Claim: Phoenix Water Shortage will Lead to Middle East style Resource Conflict

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona. By DPPed (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Clean Technica’s Steve Hanley claims that looming water shortages in Phoenix, Arizona and large scale internal US migrations will lead to Middle East style resource conflicts. But we’ll all be OK if Phoenix embraces renewables, and if we all re-read the “3 little pigs”.

Climate Change May Make Phoenix Uninhabitable By 2050

September 29th, 2017 by Steve Hanley

Phoenix, Arizona, is America’s fifth largest city. As you fly in to Sky Harbor airport, the city stretches from horizon to horizon beneath you. It’s hot in Phoenix. Always has been. The people who live there laugh about it, calling it a “dry heat” because there is so little humidity in the air. Be that as it may, living in Phoenix without air conditioning is almost unthinkable.

Phoenix requires two things not found naturally in the area — electricity and water. Without both, the Phoenix of today would never have happened. Despite its abundant sunshine, Arizona has depended for decades on electricity generated by burning coal. Utilities companies in Arizona have been slow to transition to renewables, although lower prices are driving them to look in that direction.

Heat is not the only factor making the Phoenix area less hospitable to humans. Hondula says that lack of water could be more of a problem than rising temperatures. “As much as 20 percent of the river could dry up by 2050,” he says. The majority of the drinking water for the area comes from the Colorado River — the same source that much of southern California depends on.

It’s the long term water shortages that [Ray] Quay is concerned most about. In the 1960s when growth in the Phoenix area was exploding, the federal government had plenty of money to spend on infrastructure. “The issues that we’re going to be facing with climate change and drought, well, we’re in an era when we don’t have a lot of money anymore,” Quay says. In other words, Washington may not be there to help when the water crunch hits the Southwest.

Many experts think that most human conflict is attributable to competition for scarce natural resources — food and water. A drought in the Middle East is seen as one factor contributing to the intractable war in Syria. Hungry and thirsty people tend to go on the move in search of food and water. Climate change may be partially responsible for the refugee crisis overwhelming Europe and causing a spike in nationalism there.

Americans who might like to think such problems can’t happen in their country may be surprised when millions of their countrymen begin moving in large numbers away from low lying coastal areas subject to flooding and cities lacking an adequate supply of water. The disruption within American society could also lead to significant conflicts as the competition for scarce housing and jobs pits people against one another.

Phoenix is a cautionary tale for why rational people should begin planning now for the effects of climate change. But will they? If past history is any guide, the prospects for such appropriate decision making are dim and getting fainter by the day. The world could learn a lot from rereading The Three Little Pigs.

Even if Steve Hanley is right about the severity of the problems, which I doubt, renewables are not the solution.

Cheap energy is the safety margin which makes life in difficult environments possible. With cheap energy you can affordably purify and desalinate poor quality water, and properly air-condition homes and businesses. Cheap energy makes affordable manufacturing possible – fertiliser for farmers, inexpensive machines, enough leisure time to properly investigate solutions to problems.

Embracing useless renewables is about as far from cheap energy as you can get. Renewables are the surest path to creating energy poverty and economic hardship.

Having said that, I doubt renewable hardship would lead to actual resource conflicts, at least in countries like the USA. Republics and Democracies have other means to depose idiot politicians who mess up their lives.

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155 thoughts on “Claim: Phoenix Water Shortage will Lead to Middle East style Resource Conflict

  1. Hanley is reusing a factoid that the civil war in Syria is due to some combination of climate change and resource depletion. Fascist governments encouraging vast population growth, and the fragility of ethnic based government by a minority ethnic group never seem to enter into consideration.
    Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?

      • “Many experts think that most human conflict is attributable to competition for scarce natural resources “

        What is scarce is worth money. It is the power and money that people go to war for not the scarcity.

      • I spent almost 40yrs in the Phx metro area. A lot of the population growth came from people fleeing CA. People lived in that area before airconditioning. Solution was thick walls with a lot of thermal mass that kept the home warm in winter and cool in summer. The homes were low to take advantage of the stable temperature of the ground. Modern design solutions have been built to achieve the same result.

      • Please make them stay in CA or they will go elsewhere and vote themselves into the same regulations that made them move in the first place.

      • oeman50, when you said “Please make them stay in CA or they will go elsewhere and vote themselves into the same regulations that made them move in the first place.” you were a bit late. They have already been Californicating neighboring states all the way up to Washington and over to Colorado for years. And, you are correct. They tend to bring with them all of the failed policies that caused them to leave California in the first place.

      • Joe Crawford you are so right. I have a few bumper stickers from the 1970’s that say “Stop Californicating Arizona” in storage. Blue staters have been the biggest population imports to Arizona along with illegal and legal immigration from everywhere. From the southern border to Tucson the traffic signs are bilingual. And they all have brought their left-wing ideologies with them. “When you bring to here from there, here becomes like there.”

    • “Many experts think that most human conflict is attributable to competition for scarce natural resources “ , energy is the most valuable resource, make it to expensive or scarce (same thing) and you will surely have conflict.

      • Yea, Germany and Japan were both seeking access to resources, though not water but energy and raw materials. If you have enough energy then you can do a lot of water recycling. If you can use reverse osmosis to make freshwater out of seawater than you can make potable water out of waste water.

      • Careful johchi… You might check out the efficiency of those devices in the ultra low humidity of the desert states.

      • Joe they’re created for arid regions and it’s why I’ve ordered 3 that say they can provide up to 11 gallons a day. Which is over twice my households requirements without scrimping. Storing water during good wet time’s is key to every prepper.

      • Hope you are right and wish you the best of luck. I just don’t think I have ever seen an air conditioner freeze up in a super-dry climate. But, I will have to check ’em out. I very curious about their efficiency.

    • “Climate change may be partially responsible for the refugee crisis overwhelming Europe and causing a spike in nationalism there.”

      Actually, it’s more like ISIS and the Islamic sect ruling Syria hate each other. It has nothing to do with climate or resources, it’s pure hatred.

      And the young men invading Europe were ordered there by the Mullahs, a conscious goal of flooding Europe with arrogant, demanding, unruly Muslim males who have no respect for anyone not exactly the same as them. They plan to disrupt whole nations and conquer them from within. These countries need to realize that they are suffering an unarmed invasion that also is happy with violence. In which case, the invaders should be summarily and forcefully deported back to their countries of origin under threat of death if they return.

  2. “…Americans who might like to think such problems can’t happen in their country may be surprised when millions of their countrymen begin moving in large numbers away from low lying coastal areas subject to flooding and cities lacking an adequate supply of water. The disruption within American society could also lead to significant conflicts as the competition for scarce housing and jobs pits people against one another…”

    How insane is this guy? Give me a year for these “significant conflicts” leading to war and mass emigration.

    • Lets see – how many people evacuated in Texas and Florida in advance of recent hurricanes…?

      Every reason to expect more of same intensity in future

      • A reasonable first approximation, in the absence of any deeper understanding, is to estimate that tomorrow will be similar to today.

        You seem to be getting a lot more reasonable in your claims, Griff. Well done.

      • One could pretend that a weather event is climate change. Then, conflate temporary evacuation with mass emigration and use those falsehoods to support your talking point.
        Maybe no one will notice your deception.

        Use half- truths and logical fallacies too many times and people understand that your mistakes weren’t made through ignorance, but were intended as lies, as purposeful deceit.
        People will know you for what you are.

      • Griff..you might as well say how many people went on vacation…leaving and coming back is not the same evacuation

      • Actually there’s no reason to expect hurricanes to do anything other than what they’ve been doing for millions of years.

      • Let’s see, probably more than fled the hurricane that completely wiped out Miami Beach and flooded neighboring cities in 1926.
        But that’s because there were fewer people in Florida in 1926.
        Why did Miami Beach get wiped out in a major hurricane in it’s first decade of existence? Could it be that the streets were laid out below King Tide?
        Yes, there were more of the same intensity in the past and we should expect more in the future.

        Now what has any of this to do with CO2 or SLR?

        BTW, if you live in a low lying area in the CA coast, you certainly don’t have to travel to Phoenix to avoid flooding.

      • Griff – The calculated Accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) can be used to compare years. 2017 has been very active in the Atlantic, and such years often come in pairs (see 1995/1996, 1998/1999, 2004/2005) so I expect 2018 to be really active too, but why did we have such a long pause between 2005 and 2017?. Also, the Western Pacific ACE seems to have taken the year of 2017 off – why is that?

    • Imagine all the mass migrations when the populations of coal towns, oil towns, etc. have to move to find jobs. All because of a move to “green” energy predicated on the fear of a possible 12 inch rise in sea levels over the next 100 years. These will be the climate alarmism refugees.

  3. Of course drought would be a problem for Phoenix. Tell me again how renewable energy would solve that problem. Another … insert man made climate change here …. article getting press and supposed credibility.

    • Because climate change only affects regions with climate unfriendly policies. Obama had no Cat3’s. The moment Trump666 withdraws from Paris, one after the other. CA gets plenty of water from the Colorado River. AZ is in drought. It used to look like the lush jungles of Java before it built coal fired power stations of course.

      • “It used to look like the lush jungles of Java…” Arizona? Really?? Wow. Didn’t know we built a coal-fired plant here around 93 -100my ago. Somebody better do something about that!

  4. Of course, Mid-East style conflicts (whose roots go back centuries) have nothing to do with the predominant religio-politico system of that area. Riiiight.

    • True. Far to many peoples in that area have hated each other for so long they forgot why a thousand years before Abraham came to Canaan.

      • Friend a few years ago brought by an old book of colorized images of the 1800’s Middle East. Ah, some Arabs with flintlock long guns guarding a well. Another picture of some Arabs with flintlocks and machetes guarding a spring. Another of more…well you get the picture. All the Arabs were around their water sources with guns and knives. Dozens of pictures showing each tribe, around their well. So the Middle East had a water problem that was serious 150 years ago with 10% of the current population.

      • Anyone that knows a thing about military strategy and tactics, understands that both revolve around water supplies in desert warfare. He who can control the water sources wins. Remember the movie Sahara?

      • Would it be churlish of me to point out that Israel has used high technology systems to solve the inherent water problems of the Eastern Mediterranean. They have reached an agreement with the Kingdom of Jordan and the PA to build a canal from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Dead Sea. It would use the 1200 foot drop to generate electricity that would run a desalinization plant. It is possible to use technology to solve resource problems by creating more resources.

        The first post above quotes an article that is based on Malthusian thinking, as is all of “environmentalism”. The problem with this thinking is fundamental. It is wrong. Resources are not existent outside of human effort and ingenuity, which is the ultimate resource. The claim that resource conflicts cause wars is not just wrong. It is pernicious.

      • Walter,
        It’s a shame the dead sea isn’t just a tad further below sea lovel. It only takes 800 to 1,000 psi (around 1,821ft to 2,276ft) to drive desalination by reverse osmosis. Then they would require practically no other energy input. Just the pressure from the drop would push it through the membranes leaving the salt in a brine solution on the uphill side. Guess they could then just partition the dead sea into two areas, one for the fresh water and another for the brine.

  5. If Phoenix gets their water from the Colorado river, how much water they get is mostly determined by how much precipitation falls in the mountains of the state of Colorado (as well as the groundwater they pump).
    We need more dams and water control infrastructure, but the greens are pushing for the elimination of current dams instead of increasing it.

    • You cannot put more dams on the Colorado. Each dam makes the water more saline from evaporation. By the time it gets to Yuma, they have to desalinate it else it kills all the Mexican crops when they get the water. Desalination is very costly. In addition, since the river drainage is dirt, not forest, the reservoirs quickly silt up. So they don’t have an infinite life expectancy.

      • Exactly

        and is precipitation increasing or decreasing in the mountains of Colorado and California?
        (extreme weather events aside)

      • Being a born and raised Arizonian of 57 year’s that grew up and lived here for 55 of those year’s in the “Valley of the Sun” We get the majority of our water from the Ground Wells in this vast ancient ocean bed. The Salt River, Verde River and Gila Rivers feed into this valley from the North and East as far as New Mexico and Northern Arizona. West of the valley the Havasupai River comes in from above Prescott that has other mountain ranges feeding into it. Most of the problems in this valley is it’s population growth that sprawls out over what was rich Farm Lands in up into the 1980’s that is now some 70% gone and is covered with concrete and asphalt that has destroyed the Aquafires and the thousands of man made lakes that are lined before being filled is adding to the problems. Sweetwater Wells are now getting toxic with the seeping of oils from the asphalt and everything else that population growth has brought. The once thriving farming industry is now about dead..except that many have just moved south from the valley and it is limited by what water is left after coming from the valley and what ground wells can provide. People always tend to think giant hydroelectric power is the answer. Yet, multiple smaller ones could be set along all the rivers and canals and provide a lot of the needed electricity…even if it just supplements here and there along their course. We get a lot of sun and many solar electric farms have been and are being built and they’re far away from the valley, requiring long transmission lines to the main grids. Wind here is very sporadic with very little breezes to short lived winds and high winds that create dust storms that usually blow out within hours. But none of that has anything to do with the water supply depleting…it is because of population increase. The way he talks of Phoenix being big is BS. It’s many small towns that grew so big that they now touch and unless there is a sign to tell you of it, you don’t know you crossed into another city.

      • The colorado river watershed is one of the largest in the nation. Yet it is not a very large river compared to the missisippi or colombia rivers. You can build more dams in the area but in many places the streams only flow a few times per year or in some places only once every several years. So yes you could build more dams but you would never be able to fill most of them.

        In 1960 the Colorado river dried up before reaching the ocean. Now it only reaches the ocean when all of the reservoirs are full with heavy rains. A situation that only occurs during the strongest El Nino years.The only solutions to satisfy future demand for water is to reduce the amount of water used by farms, golf courses, and the typical lawn. Desert landscaping with drought tolerant plant or cactus increasing becoming common in the southwest. Beyond that desalinated sea water can be piped in although it would not be Cheep.

      • So you’re saying a more oppressive government is needed to control the population in more aspects of their lives to solve these problems? That make about as much sense as population control does. Or not planting flora not native to an area does. Population is our problem here and planting flora has decreased the CO2 the population explosion would have been adding if not for it. Either way a change has to address water sources and uses.

    • The first little pig power his house with solar;
      The second little pig with wind;
      The third little pig with nuclear fission.

    • Whose version of the story? The original where each of the less diligent pigs get eaten due to his lack of effort? or; the Disney version where each failure merely runs off to mooch off the more diligent pig?

  6. looming water shortages in Phoenix, Arizona and large scale internal US migrations will lead to Middle East style resource conflicts

    It seems to me that if you expect Middle East style conflicts in Phoenix, first you need lots of Muslim jihadists from the Middle East. Perhaps that was the thinking behind the previous administrations effort to import as many muslims from Mideast terrorist hot spots as possible.

    • Its not unreasonable to suppose that the culture, ethics and traditions of Islam are an emergent property of having to live in a deteriorating climate (largely cause by man made deforestation and overgrazing).

      Ruthless tribal loyalties and protection of property, and a chauvinistic warrior ethos, plus slavery, is a perfect response to a culture habituated to live well beyond its natural resources.

  7. “desalinate poor quality water”

    Umm. Is salty water a really big problem in Az?

    No. It’s water, period.

    Maybe you can use your coal to remove water from the already dry air…

    • No – it makes sense. San Diego has a desalination plant. And because of it San Diego county water disteicts have less dependency on the Colorado river. If CA needs less, there is more.for phoenix. Phoenix could also stretch supplies with toilet to tap.
      They also lined water.canals to prevent seepage into the ground. Because of all this San Diego county was the only with adequate water supplies in the last CA drought. State made us conserve anyway and Los Angeles refused to stop delivering unneeded water so they filled a new reservoir 5 years early.

      Anyway – it is a regional thing and with good planning elsewhere Phoenix could have more water. Phoenix should build more desalination plants for CA.

    • Umm. Is salty water a really big problem in Az?

      Yes. It’s not fresh water that’s close to drinking quality as in the Great Lakes region. I live in Phoenix, and the water here is horrible. There’s an immense amount of dissolved salts because of the region’s geography. You have to water deeply when you irrigate or else you end up with a shallow layer of rock-hard salt-infiltrated soil known as caliche.

  8. “Phoenix requires two things not found naturally in the area — electricity and water.” The Salt River flows year long naturally through Phoenix, always did. What city has naturally occurring electricity, except for lightning?

    • “The Salt River flows year long naturally through Phoenix, always did.” Most of the time, the Salt river flows into the city, but it never makes it out. In the 2 years I lived there, 2014-2016, I never saw any significant amount of water in the Salt River Bed west of Tempe. It all disappeared into a network of canals that led to the valleys water processing plants.

      http://www.panoramio.com/photo/23521846

      • The typical ideology of a “river” is water flowing most of the year, but that doesn’t mean the water has to be seen above the ground. Most of our river’s flow most of the year under the gravel, sand and rock’s that sit upon the bedrock where the water flows through it. The “washes” that feed the river’s are definded as having water flowing only part of the year during rain and snow melt and can dry down to bedrock where it doesn’t flow. The Salt River flows into the Gila River that joins the lower Colorado River in Yuma.

  9. Several thoughts.
    – California wants more of the Colorado River water allocation, irregardless of the almost century old interstate water compact that overallocates the river.

    – Lake Mead water level is a political symbol easily manipulated by Lake Powell retention and releases and same for the reservoirs further up the water shed.

    – Phoenix is a mostly conservative bastion that dominates the state assembly, much to Tucson and Flagstaff Democrats displeasure.

    – Phoenix gets a large amount of power from nuclear, the Palo Verde nuclear generating station. Reliable, clean, no CO2 generation.

    -The cheap power that the very large Navajo Coal-powered generating plant generates makes a mockery of solar economics. Obama tried desparately to kill it.

    -Solar won’t run all those AC units at night that Phoenix needs at night. The same issue is with Las Vegas and its brightly lit mega-casinos, So. California’s inland empire,

    • the political bit…reminds me of “the water knife” a book i read last yr re the control and manipulation of water supplies and phoenix was in it..
      i reckon the folks releasing this read the book first;-)

  10. Not sure where electricity is found naturally, I am sure Phoenix is not the exception. Phoenix water usage is not mostly from CAP (Colorado river). It comes from two river systems with 6 dams unrelated to the Colorado river.

    http://data.hydrometdataservice.info/dwr/default.aspx

    AZ gets a large % of the Colorado river allocation, but uses much of it to replenish ground water reservoirs.

    Many landowners receive water very cheaply through irrigation water rights associated with their property. Water is something like 15 dollars an acre foot. I do not irrigate my property because of the pool, but I have water rights to my property because the land use to be an orange grove (I have 5 trees which produce 35 gallons of OJ each year). Most people irrigate around once every 3 weeks. You will see water up to a foot in many yards on irrigation day in the neighborhood, with some water going into the street down to the sewers.

  11. I took a hydrogeology course in Arizona in1976. We were taught that Phoenix had a looming water crisis and certainly couldn’t support more growth. Since then the city has more than doubled.
    Statewide, 70% of the water is used for agriculture, and they still grow cotton in the Phoenix area. Domestic uses will gradually outbid agricultural uses, and the area will keep growing without any catastrophes..

    • “and they still grow cotton in the Phoenix area. ” A protected crop sucking up tax dollars.

  12. Roosevelt dam on the Salt river is the largest dam providing watershed water to the Phoenix metro area. They raised it 75 feet to add a lot of flood control storage and regular storage.

    “In 1996 a $430 million modification project was completed that raised the height of the dam to 357 feet and expanded the lake’s storage capacity by 20 percent — enough for 1 million more people. This 77-foot increase offers six Valley cities 304,729 new acre-feet of water storage to the dam and, for the first time, provides SRP with substantial amounts of flood control and Safety of Dams storage space. The dam has hydrogeneration capacity of 36,000 kW. ”

    I do not think it has filled to capacity, maybe once since being upgraded. That will occur when we get a very wet year which happens every decade or two.

    California take notice.

  13. Last time I went through Page, Arizona, there was a recently refurbished coal-fired power station, not only keeping the lights and ACs on in Arizona, but also supplying ‘tainted’ energy across the border into California.

  14. A rich society will innovate and cheap electricity is one of the best ways of moving forward.

    As a first step, waterless urinals can be installed.
    This seems to be a big water saver.
    Such are in the restrooms at Sunrise, Mt. Rainier National Park, and many other places.

    I think those at Sunrise are from this company —

    http://falconwaterfree.com/products/

    Here is more information with all the sustainabilty and environmentally friendly stuff thrown in for your reading pleasure.

    http://www.appropedia.org/Waterless_urinal

    • Having lived a few years in Seattle, a waterless urinal near Mt. Rainier seems like the modern equivalent insanity of “Taking Coals to Newcastle”.

      • The same sort of stupidity in water reduction in toilets is going on in UK and probably EU toilets. The cisterns which are used to flush toilets are now made with a smaller water flush quantity because the eco-trots thought this would save water.
        What has actually happened is a huge increase in blocked drains and sewers with all the unpleasant consequences that follow. Ask any drain cleaning company – they at least are enjoying a flood (sorry) of increasing business. Generally not thought through green initiative no.349,899.

      • Most wastewater plants need water as part of the treatment process, not to mention as the means to transport the waste to the plant.
        The bacteria that naturally feed on and break down the waste live in the water/waste mix.
        In an aerobic process, the concentrated water/waste mix is supplied with air using various methods.
        Without water, the waste won’t flow through the pipes and or the treatment process. It would become next to impossible to aerate the waste.
        Your aerobic plant has just become a septic tank … a clogged one at that.

      • The Roman’s used lead plumbing because the hard water created lead chloride that then became inert to the water flowing through it. So they thought. Lead Chloride broke off and poisoned the population that ingested it where it converts to lead in the digestion. Copper is another problem when used as plumbing. It reacts with chlorinated water that most cities use in their water treatment causing heavy metal chelation in digestion that leads to heavy metal poisoning over time. Old copper plumbing used lead solider that was replaced with lead free sodier of zinc, tin and bismuth that are heavy metals creating heath issues. The same problems occur with iron pipes and rusting that people ingest. PVC and ABS. Plastic tubing leach chemicals into the water. Neoprene is the new technologies for plumbing for in-coming water to new buildings because it’s safer, but out going to the water treatment is still PVC, ABS, iron or old clay types that return toxins from them from the water treatment plants. I’ve used those waterless facilities and they are disgusting as the old outhouse we had at our mining camp. Urine decays the wood and anything it touches corrodes. It forms a hard crust as it dries and contains all the minerals and any medications you take that your body has expelled. That’s going into the waste treatment that is not removed, because the are treating to remove particulates and killing bacteria and algae, but medications not effected by chlorine have been building up with recycled water. People wonder why they are having heath issues living what to them is a healthy lifestyle. Failing to see that massive varieties of drugs and medications in their tap water is ingested or topically absorbed as the wash with it and wash their clothing with it. I use an inside joke that big cuties are filled with brain dead leftist ideologues because they are high on all the drug’s and medications they take… It’s in the water.

      • Eric,
        Note that your Chicago article shows an example from 11 years ago that resulted from a conflict between science, local building codes, and inappropriate use of the urinals. Except for people’s behavior, these are correctable – and have or are being fixed.
        Behavior takes a little longer. However, folks with their own septic systems learn not to throw junk in commodes. Beyond such learning, some folks still drape wet towels over space heaters for drying, and some still bring charcoal grills inside. Such behavior leads to unfortunate events, and is thus corrected.

    • Many government agencies that spent beaucoup money installing “waterless urinals” subsequently spent far more to rip those smelly urinals out along with substantive portions of wall and plumbing.

      Afterwards, normal water based urinals were restored.

    • Just do what the Japanese did and squat over the open pipe to urinate and defecate. Go all the way and put the concrete ditches along roadsides so you don’t have to find an indoor facility to deal with your natural body functions.

  15. Then there’s the water wars between sovereign nations we have all been warned about for the last fifty years or so and are a reason nations need to build up their military capabilities. Brazil is expected to declare war on Australia anytime now because of the amount of water in Sydney Harbour.

    It’s the coming trend.

    • Phoenix is just fine. I live here.

      So do I. I’ll take the dry heat any day of the week over sultry, drink-your-air high humidity of Houston, Orlando, and about a thousand other cities along the Gulf and East Coast. What I dislike are the insane driving self-important assholes from California who wish to turn an otherwise great state into a California 2.0 disaster of a state.

      • Hey, the humidity keeps my skin baby-soft and supple.

        Mike in Houston

        p.s. And I never get static-electrocuted when I step out of the car and put my foot on the ground.

      • Glad you like it. I visited Phoenix some 30 years ago. Too dry. The upside of that was that swamp coolers worked well. I like the humidity. Sure, you sweat; but sweating is good for you ;p.

  16. Seems to me that Phoenix and Miami and New Orleans were all climatically dumb places to build cities. Even without climate change they are all stupidly located.

    And with climate change they are even dumber.

    I do not see why the rest of the world should need to disrupt our energy supply systems to cover up bad decisions of the past.

    • I used to travel to offices all over the USA and those in Phoenix were the coldest and the people dressed accordingly. It was like they were trying to prove it wasn’t a stupid place to live.

    • They were smaller cities until air conditioning was invented.

      Then people decided they liked the hot winters and air conditioned summers.

      Humans like hot weather you know. We are one of the most heat-adapted species there is.

      Take a 2 week vacation in Phoenix or Miami in March and you will be thinking about moving there.

      • Then May comes around and those that can migrate into the White Mountain Area of Show Low, Pinetop and Lakeside. They are better known as snow birds in our area.

    • Seems to me that Phoenix and Miami and New Orleans were all climatically dumb places to build cities….

      Name one place it was smart to build a city?

      • You should read Thomas Sowell more to know that population grows where river’s and water is available and where the landscape provided ease of travelling, while the invention of boats and their advancements created more coastal populations and plane’s created others. Cities grow because that’s where the rest of the population bring their crops and wares to sell to the huddled masses that don’t create their own raw materials or food. Where other cities grow because of the raw materials are found there like mining town’s. The Phoenix Metropolitan Valley had all of those basic aspects with water ways and passage through mountains and farm land with mining of materials nearby. Added air travel to the ground passage to other area’s and the weather people like more than other places and what was a booming farm community has become more industrial and a hub of moving products…and population grows.

      • Those that have survived 2000+ years without being climatically challenged.

        Like not being 40 feet below the Mississippi River, on a sandbar prone to hurricanes or in a place that is running out of freshwater…….

        These are all dumb places to build cities. And the Darwin effect will soon prove it.

        I repeat. That some people made dumb decision within the last few hundred years is not a reason for us all to have to adjust our perfectly good energy systems in a vain attempt to preserve them.

      • In most cases I’m amoung the first to point out the fallacies of building in weather prone area’s. Those on coastal area’s, tornado alleys, earthquake prone area’s, near volcanoes and below freezing most of the year places. The Phoenix Metropolitan Valley has cyclic flooding that over the past 5 decades has urban sprawling that has been building in those lower elevations that get wiped out because of that fact. Yet it is this massive immigration here – that is not a natural disaster – that is over population causing this current problem of water sources depletion.

  17. “Many experts think that most human conflict is attributable to competition for scarce natural resources — food and water”

    Most of human conflict when and where? Were they fighting for food and water on Iwo Jima? Was there ever a word war over that? Is that what ISIS is looking for?

    We are not hunter-gatherers anymore. Human conflicts mostly involve religion, politics, and often immaturity and emotional binges.

    • Agreed Pop. The 2 biggest conflicts ever – WW1 and WW2 – weren’t caused by lack or water and food. They were caused by crazy people who didn’t care a rat’s toss bag about anyone else in the world, more like the current President of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Another dopey, mischievous assertion by the deceitful virtue signallers.

      • They weren’t started by lack of food or water but to some extent, in both hemispheres lack of food helped to end them. By VJ day the average citizen of imperial Japan had been living at a mere subsistence level for over 2 years. Many would have starved had they not been maintaining gardens. Japanese garrisons of bypassed islands had frequently participated in cannibalism of natives and in some cases, captured Allied airmen.

        The Germans were not much better off for the last few months of the Reich either though the Anglo American prisoners were treated better than the Russians.

        POWs of each of those countries found the last few months of captivity the worst though those of the Japanese were far worse off because the Rules of War only required that the caloric intake for POWs be equal to the basic ration for the soldiers of the nation that held them and the ration for the Japanese soldier was only about 1/2 that as the larger westerners needed. And of course the Japanese were less strict in making sure the rules were followed because in their cultural view, having been captured made a person an dishonorable sub human. And all of this is besides the constant physical abuse and medical neglect.

      • Oh, BTW it can be argued that at least with the Japanese, the war with the US was started over oil and to a lesser extent iron ore and metals.

  18. Israel gets over 50% of its potable water from reverse osmosis desalination and captures over 80% of the water from its waste stream which is used for irrigation. I read a report that I can’t locate quickly that the typical household pays around $400 annually for its household water. Modular liquid fluoride thorium reactors providing the power needed for desalination with surplus power being fed into the grid is a rational solution much to be preferred over wasting billions if not trillions “fighting climate change” as if that is even possible.

    See the following for details on Israel’s de-sal program.

    scientificamerican.com/article/israel-proves-the-desalination-era-is-here/

    • Cheap, abundant and reliable power. that is all that is needed.

      With that, we can adapt to any challenges that we may face.

      producing expensive unrelaible power is a recipe for disaster.

      • +10. Best comment of the day.
        Abundant cheap power permits to solve problems and help people, and the environment.

      • Richard, add one more vital element to abundant cheap energy to achieve a goid socuety: rational, well informed citizens dedicated to civil society.
        There seems to be a shortage of those since climate obsession became all the rage.

    • “Modular liquid fluoride thorium reactors providing the power needed for desalination with surplus power being fed into the grid is a rational solution…”
      —————–
      vaporgear

    • thanks Ray: Israel has reached an agreement with the Kingdom of Jordan and the PA to build a canal from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Dead Sea. It would use the 1200 foot drop to generate electricity that would run a desalinization plant. It is possible to use technology to solve resource problems by creating more resources.

      I think that renewables are basically a scam, a shiny bauble designed to distract people from the damage the watermelons are doing to the average American, but Israel and desalinization are actually a place where they could be used. The Negev desert is pretty barren and has a high flux of sunlight and desalinization processes can be run asynchronously.

      The first post above quotes an article that is based on Malthusian thinking, as is all of “environmentalism”. The problem with this thinking is fundamental. It is wrong. Resources are not existent outside of human effort and ingenuity, which is the ultimate resource. The claim that resource conflicts cause wars is not just wrong. It is pernicious.

  19. So many weasel words: might, could, etc. Reminds me of the apocalyptic programs in Discovery or the History Channel of mega tsunami or comet strikes that “might” strike us.
    When will these people realize the war in the Middle East is a religion war – nothing else.

    • Eyal, “these people” already know that the mid east wars are religious. They deceitfully pretend otherwise. Never give them the option of saying they didn’t realize…

    • Eyal,

      I don’t know what TV programs show about mega tsunamies. I’ve not seen these things.
      You might be interested in this article:
      https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

      The Oregon and Washington coasts are not urbanized to a great extent. Portland and Seattle areas are not “on the coast.” There are some communities on the coast, and summer brings tourists. Thus, immediate loss of lives would be less than U. S. traffic deaths in a year. However, the weeks and months after the event will be hard for these two States.

      For this earthquake not to happen will require a major change in the way Earth’s tectonic plates move. Geologists I know do not expect any such changes.

    • The tribes of the ME have been kicking the ‘heck’ out of each other since biblical times.

      It is an excellent idea to leave them to it.

      Especially since with the fracking revolution the West’s need for their oil is much reduced

  20. Many experts think that most human conflict is attributable to competition for scarce natural resources — food and water. A drought in the Middle East is seen as one factor contributing to the intractable war in Syria. Hungry and thirsty people tend to go on the move in search of food and water. Climate change may be partially responsible for the refugee crisis overwhelming Europe and causing a spike in nationalism there.

    Like the ‘Arab Spring’? It is indeed traceable to a man-made cause: UN round tables endorsed biofuel initiative in 2005. Food prices soared beyond the purchase power of many. The Guardian article title reveals the essential Use your loaf: why food prices were crucial in the Arab spring.

    The organised anthropogenic climate change creed better learn from their own mistakes fast. With some minor amendments the following is true:

    Phoenix ‘Arab spring’ is a cautionary tale for why rational people should begin planning now for the effects of man-made tales of climate change. But will they? If past history is any guide, the prospects for such appropriate decision making are dim and getting fainter by the day. The world could learn a lot from rereading The Three Little Pigs and even more from Chicken Little.

  21. Phoenix metro has some of the best water management, conservation and recycling practices in the world. My water bill in the winter there per unit of use is cheaper than in the summer in Alberta. I’ll have to look it up but I didn’t think coal was a big percentage of power generation there. Nuclear, natural gas and solar.

    I’m not at all worried about water shortages. The past year has replenished a lot of the water sources. Ground water depletion is a problem in parts of Arizona.

  22. It is egregious (way past disingenuous) to stretch it all the way to the Middle East to find urban water conflict, and cast thirsty desert cities as ‘victims’ rather than the predators that they are. Cities and the provincial attitudes that thrive therein are the real bringers of mindless environmental disaster and ruin. The lush lawns of Los Angeles were started on the small remnant of the East California water table, a lush natural environment that was all but destroyed following the Water Wars of the 1920s. Urban California has since turned its attention to water tables further North and East. If you live up hill from Los Angeles, beware!

    Ironically the latest political struggle in the U.S. heralds its future. By the small margin awarded by the Electoral College this has been the last time the geographic majority of rural America is able to elect a president despite the wishes of its densely populated urban centers, and the blue/red line divides them surer than any party-ideological divide. It is literally now the city versus country people. Just as the city of Baltimore has (politically) conquered the rest of Maryland, so so shall the aims and desires of cities take the entire country. As cities come to power, expect to see those fair-weather ecological causes, first exploited to gather influence and control, drop by the wayside as urban areas suck out water, and anything else they can get their hands on.

      • hunter
        Agree. Certainly for the USA.

        Probably already true for Australia.

        I am not sure about the UK – seems more of an age-related split [with many exceptions, of course].
        Those too young to remember the fiasco of the Wilson/Callaghan years – running to the IMF to pay next week’s Civil service wages; the dead unburied; national bin men’s strike of many weeks; three months minimum to get a telephone line installed (we have mobiles, but central monitoring and oversight will extend to a fortnight to get a number, and probably another fortnight to get a handset, never mind one of your choice); a railway run to suit the needs of the drivers, signal-box staff, and even the stewards – not travellers – times, punctuality, interconnections, cleanliness, etc. Transferring an account for gas, water, or electricity could take over a month – and you had no choice; what the North Thames Gas Board charged – you paid, if in the NTGB area. No changing supplier – there was a state monopoly: take it or chill.

        The restrictions – selective Employment Tax, for example – that socialists apply to businesses mean that a coffee will be nearer £5 than £3, in a year after any decisive Corbyn victory.
        And Uber will be unionised – so no service after 1800 or before 0700.
        Likewise the restrictions of free-market services will kill the likes of Feest, and other service-orientated start-ups.
        The press will be Pravdaized; no unfavourable comment -even as a skit -0 will be permitted – on pain of compulsory re-education.

        Enough.
        I must to bed to arm myself for tomorrow’s battles against the encroaching Stalinist Monster.

        Auto
        Not wishing to believe, but not prepared to belittle the risks.

        Goodness – the Tories have just run the worst General Election campaign in my memory – I remember the 1964 one [others here, more experientially gifted that I, will remember earlier campaigns still . . . ] – and 2017 Tories was worse than 1983 Labour/Michael Foot.
        Crossing my fingers is not enough.

        .

  23. Claims like this I find really frustrating since as the IPCC itself acknowledges, models do not do regions well, nor do they do precipitation well. There is absolutely no point in using a model to see what drought conditions might be like in any region.

    Anyway these types of claims are inherently absurd, since we live on a water world. There is one resource that we will always have enough of is water.

    We pipe oil, which is a difficult substance to handle, thousands of miles. We have no problem in pumping water wherever it may be needed.

    We can, if necessary, build desalination plants and extract water from the sea.

    <b.All we need to adapt to any coming change, is cheap, abundant and reliable energy.

    PS. An illustration of the fallibility of model predictions, with regional patterns of precipitation, and the stupidly of man in seeking to rely and act on model predictions, is the Australian experience pushed by Tim Flannery. I cannot recall the precise details but he pushed the Australian Government to build several desalination plants based upon model predictions of droughts. These were built at the cost of billions and have never been used. Since those plants were built, the reservoirs have consistently been full towards record highs. just another failed prediction by Climate Scientists. When have they ever got anything right?

    • And combustion of fossil fuels generates water. Top of my head calculation is that about a gallon of water is produced per gallon of gasoline consumed.

  24. If you like reading fiction try The Water Knife by Paulo Bacigalalupi, it is water allocation disputes in the American West wound to the max.

  25. “Claim: Phoenix Water Shortage will Lead to Middle East style Resource Conflict”

    I’m sure it will – just like it did in California *Sarcasm* :)

  26. “Phoenix requires two things not found naturally in the area — electricity and water.”.

    When if ever is “electricity” found naturally in any area?

    • I read through the entire thread and only one other person caught that.

      However, I’ve studied the issue thoroughly and people in Phoenix do indeed have ‘bad hair days.’

    • Never considered this question before: Would cloud borne static electricity be a significant source of renewable energy? OK, maybe in Florida where they get a lot more thunderstorms?

  27. “Despite its abundant sunshine, Arizona has depended for decades on electricity generated by burning coal.”
    That has to be among the dumbest non sequiteurs ever. Coal has always been the cheapest source of electricity, though that has been challenged by NG in recent years.

  28. Despite it’s September 29, 2017 date I strongly suspect that Steve Hanley’s analysis was determined by events prior to the November 2016 election.

    You see, like many people Steve probably expected Hillary Clinton to win the election, and therefore he logically expected Hillary to take her actions as Secretary of State, in regards to Libya, and as President apply that same stunning success to the United States.

  29. “A drought in the Middle East is seen as one factor contributing to the intractable war in Syria. Hungry and thirsty people tend to go on the move in search of food and water. Climate change may be partially responsible for the refugee crisis overwhelming Europe and causing a spike in nationalism there.”

    And I thought the war in Syria and the resulting refugee crisis was the result or people rebelling against a despotic dictator who oppresses religious and ethnic minorities.

  30. “Many experts think that most human conflict is attributable to competition for scarce natural resources — food and water.” But not oil and gas, huh? Oil and gas are “natural resources”. Nature — let’s use it.

  31. People the vast majority of water used in Arizona is for agriculture. Most of this water gets wasted due to evaporation, but there is a solution. Use the Israeli example, drip irrigation. Israel has even changed the climate of the region by greening up due to better water usage; it rains more now than in the past. Also, Phoenix is getting more humid as people move in, plant grass (I know, why grass?), fill swimming pools, etc. Water will always be available if we don’t block civilization from running as it should, it will just cost more.

  32. FACT – You can’t build new construction in this area unless you have a 100 year guaranteed water supply. They are building new houses everywhere.

  33. More doom from the peak water nitwits. They were predicting imminent crisis during the California drought.
    Lake Powell could dry up in as little as six years, study says
    http://tucson.com/news/local/lake-powell-could-dry-up-in-as-little-as-six/article_0e0b61d1-10d7-51aa-a29a-bcb1d9d6eb0f.html

    That was last September before the rain and snow dumped on their fallacy.
    All of their worst banter about vanishing Lake Powell was silenced with the entire west having a wet year.
    The lake is fine of course. Powell is up 17.38 feet from one year ago
    http://lakepowell.water-data.com/

    If you need it all explained here is Peter Gleick
    “Very clearly one of the things that sets this drought apart is that now there is this incredibly clear climate signal. I think it’s unambiguous and that’s new.”
    https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/articles/2016/08/23/peter-gleick-why-californias-current-drought-is-different

    Then it rained and snowed like crazy all winter in California and the west making the “climate signal” a wee bit foggy.

  34. Where is electricity “naturally” found? And how come it isn’t scarce in other places such as NW where there are few thunderstorms thunderstorms

  35. Steve Hanley should have probably waited for this year’s water year to be over (on September 30th) for the Colorado River basin. From:

    http://lakepowell.water-data.com

    Snow pack is 225% of average and the largest reservoir on the Colorado River, Lake Powell is now almost 18 feet above last year’s water level. Water releases to the smaller Lake Mead have run 109% above minimum release. Other metrics for the Colorado River are available at the above site including historical averages.

    The US and Mexico (Colorado River runs through Mexico) just concluded a water agreement, the first in many decades.

    It seems that Mr. Hanley had this piece already written and didn’t bother to check the latest information.

  36. Greetings from Perth, Western Australia, a city with a hot dry summer and winter rains and a climate very similar to San Diego. Australia’s very own climate guru, Tim Flannery, predicted a few year’s back that Perth would become the first ghost city of the 21st century, due to encroaching desertification. I am happy to report that we have had good winter and early spring rain these last few months.

  37. Is Arizona divided into three mutually incompatible religions comparable to Judaism, Shia Islam and Sunni Islam?

    • I’m sure there are quite a few people of all three religions in the Phoenix area. In the American culture, they don’t kill each other.
      Of course, there are those trying to change our culture.

  38. Noticed that climate change is now substituted for weather with full acceptance in the media and the general public. This is not what winning looks like.

  39. “It’s the long term water shortages that [Ray] Quay is concerned most about. In the 1960s when growth in the Phoenix area was exploding, the federal government had plenty of money to spend on infrastructure. “The issues that we’re going to be facing with climate change and drought, well, we’re in an era when we don’t have a lot of money anymore,”

    SAY WHAT?

    Federal Government Tax Revenues in 1965: $117 billion

    Federal Government Tax Revenues in 2017: $3.46 TRILLION

    Factor in inflation and the 1965 tax dollars would be equal to $792 billion dollars today. IN constant dollars, the federal government is collecting 4.3 times as much revenue as it did in 1965, and that does not include the billions more that they are printing and borrowing now.

    So don’t tell me that we are “…in an era when we don’t have a lot of money anymore,” We are in an era when we have an out of control Federal Government spending more money than ever, largely on things that are Unconstitutional.

    • The biggest problem is too much money leaves the States to the Federal that doesn’t come back to the States. States can’t take care of their own issues as the Federation was designed to do. Because the Federal Government has become larger than it was intended to become. I’m a 10th Amendment advocate Constitutionalist. Those were the Anti-Federalist at the founding, that fought for State Right’s and added the first 10 Amendments to our Constitution. They foresaw the Federal Government getting too big, because people by nature in power – can’t be trusted. They were right.

  40. Does this mean a farmer uprising against the tyranny of the tract housing developers, or what?

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