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It Ain't Going To Rain No More, No More!
By Ernest Stewart

"It ain't going to rain no more, no more. It ain't going to rain no more. Now how in the hell can the old folks tell that it ain't going rain no more?" ~~~ Anon

Perhaps the one good thing that's come from California's drought is it's caused so many people to finally become aware of the climate crisis. While this major 4 year drought in the country's most populous state is a warning of things to come, it's not quite as bad as a similar problem occurring all over the Colorado river basin.

The Colorado River basin, which provides critical water supplies for seven states including California, is the victim of a slower-burning catastrophe entering its 16th year. Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California all share water from the Colorado River, a hugely important water resource that sustains 40 million people in those states, supports 15 percent of the nation's food supply, and fills two of largest water reserves in the country.

Currently, Lake Mead is 37 percent full, and just six inches away from reaching the 1,075-foot threshold that triggers cutbacks in deliveries for the three lower basin states of Arizona, Nevada and California, all of whom depend heavily on Colorado River water stored in Lake Mead. If that threshold is met, the Secretary of the Interior will declare a shortage in Lake Mead and curtail water deliveries, along with other water rationing measures, to go into effect early next year. This will only affect the lower basin states, not the upper basin states of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

Northwest Montana has now reached "severe drought" status in the U.S. "Drought Monitor" and hasn't had any rainfall for over 30 days. That's bad enough; but add to it record temperatures and the problems double. Summer is wasting no time, and is forecast to bake the Northwest with record setting 100 degree-plus temperatures even as the region reels from drought. A friend in Eastern Washington State writes to say they're praying for rain as they are currently surrounded by five wild-fires with no hope of containment! So much for living in a rain forest!

A stretch of coast between Seattle and Portland is forecast to roast in temperatures between 110 and 115 degrees, though Seattle itself should be in the "cool" upper 90s.

The heat will flow inland, throughout the Mountain West, where thermometers could hit 105 degrees in interior Washington, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, and a far northwest corner of California. Because of this, there were no fireworks on the 4th for many cities and towns; but not watching fireworks is the least of their problems.

The drought shows no sign of letting up any time soon; and the California's agricultural industry is suffering. A recent study by U.C. Davis researchers projected that the drought would cost California's economy $2.7 billion in 2015 alone.

In addition to the economic cost, the drought has subtle and not-so-subtle effects on flora and fauna throughout the region. This current drought may be contributing to the spread of the West Nile virus; and it's threatening populations of geese, ducks, and Joshua trees. Dry, hot periods can exacerbate wildfires; and water shortages are making firefighters' jobs even harder, with wild fires in California currently on a record pace.

Oh, and a little bit of rain won't help. NOAA scientists say it could take several years of average or above-average rainfall before California's water supply can return to anything close to normal. A good, long thunderstorm could do more damage than help, starting wildfires by the score and causing mudslides all over, costing tens of millions of dollars in damages.

Finally, California and the rest of the Colorado River basin amount to the world's seventh largest economy, and contribute significantly to the country's GDP. When California struggles economically, the nation is close behind. It's always something, huh?


01-22-1923 ~ 07-03-2015
Thanks for the film!

06-08-1971 ~ 07-05-2015
Thanks for the film!

04-10-1932 ~ 07-10-2015
Thanks for the film!


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(c) 2015 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.

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Issues & Alibis Vol 15 # 28 (c) 07/10/2015