: views from the Hill

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Great Thirst

Yesterday's Chronicle Sunday magazine (07 Jan 2007) had a great fictionalized look at what may happen in California's future:

The Great Thirst: Looking ahead to a post-global warming life in California, 60 years hence by Glen Martin

The following extrapolation presents a worst-case scenario of California's water situation in the coming decades, but not necessarily an unlikely one. It is based on a variety of sources, including interviews and conversations over the past several years with scientists and government agency staffers, such as those associated with the University of California, the California Department of Water Resources and the Bay Institute. (The observations of Jeffrey Mount of UC Davis and John Harte of UC Berkeley were particularly enlightening.)

The story starts thusly:

It is a sign of the flexibility of the human spirit that a certain nostalgia has begun to pervade our memories of the Great Thirst. With it immured safely 30 years in the past, we can afford such revisionism. Today, in 2062, we delight in recalling the heroic incidents it kindled, the ingenious responses to catastrophe, the shared privations. Now that we have squeezed through the bottleneck with our institutions more or less intact, we can savor the simple and glorious fact that we endured.


Don's little dam is mentioned.

I wish the story was only catastrophic wild-making woo woo, but some of the scenarios mentioned are far too possible. Worst case scenario, maybe. But worst case scenarios sometimes come true.

Update: [OK, yeah. I'm fiddling with Google labels ...]

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