WATER UTILITY CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT 2007 SAN FRANCISCO (2/4/07)
For over 15,000 years plus, the First People all over this Earth maintained respect for mother Earth and is doing so prevented what we now are so concerned about Global Warming and Climate Change.
What was preserved for 15,000 years plus was destroyed by mostly White dominating countries in less then 125 years. One of the best examples in the world is California. When Lewis and Clark set foot on the Western Coast of California it was pristine. Then just like that all that was good became a cesspool. Today, concrete jungles reign supreme and it is only in the last ten years we are seriously paying attention to our foolishness.
The Water Utility Climate Change Summit 2007 held in San Francisco - January 31- February 1, 2007 at the Yerba Buena Arts Centre brought mostly Water Utility Managers to one place to listen to mostly White experts who spoke on issues dealing with Climate Change. These folks addressed the tip of the iceberg and in future discourses I hope better sense prevails. As we all know an Action Plan with goals, and time lines is what we want. Money helps projects go a long way but most of all we need Accountability and Transparency with sound leadership.
In the year 2007 - I was appalled with the lack of diversity and how San Franciscans were kept out by very poor outreach at this Summit. Mayor Gavin Newsom spoke the morning of January 31, 2007 as usual he gave his Spin with few facts and mostly hoopla. Later, that afternoon he got his best Climate Change lesson when Alex Tourk confront him with his lawyer and laid to rest the myth of a rising politician who says wants you want to hear some facts and never tells the truth.
Global Warming and Climate Change is nothing new. And believe me Al Gore had nothing much to do with the exposure of Global Warming and Climate Change. Al Gore was indeed the father of the Internet and if you can believe that the Mother of Climate Change! Way back in the 1970s many Scientists saw what was coming. Many of us observing Nature new our Earth was been harmed when species were dying. The United States has been on the fore front of polluting this Earth mostly through the use of coal, diesel, and other fossil fuels. Also, rare gas that we use in our cooling systems and of course clear cutting of forest, decimation of large tracts of land, filling wetlands and a gamut of adverse actions that the so called experts can tell you in detail.
As the Director of Environmental Justice Advocacy I have written about Global Warming. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and from my early childhood was keen to observe and learn the better aspects of Nature and kept very close ties with the First People. The First People are the experts but as Whites would want to tout and tell you - they know everything even though they do not and are the creators of this present madness we see all over the world. It is greed and lack of spiritual values that will bring Homo sapiens to his feet.
Here in the United States the First People and especially the Hopi Nation have said more then any other one single tribe about the changes that will happen. At the rate we are going and disrespecting Mother Earth we will have a flood with the rising Ocean and the shrinking of huge Land Masses.
Much of the land around New Orleans 100 years ago was a sponge. Greedy developers chose to fill in the land and build weak dykes to keep the Ocean at Bay. We all know what happened when Mother Nature created a Hurricane and even today New Orleans and the surrounding area has not recovered from the follies of the past.
It is just a matter of time here in California when the rise in the Ocean will affect all Coastal Lands. In San Francisco eighty per cent of the land fill by the Coast will be swallowed up by the Ocean and the Bay.
I have been warning the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) for years but they have just woken up because of very poor leadership. Perhaps the only saving grace of this Water Utility Climate Change Summit 2007 was exposing the ignorant and arrogant SFPUC Manager to reality. Susan Leal is creating at atmosphere to bring to the attention of some that she needs the money for sure San Franciscans will NOT give her bond money. She has an affinity to spend money and waste it on folks that are inept. Susan Leal has failed to deliver no projects that are complete and work. One has just to read the analysis of the Budget Analysist to see how deep in trouble the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is.
The SFPUC has first to take care of the infrastructure both the Clean Water and the Waste Water. Over 900 miles of Waste Water pipes and over 1900 miles of Clean Water pipes and old and leaking. Huge sewer holding areas and clean water reservoirs are dilapidated and prone to seismic impacts. Much of the recent infrastructure maintenance was inferior especially that carried on by Mitchell Engineering.
Year ago the SFPUC was mandated to fix the Clean Water as well as the Waste Water infrastructure - the powers to be chose to fix the Hetch Hetchy system and have done little to address the pressing conditions in San Francisco with miles of leaking pipes that are adversely impacting the Watershed.
It is time California has mandated laws that send to jail authorities that continue to pollute the Watershed. The present laws lack little enforcement and this is a shame. It does not mean because we steal our waters from the First People at Hetch Hetchy that we do not care and continue to pollute our watershed in San Francisco that belongs to the Ohlone. We must learn to get our priorities straight with or without "Berber" tactics.
At one time the trees produce sufficient good carbons to keep a balance all over this Earth. Then, came the White Industrial Revolution which led to materialism and waste. Part of this wrong way of living was the use of fossil fuel and sending the wrong polluted gases some thirty five percent of the wrong kind that have seriously affected the Artic and Antarctic and more.
It is sad to see so many King Penguins and others die in the thousands because the glaciers continue to break and crash and often destroy the breeding grounds and habitats of these animals that have no voice. Climate Change has hurt many animals including the Polar Bear. In the mean time the White House and this Nation that can curtail the use of fossil fuel and green gases has done little expect spewing diatribe most of it very toxic. The United States has walked out of conferences blaming other without offering a solution. We have more land most of it stolen from the First People so we think we can do as we please.
We have learned little from killing the Buffalo. Learned little from extensive mining of minerals all over the United States. Learned very little from clear cutting trees including our Redwoods here in California. We have polluted most of our rivers and land and now we are determined to pollute the air and the atmosphere. And we call ourselves civilized!
I love frogs and have since a very young age used frogs to determine the health of any particular area. Every year hundreds of frog species are disappearing and no one worthy of their salt is saying much. Scientists that work for the United States government are silenced by the buffoon that thinks he rules supreme in the White House. God speaks to him but he understands less about Nature.
Here is California we had but a few days of extreme cold and we lost billions of worth of oranges and related agricultural products. Now, imagine if we are hit for weeks on end with any extreme climate change- which we will.
California brags that we are the world's fifth economy and even as we say it we fail to protect our migrant workers, have no health coverage, and our students use old books some of them antiquated with information. Some how, we have lost our priorities and climate change will force us to look at our priorities seriously.
In our colleges we fail to produce good students with sound education in the fields of technology with strong physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, electronics, and other fields comparable to competing with Universities all over this world.
Our White House Clown has chosen to waste billions in Iraq a war that does not belong to us. Now, it wants more billions to carry on the failing war that will come to bite him and our Nation in the butt. We could have spent this money to build our infrastructure and linked it with Climate Change. We could have fine tuned our Universities and Educational Program and linked it with Climate Change. We could have created a matrix and should soon to link most of our major economic development projects and link them with Climate Change.
Dan Cayan, Director, Climate Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography was perhaps the only sane speaker at the recently concluded Water Utility Climate Change Summit 2007 in San Francisco. He chose to address the various disciplines and show us all how they are inter-related.
It is time we work with all disciplines the weather men, the metrological charts going back, the hydrologist, the biologists, the anthropologists, engineers, scientists from a multitude of disciplines related and non related to Climate Change to put together a plan on a War Effort level to deal with rapid changes, movements, and adverse impacts that will hit us even as we are moving unprepared to address some critical issues.
Some 5 years ago the SFPUC got itself embroiled in internal politics never, ever thought is would have to deal with climate change. Today, it has to catch up with the madness of its own making. In a couple of years if nothing is done- major operations linked to the Phelps Raw Sewage Treatment Plant situated stark center in a residential area called the Bayview will come to a striking halt.
The Bay waters will inundate the sewage system with salt water as a result of Climate Change further huge waves will damage the aging infrastructure most of which lies vulnerable to the huge waves that will destroy the present infrastructure that was never, ever built to adhere to high pressure waves that can knock the infrastructure within a few hours - given the right conditions - huge waves and strong winds.
San Francisco does not have the money to address the situation and the constituents of San Francisco are not ready for another Bond Measure. It is the same with the State of California and the aging dykes but the Governor has made some millions available when we really need billions. Where can we get the money from? In both cases we built a system to last 20 to 40 years and now it is over 100 years old. To deal with real Climate Change and its adverse impacts we need billions of dollars and of course sound leaders who are educated on issues. We surely cannot have the present leadership at SFPUC address anything of importance more from what we are watching with the present Hetch Hetchy Clean Water Program.
Tony Irons has been spilling his beans but you know when you eat a lot of beans - sooner or later you will endure the affects of hot air - most of it foul smelling. SFPUC does not have the money and has been slow to address the real issues on time.
Mayor Gavin Newsom has rung his death knell messing with issues that reveal poor judgment. Gavin Newsom anointed Susan Leal and gave her a $300,000 annual salary - this "Berber Woman" who dislikes men and wants to take charge of a utility system has just realized the woes that inundate the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, through this summit on Climate Change in her own back yard.
Moral in the workplace is critical and as the months go by folks like Harlan Kelly, William Carlin, Tony Irons, Tom Franza, Barbara Hale and I could name more but it would do no good have to deal with reality. Analyzing and understanding the issues at hand - they will all have to do much more with little money.
Every year SFPUC puts off critical repairs and infrastructure replacement - the cost will go up twenty per cent. In five years one hundred per cent. It is before 2012 that the SFPUC system will bear the brunt of the catastrophe that is heading its way.
Some of the Utility Mangers have been aware of it but they can just talk about it. Of course we know those that talk the talk but cannot walk the walk. The walking comes with billions of dollars that the SFPUC does not have the tax payers' and not willing to fork out.
This is not a scientific discourse - it is an article that I have from time to time thought best to bring to the attention of those that want to hear. Finally, no good will ever come of any of our mundane plans if they are not spiritual. The First People in their understanding of Nature deferred to the Great Spirit. Modern man in his foolishness wants to take on Mother Nature and does that because he is a fool.
2nd day the Summit.
top - back