I recently saw a program on the Discovery Channel called Killing The Colorado. It is about the Colorado River which supplies water to the most of the Southwest. You may have heard of it, because it runs through the Grand Canyon. The river is being over used, and the entire region is facing catastrophic man-made drought which could mean systematic failure of regional cities in years to come.
I was excited to watch this program. I lived for a time in Phoenix. I was interested to see what’s going on back in the Southwest. Phoenix is a the kind desert city where you could fry an omelette on a metal city bench at high noon. The kind of American city which blows water 562 feet from a golf course lake straight into the desert sky. You know, just as a defiant middle finger to the sweltering Arizona sun from good ole suburban, strip mall lovin’, Slurpee guzzling, ‘Murica.
As Killing The Colorado unfolded, was I ever in for a surprise. Throughout the entire program my mouth jarred agape ever wider with each passing scene. It was pure unadulterated propaganda BS. Every bit of it.
Let me state this unequivocally from someone who has lived in the Holy Land: Water crises are a problem of past civilizations, in the same way vengeful Hebrew prophets dishing out 10 packs of plagues like candy on Halloween is a problem of past civilizations. Israel killed water crisis. Anyone who lives in Israel knows that, duh. 7 years ago showers were limited to get your body wet for a sec, turn off the water, lather up, turn on the water, quick rinse off, end shower. Drought threatened to end Israel’s civilized lifestyle of hygiene and unlimited Turkish coffee breaks at work.
Worse, drought is an ever present ignition point of brutal wars. The sort of wars, where it’s open rocket season on civilian centers. And now for the 2nd time in Jewish history, the Jews having wandered into the desert to find it lacking adequate water resources, and have conjured up plentiful supplies of water from an improbable source. The sea. Israel has built 5 giant hi-tech desalination plants along the sea within the last 6 years. Israel has implemented recycling 85% of grey water and sewage water for crop irrigation. Now I shower as much as I want. My bimonthly water bill is about $20. The big bad water crisis ended with a whimper in Israel, because of Israeli leaders who planned ahead, and wanted to see Israel succeed. Now back to show…
None of this was mentioned even one time during Killing The Colorado. Not even hinted to. Not even flashed really quickly at the bottom of the screen in the terms and conditions, as a generic voice in a hushed hurried manner says, check which terms and conditions may apply in your area. I was mortified. What the hell is up with the Discovery Channel??? Should I slap myself to see if I’m dreaming? Am I actually getting dumber watching the “Discovery Channel”? Who owns this channel? The Goebbels family? This must be what happy hour in North Korea feels like…
The show talked about how conflict over water rights has engulfed the Southwest region. Then they show a few farmers descended from the 1st cowboys. The show talks about how they sued the city of San Diego for their historic 19th century water rights. That’s cute for the descendants of Wyatt Earp. Here in Israel, every few months Hezbollah threatens to blow up a chemical plant or something, so to create a dirty bomb to wipe out Israel’s population centers. Hezbollah claims it is because of water. They say they want the rights to a small creek near the Lebanon border which runs through a farm called Sheba Farms. Killing The Colorado had characterized people taking each other to court as an all out “Water War”, portending to some kind of zombie filled post-apocalyptic Mad Max wonderland. It was kind of harmless, over exaggerated, hyped up, melodrama. It was still misleading, and there was a whole lot more to come.
As they interviewed hedge fund managers and government officials about the water crisis I was struck with an overall impression of mind numbing stupidity. The shortage is because of population growth, and they want to use the exact same amount of existing water supplies. Throughout the entire show the same old fictitious solution was presented: Allow legislators to turn over the cowboys’ historic water rights to investors. The Free Market will magically resolve the water crisis, as Moses striking the rock. “Water is the new oil” the hedge fund managers being interviewed lament with barely a straight faces. Cha-ching!
This bullshit is of biblical proportions. You know this idea. What the universe really wants is the Free Market. Give us all your water and we will create for you a bull market on Wall st. You may pray to it, and all your blessings will be answered. You will be led out of the dry barren wilderness as if by as if by magic. The free market may solve some problems, some of the time. Turning over the existing water supply to investors which already is not enough, will not create anymore water. The solution of the documentary is illogical, and an obvious con. Investors want control of the water. They don’t want 1 drop being added to the system, so the price of water will stay artificially high after these investors buy it all. I mean these are the same sort of people who recommended burning houses down in the wave of evictions during the ’08 housing crisis.
But this was not happy hour in North Korea. It was not a 1930’s German public service announcement. It was the Discovery Channel. A mainstream media source of information for ordinary people about how the world works, and it was complete propaganda. It is really really scary when the media in the nation leading the free world contrives to keep their people in the dark ages of bygone centuries. When the media and various business leaders contrive to extort their own people for the most basic requisite for life. It was just a 2 hour program, but I think this bodes ill for the whole free world. It bodes ill for what it says about America’s current leadership. It bodes ill for what it says about where the media would like to take public awareness. It bodes ill for what it says about where the American media is interested in taking the civilization of the free world. As for me, I live in a beautiful desert climate, a long way from upstate New York. I am enjoying the fruits of labor of a country whose leaders actually believe in leading their people out of the desert into the future. For now anyways. If America continues to lead the free world down this road, I fear all bets would be off anywhere in the free world, even in the Holy Land.