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Showing posts from August 6, 2006

The Moreau River Is Dry

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The Moreau River is a tributary of the Missouri River, approximately 200 miles long, in South Dakota in the United States. And due to intense drought, it is now dry.


Photo by JONATHAN ERNST
A man holds up a catfish carcass in the dried-out Moreau River on the Cheyenne River Indian reservation near Thunder Butte, South Dakota August 7, 2006. A severe drought has killed crops, left ideal conditions for wildfires, forced ranchers to sell cattle and has evoked memories of the Dust Bowl disaster in the 1930s.

The Moreau River

And it isn't as though this isn't a known fact. This document mentions specifically that the Moreau River's water levels tend to coincide withe the Missouri River because of its shape. Therefore, considering there is such an intense drought currently exacerbating this condition, why aren't measures being taken to protect the life in this river? Not only is this drought effecting the water level, it is effecting the livelihoods of the people who live along …

Heatwave Drying Up Europe's Water Resources

I have previously written at least twenty two entries regarding water and the coming shortages, which if not effectively managed will lead to war over this resource which is now becoming evermore precious due to the heatwave currently hitting many parts of our world. As the report below corroborates, drought and heat which is being caused by climate change is truly making a "planetary emergency", however, people don't seem to be too worked up over this.

Is it because they only see this as freshwater and are ignorant to the fact that it is a FINITE resource, and once it is gone it is gone? Desalinisation won't solve the problem, as it is costly, and would be hard to get water to interior areas of countries landlocked. CONSERVATION of the freshwater resources we have NOW as well as action to mitigate the conditions causing these droughts is what we must see GLOBALLY. As this article also points out for example, 70% of Spain's water is being wasted in irrigation. The…

Water War In Sri Lanka

Background in my own words:

After the Tamil Tigers refused to open an upstream sluice Sinhalese soldiers fought them near Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, with caused civilian casualties on both sides. It is believed by the Tamil Tigers that there has been favoritism by the government towards Sinhalese farmers because they have received better infrastructure assistance to water their crops. The Tamils see this as a plan for ethnic cleansing, and the fighting continues over the water sluice because it is the lifeline of the farmers there. However, as I have stated over and over again, this type of conflict will be more prevalent as water resources are diminished by climate change, privatization, and government interference. This is a poor island nation that is now suffering from the effects of war over a water sluice. People are dying as water is now being used as a political weapon. It is a tragic reflection on the true lack of humanity in this world. This current water dispute that seems to no…

What Lies Beneath Lake Vostok? Part Two

This topic absolutely fascinates me. The fact that ice covers this water but it is not frozen because it is also heated by the Earth's core, brings forth the possibility of many different ecosystems living together in this ancient wonderland. I think it fascinates me moreso however, because the waters lying beneath the thick cover of ice that protect it have been undisturbed for milennia by human interaction.

It is a true picture of a primordial environment untouched by humanity, pollution, war, disease, and all other manmade horrors. It can give us the truest picture of where it is our planet evolved from, and perhaps where we evolved from. That particular facet of it excites me as well, and as someone who believes that we are not alone in this vast universe it excites me to think that the age old answers to the questions regarding our existence could be found in that abyss. And perhaps, even give us answers to life forms on other planets.

However, the question of whether we morall…

What Lies Beneath Lake Vostok? Part One

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I chose to take a look at the controversy surrounding drilling at the site of Lake Vostok due not only to the scientific dilemma involved, but also the environmental and moral dilemmas involved regarding how far we can go regarding the living space of other organisms. I also chose to discuss this because of a hypothesis I have as well regarding the impact on such drilling in ice already melting due to climate change. I will present that below.
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Lake Vostok, located in central Antarctica, is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. It is as big as Lake Ontario, and 50 times larger than Lake Tahoe and is located 2 1/2 miles beneath the ice of Antarctica. It was discovered in full in 1996 by mapping of the flat ice surface from the European ERS 1 satellite. This flash animation will give you a good idea as to what the current controversy about continued drilling to the lake surface is about: Flash animation of Lake Vostok Also See: Michael Studinger's Homepage On Lake Vo…

Oil Sands Development Not Sustainable

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This entry is in response to an article in the Edmonton Sun in which Klein trashed Al Gore's remarks regarding the oil sands extraction process in Alberta. I think people need to see the truth behind the environmental degradation being caused by this that will not in the longrun sustain our planet, but only an addiction that is costing people their planet. Many will get rich off of this process, but it will not be the people. The cost in continuing to contribute to the climate crisis we face will be immense if the people (particularly in Canada) do not speak out regarding the methods employed by the same status quo to continue this addiction by looking for any way to get their fix.

Like all projects surrounding oil, the potential for the development of this industry has been touted only by those who stand to profit most from it: oil companies, governments, and the media which serves them. However, there are environmental repercussions to oil sands extraction that contradict the mor…

Is The Israeli/Lebanon War Over Water?

In my research of this area, I discovered that there has been a threat of war for years over waters being diverted from the Wazzani River in Lebanon, and Israel's alleged attempts at taking water from the Jordan and the Litani Rivers. So, is taking out Lebanon's pumps and gaining control of the Litani and Wazzani Rivers now also part of the plan of these current attacks? The Israeli government is denying water and subsistence to innocent people, and that is a human rights abuse. Per this article from 12 years ago (which shows how long this dispute has been going on): (bolding my emphasis)

Israel's Appropriation of Arab Water: An Obstacle to Peace

by Ronald Bleier (rbleier@igc.org)
Middle East Labor Bulletin, Spring 1994
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"There is no reason for Palestinians to claim that just because they sit on lands, they have the rights to that water," Mr. Katz-Oz [Israel's negotiator on water] said…

U.S.To Deny Mexico Water?

In the entries I have previously written on water issues, I cannot tell you the amount of information I have gleaned and all I have learned about this issue. I have truly become much more educated on an issue that has really been a big part of my life regarding the environmental issues I have always been passionate about, and this issue in particular will always be one that I will dedicate my life to seeking truth about and relaying information about.

It is as simple as saying, WATER IS LIFE, and it is. It is to me a sacred fluid that sustains us, provides for our sustinence, cleanses us, renews us, and I believe heals us. To waste it, pollute it, defile it, or in any way keep it from sustaining others by design is immoral. And while it is a complex issue made so by the complexities of human life, it is also as simple as saying, water is a human right and should always be used within that one guideline. If only it were that easy. But I still and will always believe that, and also belie…

Great Lakes Going Down?

In my previous entries on the topic of water, water scarcity, water quality, and other topics related to water which amount to nineteen making this my twentieth, I have mainly concerned myself with areas outside of the United States. That is mainly because other areas such as Niger, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia and other countries in Africa are experiencing life threatening and life taking repercussions because of the lack of safe, clean, potable water just to meet every day needs, and people are killing each other to get it.

Countries such as India, Pakistan, and China are experiencing an increase in pollution, waste, and privatization that seeks to threaten indigenous peoples and disgrace their traditions all in the name of profit. The Middle East is also experiencing crisis level water shortages with many of the countries involved also engaged in war, which does little to help mitigate the humanitarian disaster lack of potable water, pollution, and fighting over water rights creates for th…

Destroying A Himalayan Paradise

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The River Teesta

My last entry on the proposed development of the Kalabagh Dam in Pakistan, and the ecological damage it will do to an area of great tradition (the Sindh) along with the political powerplaying involved in calling for this project to go forward, and the war that may ensue from it is not the only story in this saga. Let me first then say in this opening that development in and of itself is not bad. However, development aimed only at making money for developers and states with the intention of displacing indigenous peoples, diverting their water resources, and in exploiting them for profit is unconscienable.

Again, water is a HUMAN RIGHT, although it seems that when it comes to corporate/state ownership human rights don't matter. Such is the case in Pakistan, and such is the case also in India.Consider this and once again note that the WORLD BANK is also behind it, and in my view their idea of "tapping a river" does not coincide with providing sustinence to th…

War Over Kalabagh Dam?

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Pakistan's President Musharraf claims that building the Kalbagh Dam will alleviate the water crisis in Pakistan. Pakistan is one of the hardest hit countries regarding water scarcity, so on the surface the idea of building this dam might seem like a good idea. However, understanding the political cronyism involved, the environmental factors, the history of the land, and reading about the years of inactivity on this issue and the socio-economic rivalries of the peoples there may lead you to another conclusion.

This issue regarding the Sindhi and the Punjab in Pakistan is so complex and huge, it would be impossible to explain it all in this one entry from the beginning. However, here is a link that provides a timeline for the Indus Water Treaty that dates back to British rule and independence of the area to lead you to why the water crisis is at the crucial level it is in Pakistan now.

Indus Water Treaty.

A 2003 UN report entitled, "Water, A Vital Source of Life" also conclud…