Static’s boss asked for a little research help: Is this the earliest that watering restrictions have ever been instituted in Fort Worth?
Well, um, yes, boss. Since watering restrictions in Fort Worth actually have been in force since last summer, you could say this is the earliest they’ve ever gone into effect. In fact, the city council last month finally voted to make the twice-a-week rules (that is, Stage 1 restrictions) permanent: No sprinkler-watering at all from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., even-numbered residential addresses do their irrigating on Wednesdays and Saturdays, odd-numbered ones on Thursdays and Sundays, businesses and other places turn on the tap on Tuesdays and Fridays, and the whole town is dry on Mondays, so to speak. (Maybe there’s a new ad campaign for bars in there: “Can’t water today? Come on in and get sloshed with us.”)
The reason for the question was the Obama administration’s restating of the obvious this week, that yes, Virginia, there is climate change going on, and it’s coming down your chimney as we speak. As various industries continue to trash this rock as though it were a hotel-room after-party, the planet is moving into DefCon4.
Finally, finally, more people are starting to pay attention to what’s going on. Killer storms, unending drought, huge wildfires, ice shelves breaking free, rising sea levels — what could have gotten their attention? But hey, better almost-too-late than never.
No less a personage than a Nobel Peace Prize winner, retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, recently called for an “apartheid-style boycott” to save the planet. “The horse may not have bolted, but it’s well on its way through the stable door,” he wrote in a commentary in The Guardian. And he outlined a Gandhian campaign of passive resistance to apply economic pressure for change, including tactics like the worldwide fossil-fuel divestment campaign that is already going on (and that is akin to sacrilege in this state, of course). “We have allowed the interests of capital to outweigh the interests of human beings and our Earth,” Tutu wrote. Yea, verily.
And what project did Tutu call out at the beginning of his commentary? Why, that would be the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s appalling, he said, that the United States is still debating whether to approve a project to move “the world’s dirtiest oil” across our country to the Gulf Coast. That would be the Texas Gulf Coast. “It will affect the whole world, our shared world, the only world we have,” he said.
Bring it on home, Your Excellency. It’s here, it’s us, it’s next door. My boss apparently has yet to turn on her sprinklers this year, but even those of us who still worship at the altar of St. Augustine can do our part.
“We’re just hoping for some rain and to control water usage before we get to stage two,” Fort Worth Water Department spokeswoman Mary Gugliuzza said.
Indeed. Let’s all do more than hope.