Useful would be yoga, weight lifting , and then tying vines in the vineyard. But as I gut myself up for planks, I have some final thoughts about some of the things I have read today.
What I think about most is water in California during our current drought. There was an editorial about whether climate change is part of the causation of the current drought. I don’t have predisposition either way, and as the author noted, the current drought is not any different from some of the variations in rainfall California has seen in its past.
The bottom line is that this type of drought has been observed before. And, to state the obvious, this drought has occurred principally due to a lack of rains, not principally due to warmer temperatures.
Then, if I understand the analysis appropriately, he indicates that actually warming does not seem to impact this variation by looking at soil moisture. My thought on this is that while that may be true, are global changes in weather patterns a result of warming thus directing storms away from us? I don’t know and am not an advocate, but at least this article seems to not address this concern.
There was one thing that I thought was very insightful in this piece:
But the obligations for water have greatly increased in the state, and it may very well be that the stress created by the current failed rains is more severe than for similar rainfall deficits 40 years earlier. Without making a strong claim, it is at least intuitive that sociological and economic changes in California could be reducing resiliency to natural hazards, like drought.
What is a sustainable water supply and when do we say no to growth when it exceeds that? Here in California, as I expect is true in most states, growth policies are determined by local jurisdictions, usually greatly controlled by the political influence of developers, and I wonder if we don’t need some more general criteria* for what is the available water supply that sets limits on development. Then pressure from developers would be more focused on development of water projects or conservation to expand the water supply for development than getting the “right” person elected to the planning commission or water board.
The other thing I am thinking about is the impact of the information highway. In Turkey, the Prime Minister has threatened to ban YouTube and Facebook. You know a country is in trouble when they actually think they can still control the flow of information.
And that is what I am thinking about, and how this open flow of information effects the world as we know it. Control, whether it is through a theistic state or a dictatorship, is going to be harder and harder to maintain. Even here in the United States, dogma gets questioned every day. I think the biggest sign of that is the change in attitude even among conservatives about gays. Once you find out they are real people, you wonder what else they are lying about.
In other words the information highway opens us up to more ideas, whether good or bad. But it also opens us up to question some of our historically held beliefs, be that our nationalism, our religion, or our political and economic philosophy. What I think that says for our future is that old ways of control and governing have to be more democratic and open. Both the Putins and the Religious leaders of the world will have less control because their views will now have dissenters on that information highway that can’t be suppressed. When other societies are thriving, it will be visible to all of us.
The downside of this is what you see in misinformation. But that misinformation is just a segment of the diversity of information now available to anyone. If you want to know, you really can find out. So we will have a world with more divergent opinions that could lead to either chaos, or, if we really do eschew violence, a more tolerant world.
Right now the response of the intolerant is to demand that the tolerant be tolerant of the intolerant. Prime example are religious freedom laws that are anything but. But in the information society we live in, the truth about this quickly got out. That is where the world is going and old ways of power and influence through the control of information are going to have to be rethought. That’s a very good thing. Now I do have to do my planks. Oh, I hate planks.
*I think a statewide criteria would look something like this: Assume a worst case reoccurring drought (40 years? 50 years? … ). Figure out what the normal population consumes reduce that amount by a reasonable amount for restrictions during a drought (20%? 30%? … ) and compute what the available water supply based upon other considerations (farming, environment) has to be. Then limit development to not exceeding that available water supply. If you want more development, fight for more water supply. There will always be that fight between environmental needs (fish) and people, but just as we need water, we need our environmental to be healthy to. Figure out what level of stress is acceptable for that too.