Saturday, July 01, 2023

Politics won't solve water problem

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for May 28, 2023)

It's going to take either climate change or a technological breakthrough to keep this region liveable, as far as water is concerned.

Drilling more wells into a shrinking aquifer or relying on pipelines connected to vulnerable reservoirs, which in turn depend on unreliable precipitation, isn't a viable long-term strategy. Neither approach is a solution; only a temporary patch. Maybe patching the problem can get us far enough into the future for a proper solution to be found. Be prepared either way.

This isn't a problem which can be solved by politics. I'd argue that no problem can be.

It's not a popular topic, unless you're pretending one of the proposed patches will serve as a solution. Which I can't do. I don't oppose either approach, even though I oppose government involvement and tax money being spent on them.

So what is the answer? I don't have one. Neither does anyone else, even if they pretend they do.

It's always assumed climate change can only make things worse. This is a bad assumption. Any change in the climate will be a problem somewhere for someone or something. Almost any climate change would also make things better for someone, somewhere. Many places on the planet are inhospitable now. Only a change in climate that decreased the total amount of habitable space would be completely negative. At least from the human perspective. The positive possibilities of climate change are never discussed. Those don't invite government intervention or increased power and control so they aren't useful for politicians to talk about.

An increase in average annual rainfall in areas where it could help the Ogallala Aquifer would be good for us, here, but might be bad for people trying to live and farm in those areas where rainfall amounts suddenly increased enough to have an impact. At least until they could adapt.

I'm suspicious of any technological weather manipulation. I think the potential for disaster is too high.

Perhaps industrial-scale water manufacturing could become a solution. Water is a simple molecule, easy enough to make at home if you have hydrogen to burn. This wouldn't be economical today, but we aren't desperate yet.

The point is, don't give up. With the right incentives, humans are pretty good at finding solutions. Keeping government out of the way would probably help. Often, humans manage in spite of government "assistance". Betting in favor of humanity over the long term is a safe bet.
I couldn't do this without your support.

To "pro-2A" politicians

A note for politicians of every/any political party:
If you are in favor of government at any level having any power to make any rules whatsoever about weapons you are the opposite of "pro-Second Amendment". You are completely anti-Second Amendment without any wiggle room.

Worse, you don’t understand that the natural human right to own and to carry weapons doesn’t come from any document. Documents (and legislation) can neither give rights nor take rights away. The two available options are to respect rights or to violate rights, If rights are touched in any way, they are being violated.

No one can have a "right" to preemptively disarm another person. Such a "right" doesn't exist because it can't exist. 

If you make up rules that make it less convenient for every human to be armed at all times, you are the problem. You are the villain. You can dislike the idea of people being armed all you want, but as soon as you act to do something about it you're on the wrong side. You're on the side of mass murderers of all kinds.

The cop who approaches an armed individual and orders him to hand over his gun "so we can both be safe" doesn't have your safety in mind and is doing something he has no right to do. He only wants to make sure he maintains a position of power over you. Why? So it's easier to control or murder you if he decides to do so.

The same goes for anyone, anywhere, who says you aren't allowed to be armed when you've made no credible threat to archate.

And, since politics makes people stupid, I'll spell something else out to try to help politicians understand: The natural human right to own and to carry weapons doesn't mean anyone has the right to attack innocent people with those weapons, nor to make a credible threat to do so. Bye-bye, straw man.
Thank you!