The Disaffected Lib: "There Was No Rain"

Climate change refugees are on the march and they’re coming not just from Africa or the Middle East or some low-lying atoll in the South Pacific, they’re migrating poleward in the Americas too. Todd Miller went to southern Mexico to interview climate migrants. Where are they from? Where are they headed? Given the dangers, why? ...

Politics and its Discontents: Finally, Some Relief ….

The months-long drought where I live appears finally to be at end. However, any relief I feel is tempered by the knowledge that the weather system responsible for it is also part of the one that has wrought so much devastation in Louisiana: Meanwhile, in the West, the years-long drought and all that that entails, ...

Politics and its Discontents: Finally, Some Relief ….

The months-long drought where I live appears finally to be at end. However, any relief I feel is tempered by the knowledge that the weather system responsible for it is also part of the one that has wrought so much devastation in Louisiana: Meanwhile, in the West, the years-long drought and all that that entails, ...

Things Are Good: Efficient Beans to Beat Drought Conditions

Beans are delicious, so delicious that earlier this year the UN declared 2016 to be year of the pulse. Around the world beans are cultivated for their protein and their ability to grow in many places. Some beans are better at growing in wet areas while others in drought conditions. This has led botanists to ...

Things Are Good: How We Can Fend Off Drought

In this TED talk David Sedlak explores options that can be used to fend off drought in cities. The last century saw massive developments that treated water in a very unsustainable way (from dams to pathetic water policies). This century we will have to correct the mistakes of the past and focus on changing how ...

Politics and its Discontents: Apocalypse Now, And The Shape Of Things To Come

I decided to take a break from the political landscape today to look at our physical one. Regrettably, although the title of this post comes from two films, what is depicted here is all too real. I’ll let the disturbing imagery speak for itself. Recommend this Post

The Disaffected Lib: It’s the D-Word and It’s Arrived in Canada

Prime minister Cletis doesn’t seem to have noticed that global warming has arrived in his very own backyard.  Funny how he can’t hear all those local Tories squealing like pigs over the drought setting in across the West. It’s the sort of think I watch out of the corner of my eye, hoping that somehow ...

Politics and its Discontents: Yet Another Sign Of Just How Much Trouble We Are In

When we think of climate change, the first things that may come to mind are our increasingly violent storms and melting Arctic ice. Another, of course, is drought and its ever-widening destructive swath. It is the latter that has led to a new threat: The world’s largest underground aquifers – a source of fresh water ...

The Disaffected Lib: Connecting the Dots on Climate Change

One of the biggest failures in climate change reporting is the tendency to focus on particular aspects without considering the bigger picture.  What does sea level rise have to do with droughts or floods?  What is the role of changing ocean circulation patterns?  How do these impacts all factor into our rapidly changing jet stream ...

Politics and its Discontents: What Are The Limits?

Humans, and other primates, it appears, have an innate sense of fairness. We expect, for example, in times requiring sacrifice, that no member of society will be exempted. When we are part of a long queue, for example, we expect everyone to bide their time and wait as well; someone attempting to jump the queue ...

Left Over: A California Cautionary Tale…Served Dry

Drought-ravaged L.A. looking to ‘sponge up’ every bit of rainwater New storm drains built to let rainwater ‘piddle out’ into soil, $1B emergency plan to add more By Kim Brunhuber, CBC News Posted: Mar 20, 2015 4:39 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 20, 2015 10:20 PM ET   Having grown up in SoCal, I can attest ...

The Disaffected Lib: California Down to Its Last Year of Water

A report in the LA Times claims that California has freshwater reserves for but one more year. As our “wet” season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall have done almost nothing to alleviate epic drought conditions. January was the driest in California since record-keeping began in 1895. Groundwater and ...

The Disaffected Lib: When the Taps Run Dry, Where Do You Go?

Sao Paulo Riots Imagine telling the residents of Toronto that they have to flee the city and travel elsewhere in search of water.  Well something along those lines may be in store for the millions of residents of Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo.As south-east Brazil grapples with its worst drought in nearly a century, a ...

The Disaffected Lib: How South Americans are Killing Their Environment

In some places, cutting down trees can have huge consequences.  In South America, the impacts are especially far-reaching.  Deforestation has picked up again in the Amazon.  That, in turn, is causing havoc to the region’s hydrological cycle, triggering severe drought. The unprecedented drought now affecting São Paulo, South America’s giant metropolis, is believed to be ...

The Disaffected Lib: Feed’Em or Weep

They’re finally figuring it out.  An editorial from The Dallas Morning News warns that unless the US launches a major food relief effort to Central America, the country faces a tsunami of refugees fleeing to the US to escape famine. The swarm of immigrants who came across the border this year, including more than 60,000 unaccompanied ...

The Disaffected Lib: Floods Come and Go But Drought Likes to Climb Onto Your Back and Stay There

We hear lots about California and it’s three-year-running drought that has left the State in severe water stress.  Wells are running dry, emergency bottled water has to be brought in to help the poor survive, orchards are being bulldozed as the trees die off, Nestle keeps plundering the state to bottle water for other places, ...

The Disaffected Lib: In Drought News

Central America continues to reel under severe, multi-year drought.  Guatemala has declared a state of emergency in 16 of the country’s 22-provinces.  Experts believe the impact on agriculture could soon leave hundreds of thousands of families without food. As America’s west coast and southwest continue to be plagued by drought, an article at Treehugger examines ...

The Disaffected Lib: This Is What Happens When You Run Out of Water.

Could you get by for three weeks with 12-gallons of water?  That’s a smidge over 45-litres which works out to about 2 litres per day. In Porterville, California, the county Office of Emergency Services, has delivered bottled water to 182 households where wells have now run dry.  12-gallons of water per head.  Three weeks rations. ...

The Disaffected Lib: The Mystery of California’s Vanishing Groundwater

You may have already heard about it.  California, the Golden State, is reeling from three years of continuous, severe drought. Of course you’ve heard about it.  The California drought is in the news almost daily.  The problem with an event like this is putting it in perspective. Here’s a new way of looking at it. ...

The Disaffected Lib: Famine In the Americas

Red Cross food relief for central Mexico When we think of famine, we tend to think of Africa.  Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan seem to come to mind. FEWS Net, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, has identified Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and central Nicaragua as countries most at risk of severe food insecurity in 2015.  Coffee ...

The Disaffected Lib: Your Global Warming Surcharge Coming Soon

Reservoir, What Reservoir? So, you see, you’ve got this conjunction of forces.  There are more of us by the day, about 220,000 every 24-hours and that’s a net increase.  And then our ever larger population is also movin’ on up.  We’re making progress on reducing poverty and those mega-populated, emerging economies are spawning their own middle, ...

Politics and its Discontents: Avoiding Another Imbroglio: A Mound Of Sound Guest Post

This note from the Mound of Sound accompanied the post that follows: Some of the course material I’ve been going through lately got me thinking about the conflicts raging in Syria and Iraq. I got thinking about them in the context of water and food security as well as climate change. Our corporate media really ...

The Disaffected Lib: Range Wars, 21st Century-Style

It’s a classic theme of the ‘wild west’ – range wars where free-range cattle ranchers clashed with farmers whose fenced fields blocked their way.  Today it’s a struggle between farmers and frackers and this time the struggle is over water, more specifically who gets it and who goes without. This has been going on in ...

The Disaffected Lib: The Relief of California

Desperately needed rain may be enroute to northern California.  With any luck some agricultural production may be saved.  There’s hope that an El Nino believed to be building in the Pacific will indulge California with a good drenching next winter.

Politics and its Discontents: A Guest Post From The Mound of Sound

In response to my last post, which dealt with climate change and the persistent drought in California, The Mound of Sound, a.k.a. The Disaffected Lib, offered some incisive commentary that I am featuring as a guest post. Mound has been doing exemplary work on the climate file, and people looking to educate themselves on a ...