Sunday, August 05, 2007

Climate Change in Idaho

As most of you know, I come from Idaho and most of my family is still there. My sister Judy just sent me this brief report - I want to share it with you.

"It has been very hot and dry. We have had our hottest July on record, with every day over 90 and some over 100. The water wars are on, and if we do not do something this year, we will be in lots of trouble next year. There are 17 fires burning in Idaho right now, and it is not even the fire season - that is August and September. Most of the desert around Murphy Hot Springs and Jarbridge is burned, along with cows and wildlife. The forests are full of fuel and tinder dry. If it starts in around Stanley, it will not quit until snow.

"Here in Idaho we are the product of our success and of climate change. Soon it will be unfit to live here. The mega-dairies are destroying our air and water. You can see the air you breathe 12 months a year now. The stench of open manure lagoons in the heat of this summer has been unbearable. Many people are trying to move. When I was 18, I knew that the greed in Idaho would be its undoing, and it is coming to pass."

Idaho is not a dairy state, nor is it suitable to become one. The mega-dairies moving into southern Idaho are destroying the aquifers, and a way of life that was once the envy of the country. The dreadful way they treat their cows and what they do to the land has escaped notice by inspectors, and is ignored by governments more interested in raising tax revenues than in upholding the law. There are other stories like this out West, where greed and foolishness reign, yet the media remains mum to the growing disaster. Less than 100 years ago, southern Idaho was desert. The land is reclaiming its past. PMH

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