are already underway. Deserts in the United States also are projected to expand to the north, east, and upward in elevation in response to projected warming and associated changes in climate. Increased drying in the region contributes to a variety of changes that exacerbate a cycle of desertification.
  • Water supplies in some areas of the Southwest are already becoming limited, and this trend towards scarcity is likely to be a harbinger of future water shortages. Ground water pumping is lowering water tables, while rising temperatures reduce river flows in vital rivers including the Colorado.  Limitations imposed on water supply by projected temperature increases are likely to be made worse by substantial reductions in rain and snowfall in the spring months.
  • The magnitude of temperature increases projected for the Southwest, particularly when combined with urban heat island effects for major cities such as Phoenix, Alburquerque, Las Vegas, and many California cities, represent significant stresses to health, electricity, and water supply in a region that already experiences very high summer temperatures.
  • There is a high likelihood that water shortages could limit power plant electricity production in many regions, projecting future water constraints on electricity production in thermal power plants for Arizona, Utah, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, California, Oregon, and Washington State by 2025.
  • Reservoirs in the system, including lakes Mead and Powell, were nearly full in 1999, with almost four times the annual flow of the river stored. By 2007, the system had lost approximately half of that storage after enduring the worst drought in 100 years of record keeping. Runoff was reduced due to low winter precipitation, and warm, dry, and windy springs that substantially reduced snowpack.
  • If reductions in flow projected to accompany global climate change occur, water managers will be challenged to satisfy all existing demands, let alone the increasing demands of a RAPIDLY GROWING POPULATION..
  • Water is also an important source of hydroelectric power, and water is required for the large population in the region.

Mark Cromer wrote “Crowded California is running out of Water”, July 17, 2009, in the Santa Monica Daily Press. Some excerpts:

“As California heads into high summer, those sweltering weeks that burn like a fever from mid-July into September, there is no indication that our state or federal leadership has yet to truly grasp the environmental catastrophe the Golden State now faces.”

“California’s water supplies continue to dwindle even as its population grows, with only half of the expected runoff from the Sierra snowpack materializing in 2007. By last year, just as Los Angeles County closed in on 10 million people, the Sierra runoff was only 40 percent of normal.

“Yet as our critical water supplies in California literally evaporate before our eyes, our elected officials tout more growth, increased immigration and an expanded consumer-driven economy with all the zeal of men and women cocktailing at a Prozac party.

“It is so politically incorrect to candidly assess the link between population growth (and the runaway development it fuels) and our water crisis that even much of academia has not only joined the party, but has actually cried for the band to play on.”

“This summer California stands at 40 million and is on track to hit 60 million water-drinking bodies by mid-century, possibly sooner. We have progressively less water, but we’re growing people like there’s no tomorrow.”

David Sirota, December 19, 2008, “We Are All Las Vegans Now”:

“There is something especially unsettling about visiting Las Vegas these days-and it is not the town’s lascivious culture. A voyage to Sin City in this moment of ecological and economic crisis is a journey to a giant concave mirror reflecting back the magnified-and ugly-truths about this epoch of cataclysmic consumption and hubristic hedonism.

“Like most flights into Vegas, mine last week soared over a shrinking Lake Mead. The white bathtub ring around Lake Mead shows how far the water level has dropped.Visually, the white strip around the man-made reservoir is beautiful-the bright chalk line separating the blue water from the red-brown desert evokes memories of a Bob Ross pastel painting minus “happy trees.” But it is a menacing harbinger of depletion. This water source for 22 million people is at its lowest level since the 1960s. Strained by the Southwest’s population explosion and by drought-accelerating climate change, the lake now stands a 50 percent chance of running dry by 2021, according to scientists.

Tim Barnett, co-author of the study and prediction above, also estimated that there is a 10 percent chance that Lake Mead could be dry by 2014 and a 50 percent chance that reservoir levels will drop too low to allow hydroelectric power generation by 2017.

“Lake Mead, which was created when Hoover Dam was built, provides 90 percent of Las Vegas’ water.”

“Today, we are at or beyond the sustainable limit of the Colorado system…The When the water runs out, so will the lights in Las Vegas.alternative to reasoned solutions to this coming water crisis is a major societal and economic disruption in the desert southwest; something that will affect each of us living in the region.”

If this scenario does take place, it will affect a large number of western urban areas in the near future. Las Vegas, with no water, will be abandoned within 25 years, according to one prediction.  And it won’t be alone. As a result, a large human migration would move to the east. That opens the door to a number of possibilities, none of which are pleasant.

Las Vegas could not exist without Lake Mead and the Colorado River. If the lake is dry, the river doesn’t flow. There is no hydroelectric power, no water for drinking, no ice cubes, no air-conditioning. So abandoning Las Vegas or other cities in the region is not only a possibility but very likely.

Since our government has no intention of halting immigration, that slim chance to save the Southwest, and our nation, from catastrophe, has disappeared. The backup plan-you’re on your own.

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