Tag: education

Drought Easing

“Enchanted Light | New Mexico” by Jim Crotty is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Already we have surpassed the average rainfall for July, at only the three-quarter mark. This has allowed the drought level to be reduced from 3 to 2. That means our conditions have gone from “very dry” to “dry.”

What has Droughtman got to say about this? He says that 2019 has been very rainy, even though July has been the only month this spring/summer to reach normal levels of precipitation. He reiterates that the big lakes have a lot of water. To his credit, this time he didn’t say that means there’s no drought. Maybe he forgot to mention it.

Here’s hoping this unusually cool and wet July continues and carries over into August. It has been a nice change and we can use it. The wildfire hazard is down, a relief after the last two years of big fires. If we keep getting rain, maybe the aquifers will have a chance to recharge. With higher temperatures in the forecast, it would be good to build up a bit of a buffer.

We had a splendid thunderstorm pass through last night, with near-continuous lightning and some rain. Hopefully the lightning-caused fires can be knocked down before they do too much damage.

Don’t stop now, rain.

rjb

More Drought

“Enchanted Light | New Mexico” by Jim Crotty is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


Droughtman is strangely quiet these days. It has been cool and cloudy and is forecast for more of the same, with the possibility of precipitation, and he hasn’t said anything snide about it. It might have something to do with the latest information from our water management people. They have raised the drought level to 3, very dry. Although that would normally trigger Droughtman to sneer at them and point out that there’s still water in the big lakes, they also mentioned that Okanagan Lake, the biggest, is low. His go-to proof that he knows more than they do has let him down, and he has gone quiet. In addition, the upper-elevation reservoirs, which Droughtman had failed to consider in his earlier claims, have failed to fill this year.

All this is giving water utilities cause for concern. Their supplies look as if they might not meet demand, so they are replacing voluntary measures with restrictions on their customers’ use of water. So far it’s just for outdoor use, such as watering lawns and gardens on a strict schedule, but if it continues dry the restrictions will escalate. Already the lakes are low, as are the reservoirs and some wells, and even with the cooler and damper weather recently, we’re well below average for precipitation. It could be that all this information has been enough to quiet even Droughtman.

Time will tell, I guess.

rjb

Drought Two

“Enchanted Light | New Mexico” by Jim Crotty is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


Look up in the sky! Is it a cloud? Is it rain? No, it’s Droughtman! Yes, I’m afraid our blogger is at it again. Our water watchers have raised the advisory level to 2, which stands for dry conditions and the first signs of potential water supply problems. It is the time when some water suppliers might consider asking their customers to begin voluntary water conservation. The snowpack is gone and rainfall is still well below normal, so these are wise precautions. Not for Droughtman, though. To him it’s fear-mongering. Apparently the people we pay to keep watch for us are drought-crazy and they get some kind of mysterious benefit from scaring us unnecessarily.

I think I have gleaned a clue into Droughtman’s thinking now. He points out that the big lakes haven’t dried up. It seems that, to him, as long as we can pump water out of the lakes, there’s no drought. So he defines drought, not by precipitation, but by the availability of water for our use. I guess this means that we could go ten years without rain or snow and, as long as the lakes haven’t dried up, there’s no drought.

He didn’t mention the upper elevation reservoirs, though, where we get much of our water during the dry season. These reservoirs won’t be replenished without rain and snow, but maybe Droughtman would have us fill them by pumping water out of the big lakes.

rjb

Drought Conditions

“Enchanted Light | New Mexico” by Jim Crotty is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

In my area precipitation has been below normal for the last few months. This is the time of year when we would normally expect a good part of our annual rainfall, and the appropriate authorities have been warning us of the possibility of drought. The conditions are abnormally dry. If they continue abnormally dry then the criteria for moderate or worse drought conditions will be met, hence the warning. That’s what we pay them to do. We pay people to collect the data and we pay other people to interpret it for us so we can plan accordingly.

It’s not a perfect system. It doesn’t always get everything right. Sometimes the actual amounts of precipitation will differ from the forecasts used in their projections. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the one we use. They have to work with the available data and this year the data is saying that it’s drier than normal. It would be wrong to criticize them for employing current best practises with an abundance of caution.

We’ve had some rain in the last couple of days. We’re still below normal for the period, and there are dry, sunny days in the forecast, but a local blog operator has made a post mocking the reports warning of possible drought conditions. He thinks it’s clever to sieze on two wet days and mock the efforts of the people we pay to watch out for us. This same blogger has used a cold snap in the winter as an opportunity to say, “So much for global warming, eh?”

What are you supposed to do with people like that?

rjb

People Who Know the Least Think They Know the Most

gmo

The Edmonton Journal has an article about an inverse correlation between how much a person knows and how much they think they know.

People often suffer from an ‘illusion of knowledge,’ write the authors of a new study that finds that people who hold the most extreme views about genetically modified foods know the least.

“The less people know,” the authors conclude, “the more opposed they are to the scientific consensus.”

The problem is similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect: The less competent a person is at something, the smarter they think they are.

“Extremists have this characteristic of being much worse than the other people at evaluating how much they know.”

The answer would seem to be education, but …
Sometimes it backfires, and people double down on their “counter-scientific consensus attitudes.”

You should see the comments.

Peter Lawless
A big whitewash not so much for science, but for the GMO’s! The thing here is that these “scientists ” and “experts” either get it totally wrong through genuine ignorance, or make it so by lying for corrupt reasons like being in the pay of big corporations.

Wayne Alan
Did you read the article?

Wendy Dann
This is a TERRIBLE INSULTING ARICLE. It began with a discussion about the GMO debate and then it went on insulted people about everything.

John Brookes
How is this insulting? It just says that people who don’t know anything think that they do.

The scientists are going to test their findings in other areas, such as vaccinations and homeopathy. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that the results will be very similar to this study of attitudes toward genetically modified foods. Do you think I’m cynical?

via People with extreme anti-science views know the least, but think they know the most: study | Edmonton Journal

rjb

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