Smug Easterners say, “Southwest uninhabitable by end of century”

By Ed Uehling
Special to Las Vegas Tribune
The February 1 (Monday) article by Matthew Rozsa of Salon.com entitled “Why Phoenix may be uninhabitable by the end of the century” weaves many of today’s favorite political buzzwords (and some new ones) that strike fear into the hearts and brains of its readers, such as: “Minority,” “low income,” “climate change,” “Heat Island Effect,” “destruction of tree canopy,” “carbon,” “redlining,” “heat deaths,” “extreme weather events,” “heat equity,” “vulnerable populations,” “pre-existing health conditions,” “water shortage,” “Heat Equity and Resiliency Plan,” “tenuous water infrastructure,” “CONCERN,” etc.!!!!
Maybe we should appreciate the “concerns” about our well-being that Easterners and Californians who write these articles exude. Are they really concerned, or do they just want Nevada and other fly-over states to join their hypocritical and dogmatic agendas?
Writers, who are grinding this political ax, purposely redesign, omit and add data to aid their political goal. Since they are commonplace in today’s politicized and polarized world, I find it interesting and instructive to examine in more detail this particular article for its example of how these people mold public opinion. Additionally, much of
what could be said about Phoenix applies to Las Vegas and I am very interested in the great past and hopefully great future of the very special city of Las Vegas.
The primary theme of the article is that Phoenix’s creation of “Heat Islands” dooms it to global warming hell: “They will raise the NIGHTTIME temperature of the city to more than 100 degrees, rendering the city uninhabitable” to paraphrase Mr. Rozsa.
He manages to connect each and every contributing sin (as detailed above) to this fundamental offence against his political religion to further prove how Phoenix deserves to die.
Sin #1: Phoenix’s (and by extrapolation Las Vegas’) doomsday is not only caused by global warming, but Phoenix itself causes global warming. If one accepts the dogma that global warming is human-caused, would it really be too far fetched to postulate that humans ended the Glacial Age? Isn’t it somewhat comical for humans to claim that level
super-power when, truth be told, these same humans can’t agree to take the micro-micro-micro step of clearing fire-prone forests of dead and diseased trees BEFORE the next fire season?
Let’s look at some of the specific issues raised by the high priests of human-caused climate change and their followers as pinpointed in the Salon.com article:
Urban Phoenix creates water shortages. The people living in Phoenix housing tracts use less water than the farms they were built on, so acre for acre, water consumption has been reduced. The “shortages” occurring on the Colorado River are caused, not so much by urban dwellers, but by increasing agricultural lands in the desert valleys and the use of hundreds of thousands of acres of land to grow a very low value crop, alfalfa, that shouldn’t even be grown in the desert.
Las Vegas takes this a step further: it withdraws LESS water from the Colorado River today than it did when its population was half today’s.
And this has been achieved in spite of the fact that Las Vegas’ current rates encourage water WASTE (contrary to what its own propaganda proclaims!).
Phoenix has “tenuous water infrastructure.” In fact, it utilizes the same infrastructure that has brought and still brings the agricultural water from Lake Mead.
Phoenix purposely destroyed its tree canopy. Phoenix, like all desert cities, never had a tree canopy to destroy. This contrasts significantly with the land upon which Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (the hometown of the Salon.com writer) lives!
Phoenix will be subjected to extreme climate events. In the romantic view of Mr. Rozsa, previous generations of desert dwellers used adobe and jars of water to keep cool and he postulates that future generations of poor people will not be able to afford air-conditioning to ward off the 100-degree nighttime temperatures. He contradicts himself by stating that air-conditioning contributes to development of Heat Islands AND that these poor neighborhoods are, in fact, Heat Islands, which have higher temperatures than other neighborhoods. He fails to mention, however, that they, and everyone else, will have access to evaporative coolers which are very inexpensive and already healthier than air conditioning and becoming more popular in our times. He has apparently never bothered to inform himself that those who move to Phoenix are usually escaping the REAL and the PRESENT “extreme” climate events in Pennsylvania and other places, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, deluges, floods, extreme cold (solved only by consuming vast quantities of carbon-based, globe-warming fuels) and blizzards (today causing the closure of airports, vaccination sites, schools, etc.). Yes, we know that cities everywhere have growth pains. Maybe the “pandemic” will cause everyone to move to the countryside. But, just in case that doesn’t happen, and people continue to flee from the writer’s unsustainable, uncomfortable and ecology-destroying living environments by moving to Phoenix and other Western cities, what can be done in order to mitigate their problems and create a more sustainable living environment? It is something that Mr. Rozsa fails even to mention. Why? What could be his motive for ignoring the negative impact of horizontal sprawl, the curse of every American city? That one mistake wastes far more resources than all the factors combined, which he cites. It also segregates communities and peoples.
Ironically, Phoenix is looking at vertical development that will eliminate the need of owners and tenants to own and pay for a car that is used about 3 percent of its life.
That advance will rely on mass transportation. Perhaps it is more than ironic that a highly innovative version is being developed in Las Vegas — by Elon Musk’s Boring Company. It has the potential of providing true RAPID transit that is also inexpensive. The successful launch of his underground transportation system will make vertical living more attractive, propel needed changes in land use norms, conserve massive quantities of resources, stimulate walking and
biking, and create more opportunities for interpersonal “collisions” and may just create the world’s most livable city. We could be witnessing the development of safe, efficient, pleasant and extremely inhabitable city life, in direct opposition to the gloom and doom of shortsighted and uncreative naysayers.

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Urobot
6 months ago

Will this lead to more robotization of society?
Some robots could offer some solutions don’t you think so ?