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13 things you should know!

Posted by edro on September 16, 2008

Submitted by CASF Members Committee – edited for brevity

The 13 things you should know about the world before departing prematurely!

The facts about money fetishism, the rich, government, corporatism and CO2 pollution you always wanted to know, but were too afraid to ask!

1. How much CO2 pollution did humans produce last year?
The 2007 total for anthropogenic CO2 pollution was 38,058.66 MMT [38,058,660,000,000 kg]

2. How much CO2 does my dollar make?
Each dollar you earned, or spent in 2007 produced about 1.3lb (584g) of CO2.

3. What’s the total value of the world’s financial assets, population and income?

  • The total value of the world’s financial assets in 2007: $187 trillion.
  • World population 2007 (World Bank) : 6.61 billion
  • GNI per capita 2007 (PPP) : 9,816 (International Dollars)
  • World GNI : 64.9 trillion (International Dollars)
  • World GDP: 65.17 trillion (International Dollars)

4. Who was the largest single producer of CO2 pollution in the world?
Mr. Warren Buffett, aka the Sage of Omaha [Nebraska.] He, by way of his wealth, was responsible for producing at least 12,618,000 tons of CO2 [12.62 MMT of CO2] in 2007. Mr. Buffett’s pollution account balance put a new slant on “filthy rich.”

5. What group of people accounted for the highest per capita emission of CO2 in the World?
The world’s billionaires. The world had 1,125 billionaires in the 2007/2008 financial year, with the total assets of about $4.38 trillion. They produced a total 891.43 MMT of CO2 in 2007.

[Note: “The above figure is an abstraction. In reality, however, the world’s richest people are responsible for the bulk of CO2 pollution because as Praetorian Guards of the exponential growth economy they disallow and suppress any change to a sustainable system stifling all initiatives toward an eco-centered, low-carbon, ‘oikonomia,’ or economics for community.”]

6. What about the corporations?
The global 2000 companies and therefore their shareholders accounted for $30 trillion in revenues, $2.4 trillion in profits, $119 trillion in assets and $39 trillion in market value in 2007. [Source:  Forbes.]

Therefore the world largest 2000 corporations were responsible for at least 65 percent of all man-made CO2 emissions in 2007—total CO2 emissions of about 24,738.13 MMT [24,738,129,000,000kg]

7. Can we meaningfully reduce our CO2 emissions?
Not without a complete change in our system of political economy [aka, exponential growth economy] and therefore the structure of government.

8. What is the role of government in all this?
The world governments are best described as mostly organized mercenary forces whose first priority is to protect the wealthy [who, for all intents and purposes, appoint them to office] against rest of the population. By extension, the governments’ protection of the wealthy and their money fetishism perpetuates the political economy and their illegitimate offsprings, the corporations, behind whose Alice-in-Wonderland legal defense mechanism the rich comfortably hide.

9. How could the world function without governments?
There is no reason why the governments must be elected from among the thugs and criminal elements. Instead, volunteer candidates could be elected to run the government, much in the same way as the NGO’s operate.

10. How do they make their decisions?
They don’t; the entire nations do. In the age of Internet there’s no reason why each issue of public interest cannot be put to a referendum. The job of volunteer governments is to ensure fair play. They, in turn, are supervised by other volunteers to prevent potential abuse.

11. Where would the corporations and all of their employees go?
In the absence of mercenary governments protecting the predatory corporate system, and in a healthy economic environment, where  a system of economy working for the life communities has outmoded the prevailing political economy, most of the world’s corporations will end up in the dustbin of history. And rightly so!

Business that are beneficial to the life communities and do not cause any additional impact on the environment by way of their size, nature or scale of operation can re-organize as  co-operatives and non-profit entities

12. What about our national security?

In a world savaged by human-induced climate catastrophes and human-enhanced natural ‘disasters,’ and in the absence of any foreign military threat to the United States, our leaders have proposed to spend our tax dollars (2009) as follows

Total Outlays (Federal Funds): $2,650 billion
MILITARY: 54% and $1,449 billion
NON-MILITARY: 46% and $1,210 billion [Source: War Resisters http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm%5D

The United States transformed its economy into a permanent military economy after WWII with a lion’s share of its resources committed to military spending.

Here’s the dilemma:

A sane foreign policy would entail avoiding violence, rather than stirring chaos and starting wars so that the US can then intervene to end them. A peaceable United States, however, couldn’t justify an ever-growing military machine if there were no wars.

For the sake of protecting the military machine [and continue with the empire-building,] wars have become a permanent feature of world events.

As the overall size of the political economy grows, so does the need for creating more chaos and starting new wars through political deception and false-flag operations. Instead of ensuring national security and protecting the citizens, the military machine does its utmost to achieve the opposite result by endangering the country through creating wars and provoking violence throughout the world, simply to justify its own existence. Here is the classic example of “tail wagging the dog!”

To decrease the level of violence, the United States must undertake political and military decentralization. “Decentralization of the United States would also add to the security of other nations.” Say Herman E. Daly and John B. Cobb, Jr. in for the common good: redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and a sustainable future.

“The United States has developed into a highly centralized society that could be virtually halted in its tracks by a few relatively small acts of sabotage. For example, the electrical grid on which the entire nation depends could be put out of commission [easily, by a determined saboteur.] A blackout would not stop the planes in the air or the tanks in the field, but the backup systems of communication, supply, and management would be disastrously disrupted. Yet defense planning pays little attention to these matters.” Say Daly and Cobb.

Aside from rare acts of sabotage, the disastrous impact of hurricane Ike on the power grid last week, which left up to 5 million people without power, should be a stark remainder and a wake-up call to how vulnerable our centralized power grid is to seasonal acts of nature, especially the natural phenomena enhanced by climate change.

Why isn’t decentralization happening? Daly and Cobb identify two major obstacles: “The first is the political power of groups that profit from military spending.  The second is extreme difficulty of dealing in a humane way with the rapid shift in the whole economy.”

At least one of the two obstacles could be overcome, however. “If the United States makes a clean environment, human health, and community stability its goals, alone with a commitment to becoming more self-sufficient economically, the transition from a military economy to a civilian one may be affected without enormous pain.”

But how does more economic self-sufficiency help national security?

“… where there is economic self-sufficiency, national security need not involve fighting wars with distant enemies.  It does not require the ability to conquer external powers. It requires only the ability to resist aggression against itself.  Would the federation all 50 states be a likely victim of conquest? Would these states be in danger from Mexico or Canada?”

How do we protect ourselves and stabilize our world? What would it take to fight a war of aggression waged against us?

In a stable, demilitarized world, we would need only a small civil defense force to protect us against any aggression. Kirkpatrick Sale in Human Scale says: “The long human record suggests that the problem of defense and warfare is exacerbated, not solved, by the large state, and that smaller societies …  tend to engage in fighting less and less violent consequences. Indicating that a world of human scale politics would not be a world without its conflicts and disputations, but would likely be a world of comparative stability.”

13. What sort of reduction in energy consumption and therefore the CO2 emission levels could we expect if  we created all of the above changes?

The Committee Members of  Creating A Sustainable Future [what’s left of the future, AAR,] believe that if we the people

  • Replaced the world’s mercenary governments with volunteer, fully accountable organizations that are supervised by the electorate
  • Changed the prevailing political economy to an eco-centered system that provides “economics for life”
  • Criminalized the structure of corporations [rearranging the potentially useful ones to function as non-profits or co-operatives]
  • Developed our lifestyle to one of zero impact using sustainable models

If our energy abuse ends, the world demand for energy could fall by as much as 80-90 percent, resulting in CO2 emission levels approaching zero.

And if you’re still wondering whether a future would be possible with the same life-destroying systems of money fetishism, corporatism and mercenary governments in place, you haven’t read the above carefully!

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Thought for the Day: VLS Food Production

Posted by edro on September 5, 2008

VLS Accelerated Food Production Amid Environmental Chaos

The most highly sought after technology in the next 12 – 24 months could be VLS accelerated hydroponics. That is the know-how to produce large amounts of food in confined (or semi-confined) environments within a short time cycle and without the need for soil.

VLS: Very Large Scale

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A Snapshot of World “Disasters” this Week

Posted by edro on September 5, 2008

Haiti


Haiti’s second city, Gonaives, was deluged by Hurricane Hanna. Image: Matthew Marek/American Red Cross. Source:BBC. Image may be subject to copyright.

Haiti – Two hurricanes, Gustav and Hanna, struck the Caribbean’s poorest nation in little over 4 days, just two weeks after tropical storm Fay had already drenched the country. the hurricanes left at least 200 people dead. The death toll could still climb substantially as thousands of people who escaped to rooftops to avoid rising floodwaters continue to starve. See: Hungry Haitian Flood Victims Stranded on Rooftops.

In 2004, after Hurricane Jeanne struck the city of Gonaïves causing widespread floods and mudslides, more than than 3000 people died.

Nepal


People seek refuge from flood waters in east Nepal August 24, 2008. Twenty-four bodies have been discovered washed away by Koshi River at the Nepal-India border according to local media. More than 20,000 thousand people have been displaced due to a flooding after a dam burst. REUTERS/Nepal Army 11 Brigade/Handout (NEPAL). FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

Nepal – An appeal for assistance for Koshi flood affected people in eastern Nepal has been made by: WFP, FAO, UNICEF, WHO, OCHA, and OXFAM for a total of US$10,102,485.

  • WFP has asked for $5,000,000 to provide: Short to medium-term food needs and recovery support to flood affected persons
  • FAO requires $1,819,000 for: Support to provide fodder, treat sick draught animals/livestock and carcass disposal activities in support of the flood affected farming families
  • UNICEF asked for $1,795,065 to provide: Shelter, safe water, sanitation facilities, hygiene kits, school and student kits, emergency health messages and psychosocial support for flood affected families
  • WHO needs $853,150 to: Procure essential emergency/outbreak response medicines for Saptari and Sunsari districts, buffer stocks for Kathmandu and pre- positioning of international emergency health kits in all the regions
  • OCHA has asked for $600,000 to Capitalize Emergency Response Fund to allocate grants for emergency flood response
  • OXFAM requested a mere $35,270 to provide Support for shelter items, fuel wood, and to cover transportation costs of both IDPs and shelter kits in Saptari

[Note: The more experienced agencies never publish the required aid money in figures that are rounded to nearest thousands—,000.]

India

India – The flooding in the Bihar state of India has affected an estimated three million people. Without clean water, food, medicines and shelter many of them will perish.


A flood-affected man takes a nap outside a flood relief camp in Jankinagar village of Purniya district in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri. Image may be subject to copyright.

Cuba


People walk past a destroyed car as Hurricane Gustav passes in Los Palacios, 100 km (62 miles) west of Havana August 30, 2008. The Category 4 storm swept across Cuba in a matter of hours and now poses a threat to Gulf oil fields on a projected path that could take it ashore near New Orleans, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. REUTERS/Claudia Daut (CUBA)

Cuba – Hurricane Gustav destroyed or damaged about 100,000 homes in Cuba. Pinar del Río province was the hardest hit with its share of 70,000, and a total of about 500 damaged schools. In the municipality of Isla de la Juventud about half of the houses were damaged. In the municipality of Los Palacios 80 percent of the 13,000 homes were damaged, some 6,000 were completely destroyed.

Chile


A man rows a boat in a flooded street of Puerto Saavedra town in southern Chile September 3, 2008. Hundreds of people were forced to leave their homes during the storms that hit parts of Chile, according to local media.  REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Caballero. Image may be subject to copyright.

Chile – About 100,000 people have been affected by torrential rains in Chile, the worst in living memory; four people drowned.

In Araucania region, 700 km south of Santiago, rain has damaged about 10,000 homes, flooded rivers and canals, blocked roadways, destroyed bridges and inundated more than 200,000 hectares of farmland.

President Michelle Bachelet designated the region as a “catastrophe zone” on Wednesday.

Two hurricanes, Gustav and Hanna, struck the Caribbean’s poorest nation in little over 4 days, about two weeks after tropical storm Fay had already drenched the country.

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An Effective System of Mass Extinction

Posted by edro on August 21, 2008

The Exponential Growth Economy is Committing Life to Extinction

Yet, our top scientists want to preserve the economic system, instead of sustaining life on Earth!

Instead of urging an immediate end to the exponential growth economy and demanding a zero-growth, low carbon, waste-free oikonomia for managing the environment, welfare of humans and other living species, and a system of ‘housekeeping’ for the planet’s natural resources to sustain life on Earth, the country’s top scientists are looking for ways of serving the economic Titanic.

Read Original Entry: Protect Economy from Climate??!

The Environmental Cost of US Economy (carbon footprint only!)

  • US GDP (2007 PPP) : $13.8 trillion [World Bank]
  • US CO2 Emissions (2007) : 6,825.733 MMT [based on CDIAC data updated by MSRB/CASF]
  • Virtual CO2 content of US dollar (2007) : 494 g (The average amount of CO2 produced each time a dollar was paid or received in 2007. SEE: How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?)

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The Collapse Engine Revving UP!

Posted by msrb on August 18, 2008

The problems?

  • Water scarcity. About 3 billion people are affected by water scarcity caused by diminishing reserves of freshwater (excessive use), climate change (drought, extreme climatic events, vanishing snow caps…)
  • Excessive volumes of wastewater produced by growing urban population
  • Increased demand for crops to feed growing urban population

The “Quick Fix!”

Irrigating urban agricultural land with untreated wastewater!

A possible outcome:

Spread of pandemic diseases leading to large scale collapse

A new 53-city study conducted by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) reveals that about 80 percent of the cities studied use untreated or partially diluted wastewater for agriculture. At least 50 percent of the urban agricultural land in those cities is irrigated with raw or diluted wastewater.

“Irrigating with wastewater isn’t a rare practice limited to a few of the poorest countries. It’s a widespread phenomenon, occurring on 20 million hectares across the developing world, especially in Asian countries, like China, India and Vietnam, but also around nearly every city of sub-Saharan Africa and in many Latin American cities as well,” said IWMI researcher Liqa Raschid-Sally.

“It’s a widespread phenomenon, occurring on 20 million hectares (50 million acres) across the developing world, especially in Asian countries, like China, India and Vietnam, but also around nearly every city of sub-Saharan Africa and in many Latin American cities as well.”

Wastewater is most commonly used to produce vegetables and cereals, especially rice, pose a health threat to the farmers as well as the consumers.

“The negative and positive implications of wastewater agriculture have only recently received attention. This study offers the first comprehensive, cross-country analysis of the conditions that account for the practice and the difficult tradeoffs that arise from it,” said Colin Chartres, director general of IWMI.

About 200,000 people in Accra, 10 percent of the urban population of Ghana’s capital city, consume vegetables produced on just 100 hectares of urban agricultural land, which is irrigated with wastewater, according to the IWMI report. “That gives you an idea of the large potential of wastewater agriculture for both helping and hurting great numbers of urban consumers.” Raschid-Sally said.

“And it isn’t just affluent consumers of exotic vegetables whose welfare is at stake. Poor consumers of inexpensive street food also depend on urban agriculture.” She reported.

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Good Bye, Tuvalu!

Posted by edro on August 13, 2008

Original Entry:

Global Warming Tolls the Death Knell for Tuvalu

‘I want to leave this country. When the spring tide comes and the gale winds blow, it will be over for us. We realize that disaster is all too certain to strike us.’

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How Much CO2 Are You Producing?

Posted by edro on August 8, 2008

Original Entry: World CO2 Emissions

World Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Consumption (including Flaring) Cement Production and Tropical Deforestation

CO2 This Year ( From 1-1-2008 to 8-8-2008 )
23,803.61 MMT CO2

CO2 Total 2007
38,058.66 MMT CO2

Anthropogenic CO2 Total (1750 – Today)
1,358,931.31 MMT CO2

Total atmospheric CO2

3,008,879.36 MMT [3,008.88GT]

How much CO2 are YOU producing?

Each dollar you earn or spend produces 584 g of CO2. [See Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar]

How much CO2 was there before?

Measurements of CO2 levels in Ice cores collected in Antarctica and Greenland indicate that the preindustrial carbon dioxide level was 278 ppm. Between 1000 and 1800 A.D. that level varied by no more than 7 ppm.

What about human activities?

The CO2 levels have now reached 386 ppm, which means human activities have increased the concentration of atmospheric CO2 by 109 ppm or 39 percent.

Notes:
MMT: Million Metric Tons
GT: Gigatons (billion tons)
Sources: CASF/MSRB; CDIAC; Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency; Earth Systems Research Laboratory; Mauna Loa CO2 monthly mean data.

The following data were used to calculate the total mass of atmospheric CO2 :
1. Mass of dry air: 5.1352 × 1018 kg
2. The mean molar mass of air: 28.9625 g/mol.
3. Molar mass of CO2: 44.0095 g/mol.
4. Mauna Loa CO2 monthly mean data: 385.60ppmv

[Note: On various websites reporting the carbon dioxide emissions since 1750 the cumulative amount varies from about 1.3 – 1.8 trillion tons. On one website the amount is published once as 1.36 trillion tons and again as 1.71 trillion tons of CO2 on separate pages. Understandably, no sources are quoted. ]

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Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar

Posted by edro on August 5, 2008

Submitted by a CASF Member

How Much Carbon Dioxide Does Your Money Make?

Definitions

GDP is gross domestic product at purchaser prices. It is the sum of the gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources. PPP GDP is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GDP as a U.S. dollar has in the United States. (Source: World bank)

GDP = consumption + gross investment + government spending + net exports

United States one dollar bill (obverse).

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[Important: for 3/4 & 1-1/2 U.S. Secret Service money illustration rules click here! See also Copyright rules.]

.

GNI (gross national income) is gross domestic product (GDP) plus net receipts of primary income (employee compensation and investment income) from abroad. GDP is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output. (World Bank)

GNI per capita is gross national income divided by midyear population. PPP GNI is gross national income converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GNI as a U.S. dollar has in the United States. (World Bank)

World Population and GDP figures

World population 2007 (World Bank) : 6.61billion
GNI per capita 2007 (PPP) : 9,816 (International Dollars)
World GNI : 64.9 trillion (International Dollars)
World GDP: 65.17 trillion (International Dollars)

[PPP is purchasing power parity; an international dollar has the same purchasing power over GNI or GDP as a U.S. dollar has in the United States.]


CO2 and Other Exhaust gases spewing out of an industrial plant.

Energy and GDP

To create the above economic figures [GNI and GDP,] the world economies consumed about 531 exajoules [503 quads] of energy in 2007. [Sources: CASF and MSRB]

To produce a GDP of 65.17 trillion (International Dollars), the world economies emitted about 10.38 billion metric tons of carbon [~38.06 billion tons of CO2.] That is, for every dollar paid (or received) each time in 2007 an average of about 160 grams of carbon, or 584 g of CO2 were released to the environment! [Sources: CASF and MSRB]

Notes:
1. 1kg (1,000g) is about 2.21lb [1 lb ~ 453.6g]
2. The above figure of 584g of CO2/GDP dollar is a global average. In the US the pollution figure is 578g of CO2/GDP dollar. In China the CO2 amount per GDP dollar of economic activity rises to 1,282g – about 2.2 times the global average of CO2/GDP dollar. [Updated Sept. 2008 ]

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Nature Must Be Stopped!

Posted by edro on July 14, 2008

Let’s make a new, more disciplined Nature, one that knows how to work effectively!

Humanoids ignorance of Nature’s defense mechanisms hasn’t improved in 12,000 years! Take California’s wildfires, for example. Tackling the wildfires has become strictly a Freudian affair.

Having reached the peak of Freudian Assault Against Nature Syndrome, there are only two courses of action available to humanoids:

See Original Entry: Nature Must Be Punished, Look at California!

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Land Erosion Rates Accelarate

Posted by edro on July 2, 2008

Accelerated land degradation threatens food security of a quarter of the world’s population: FAO

Main entry: Land degradation threatens 1.5 billion people


“A goat walks along the sun-baked bed of Cyprus’s largest reservoir at Kouris, March 20, 2008. Cyprus announced on Monday emergency water cuts to deal with a crippling drought.” REUTERS/Stringer [Image may be subject to copyright. See EDRO  Fair Use Notice!]

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Nature’s Defense Mechanisms

Posted by edro on June 27, 2008

How Do Natural Events Form Nature’s Defense Mechanisms?

1. Extremity. They exceed the normal parameters creating significant differences in the events outcome.
2. Selective Targeting. This phenomenon could probably be explained as reflex action.
3. Change of Rhythms. Changes in the established cyles, patterns, tempo and behavioral modes of natural events may offset positive feedback systems.
4. Other Mechanisms.

Are Extreme Precipitation Events Nature’s Defense Mechanisms?

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Is 350 ppm CO2 Safe?

Posted by edro on June 24, 2008

Original Entry: 350 ppm Safe? Hell, NO!

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Ice on Mars

Posted by edro on June 22, 2008

Does it really make any sense looking for ice on Mars as life becomes extinct down here on Earth?

Wouldn’t it be more sensible if NASA’s budget for discovering life on Mars
was reallocated to securing life on Earth?

Original Entry:
Our world is a few extreme events away from total catastrophe

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Nature and You

Posted by edro on June 15, 2008

A Place in the Cosmos

The time has come for humanity, you, to consider a fundamental issue about your place within the cosmos. Can you answer the following questions?

  • How important is your role to the cosmos?
  • Do you have a role to play?
  • Can nature do without you?
  • How do you make your role indispensable?

Violent death of an old sun-like star!


Dusty Eye of the Helix Nebula [NGC 7293] Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Su (Univ. of Ariz.)

An infrared image of the Helix nebula, a cosmic starlet known for its vivid colors and eerie resemblance to a giant eye. The nebula, located about 700 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, belongs to a class of objects called planetary nebulae—the carcasses of deceased sun-like stars.

When sun-like stars die, they blow out their outer gaseous layers. The layers are heated by the hot core of the dead star, called a white dwarf, and shine with infrared and visible colors. (Source: Spitzer Space Telescope )

NEW Stars Are Born!


N90 is one of the star-forming regions in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The rich populations of infant stars found here are formed in an environment that is very different from the Milky Way Galaxy. Image taken buy the Hubble Space Telescope. (ESA/NASA)

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California ‘Mojavefied’ by 2011?

Posted by edro on June 13, 2008

Water Emergency in Calif

As most of the croplands in the Central U.S. is submerged under floodwater, the heart of California’s farming area is feeling the heat. Gov. Schwarzenegger who proclaimed last week a drought in California, declared yesterday a state of emergency in nine counties in Central Valley.


Coyote Dry Lake, Mojave Desert. Image: AnimAlu via Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

Coyote Dry Lake is a dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert located about 24 km northeast of Barstow, and north of Interstate 15 in southern California. The lake measures about 10 km long and about 6 km wide at its widest section.

Main Entry:

Schwarzenegger Proclaims Water Emergency in Nine Counties

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edro

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