Thursday, November 15, 2007

Who's in control of this drought?

It's discouraging to turn on CNN this morning and hear a discussion of whether Gov. Sonny Purdue's drought prayer on the capitol steps brought the little rain that hit Atlanta last night. It was pretty predictable, of course, that the media would grab on to this 'feel-good' story. But, as Huffington Post's Eat the Press asks:
Still, of all the questions a news organization could put to their readers about the drought — how should Georgia and Florida resolve their conflict over water? Do you think the country is ignoring this crisis? Have you been conserving water in your own home state as a result of the drought? — CNN chose to ask if their readers thought prayer would work.

Well, it could be worse. In my local weekly, a religious columnist (not online, unfortunately -- or fortunately?) claims the drought is due to "rebellion, which is simply refusing to be under God's authority."

But the real questions here remain, as in this Reuters article via MSNBC, Southeast drought not just about mussels, linked by R.Neal in this column at Facing South:
The drought plaguing parts of at least seven U.S. states in the Southeast has to do with exploding demand in some of the fastest growing areas of the United States, breakneck urban development that has paved over acres of natural wetlands, and poor planning by local authorities.
..."Our political leadership has blinkers on when it comes to anything that might get in the way of unrestricted development."
...the land in the urban U.S. Southeast is increasingly unable to act as a sponge to store the rainfall as it disappears beneath concrete and tarmac. Around 55 acres are paved over in Atlanta each day, environmentalists say.

If we're going to pray to God to do something about this he needs to start with Georgia's political leaders....or better yet, Georgians need to do something about them themselves. It's absolutely unconscionable that Georgia went into this very predictible drought for months and months with NO water restrictions or at least guidelines.

The photo: marina on Lake Hiwassee, out of business most of this summer for lack of water in the lake. Hiwassee is part of the TVA system, in trouble with drought too, so doesn't feed the Atlanta area, but there could be future demands....

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