Colorado River Lowest In 1,300 Years; Climate Deniers Keep It Up (VIDEO)

Climate Change? No Problem Say Conservatives - Colorado River Runs Dry

The right-wing continues to insist there are no real threats to the environment. Meanwhile, the Colorado River runs dry, thanks to short-sighted politics. – Courtesy of the United States Geological Survey

There’s a lesson in the news for right-wingers today. (It’s a fairly safe bet they’ll miss it though.) It involves the Colorado River. And also toilets! Yes, today we turn our focus on the humble low-flush porcelain receptacle. Remember Rand Paul’s “toilet tirade” three years ago? Oh, the new U. S. Senator was mad! He had waited years, he said, to speak his mind. In one of his first committee hearings ever, Paul had a chance to unload. Verbally, we mean.

Rand Paul crusades for high-capacity flush toilets! Colorado River goes dry.

According to an ABC report at the time:

His unwitting victim was Kathleen Hogan, the deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at the Department of Energy.

“You’re really anti-choice on every other consumer item that you’ve listed here, including light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets – you name it, you can’t go around your house without being told what to buy. You restrict my choices, you don’t care about my choices,” Paul said to her. “You don’t care about the consumer frankly. You raise the cost of all the items with your rules, all your notions that you know what’s best for me.”

“Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house. And I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house, what I can do.”

“You can pry my cold dead heads off my high-capacity flush handle.” Apparently, that was Paul’s rallying cry.

You can still view it today.

Right can’t see the forest for the toilets.

So:  what would he say at the start of 2014? Out West, where cowboys and Dick Cheney still roam free, the Colorado River is drying up.

A fourteen-year dry spell has reduced the river to levels not seen in thirteen centuries. (Think: Anasazi.) Already, the federal government has limited release of water into Lake Mead from reservoirs upriver. Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the nation, supplies drinking water to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. It also feeds irrigation systems across the Southwest.

While Rand Paul and his crew ignore threats to the environment, evidence mounts that we’re in a heap of [email protected]#*. And no toilet ever invented can get us out of our fix. In this case, seven states (Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada) share water from the Colorado River. Mexico does, too.

Currently, Lake Mead water levels stand at 1,106 feet (above sea level). A drop of twenty feet is predicted for 2014. At 1,075 feet, for the first time ever, water-rationing would begin. At 1,050 feet a water intake tunnel supplying Las Vegas would go dry. Another twenty-five foot drop would mean more drastic rationing. At 1,000 feet a second water Las Vegas intake would fail. Suddenly, you’d have a gambling mecca without the Bellagio fountains. Also:  none of the toilets would flush.

Are the canaries in the coal mines chirping? Read about rampant air and water pollution in China and you would say they are. Not if you listen to Fox News, though. This week the bimbos and bozos at Fox were focused on record low temperatures across the U. S. What did these lows prove? Yes! Changes in daily weather proved climate change was a hoax! Writing for Fox, Cal Thomas blasted “climate change cultists,” last September, too. Thomas got off on a tangent about Syrian yo-yos in 1933. But you can read what he had to say for yourself.

You could rebut the idiots. It wouldn’t do any good.

We could try to rebut the idiots. It wouldn’t do any good. Scientists study the steady northward march of mangrove trees along the Florida coast. They say it’s another sign of climate change. The right thinks scientists with their satellite photos are faking it all. Pine trees are dying in New Jersey because of beetle infestations. Scientists say temperatures of 8° below zero are needed to kill beetle eggs. In recent years the state has been too warm. More liars! Pine forests in Utah and across the West dry up and catch fire for the same reason. Again, right-wingers miss the point.

They can’t see the forest for the toilets.

In 2012 the Arctic ice cap shrinks to its smallest extent in thousands of years. The right claims NASA scientists who release the data are making it up. In 2013, New Zealand has its second-hottest year ever. Australia reports its hottest year on record. Hey, Fox News viewers, did you notice how cold it was in Chicago last night? In 2011, the U. N. reports that nine of the ten hottest years ever recorded have all occurred in the previous decade.

Rand Paul and myopic right-wingers still miss the point. They think the U. N. boys in blue helmets are coming to take their light-bulbs away. And their guns! And their toilet paper, maybe! So they start stocking up on ammo and say they’re ready to fight.

Meanwhile, the American Meteorological Society predicts that climate change will further reduce the flow of the Colorado River in years to come. True:  the range of reduction is unclear. The drop may be 6% (bad).

It could be as high as 45% (really, really, really bad).

What might the Southwest expect in decades to come? The four upper states would have to reduce use to meet obligations to send water downstream. Arizona would be screwed. Under current agreements the state could lose 50% of its water before California lost a drop. Arizona agricultural interests would have to pump scarce ground water. Or they could go bust. In an arid region where ground water is replenished over centuries pumping could not last.

At this point, of course, we know that right-wingers don’t believe much in science. Still, Senator Paul is a very smart man. Perhaps he could read up on the topic next time…you know. Next time he’s seated on his favorite throne.