By Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss, E - The Environmental Magazine
June 17, 2013 (San Diego) -- Dear EarthTalk: Could it really be true that we are in the midst of the worst drought in the United States since the 1930s? -- Deborah Lynn, Needham, MA
Indeed we are embroiled in what many consider the worst drought in the U.S. since the “Dust Bowl” days of the 1930s that rendered some 50 million acres of farmland barely usable. Back then, drought conditions combined with poor soil management practices to force some 2.5 million Americans away from the Great Plains, only wreaking further havoc on an already devastated Great Depression economy. The lack of native prairie grasses or cover crops to keep the soil in place meant large swaths of formerly productive agricultural land turned to dust and blew away in so-called “black rollers.”
While we have learned a lot about maintaining soil quality since, drought conditions today are nevertheless taking a heavy toll on agricultural productivity, fresh water supplies and the economy—especially as the effects of global warming start to kick in more seriously.
January 16, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- Obama to offer most comprehensive gun control in decades (Washington Post)
- Under Construction: The World's Largest Thermal Solar Plant (NPR)
- Can police use your silence against you? Supreme Court to decide. (CS Monitor)
- Computer Users Should Disable Java 7 Owing To Security Flaw, Experts Say (NPR)
- From Corn Belt To Main Street: The Drought's Far-Reaching Grasp (NPR)
- Widow sues psychiatrist in Colo. theater shootings (U-T San Diego)
- For energy solutions, 'think small' (+video)(Christian Science Monitor)
- 'Python Challenge' Asks Floridians To 'Harvest' Snakes (NPR)
- Northern Irish youths pelt Catholic church in latest "flag riots" (Reuters)
- U.S. Provided 'Technical Assistance' In Botched French Raid, Obama Says (NPR)
- Bad Even For Beijing: Smog Hits Extreme Levels (NPR)
- Shi'ite protests spread across Pakistan after killings (Reuters)
- Palestinian premier urges Arabs to pay pledged aid (U-T San Diego)
- Storm heightens crisis for Syrian refugees (Jerusalem Post)
- Preacher alarms many in Egypt with calls for Islamist vice police (Reuters)
- Women With A Berry-Snacking Habit May Have Healthier Hearts (NPR)
- UCSD team invents brain cell breakthrough (U-T San Diego)
- Flu reaches epidemic level in U.S.: CDC says (Reuters)
- Pap Test May Detect More Than Just Cervical Cancer (NPR)
- FDA requires sleeping pill makers to lower dosage (KXII)
- Diet drinks 'linked' to depression (BBC)
- Does lead poisoning make you violent? (BBC)
- U.S. Ranks Below 16 Other Rich Countries In Health Report (NPR)
- UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center Listed among Nation’s Best Heart Hospitals (Scoop San Diego)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
E - The Environmental Magazine
Written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss
September 24, 2012 -- Dear EarthTalk: What is the scientific consensus on all the extreme weather we’ve been having—from monster tornadoes to massive floods and wildfires? Is there a clear connection to climate change? And if so what are we doing to be prepared? -- Jason Devine, Summit, PA
September 13, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- US Ambassador murdered as extremists on all sides win, again (CSMonitor)
- There may be no anti-Islamic movie at all (CSMonitor)
- Obama vows to “bring justice” to ambassador’s killers (Reuters)
- Another protest turns violent outside U.S. embassy in Cairo (CNN)
- Global drought causes concerns around the world (CNN)
- Syrian troops storm Damascus refugee area, chase rebels (Reuters)
- 4 years later, auto industry rebounds (CBS News)
- Federal court will review marijuana’s classification as a dangerous drug with no health benefits (Think Progress)
- New York City hit by tornadoes (BBC)
- Administration urges terror surveillance renewal (UT San Diego)
- U.S. Policy in Mideast challenged by assaults (Wall Street Journal)
- Romney camp tries to manage fallout from Libya response (CNN)
- New report warns of smart meter failures due to temperature and weather extremes (StopSmartMeters.org UK)
- Disillusioned Obama supporter in RNC ad is actually Republican staffer (Talking Points Memo)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
- Drug trial offers hope for Alzheimer’s treatment (USA Today)
- Worst drought in decades grips nation (Los Angeles Times)
- Why Democrats are willing to walk off the “fiscal cliff” (Washington Post)
- Can Obama save manufacturing? (Washington Post)
- Controversial GOP spending bill released (The Hill)
- Romney attacks on Bain questioned: Obama campaign accuses Romney of lying about Bain tenure (Boston Globe)
- Could Obama’s negative attacks on Mitt Romney backfire? (USA Today)
- NAACP crowd boos Romney for voting to repeal health reform (NBC)
- Condi Rice a possible VP pick for Romney: pros and cons (CNN)
- Supreme Court rejects ‘Stolen Valor’ law, says lying about military honors isn’t a crime (McClatchy News)
- Google searching for human traffickers, drug cartels (Fox)
- Olympics security shambles is a “humiliating shambles”, boss concedes (CNN)
- Dutch, U.S. authorities investigating needles in airline sandwiches (CNN)
- Central Damascus hit by clashes (Reuters)
May 4, 2011 (La Mesa) – Helix Water District Board of Directors took action today to rescind Drought Response Level 2 water conditions which were enacted in 2009, thus eliminating mandatory watering restrictions for the District’s residents.
“This year’s near record snowpack and abundant local rainfall has allowed us to drop restrictions,” stated General Manager Mark Weston. “In spite of abundant supplies, about 90% of our water is imported from northern California or the Colorado River. Therefore, reducing water demands and enhancing local supplies remains a top priority for the District.”
October 5, 2009 (Washington D.C.) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently designated San Diego and Imperial counties as part of a contiguous natural disaster area due to drought that began January 1, 2009, and continues. Farmers have eight months from the date of the USDA declaration – September 17, 2009 – to apply for assistance to help cover their losses.
“I am pleased that the USDA is acknowledging the hardship and heavy financial burden suffered by our farmers and ranchers due to water scarcity,” said Congressman Bob Filner (D-San Diego). “This declaration is a starting point to provide assistance, as the state and federal authorities work to ensure stable water supply.”
HELIX WATER DISTRICT TO IMPOSE LEVEL 2 WATER RESTRICTIONS JULY 1: OUTDOOR WATERING RESTRICTED TO 3 DAYS A WEEK--EXCEPT FOR HOUSEHOLDS WITH WATER-EFFICIENT IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
By Kate Breece
HWD Public Affairs
Editor’s Note: Due to a family emergency I was unable to cover this important hearing. Thanks to Kate Breece at Helix Water District for providing this summary of the Board’s decision.
La Mesa, CA – Thursday, June 18, 2009 – Due to water the allocation cutback of 8% from the San Diego County Water Authority, and the continuing regional water shortage, Helix Water District Board of Directors approved raising the Water Shortage to Level 2 and implementing mandatory watering restrictions as of July 1, 2009.
The District requires customers to “Pick Three Days and Water Ten Minutes.”
SAN DIEGO COUNTY IS AMONG WORST-HIT AREAS IN NATION FROM GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, NEW FEDERAL STUDY FINDS
By Miriam Raftery June 17, 2009 (Washington D.C.)—Recent warming in the Southwestern U.S. including San Diego County has been among the worst in the nation, according to a newly-released federal report begun under the Bush administration and finalized by the Obama administration. Average temperatures here have increased 1.5 degrees during the past 20 years and are projected to soar three to five degrees above the historical baseline by 2050 and up to ten degrees by the end of this century, the report predicts. Further, precipitation along the Southwestern border region has fallen as much as 40% over the past 50 years.
By Miriam Raftery
June 4, 2009 (La Mesa)—Deluged by protests from ratepayers, the Helix Water District Board unveiled a new rate hike plan at its meeting yesterday. The new proposal differs dramatically from earlier plans, which had proposed hikes of up to 90% on some residential users. The new proposal would assess a 24% rate increase on all residential users, regardless of lot size or family size. (The full revised water rate proposal may be viewed in the Board packet here: http://www.hwd.com/board/pack060309.pdf.)
GOV. SCHWARZENEGGER DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER DROUGHT; URGES 20% WATER USE REDUCTION. STEEP PRICE INCREASES LOOM, LOCAL WATER OFFICIAL WARNS
By Miriam Raftery
February 27, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--"This drought is having a devastating impact on our people, our communities, our economy and our environment, making today's action absolutely necessary," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declared a state of emergency following three years of drought. The Governor's action aims to have water agencies reduce water usage by 20 percent.
By Miriam Raftery
February 27, 2009 (San Diego's East County)--Area residents must cut water consumption by at least 20% or face stiff financial penalties, local water authorities warn following a state declaration of emergency today due to the drought. Fortunately, there is help for consumers seeking ways to reduce their water usage.
"Sixty to 70 percent of water use in residential is out of doors," said Mark Robak, Otay Water District member.