Odious and Peculiar
Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.
O&P's Current Pick:
Sunday, May 04, 2008
"...we could grow all the fuel the United States needs using 1/10th of the land space of New Mexico..."
By covering that 10% into fancy algae incubators. It might not be the worst use for a tenth of New Mexico, provided it's the right tenth. I'd definitely nominate Roswell, Artesia and environs, which have no discernible charm to lose by being converted into algae. I'm sure the stuff also smells better than Artesia does currently.
Seriously, though, I assume the chappy in the link was using New Mexico largely just as a land-area comparison. While southwestern states possess certain recommendations for such a project, viz. lots of sunlight and available open space, they have one major negative: there's no water. None. It's all spoken for. One commenter to the linked post asks, "I wonder what portion of the total area of the state of New Mexico is currently dedicated to growing corn for ethanol. 50%? 75%? 100%? More?" Actually, the state's entire harvested cropland represents only about 1.1% of New Mexico's acreage; irrigated cropland about 0.8% (figures from 2002; these numbers are trending significantly downward, I expect because agricultural water rights are being diverted to residential development). These aren't typos, easterners; we are not Iowa. People from other parts of the country really can't imagine how little water we have around here. The video doesn't address whether the water in these algae tanks can be conserved and reused, but if not, that's a deal-breaker in most of the West. Lots of brilliant ideas for using our open spaces and unexplored resources seem not to consider this inconvenient reality.
I'll second the vote for Artesia. It's my father's hometown, and that's about all the good things I have to say about it.
People who haven't been in the desert won't really get it--I certainly had no conception of how little water a place could have until living in New Mexico. Visiting won't do, either, as visitors are insulated from the real difficulties. There's a scene in Growing Up Weightless in which one of the protagonists, born and raised on the Moon, screams and rants at some visiting Earth children who are playing with their water in the low g. The waste is so unbelievably offensive to her, and they are completely blind to it.
Seems we need to get away from thermal power generation as well....processes that involve steam-turbines (coal, nuke)or crop-based biofuels. Wind and solar are great for low-water.
We need many integrated solutions...starting with walking and biking once in a while...even in Artesia or L A !
I'm with Moro (nice new avatar!) Besides, everybody knows the highest and best use of the area around Roswell is to grow jackrabbits for coursing...
I'm with Moro too. The Imperial Valley is where all our water goes now, so let them host the algae. They have all the infrastructure in place. Also, we musn't disturb the southeastern NM extraterrestrial industry, possibly the state's best hope.Post a Comment
Odious, I'd like to see tourists outfitted with mandatory stillsuits a la Frank Herbert for the duration of their stay. Once that happens and we lose the golf courses, maybe I as a native will consider slightly curtailing my showers. But you can have my garden over a Texan's cold dead hands.