Sunday, March 26, 2023

Climate Sunday: Water Everywhere, Except Where We Want it

 

The UN convened a global conference on water--which is something absolutely basic to life on earth. I shouldn't actually have to say something as dull as "Water is important to life" but apparently, this kind of true thing isn't obvious to everyone. I have it top of mind at the moment because thousands of gallons of latex-related chemicals just got dumped into the Delaware Rive late Friday and we are finding out now that we probably want to drink bottled water here in Philadelphia

Water is necessary to the entire food chain, and we threaten to tip weird chemicals into it all the time. Even from fracking and oil spills and whatnot. And that's a real problem, Because we're already overtaxing our aquifers, and have been for a while. And we really can't afford to fuck up our drinking water.

So says the CSO of PepsiCo. They bottle a lot of water and soft drinks and looking at a timeline of TWO THE FUCK YEARS! for half the world to be in scarcity for drinking water is very uncomfortable. It's their business, and they are looking at the logistics of transporting water to where it isn't. 

This isn't just about thirst-quenching, though--it's about agriculture. Right now, Argentina is having an insane drought. Just a total loss on all major crops, with devastating effects for feeding livestock (this is a glimpse from last year). Some can say there's no obvious relationship to global climate change, but some areas have gotten wetter--like the floods of Pakistan, and the barrage of atmospheric rivers that have buffeted California. And it is devastating. In California, crops are wiped out by flooding and a whole lake appears where once was farmland.  So while we lose a Lake Mead in one place, and a Lake Tulare comes back--but no one can plan for that happening in a whole minute!

It's really no joke--the Great Salt Lake is not so much, and the Great Lakes themselves are becoming Meh Lakes. And the solutions to this problem aren't going to be easy at all.

Combine this with the realization that increased CO2 isn't actually going to be the monster bonus to global greening, and you have a potential agricultural nightmare. Some crops never start, some drown. And don't get me started on what is happening to our pollinators, because if I start thinking about the problems of the birds and the bees, I won't sleep tonight. 

Anyway--we should probably ship chemicals very carefully, use fossil fuels less, conserve water religiously and not be greedy arseholes as a society. It's literally life and death. Like, literally.  Because you can't drink oil and you can't eat coal. 


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