Hotter Than a Texas Summer in … Texas.

Besides the obvious signs of high temperatures and withering plants and yellowing grasses from parched summer heats in my north Texas town of Denton, there are other less conspicuous indicators of hot dry conditions that prove to be more costly.  Today’s newspaper reported that water mains were busting at a higher than normal rate due to contracting soils that occur in such dry conditions.  Brown-outs are more likely this year because of the heavy electrical use to keep homes and businesses cool.

A local here indicated recently that if there was reduced time in hell for time served that most Texans due to go there might escape those infernos, or at least be so conditioned as not to have it bother them much.

I usually set my thermostat between 74 and 79 during the summer but have had to give my A/C unit more of a breather by stretching those temperatures to 76 at night and 81 during the day.  It can still be a 100 degrees here 3-4 hours after the sun sets.

In order to conserve water during the summer, I will water my lawn two, maybe three times a week.   But with these excessive heats extracting moisture from the soils at a much quicker rate I am forced to water every other day.  Not to keep my lawn plush and green but to keep root systems alive until the cooler, wetter seasons get here.  As you can see in the picture below it’s not hard to assess where the sprinkler is placed when I do water.

Unlike most of Central and West Texas, North Central Texas has managed the escape the worst of the drought season here, until this summer.  We now suffer the results of no significant rainfall this summer and record high temps that are set to beat the 1980 records of most consecutive days of 100 plus degree temperatures (42 days) by this time next Saturday.  Our carefully coiffed governor asked for a day of prayer last April seeking God’s intervention to alleviate our serious water issues.  If all prayers are indeed answered then a resounding “No!” came from the man upstairs.

It’s  not clear if the Almighty is just pissed in general at Perry for constantly invoking him to rally political forces in his expected run for President or if it’s just that the Creator of all things wants to dramatically show the pro-corporate, big Oil backer that when you mess with the natural order of things by tipping the balance of CO2 in  the atmosphere from fossil fuel use then there is hell to pay, or a similar facsimile thereof.

My adjacent lot – a view of hell in North Texas

I watched a movie on pay-per-view recently entitled “The Way Out”.   It was a really great story from the director of the Lord of the Rings, Peter Weir.  It was based on the actual events of several men and a woman who escaped a pre-WWII Russian gulag in Siberia and walked some 4000 miles to reach safety in China.  They initially aimed for Mongolia but had to re-route their goal when they discovered that country too had become taken over by Stalinist Communism.  The had to cross the vast Gobi Dessert to reach China and their efforts were nearly cut short for the lack of water resources.  Two of the escapees died in the process, including the young woman with them.  Their bodies just shut down from lack of the vital H2O that our body requires to survive.

This and a few documentaries I have also viewed recently about dwindling potable water on this planet has been brought home to many of us here as I watch stretches of once productive Texas farmland become deserts.  The desertification of land masses around the globe and the pollution of once drinkable water has made water the most sought after element on the planet; more than either gold or oil.  Our failure to alleviate the stress we put on this essential resource through an over-consuming need to burn fossil fuels and inject toxic waste products into dwindling water supplies could well develop into military conflicts as each nation strives to preserve and save what they have or seek needed supplies in territories outside their borders.

This tiny blue dot in the universe is made up of 75% water but only about 1% is drinkable.  We don’t suffer the disadvantages that many 3rd world countries do, especially on the African continent. But we do face water shortages in this country and many of them have been effected by the bottled water industry.  Large companies like Nestle, Coca-Cola and Pepsi go into smaller communities and mine their underground water supplies, unfettered as a result a century old laws in many states that simply put says, “he who has the biggest pump gets the greater share of water”.

One classic example of this was up in Fryeburg, Maine where Nestle came in and depleted underground supplies without being taxed anything and at one point left that community without water for a couple of days.  This and similar examples of corporate interests running into conflict with the public interests were documented in the well-researched film by Stephanie Soechtig and Jason Linsey called Tapped.  Watch the entire film by clicking here.

I’m sure we will survive these current dry conditions this year.  But it is pretty clear that as these continue to occur over time and to greater degrees that our children and their children will pay higher costs and face difficult decisions in order to provide what could be sufficient resources but for the failure of corporate interests to curtail those activities that threaten current supplies.

Too often we get wake up calls to crises that come at the eleventh hour only to be ignored by our failure to see beyond our immediate wants and desires.  Unless we control the excesses of dirty energy sources and selfish profit motive actions by some, we could well find ourselves suffering the ravages that 3rd world nations face today that have been overwhelmed by the special interests who are little concerned with what awaits us tomorrow.






19 responses to “Hotter Than a Texas Summer in … Texas.

  1. Where do you learn this stuff, Woodgate?

    It sounds obvious, but I never knew or heard of companies depleting any water resources. I’m sure it’s true. I’m not calling you a liar or anything. I’m just trying to figure out where you get this information.

    I guess I wasted too much time reading conservative media.

  2. Click on the link I provided near the bottom of my post Terrance to view the video, “Tapped”. Then use your search engine to find other similar videos and websites that address “depleting fresh water supplies”. There’s a dearth of information on this. I have several environmental sites listed on my blog roll too that will bring you up to speed on what environmental problems we’re facing as a result of corporate interests vs. public interests.

  3. If they are going to use any kind of prayer out there, I suggest a native American Rain Dance. At least there is a shot of some kind of result. Did you ever think there is a god and he is trying to tell Texas something: Stop electing assholes for governor?

    • “Did you ever think there is a god and he is trying to tell Texas something: Stop electing assholes for governor?”

      I know, I know. That kinda of tells you what god some of these Texas critters pray to doesn’t it?

  4. If you ever saw a Poland Springs label, which is owned by Nestle, you would see at least a half-a-dozen different locations, where they get the water from. Some towns and townships in Maine have banned Nestle, as they saw what they did in Fryeburg, Maine. So you are correct about sucking up the water.

    • What kills me is that even though this law is on the books from a century ago, the courts have to realize that there are circumstances now that were not in play back in the 19th century. So whose side are the courts on here?

  5. You mean Corporate America would come into an area and suck all the water out and leave without paying any taxes? Best answer to that is boycott bottled water (a waste of resources anyhow) and don’t drink soda. Nothing better than a cup of green tea.

    • Even better and cheaper is tap water. Our local tap water ran a close 2nd place on national taste test earlier this year.

      Most of what is sold in bottled waters is nothing more than tap water run through a charcoal filter. You can by these same filters for your kitchen tap and pay only that cost about 5-6 times year, give or a take few based on how large your family and personal needs are. But at roughly $19 a pop that’s still much cheaper and better for the environment than commercial bottled water.

    • That would depend on who from you buy your tea…….If you’re buying it from a company that itself exploits different communities, then you’re not doing any good….

      Lipton, for example, has their hands in a lot of pots… They are owned by Unilever; the company responsible for the 2008 Chinesse baby formula issues.

      A good company like Lipton (it used to be) has been perverted by big business.

      And Wal-Mart? HA. Don’t buy your tea from there.

  6. This is all very disturbing especially since most people now do not believe in global wa oops climate change. My son and family in Austin report on the state of their lawn and plants. Here, in Missouri, it is pretty bad. We get a tenth of an inch of rain and that just cranks up the humidity. The lush cornfields of a few weeks ago are all dried up.
    Since it appears that those making the rules don’t want any kind of regulation, I don’t suppose there will be any chance to protect water. Mary

    • Those that pollute our air and water with polluting industries are the last to see the serious effects of their actions, and not necessarily because they weren’t looking. Thanks for your input Mary

  7. i live in dallas texas and do outdoor concerts. while i was doing so this summer, i watched counless patrons fall to the ground and be rushed to medical personel for help. so many people needed help, they were dropping like flies. all that was provided to the crews was energy drinks to promote their poison. A good friend of mine left that evening after working a 16 hr day, it was still 100 at 1:00 am. his kidneys shut down and he was in the hospital for 7 days until he recovered… water would have prevented this act from happening, but the companies throwing the event wanted their product to be the only thing to drink………..we must do something. just hoping that this summer isnt anything like last summer, otherwize this cowboy is moving to alaska!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. my grandfather left a large portion of land he made while raising cattle. i wonder if this trend is going to continue. if so, i wonder what this drought is going to do to the value of the land in the future…………………………………….

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