San Diego future without water

Mike Davis: "we are utterly asleep at the controls.”

“The wet 20th century, the wettest of the past millennium, the century when Americans built an incredible civilization in the desert, is over,” says a superb article in February’s National Geographic. The piece, entitled “Drying of the West,” mentions San Diego several times. Author Robert Kunzig writes, “The American West was won by water management. What happens when there’s no water left to manage?” He notes that some scientists foresee “the Southwest’s gradual descent into persistent Dust Bowl conditions by mid-century.” Studies of tree rings suggest that the Southwest suffered severe and repeated droughts over many centuries. The wet 20th Century — when growth boomed — was an aberration. Normality may be returning.

San Diegan Mike Davis, who teaches environmental history at the University of California, Irvine, wrote a similar article that ran on the website of the Nation late last fall. Some scientists are calling current conditions a “megadrought,” possibly the worst in 500 years, although they aren’t sure it will be more devastating than the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, wrote Davis. Some scientists look for “the imminent drying of the U.S. southwest,” his story said.

Then there was the cover story in the October 18, 2007 Reader by Bill Manson. It noted that as far back as 2004, the U.S. Geological Survey began calling the current drought as bad as or worse than any in 500 years. Rainfall has been low since the early 1990s, and snowfall in the Sierras and Rockies has been inadequate. “All this has created the foundation for a drought so serious that you start thinking, could desertification be next?” wrote Manson. “Here we are, headed for a quarter-century of dryness, just when the population is set to add a million in San Diego County alone.”

According to the San Diego County Water Authority, the local metro area gets 75 percent of its water from Los Angeles’s Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The district gets two-thirds of its water from the Colorado River, which has gone through its eight driest years in recorded history. The other one-third comes from the State Water Project, which is bedeviled by environmental lawsuits and weakened levees that probably could not withstand earthquakes. San Diego gets another 6 percent at a stiff price from Imperial Valley, which gets the water virtually for nothing. The remaining 19 percent is locally generated — rainfall, groundwater, etc. The years 2006 and 2007 were two of the driest on record. This year? “We’re praying,” says authority spokesperson John Liarakos.

This year, numbers look better. It would be a tragic mistake to postpone aggressive action on the basis of a couple of months of cheerier data.

What’s being done locally? Not much. Various Southern California water authorities have issued the “20-Gallon Challenge,” asking people to reduce water use by 20 gallons per person, per day — all told, about 10 percent. Various companies and institutions are proudly announcing they are asking employees to cooperate. Mayor Jerry Sanders is holding well-publicized meetings with cities in the area. Just recently, the City announced it would give a $350 rebate to those who buy a so-called smart irrigation system that reduces outdoor water use. But other Southern California cities are ahead in offering such incentives and in mandating conservation. Long Beach permits lawn watering only three days a week. Builders get financial incentives up to $2500 per home for installation of various inside and outside water-saving devices. Financial incentives for use of water-saving toilets and hose nozzles are more generous than in some other communities.

Las Vegas prohibits new front lawns, limits the size of back ones, and subsidizes families that tear up their lawns and replace them with desert plants. “San Diego needs to move to desertscaping,” says Steve Erie, professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program. “Half our water is dumped on our lawns.”

Adds Erie, “This is a town in deep denial. The leadership thinks that if we adopt stricter measures like mandatory rationing, we will send the wrong signal to tourists and the business community. We’re incredibly image conscious. We have a mayor who is led around by the nose by pollsters. The good news is that [L.A. mayor] Antonio Villaraigosa wants to be governor, so L.A. is playing footsie with San Diego, adopting a shortage plan.” However, “Phoenix and Las Vegas are much more serious about recycling, reclamation.”

“We are looking at water recycling,” which has been given the repugnant name “toilet-to-tap,” says Councilmember Donna Frye. The mayor realized “toilet-to-tap” was fecal politics. He vetoed the council’s vote to pursue the matter, “and we overrode his veto.” Many localities, including Orange County, have or are working on reclamation projects, although Orange County’s program is different from the one on the drawing boards in San Diego. Opponents of toilet-to-tap say that it is energy intensive and not thoroughly tested for safety.

San Diego does use recycled water for cooling towers, industrial parks, irrigation of golf courses, and the like, but the City isn’t doing a good job of that, says Frye. “Water allocation will be reduced from the Colorado River as well as the Bay Delta [State Water Project]. It’s important that we address these questions while we can look at federal and state funding. It would be less expensive now to start planning. The Water Department has been terrific. The problem is that they are under the mayor. They have to handle it gingerly. The seriousness of the issue has not reached the higher levels of government.”

Unfortunately, residential development goes on apace. “We have to get realistic about tying new growth and development to water supply,” says Frye. “The infrastructure is inadequate. State laws say that for large-scale development, you have to show where the water will come from. I am not sure that has been adequately addressed. I don’t see developers required to put in native vegetation; everyone wants a lawn and flowers. We live in a desert: put in desert vegetation. The mayor has a record of capitulating to developers.”

Says San Diegan Mike Davis, author of the article that ran on the Nation website, “As far as I can see, we are utterly asleep at the controls.” As a result of the drought-caused 2003 and 2007 fires, “People are encouraged to plant more water-absorbing plants around their homes, because houses that survived had highly watered plants such as ice plant. That kind of fire prevention extending to the backcountry implies unsustainable increases in water usage.” The problem is that “In no sense have we had a holistic debate about climate change, water resources — lessons we should be learning. Our political system seems unable to discuss these interrelated issues at the same time. The water situation will go from bad to worse.”

All agree that San Diego doesn’t seem to be able to pull it all together: the fires, for example, should speak volumes about the drought. But the City looks at fire and water as two separate problems.

Says City Attorney Mike Aguirre, “There is a failure of leadership to provide conservation, to do the hard work of water reclamation, to build desalination plants or to expand storage capacity. Our leaders don’t want to admit the problem. We have to spend a lot of money, and there is not a lot of money because of the pension deficits.”

Erie sums it up: “This is a second-rate town blessed with a first-rate climate but cursed with third-rate leadership and a fourth-rate newspaper.”

But in a few years, will that climate be so wonderful? Or to paraphrase an old saying, will San Diegans be getting their just deserts?

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More from SDReader


Time For Total Political Change.

Under 40 voters, it’s time to takeover control of your own future.

Over 40 lemming voters suck, they have failed to protect your future.

The Union-Tribune has made all the wrong things happen.

The Reader can make the right things happen.

Please don't put an age to it. I am just over forty, and am perfectly aware of how corrupt our local government and newspaper are, and vote accordingly.

My parents are in their seventies, drive an electric car and installed solar panels on the roof of their house. They know the solar panels probably won't pay for themselves in their lifetime but they did it anyway because they wanted to help drive the technology that we desperately need.

Their are plenty of under 40 voters who are either apathetic or are trying themselves to take what they can and screw the future.


This article highlights exactly why I get so incensed when people argue we need to take radical steps to counter manmade global warming (you have done that yourself).

There is much politicizing and dubious science behind global warming, which enables industrialists and big business republicans to pooh-pooh it. If we drop the controversial global warming argument, we are left with some basic facts:

1) Our reliance on oil is destroying our economy and enriching our enemies in the middle east. Cultivating alternative energy (including clean coal and nuclear) and driving electric cars will dramatically improve our political situation and the long term health of our economy. 2) Switching away from gas cars will dramtically improve our air quality. 3) We have a looming water crisis due to overpopulation in a dry area.

I fear that the global warming movement has actually stalled progress on the important issues that need addressing by making it a left/right political fight, when the real issues have nothing to do with global warming.

Response to post #1: The Reader is good, but we can't stop a dust bowl if one is coming. We might raise enough hell that more responsive politicians would be elected, and San Diego would realize it can't take more residential development. Any available funds (and they are scarce) should go into infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #2: But young people are taking a real interest in the presidential election this year -- at least in the Democratic primary. That's a good sign. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #3: You make an interesting point. Offhand I don't agree with it, but will ponder it. I agree with your three points on oil reliance, gas cars and looming water crisis. But I think the global warming crisis is related to the first two points. Best, Don Bauder

Frye is correct in her wording, "fecal politics".

By slapping the dismissive "toilet to tap" label on water recovery, the UT and others effectively delayed its adoption by a decade.

Our leaders aren't ignorant only of economics, ethics, and the law. They're also mostly ignorant of the very geography and climate in which we live. The best evidence of this is Peters' outrageous water wastage, which actually increased after it was made public. Such people are not leaders, and should be hounded from the spotlight, to be replaced with those who actually care about our future.

As the article notes, we're dumping far too much fresh drinking water on our lawns to nourish plants that don't belong here. The Nat. Geographic article makes it clear that all our long-term water supply plans are based on faulty assumptions built on anomalous data.

This goes on the list for candidates:

  • What are your plans for ensuring water supplies past 2020?

Any candidate who doesn't have a credible answer, with identified funding, should be disqualified from consideration.


(yet another sdblogger)

Response to post #7: Welcome back, Fumber. I was walking by a yuppie art/coffee store recently and saw a sign for wheat grass. I didn't go in to sample it. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post # 8: I used the words "fecal politics," not Donna. She is a lady. Note that Peters, so complicit in the city's concealing of its unsound financial condition in prospectuses, and so contemptuous of the water situation, wants to run for city attorney. Talk about Al Capone running for governor. Yes, we dump far too much water on our lawns. We should encourage people to take out lawns and replace with desertscaping or even Astroturf. Best, Don Bauder

Don, response to #6:

I didn't mean to say that global warming is not real. Rather, I am saying that it doesn't matter whether or not global warming is real and/or human caused, because we should be taking the same steps regarding energy and water conservation and alternative sources of both regardless. That being the case, I think that pushing the idea of man-caused global warming is actually counter productive and may distract from and take away support for achieving the end goals.

If you take out the global warming politics (which have become very partisan and polarizing) and discuss purely national security and economic future (oil dependency) air quality (gas cars) and water reserves (and how to increase and/or extend them) I think we would get more bipartisan broad-based support and would have a better chance of achieving the desired goals.


You've got it all wrong. Tropical landscapes are our birthright here in San Diego. We just need to get people in Colorado, Arizona and Nevada to stop hording so much water and let it all come to us.

My grandfather watched firsthand as the Owens Valley died to help quench LA's thirst. He watched thriving orchards and farmland dry up and turn into desert, and a huge lake turn into a dust bowl.

What LA did to the Owens Valley San Diego can do from the Imperial Valley all the way to Colorado. It's the least we can do. A wonderful legacy to leave for our children.

Response to “Dust Bowl Coming?”:

One of your best articles ever Don, thanks for the Wake-Up call. I hope people will at least stop watering their damned useless lawns for openers, until that happens nothing will happen in time to prevent totally unacceptable consequences.

A major solution, a solution we are fortunate to have because of our ocean proximity, is to build nuclear power and desalination plants along the coast, but science has failed to do anything about nuclear waste products.

The worst problem we have that prevents long-term solutions is that our scientific community especially the University of California has failed us. For over half a century the main thing UC scientists have accomplished for humanity is to produce hydrogen bombs for profit, and most recently they sold out their scientific integrity to BP for $500 Million.

But it’s not just UC, most noted scientist Freeman Dyson from Princeton said in 1997: “The main social benefit provided by pure science in esoteric fields is to serve as a welfare program for scientists and engineers.” President Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell Address predicted this.

Sir John Maddox, Editor Emeritus of Nature magazine said: “small armies of scientists wil be required to remove persisting uncertainties and to devise effective strategies for the avoidance of calamity --- the rhetoric of survival is not matched by resolution”.
Sadly, absolutely nothing on this order of magnitude is happening because all of Washington DC politicians have failed to protect Americans much less humanity.

National Geographic Channel aired a documentary “Six Degrees” this week which is one more set of warnings in addition to yours Don.

Thus American science has failed to pass the test of humanity for the last half century, failed to accomplish anything beyond making profits to fund their welfare state and satisfy personal greed like defrocked UC President Dynes has, and now they have no credibility when we need it most.

Thanks for trying to save San Diego Don along with Aguirre and Frye, keep it up. That's why it is "Time For Total Political Change" as I noted in post #1.

Response to post #11: You make a good point: the battle over global warming is very polarizing, and may make other reforms more difficult to achieve. This battle highlights America's short-term orientation. Our society does not think about future generations. People in other societies do. This is why companies such as Exxon Mobil kept claiming that man-made global warming was an invalid thesis. President Bush could declare with a straight face that he would not sign on to international accords because he didn't want to impede short-term economic performance in the U.S. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #12: Waste of water may be California's birthright, but the other states such as Arizona and Colorado are getting more political clout as Californians, sick of high taxes and taking advantage of ridiculously high real estate prices (still), keep moving to them. Consider Nevada. Those folks play rough, as the history of Las Vegas so poignantly attests. If Vegas is turned into another Owens Valley, some folks bearing gats may invade California. Then what? Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #16: I watched "Six Degrees." I had problems with the program's organization and melodramatic tone, but not its message. The new study by Scripps Institute of Oceanography, predicting that there is a 50 percent chance that Lake Mead will be unusable by 2021, is frightening. It came out too late to be included in this article. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #16: Wired magazine this month features a cover story about 33 things that Suck! Science is one of them and they conclude with "In other words, thanks to evolution, half of all Americans don't believe in evolution. That's the universe for you: impersonal, uncaring, and ironic" which proves that both education and science Suck in America.

The truth is that science in America has been a fraud for over 50 years with environmental, poverty and too many other problems for humanity getting worse and worse because the scientists are really as fraudulent, corrupt and greedy as our politicians.

The overall reality though is that all of our American institutions have failed.

Relative to "Six Degrees" again, Sir John Maddox said the just one degree increase in average temperature will cause major unacceptable problems, so God Help anyone left if we get close to six degrees.

That is to say, life on earth will Suck more and more and more unless Under 40 Reader demographics voters change things this year by kicking out all over 40 incumbents in both parties, because politicians Suck more than any other segment of our population.

Response to post #17: A report issued by the San Diego grand jury Wednesday concluded that the City should control growth and step up water conservation measures. The report was titled, "Water Conservation: Sober Up San Diego, the Water Party Is Over." Two elected officials, Councilmember Donna Frye and City Attorney Mike Aguirre, have been stressing the need for water conservation, recycling, and other measures to face the coming crisis. The rest of the council and the Sanders administration have had their heads in the sand, mainly because they are in the pockets of the real estate development industry. There is no evidence that the grand jury's report will sober them up. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #18:

Seems like the only dependable things left these days are war, greed, profligacy, exclusion and hate, pollution corruption poverty, larceny, failed institutions and deranged rant U-T editorial columns. Did I forget anything?

Your readers need to know what the consequences are if they don't kick every politician over 40 out of government, except maybe Obama because Michelle seems like she would be best first lady we will have had since Eleanor Roosevelt.

Response to post #19: You forgot lust. The others -- war, greed, profligacy, etc. -- have been ubiquitous throughout recorded history. But you are right: they may be more pronounced now. Best, Don Bauder

so let me get this straight. the temperature of the earth will rise six degrees and on the way there human beings will be stressed and perhaps begin to or completely disappear?? And what is the downside to this???

Response to post #21: As I understand it, six degrees and life on earth changes unbelievably. Cities are under water, the U.S. Southwest becomes a desert, Northern Canada becomes a most livable agriculture center, etc. There will be mass migrations and probably massive loss of life. I see your point: what is the downside? Overpopulation is our problem now. Those who believe in negative population growth will finally get their way. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #22:

Actually Don, we'll become the latest version of Anasazi before it hits 6 degrees.

BTW, 6 deg C = 10.8 deg F, and that's the worldwide average. There will be quite a variation depending on how the climate change tipping points interact around the globe, with tectonic changes, etc.

Our scientists at SIO, IPCC, etc. have already proven again most recently that their supercomputer models Suck! and they really don’t have a clue about how to predict the next hundred years. They really don’t know how to do chaos theory programming yet.

So right now we're proving Harvard evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson’s conclusion that far-off catastrophes, engineered by our own species, are simply out of the range of human capacity for planning and action one last time.

Political P.S. to post #23:

In the meantime this year, it really would be a very good idea for every eligible voter to vote in this election, especially if you have any personal economic problems as a result of the way politicians in both parties are running or failing to run Washington, Sacramento and San Diego today. Your future depends on voting more than ever before, that is unless we allow the political parties to use their FOWG “superdelegate” smoke filled rooms to force choices against our best interests again.

At least kick the GOB Bush republicans and the Clinton democrats out of office, they have screwed up the last 15 years beyond belief.

Response to post #23: Yes, the Anasazi civilization was destroyed by climate change. Some think we will be a re-run. On the other hand, as we see in economic and stock market projections, the so-called experts are wrong more than half of the time. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #24: I am one who believes that if Obama has a significant lead in delegates, but the super-delegates go the other way, throwing the election to Clinton, the Democratic Party will suffer contumely seldom seen in American politics. Such an event could destroy the Democrats. Best, Don Bauder

Post #24 said: "At least kick the GOB Bush republicans and the Clinton democrats out of office, they have screwed up the last 15 years beyond belief."

It is more like the last 19 years with one to go, but who is counting. I am appalled that anyone in this country would consider Hillary Clinton. That would make a minimum of 24 and possibly a 28 year rule by two families. Then what after that? A presidential race between Chelsea Clinton and George P. Bush (Jebs son)?

What kind of a third world country are we becoming? Our best and brightest only belong to two families??? We can do a whole lot better.

Response to post #27: That's particuarly true when you consider those two families. The Bush family's financial hanky-panky goes back to Prescott Bush, and possibly before. Best, Don Bauder

Response to posts #26,27&28:

Actually both parties have earned a hell of a lot more than contumely, that’s much too polite and gentile for Washington. They have headed America so close to becoming a “third world country” that we should all be mad as hell.

It’s time for the Under 40s to demonstrate their voting power and anger at establishment politicians “seldom seen in American politics” by kicking republican and democrat asses big time right out of Washington, Sacramento and San Diego, and it’s impossible to miss hitting most of those fat good old boy/girl asses.

A little lesson in history Don: Prescott Bush committed treason when he invested in Nazi industrialists in the 1930s thus providing funds to support Hitler, WWII, concentration camps and the Holocaust.

In 2004 The Guardian published “How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power”: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar As noted, this bit of history has been played down by Washington politicians and special interests demonstrating how far down power politics prostitutes have sunk today because they all share in covering up this outrageous crime against humanity by the Bush family.

I read a good piece on artificial turf last week in a wonderful publication. Looks like that stuff is getting there, and starting to make a lot of sense with the way water is getting more and more scarce and expensive.

Response to post #48: The truth is that scientific academics have been selling out their integrity to M-I-G money for over half a century, and the consequence today is that they sold out humanity when we needed new discoveries and inventions the most to deal with out of control environmental breakdowns and poverty.

The tragedy is that science saved humanity during WWII only to fail humanity today.

Response to post #25:

Actually Don, “economic and stock market projections” have been far better than climate change forecasts. It is true as you say that “the so-called experts are wrong more than half of the time” but far too many IPCC climate change forecasts are proving to be wrong far worse than you want to imagine.

For instance, forecasts of melting ocean glaciers and ice sheets have recently been exposed as being too far into the future by about 20 years, and accelerating as newer observations keep documenting. It increasingly appears that a supercomputer room full of our more intelligent San Diego Zoo monkeys could have done a better job.

So we are now experiencing a never-ending series stories of scientific discoveries of never-ending scientific failures to protect and preserve humanity.

But fear not, regardless of what is really happening with climate change, UC is still producing hydrogen bombs after half a century of dedication to this “scientific” endeavor, apparently as their ultimate gift to humanity as political, economic and social problems continue to devolve because of UC’s failures to protect and preserve humanity because it wasn’t profitable enough to do so. The legacy of Dr. Strangelove lives on at UC.

Response to post #30: Yes that is an excellent source of information SDBill.

Costco sells artificial grass.

There is even a high traffic resistant ground up tires version used at the zoo orangutan enclosure that looks pretty good but you probably have to get used to the tire odor for a while.

I read about one guy who got creative and tried what he called "dry river bed"

Basically we must get serious and stop watering lawns as priority number one, see what dies, then experiment with drought resistant native plants.

There are a lot of examples of solutions at the other end of I8 in Phoenix, Tucson, etc. that they have used for decades.

What I don't get is all this hoo-haa about recycled water and the "toilet-to-tap" program. We have all been drinking recycled water all out lives. There is only so much water. What goes around comes around.

I recently attended a lecture at which the speaker came to the dais, took a big drink of water and said, "That's some great tasting dinosaur piss!"

Response to post #29. Yes, there has been a lot written about Sen. Prescott Bush. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #30: Agreed. Artificial turf can be the answer often. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #31: Dr. Strangelove was a great movie. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #32: We shouldn't just stop watering lawns. We should be ripping them up and replacing them with rocks or artificial grass. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #33: What a great line. Those words "toilet to tap" have been a barrier to those wanting recycling. We have to educate people to the point you made. The stuff has been recycled for millions of years. Best, Don Bauder

Scientists have calculated that there are more H2O molecules in a single glass of water, than there are glasses of water in all the world's oceans.

Further, it is certain that at least one of those water molecules once passed through the bladder of George Washington.

I, for one, am proud to have been drinking the same water as George Washington my whole life. Let's put his face on "toilet to tap".

(yet another sdblogger)


Please put this song to music...I hear bass heavy trotting along western style guitar music, sung by a rough cowboy voice...with sound effects.

"The Million Gallon Man"

Now down in San Diego There is a drought I'm told

And so the city council Its residents did scold

They told all the good people Stop sprinkling your lawn

If we don't save our water Then soon it will be gone

Then came along Scott Peters, the million gallon man He showed us all a councilman can just ignore the plan

(bass riff, lawn sprinklers start to "chit-chit, chit-chit, chit-chit")

Scott Peters he is wealthy His bank account is vast

He resists any efforts To learn about his past

He says he's an attorney Ready for any job

But Fridays he spends golfing And at work he's a slob

All hail to our Scott Peters, the million gallon man He showed us all a councilman can just ignore the plan

(bass riff, sprinklers, cash register "kaa-ching")

Now Peters loves his landscape His mansion with its view

He enjoys all the privileges Reserved for just a few

He needs to waste that water He says it's for our good

So he can invite lobbyists Into the neighborhood

All hail to our Scott Peters, the million gallon man He showed us all a councilman can just ignore the plan

(bass, sprinklers, cash registers, champagne party sounds "clink-clink")

It's great to be Scott Peters He's like an action toy

President of the Council The UT poster boy

Whenever there's a party He's having all the fun

But when reporters come calling He's always on the run

All hail to our Scott Peters, the million gallon man It's time for San Diego, to un-elect this man

All hail to our Scott Peters, the million gallon man It's time for San Diego, to un-elect this man

(yeee, haw!)

Response to post #39: I spent my youth in Illinois. Does that mean I drank water that Lincoln drank? (I was from Chicago, he was from downstate, but let's not nitpick.) Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #47: Academic science is too tied to corporate money. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #41: That is a wonderful song, and I tip my hat to your creativity. Your song is soooooo typical of San Diego: the councilmember who was greatly responsible for the City deliberately not revealing its financial cancers in bond prospectuses is now running for city attorney. It recalls in the movie "The Godfather," the aging head of the mob (Marlon Brando), tells his son that he really should pursue another career: "Governor Corleone, Senator Corleone," rasps Brando to his son. Of course, everyone knows that mob-related people are financially BEHIND major politicians, but few of the mobsters actually run for office. It's my understanding that Peters took a poll and learned that most San Diegans don't understand the pension issue, and therefore he could be a good candidate. Only in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #43: The water/global warming problems seem to be coming on fast. Best, Don Bauder

You know Don, I never cease to be amazed and increasingly concerned about admissions by our preeminent climate scientists when they admit things like their supercomputer models are about 20 years off and global ice melting is occurring much faster than they ever predicted most recently.

Then today the U-T published another quote by one of SIO’s best researchers Tim Barnett “We were stunned” when discussing a report on the rapidly dwindling levels of reservoirs that supply Sorthern California water. Most sadly, this proves one more time what Freeman Dyson exposed “The main social benefit provided by pure science in esoteric fields is to serve as a welfare program for scientists and engineers” and this fact defines one of the greatest threats to humanity today.

Since this is Sunday, it is most appropriate to say May God Help Us! and save us from the fact that “pure scientists have become more detached from the mundane needs of humanity, and the applied scientists have become more attached to immediate profitability” another Dyson quote from his book “Imagined Worlds” that has applied far too often to UC scientists who excel in producing hydrogen bombs and making $500 Million alliances with BP oil giant, etc. instead of protecting and preserving humanity as their highest priority with a sense of urgency if IPCC climate change tipping points warnings are real, which polar ice caps and glaciers appear to be proving today.

At this rate, bells will not only toll for humanity but we shall all be stunned “at the magnitude of the problem and how fast it was coming at us” indeed.

Science needs to gain credibility with a sense of urgency, today.

yes, conserve water so another golf course can be built, or another condominium project, or housing development. all water for humans; don't water any plants or animals. all water for humans the most precious of all. at some point you have to start 'conserving' the amount of people, don't you?

Response to post #44: Zero and negative population growth movements are making more sense. Best, Don Bauder

Response to post #45: As Will and Ariel Durant documented in their Lessons of History series "When a civilization declines, it is through no mystic limitation of a corporate life, but through the failure of its political or intellectual leaders to meet the challenge of change." Except today both our political and intellectual leaders are failing us.

When one of the world's leading scientists Tim Barnett at UC's SIO is forced to admit “We were stunned,” humanity is in grave peril indeed.

Response to post #49: It's often a case of privatization of the gain and socialization of the risk. Consider biotech initial public offerings. Government money flows into research, often through a university. Then insiders decide to go public with some alleged cure for a disease, privatizing something initially financed with government money. The insiders get rich on the offering, whether the developmental drug succeeds or not. The government does not get its money back. Best, Don Bauder

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