June 20th – Flooding in the Midwest


       The Geezer was gazing at the canal waters creeping up with the tide.  He’d already made his monthly mark at full moon high tide, his way of keeping up with the validity of global warming.  I’ll save that discussion for a later message.  I asked, “Hey Geezer, what are you thinking about?”
       “Those poor folks getting flooded out in the Midwest.  Recovering from natural disasters is heart-breaking.  You know Mrs. Gator and I went through this a few years back when Hurricane Charley came through and practically destroyed the house you’re living in.  It took us 30 months before we were back close to normal.”
       “Floods and hurricanes are a fact of life Geezer.  If you choose to live in an area that has them, well…”
       “Of course, you’re right, Sandy.  We did choose to rebuild here and that decision cost us dearly.  Personally.  And, if another hurricane comes, it could wipe us out.  You do what you can.  Build your house stronger, and so forth.”
       I thought for a second.  “Oh, you mean like the levees they build along the river?”
       “Kind of.  You see the levees save one area and redistribute water to another.  Soon the area affected by the redistribution builds a levee that’s bigger and higher.  Those levees act like coferdams raising the level of the floods creating a catch 22.  But, I was just thinking how, if we hadn’t lost our national ingenuity, our ability to make lemonaide from lemons, the people in the area and all of the US could benefit from the rise and fall of those rivers.  Of course, you have to think out of the box, something that our politicians won’t do.”
       “What’s that Geezer?”
       “See the tide rising?  That’s hydraulic power just like what’s used to generate power by the TVA and by Boulder Dam out west.”
       “I don’t know the names, but I suppose your talking about hydro-electric power, Gator.”
       “Exactly, Sandy.  Try this concept.  You create levees in unprotected areas and some huge impoundments with two way dams and electrical generation capabilities integrated in them.  When the river rises, water rushes into these huge impoundments generating energy.  The water is released on a more gradual basis producing more power.  Would it eleiminate all need for other power sources in the area?  No.  Probably not.  Would it significantly reduce our need for fuel fired electric plants?  Yes.”
       “Damn, Geezer, that sounds good.”
       “That’s just the part of the benefit.  Savings in the costs of property damage would go a long way in paying for these projects.  The excess water is stored and contained, not flooding homes, farms, and businesses.  Part of that water can be used to irrigate crops when mother nature turns off the faucet.  Another benefit is the recreational possibilities those impoudments provide and the prospects for tourism.”
       “Wow, I think you have something that really sounds like it’s worth looking into!  Geezer Gator, you need to write that up and get something done.”
       The Geezer laughed heartily, “Fat chance.”
       “Why?”
       “I’m not a politician, celebrity, or some egg-head communist professor in a university.  Unless you are one of those, you can’t get anyone to listen to you.  The words are credentials and name recognition.  Those are the words the elite use to discredit any ideas not hatched by their exclusive frat group.”  
       “That’s horrible, Geezer!”
       “Yes, I’m afraid it is, Sandy.  I’ll tell you who bears the blame.  TV.  Movies.  Radio.  Newspapers.  Publishing in general.  If Edison invented the light bulb today we’d still be using candles because he hadn’t spent time wallowing in some cesspool like, Harvard, Yale, or Brown.  Osama Obama and Mex McCain, the two rectal aperatures running for President are just more of the same.  Old style politicians.  Things aren’t going to change until…”  There were tears forming in old Geezer Gators eyes.  “God, I hate to see what’s happening to the country I love.”  The Geezer looked away.
      I let him sit in silence.  Sometimes when you’re helpless to do anything, its best to say nothing.  Well, not until you can do something.

###

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