01 May 2014

This Week in Water

Over 200 South Koreans, including many school children, were killed when a ferry sank. The catastrophe has rocked the country. The Prime Minister resigned over the country's handling of the disaster. News feed here.

Historic flooding hit the low-lying, sandy Panhandle area of Florida this week. Some places received as much as 20 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period—more than most hurricanes. News here.

One of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters of the year so far has been Darren Aronofsky's Noah. The Bible's flood narrative is not the only ancient text depicting a global-scale deluge. The older Epic of Gilgamesh is one notable example, with Utnapishtim being the supposed model for the Biblical Noah. Some believe the archetypal event which these mythic stories seek to recap was a rise in the Mediterranean Sea circa 5600 BC which breached the Bosphorus Strait and caused an arguably catastrophic rise in the heavily civilized region around the Black Sea. If you're interested.

Tropical Cyclone Ita slammed into Queensland, Australia.

California's historic drought continues with only spotty relief. Consequences are unpredictable but, most likely, extremely dire.

All but three Texas counties have been a declared disaster area due to ongoing drought.

China says more than half its groundwater is of poor or extremely poor quality due to pollution.

Local New Mexican activists, including blogfriend Frances Madesen, are trying to stave off monied oil and gas interests seeking to void/avoid/evade the area's anti-fracking ban in the Mora County.

Big fight to save the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S.

A CSX Corp train carrying crude oil crashed and burst into flames, sending its cargo into the James River near Lynchburg, Virginia.

Dutch Police arrested 30 Greenpeace activists, including the captain of the Rainbow Warrior, seeking to block a Russian tanker from docking in Rotterdam and delivering its cargo of oil drilled in the pristine Arctic.

Portland, OR, will discard 38 million gallons of drinking water after surveillance video captured a 19-year old man urinating into a reservoir. [UPDATE: Thanks to the vigilant Frances Madesen in the Comments for pointing out that Portlandia has decided not to dump its drinking water, but to monitor it in a separate area to determine how long it will remain fresh and clear. You know, it seems like there would be ways to filter such things, especially before the water enters the system. But what do I know? Thanks, FM!]

So, what do we do when we run out of water? Scientific American explores the issue.

The World Bank wants to privatize the world's water supply.

The U.S. Dept. of Energy is seeking to expand its wave energy test site in Hawaii.

Cutlets, sashimi, steak, and other dishes made of whale meat were served to Japanese politicians to signal that country's defiance of World Court rulings against whaling.

"Texas 'Boats 'N Hoes' PAC with links to GOP candidates sinks." [No, really, that's a quote.]

Speaking at the National Rifle Association convention recently, former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin referring to terrorists said: "They obviously have information on plots to carry out jihad. Oh, but you can't offend them, can't make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists." [So is that.]


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I find it hard to be optimistic about any of this, Jim H.

What say you?

Jim H. said...

Just the facts, ma'am.

But, yeah, what you said.

The wave thingy is cool. Lots of good stuff happening w/r/t desalination and purification and energy. But the race is on b/w running out and global warming and rising seas. I'm just a spectator.

Frances Madeson said...

Thanks so much for linking, Jim. I thought of you when I saw the story about Portland flushing and then not flushing 35 million gallons of water because a teenager peed in it.

As for optimism, there's probably little basis for it. Here in NM even if 10% of this http://www.abqjournal.com/392056/biz/600-million-pledged-for-mancos-play-in-san-juan-basin.html is allocated to graft payouts, we're sunk.

Just from the announcement of the "investment" certain things have already gone squirrelly.

And BTW (off-topic) Nigeria has a consul in Atlanta if anyone wanted to get in their faces about the kidnapped schoolgirls.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

It appears that Israel, like Rahm, would rather have a corporatist minority than a liberal majority.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Oops, that was supposed to go to a different blog.

This week in water was/is for here.