Sunday, November 18, 2007

Messing with nature?

Fayetteville Observer features a well-written story about drought and its effects upon a small town called Orme in Tennessee. Their spring has gone completely dry, and this small town is using an old 1960s firetruck to truck water in from Bridgeport, Alabama for residents of Orme. For 3 hours each day around dinnertime, residents have water once the water is emptied into a "20,000-gallon holding tank at the top of a mountain in Orme."

most townspeople have been awfully forgiving of the inconvenience the drought has caused.

Partly, it’s because Orme is used to going without. Cell phones don’t work here. A good ice storm can knock electricity out for a week.

But partly, it’s because they saw this coming. For four summers, the mountain spring has been shrinking. Last year, the town went without water for three days.

When the last mayor didn’t fix the problem, the residents voted him out and elected one who they thought would.

Reames, who won the 2006 election with 50 votes and not a lick of campaigning, has proven a more than worthy replacement.

He called for water conservation early, phoned his friends in Bridgeport and begged for help at the first sign of trouble, and secured the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant that will help pay for the pipeline.

The pipeline will certainly help. But I've learned already that this is not enough. Folks do need to read the omens of the times. And the people of Orme have obviously been attentive and diligent.

When the "signs" indicate a drought is at hand, it makes sense to be respectful and to pay attention to what can be done to deal with the situation at hand.

I currently live in an "extreme drought" zone. But then, I grew up in a part of California which experienced regular droughts. So, water conservation is as much a part of my lifestyle practice as is breathing. I'm the "turn off the lights, turn off that faucet" queen of my home. Always have been.

Yesterday, was with the Grands and eating outdoors at a MacDonalds. We all had water with our meals, no big soda fans here. At the end of our meal, all undrunk water from our cups were distributed among the MacDonald's landscape. Only takes a second or two. Landscape also appreciates undrunk sodas. Landscaping LOVES cooled leftover coffee -- cheaper than Miracle Grow and just as effective. The Grands probably just think it's another unique and exciting adventure practiced by their Gammy. And, tho' they love distributing the undrunk portion of liquids now as "feeding the plants", perhaps it may too become a part of their usual lifestyle routine as they grow and live.

But here's where I draw the line:

In this country, people are hard-wired to take their cues from big cities, believing those who live among the skyscrapers harbor superior knowledge to those who do not.

But here in Orme, where donkeys graze on scorched grass and stray dogs sleep on dilapidated front porches, the residents may now know more about water efficiency than in any other town in the country.

Orme is an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s prediction come true.

Drought, brought on by global warming, appears to be the culprit. Conservation seems to be the cure.

I've lived through more dramas brought on by politicians and their drama queen Science than I care to detail. "California is going to slide into the ocean". "Coffee will kill you". "Ice Polar Caps are Growing!"

That we are going through a warming spate does not indicate "global warming" but a "spate". A period. Blaming it on "the boy" (El Nino, or as the feminists screech, La Nina) only fuels politics: The politics of booning newer industries and political allies and votes based upon fearmongering. This kind of fearmongering is a form of terrorizing others. It's abusive and downright wicked.

We are going through a drought. We don't know how long it will run. No one does. Our task is to dance with our partner, Nature.

So Reames will continue to preach strict conservation, even after the water flows again.

“It can happen,” Reames says, standing beside Orme’s rusting hulk of a water tower and frowning. “You go messing with the ecosystem and it will get you.”

I'm not sure that this quote isn't out of context. In context it might read: Your wells and springs are drying up, and if you don't start conserving and paying attention, you'll end up with maybe no water running from our taps" or it could read: "We're all gonna die because we sinners drive cars and have heated up Mother Nature to the point she's going into premature MenoPause".

Nothing's more eternal than the adage to be respectful of our environment. This is as true 4,000 years ago as it is today. But to use a drought to beat "sinners" over the head earns those who do so the label of Cotton Mather, in my book, and tossing a sinner into a lake to discover if the "perp" sinks or floats.

Politicians who screech "Global Warming" are merely using a sleight of hand in order to point the water witch wand of booning capitalism to their cronies.

We are in a drought. Teach and practice common sense, respectful practice of a scarce commodity is a wise and good thing.

Tossing the Global Warming Cotton Mathers down that old dried up well would go a long ways to reduce the stress levels which heat up the planet and organisms.

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