What Drought?The media continues to manipulate the public. Some stories are widely reported on a regular basis. Others are hardly reported at all. Why?
In 2014, we were told that the drought in the San Antonio area was the worst in 500-years. Of course, global warming was the culprit, and we saw water rationing in our neighborhoods. When and how we could water our lawns was regulated. Programs in San Antonio and elsewhere encouraged us to replace grass with native plants or rocks. Global warming theorists proclaimed that the drought was here to stay.
Since that time officials reluctantly acknowledged that we were no longer under drought conditions, but even global warming skeptics remain cautious. Let’s face it: San Antonio is prone to drought conditions.
In 2016, San Antonio
officials and the media welcomed a new Google data center and the jobs provided to the local economy. However, the tax-breaks given to Google were under-reported and only recently was it reported that Google has the right to pump up to half a million gallons per day at no charge. Now, Google is asking to triple that, to 1.5 million gallons of water per day. That's close to half of the groundwater that Mount Pleasant Waterworks pumps daily from the same underground aquifer to help supply drinking water to more than 80,000 residents of the area.
Will the media feature this story on major news-feeds and top news websites? Will the story be repeated and updated in the same way that old stories about violence in Mexico are referenced in the news? Probably not.
Although news consumers might want this story told and re-told, the people in charge of manipulating the people by the way news is presented will not allow it to happen.
Imagine if someone started asking how much water, free and otherwise, is used by data centers throughout this nation! How much do data-centers pump in cities in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Santa Clara, San Jose, South Bay, Northern New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, New York City, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Atlanta?
While there are many stories about Arizona’s water shortages, try to find even one story about the millions of gallons of water used by the top five data centers in Phoenix, Arizona.
If no city offered free water and every city charged large users at a higher rate, data centers would be even more conservative in the way they cool their computers.
The Economist magazine ran a cover story titled “The World’s Most Valuable Resource” and featured a photo that showed a hell of a lot of water. But the focus of the story did not mention water. The story was about data-centers.
Sorry, but water is a lot more critical to life than information.
We need and benefit from easy access to information, even if that information is often filtered and even though much of the information that does not fit the media’s image of the world is difficult to find. However, to suggest that information is more critical to our species survival than water is ridiculous.
What can we do?Search for information about local data centers. Participate in town hall meetings and the entire process of bringing in new data centers. Ask direct questions of politicians. Insist on simple answers. “How much water per day will be (or is used) by the data-center.
Tell local media that there is going to be some controversial questions at meetings with politicians, etc.
Email everyone. Use every type of social media to spread awareness.
Fight every rate increase and demand that your neighborhood receives millions of gallons of free water – the same amount used by the local data-center.
What to expect?
Expect long answers that talk about the environmental concerns and improvements in the use of water by data-centers. A typical answer might be that data centers now use 50% less water and that they recycle everything, including water. That does not answer the question: “How much water do they use?”
Ask if any of that water is free? Ask why residents must pay and have seen increases in their water bills, while the data-center is given millions of gallons of that same water, per day. Ask if you live in a drought region and ask how the use of millions of gallons of water per day fits into the global warming issues.
Supporters of data-centers locating in your area will tout ‘new jobs.' Ask direct questions about those new jobs.
What About all of those Jobs?
How many of those ‘new’ jobs will be filled by people from out of state?
How many of those ‘new’ jobs will be filled by people from holders of H1B1 Visas? How many foreign workers does the company that owns the data center employ?
Be reasonable. If these figures are not available, simply ask if they will be made available tomorrow or within a few days. After all, people that own data centers should be able to quickly retrieve such information. Politicians, working in the government, should be able to retrieve such government information.
The truth is that there might not be as many ‘new jobs’ that we are led to believe. By the way, what will most of those jobs pay?
The decision to have data-centers in our communities should be made by the community. In many instances, the answer should be ‘yes.' In other instances, depending upon all of the facts in the ‘deal,' the answer should be ‘no’ and it is up to an informed community to decide.
Remember that almost every media outlet in the United States is owned by seven very wealthy entities.