Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction.
And the best fiction feels like reality.
You probably thought the movie Rango was fiction.
But it isn't.
Rango is actually a true story. The names have been changed. And the animals in the story have been given a few too many human characteristics for them to be recognizable.
But the story of them dying in desert of thirst is true.
The story of their water being piped out of the desert is true.
The story of their water being pumped to Las Vegas is true.
And the story of this all being about greed is true.
The pyramid schemers in Las Vegas want endless growth. They want endless growth because it makes them richer – at least until everything falls apart.
One of their schemes is to legally steal the water from deserts of nearby valleys; Delamar Valley, Dry Lake Valley, Muleshoe Valley, Cave Valley, Spring Valley, Snake Valley, Lake Valley, Hamlin Valley, Railroad Valley, and now Steptoe Valley.
The town of Dirt in the movie Rango is in reality wildlife communities of millions.
There's a corporate gold rush going on all over the world. But the new gold is water. The goal is to charge us the price of gold for what we once got for free. Not only are our laws not protecting us from this, in Nevada, they're giving the water away for free. In Nevada, all that you have to do is promise that you'll take it... How's that for water law in the desert?
The bad guy in the movie could be a number of people in Nevada. It could be the Nevada legislators, who won't reform Nevada water law to save all those plants and animals in all those valleys. It could be the Lincoln County politicians, who sold out to Southern Nevada Water Authority. Or it could be developers, such as the developer of Coyote Springs, who wants to build another Las Vegas out in the desert (using neighboring valleys' water).
The rush for water in Rural Nevada has totally ignored the Native Americans who live here, and have a right, by treaty with the United States of America to at least some of that water. The rush for water totally ignores future generations. And of course, the rush for water totally ignores the life that is already there.
You didn't hear the term in the movie Rango, but the water thieves have a emotionless term for all the wildlife they are going to kill; “phreatophytes.” In Nevada, it's legal to kill phreatophytes. In fact, Nevada law is written in such a way that there may as well be a bounty on phreatophytes. If ever there were such a thing as government sanctioned ecocide, this is it.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
Southern Nevada doesn't have to pay billions of dollars to kill every living thing dependent upon aquifers in a huge portion of the rest of the state. And the corporations that just want to make a killing on water speculation could go make legitimate money doing something productive for a change.
The people of Las Vegas could save billions of dollars if they desalinated water from the ocean. The desal plants could be built offshore, so as to protect life on the coasts. And the fresh water produced could be given to Californians in exchange for more water from the Colorado River. No giant multi-billion dollar pipeline from the desert is necessary – at all.
Companies have offered to desalinate water offshore. At least one company has offered to do this for about $2000 an acre foot. Southern Nevada Water Authority could make water, instead of take water. But no. They'd rather pay $10,000 an acre foot for water that they can take from nearby Mesquite, Nevada.
This is not about need. This is about greed. This is about supply and demand. This is about limiting supply and instigating over-demand.
The people of the deserts are about to be played. The wildlife of the deserts are about to be killed. The message has to get out. The movie Rango has helped immensely to warn us of what is to happen if the bad guys get their way.
What we need are champions. We need people who are willing to stand up for the environment. Especially when there are better ways to address these issues. We need you.
Rango is you.