Skip to main content

View Diary: Lakes Michigan & Huron at Record Low Levels (56 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  You pen name is very appropriate. (25+ / 0-)

    It just gets more and more grim.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:57:50 PM PST

    •  I keep wondering about water (39+ / 0-)

      When will the Chinese have to stop building more coal plants because they don't have the water?

      Will oil companies have enough water to frack the Monterey formation in California for oil and gas?

      When will we realize that water is more essential than oil?

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:02:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When it is gone.....n/t (21+ / 0-)

        An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

        by don mikulecky on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:07:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't knoe about the Chinese (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phonegery, A Siegel, Nulwee, Creosote

        But we're getting real close to not being able to run coal, nuke, and gas plants during the summer.

        •  long days & warm temps shouldn't need electricity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee
          But we're getting real close to not being able to run coal, nuke, and gas plants during the summer.
          You'd think demand for electricity would be a lot lower in the summer.

          Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

          by Visceral on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:39:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not in the Deep South. AC has made (6+ / 0-)

            the southern states livable.

            "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

            by Lily O Lady on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:10:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  all the more reason to get rid of it (5+ / 0-)
              AC has made the southern states livable.
              Set them back 100 years at least.

              More realistically, there are lots of techniques for designing buildings for hot and humid climates that don't require AC.

              Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

              by Visceral on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:17:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yep, and those techiques are not used here in (5+ / 0-)

                general. Southerners seem to pride themselves on being impervious to technology and on their crappy construction methods.

                "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

                by Lily O Lady on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:20:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I believe a lot of Southern architecture reflected (18+ / 0-)

                that very notion. Those porches, slitted bermuda shutters, balconies, and ocean-facing windows may be nostalgic and touchstones of Southern/Caribbean authenticity, but they were made that way for a reason. It kept the homes cool and livable during the summer. Nowadays, developers have paid no mind at all to the value of these things. I think every part of this country could do well to heed these nuances in architectural design in a post-climate stable world.

                "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

                by rovertheoctopus on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:25:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Obviously none of you live in the South. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Void Indigo

                We built our house with extra insulation, orientation to avoid the hottest sun, double paned tinted windows, etc. etc.  it's still miserably hot here in Houston in the summer, and the summer is six months long.  People DIE here without air conditioning.  So if you aren't prepared to give up your furnace in January (which I could do), then don't judge us for our A/C.

                •  hot, humid wants ventilation, low thermal mass (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Karl Rover

                  The last thing you want to do in a hot and humid climate is close your house up tight like it's up north or out in the desert where it's just as hot but much drier.

                  You want a lightweight wooden structure with as little thermal mass or insulation as possible: no brick or cinder block.  You want lots of windows and doors for cross ventilation and there are even some tricks to speed up the flow of air through a building: wind chill is your friend.  You want deep eaves all around to keep the walls and windows in full shade for most of the day.  You want a double roof structure so that the part that gets sun is physically separated from the rest.  You want to keep the sunlight off your house as well as out of it: tall leafy trees to the south and west.  You want high ceilings to let the warmest air rise.  You want to build up on piles or even stilts so the main level is up in the air to catch the breeze: those old plantation houses had everyone living on the second floor.  Paint inside and out bright white or light pastels to reflect light as light rather than heat.  Build your house next to or even around a large and deep pool of water (always in full shade) that will absorb a lot of heat out of the air, especially if wind is blowing over it.

                  Take a look at how they build in Southeast Asia where it's hot day and night for most of the year.  American architectural traditions come from cold Europe; they're pretty much the worst thing you could build in the South.

                  And yes, there are limits.  Wear as little as you possibly can, move as little as you possibly can, drink lots of water, and recognize that the South is only going to get even hotter as global warming does its thing.  Like you say, temperatures above 95 degrees F will kill when humidity is high and sweating doesn't work anymore, and conditions like that are expected to cover large portions of the planet ... which begs the question of why you still live in the South.

                  Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

                  by Visceral on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:42:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why do I still live in the South? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Charles Hall

                    Because this is where our jobs are.  This is where my kids go to school.  Please don't be condescending to me & my fellow South-dwellers.  Note:  I don't really consider myself a Southerner, because I am a native Michigander, although I have lived in Texas for 28 years.  

                    You are not really telling me anything I don't already know.  As another commenter posted, not everybody can build their house from scratch.  Sometimes we have to buy from existing stock, and they don't always build to suit the climate.  We've done pretty well for ourselves, since we DID custom build our house.  Our air conditioning bills are relatively lower than most in the area, but still reach $300+ a month in the summer.  I would guess that back home in Michigan, the heating bills are huge this time of year, where we are currently in that sweet spot when we don't need either heat or A/C.  So don't try to oversimplify the issues.  Should everybody in Texas just pack up and move Up North?  Not practical.  I believe that we may just keep getting hotter down here.  But I've also been reading about how the Great Lakes are drying up... So this affects everyone in different ways, and we need to figure out a solution that benefits all of us.

                •  Southerners are the only group (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Charles Hall, joanil

                  whom it is politically correct to stereotype on dKos.  It should stop.  As a Southerner, I find it offensive.  Besides which, the South is changing rapidly.  Parts of it, Florida, Georgia, N. Carolina are turning purple if they don't get turned off by all these liberals dissing them.

                  The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

                  by MadScientist on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:44:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I DO live in the South, but we didn't build (0+ / 0-)

                  our house. We bought it from someone who bought from a developer. The houses in this town were generally built to impress visually, but are poorly insulated, with cheap windows, high ceilings in entry ways and poorly designed kitchens. And people almost bragged about the poor energy efficiency of the homes. Dark roofs absorb heat in summer but are under strict neighborhood covenants so we can't hope to make drastic changes.

                  It's hot in Georgia in summer too, but many who live here may never have done so without the invention of the air conditioner.

                  "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

                  by Lily O Lady on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:10:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Not just the South, pretty much anywhere. (4+ / 0-)

              Air conditioning is a standard of living issue. I don't know anywhere that electricity usage goes down in the summer.

              Great for someone who says they can get by without it, but tread lightly before expecting that of others.

            •  I seldom use the A/C here in Atlanta. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ottawa Guy, Lily O Lady, Creosote

              When it's 100+, yeah. If we do, its set very high ~ 85 or so to knock the humidity out. I prefer to spend a lot of time outside anyway and A/C becomes unnecessary most of the day.

              I even drive a black truck in which the A/C doesn't work... that's a hot mofo in the summertime...

              I'm weird though.

              The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

              by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:04:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Not here in Central Ohio (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, BleacherBum153, Bronx59, sydneyluv

            Not if we're going to get endless days of 90-100F+ temperatures and 80% humidity. You can't live here anymore without air conditioning.

          •  But thermal power plants need water (0+ / 0-)

            A shitpile of it.

          •  I use far more electricity in the Summer (4+ / 0-)

            A/C is far more mandatory than it was when I was 25.

          •  Much of the United States (3+ / 0-)

            summer afternoons are the absolute worst demand periods -- and this is far from just the 'south' but well into north.

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:20:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  This is no surprise to me (7+ / 0-)

        We have been getting less precipitation in western NY where I live for a while, and the water level of Lake Ontario is also down. From last November:

        http://www.whec.com/...

        By most accounts, Lake Ontario is at a 50 year low and for a variety of reasons.

        Lake Ontario now stands at the lower end of the government's acceptable range that because of the lack of rain last summer, very little snowmelt from a mild winter and the fact that officials are letting out more water at the dam at Massena to help out with low water levels in the St. Lawrence River at Montreal.

        Another good link showing forecasts for water levels for all the Great Lakes for February from the US Corps of Engineers.  Obviously that data is outdated, but is still shows how much lower the lakes' levels are compared to a year ago.

        "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

        by Steven D on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:30:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I remember seeing houses float by (5+ / 0-)

          in the early 50's before they got the wiki:SL Seaway built ...high water events  were pretty spectacular.
               I am going to guess spring 52 or 53 given how tall I wasn't yet.
            I am also remembering the political discussions about it from my elders, and I seem to remember some saying the high water events could have been prevented but were staged as a political ploy by someone to create a crisis that the eventual ST Lawrence Seaway would solve. A dim memory, haha.
            We almost lost our beachside Lake Ontario house, built originally as a weekend house on the sandbar near Rochester, built by  my elders them own selves in the teens/20's. All the neighbors put in stones, rr ties etc...those that didn't lost a front yard or a house, I remember the waves washing over the sandbar the house was on into the swamp behind.
             This land is 200,000-500,000 now for a small lake side lot, at the time it was an escape where no one wanted to go, way past the end of civilization.
              Other relatives had nearby small houses with tarpaper/asphalt siding. That flooded...bullheads and carp swimming under the house, in the garage. So cool as a kid, now..not so fun. The swamp roads were awash as well.
            And the men folk there were all returning ww2 vets, this was now  8 years later, not much time to recover.....

          The basement flooded, and in 1953 spring there were fish down there~ in about three feet of flooded basement water. I fished from the stairs.

          We also had 7 sandbar extremely low water summers before the SL Seaway opened.

          I also remember in about 1958-1960 the Lake Ontario froze completely over, we kids were conspiring to hike the 60 miles to Canada until they screwed it up by sending in the icebreakers.
              We already had walked out five miles and lived.
           55 to go.
          No problemo.

          Everybody in my family subscribed to the Engineer's Lake Ontario water level bulletin and chart.
            This may be a bigger problem no amount of dams and concrete will fix.

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:30:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for the link (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D

          Very good information.  Contrary to what Republicans say, government does good work.

          Though all the lakes are low, Mich-Huron seems to be affected the most.

          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

          by Betty Pinson on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:51:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Do those processes require (0+ / 0-)

        desalinated water? Because the fact is that there is plenty of water. What is endangered is sufficient drinking water.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:24:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote

        the CONG (Coal, Oil, Natural Gas) industry have been locking up contracts for water supplies to the detriment of other (more important) societal uses.

        Good news about PRC -- the latest news is showing a peaking of coal burning far earlier than their previous predictions.  

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:15:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  s/b Fish:"Hey buddy, where's my water gone"? lol (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, FishOutofWater

      80 % of Success is Just Showing Up! CLIMATE CHANGE: The era of procrastination, half-measures & delays is coming to an end; In its place we are entering a period of consequences!

      by Churchill on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:22:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site