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Vital Water Graphics

My wife found this great site a while back that contains a report by The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) entitled Vital Water Graphics. The report is essentially a graphic look at global water issues. Here are a couple of my favorite that also happen to be the most striking to me. I encourage you to take a look at some of the others they have. Each one has a description, so it’s not just graphics. Enjoy!

Billy and I climbed a few boulders in Lynn Woods yesterday. As a reference, check out Lynn Woods Bouldering.com. On the google guide we stopped at boulder N12 and N10. N12 has a sick face problem on it. Probably V1 or so. Sit start in a big crack, up to a notch with a jug, up and right to some ledges, a gaston to a jug to a fun top out. N10 has a couple great problems on it as well. Here is the location:

We took a video of the excellent face problem on N12. I think it’s worth the hike to get to this boulder just for this problem. The video doesn’t do it justice, but you can at least you can check it out. There are a couple variations as well.

Cycle for Water

Cycle for Water

Check out these two Dutchmen riding bamboo bikes from the Arctic to tip of South America to Raise Awareness for the global water crisis. These guys are right up my ally. Sustainable bicycle materials with a dedication to contributing to a solution to the water crisis! I give these fellas a standing ovation!

On July 4, 2010, we, Joost Notenboom & Michiel Roodenburg, have begun an 18 month bicycle journey from Deadhorse in northern Alaska to the most southern tip of Argentina at Ushuaia. Our mission is to take one bottle of icy Alaskan water from the Beaufort Sea down to the seas around Tierra del Fuego in a symbolic effort to complete the natural water cycle and raise awareness for the global water crisis that is leaving over 1 billion people around the world without access to safe and clean drinking water.

(Thanks to Bike Snob for making me aware)

 

I wanted to bring up an important topic that got some blog time on the AWRA blog a couple days ago. The post has to do with how we manage groundwater withdrawals. It deserves attention for a couple important reasons. First is that the traditional way of determining how much water to pump out of the ground is incorrect according to the author, and second, its incorrect in such a way that if we keep pumping they way we are pumping, we’ll run out groundwater. Not a pretty scenario. There is even evidence out there that groundwater withdrawals contribute to rising sea levels. I’ll try to digest all the info (there are three plus papers referenced) and bring this topic back up in another post. An important question that immediately comes to my mind is how do we incorporate this information into our current water management structures?

What most people don’t realize is that once you start the development (i.e., pumping), the water budget, usually calculated under steady-state conditions, becomes invalid. Why? Because you have imposed a new stress on the system – pumping – and that means that the water budget has changed. But most water managers don’t realize this, and blithely assume a steady-state budget when transient conditions actually apply.

While driving cross country I like to tune into the local radio stations and see what folks are talking about. Sometimes its fishing, sometimes its cattle, sometimes its politics. This time it was Catholic radio. I don’t remember the station or exactly where I was, but I do know it was AM and I was in Indiana. There was a Doctor as a special guest, a host who is some kind of brother or priest and a call in audience scattered among the range of the transmitter. The show never revealed what type of doctor, or whether this individual is an academic doctor or a medical doctor. It doesn’t really matter. What he had to say was neither scholarly nor medical. The topic of conversation was the morality of homosexuality and the reasons why the Roman Catholic church takes a stance against legalization of homosexual marriage. It was a lengthy, one sided discussion with talking points I’m sure you’ve heard before. You know, things along the line of “homosexual sex is a sin, it says so in the bible.” and “God has reserved marriage for one man and one woman.” and “the law must not allow actions against moral law.” etc. and on and on. If this topic interests you you’ve probably heard it all before so I’ll go right to the first caller. At this point the “doctor” was off the phone and the host was taking calls. This is what the call was like. Bear in mind I’ve summarized, but this is just about how it went:

Caller: “I know the Roman Catholic Church is a big advocate for separation of church and state and also against legalizing gay marriage. Isn’t this a contradiction? Aren’t two gay people getting married a freedom of their own religious beliefs, therefore the church should let it be?”

Host: “Great question. Really. You see, gay marriage is against moral law and the church can’t allow legalizing something that is against moral law. For example, murder is against moral law so the church can’t stand by and allow a government to legalize murder. How do we know its against moral law? well, homosexual relations go against the very nature of human beings. Homosexuality goes against human nature. It says so in the bible, and it says so in our common sense. Its obvious that two men having relations is unnatural and immoral.”

Caller: “Oh OK, that makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up.”

That makes sense!? What a thoughtless response after asking an excellent question! The caller might be a dummy but the answer from the host is where I really have a couple bones to pick. The first bone is a big one. The host compared gay marriage to murder in order to make a point! I can’t let this slide. The second bone is that he is completely wrong. Hopefully some devout Catholics who blindly follow the Vatican are reading. I’ll take a shot at proving that homosexuality is not only well within the realm of human nature but is moral as well.

Let’s look at the statement: “homosexual relations go against the very nature of human beings.” This is pretty easy to disprove. It is a well known fact that some humans take part in homosexual sex, thus it is a natural thing for humans, as a species, to take part in. If some alien zoologist visited earth from another planet to study humans an entry in his notebook surely would read “partakes in homosexual sex.” This of course does not need to be all inclusive, it only needs to be consistent over time. Which it is. The fact that it is even discussed in the bible shows that we humans have been getting their sex on with the someone of the same sex for at least many thousands of years. I’m sure its been much longer than that. To take it a step further, a significant portion of humans are actually homosexual, thus it is a part of human nature to be homosexual. This is pretty simple, but true. No matter how much they’d like to believe it, homosexuality is not some disease, or parasite, or possession by a demon. It is natural thing for humans to be. My results are clear. Homosexuality is part of human nature. This doesn’t really help the argument of morality since murder also falls under the umbrella of human nature, and I think most people agree murder is immoral.

Now let’s tackle the question of whether it is moral or immoral. We all have different ideas of what actions are considered immoral so it’s difficult to define an ultimate moral law. Most religions have their own moral law including Roman Catholic, but as each decade rolls by many of these Roman Catholic moral laws enter the realm of absolutely ridiculous. Take masturbation, or divorce, or using condoms, etc, etc. The list of Catholic “Moral Laws” that have passed into the realm of “Absolutely Ridiculous” is long and boring so I’ll just move on. Roman Catholic moral law is out of date and needs a complete revision based on science and the known fact hell is not actually a location below the earth’s crust. Another test of morality is needed for this exercise. How about I just make one up to use for this discussion?

Making up a complete, ultimate moral law right here and now is too daunting so lets just focus on a couple key things. A couple universal axioms if you will. I think we can all agree doing harm to others is bad. I also think that we can all agree that partaking in something that will lead to the end of humanity is bad. From this starting point lets look at the action itself. We can analyze it based on whether or not it is harmful to others and whether or not it will lead to the end of humanity if everyone partakes. Whether it is harmful to others isn’t good enough for me. Why? Well, what if everyone on earth got wasted every single day, would humanity survive? I think not. Humanity would be in peril. While the act of getting wasted does not necessarily directly hurt another humans, it may not be “moral” based on my simple moral law defined here in this paragraph. This is why we’ll ask both of these questions to determine if an action is moral. Let me summarize before continuing. We will ask the following questions and if the answer is yes to either one we will deem the action immoral.

1.) Does the action have an adverse affect to another human being?

2.) If everybody partakes in the action will humanity come to an end?

Lets do this with murder first to get warmed up. Does it have an adverse affect to another human being? Obviously yes. Immoral! Next, lets do stealing. Adverse affect to others? Yes. Immoral. Ok, now what about two men having sex with each other? Does it have an adverse affect to another human? Nope. Does it mean the end of humanity as we know it? Nope. Will it poison your marriage? Nope. Does it do any harm to anything at all? Nope. What if everyone on earth was homosexual? Would humanity come to an end? Nope. It would just be a different humanity. Procreation would take a different form. Homosexual couples want children too, didn’t you know? I imagine agreements being made between the males of the world and the females of the world. I digress. Bottom line is that humanity would not come to an end. Well then, my verdict is MORAL!!

It is surprising to me that a relationship between two humans based on love and understanding is considered immoral in the eyes of the Catholic church. Jesus wanted all of us to love each other. Catholics are supposed to be striving to be like Jesus. I absolutely believe that if the big J were around today he would be on the side of gay marriage, equality, treating humans as humans, and embracing love in all its forms. I want to pass some advice on to the caller. THINK FOR YOURSELF.

I just signed a petition to challenge the corporate giants who continue to influence more and more of our food system. Consumers pay more, farmers get paid less, and the corporations that control the food system make huge profits. The food quality degrades, the status quo is lowered, and we’re slowly being poisoned. Let’s bring it back to the community level where the people who grow the food eat the food.

Will you join me and sign the petition to break the monopolies in our food system? Food and Water Watch does a great job at keeping it’s members updated with issues concerning water and food. If you join their mailing list you’ll be able to get all the latest, important news about food and water as well as take part to improving the world and making things right.

Take action by going to: http://action.foodandwaterwatch.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2535

I went to do some more exploring at Gowdy Playground in Peabody on Saturday. I found a crag with some bolted routes and a bunch of surrounding boulders and a giant boulder perched atop a high point. The crag with the bolts had drilled holds and shiny new bolts. Somebody got a little drill happy then couldn’t climb the routes they set so drilled their own holds!!! Sad. I also explored some large boulders in the utility line zone. Huge boulders but lots of vegetation in the way. I took a few photos, but my phone battery died before I could snap shots of the giant boulder perched on the hill.

While out there I ran into a Lynn City Council member out for a walk with his son. He informed me that there is a subdivision planned for Gowdy Playground. Many of boulders will be lost during this development and if this place catches your interest at all, go climb! Here is a google map I put together showing some of the exploring I did. Keep in mind there is plenty more out there.

From Gowdy Playground 2
From Gowdy Playground 2
From Gowdy Playground 2
From Gowdy Playground 2
From Gowdy Playground 2
From Gowdy Playground 2
From Gowdy Playground 2
From Gowdy Playground 2
From Gowdy Playground 2
From Gowdy Playground 2