Tuesday, May 29, 2007

National newsweekly picks up Nevada Water Grab

U.S. News and World Report - the news weekly that competes with TIME and Newsweek for space in your dentist's stack of year-old magazines - did a story on Mulroy's New-and-Improved Owens Valley scheme. It is part of a larger package detailing water woes. The local angle is basically a retelling for a national audience of the Water Authority's wheeling and dealing to forestall catastrophe until this generation of policy makers is out of office. Overall, it was better than some national coverage, and much better than what we see too often from in-state media, but omitted any significant input from those up north at the opposite end of the pipeline.
It does come with a neat-oh video clip of some real estate developers flying the reporter around in a helicopter above Lake Las Vegas, the monstrosity that allows 2 percent of our water from the Colorado River to evaporate to create a playground for the filthy rich. To wrap your head around that, that's enough water for about 100,000 people. But why worry when you can just defoliate central Nevada and build more giant outdoor jacuzzis for the wealthy?
Here's the link: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070527/4nevada.htm

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Soylent Green, Indian Springs, Las Vegas and Sustainability

Jim Brauer, a very sharp guy very worried about what Las Vegas' ever-growing thirst will do to the scarce-but-still-adequate water supplies in tiny Indian Springs out yonder, sent me a link that has gotten me thinking.

Remember that old 1970s dystopia movie Soylent Green? It takes place 40 years or so in the future in a world choked by global warming, population growth, pollution and evil corporations and water agencies. That is, the present, but more so.

Anyhoo, if you did see that movie, you'll remember a scene in which Charlton Heston as the cynical cop purloins an important study of global resources and turns over the study, in the form of a couple of big books, to his aging intellectual roommate - Edward G. Robinson in his last film role. Not to give too much away, but Edward G. Robinson gets so very, very depressed by what he finds in those books that he decides to cash it in.

That's what I was thinking when I looked at the study Jim sent me. It is a very interesting work by some Japanese corporations addressing the issue of "sustainability" globally, and it sure has some applications to the crazy city built on Mohave Desert sand, too. But mostly, it's just kind of depressing.