Will dryup of Lake Mead prompt Western conservatives to think of climate change?

Secretary of Interior Salazar thinks so-

I don’t think it will, not as the so-called conservatives in office today look at the world.  However, back in the world of facts where Lake Mead isn’t far from the level of “dead pool,” there will be enormous consequences for all the Colorado River Basin states: Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California.

Salazar: Colorado River issue could push conservatives to face climate change. By Karoun Demirjian. Las Vegas Sun

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego places Lake Mead at a 50% chance to run dry by 2020, with its enormous power production inoperative by 2017.  They gave a 10% chance it would be  inoperable by 2014.



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  1. Mike Avatar

    These people don’t notice/understand anything unless it arrives on their doorstep.

  2. Tom Page Avatar
    Tom Page

    The people who manage and operate the Water Districts are very aware of this problem. Salazar’s basic point is true: These are politically conservative people, and they’re likely to start pushing upwards on the politicians to do something about it eventually. You don’t see too many Colorado politicians claiming that climate change is a hoax.

  3. Kayla Avatar

    Personally with all the snow that the west has received this
    winter, am expecting that maybe both Lake Mead and Lake
    Powell might come back up some in the spring with the
    good runoff. The Colorado Rockies has had Great Snowfall
    this winter. I used to be a big believer in Climate Change
    but now do think that there are many many many factors
    influencing everything which some are which we Human
    two leggeds are completely unaware of. There are two
    things that I have become thoroughly against which are:
    1) Human Species Egotism thinking we are the center of
    everything, 2) Our Modern Society way of living with our
    lives worldwide being so outside of Balance and Harmony in the ways that the old indigenous peoples lived. Maybe we
    were meant to be only Hunter – Gatherers and not like we
    modern humans are. And maybe a correction is coming.

    Do see that both of the cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas use
    water from Lake Mead from an article online. Personally
    some might disagree with this but do believe part of the
    reason for this is all the development in the Southwest like
    Las Vegas. Las Vegas is completely hideous in my opinion.
    Also Phoenix is completely hideous in my opinion. Here are
    these huge cities out in the desert where hardly no water
    exists. And the way that they flaunt water. Shame on Them!

    By 2020, who knows if we Human Two leggeds will still be
    here with the way things are going on in the world. Just
    one nuclear weapon being activated will ruin everyones day.
    Again just maybe a correction is coming where we will again
    become hunter – gatherers again in the old ways and
    maybe we were not meant to have such sospiticated
    techno lives. Just in my opinion.

    Just my two cents worth.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan