Two friends in recent days have kindly asked about my [John Fleck] well-being, noting that I haven’t posted anything on the blog since July 5. I’m fine, busy focused on the book Eric Kuhn and I are writing about the history of our hydrologic understanding of the Colorado River, and the interplay between science, politics, and policy.
From Water | Food | Environment — The Blog of David Guy:
“In a brilliant new display on the intersection between the natural and human landscape, Butte County photographer Geoff Fricker explores the essence of the Sacramento Valley and reveals why the region is a California treasure that is unparalleled anywhere in the world.”
From the Redding Record Searchlight, in a commentary by Bill Keep:
“When Carey McWilliams published ‘California: The Great Exception’ through the University of California Press in 1949, we were in the midst of a four-year drought. In 1948 rain came in March — too little, too late. Losses totaled about $100 million, and only the agricultural giants were likely to survive.”
From the Los Angeles Times, in The Reading Life column by David L. Ulin:
“We are due for a storm, of course — two of them, one this evening and another beginning tomorrow night — and we all know how badly California needs the water, in the era of the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge. …
“Rain is the best thing about Southern California in winter; about anywhere it falls, really, but especially here.”
“What do the controversy over fracking, desalination costs, and the growing Syrian civil war have in common? Water. Global freshwater supply affects a broad range of issues, including public health, food crises, and environmental catastrophes.
The just-released eighth edition of The World’s Water series, edited by Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute and the world’s foremost expert on freshwater, shows how water touches everything.
“The most difficult thing about a water crisis, says Robert Glennon in ‘Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What to Do About It’ (445 pages, Island Press, 2009) is convincing folks there’s a crisis.”
“Gregory Zuckerman’s book ‘The Frackers’ tells the unexpected story of how a once-obscure method of producing oil and natural gas from shale rock led to a huge American energy boom – and to a bitter debate over whether that’s a great thing or an environmental disaster.”
“The history of oil and natural gas extraction has largely been the story of men with long straws, as Daniel Day-Lewis memorably demonstrated in ‘There Will Be Blood,’ trying to drink one another’s milkshakes.
“Gregory Zuckerman, in his new book ‘The Frackers,’ plants a less cozy image in your mind.
From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, in a commentary by Eric Pooley:
“The people who are paid to spread doubt and confusion about our changing climate have been working overtime this week, because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body that includes thousands of the world’s best climate scientists, has just issued its latest assessment. …
“[Bob] Madgic isn’t a new writer. I own ‘Pursuing Wild Trout,’ in which he tells some great tales about his family’s own adventures in the rugged and remote North Fork Mokelumne River drainage, and elsewhere.
“Then there’s ‘Shattered Air,’ a much different kind of book, which recreates in stunning and disturbing detail the 1985 tragedy on top of Half Dome in which two hikers were killed by lightning and three more injured.