Those silly scientists are still at it

global-water-volume-fresh-large

Credit: Howard Perlman, USGS; globe illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (©); Adam Nieman

Scientists are a barrel of laughs, aren’t they. First, in a gigantic conspiracy, 97% of them keep telling us the Earth is warming, in part because of man’s activities. Isn’t that the craziest notion you ever heard?

Now some more scientists, a group of them over at the USGS (US Geological Survey) are trying to tell us Earth’s fresh water is in short supply. Or at least it certainly looks that way. And they even produced this illustration to make their point.

The blue spheres represent total volumes of water. That biggest blue drop over the western United States represents all the water (both fresh and saline) in, on, and above the entire planet. Yep, slurp up all the oceans and everything and that’s all you get. And 68 percent of it is locked up in ice and glaciers.

The smaller drop over Kentucky is all the Earth’s fresh liquid water — groundwater, lakes, swamps, and rivers. Groundwater, of course, can only be reached by drilling wells.

Finally, the teeny droplet over Georgia (did you even notice that one?) is all the fresh water in all of Earth’s lakes and streams. The Nile, Amazon, Mississippi, Great Lakes, and so much more, all in that speck of blue. That’s the easily accessible water that sustains most plant and animal life on Earth.

That’s it, folks. That’s all the water we have. So we best not mess it up. Or use it up. Otherwise we might have to die of thirst or starvation instead of drowning in rising oceans or suffocating in dirty air.

Or, of course, we could do something positive to stave off those unpleasant ends …

(Thanks to Jim Wheeler, who has more to say on this subject.)

 



Categories: Green

15 replies

  1. Spaceship earth.
    (And how did the water get here in the first place? They think comet collisions?)

  2. What has happened to the theory/that more than 70% of the earths surface is covered by water? I can well believe in the shortage of water, I live in Australia the land of the drought where water restrictions are more the norm than the exception.

    This brought to mind for some reason the Rhythm of the Ancien Mariner ; Water water everywhere; and all the boards did shrink, Water Water everywhere. Nor any drop to drink”

    Seems to me there plenty of it but not much to drink,When Antarctica melts all that fresh water there will be wasted, become salt, the Souther ocean will rise and Australia will sink!

    I wonder if those scientist at USGS have been drinking the same drop as I; perhaps we should break it down with some of that precious water that we almost haven’t got.

    O_o o_O

    • The oceans are all in that biggest blue ball/drop. Unless we develop some HUGE desalination projects, they’ll be of no use. Or maybe we could figure a way to free some of the water in the glaciers and icecaps before they end up in the ocean. But basically, we need to get by with the fresh water we already have and stop using it as though the supply is endless. It’s not. We can and are overwhelming nature’s ability to restore our supplies.

      • Well that being so there should not be any continents showing, if all water has been sucked up into their little blue balls and the are no oceans left then there cannot be any land or continents as we know them. Or am I being stupid? Just one big dry empty planet rolling around in space with lots of nothing exept hills and mountains glens and valleys

  3. We certainly have climate change, but I am skeptical that scientists, who thought human babies were formed entirely with male sperm for eons, really know why or how.

    • Personally, I think part of the warming is cyclical and part is caused by human pollution. How much to attribute to each cause, I’m not sure. But it’s only logical to reduce the manmade part as much as we possibly can and pray what’s left doesn’t kill us.

      • Climate is certainly cyclical, but be specific when you talk about pollution. There are many sources of carbon and other gases spewing into the atmosphere from other sources.

        I spent my career as a demographer concerned about environmental issues, and learned early that population growth plays a huge role in our world environment. Pop growth spurs the demand for electricity. Although I wish it were not so, renewables will not offset the demand for fossil fuel for a long time. My son who lives in CA drives a Prius, and I remind him that fossil fuel (remember Halliburton, the ‘Smartest Guys in the Room, and the oil deals?) generates the electricity he uses.

        While wind and solar might eventually meet much of the need in the West, the Midwest is coal dependent when it comes to the generation of electricity. I remind my relatives in Wisconsin that the crap their smokestacks emit comes down on East Coast cities. I support the addition of scrubbers and other devices to clean the smokestacks, but only if they truly work. we will see higher electric bills for sure.

        As for prayer, I never discourage it, but many human-made problems (??) may need other forms of redress.

        (Sorry for the long reply, but my grandfather (think TVA) and husband (Bell Labs) were electrical engineers, and Dad was an ecologist (forestry and soil conservation) before the word was invented.

        • I’m not trying to present a menu of specifics when it comes to reducing human-created emissions and pollution and I realize substituting one for another doesn’t necessarily change anything. But we should be pursuing whatever measures we can that result in a net reduction. And the fact that some changes may take a long time (such as substituting renewables for fossil fuel) just means we need to get started on it ASAP. If scrubbers reduce dirty emissions by even a little, they should be used. Some is better than none and incremental improvements here and there will add up. We can’t keep saying, “But it will take too long,” or “But it won’t make much difference.” The longest journey begins with a single step.

          As for prayer, that was a figure of speech. I don’t believe prayer is anything but an abdication of responsibility.

  4. Sobering indeed my friend. Good thing the dingbats are so good at convincing folks to ignore the scientists, else they’d have to start promising that “Gawd” will deliver a few more of the “comet thingies” to save us! O_o

“The opinions of others should not deter you from being yourself..” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

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