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June 21, 2021


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Good pivot off 18 March 1911.
Great photos.
Will Technology save us?
Alluvial Soil: All dams eventually fill up with silt.
Big flood destruction? Once upon a time.
Probably few in the future. No monsoon moisture!
Meanwhile commercial and residential construction marches on, as greed is sure to eventually cause heat stroke

"The 1890 flood was followed a year later by a monster that breached its banks by miles, nearly reaching the Phoenix townsite and inundating miles of crops..."

Often wondered how far over the banks the water used to get before the dams.

Great pictures indeed.

The Backup: CAP
As the fight for Colorado water use continues, Arizona power is used to lift up the declining Colorado water 3000 feet to get it to Tucson Az. A desert city that otherwise is entirley dependent on pumping finite ground water. And there have been issues wirh making CAP a useable consumer product

My mom lives in a 60-year-old house on the west side, within walking distance of the Tres Rios Wetlands. It is a beautiful place that helps me envision how the Salt and Gila Rivers might have looked 150 years ago.

When I was growing up in Maryvale, I remember my parents excitedly telling us about the Rio Salado project that would have made the Salt River into a series of parks connecting the metropolitan area. Tempe Town Lake and the south-central Phoenix project you've described, as well as Tres Rios, are elements of the Rio Salado dream that have become reality.

Another project that my parents were excited about in the late 1980s was ValTrans, which would have replaced the valley's busiest bus routes with elevated commuter trains. Of course, it was rejected by voters.

Both of these visionary projects did not initially gain the favor of the public, yet over time, significant elements of them have been brought to fruition, such as the river projects mentioned above and Valley Metro Rail, which voters approved not much more than a decade after rejecting ValTrans.

In 2000, Arizona voters rejected Proposition 202, which had the goal of limiting urban sprawl and wildcat development, somewhat like the urban growth boundaries in Oregon. It, too, was rejected by voters.

After seeing what 21 more years of sprawl development has wrought on Arizona, I wonder if people might now approve an initiative similar to Prop. 202.

Disappearing rivers, extreme drought, massive wildfires destroying our mountain habitats and threatening neighboring cities and towns, record-shattering heat--they all seem to have at their roots uncontrolled human population growth in a fragile, arid environment. History shows that people often reject an idea, then wise up and approve it later. Here's hoping there's more of that, sooner rather than later, in Arizona. We don't have time to keep doing "business as usual."

I have never been an optimist.
I find it too prone to dissapointment and failure. As a pessimist i am never upset by being pessimisticly wrong.
Change may occur when the heat and lack of food and water start killing folks in noticible numbers. Now as i drive the inner streets of Phoenix i see increasing numbers of homeless folks staggering down bubbling asphalt streets and foot burning concrete in the tortuous desert heat. I've been here since 1950 and i see more and more people struggling to survive.
But I am reasonably sure the people in control of Arizona will pay little attention to the dying until they die while banging on the polticians house doors.

"Nature bats last" to quote an !EarthFirst! mantra. When I was in DC I ran into a BuRec employee who had recently relocated from PHX. He was here, I would guess it was sometime in the 80's, when a massive event on the Salt threatened to overtop Roosevelt Dam.

He said they were dumping as much water as possible through the spillways, but it was such a massive volume--with no doubt a good load of silt for abrasive--that it scoured a hole nearly 50 feet deep into bedrock at the base of the dam. That brought into play the scenario of the dam being undermined at its base and a catastrophic failure of the first domino to take out all the Salt dams. He was still traumatized talking about it some years later.

In this overheated, extreme climate, can the next major event exceed any previous expectations?

For all my optimistic friends
and their technology solutions?
I remain their
"hopeful pessimist."
and "Think Small"
as instructed by Wendell Berry
From my 320 square feet on wheels in the Great Sonoran Desert. What's left of it!

That's a lot of bad news in the Phoenix/Arizona pages.

 "The vast ocean, the arid desert, the brutal mountains—for Camus, to live in such immutable surroundings was to be confronted with the simple fact that human affairs are desperately precarious. This was an important lesson. It taught him what he would later call la mesure, or “measure”: a Mediterranean value of humility and limits illuminated by the blinding light of the sun. Writing in his notebook in 1942, he observed: “Calypso offers Ulysses a choice between immortality and the land of his birth. He rejects immortality. Therein lies perhaps the whole meaning of the Odyssey.” In Camus’ reading, Homer teaches us to embrace a life of limits, a life in which we are not yearning for either immortality or the afterlife. Our love for this earth is necessarily brief, and death is the price of admission, the final limit. Camus could not believe in God because to do so, as he put it in “Summer in Algiers,” is to “sin against life” by hoping for another, thus “evading the implacable grandeur of the one we have.”


"From my 320 square feet on wheels in the Great Sonoran Desert. What's left of it!"

Yes, Cal.

What's left of it.

To improve grazing in the Upland Sonoran Desert, exotic grasses were introduced, which when dry carried flame to plants which had never seen fire, including the iconic saguaro.

Farewell, Sonoran desert.

Very interesting, Jon. I knew some of that but not all of it. Thanks.

Thanks Joe.
At 80 plus i tend to repeat chit.
Man is of NO benefit to the planet earth.
Humans: Another of the gods big mistakes.

Joe, 97 percent of the planet has been impacted due to human human activity. Currently there are 7.7 billion humans gobbling up finite resources. Which begs the question, WTF!
Meanwhile some of our idiot humans are concerned about coconut paper ballots. But then they believe in a heavenly forever hearafter where they be able to hook up with Warren Jeffs and brothers. So its ok to cause havoc on temporary earth.
Me? I am close to joining Ed Abbey and Chuck Bowden as dust on the wind in the Great Sonoran Desert. What's left of it.
For more information ASK THE DUST!

Cal, years ago an engineer friend of mine put forth the idea that on the Sixth Day, God was too busy with other projects to design and create humans.

So he outsourced the job to the lowest bidder.

Good guy to have as a friend.
Made coffee at Starbucks a good conversation.
God as a capitalist?

Joe, i wonder what Karl and Vladimir would say?
I dont like the word atheist. Sounds too much like more religion. Whem i went in the Air Force they forced me to put
"No Preference" on my dog tags since i refused to pick an organized religion.
Consequently i wear a symbol on my neck chain that indicates no religious slobbering over my dead body.
When the wind blows that's where i goes.

I see comments on here suggesting Christians thinking the afterlife excludes them from thinking about here and now. So far from the truth and deflecting responsibility while not addressing the situation.

While it is true the continuous growth in the valley has taxed our resources to the limit, who has the right to decide who cam move here and who can't? I'm talking about U.S. citizens. We do have the right to protect our borders and talking about it is useless. Our politicians need to make it a priority or we need to replace them, NOW.

A factor we can't control is science. People live longer and world population will continue to increase. There is not a generation that doesn't blame the next generation and past politicians for the troubles we have now. You can't stop technology or growth. We hope, pray and vote for the best solutions.

Remember. We inherited this world from our ancestors but we need to make it a better place for our children

I am a Chritian and do believe in the afterlife but God wouldn't tolerate a true Christian to defile His world. A true Christian wants the best for others by living by God's ways. Even a non-Christian shouldn't have any criticism of the values God wants us to live by. Morals, ethics, standing by your word, hard working, fair and knowing what is right wrong is what everyone should practice.

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