The week that was, 12/20-26/2009

Posted on | December 27, 2009 | No Comments

Mariele Neudecker, '400 Thousand Generations,' 2009, from "Earth: Art of a Changing World," Royal Academy at Burlington Gardens, London, through January 31, 2010. Click on the image to be taken to the gallery website.

China played an important constructive role in promoting the attained achievements at the conference and demonstrated the greatest sincerity and the greatest efforts. — State Premier Wen Jiabao interviewed by the Xinhua news agency, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, December 22, 2009, via Proquest

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen. — Mark Lynas, The Guardian, December 22, 2009

Two weeks ago thousands descended on Copenhagen to save the world. The result is 12 paragraphs of good intentions … The Romans had a phrase for it: Parturient montes nascetur ridiculus mus (The mountains have been in labor, and a little mouse has been born.) — Letter to the South African Cape Times from Professor Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, December 22, 2009

Growers from Westlands Water District, the nation’s largest agricultural water entity with more than 600,000 acres of Westside land in Kings and Fresno counties, were interviewed by “60 Minutes” reporters, said spokeswoman Sarah Woolf. “It will be interesting to see how they choose to explain the story,” Woolf said. — ’60 Minutes’ to air story on water issues, Hanford Sentinel, December 26, 2009, via Aquafornia, which has the 60 Minutes trailer

C’mon, Sixty Minutes. I know tractors ripping out trees look awesome, but so does the annual Almond Almanac.  A few seconds of searching would have given you some perspective on this. It would have told you how big the imminent impact is going to be. And that even with the drought, there were more almonds harvested this year than ever before. — Scale, motherfuckers, On the public record, December 23, 2009

“In regard to the identified illegal diversions, although I am obviously aware of them, the Division has not taken follow-up action because of a lack of resources.” — Vicky Whitney, chief of the California State Water Board, How about enforcing current water laws? Chronicles of the hydraulic brotherhood, December 24, 2009, via WaterWired

“It’s one thing to love your water, but the water has to love you back.” — Ned Crowley, executive creative director in the Chicago office of the ad agency McGarryBowen, Giving water a powdered, flavored spin, New York Times, December 22, 2009

Robert Beckman painting from the exhibit 'Elemental Landscape,' Las Vegas Springs Preserve, through January 17. Click on the image to be taken to the gallery website.

That new artistic element could blend with the Preserve’s overall setting like oil and water. — Springs Preserve art exhibit explores ‘Elemental Landscape,’ Las Vegas Review-Journal, December 25, 2009

“… misleading in very fundamental ways.” — Response of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power general manager David S. Freeman to the Environmental Working Group’s ranking of the utility’s water as 83rd in quality out of 100 cities tested, Los Angeles Daily News, December 22, 2009

The plan slams the Bush Administration about as hard as a bureaucratic document can. — Thoughts on Interior’s very well done ‘Interim Plan for California water,’ On the public record, December 23, 2009

The problem then, as it is now, is that the water just wasn’t there. — Pueblo Chieftan reflecting on William Jennings Bryan’s 1910 remarks in Colorado, “I expect that these waters in the mountains, instead of being a menace to the people upon the plains, will be their source of strength and their source of wealth,” Plumbing the Rockies, December 21, 2009

… the utility has committed millions of dollars to mitigate impacts to streams and rivers it will draw from. — Conservation is not enough, Denver Post editorial advocating more than doubling the capacity of Gross Reservoir, December 24, 2009

“The National Weather Service and your blogger fans are going for a wet winter. Me, a few months ago, I called for below normal again. I’ll stick with that.” — Jet Propulsion Laboratory oceanographer Bill Patzert talking to the Orange County Register Science Dude, December 20, 2009, via Aquafornia

“The implication of having a flawed rule is that you end up with flawed permits.” — Jesse Kharbanda, executive director, Hoosier Environmental Council,  EPA Intervention, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, December 22, 2009

“There are ways of preventing the carp from getting into the Great Lakes without strangling our economy.” — Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Asian carp: Michigan asks Supreme Court to shut two corridors to Great Lakes, Chicago Tribune, December 22, 2009

This post has been updated, 12/27/2009, 5.43pm, to include the Vicky Whitney quote from Chronicles of the hydraulic brotherhood.


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