It’s a drought, stupid! One more time, Arizona style

Environmentalist, writer, and long-time blogger Fred First kindly pointed us toward this recent article from the Guardian that demonstrates clearly that denial isn’t just a river in Georgia. From the article:

The city of Phoenix in Arizona sits in the middle of a desert that for the past 11 years has been suffering a punishing drought. Temperatures in the city rose above 43C (110F) for a record 30 days this year and water levels in the rivers that supply its 1.5 arizona-ocean.jpgmillion people with drinking water are at near-record lows.

A perfect spot then to build what is described as a “year-round watersports paradise”, in which visitors will be able to revel in whatever watery pastime takes their fancy. (12-foot waves to surf, white water to canoe…)

…Residents in the nearest town of Mesa voted earlier this month by two to one to support the project, won over by promises of 7,500 new jobs. Opposition to the proposals in the area has been muted.

But the long-term wisdom of creating a massive waterpark in the middle of a desert may yet be doubted. Last year Arizona had a record dry winter. Snowpacks on its mountain ranges – essential once they melt for replenishing the state’s sophisticated system of underground reservoirs – were unusually thin.

The current report for Arizona shows more than half the state, including the Phoenix area, in the moderate to extreme drought zone. (See also here.)

The team are as one in our open-mouthed astonishment at not just the massive stupidity of the planned aquatic paradise, but also at the Guardian writer’s masterful use of irony disguised as impartiality: But the long-term wisdom of creating a massive waterpark in the middle of a desert may yet be doubted.

Who could doubt that this is a reckless plan? The people of Arizona—and Georgia—are not, for the most part stupid, maybe. Then why are they allowing greed-crazed developers and their greed-crazed lackeys, i.e., elected officials, to get away with naked acts of self-serving irresponsibility that endanger their lives and the future of their children?

As we glumly consider our half-empty glass of tap water, which may or may not be contaminated, we decide that we have all been beaten down into numb submission by a domineering corporate culture that values nothing but profit and leaves us in constant terror of being unemployed and poor. (Note that the folks in Mesa voted in favor of this insanity because of the prospect of 7,500 new jobs.) All of this leaves most of us feeling powerless, disconnected from one another, and unable to envision, as Fred First does, a better, saner, and safer way to live.


2 Responses

  1. […] More commentary to my post at Waterblogged. Stumble […]

  2. The pieces start to go together and it makes (or should make) each of us change the way we absentmindedly flip that light switch and leave the bulb (or TV or computer or…) running when there’s nobody there.

    I hope to flesh this framework out, a start is here:

    And glad you’re spotlighting the Great Lakes situation.

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