Badlands Journal editorial board
As this Water-War year shapes up, the lies, the slurs, the gaffes -- the "air game" as the politicos call it -- heats up with the temperature.
If only the desire of the agribusiness plutocracy that things remain the same -- i.e. get better and better for the richer and richer -- could be realized, somehow. Then we could all be happy farmworkers on the west side, enjoying the sun and dust-and-pesticide free fresh air. And for excellent wages, no doubt.
But, the facts are that things are getting worse and worse and the agribusiness utopia is a pile of artificially manufactured well known substances.
The agriculture they seek to increase is increasingly salting its own soil, returning the west side to a worse desert than it was before water was added and the ground was stirred by the largest tractors in the land. Species are going extinct at 100-1,000 times the pre-industrial rate; global climate change is already beyond the tipping point for ice melt/sea rise; and we are taking 121 million tons of nitrogen out of the atmosphere by the Haber-Bosch process "when the proposed boundary to avoid irreversible degradtion of the earth system in 35 million tons per year" (The Ecologial Rift, Foster et al, 2010, p.15).
That nitrogen extracted from the atmosphere not used for gunpowder is used for nitrogen fertilizers, like the 270 tons of ammonium nitrate that blew a 10-acre hole in the middle of West, Texas, removing the town's top employer and creating as yet unknown hazard to its drinking water supply. Read More »