It’s the Economy, Stupid
Well, it’s the Merely Human Short Vision Personal Gain Economy–the kind that wins for the shareholders while the huddled masses and voiceless forest, desert or dunes takes it on the chin. Will we ever factor into that misguided term the longer time frame of human generations and put a value on habitats and species other than our own?
The Donald won (duh: the promise of jobs and high cuisine vs the environment and some previously-unexploited 4000 year old dunes. Some battle). Mr. Trump will build his golf course and luxury development on the Scottish coast, rare birds and biologists be damned.
And shall we look at another verse of the same song while we’re at it. Yes, as hard as it is to believe if you read this story, it is for real–a mammoth water park in the desert of Arizona as that state faces its 12th year of drought. This may be legal. It is not moral in our times.
The city of Phoenix in Arizona sits in the middle of a desert that for the past 11 years has been suffering a punishing drought. Temperatures in the city rose above 43C (110F) for a record 30 days this year and water levels in the rivers that supply its 1.5 million people with drinking water are at near-record lows.
A perfect spot then to build what is described as a “year-round watersports paradise”, in which visitors will be able to revel in whatever watery pastime takes their fancy. (12 ft waves to surf, white water to canoe…)
…Residents in the nearest town of Mesa voted earlier this month by two to one to support the project, won over by promises of 7,500 new jobs. Opposition to the proposals in the area has been muted.
But the long-term wisdom of creating a massive waterpark in the middle of a desert may yet be doubted. Last year Arizona had a record dry winter. Snowpacks on its mountain ranges – essential once they melt for replenishing the state’s sophisticated system of underground reservoirs – were unusually thin.
The current report for Arizona shows more than half the state, including the Phoenix area, in the moderate to extreme drought zone.
UPDATE: More commentary to my post at Waterblogged.