Atlantis of the Sands

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

It is difficult sometimes when the story lines get trampled down and over run. The story becomes obvious, but who wants to do the obvious? But there is only one sun in the sky and its unavoidable in a story about light. The missing Secret Service texts are so reminiscent of Nixon’s missing eighteen minutes of tape. If the Secret Service “can’t” or “won’t” produce the missing texts, somebodies getting unemployed. If the one text turned over to the committee is about lunch, there’s going to be big trouble.

 With Nixon, it was the strain of holding on to that bridge too far of credibility. If you closed your eyes and held your nose. You could pretend Nixon’s defense  “There is a perfectly logical explanation for all of this.” fell apart when the tape suddenly went silent. It was too convenient and too obvious to ignore. Evidence by its absence of a smoking gun.

The Secret Service guard the President and top US officials, if there is a question of loyalty or credibility, they’ll never work in that field again. Who would hire someone to lead your security team who might be bought off or disloyal to the point of treasonous? So, you see the missing texts could be their lifeboat and their salvation. Or it could be a prison sentence and an anchor around their necks, like Nixon’s tape.

It is a very important story and a preponderance of the evidence story. A straw that broke the camel’s back story. If Federal agents were being used as active participants in Twump’s attempted coup. It means last cigarettes at dawn on a military base somewhere. If the texts expose Twump’s criminality, it means the Coup attempt still goes on today. The texts condemn someone; it’s only a question of who and both answers are unattractive.

But at the same time there is another pressing story. The Great, some would say just above average, Salt Lake is drying up. Down to one third of its normal size. It’s a major stop over for millions of migratory birds. Its loss will be an ecological disaster, unlike anything previously seen before in this country. This isn’t the ghost of Christmas future this is the ghost of Christmas right now. The lake will soon disappear like the sunset and that will be that.

Salt Lake City will become a dry dusty salt flat, and an anachronism. A Salt Lake City without a Salt lake. But leadership has a plan to save the lake or the city. Maybe one or the other, maybe both, they don’t know for sure yet. Now this something straight out of a 1950s Sci-Fi cinema. So, grab your popcorn and your three-D glasses.

Unhinged crank Professor Higginbottom from the State University (Fictitious) has a plan to save the lake or the city. Maybe both, it’s too early to tell. The plan is to construct a pipeline from the ocean to the formerly Great Salt Lake and fill it back up with seawater, like a child’s swimming pool. But in 1950s Sci-Fi there are never appropriations committees to study the costs of building a 1,000-mile-long pipeline. Water can be stubborn about being pumped a thousand miles. And who shall carry the burden of this construction and maintenance?

The formerly Great Salt Lake had five times the level of salt as the ocean. So, even with the cost involved the seawater will be a poor substitute at best. I don’t know, but I would wager that there are things found in the ocean that are not found in the lake. How well has this plan actually been thought out? Just because they’re both made from water with salt added, that doesn’t make them the same. But the floor was opened up to good ideas and this was all they got. There is no plan “B.”

The lake has quietly acted like a sink for toxic chemicals like arsenic for generations. But once the lake is gone the arsenic will be released and carried in the atmosphere in storms of salt clouds. Let’s see, a thousand miles of pipeline at say a couple of million dollars per mile. Means the plan shouldn’t cost us more than say eight or nine thousand dollars per gallon of water needed to refill the lake. It is a factual absurdity and just plain daydreaming and spit balling. It would actually be easier to move the lake nearer the ocean.

Largest ecological disaster in American history and can barely get noticed. The world is on fire from Russia to Rio and it’s described in the media as a “Heat wave.” Sure, that’s all it is, a “Heat wave.” We used to have those when I was a boy at my grandmother’s house, and she’d make lemonade.

Image, if the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone were to suddenly disappear. The Great Salt lake is in an environmental death spiral and its barely a blip on the radar. The largest body of water west of the Mississippi is going dry. The largest and most distinct sign of direct global climate change and yet, it is ignored except by the locals.

The city was built by the lake because of the lake. Can the city continue without the lake? Will this be our environmental Waterloo? Where we give in and admit defeat. Utah struggles with water issues both salted and un-salted. Less snow in the mountains means less water in the lake. Prolonged higher temperatures increase evaporation, until nothing from nothing leaves nothing.

The lake is older than pre-history and existed at the time of Christ and of Napoleon but will soon be nothing but a historical footnote. The lake existed as pharaoh’s slaves built his pyramids but will exist no longer because of the “heat wave.” When does a drought become the new normal? How long before a drought stops being a drought and abnormal and becomes normal? With history as our guide, we know that a drought such as this, shouldn’t last any longer than say ten thousand years.

What is our obligation to our fellow Americans living in areas fast becoming functionally uninhabitable? Do we treat it like the Gulf Coast and just rebuild after the storm or spend billions to refill the giant lake every year or two? Or do we treat it like Detroit and just ignore them? Abandon it for the wound strikes too close to the heart, and too close to home. We can’t help Utah without admitting there is a looming environment crisis in the United States which affects us all. And we can’t possibly do that.

We now return you to the political struggle, already in progress.

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