Tag Archives: San Diego

Could the southwest of the U.S. be in for a megadrought?

From Mother Jones

A new study by Cornell University, the University of Arizona, and the US Geological Survey researchers, looked at the deep-historical record (tree rings, etc.) and the latest climate change models to estimate the likelihood of major droughts in the Southwest over the next century. The results are as soothing as a thick wool sweater on mid-summer desert hike. 

The researchers concluded that odds of a decade-long drought are “at least 80 percent.” The chances of a “mega-drought,” one lasting 35 or more years, stands at somewhere between 20 percent and 50 percent, depending on how severe climate change turns out to be. And the prospects for an “unprecedented 50-year megadrought”—one “worse than anything seen during the last 2000 years”­—checks in at a non-trivial 5 percent to 10 percent.

It gets worse

his (paradoxically) chilling assessment comes on the heels of another study (study; my summary), this one released in early August by University of California-Irvine and NASA researchers, on the Colorado River, the lifeblood of a vast chunk of the Southwest. As many as 40 million people rely on the Colorado for drinking water, including residents of Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, and San Diego. It also irrigates the highly productive winter farms of California’s Imperial Valley and Arizona’s Yuma County, which produce upwards of 80 percent of the nation’s winter vegetables.

The researchers analyzed satellite measurements of the Earth’s mass and found that the region’s aquifers had undergone a much-larger-than-expected drawdown over the past decade—the region’s farms and municipalities responded to drought-reduced flows from the Colorado River by dropping wells and tapping almost 53 million acre-feet of underground water between December 2004 and November 2013—equal to about 1.5 full Lake Meads, drained off in just nine years, a rate the study’s lead researcher, Jay Famiglietti, calls “alarming.”

Considering how much of the Colorado River Basin, which encompasses swaths of Utah, Colorado, California, Arizona, and New Mexico, are desert, it’s probably not wise to rapidly drain aquifers, since there’s little prospect that they’ll refill anytime soon. And when you consider that that the region faces high odds of a coming mega-drought, the results are even more frightening. (Just before Labor Day, over fierce opposition from farm interests, the California legislature passed legislation that would regulate groundwater pumping—something that has never been done on a state-wide basis in California before. Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign it into law.)

The Drug Cartels Move North

Invasion of the Drug Cartels

Some are taking the law into their own hands.

Which is crazy but you kind of understand it when you think of the violence that happens in those border communities because of the drugs and gangs that are flooding across the border.  Either way, after looking at the infographic you kind of get the idea that Stephen Harper was right when he said that the War on Drugs has failed.

Soularize 2011

This came from Spencer Burke of TheOoze yesterday.

Soularize 2011 in San Diego, CaliforniaIt’s been almost 10 years from the first Soularize in Seattle, and we’re exciting about hosting another learning party in 2011. As usual, this event will unite both traditional and non-traditional teachers, artists, theologians, thinkers, and social activists.

This year – sunny San Diego!
October 12-14, 2011

Save the date and plan to join us for one of the most unique experiences of your life. If you’ve been to a previous Soularize, don’t miss this 10 year reunion event. If you’ve never been before, you won’t want to miss it.

We’re partnering with an incredible church in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego to put on an incredible event that will cultivate a thought-provoking and spiritual experience while introducing a wide variety of ways to connect and grow with others on the journey.

Didn’t Soularize start a year earlier than that in in Los Angeles?  Whatever the case, San Diego in October looks inviting.  Update: I am planning to be there.

A Year Under the Perfect Sun

Jason & Brooke Evans along with the rest of the Ecclesia Collective have published a zine.

A Year Under The Perfect Sun As a way to say “thank you” to everyone that has been a part of the Ecclesia Collective, we have created our first annual ‘zine! Through words and images A Year Under The Perfect Sun documents the activities of the Collective throughout 2008 and includes portions of articles posted on our website, our manifesto, the Hawthorn House covenant, recipes and how-to’s. Each page includes sewing and images drawn by Brooke and Jason Evans.

The title comes from the book, Under The Perfect Sun, which tells the untold history of San Diego. This seemed appropriate since we think this 20-page creation gives a glimpse of an alternative story of those following Jesus in this place.

If you would like a copy, you can purchase the ‘zine in full color or black and white (cover is still in color). Single copies are available at $10 per full-color copy  and $5 per black and white copy. Shipping included.

I bought one earlier today and I got a note from Jason saying it is in the mail.  I’ll post some more about it when I get it next week but don’t wait for me, order one today.