Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No ________, Sherlock

The New York Times is the greatest publication that I never read except for when my attention is directed toward a specific article for a specific purpose. I'm not sure why I don't read it as a standard, but it just hasn't called to me. It may also have something to do with the fact that the publication for years had quite a phenomenal time taking its all-too personal shots at Detroit from the fabulous, urine-soaked and rat-infested mecca of New York, New York. Perhaps if Detroit could smell slightly more urine-like in the vein of NYC, they would feel more kinship with us and like us more. I also don't like that the publication costs a cajillion dollars to have it delivered to your home and half-a-cajillion dollars to have it only delivered as part of the weekend package.

I think it was one of my more trusty go-to publications, Time, that directed me toward this article in The Times. It is about one of my favorite subjects on which to vent, which also happens to be one of the general areas that is most upsetting to me - water. Much of the southwest of the United States, including down in southern California, is fed water from Lake Mead, the lake created through the man-made awesomeness that is the Hoover Dam. Lake Mead is a function of the Colorado River smashing into the Hoover Dam, providing a body of relatively still water that can be channeled to whatever part of the southwest is in need.

Lake Mead is about to cross below a crucial altitude of 1,075 feet, at which point it will become difficult, if not impossible, from an engineering standpoint to funnel the water to its necessary destination. Furthermore, much below this level, there will not be enough water to spin the electric turbines at the Hoover Dam that power much of the southwest. This unfortunate situation is for two reasons:

1) There are too many people using too much water in the southwest

As I've written about before (I'm too lazy to go back and find the link), I feel strongly that the southwest and all of its Michigan and Midwest-resident sucking attractiveness should not exist. It should not exist because IT IS A DESERT. You should not have golf courses or swimming pools in a desert. You should not have a lawn in a desert. You should not have a water park in the desert. You should not keep houses and workplaces cooled to 72 degrees in the desert. You should not use a Slip-N-Slide in the desert. You should not have misters at every bar in Scottsdale, Arizona because it is too hot to spend time at the bar without misters. You should not transport water hundreds and hundreds of miles from the Colorado River to do any of these things that make the southwest a somewhat bearable place to live.

But, because they do transport water hundreds and hundreds of miles to make the unlivable livable, people flock from all over the northern half of the country to the southwest because they are too weak to handle a little cold for a few months out of the year. Perhaps we could just have hundreds of thousands of heating lamps outside and next to every house and public place just blasting warmth into the air during the winter to approximate the waste of making the cold just a little more manageable. We could run heat elements through the sidewalks of every downtown area just to keep the snow from being too much of a nuisance.

In the event that Lake Mead does drop below the critical point, people in cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas will have to severely curb their water usage, making that beautiful rock lawn (as in a lawn made out of rocks) all the more necessary. Who wouldn't want their kids to play on a lush front yard made of 100% sharp rocks? It'll teach them character. I don't know if it'll be in my lifetime, but the water civil war is coming, people. I just hope that the southwest won't be able to power their electrical weapons and guidance systems because the Hoover Dam doesn't have enough water to generate electricity. Irony will be our victory.

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