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From drought to deluge: an ecological approach to California’s water crisis

From drought to deluge: an ecological approach to California’s water crisis

Mudflats, Erik Ohlson Nov 2015 article on drought
Dry creek bed in California. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Climate change is the greatest threat to human civilization and a major driver of droughts, floods, fires, food system collapse and economic destabilization. Basing our infrastructure on fossil fuel technology that is imposed upon rather than in harmony with the natural environment, we have created and exacerbated all of these crises. Most importantly, while we need to reduce consumption, we also need to fundamentally change the way we interact with each other and our planet. It is imperative to realign the needs of civilization with the sustainable management and regeneration of Earth’s natural processes.

Water is one of the greatest indicators of how far we’ve strayed from designing so much of what we build and shape to be regenerative of our environment.

In California we especially need to rectify our relationship to water. The state has been experiencing one of the greatest droughts in its history. The agricultural industry is at risk, and groundwater and public water supply regulations now affect millions of people throughout the state.

While the media focuses on larger-scale challenges, small-scale, implementable solutions seem absent from the discussion. Small-scale solutions are beautiful because they often address both drought and flood problems. With one of the strongest El Niños on record developing in the Pacific, California may see a massive deluge this winter. It could be damaging if we don’t prepare now. On the heels of a multi-year drought, flash floods and the inundation of dry, crusty soils will be especially damaging.

A sensible relationship with water is a key factor that has been missing from the management of our landscapes over the last 100+ years. The development industry thought of water as a negative that needed to be drained away lest it destroy our structures and cause flooding. This mindset must end.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Obama’s Trade Deal Will Bankrupt Canada’s Farming Industry “Overnight”, Expert Says

Obama’s Trade Deal Will Bankrupt Canada’s Farming Industry “Overnight”, Expert Says

Earlier this month, in “Forget China: This Extremely “Developed” Country Just Suffered Its Biggest Money Outflow Ever,” we took a close look at Canada, where slumping crude prices are beginning to take a serious toll. As we noted, citing BofAML, Canada’s basic balance – a combination of the capital and the current account: a measure of national accounts that spans everything from trade to financial-market flows – swung from a surplus of 4.2% of GDP to a deficit of 7.9% in the 12 months ending in June. That’s the fastest one-year deterioration among 10 major developed nations.

Citing Sharma’s data Bloomberg wrote that “money is flooding out of Canada at the fastest pace in the developed world as the nation’s decade-long oil boom comes to an end and little else looks ready to take the industry’s place as an economic driver.” In fact, based on the chart below, the outflow is the fastest on record.

Well now, on the heels of the Obama administration’s rejection of the “dangerous” Keystone Pipeline (which comes as oil tankers continue to derail across the country), some critics say The White House’s controversial new trade deal could end up costing beleaguered Canada massive job along with the “overnight” collapse of their agriculture industry. Here’s more, from Sputnik:

There are also major concerns over the effects the trade deal will have on Canadian agriculture industries.

Dr Sylvain Charlebois, professor of distribution and food policy at the University of Guelph’s Food Institute in Canada, told Sputnik there were many unanswered questions in the deal.

“I think overall, reading the deal, there are some very strong elements to support Canada’s membership into this partnership. However, there are a lot of unknowns unfortunately, particularly in the area of agriculture.”

Dr Charlebois said that Canada’s protectionist supply management scheme, which works to protect local industries, would be thrown out under the TPP, with concerns over how this would impact local producers.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…


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