brotherpeacemaker

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Water, Electricity, and Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Last night there was a program on television showcasing the horsepower of engines. One of the most powerful motors featured on the program was one of the pumps responsible for pushing fresh water from the California Aqueduct, a four hundred forty-four mile long water pipeline, over the Tehachapi Mountains to help satisfy the thirst of Los Angeles and the rest of the southern California. The pump was located at the Edmonston Pumping Plant and it actually pushes the water an elevation of nearly two thousand feet. I fell asleep on the show but my Ori was kicked into high gear.

The California Aqueduct begins in the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta at the Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant. This pump station is responsible for sending the water eighty miles to the Dos Amigos Pumping Plant as well as to the South Bay Aqueduct and the South Bay Pumping Plant which eventually runs the water to the San Francisco area.

From Dos Amigos the water flows ninety-five miles through the Coastal Branch to the Buena Vista Pumping Plant. From Buena Vista it goes twenty-seven miles to the Teerink Pumping Plant. From Teerink it flows two and a half miles to the Chrisman Pumping Plant. And from Chrisman it flows thirteen miles to Edmonston.

In order to do its job, the Edmonston Pumping Plant needs several of its own dedicated 500 kV (kilovolts is my guess) power lines from Pacific Gas and Electric to assure proper and consistent operation. The Edmonston plant featured these magnificently huge pumps that force fed the water through pipes at a capacity that could fill so many Olympic sized pools in a fraction of a second. My initial thought was impressive. Mo fe de fun Ogun, the Orisa of technology. The strength and power of those engines and pumps was in fact a superb example of ingenuity and engineering. But this is only one of the southern California waterlines.

Another waterline to help quench Los Angeles’ thirst is the Colorado River Aqueduct which stretches two hundred forty-four miles from the Colorado River at Lake Havasu City, Arizona to the east side of the Santa Ana Mountains. This aqueduct consists of two reservoirs and five pumping plants.

Still, nearly half of Los Angeles water supply comes from the Los Angeles Aqueduct which is over two hundred miles long and drains water from Owns Lake. The original aqueduct was able to be developed through a campaign of misinformation and manipulation by the Mayor of LA and his friend who was hired as the superintendent of the city’s water agency at the very end of the 19th century. They were able to kill a federal program to develop the Owns Lake area with an irrigation system for the local farmers. They duped the people into sharing their water to their dismay. Through secret deals and closed door meetings with investors a handful of people were able to become exceedingly rich at the expense of the public. I’ll save more on this for another day.

The power system for southern California is a complicated network that feeds the area something in the neighborhood of seven gigawatts of electricity. Los Angeles by itself consumes in excess of five gigawatts. Roughly a quarter of the power comes from four gas-fired electric plants within the city of Los Angeles. Half of the power in the region comes from coal-fired plants in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. The last quarter comes from equal amounts of hydro and nuclear. The natural gas for California comes from as far away as Texas. There’s a lot of money, time, energy, and everything else to keep southern California powered and watered. Why?

I’ve never been to southern California so I may not fully comprehend the magnetism of the area. But it seems to me that the entire area is propped up precariously just with its energy and water needs. Add the fact that there’s a lot of air pollution in the LA basin and I’m really beginning to scratch my head on this one. As a people we’ve invested so much effort into a system that’s just waiting to fail. It’s kind of like a human monkey trap. A lot of people have invested so much into keeping that system going that they can’t even imagine abandoning it to their own detriment.

Add the fact that people are being poisoned by the very systems used to sustain their lives it’s interesting anybody is still willing to live in southern California. Nuclear plants emit radiation and spent radio active fuel must be disposed of some how. Coal-fired power plants spew hundreds of tons of toxins into the air. And add all the chemicals necessary to operate and maintain these various systems. The town of Hinkley, California had its drinking water contaminated by a chemical compound used to prevent scaling and rust in water cooling towers used at the re-pressurization stations along the natural gas pipeline. The contaminated drinking water was suspected for a number of illnesses such as cancer, birth defects, and organ failure. But like the monkey in the trap American society has too much vested in these vast, mega distribution systems to rethink the process.

Every other species on this planet would be smart enough to migrate to an area more conducive to their needs. No one but the human feel that they have the right, the technology, and the resources to redefine the environment in an attempt to artificially improve what nature has provided. When the air becomes foul we just buy more technology and dupe people into thinking everything is fine and particulates are within federally mandated guidelines. Federally mandated guideline are set by industrial entities that originally created the pollution problem in the first place. Corporations lobby the Congress to have the federal regulations set so much in their favor that any fines that are imposed are relatively paltry compared to profits. A lot of people perpetually profit at the expense of the public. People in the public know this and they know it’s unfair yet they continue because they’re caught in their individual monkey traps.

When water becomes scarce animals migrate. When there’s too much water animals move out the way. They may not completely and fully understand the process but that’s not important. What is important is that they stay in tune with their nature and live in harmony with their environment. Man is the only animal that has the arrogance to think he can bend nature to his will. And sadly it’s true. Man will bend nature to fit his needs and desires. But when nature gets tired of being bent and snaps back and slaps the shit out of somebody in the process they’ll be a whole lot of stunned people standing around looking all hurt and foolish.

Man will build a wall around a lake on top of a hill, build all kinds of houses and businesses around it, and then act all astonished and dumbfounded when the day comes that the lake breaks through the wall. You see these people on the television news after a disaster saying something stupid like god is punishing them. God never told anybody to live there. I can imagine god looking down from heaven and saying to himself didn’t they see that big ass lake of water at the top of that hill?

The day is coming when the Edmonston Pumping Plant will stop working. The day is coming when there won’t be any water, electricity, natural gas, food, clothing, building materials, or anything else coming from hundreds of miles away into Los Angeles or any other metropolitan area that can’t support itself. People will panic and ask god why is he punishing them. I can only imagine what god will say.

Sunday, April 22, 2007 - Posted by | Black Community, Black Culture, Black Men, Black People, Faith, God, Ifa, Orisa, Philosophy, Spirituality

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