Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Picture of the Week: Drought and degradation

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An aerial shot of homes in Rancho Mirage, California provides evidence about the effects of untrammelled growth and excessive water consumption

 

Our Picture of the Week illustrates the catastrophic effects man can have on the environment. Accompanying an article in The New York Times this weekend, the image shows the consequences of four years of drought in California’s Coachella Valley.

 

Drought and degradation
This image of Rancho Mirage in California illustrates the effects of excessive water consumption (Source: Damon Winter/The New York Times)

 

Last week, Governor Jerry Brown ordered a 25% cut in water consumption across ‘The Golden State’ in the wake of one of the worst droughts since the mid-1970s worsening. At a press conference held on a patch of brown grass, Mr. Brown stated:

 

“People should realise we are in a new era. The idea of your nice little green lawn getting watered every day, those days are past. We are standing on dry grass, and we should be standing on five feet of snow. We are in an historic drought”.

 

“This will be somewhat of a burden — it’s going to be very difficult. People will say, ‘What about the farmers?’ Farmers will say, ‘What about the people who water their lawns?’ ”

 

Of the situation, Heather Cooley, a water program [sic] director for the Pacific Institute, an environmental research group, added:

 

“The idea, at least until the latter part of the 20th century, was that water would be cheap and plentiful and the focus was on developing new supplies… Folks realise we have now reached the limits of supply, so the focus is on demand”.

 

Essentially caused by overpopulation and a lack of respect for the natural environment, the picture we share provides just the indication as to why we all need to think before we consume. We must all treat scarce resources more carefully and in particular, especially at this time, Californians – people famed for leading the way in innovation and forward thinking – would do well to show better respect for Mother Nature. It truly is time for an urgent change in attitudes.

 

 

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    11 COMMENTS

    1. This photo is highly misleading. I am originally from California, and I know the Coachella Valley. While true drought conditions certainly exist in the state, this photo is a cheat. The Coachella Valley IS a desert, and it has been so for thousands of years before man set foot on it.,Ranch Mirage and several other nearby enclaves, (Indian Well, 29 Palms, and Palm Dessert) were created out of the desert originally as retirement living for folks who needed to benefit from its clean,dry,air.In other words the photo does not represent what man has suddenly done to a once green valley. On the contrary, it shows an accurate picture of a desert, and a desert that has been there for a long, long time.

      • An interesting and relevant point but what should be noted then is that these houses should never have been built there. California is overpopulated and ultimately man’s selfishness and reckless attitude to the way we treat the earth will come home to roost.

    2. Mr Mariani may be right. But the house in the foreground has a green lawn. Either this is astroturf or it has been created by watering with lots of apparently scarce water. If the latter, then there are questions to be asked about man’s greed and profligacy.
      Also, what about property owners collecting rainwater for use later. I have a number of water butts which are full now but will be used up over the summer.

    3. I think the point Matthew makes is that huge amounts of precious water are being wasted for the benefit of very few

    4. 40 million people in California. And there is 40million people in England then how can California be over crowded?! It seems to me like more scare tactics. Compare the size of England to the size of California?! Someones being conned.

    5. Does the Illuminati ring a bell?! And Jerry Brown working for the Illuminati as one of there stooges! If peoples water is taken from them and rationed out with a ration card! There goes the peoples freedom 7 the Illuminati as everyone by the short & curlys.

    6. Matthew, your younger readers might find the 1974 Movie China town staring Jack Nicholson, Fay Dunaway, John Huston and Roman Polanski fascinating, powerful, and relevant; if convoluted….

      From memory; Jack Nicholson appears in every scene

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