Then how about this: Transporting river water from the mouth of the Mississippi overland to the American South West, an American Sahel of sorts.
How about creating several interconnected, man-made lakes throughout the South West that could be used for an ever-flowing source of irrigation? The usual drawbacks would not obtain. No dams to be built that would affect the flow of the Mississippi. By taking water only from just above the salinity line, the river’s use would not be compromised.
Imagine those man-made lakes as oases providing water for reforestation, agriculture, human consumption.
Imagine water from the mouths of rivers all over the world feeding man-made lakes in areas where vegetation could be sustained with the addition of that flowing-lake water. Think of the carbon dioxide that would be consumed by the trees and vegetation planted along their banks and in the fields nearby.
Think of the millions of gallons of water that would not be adding to the sea-level rise that is going on due to the melting of the Arctic and the Antarctic glaciers. And wouldn’t the problem of the ocean salinity changing due to inflowing fresh water from Arctic and Antarctic glacier melting be mitigated, and a balance neared, due to the lessening of the river flow into the oceans?
Surely the transport of water by pipeline, whether under water, underground (as in the Great Man Made River Project in Libya which has the negative of drawing from an aquifer that has no recharge) or over land, could be worked out. If oil pipelines can be laid to transport the fossil fuels responsible for the global warming, surely water pipelines can be laid to save us from the effects of the former. Imagine a chain of lakes on the order of Lake Amistad, the man-made lake in the picture at bottom left, but which would not require the damming of any river.
Not convinced of the connection between human actions and global warming even though the scientific evidence is over whelming? Well, the seas are rising. Desertification is happening at an alarming rate. How about taking action to save the planet even if you don’t believe that humans are the culprits? What is the best result? If global warming is happening and the planet will suffer, regardless of the causes, what can be wrong with saving the planet and thereby saving selves? Rather like an environmental Pascalian wager. Of sorts.
Top photo by Mark Dimmitt. Bottom photo by Billy Hathorn.