State of New Mexico grants water rights to keep water in the river


The Office of the State Engineer awarded the state’s first water rights permit to keep water in a river. The office granted the permit to Audubon New Mexico for a stretch of the Gallina River near Abiquiu.

Riparian areas, including rivers, streams and wetlands, account for just 1 percent of the New Mexico landscape, and have been stressed by decades of drought and a warming climate. A recent World Resources Institute study ranked New Mexico as the most water-stressed area in the United States.

Surface water rights in the state are typically granted to individuals for diverting water from streams and rivers to irrigate crops and support food production.

Paul Tashjian, director of freshwater conservation at Audubon New Mexico, called the permit acquisition historic, and said it enables private water rights holders to lease or sell water for conservation purposes.

Truly historic. Best thing I read online in my morning news. Overdue.

Samoa stopped vaccinating children and they began dying of measles — how did this happen?

An emergency ward run by AusMAT volunteers from Australia

In July 2018, two Samoan children died shortly after receiving their MMR vaccinations.

These deaths were caused by human error and not the vaccine per se. The vaccines were inadvertently mixed with expired muscle relaxant anaesthetic instead of water.

This tragic incident resulted in the suspension of the national measles vaccination program and loss of confidence in vaccine safety. Because of this, vaccine coverage for one-year-old children for the first dose of measles vaccine fell from 76% in 2012 to 31% in 2018…

More than one in five Samoan babies aged six to 11 months have contracted measles during this outbreak, and more than one in 150 babies in this age group have died.

How has the Samoan government responded? How successful have they been?

The Samoan government declared a state of emergency on November 15, setting the scene for a campaign of mandatory vaccination.

The government shut down on December 5 and 6 during a door-to-door vaccination campaign. People who had not been vaccinated were asked to leave a red flag or cloth outside their home.

Official estimates indicate 93% of the population have now been vaccinated. Achieving vaccination rates over 95% among children aged six months to four years will be key to stopping this measles outbreak.

They haven’t completely halted the outbreak, yet. Obviously, the precipitating events can’t be wholly reversed because the infected population is already sizable. But, a growing safety net is in place. Hopefully, the next time an accident – in any area of public health – provokes an ignorant public response, public officials will remember this disaster and work to prevent its reoccurrence.

72 people, mostly children have died. They didn’t have to.

I lived through a shutdown like this when I was a kid. Frankly, I don’t remember which disease. Broad public health vaccination was still a new thing happening during World War 2 and right after. The macabre springtime ritual among children – checking all our school friends to see who died over the winter – soon went away. Frankly, families who refused vaccination for their children were shunned as dangerous. As they were.

Looks like climate change feedback has arrived in the Arctic

Permafrost…melts into the Kolyma River outside Zyryanka, Russia
Michael Robinson Chavez/Washington POST

The Arctic is undergoing a profound, rapid and unmitigated shift into a new climate state, one that is greener, features far less ice, and is a net source of greenhouse gas emissions from melting permafrost, according to a major new federal assessment of the region released Tuesday.

The consequences of these climate shifts will be felt far outside the Arctic in the form of altered weather patterns, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and rising sea levels from the melting Greenland ice sheet and mountain glaciers.

The findings are contained in the 2019 Arctic Report Card…Especially noteworthy is the report’s conclusion that the Arctic may have already turned into a net emitter of planet-warming carbon emissions due to thawing permafrost, which would only accelerate global warming. Permafrost is the carbon-rich frozen soil that covers 24% of Northern Hemisphere land area, encompassing vast stretches of territory across Alaska, Canada, Siberia and Greenland…

“These observations signify that the feedback to accelerating climate change may already be underway,” the report concludes.

“Each of the studies has some parts of the story. Together they really paint the picture of – we’ve turned this corner for Arctic carbon,” said Ted Schuur. “Together they complement each other nicely and really in my mind are a smoking gun for this change already taking place.”

RTFA. Read it and weep for the damage we have done…continue to do under the “leadership” of the League of Corporate Pimps in Washington, DC. Otherwise known as Congress, the White House and the Federal Government.