Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Water depletion (42)

Human impact has pushed Earth into the Anthropocene

The Guardian / Adam Vaughan / 07 January 2016

3500There is now compelling evidence to show that humanity’s impact on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife has pushed the world into a new geological epoch, according to a group of scientists.

The question of whether humans’ combined environmental impact has tipped the planet into an “Anthropocene” – ending the current Holocene which began around 12,000 years ago – will be put to the geological body that formally approves such time divisions later this year.

The new study provides one of the strongest cases yet that from the amount of concrete mankind uses in building to the amount of plastic rubbish dumped in the oceans, Earth has entered a new geological epoch.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Power generation could take a big hit from climate change

CBC News / 04 January 2016

russia-societyClimate change could lead to significant declines in electricity production in coming decades as water resources are disrupted, said a study published on Monday.

Hydropower stations and thermoelectric plants, which depend on water to generate energy, together contribute about 98 per cent of the world’s electricity production, said the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Shifts in water temperatures, or the availability of fresh water due to climate change, could lead to reductions in electricity production capacity in more than two thirds of the world’s power plants between 2040 and 2069, said the study from an Austrian research centre.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

The impending ecosystem collapse

Counterpunch / Robert Hunziker / 14 July 2015

Signals of planetary stress are literally off the charts, meanwhile the world continues spinning like always, as people go to work, drive cars, go out to dinner, and watch TV, some read books but not much these days.

Those routines of going to work, out to dinner, and so forth maintain an equilibrium, a daily pattern on the same freeways, the same faces, the same workplaces. By itself, life seems very normal, nothing much to worry about other than making monthly car payments.

Similarly, the natural world experiences its own rhythm, like the everyday cycle of people going to work, on the freeway, to dinner, watching TV. But, radically dissimilar to that everyday cycle that seems so dependable, so routine, the natural world is amiss, chaotic, crumbling apart, bursting at the seams. However, this deep trouble is not noticed, not recognized, not reported in accordance with severe levels of impending calamity. After all, as long as Wall Street goes up, all is well, isn’t it? Yet, all is not well, not by a long shot.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

In denial: We pursue endless growth at our peril

Peak Prosperity / Chris Martenson / 29 May 2015

head-sandSadly, it’s on the natural fronts that human denial seems to be at its most extreme. Hollywood visions and SciFi fantasies aside (where humans live in sealed capsules and subsist entirely on man-made foods), humans are 100% utterly dependent on the natural world for their survival. Food, water, oxygen, and predictable temperatures and rainfall patterns provide the basics of life.

To focus on just one part, which I also detail in The Crash Course book, humans are rapidly degrading our soils upon which everything depends.

Not only are we obviously losing topsoil to erosion and generally turning soil into lifeless dirt by stripping out its biological diversity, we are mining these soils for their micro and macro nutrients yet have no coordinated plan for replacing them.

Obviously if you take minerals like calcium and magnesium out of the soils in the form of harvested grains and vegetables, they’ll need to be replaced. Right now they are mainly flushed out to sea, never to be economically recovered.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

New approach to protecting groundwater needed

Globe and Mail / David Mclaughlin, Ralph Pentland, Adèle Hurley / 28 May 2015

waterGroundwater is Canada’s hidden natural resource. Rich with freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams, we take for granted that this same abundance lies beneath us. Yet, Canada’s true knowledge of the state of its groundwater remains spotty and deceptive.

This is not an inconsequential knowledge gap. Nearly 30 per cent of Canadians – about 10 million – rely on groundwater for their drinking water. More than 80 per cent of rural Canadians rely on it for all their water needs.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

California forced into water rationing

Bloomberg Business / Tom Randall / 01 April 2015

CA drought x4California’s governor has taken the unprecedented step of ordering mandatory water restrictions as the state’s epic drought enters a fourth year.

The restrictions are severe—a 25 percent reduction in water use and a ban on new homes unless they feature water-efficient irrigation, among others. However, it should come as little surprise to anyone who has watched this drought unfold. Here are four charts that offer a glimpse at California’s predicament, which by some measures has been the worst drought in at least 1200 years.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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