Summits Are Only A Beginning


April 23, 2021- I have never been to Ciudad de Mexico. The fifth-largest metropolitan area on the planet, it is also the second-largest metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere. Ciudad de Mexico may soon become the locus of the worst ecological nightmare that humanity has seen, in several centuries. The Valley of Mexico, indeed, the entire middle swath of the country, is experiencing the worst drought it has seen, in nearly a millennium. Central Mexico, as a whole, may very well be running out of water.

We in the Southwest of the United States (including southern California) have also been experiencing drought. The occasional snow and rain that we have received, since last autumn, have not done much to put a dent in the dryness. Only more judicious use of our water has, and will continue to, keep our communities from literally blowing away in the desert wind.

It is an irony, that the first place to which people in Mesoamerica turn, when faced with economic hardship, or sociopolitical repression, is the American southwest-from San Diego to Houston-and everywhere in between. We have done relatively well here, economically, though the underbelly of homelessness and economic inequality is as much a concern in the Southwest as it is anywhere on the planet. A splinter wedged under my fingernail hurts just as badly as it would under anyone else’s. So we go about being concerned with our own, first and foremost.

All the same, those who express disdain for the current immigration impasse at the border between Mexico and the United States must brace themselves for what will happen, should the water crisis in central Mexico worsen. The six-figure populace massing near, and permeating, that arbitrary line could all too easily morph into millions, or tens of millions, of people.

The Group of Twenty summit, convened virtually, on addressing climate change, is a tad behind schedule, through no fault of those who gathered. That said, it is painfully obvious that every single person on the planet has a role to play in conservation and better use of resources-especially of our planet’s basic elements (water, air, soil/minerals, and fire). It falls as much to local teams, neighbourhoods and families to double down on meeting the challenge of climate change. Everything from taking shorter, though equally intense, showers to intelligently recycling items that won’t decompose (and not just depending on municipal contractors to do the job), is the responsibility of everyone who enjoys running water and non-decomposable packaging. Providing clean water for drinking and bathing, to those who lack this basic resource, is a whole other topic.

These are the thoughts that come to mind, after the G-20’s most recent summit.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 100: Water, Water, “Neverywhere”


September 8, 2020-

I have been back from a very wet area, for three days. I have back in a very dry area, for the same amount of time. I hear a voice saying- “No rain until at least October, and if La Nina like it here, not until November.

La Nina refers to the weather pattern that keeps moisture stuck off the southern third of the North American west coast, thus guaranteeing that California, Arizona, and everywhere due to their north, will remain dry as the Sahara.

It usually breaks up around the first part of Autumn. This is, however, a year which regards “usually” as an extended four-letter word. La Nina may well like it here enough to wait around until people start following the pronghorn and the deer, to see where they are getting moisture. She may then dry that up, as well.

There is no value in dryness, unless one is trying to kill mold or get a respite from life in the swamp. I was in the Bayou Country for two weeks, so the aridity has not quite gotten to me, yet. It has long since gotten to my friends here-and doubly gotten to people who live between Vancouver, BC and Ensenada, BCN.

It did cool way down today, as we caught the lower end of the storm that is leaving snow in the Rockies. Not to worry, though, it’ll be close to 90 here, by Sunday, as the remnants of summer hang on, into October.

In the meantime, summer ends-for this series of posts, while people all down the West Coast wish it would end for real.

The Universe Says “Stay Put”


February 18, 2017, Prescott-  This weekend being a holiday weekend (President’s Day), I had penciled in a hike or two.  Lo and behold, the rains have come!  We have to lick this drought thing somehow, though, so here I sit.

Taxes got done, though, and I have a chance to honour a couple of friends who are moving to California. There will be a gathering for them, tomorrow, at 1 PM.  A friend from Oklahoma will be here, tomorrow afternoon and evening.  Monday will take me down to Phoenix, for a wellness appointment, and I will get in a first hike on the Maricopa Trail afterward.  It will give me a good indication of just how the rain has affected the Sonora Desert, perhaps for the last time until Fall, depending on how warm March and April turn out to be.

Life always manages to bring a full course to my table, whether I’m at work, on the road, or just chilling here in our lovely sky island.  Some say that this is exactly what will keep me going, for years to come.  We’ll see about that, but I know it won’t ever be dull.


The Road to 65, Mile 14: A Few Thoughts on Water


December 12, 2014, Prescott-  At long last, virtually the entire North American Pacific coast, from Anchorage to Ensenada, was getting a taste of intense moisture, yesterday and today.  The interior will start to get it tomorrow.  This makes me glad for some of the coastal places, dear to my heart, which have suffered, to some degree, from a lengthy drought:  San Diego, Malibu, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and for those, like Bandon, Portland, Kalaloch and Seattle, that do get rain frequently, but can’t go too long without moisture- because of their ecosystems.

We in the Colorado River watershed have come upon the ingenious idea of using our precious reservoir, Lake Mead, to- STORE WATER!  Those who have gone to Las Vegas over the years can attest to the fact that this western of the two great river-lakes derived from the Colorado has come into grave danger of turning into a dust basin.  Let’s now see who is serious about the conservation effort.

There has been considerable talk, over the years, but more lately, about the efficacy of fluoridation of water and toothpaste.  It’s now common knowledge that fluoride is a waste product of coal production, in some parts of the world.  I have been scolded by chemical advocates for my own advocacy of filtering out fluoride, as well as lead, arsenic and selenium.  It’s true that we can’t be perfect in our filtering, but we can come close.  Perfection does not have to be the enemy of the good.

All in all, though, water is as good a beverage as any, unless one is a barkeep working for tips- in which case, making a sour face and getting brusque with water drinkers  may be sorely tempting, but remains counter productive.