The week that was, April 3-9, 2016

Posted on | April 10, 2016 | No Comments

fleursSorry, no news round-up this week. For water news junkies, methadone may be found at Circle of Blue, Climate Central, On the Public Record, Maven’s Notebook, Water Deeply, JFleck@Inkstain, WaterWiredEnvironment in FocusThe Bay Journal and other good sources from the blog roll, right. Back next week.

The week that was, March 27-April 2, 2016

Posted on | April 3, 2016 | No Comments

NASA image from December 2015 of a long crack in the Nansen ice-shelf on the Antarctic coast. In early March 2016, with southern winter soon to set in, satellite imagery indicated that the cracking ice front was still attached to the shelf. Even in winter, strong winds can prevent the water beyond the shelf from freezing, so it is unclear whether the front will separate soon or hang on like a loose tooth.

Recent NASA image of the Nansen ice-shelf hanging onto the Antarctic coast “like a loose tooth,” according to the space agency. Click on the Operational Land Imager photo for more from the Earth Observatory post “Nansen Breaking Up with Antarctica.”

One water story dwarfed all others this week. A scenario modeled in the journal Nature suggests that sea level rise could exceed one meter (roughly three feet) by 2100 and 15 meters (49 feet) by 2500 if the melting of Antarctic ice sheets continues unabated. Before suggesting that anyone read it, this is to commend Generation Anthropocene: How humans have altered the planet forever. In this Guardian essay, writer Robert Macfarlane lays the kind of philosophical and linguistic track needed to help grapple with what is to come, be it in meters or feet, centigrade or Fahrenheit.

The week that was, March 20-26, 2016

Posted on | March 26, 2016 | No Comments


Click on the image to read about this undersea world depicted by General Motors’ “Futurama II” at the New York 1964 World Fair.

Eight “bionauts”, as they called themselves, lived for two years locked inside this crystalline, nuclear bunker. Its huge vaulted structures contained a tropical rain forest, a grassland savannah, a mangrove wetland and salt-water ocean, complete with coral reef — everything one might possibly need to weather the apocalypse. It was described in the press as a “planet in a bottle,” “Eden revisited” and “Greenhouse Ark”… By the time [the bionauts] emerged, the utopia they envisaged had descended into chaos, and the experiment was acknowledged as a failure. Time magazine would call it one of the “50 worst ideas of the 20th century”. — Bohemians, Bauhaus and bionauts: the utopian dreams that became architectural nightmaresThe Guardian, 3/25/16  Read more

The week that was, March 13-19, 2016

Posted on | March 20, 2016 | No Comments

For more about the bronze, granite and quartz Andrew W. Mellon Memorial Fountain by sculptor Sidney Waugh, click on the image. Photo: Cliff 1066/Wikipedia

The bronze, granite and quartz fountain in front of the National Gallery by sculptor Sidney Waugh was re-started this week after a motionless eight years. Click on the image to learn more about Waugh and the water feature honoring Andrew W. Mellon’s contribution to the gallery. Photo: Cliff1066/Wikipedia

“We asked for it because the National Park Service didn’t want it.” — National Gallery Director “Rusty” Powell, One of DC’s great fountains comes back to life but it shouldn’t have taken so long, Washington Post, 3/17/16 
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The week that was, March 6-12, 2016

Posted on | March 13, 2016 | No Comments

Almonds in drought on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Photo: Emily Green

Almonds in drought on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. Photo: Emily Green

“We’re not collecting any more money from the ratepayers. All we’re doing is, we’re taking money and saying we are reclassifying it from an account payable to income.”  —  Westlands Water District general manager Tom Birmingham to his board, California water district fined by SEC over “Enron” accounting, New York Times, 3/11/16

Westlands Water District is broker than it looks from the outside. Without “Enron accounting,” they can barely afford their debt service. — Instead of ‘Supermarket to the World,’ On the Public Record, 3/9/16

“There were six Goliaths in there and all I had was just a little pea stone.” — Nolen Scott Ely, Dimock, PA resident whose well was Gasland posterpoisoned by fracking by Cabot Oil and Gas Corp, Jury awards families $4.24 million in contaminated water case, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/11/2016 

Dimock, which was featured in the 2010 fracking documentary “Gasland,” has been called “ground zero” in the fight over fracking. — Family wins case against fracking  company after 7 years of polluted drinking water, Think Progress, 3/10/16

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