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November 18, 2019


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And their leaders "talked and talked and talked.They could not stem the avalanche." So said Mad Max aka Road Warrior.So said Jon Talton aka Rogue Warrior.

I still occasionally read this blog. So this comment isn’t out the blue.

How would a 19 year old have voted in the 2016 election? How? This criticism is right for all the wrong reasons. Rogue is one of the best analysts to come out of AZ but he constantly demeans the people he left behind - the kids (especially those of color) without credentials to find a job in a growth economy. Those are probably the folks who will suffer most if your Malthusian fantasies come to fruition. A little kindness, please, if you plan to target the least powerful people in the room. It makes your pen seem petty.

Good points smart assassin but me thinks you miss the point. Jon and Greta share the same emotion. ANGER.
Jon targeted the power mongers for years. And they tried to get him fired on a daily basis.

"Malthusian fantasy". I think Thomas was onto something but then he has been dead for hundereds of years and not liked by those that prefer "Manifest Destiny."

And you have those that believe the bigger the family the bigger next world heaven and a god position you are rewarded. Why care about consumption in this life?

Every day ADOT plans to pour more concrete and asphalt in the Great Sonoran Desert. What's left of it!


Native Americans were caretakers of this land for 15,000 to 25,000 years.

European settlers trashed it in 500 years.

After the Rodeo-Chediski fire, the Apache tribes "right-sized and recreated a healthy forest" on their land within five years.

The European settlers are still trying to decide what step ONE should be on fixing the problem.

There's a lesson in there somewhere.

Rogue, welcome to the grumpy old retired men's club. Your essay earned you a spot at the front of the class.

Arizona's day of reckoning is probably closer than most of its citizens know. It could be five years or twenty, but it is coming. When it does, the denialists will blame the economic and population implosion on "regulations".

The human predicament is inescapable even for those marginally more self-aware than boosters and and their business roundtables. We all want "more", whether you're a beggar or a billionaire. Arizona had a lot of great things to give away and once they were gone, even the dreary leftovers became magnets for sprawl.

This is the world's story, too. The holocene has forever collapsed and the anthropocene is replacing that human-favorable climate with something like hell for most of its creatures and plant life. We had fun while it lasted and mass extinctions may be seen as a small price to pay for those many pleasures.

Arizona's fate is sealed not because it lived recklessly but because humanity still lives as if enough is never enough. A thousand years ago, we were still hunter-gatherers or peasants tilling fields. In the last 300 years we have advanced our security and comfort to a place that ancient kings would envy. And in so doing, we disconnected from the world that sustains us. Our hubris is writing our collective epitaph.

Welcome back Soleri! You have been missed.

Ruben - It just proves that they needed more border walls.
It appears that our inevitable demise due to worsening climate is coming sooner that we would like.

It's wonderful so see Soleri again. I know our readers will be pleased.

Ruben, it's ahistorical and insulting to portray American Indians as "noble savages" or victims. The 500-plus tribal nations in what today is the United States had many diverse experiences before and after 1492.

Many of them fought each other, expanded or contracted their lands, built empires (read Pekka Hamalainen's illuminating book, "The Comanche Empire"), practiced slavery, and engaged in trading and a market economy. They traded with whites and leveraged horses and firearms. The Hohokam, who built the most advanced irrigation society in the pre-Columbian New World, experienced population overshoot and faced the consequences of a changing climate.

The difference between them and the white tribe is that the latter had superior numbers and technology.

I have read such and more.
There were Comanches before 1400 and after. They "became more war like" after the Europeans brought horses. And they didn't have firearms but they did war. Savage and noble are not apt descriptions. Hunter/Gathers I like.
And I think reasonable anger is OK.
Less concrete more trees.

Although I prefer Roadless Wilderness.
In 1960 sixty five percent of roads were unpaved.
So I find this interesting.
"Dirt Road America"

PS, Jon I think Ruben, whose ancestors were scalped by white men, was trying his best to pay you a complement!


The only time we were ever scalped was at car dealerships.

On a positive note, it is raining and cold. "So, thank goodness the drought is over and global warming has come to an end." - AZ Chamber of Commerce

Not your great grandma?

If climate change is a catastrophe in the making then the only solution will be in more advanced technology brought forth by well educated STEM students. Already the costs of renewables are plummeting. Self-driving electric cars are around the corner. And polluting energies like coal are becoming too expensive to maintain. The solutions lie in education, not antiquated ideas and technologies.

Bill Gates and Heliogen?

So I just returned from Las Vegas about an hour ago. I checked my weather app after I landed, and there was a pollution warning despite the rain, which should have cleared the air. My Uber driver was having severe allergy/asthma problems from the climate/weatther. She told me she and her family moved to Arizona from California. While I was in Vegas to see a Seinfeld show and do a few other things, I walked around quite a bit- over 15 miles alone one day on the Srip. It was interesting because I saw the cranes were back building a new development near the Wynn/Encore hotels. This new one called Resorts World (being developed by a Malaysian company I have never heard of) is 59 stories high with something like 3,400 rooms and is scheduled to open in December 2020. There are other recently completed hotels/expansions on the Strip, and a new highest building in downtown Vegas scheduled to open in 2020 as well. I also saw the new stadium for the Raiders under construction. Looked very impressive and large. And Las Vegas has even more water issues than anywhere in Arizona. Vegas is a heavily Democrat town (I'm a long time Democrat) and the state is controlled by Democrats, unlike Arizona. And yet the sprawl continues to grow, just like Phoenix. When I see this, I realize, as Jon has adeptly pointed out, that climate/water concerns are all talk and no action. We will only get action when literally no water comes out of the taps and the temperature is so high that you cannot go outside. I have sold all my property in Arizona, and I'm able to leave if and when I want. I hope I don't have to, but I'm not optimistic.

It is historically inaccurate to call whites a “tribe.” Anglo settlers were comprised of nearly as many peoples as there are First Nations. However, unlike indigenous people, Anglos consolidated their identity within a “white” racial identity and sought to eliminate ALL indigenous nations—who they racially codified as “Indians.” This philosophical innovation is what makes the comparison of indigenous brutality and settler brutality a false equivalency. The whites fought a “race” war while indigenous nations fought “tribal” conflicts. The first concrete evidence that indigenous nations (at least in Anglo North America) internalized race as a pan-tribal configuration isn’t even until Tucumseh’s War in the 19th century. This violence is not equivalent. It would be like if indigenous nations played white ethnics off each other (or maybe different cities in Maricopa County) but because only as Indians and not Pima, Maricopa, T.O., etc. I am surprised by how often this false equivalency is repeated. Maybe white majoritarianism at its worst?

Well said!

White and the
"Real Estate State."
"The Plight of the Urban Planner"
"A 21st Century Homestead Act?"


"The faucet in the kitchen becomes the reality we believe."
Charles Bowden in "Killing the Hidden Waters" (fifth printing.)

Reclaiming the Reservation

By "superior numbers and technology"
the white guys won as they "relied solely on the interpretations of non-Indians."

In the 1970s the Quinault and Suquamish, like dozens of Indigenous nations across the United States, asserted their sovereignty by applying their laws to everyone on their reservations. This included arresting non-Indians for minor offenses, and two of those arrests triggered federal litigation that had big implications for Indian tribes’ place in the American political system. Tribal governments had long sought to manage affairs in their territories, and their bid for all-inclusive reservation jurisdiction was an important, bold move, driven by deeply rooted local histories as well as pan-Indian activism. They believed federal law supported their case.

In a 1978 decision that reverberated across Indian country and beyond, the Supreme Court struck a blow to their efforts by ruling in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe that non-Indians were not subject to tribal prosecution for criminal offenses. The court cited two centuries of US legal history to justify their decision but relied solely on the interpretations of non-Indians.

In Reclaiming the Reservation, Alexandra Harmon delves into Quinault, Suquamish, and pan-tribal histories to illuminate the roots of Indians’ claim of regulatory power in their reserved homelands. She considers the promises and perils of relying on the US legal system to address the damage caused by colonial dispossession. She also shows how tribes have responded since 1978, seeking and often finding new ways to protect their interests and assert their sovereignty.


Best news.... soleri is back!

As much as I believe in acting optimistically even when you are fundamentally pessimistic, I think the Southwest is largely irretrievable at this point. The informal, anecdotal evidence I've assembled suggests that we won't do anything about climate change until the thirteenth hour, or maybe the fourteenth or the twentieth.

Auto Ban

The noose tightens on AZ water. Pinal and Coconino counties are willing to throw as much cash as possible to buy up ranches, farms, and mines that have the the first tap into all water. I doubt the legislature will save them. They are more than willing to sacrifice rural AZ (and Tucson) to save developers’ profits even in Cochise Co.

Since there is a bit of colonial history being debated, I will just chime in with this interesting interview on a slice of that topic:


A species that uses vaping to kick its cigarette habit and ends up using cigarettes to try to kick its vaping habit, is not capable of solving a complex challenge such as global warming.

The only reason the species won't go extinct is because it does one thing really, really well, it cranks out babies under any and all circumstances.

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