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Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/04/2010 5:03 PM

NUKUS, Uzbekistan – The drying up of the Aral Sea is one of the planet's most shocking environmental disasters, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday as he urged Central Asian leaders to step up efforts to solve the problem.

Once the world's fourth-largest lake, the sea has shrunk by 90 percent since the rivers that feed it were largely diverted in a Soviet project to boost cotton production in the arid region.

The shrunken sea has ruined the once-robust fishing economy and left fishing trawlers stranded in sandy wastelands, leaning over as if they dropped from the air. The sea's evaporation has left layers of highly salted sand, which winds can carry as far away as Scandinavia and Japan, and which plague local people with health troubles.

I have long held serious doubts about alternative energy schemes and Hydro was on the top of my list for doing away with, shortly after I jumped in this racket, about 35 years or so ago. I am sure that Hydro and the others can support a SMALL part of our needs, but things akin to this always seem to happen.

Water, the life giving force that we cannot do without for more than a few days destroyed. Life, money, or luxuries, we soon need to make some choices.

It seems that this catastrophe has created much more harm than one could ever have imagined.

I bank on Fossil and Nuclear Fuels, at least a bit of bad air or percieved health problems is better than dehydration.

What are you thoughts on this CR4?

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#1

Re: Aral Sea 'shocking disaster'

04/04/2010 6:27 PM

I bank on people getting re-educated about the use of energy.

The planet can only give us that much, without affecting our environment.

Planning your energy needs can save more than 70% of energy used in energy spoiling cultures.

We still manage for now, but our children?

If you want to be happy,keep the earth happy.

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#2

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/04/2010 9:07 PM

Nuke power leaves us open to alternate uses, like big assed bombs. The French are vicious about it, and good with it.

I spent some time at Three Mile Island. Weird neighborhood. Was for a Connie Chung show segment about Three Mile Island, Ten Years After. During the 3 week shoot in the hotel there was a raucous party convention of the mentally challenged.

I have some doubts as to whether or not US culture is appropriate for nuclear technology. Russian and the US have some cultural commonalities that scare me on that score.

Tennessee Valley Authority and Hydro Electric in the US are an odd mix of laws and private and public companies that do prop up supplies of energy very much needed. If you need a lot of cheap electricity Buffalo and that area still have advantages due to Hydro Electric power plants.

Cynically, or realistically, I figure the Oil companies will do anything to corner the market on Energy supplies. We'll have renewable energy sources as soon as they crush all competitors, and control the alternatives, is my size up of the situation.

The wild card is control of the water.

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#21
In reply to #2

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 11:43 AM

Hi Trans,

"Cynically" or "realistically", the oil companies will disappear as the oil gets shorter in availability. They are doing nothing! It's the same inefficiency as was the shoe industry decades ago. IBM "a manque le bateau" = failed to do something "new" in computer. It was other people who did the effort to create changes, and they did! What we do, blogging is not IBM's invention? Lead-free gasoline was not invented by oil companies, they bought the right to promote it.

I don't think oil companies are smart enough to do something for us because they are not able to do something new for themselves, Gil.

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#3

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/04/2010 9:17 PM

This is certainly an epic man made disaster but don't blame hydro-power on this. There's no power if the water doesn't flow. Don't get me wrong, there are many problems with poorly planned hydro-power. This is a problem of river diversions for crops in a formerly arid area to make a sea into a desert.

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#4

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/04/2010 9:30 PM

How that sea became salty? Irrigation with salt water?

Isn't it a political set up to get (more) money from Russia?

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#22
In reply to #4

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 11:52 AM

Hi Dvd,

It's deviation of the water for other purposes. The power of the URSS did and they don't care. Moscow is far from the Aral sea.

Don't dream to get some money from Russia.

When "politics" are reinforced by "science", everything is directed and conducted to a target, which is turning into disaster, Gil.

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#28
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 5:14 PM

ALL and I mean ALL of the former Sovjet States that are now independent had a deficit towards the Sovjet Union. Russia could have said - you are independent know - manage it your way. But no Russia took over the debts of all of them and pays for them. Russia e.g. rents part of Ukraine for their fleet. Read RT and get educated about this matter instead of brainwashed by the western media. We might learn some good parts of the Russians too. When it comes to info, there is almost no straight info. And I am not Russian minded. But right is right to me.

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#30
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 6:46 PM
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#32
In reply to #30

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 8:04 PM

It is a shocking image indeed. But who noticed it now has been sleeping more than a hundred years. The following article might be illustrating that that sea is shrinking and growing for centuries.

p[] copy and paste pls:

http://www.registan.net/index.php/2010/04/05/justnow/

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#33
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 8:27 PM

I understand the shrinking and growing of a lot of nature, and I don't subscribe to the theory that man is to blame for all. I see so much natural selection, micro evolution, and survival of the fittest around me all of the time. Of course as a youngster growing up in the country, I noticed the small wild game population fluctuate because of over breeding and disease, non hybrid fruit and nut trees, both wild and tame, in a bit of a flux through the years, not always reproducing true to form or producing smaller crops causing die off of a to big population of wild animals. Farm animals born with deformities, changes in the sex of the offspring as weather changed, etc. I agree it is all about greed (no matter the end desired), but I also believe that the earth makes a collective gasp pretty often and causes it's own effects.

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#57
In reply to #33

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/12/2010 9:33 AM

My message in regard to natural culling of the species. Since we as a group have become bambites, the fauna has migrated to the easy pickings and it now becomes a man made and created problem. We just used to accept the scenario posted below as culling of the species and any old country boy or girl has seen it happen many times, including the sex ratio as food and population ratios changed.

Acorn shortage may make wildlife roam next winter!

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#69
In reply to #28

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/30/2010 1:23 PM

Hi D,

I am not Russian too! However, the power of the Russian state, in the past and today, exercize negative influence in many of the old URSS. Today, Ukraine is in trouble because the influence in the state's politics by Poutine or Medvediev.

Also, check the Russian population. Russians are happier than before? They have everything they want? They have the same like we have here, I talking of Canada, or they have less? In North-America, we don't have majority. We can change our government, they don't have any chance to do it!

If I am Ukrainian, I never accept bailout by any other country or help by foreign state.

When you rent, it means it's not yours! They are not renting lands to produce wheat or other ingredients that help Ukrainians, they rent lands for their soldiers, arms, and other Russian interests.

I am Canadian minded and want to stay that way, Gil.

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#5

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/05/2010 1:00 AM

All the problems are caused by Global Filling. People require food and precious fresh water is required to produce food.

Agriculture are unfortunately blamed for every bad thing that happen anywhere.

People in cities think they are clean and green but do not realize what effect they have on the environment. Each individual is actually a polluter and a water user.

(5 to 10 m3 of sewage per month, consider the volume of water required to produce 1 meal etc)

Maybe the use of permanent condom's should be compulsory.

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#7
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/05/2010 10:04 AM

I agree with you on the people aspect. In the US, we could help the population situation if we could use our first two dependents (children) as a tax deduction and then start losing tax deductions for each additional dependent we claimed. The same way with welfare - help families that have up to two children then start taking away benefits for additional children.

I don't know how to educate the world on population control with so many differing cultures, etc.

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#8
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 12:06 AM

The problem I see with that approach is that we end up with 4 segments of society with the last segment dominating over time due to reproductive dominance.

  1. Educated and willing to act,
  2. educated and not willing to act,
  3. uneducated and willing to act and
  4. uneducated and not willing to act.

Two of those populations will die out as they at most will only produce on average less offspring to replace the parents. Out of the other two, both are unwilling to do anything to manage the resources.

The relative size of the populations will also be different.... the first and 4th in my opinion will be the largest. Out of those two, the first will die out, leaving a large segment of society not caring and not very educated either.

How much in the way of resources do with throw at the uneducated to try to shift them to the 1st category? Or how much two convert those in category 2 to get them to switch to category 1?

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#24
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 12:16 PM

Hi JB,

Look around and you get the answer. To do something need knowledge and guts to act. I just mention action of people you clearly explain to us.

1. They are outnumbered. 2. They shut up. 3. They don't know what and how to do. 4. Their silence outnumber the rest of the population.

In Russia, they know this problem for decades but no one government has the courage to start to talk about. Doing comes later and we wait for the first step.

Finally, it's less headaches to be uneducated and not be involved, Gil.

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#23
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 12:03 PM

Hi Hendrik,

Let's free to tell that Ukraine can easily supply for less than 400 million people - the population of URSS - every food need. It need to be efficient. Kroushtchev realized in the 1960s but was unable to do something positive.

No! We cannot blame agriculture. It supplies our food. The use of agriculture must be criticised. Everything is fine on this Earth, the use of its things is questionnable. What we do and how we do it, is the problem!

Let me know if it's "off-topic", Gil.

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#6

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/05/2010 1:41 AM

Well, it looks like the folks upstream wanted the water. I'm sure it's happened plenty all over the world.

The USA hardly lets any of the Colorado get to Mexico. It's pumped to Vegas and such, if I have my rivers right.

Not much the folks downstream can do, except send their displaced farmers North to find fields to work.

I guess the fishermen of Uzbekistan can learn to harvest cotton. It's supposed to be real fun.

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#9

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 12:07 AM

As I understand it, a similar issue happened with the Salton Sea in South East California.

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#49
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/09/2010 12:54 PM

JBTardis,

The salton sea was a salt flat that would have occasional wet periods after heavy rains. This condition was its normal condition until a broken levee on the canals that diverted water from the Colorado river to the LA basin. The break was fixed later. Enough water ended up there that it has been a slowly drying sea. It is not drying because of diversion of its normal inflow of water, but because the man-made fill stopped. In the mean time, of course, the migratory birds have found the water attractive.

--JMM

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#10

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 12:23 AM

Boy, I bet I am going to be real un-popular after this post. If you are selected for extinction, regardless of your way of life or habitat, it would be best to move to an area that can sustain you and/or your way of life. Eagles nest on sky scrapers. The dinosaurs would still be among us if they had possessed that common sense. We,(Humans) theoretically walked our way around land bridges and settled this entire planet because we had to do so. No one would ever leave the Garden of Eden or our parent's home, if we were not forced to do so. As in survival and business, one must adapt to survive. My opinion, harsh as it might sound. Gary

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#18
In reply to #10

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 8:51 AM

I do agree with you on most of this post.

My big issue is trying to save "endangered" fauna and flora, that is probably at the end of it's use to the world. Not everything can be blamed on the human race, natural selection has a huge part. We see this micro evolution everyday.

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#37
In reply to #18

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 9:38 AM

We see articles like this almost weekly at present.

My question, are these really "new species" or micro evolution, mutation, or just old culling of the herd.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100407/ap_on_sc/as_philippines_giant_lizard

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#25
In reply to #10

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 12:20 PM

Hi Guest,

Excellent demonstration what's happenning. However, we humans with our short life-span, up to 100 year, we just enjoy to participate, Gil.

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#38
In reply to #10

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 10:10 AM

Hi Gary,

No, you will be not un-popular with your comments, just the content could get bad comments or criticized. You are not there, only your writings.

The eagle needs to move from his high-perched nest when another, mostly bigger animal(s) come too close. We do the same. We move to the suburb when neighbourhood become non-acceptable by you, your wife or the children. I did the same from communist country to another western country without love or acceptance to immigrants, and finally I am in Toronto. Animals, plants are pushed out of their natural places or environments to somewhere else or no-where, and it's the end. The fittest survive! It's true for us, animals, and other living and sometimes inerts too.

Life for everyone, businesses, and other activities follow the same principle, the fittest survive! Don't worry, life continue with barriers and jumps, Gil.

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#11

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 12:37 AM

It is all about rain water storage strategies on land. The present exploiter should be prevented from draining out the lake, by way of alternate sources of water. If the draining gets stopped, natural rain can replenish the lake/ sea back into form.

How about a deliberate gravity based open conduction of sea water into land via non percolating base, the evaporating moisture can cool the air passing by, possible desalination plants, which can convert the saline water to usable grade.

There are master plans possible, schemes which could lead to shorter pay back periods and long term utility.

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#15
In reply to #11

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 7:57 AM

I don't know the details of the Aral Sea's source of supply, but many huge lakes are not replenished as much by rain as they are from rivers. The original post indicates the lake's source has been reduced by diverting water to provide irrigation for farming. As I mentioned previously, this seems similar to the Salton Sea in California.

I think it may be difficult to convince those benefiting from the agricultural products and those supporting the arrangement that's it worth trying to save the lake.

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#16
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 8:08 AM

Der JB TArdis: The Salton Sea is the result of the ocean receding from the land and not from farming, or man's use. The Salton Sea's condition was such long before man crawled out of the cave. I'm originally from California, and we are taught about such things as geography and peoples specific to California. I'm sure that others are taught certain specifics about the area in which they live. However, the depletion of the Colorado River is another matte:. It is the result of natural forces combined with interference by man. The melting of the Northern Polar Ice Cap is yet to be proven the result of Man's interference: Or that of the great glaciers of the world, too. As for the Aral Sea's present condition: this may be a case that can be proven to be the result of man's interference. Let's see the data.

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#19
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 9:29 AM

J-Rod,

Thanks for the clarification. I lived in the Palm Springs area for a few years about 10 years ago and the Salton Sea was in the news a lot. My memory of what I read apparently was not very good.

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#46
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/08/2010 4:28 PM

If you have noticed, "Man made Global warming" is now being called "Global Climate Change", and that has been happening since the dawn of time. Are we responsible for all that is changing now? No way. Are we changing some things? Yes.

As you are from California and are aware of it's history, geography and water use, than you are aware of the irrigation projects that move water from the north to the south. This has resulted in obvious changes. You know what happened to Owens Lake after a certain Aqueduct was connected to the river that feeds it. This is exactly what is happening to the Aral Sea. The two main rivers that feed it were diverted for the growing of cotton.

The data for the two is obvious. Just Google the Aral Sea and look at the pictures. This sea, once had its own Navy and a massive fishing fleet. Today it is mostly a toxic desert, not to mention the ex Soviet chemical/ biological weapon's lab and dump site that was on what was an island and is now part of the mainland. This is a result of water diversion by us/ them, etc.

The main thing history has taught me, is that everyone needs to eat; and if you and your family are hungry now, you are not interested in tomorrow let alone years down the road.

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#47
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/08/2010 5:35 PM

Hi Icarus,

I accept what you are saying. It's exact and true. However, during Stalin era, the Soviets could and did supply food but another region have to be producer of certain product, "cotton". It's the same as certain countries divert agriculture from corn to eat to corn to make biofuel. Today they are being hungry with little money! Originally money talks and people are converted to the idea that the new way to live is better than before. "Now" is more important than 20 years down the road, isn't it? The vision is blurred or sometimes we are blind. Initially, no one or no one country has food shortage. When you don't produce enough or stop to produce, the person or the country runs in trouble. This happened with the Aral sea, Gil.

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#12

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 1:33 AM

In SA we almost have an inverse situation.

The Cradle of Human kind is situated in a dolomite aquifer and faces flooding / drowning but the authorities persist in not allowing new abstraction for irrigation from the aquifer.

Can I mail some water to the Aral sea?

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#13
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 4:55 AM

Let's face it Hendrik, our government could not organise a party in a brewery, how would they ever avert an ecological disaster. Besides disasters are not know for paying big bribes.

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#26
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 12:30 PM

Hi Driver,

I just made a copy of your comment. It's an excellent and short description what's the situation when the government need to be involved. However, someone gave the "autorisation" to do what was done, and probably behind the "brewery", and for sure, collected the "bribes" and went out with a "free" six-pack, Gil.

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#14

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 7:38 AM

How long did it take for the Aral sea to loose 90%? How long will it take to replace that 90%? Further, how long will it take before the government realizes its mistake? How long before the people of the world realize that the present form of Capitalism is a front for the creation of an oligarchical society in which the expedient formula is "Damn your ethics, vote for your party?"

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#48
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/08/2010 5:42 PM

Hi Rod,

I think, it's over for the Aral sea to become a sea as was before. Don't forget the chemical and radioactive pollution around and in the sea. You probably cannot clean it and no one want to do it.

My hope; It never happens again, Gil.

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#50
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/09/2010 5:44 PM

Hi J-Rod:

You sound a tad disenchanted with governments and politics, as well as the economic and social structure of the world. Join the club.

I am a bit confused as to why you would blame the "Capitalistic" system for the demise of the Aral Sea. It is well known that this disaster is a result of a Soviet (Dictatorship) under "Good Old Uncle Joe" Stalin. "Damn what you want and have to say. Do as you are told, or else".

Even today the three countries (parts of the former Soviet Union that have an historical miss-trust of each other) that surround the now near dead sea, only have a veneer of Democracy and Capitalism. The mistakes made by the Soviet Union are now foisted upon them to deal with. They know there is a problem. their people are dying as a result of the toxic dust. This same dust makes it's way into the upper atmosphere and gets spread around the world.

History has taught us that unbridled Capitalism is just as bad as unbridled Socialism, Communism, whatever.

Still I will take my chances with Democracy which supports both Capitalism and Socialism. Dictatorships of any stripe have even a worse track record.

If you want to avoid that oligarchical society, than be involved, be constructively active , be accurately informed, and most important of all: KNOW YOUR HISTORY!

It has a bad habit of repeating it's self.

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#51
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/10/2010 3:49 AM

If you want to avoid that oligarchical society, than be involved, be constructively active , be accurately informed, and most important of all: KNOW YOUR HISTORY!

GA, and for gods sake......keep your government bridled.

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#55
In reply to #51

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/10/2010 5:35 PM

I forgot to mention a free and unbiased (if possible) media.

P.S. who is the pup in the chair?

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#58
In reply to #51

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/12/2010 9:33 AM

Hi Phoenix,

How can we bridle our government? In any political system, democracy, capitalist, communist, socialist, and other, except a few uncommon dictatorships. We elect a government with democratic way, and they turn rapidly into capitalism. Why? Because the dominating position get them or someone else advantages. We elected a clean and transparent government in Canada. The clarity get hazy and many times covered, transparency is denied on most cases, and we, the electors, we can do nothing until the future election, provoked or not.

Let me know your thoughts about my opinion on governments, and yours about your government because you know and understand it, Gil.

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#59
In reply to #51

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/12/2010 9:55 AM

There's a misunderstood aspect of the famous George Santayana quote, "Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it." Those that do remember the past maybe powerless to stop the cycle and repeating the past maybe a good thing.

A coin with less than two sides does not exist. -me

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#56
In reply to #50

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/12/2010 12:18 AM

even long before Stalin. But GA to you

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#67
In reply to #50

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/29/2010 6:28 PM

Hi Icarus,

Just a few words about your sentence: "History has taught us that unbridled Capitalism is just as bad as unbridled Socialism, Communism, whatever."

In a Capitalist state you can eat and can be rich without being a "crook", the honest way by being smart. In a Communist and/or Socialist state, we have the difficulties to eat every day at our will, and can become a rich by "screwing" people around. Remember 1930s in Ukraine, Russia. Millions were killed by not having food for everyone. At the other side, during the same period, stores were filled with food but people don't have money to pay for it. If you were rich, you have money and you have food, and the survive was easy.

We have to be carefull with ideologies. Marx was honest but he missed that I am taller than many other, so I can reach high, over 2.56 metre. When you are 1.56 metre high, you cannot go without help to get something at 2.56 metre. Again, simple mathematics! Good appetite for everyone, Gil.

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#17

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 8:09 AM

If California can't "fix" the Salton Sea how on earth do you expect several different countries to agree who gets to suffer more to refill the Aral Sea? The diversion of water was a Soviet debacle (call it 60 years then?) and, short of moving a lot of the people out of the area and ending agriculture of high water use plants (like cotton), you aren't going to make a dent in the problem.

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#20

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 11:24 AM

NUKUS, Uzbekistan.....That is just one part of the world......

when California has a drought for prolong periods, were do you think they get their water from?

Agriculture requires a large amount of water, but to say Agriculture is wrong is not the thing to do, but to manage water usage and become more responsible stewards of the supply.

The some international organizations of states and provinces that surround the Greats lakes such as http://www.iglc.org/ are trying to do just that. They started out as shoreline property owners to save the shoreline. I believe they also monitor industrial usage from the lake waters also.

One has to be proactive about it, but also reasonable of the effects.

p911

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#27

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 5:05 PM

If they have nothing better to do with Lake Vostok ... perhaps a mega-pipeline project is in order...?

As hinted at in another post, unless the cotton fields are done away with, sounds like a lot of "leap-frogging" / "robbing Peter to pay Paul" is the only "solution"...

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#61
In reply to #27

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/14/2010 11:43 PM

If in fact as it says "the lake is found to be sterile, its desolate waters will provide some measure of insight into life's practical limitations" then it might be interesting to use that fresh water supply to assist in undoing a great wrong, but other changes would be needed as well (not to mention lots of donated abandoned pipelines).

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#29

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 5:25 PM

As mentioned the Aral Sea is the result of a Stalinist, Soviet debacle. Stalin insisted that, as part of a five year plan wanted a cash crop for export and hard (Western) currency. He dictated that it would be cotton. This result was a water guzzling low grade cotton that could only be off loaded to Soviet client states. This required the diversion of the rivers that feed the Aral.

This was not for food. It was for money. Do not blame agriculture as a whole for this mess. Blame a totalitarian state that did not listen to there own scientists for over 50 years. Those you did question or raised concerns were either ignored at best, or were given a free long term trip to a work camp, or worse.

The west is also culpable. More work needs to be done, but at least we are trying to changed our ways. Try to build a dam, divert a river, drain a marsh, etc. today and the legal, governmental, citizen groups, etc. opposition are monumental. What was OK 50, 40, 30, or even 5 years ago is no longer acceptable. Not too long ago it was a good idea to use corn for ethanol instead of food.

Todays good idea's can turn into tomorrow's messes.

There is hope!

What is left of the Aral has become three separate entities. The North Aral is now being brought back to life. With western help and cooperation from the former Soviet Government this little piece of what was once a great body of water is stating to come back to life. The water level is up and the fishery is coming back.

Unfortunately the other two remnants are in poorer ex Soviet States who are desperate for hard cash, no mater what the long term cost; will continue with the status quo.

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#31

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/06/2010 7:29 PM

Here are my thoughts:

I doubt if Russia would agree that it's a disaster at all. Would you rather they were over here taking our food?

The fisherman don't have as far to travel to find fish.

hydro power is the best we have. It doesn't use water, it only stores it for awhile.

If we were to use coal or oil to produce all our electricity as you propose, there would be a much bigger disaster than a lake getting smaller.

Poor little lake, it's not the fourth largest anymore. It makes you want to cry.

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#34

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 3:01 AM

In India we do depend a lot on hydro power. However, the water leis fully used as water downstream of the power station. I t does not drain to the sea. However, it is shocking that Aral is fast becoming a dust bowl.

'Hang down your head in shame' should apply to us all for letting such things happen.

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 3:35 AM

While it may indeed be a shame that this has happened, I refuse to put my head down in shame.. I have had no part in allowing this to happen. I don't see how action I could have taken in my life would have effected this one iota.

This is in a country or former country that the rest of the world had limited information about due to a government controlled media for most of the 20th century.

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#36
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 9:21 AM

Hi Rami,

It's not shocking, it's a disaster my friend. When you stop by deviation the supply of the lonely raw material of the Aral sea, the water, there will be no water anymore within a short time. This is happened during the last 4 to 5 decades. The Russians are good to create "grandiose" events to boost there ego, including communism, socialism with stamping military parades, and other "we are the best", and show the world. The hidden effect of that is some disaster like many astronauts burned alive, radiactive pollution, submarine that kills only humans, and the famous Goulag that killed around 35 million Russians, and don't forget Tchernobyl and its uncompetent people who killed themselves and others. Read closely history and you will find horror stories.

In the West, we, who also know better about everything. We have Soveso, Love Canal, Three Mile Island, the legation to the Indians, the red skins, the remaining part of the Manhattan Project (radioactivity), some astronaut never come back alive, lack of education turned to mass-murders, and other scientific and government approved projects, which turned into "dust bowls" or similar cataclysms.

And for you, don't forget your Bhopal error on valves and water. Imagine, if the German who invented isocyanate used during the wars they initiated, we will be dead or German.

Check the initiators of these projects, they are never or extremely rarely the victims.

I'am lucky it's only the morning because if I write down these sentences the evening, I cannot have a sleep, Gil.

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#40
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 10:20 AM

The shocking part is the stupidity of the perpetrators, not the event. Whether they are Russians or Indians is irrelevant. I feel ashamed that my species is doing this. Obviously if you divert all water to the cistern there will be none to flush. Fish at least was a renewable source of food and livelihood for many thousands. One kilo of rice requires about 2000 litres of water. The farmers shifting from cotton to rice above Aral will only hasten the disaster.

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#39

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 10:12 AM

There's one thing most people are forgetting about this disaster, this process started with the entire Aral watershed originally within the same country. Regardless of how tyrannical, foolish, egotistical or careless the sovereign government was in doing this at the time this started this was all within one country's border. Now there are three minor states (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) that control the water that should be entering this drying sea. Until they roll back this water usage, the sea will shrink. This is a political diplomatic dispute across these three new countries. They will have to decide who does not get the water that was previously planned for some crop, or whatever.

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#41

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 11:03 AM

This seems to me as a MINOR problem affecting ex soviet countries and Russia itself: 70% of their drinking water is biologically and chemically contaminated. For the last (10?) years November class Russian Nuclear Subs are rotting near to Murmansk while leaking nuclear fuel... and so on. BTW: does anyone know what is going on in Chernobyl right now? Just wondering.

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#42
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 11:17 AM

Hi Doc,

It's hard to get direct and honest information about everything from Russia. It's the same than before, except it's not one country, it's cut in sixteen smaller parts but with the same attitude. If you ask about Chernobyl, they will tell you; It's not your business!

The Aral sea future is extremely harsh and uncertain because all three countries involved, don't see the problem the same way, and the economics are another issue.

Can "UN or other world autority" act as a negotiator and helper to solve this huge problem? Within another decade and the game is over! They have do act fast, Gil.

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#43
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 2:29 PM

The problem is we are all travelling in the same bus!

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#44
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/07/2010 10:46 PM

http://architecture.about.com/od/geodesicdomes/a/spaceship.htm

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#45
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/08/2010 1:42 PM

Hi Doc,

You are right! We are too far from the problem and not concerned directly with it, so let the "bus" go by. It's not nice from us to them but we can do nothing because if we go there and do something, they get upset with us because we interfer in their politics and life.

What's the solution? The excess of sea-salt will not hurt my business or my lifestyle but theirs is in trouble. So, if I understand well, we cannot help because they don't want any help? Suggestion? It doesn't work too. I don't resign but take a rest, Gil.

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#52
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/10/2010 6:55 AM

They allowed the University of Waterloo geophysical and hydrogeology depts. to conduct surveys in the Aral Basin. The research focussed on discovering the plumes where the irrigation water was escaping. What was discovered was that the fundamental structure of the underlying bedrock and alluvium had taken on the properties of a sponge...ie the irrigation canals lose water from a downward percolation. The affected area has now spread underneath both rivers so that even closing the canals would do nothing.

The question is whether there was in fact a comprehensive geophysical survey conducted during the Stalinist regime. That information would only be available to those who know how to interpret the original data. That info was made available...whether or not it was embellished or edited only an expert can say.

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#53
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/10/2010 10:35 AM

Actually the North Aral sea which is a remnant of the original, is making a small and slow come back due to changes in irrigation and strategic placement of dams. The plan is to cut the loss of water to the other two sections and salvage what they can. It appears to be working as the water level is up and a small fishery has restarted. The hope is to move this plan southward a section at a time. Unfortunately it takes money and cooperation of the other two countries.

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#54
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/10/2010 2:42 PM

True about the money. Given the vastness of the cotton fields and irrigation canals the Amu Darya River no longer reaches the Aral Sea whereas the Syr Darya still barely manages to do so. Many of the tributary streams that fed these rivers were turned into canals.

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#68
In reply to #52

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/30/2010 12:41 PM

Hi Duck,

We cannot ask questions as: "comprehensive geophysical survey conducted during the Stalinist regime". Stalin and others after him, no one wanted to survey or analyze the future, they do things, that all. In many cases, we do the same! Also, who knows what? It's another question without logical answer. Who knows what is suggestive but in politics and many times in science, it doesn't work because ego is superior or more powerful than knowledge. I don't want to be an expert but wish the best for dreamers, Gil.

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#60

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/14/2010 10:43 PM

I would like to thank everyone who participated in this discussion and took the time to respond.

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#62
In reply to #60

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/15/2010 5:09 PM

I thank you for bringing up this subject, as it has created an open dialog that allowed differing view points to be expressed and as a result, it has enlightened and educated me. Best of all it made me think. I look forward to any and all items like this.

Thanks

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/15/2010 5:24 PM

I believe we found a lot more input and exchage of ideas then was expected.

I am just now reading as I wait for everything to wind down here in the office and found this; another potentially good read and discussion.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36551880/

Thanks again.

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#64
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/15/2010 5:47 PM

Looks like a man made Sargasso Sea from hell.

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#65
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/15/2010 6:08 PM

I remember reading somewhere within the past year about the eels not being found in the Sargasso breeding grounds as they usually were.

A lot of the detail escapes me now, but it will make an interesting search this evening.

I remember being in New Hampshire during the aftermath of one of the more serious hurricanes a few years back and seeing the unusual color of the sea battering the sea walls, but gave no thought to this.

As my clients receive goods by ocean freight at times I am asked to go and watch offloading. Since we do not accept the trash because of invasive specie possibilities, it is held on ship and tossed in the sea after leaving port.

The strictest HS & IMS officers I have ever seen was in The Port of Albany, NY.

I personally have believed that this should be offloaded, treated, and incinerated, but?

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#66
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Re: Aral Sea 'Shocking Disaster'

04/16/2010 2:45 PM

I agree that the trash should be incinerated at the port of call. Modern day incinerators are very good and there emissions are far better than the old ones. That said, try to have one installed and the "Not in my back yard" people come out in droves. Clean and safe incineration of a ships trash is unacceptable; but having them dump it at sea is fine with them. Not my trash, not my problem! As for invasive species control. The Cat is all ready out of the bag on that one. Both the US and Canada are dealing with either accidentally or deliberately introduced invasive species. People need to understand that problems do not cease to exist when not seen; they just go elsewhere and eventually will land up in their own back yard. We are living in a global system. Trade and travel are important. It also allows for problems that people do not want to acknowledge or deal with. This is the modern day reality. A plague can be transmitted across the globe in under 24 hrs. via air travel. A ship takes just a bit longer.

Ideas, comments?

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