Blog: My Unusual Road of Life....
by kerminator

Fresh Water determines life!

** Crucially, Powell argued that the West’s climate had to affect the customs, occupations, and politics of its inhabitants—its whole culture, in other words. **

Date:   12/15/2019 2:49:21 AM   ( 11 mon ) ... viewed 345 times


14 December 2019
Fresh Water determines life!

*** Having worked for the US Dept Of Interior - USGS - Water Resources Division for 4 years and I recognize how the Hydrologic system works! This is not just some political view or money-making scheme - this is real-life physics and the geological truth!

** From a post:
John F. Ross is the author of The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West.

Powell’s revolutionary watershed map, which also shows the 100th meridian line.

** Read and note how nature does not observe the desires of humans! Either now or whenever in history! Because the truth is not built on either political dreams of unrealistic human ideas! Seek the truth!

This map and the report amounted to a full-frontal assault on the federal land-grant system, still rooted in the 1862 Homestead Act’s stipulation that any American adult could receive 160 acres, contingent upon demonstrating an ability not just to live on the parcel but also to improve it. However well that system worked in Wisconsin or Illinois, Powell’s research suggested, the arid West could not support such relatively small homesteads.

Mild conditions had given recent immigrants to the West good crops and false expectations of a rosy future. But Powell’s experience studying western geology had taught him that the climate was variable and cyclical, bad decades following good ones. Pioneers flocking into the lands beyond the 100th meridian, Powell believed, would soon see their dreams wither into spindly crops and foreclosure. The lucky few who owned access to water were likely to establish dangerous monopolies that would roll over small farmers.

Crucially, Powell argued that the West’s climate had to affect the customs, occupations, and politics of its inhabitants—its whole culture, in other words.

He tied human endeavor to weather and geography while calling for the coordinated development of land, water, forest, and mining. His genius lay in recognizing that every arid civilization stands or falls not by the absolute amount of water available, but rather by its capacity to develop economic, technical, and political mechanisms that can dispense the water equitably, and then adjust as needs change.

14 December 2019
Fresh Water determines life!
Having worked for the US Dept Of Interior - USGS - Water Resources Division for 4 years and I recognize how the Hydrologic system works! This is not just some political view or money-making scheme - this is real-life physics and the geological truth!

Here is the whole article follows!

** From a post: ===================
John F. Ross is the author of The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West.


Powell’s revolutionary watershed map, which also shows the 100th meridian line. Photo from the author’s collection.

** Read and note how nature does not observe the desires of humans! Either now or whenever in history! Because the truth is not built on either political dreams of unrealistic human ideas! Seek the truth!

This map and the report amounted to a full-frontal assault on the federal land-grant system, still rooted in the 1862 Homestead Act’s stipulation that any American adult could receive 160 acres, contingent upon demonstrating an ability not just to live on the parcel but also to improve it. However well that system worked in Wisconsin or Illinois, Powell’s research suggested, the arid West could not support such relatively small homesteads.

Mild conditions had given recent immigrants to the West good crops and false expectations of a rosy future. But Powell’s experience studying western geology had taught him that the climate was variable and cyclical, bad decades following good ones. Pioneers flocking into the lands beyond the 100th meridian, Powell believed, would soon see their dreams wither into spindly crops and foreclosure. The lucky few who owned access to water were likely to establish dangerous monopolies that would roll over small farmers.

Crucially, Powell argued that the West’s climate had to affect the customs, occupations, and politics of its inhabitants—its whole culture, in other words.
He tied human endeavor to weather and geography while calling for the coordinated development of land, water, forest, and mining. His genius lay in recognizing that every arid civilization stands or falls not by the absolute amount of water available, but rather by its capacity to develop economic, technical, and political mechanisms that can dispense the water equitably, and then adjust as needs change.

Again, the political power structure ignored Powell, even though by 1890 the mild Plains weather had turned into drought. Between a quarter to one-half of the once-hopeful settlers of Kansas and Nebraska were already gone, some of them, filing the now-iconic In God we trusted, in Kansas, we busted sign to their wagons. The regular mechanisms of American capitalism—private equity, the resilience of the individual, laissez-faire federal government—even when injected with healthy transfusions of Manifest Destiny, could not overcome the unforgiving hostilities of the West.
Powell made what would be his last stand against non-sustainable development in October 1893, in Los Angeles’s cavernous boomtown Grand Opera House. Although tedious sounding, the Irrigation Congress held therein promised great hope for a nation that needed some good news. A severe economic crisis was ravaging American markets. Silver prices, the hope of the West, had plummeted, while 560 state and private banks, and 155 national banks along with them, had closed. Droughts had devastated western agriculture like a biblical plague.

The magic bullet for the nation’s woes, many believed, lay in the words that emblazoned colorful bunting crowning the stage: “Irrigation: Science, not Chance.” The congress’s founder, the former Omaha newspaperman William Ellsworth Smythe, would later argue that aridity was actually a blessing, stimulating the civilizing power of irrigation. His new movement was “not merely a matter of ditches and acres, but a philosophy, a religion, and a program of practical statesmanship rolled into one.”

At the congress, one speaker after another extolled how new technologies would facilitate the irrigation of 572 million acres of dry public land west of the 97th meridian. Wide new expanses of farmland would bring in waves of small farmers and create untold prosperity. The new irrigation technologies—internal-combustion engines to pull up groundwater, new water-tank designs, ditchers, duplex pumps, and special drainage tile—represented a clear path toward resuscitating the American dream.

Some 700 attendees were in a festive mood when they turned expectantly to hear Powell, the dean of the American West. The aging scientist was supposed to deliver a technical paper. Instead, he pushed aside his prepared address. He spoke extemporaneously and from the heart, drawing on his experience mapping the American West to describe the region’s inescapable environmental realities.

“When all the rivers are used, when all the creeks in the ravines, when all the brooks, when all the springs are used, when all the reservoirs along the streams are used, when all the canyon waters are taken up when all the artesian waters are taken up when all the wells are sunk or dug that can be dug in this arid region,” he warned, “there is still not sufficient water to irrigate all the land.”
The congress members rustled in their chairs, thoroughly confused.

“I tell you, gentlemen, you are piling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water rights, for there is not sufficient water to supply these lands.” Murmurs now turned to shouts, then the boos came. But Powell drove on. A society that could not contemplate reasonable limits would mire in the swamps of unsustainability—shortage, endless litigation, infrastructure re costs, the fallout from vicious water politics—each one a threat to the democracy.

Powell’s address resonated with moral courage but amounted at last to political suicide: He had sinned against the prime American idol, optimism.

Smythe denounced Powell’s sensational speech in The Irrigation Age, ending in bold, accusatory capitals: “ARID AMERICA IS FIGHTING FOR ITS FUTURE. WHOEVER STANDS IN ITS WAY WILL BE CRUSHED.” Soon thereafter, Powell’s detractors hounded him from the directorship of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Thus the deniers won the first climate war. Their victory, however, would yield bitter fruit: Human-induced environmental catastrophe lay not far in the future.

A generation after Powell’s death in 1902, in the spring of 1934, the District of Columbia awoke to find its skies choked with a 10,000-foot cloud of dust that darkened the sun and begrimed federal office buildings. Shockingly, the dust was the airborne topsoil of more than a million acres in Nebraska and Kansas,
a thousand miles eastward. Indiscriminate plowing, excessive grazing, and drought had killed off so much plant cover that the wind had simply stolen the region’s soil. Too many settlers had pushed the land beyond its capacity, just as Powell had predicted. The great Dust Bowl would displace some 2.5 million Americans and set off one of the greatest migrations in U.S. history.

* Read the entire article for the complete story!

*** This is true today in the western USA - example check the Ground Water levels in the central western USA! Where there are many water problems!



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