Gingrich on Desalination: Prescience

By June 24, 2007Global Warming

From Reuters, June 19th:

GENEVA, June 19 (Reuters) – Removing salt from sea water to overcome a worldwide shortage of drinking water could end up worsening the crisis, environmental group WWF warned on Tuesday.

Desalination, the filtering and evaporation of sea water, is very energy-intensive and involves significant emissions of greenhouse gases that scientists say are a factor in the shrinking supplies of freshwater, the Swiss-based group said.

From Newt Gingrich, January 13th, responding to a question about salt-removal technologies:

I do want to warn you that if the Left wins, and you come up with a virtually free water desalinization, you will not be able to use it.

Because first of all, it will mean you are taking water out of the ocean.

Second, if you were to suddenly have enough water to make the entire Mojave Desert bloom, the desert tortoise would be endangered. And for you to suggest saving the Sahel so that all the people in Chad, Mauritania, Niger, could all of the sudden have a decent living at the risk of in some way affecting the Saharan Sand Flea, I don’t think you could pass the EPA regulatory requirements for what the environmental outcome will be. And so just the fact that you want to help human beings will be seen as a sign that you have an anthropomorphic view of the planet in which all you care about is people and you don’t realize that the planet likes being desert and has actually been trying to desertify for the last 50 years, and you are interfering with the natural order all of which will be exacerbated by the global warming period which will increase the amount of water in the oceans which you could use for desalinization except that it would be inappropriate because after all by then you could have a lot of water in Antarctica so if only you were being reasonable you wouldn’t come up with these new scientific breakthroughs and Al Gore’s next book will say that you personally are the greatest threat to human happiness on the planet.

Good call, Newt.

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