Grind for January 25th, 2019
“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
– William Shakespeare
The climate could disrupt groundwater supply
Scientists this week added another “gloom and doom” prediction to the list of catastrophes we can expect from the changing climate: a disruption to the world’s groundwater supply.
Groundwater, which is naturally stored in underground aquifers, is used in crop production and to provide drinking water for billions of people.
According to a study published earlier this week, a changing climate could disrupt the natural process by which groundwater replenishes itself.
“This could be described as an environmental time bomb because any climate change impacts on recharge occurring now, will only fully impact the baseflow to rivers and wetlands a long time later,” explains study author Mark Cuthbert.
Cuthbert’s study estimates that climate-related changes in precipitation could disrupt the recharge process for up to 44% of aquifers.
At particular risk are water sources located in humid areas, such as the Florida Everglades and Amazon Basin. These aquifers are located close to the surface, which means they are sensitive to flooding and drought.
Water reservoirs located in dryer areas – like the Sahara Desert – will take much longer to respond to climate changes because they are located deep underground.
“Parts of the groundwater that’s underneath the Sahara currently is still responding to climate change from 10,000 years ago when it was much wetter there,” notes Cuthbert. “We know there are these massive lags.”
According to an unrelated survey conducted late last year, up to 73% of American adults believe global warming is actually happening (up from 63% in 2015); 62% believe humans are responsible.
Trump says he will deliver State of the Union address on time, in House
President Trump on Wednesday told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he would be delivering the State of the Union address on January 29th in the House, as scheduled.
“It would be so very sad for our country if the State of the Union were not delivered on time, on schedule, and very importantly, on location!” wrote Trump.
On January 3rd, Pelosi sent Trump a formal invitation to deliver his State of the Union address in the House. On January 16th, she sent a second letter urging him to postpone the speech based on security concerns related to the government shutdown.
In response, Trump assured Pelosi the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security would be present to safeguard the event despite both agencies’ lack of funding.
Trump also revoked Pelosi’s access to military aircraft, preventing her from taking planned trips to Afghanistan and Brussels.
More than anything else, the drama over Trump’s upcoming speech is part of a personal war between the president and Pelosi – who is determined not to give Trump a single dollar for the border wall.
Last weekend, she refused to consider a proposal for border wall funding that included several concessions Democrats had long fought for – including protections for DACA recipients, a three-year guarantee for immigrants with Temporary Protected Status, and additional immigration judges.
“Unless the government is reopened, it’s highly unlikely the State of the Union is going to take place on the floor of the United States House of Representatives,” warned New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D).
Before Trump can speak in front of a joint session of Congress, a resolution will need to be approved by both chambers specifying the date and time of the event. Pelosi could block Trump from speaking in the House if she refuses to hold a vote on the resolution.
Such a move would be “remarkably petty of the Speaker,” said White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
If Trump is prevented from speaking in the House, he is expected to deliver the address from the Oval Office, the Senate floor, or possibly even the US/Mexico border. Trump has also spoken with lawmakers from Michigan and North Carolina who have offered to host the event.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… The state with the longest coastline in the Continental U.S. is Michigan.