Monday, November 19, 2007

What have the candidates said about water?

It's an important issue, one that could very well blow up in our faces soon. If we're lucky, it won't happen until the next presidential administration, because the current one is, as usual, willfully unprepared for the possibilities.
And then, there's that question that has been nagging at me ever since this story first caught my attention in early October as it headed out of the regional press and slowly made its way toward the top of the nightly TV news and the front pages of national newspapers; it's the question I've been waiting patiently for some environmental reporter(s) somewhere in the mainstream media to address; the question that seems to me so obvious I find it hard to believe everyone isn't thinking about it; the one you would automatically want to have answered -- or at least gnawed on by thoughtful, expert reporters and knowledgeable pundits. Every day for the last month or more I've waited, as each piece on Atlanta ends at more or less the same point -- with the dire possibility that the city's water will soon be gone -- as though hitting a brick wall.

Not that there hasn't been some fine reportage -- on the extremity of the situation, the overbuilding and overpopulating of the metropolitan region, the utter heedlessness that went with it, and the resource wars that have since engulfed it. Still, I've Googled around, read scores of pieces on the subject, and they all -- even the one whose first paragraph asked, "What if Atlanta's faucets really do go dry?" -- seem to end just where my question begins. It's as if, in each piece, the reporter had reached the edge of some precipice down which no one cares to look, lest we all go over.

Based on the record of the last seven years, we can take it for granted that the Bush administration hasn't the slightest desire to glance down; that no one in FEMA who matters has given the situation the thought it deserves; and that, on this subject, as on so many others, top administration officials are just hoping to make it to January 2009 without too many more scar marks. But, if not the federal government, shouldn't somebody be asking? Shouldn't somebody check out what's actually down there?
Have any of the candidates done so? Maybe it's just that I'm living smack dab in the middle of Dust Bowl 2007, but this seems like a pretty urgent issue -- one with which the next president is almost certainly going to have to grapple. So where is the discussion?


fletch said...

The answer is prayer according to the Georgia governor. Surely the President and FEMA are praying also. In the meantime, do everything you can to prevent Atlanta from draining the Tennessee River. It would destroy the region well beyond what Atlanta has already done. They will be coming for it. It might sound cruel, but Atlantans will not die of thirst if the faucet runs dry. They will simply move, same as humanity has done since the beginning of time for water.

alice said...

The Georgia governor is as bad as our incompetent president. Jebus! Why even bother with government agencies -- or even a military for that matter -- if we can just pray ourselves out of trouble?

Also, did you notice that the people in Georgia who prayed for rain waited for a day when rain was in the forecast? And even then, it didn't work! :-0

fletch said...

What'd I tell ya?. Via Knoxviews.

alice said...

You called it!