The River Risk in the USA

I was watching a programme the other day on the BBC, it was a science show being syndicated across radio and the TV station.  I’d listened to the initial broadcast which was on the World Service about the river pollution and problems in the UK and how they had started solving them.  Unfortunately I thought I’d missed the BBC show as initially I was blocked from the BBC Iplayer site because of my location.  Fortunately I was able to spend a few bucks after someone showed me this web page which explained how to access British TV online and I was able to stream it across the internet without problems.  They certainly had their problems but some strong legislation has ensured that the quality of UK rivers has improved greatly over the last decade or so.

However there are similar concerns being raised in the US now, where the environmental group American Rivers has recently released it’s report on the most endangered rivers in the United States.  I was surprised to hear that one the biggest worries is that of the Colorado river.  Now I’ve just been on the Colorado during a visit to Las Vegas, and it looked mightily healthy to me.  However apparently the report has suggested that outdated river management techniques is sucking the mighty river dry – apparently the mighty Colorado River doesn’t even make it to the ocean before running dry.

Here are the top ten most endangered rivers according to the report.

  1. Colorado River (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming)
  2. Flint River (Georgia)
  3. San Saba River (Texas)
  4. Little Plover River (Wisconsin)
  5. Catawba River (North Carolina and South Carolina)
  6. Boundary Waters (Minnesota)
  7. Black Warrior River (Alabama)
  8. Rough & Ready and Baldface Creeks (Oregon)
  9. Kootenai River (British Columbia, Montana and Idaho)
  10. Niobrara River (Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming)

There’s some incredible rivers there, but apparently these are really at serious risk.  One of the big problems is that the current water management techniques are ill suited to modern times.

You can take a lot more water out of a river when the rainful is plentiful than you can in the current climates.  Global warming is going to claim a lot of victims and unless we all globally try and reduce our consumption of water – some of our most loved rivers will be amongst them.

Reference – American Rivers Report 

Additional –

The Eco Choice for Jewelry

For anyone who is keen to minimize their environmental impact on the planet – jewelry can be a tricky area.  After all there’s no essential need for that necklace or silver ring, but lets face it we all need cheering up sometimes.  So perhaps you’ve decided you might want a new gold or silver piece of jewelry – how can you reduce the impact of your purchase?

Well of course the obvious first question is regarding the raw materials – the metals used. Mining for silver and gold can cause huge environmental impact if it’s not done properly.  There are many jewelers who try and use only recycled silver for example.  These come from secondary refiners who deal with recycled and scrap silver from other sources other than directly from a mine.

It is difficult to check the origin of precious metals though and it’s unlikely you can guarantee the origin of any item completely.  Silver to use our example is often mined as a by product of industrial mining of other products.  Most commonly the production of copper and zinc will produce a certain amount of silver ore as a by product.

The reality is though that if everyone only used recycled silver then the price would soon explode to an unsustainable level.   However there is another option that probably has the minimal impact on the environment.  That is simply to look at the many sources of antique jewelry in existence.  There are stockists who deal in antique silver items for example, like this place – whose environmental impact is long since passed.

Using existing items means there’s no requirement for raw materials, no production impact from mining or producing the item.  It of course is dependent on finding the right piece but this can normally done from the comfort of  your home and an internet enabled laptop.  It’s an attitude that’s growing in popularity, if you look across the world’s media sites then you’ll see this for yourself.  There’s many more shows about reducing your effect on the environment, there’s even quite a few on Canadian TV –, and also surprisingly in the US.