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Old 10-03-2009, 11:06 AM
 
8,124 posts, read 16,029,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5thIndian View Post
The alernet article "Why Red-Colored Snow..." was interesting. Thanks for posting it. Question I have about the article though is about the real reason for the red-colored snow those backcountry skiers reported seeing an increase of. Watermelon snow is mentioned but this is apparently(google search) a term used for snow that looks reddish or pink (and actually smells like watermelon) and caused by a type of algae, not dust.
Yes, there is a difference between the two. I've seen a lot of "watermelon" snow over the years. The difference between that a ton of Utah red dirt mixed in with the snowpack is real easy to spot. In fact, there can be layers within the snowpack of reddish dirt-impregated snow depending on how much dust was blowing around when that snow was at the top of the snowpack.
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:11 PM
 
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Thanks Jazz, So is algae causing any of it in Colorado or Utah? Or is it all from the dust?
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:08 PM
 
8,124 posts, read 16,029,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5thIndian View Post
Thanks Jazz, So is algae causing any of it in Colorado or Utah? Or is it all from the dust?
This past spring most of what I saw was from dust. As an aside, I have not been able to keep a car clean all summer--not from driving in mud, but from "muddy rainstorms" where sprinkles of rain are falling through dust-filled air. Just washed the damned thing again yesterday and it looks like it's going to do the same thing again tonight or tomorrow.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,509 posts, read 11,285,282 times
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jazzlovert wrote:
I have not been able to keep a car clean all summer--not from driving in mud, but from "muddy rainstorms" where sprinkles of rain are falling through dust-filled air.
I second that emotion. You don't need to take your vehichle off road to get it muddy. Just leave it out when it's raining. The only way to keep your car clean in Colorado, is to keep a dust cover on it in the garage......and don't ever drive it.

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 10-04-2009 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 10-31-2009, 01:32 PM
 
17,328 posts, read 24,408,950 times
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Let's throw some numbers at this issue.

Per the Univ of California, Ag Extension service, it takes these amounts of water to produce ONE POUND of each of these foods:
Lettuce, 23 gallons
Tomatoes, 23 gallons
Potatoes, 24 gallons
Wheat, 25 gallons
Carrots, 33 gallons
Apples, 49 gallons
Chicken, 816 gallons
Pork, 1630 gallons
Beef, 5214 gallons

Water usage for these commodities is said to be higher in CO, AZ, and NM owing to a drier climate.

The pot roast we cooked yesterday used more water than I use in a year for daily showering.

- U.S. corn usage: Human consumption = 2% ; Livestock feed = 77%
- U.S. grain/cereal fed to livestock: 70%
- Grain/soybeans fed to U.S. livestock would feed 1.4B people
- U.S. population is 4% of world population
- U.S. population eats 23% of the worlds beef
- U.S. farmland producing vegetables: 4M acres
- U.S. farmland producing hay for livestock: 56M acres

The OIL connection to all this:
- Calories of fossil fuel used to produce 1 calorie of protein from soybeans: 2
- Calories of fossil fuel used to produce 1 calorie of protein from corn or wheat: 3
- Calories of fossil fuel used to produce 1 calorie of protein from beef: 54

Putting all that together, the MAIN reason the west is "running out" of water is the beef business, not development.

Are we really running out of water? It still rains and snows. Main issue is we have different entities competing for the available water resources. The aquifers are being depleted, and in that context we are running out. Eat less beef, have more water.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,220 posts, read 3,402,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Putting all that together, the MAIN reason the west is "running out" of water is the beef business, not development.

Are we really running out of water? It still rains and snows. Main issue is we have different entities competing for the available water resources. The aquifers are being depleted, and in that context we are running out. Eat less beef, have more water.
Except that much of the corn/grain is grown outside the arid west and brought in for livestock feed. Corn grown in Nebraska isn't really causal w/r/t water shortages in western Colorado.

Now the energy required to produce that feed is another bad thing entirely. Our love for beef drives massive fuel consumption...fertilizer production, water pumping/irrigation, planting, cultivating, harvesting, transportation, processing, refrigerating, and cooking.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Bob from down south wrote:
Our love for beef drives massive fuel consumption...fertilizer production, water pumping/irrigation, planting, cultivating, harvesting, transportation, processing, refrigerating, and cooking.
I'm gonna pat myself on the back and toot my own horn....I've managed to live without a single ounce of beef, chicken, pork, etc for the past 37 years. Veggies, beans, grains, nuts, and very occassional fish have kept me alive and well with above average health during that time. Beef is a socially supported addiction...not a necessity. For me anyway it was an easy addiction to break, and I was the kind of guy in HS who would eat 6 hambugers at at time. Back then, a meal without meat was just a snack to me, somethign to tide me over until I could get some real food into my body. I was strongly influenced by a book titled Diet For A Small Planet by Frances Moore Lapee. I don't recall her numbers, but she wrote about how the production of beef required FAR more resources than the production of grains and vegetables. It all made sense to me in my eartly 20s, so I simply stopped eating meat...cold turkey. Just as sudden as Forrest Gump decided that his running days were over.


Mike...thanks for posting those numbers!

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 11-01-2009 at 11:07 AM..
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:55 AM
 
17,328 posts, read 24,408,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
Bob from down south wrote:
Our love for beef drives massive fuel consumption...fertilizer production, water pumping/irrigation, planting, cultivating, harvesting, transportation, processing, refrigerating, and cooking.
I'm gonna pat myself on the back and toot my own horn....I've managed to live without a single ounce of beef, chicken, pork, etc for the past 37 years. Veggies, beans, grains, nuts, and very occassional fish have kept me alive and well with above average health during that time. Beef is an addiction...not a necessity. For me anyway it was an easy addiction to break, and I was the kind of guy in HS who would eat 6 hambugers at at time. Back then, a meal without meat was just a snack to me.


Mike...thanks for posting thsoe numbers!
Cos, thanks for the kind words. I like to have some numbers from some smart guys to help me focus and get past the often emotional POV's put forth by any number of people in forums all over this website. I find numbers and facts comforting, emotions are icky.

I see TV shows where people try to eat, in one sitting, an 84-ounce steak at a place in TX. I go to my local eatery and see a 16 and a 22 ouncer on the menu. Myself, I was never healthier than when I was a member of Weight Watchers and held my beef/pork consumption to 12 ounces PER WEEK. When I do order a steak, I go for the 5 or 6 ounce filet with a plain baked potato.

Bob is dead on about the fuel usage for Ag uses. One of the books I read recently stated that US Ag uses as much fuel as all the cars in the USA. I don't doubt those numbers and I know Bob and Jazzlover all agree that the most insane use of petroleum (and water) is to grow corn for making ethanol, where it takes as much energy to make a gallon of ethanol as you get back out of a gallon of ethanol. To pump Colorado rivers and aquifers dry to raise corn for ethanol should have everyone spitting tacks and sputtering mad.

I recently read "The Food Revolution" and will be cutting back on meat and looking for classes to cook veggies.

For the sake of this rather long thread, I'll recap my POV by saying that IIRC, 80% of water used in COLO is for Ag uses, but if we cut back on meat eating, ethanol production and bluegrass lawns, then we in COLO can grow the fruits and veggies (and reasonable amounts of beef) in-state that would make us self-sustaining, or very near so, especially with modern greenhouse, drip irrigation, wind and solar technologies. No reason we can't have vine ripened COLORADO-grown beefsteak tomatoes with our New Year's turkey dinner. It's all in what we get off our butts and make happen, despite whichever lobbies buy the charms found in that national bordello we call Congress.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 11-01-2009 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:05 AM
 
13,186 posts, read 12,273,762 times
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I'm 99% sure the restaurant Mike is talking about is The Big Texan, which is just outside Amarillo. The deal with that place is if you eat that 84 oz. steak right there on the spot, they give you another one. That place has been in Amarillo for a long time and also has motel rooms and a gift shop. I've actually eaten at that place a few times (not steak, though) and the food actually is pretty good. I have friends who live in Tucumcari, N.M., about an hour and a half drive west of there.

Amarillo doesn't have a lot going for them tourist wise, so places like that get promoted for what its worth. Anyone reading here who has gone through Amarillo would likely attest to that!
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:20 PM
 
2,201 posts, read 3,536,210 times
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Wink Holy Cow!

Quote:
"The pot roast we cooked yesterday used more water than I use in a year for daily showering."
- Mike from back east

That certainly gave me pause. One might change to low-flow shower heads and think they've done their part, never suspecting some of the other parameters.

Interesting and pertinent data. The 'Beef Council' (if there is one) is going to have a cow about this.
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