In the early 90’s I produced a 8 hour series for PBS called Cadillac Desert. We mostly focused on the coming water crisis in the Western United States, but we also looked at the coming water wars in many parts of the world. One we didn’t see coming was Southern Spain.
This year, farmers are fighting developers over water rights. They are fighting one another over who gets to water their crops. And in a sign of their mounting desperation, they are buying and selling water like gold on a rapidly growing black market, mostly from illegal wells.
Southern Spain has long been plagued by cyclical droughts, but the current crisis, scientists say, probably reflects a more permanent climate change brought on by global warming. And it is a harbinger of a new kind of conflict.
The battles of yesterday were fought over land, they warn. Those of the present center on oil. But those of the future — a future made hotter and drier by climate change in much of the world — seem likely to focus on water, they say.
Scientists in Europe now refer to the “Africanization” of Spain’s climate. But at least they are sounding the alarm, unlike the scientists under the control of the Bush Administration at NASA, who were told to shut up about global warming, according to a new report from the agency’s inspector general.
“Our investigation,” the report said, “found that during the fall of 2004 through early 2006, the NASA Headquarters Office of Public Affairs managed the topic of climate change in a manner that reduced, marginalized or mischaracterized climate change science made available to the general public.”
As Bob Dole used to say–“Where’s the outrage?”
Maybe some of it could be funneled towards calling your Senator and supporting the Alternative Energy Bill. Especially if you are from Kentucky or Tennessee, where Mitch McConnell and Bob Corker are leading the opposition. Then of course there is old “Flat Earth” Jim Inhoffe from Oklahoma declaring, “any action should not raise the cost of gasoline or energy to American families.”
If ever proof was needed that the Republican Party is brain dead, these three characters will be exhibit A.