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Global Warning Rolls On: California (North America?) Drought 2021

For those who’ve heard that California is in a severe drought (again), I thought I’d share a YouTube video by a Californian that gives a report on the situation at our largest water reservoir.

TLDR: It’s bad. Maybe worse than the drought during the last water crisis that saw rationing in major cities. We didn’t get any meaningful rain last winter after a below average year prior, so water levels are equivalent to December levels in June. Because there was so little rain, Cal Fire is also warning us that this year’s fire season may be a worse than 2020.

It isn’t just California, either. More than half of the United States is in drought going into this summer. The entire Colorado River watershed in the southwest is in extreme drought conditions.

usdroughtmonitor-weekly-ndmc--web--2021-06-08

What this underlines is the new reality that global warming is creating isn’t going away. The southwestern drought has been ongoing since 2000. In the long run, places like southern California may not be able to support the number of people who live here today. We can build power plants and run more air conditioning to deal with the heat waves, but there’s not much can be done about the lack of water.

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In the east here, historically and traditionally, (no longer practiced in modern age). There was a believe that drought was caused by a mass killing of living beings, like an increase in cattles and chickens being killed in slaughter houses, etc. (maybe in modern day it would be equivalent to an increase in abortion cases). So when drought happened, the King and his officials ordered the people to stop animal killings immediately until the rain returned. BTW, it did.

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I was living in So Cal before I moved to Sweden. One drought ended while I lived there, however the rain which ended the drought caused horrible flooding and landslides. After that there were a few massive wild fires that caused millions of dollars worth of damages. I was in Japan on vacation during one of those fires. The airline companies were allowing people to fly back to Cali early at no extra cost because of the fires. When I landed in Cali, LA still had a layer of smoke covering it. When my phone reconnected to the phone network, I got a picture from my roommates of our house with the hills behind it on fire. There weren’t any follow up texts, though, so I had no idea if the house, my car, and all my belongings has been incinerated. Luckily the wind had changed direction, and the fire moved west, sparing our house. It’s pretty scary to think about the situation getting even worse.

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In modern day there is an immense increase of animals being killed in slaughterhouses.

Global meat production has increased rapidly over the past 50 years – as we see, total production has more than quadrupled since 1961.

In the meantime, abortion rates are falling

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This is not a belief, it’s fact.

Meat industry contributes heavily to greenhouse gasses and thus global warming, which makes a lot of extreme weather condition more extreme. Going vegan is the way to counter this individually.

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Reminds me of AN3.56:

(2) “Again, at present people are excited by illicit lust, overcome by unrighteous greed, afflicted by wrong Dhamma. When this happens, sufficient rain does not fall. As a result, there is a famine, a scarcity of grain; the crops become blighted and turn to straw. Hence many people die. This is another reason why at present the number of people has declined, depopulation is seen, and villages, towns, cities, and districts have vanished.

Water from rivers are directed for use in plants to feed animals to become meat. If meat production goes down to low, or zero, naturally, the water from rivers are diverted back to other usage. So going vegan is something which can be done to increase the water availability.

Much more plants needs to go into animals which becomes meat compared to directly eating plants themselves. So going vegan saves a lot of water. I think a common comparison is that a vegan who showers saves more water than a meat eater who don’t shower for a month.

As long as the power plants is green, solar or wind, or nuclear, so that it doesn’t contribute back to the basic issue. However, one has to consider the monks as well. If every kuti has to have air con, who’s paying the bills for the monastery? How about the monks who are on ascetic practises of living outside? Or on tudong?

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In the case of California, it will be farmers who are cut off from irrigation water. There is quite a bit of ranching in other western states in the US that are arid grasslands, but California is largely forested mountains (in the north) and desert (in the south). So, yeah, in the short term, the shortfall will hit the agricultural sector. In the long run, the problem is having such large cities in deserts. Without enough rain and snow in the mountains, the rivers are running dry.

I spent a year living in the desert of southern California. Honestly, water is really cheap there, which was surprising to me and many others when we moved there. It probably shouldn’t be that cheap.

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There is such a cognitive dissonance going on regarding water availability, use and living in dry areas - for instance, Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the USA… There was an article about it in last weekend’s Guardian.

There are aspects of reduced meat consumption that are beneficial regarding water and the environment. This i believe.

Full disclosure I haven’t eaten meat in a very, very long time.

There is, however, a very important role animals play in the reconditioning and regenerating of ravaged land and soil. Properly grazing animals can reverse the desertification of farm land and the overall rejuvenation of land (and soil microbiology most importantly) in general.

So, with this in mind it may be more of a reduction of meat consumption by the general public eventually that will greatly help with water and other related issues to the mass propagation of animals for food. Americans especially, as most know, consume way too much meat leaving us with one of the, if not the highest, rate of heart disease and heart related problems in the world.

This (hopeful) reduction in the population of animals would also help reduce the likelihood of more zoonotic viral jumps, and in-turn reduce the likelihood of more pandemics. If you look at most pandemic level viruses they are of zoonotic origin. When you have so many animals in disgustingly tight living conditions, the likelihood of infection and cross-infection of humans becomes more likely.

A little verbose but yes, hopefully more people adopt a meatless diet, or consume less meat.

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I often see eating insects proposed as an environmentally friendly alternative to eating meat from animals, so I was quite interested in this recent article exploring some of the negative ethical consequences of raising insects for food:

Personally, I don’t eat animal meat or insects (at least not on purpose) although I do consume ethically produced dairy. I was raised vegetarian, and growing up in the rural Western US in the 80s it was often considered freakishly abnormal… so I am encouraged by how far the mainstream discussion has come in terms of reducing or eliminating meat consumption.

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I can’t help but sometimes feel a profound sense of disappointment in humanity, we are hurting so many beings and ourselves.

Going vegan, which is something everyone should do, can still be a lonely and alienating experience.

Even people who are really good people, are often not willing or able to give up their eggs and bacon, despite the ethical and environmental harm, and the harm to their own health. It can be very dispiriting.

I wonder if it’s just like this in the ‘sensual realms’; it’s just where people who are addicted to sensual pleasures (e.g. me) like to hang out. So they get together and they get into all sorts of trouble.

Not entirely.

I wasn’t originally going to comment, but I am an analyst by both profession and nature, so my analytical bent is getting the better of me.

So, while the meat industry does contribute to climate change, it doesn’t account for near the majority of climate change that people think it does. In short, even if everyone went vegan tomorrow, it would not save us. For the record, plant agriculture is only slightly less dangerous in terms of emissions, but significantly more dangerous in other areas ( i.e. chemical contamination from fertilizers)

The great fallacy that is generally pushed by capitalist corporate interests is that there are things that we can individually do that will reach a critical mass if enough people do them to correct our course. This is a red herring pushed by groups and individuals who are profiting off the destruction of the planet and the suffering of the poor.

The real fact of the matter is that our greatest contributors to climate change have alwas been our fossil fuel use in energy production and manufacturing. The largest pollutors are corporations, not people like ranchers or farmers.

In order to stop it, we are going to need a top down restructure of how we produce and consume, switching from desire based consumption model to needs based consumption, with a quick switch over to green energies or non-emission energies like nuclear.

Unfortunately there is no political or social will to do this, so I don’t believe it will happen. There is a general trend towards consumers preferring more climate conscious enterprises, but whether that trend will accelerate enough to force enough corporations to switch away from fossil fuels fast enough to actually make a difference over the next 30 years to make a difference remains to be seen. Again, I am not optimistic.

Hold on to your robes, Venerable. The next 50-100 years are going to be a wild ride.

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Exactly right. When properly managed and limited according to acreage etc, animals are very good for the environment. It is the factory environment and insane populations in small areas that are extremely detrimental.

Chemical based agriculture is a huge issue. But we won’t go there LOL.

I recommend the book “molecule of more” to all. Just drives home your point, desire based and greed based behaviors aren’t going anywhere.

It’s like going to Mars…we have a perfectly fine planet that is being destroyed and people want to go to Mars, terraform, and do the whole thing over again…sad.

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That goes back to my comment on the mentality of consumption; until people learn to stop thinking like locusts, we will perpetually stay in the hamster wheel cycle of our consumption outstripping our finite resources and our renewables.

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Yes, this is an old game that goes back at least to the original environmental movements in the 60s and 70s in the US. The movement against pollution was redirected to recycling waste and letting people believe that sorting their reusable waste into curbside bins was making the world a better place. It turns out the majority of the sorted materials weren’t actually recycled but exported because it wasn’t profitable enough to reuse them.

On the other hand, I’m somewhat encouraged by the efforts in industry to switch over to hydrogen power, both for vehicles and electricity in general. If making the hydrogen fuel can be made efficient enough, it would be a perfect solution that emulates what happens in our cells’ mitochondria, making water from hydrogen and oxygen. If we could figure out how to make energy (rather than spend it) by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen the way plants do with chlorophyll, then we’d replicate the energy cycle that plants and animals created a long time ago.

Plus, other countries with less political obstacles, like China and Japan, are putting a great deal more effort into transforming their economies. We’re the recalcitrant laggards in the US compared even to Europe, but we still think, “Oh, we’re the leaders of innovation.” That horse is grazing in someone else’s field now.

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This. Everyone rips on Communism, but when it comes down to brass tacks, Commies get stuff done. Cuba, China, and especially Vietnam are way ahead of us in this game. Smaller countries with more homogenous populations like Bhutan and Iceland are also leading tbe way.

China’s developing technologies that they are going to be selling to the rest of of the world for the next 50 years. For all the other bad tHe CCP does, at least they are on point on that.

France and Germany, too. France’s work on solar and nuclear waste disposal are the height of innovation, and Germany’s work on alternate fuels are very exciting.

America needs to stop resting on its laurels and realize the only #1 thing we have anymore is our military

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Is your profession related to climate change or sustainability?

Right now I’m doing a PhD in entrepreneurship and sustainability (basically, how can new ventures contribute to a sustainable society).

The meat industry is a huge contributor of climate change. E.g. it’s the main driver of deforestation globally, as forest is cut down to grow food for animals who are raised and killed for meat.

The problem is that most plant agriculture does not feed people, but animals. This is a crazy inefficient way to produce food. It’s just the laws of physics that it’s better to eat a plant directly than to convert it to meat through a cow or a chicken.

Who do corporations make products for? Can corporations exist if no one buys what they make?

Actually, eating plant-based is the single most impactful thing you can do as an individual.

If everyone stopped eating animal products and ate plant-based, it would make a huge difference. Sigh…

Animals don’t need to be managed by humans, we can just stop destroying their habitats and leave them alone :slight_smile:

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That’s true in a way.

Cattle and chickens and such don’t really have natural habitats anymore, but I understand what you’re saying, and I agree!