Sunday, June 24, 2007

A1: "Municipalities release review critical of USGS water reports"

Joanna Dodder is pretty careful to separate fact from PR in this report on Prescott and PV going after the strongest basis for skepticism about what they're hoping to do with their rights to the Big Chino aquifer.

The strategy has become standard in our anti-intellectual age -- use the scientists' own acceptance that nothing is ever completely known against them (and us) and argue that since it's not completely true, it's therefore completely false. While this line of reasoning ought not to work on anyone over the age of seven, our education system seems to be allowing altogether too many people to graduate unequipped to deal with even this most obvious logical fallacy.

It'll be interesting to see what the editor makes of this on the op-ed page. Tomorrow, maybe, with a cowboy reference?

The sidebar notes that the USGS scientists have not been invited to the party as the PR campaign rolls out. I'm so surprised.


Anonymous said...

Who didn't see this coming? Politicians routinely confuse the issues long enough for their agendas to play out. In this case, they're just delaying the inevitable mass realization that we have a shortage of water sources and this way the developers can build out, make fortunes and then move on before the piper has to be paid. Read any of the Meyers essays for a much simpler common sense perspective. Take away the smoke and mirrors and the Big Chino is like a giant sponge in a bathtub with a small lawn sprinkler on top. What sprinkles in (rain) and is not drawn out (wells) eventually overflows (into the Verde). What you draw from the tub eventually decreases what overflows from the tub. You can argue about cones of depression, the makeup of the sponge or the virtually insignificant "external" factors but at the end of the day, you get no more water out of the tub than you put in and whatever you pull from wells will not be going down the Verde.

Steven Ayres said...

Well said. Can you post a link to the "Meyers essays," I don't know anything about them.

Anonymous said...

No. I just have paper copies. One is unpublished so far.

Do a Google search for:

"big chino valley" william meyer

And that should get you some material. I've OCRed something good from Bill Meyer's presentation before the CWAG this month but won't post it here for length. If you want it, try me at