Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dry, hot, and crowded

Lots of fuss a few days back about the seven billionth soul to arrive on this earth. Perhaps even some economists will have the wit to be scared, as there's no way we can begin to provide for that many people. The rebalancing is likely to be unpleasant and may, at worst, be violent.
I made a trip to see an old friend last weekend, drove out on I10 to Fort Stockton and up the east side of New Mexico. The only crops I noticed in southeast New Mexico were cotton, pecans, and alfalfa, three great water suckers. Guy at the motel where I stayed told me that they'd only had three inches of rain all year. Coming back, between Muleshoe and Lubbock, I saw a tumbleweed the size of a Buick rolling down the median. Soil from plowed fields darkened up the air, and there was scarcely a bit of vegetation. I lived in that country during the big drought of the 50s, and it looked a lot like what I saw out on the road.
From The Economist:
This year Texas had the hottest summer ever recorded in any state. In September wildfires swept through the town of Bastrop, outside Austin, destroying more than 1,000 homes. Thousands of cattle have been sold. The town of Big Spring, up the road from the oil hub of Midland, is planning to recycle wastewater for drinking; two of the reservoirs that supply the city are almost empty. The severe drought that has parched most of the state this year shows no signs of abating. The state climatologist reckons that it could last for the rest of the decade.

Read all that here. Nonetheless, people speak of growth as if it were desirable. Too damn many people in the world.

1 comment:

Sugar Magnolia said...

If you've said it once, you've said it a million times.

So have I.

So preach on, brother Loon!

Meanwhile, I hear the Duggars are having their 20th! Some people have no concept of the condition of the rest of the world, nor do I suspect they would care.