Should This Lake Exist?

Should This Lake Exist?

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Language: English

Type: Robot

Number of phrases: 129

Number of words: 929

Number of symbols: 4046

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00:02
this is the largest body of water in California it's about 25 kilometers wide by 55 kilometers long you can't even see the other end of this lake and it's home to the most diverse number of birds anywhere in the continental US besides Big Bend in Texas and here's the thing this body of water is here by accident let me explain back in about the 1900s there were engineers working on
00:33
irrigating the fields of the American Southwest they were using the water from the Colorado River but they were also trying to prevent it from flooding from flooding all this farmland now in 1905 they got it a little bit wrong and also the Colorado River flooded its banks and used the channels they were building basically to flood this whole plane now this plane is actually about 70 meters over 200 feet below sea level we're at one of the lowest points in North
01:05
America so the water flooded in here the entire volume of the Colorado River flooded into this plane for about two years before they were able to stop the flooding and what you're left with is the lake that you can see today the low-lying area where the Salton Sea now is was formed due to tectonic activity we're very close to the San Andreas Fault and that also means there's magma very close to the surface here sometimes that heat boils up
01:42
through mud volcanoes like these we're actually taking advantage of this heat using seven geothermal plants which together generate enough electricity for over a hundred thousand homes now
02:35
initially people thought that this lake was just going to dry up this is one of the hottest driest parts of the country but it didn't the water didn't go away and so then people got the idea that they would take advantage of this little accident and try to dress this whole place up like a new Riviera mirakl in the desert a whole new outlet for the crowded minions in big cities a Palm Springs with water here is where
03:09
you can find the good life in the Sun today the Salton Riviera and for a time it worked in the 50s and 60s they started building towns here and resorts and celebrities came to this place and people would enjoy the water they actually added fish to this lake and the fishing was so good you could throw in a hook and pull out a fish without even putting any bait on it of course there was lots of bird life and and people really enjoyed themselves it looked as though everything was going great until
03:39
well the lake started to turn a little bit you see the only real inflows of water to this lake are from agricultural runoff and they bring salt into the lake and there is no outflow for this Lake because it is so low it's already one of the lowest points in North America it's below sea level so all that happens is the water then evaporates leaving the salt behind and the salinity of this water increases it's now about 50 grams per liter which is quite a bit more than
04:10
seawater and that makes it hard for the fish to survive so there are massive fish die-offs which create quite a smell it's a bit stinky over here and algal blooms have also occurred making the water this ugly brown color I wouldn't really want to go swimming in there and the resort's have all closed up there's only a few people left here you know when you drive around here you find those old resort areas places where people thought you know it was going to be the next Riviera and now they are
04:41
deserted ghost towns and there's boats abandoned up on the shore it's a kind of depressing place which is strange given the kind of natural beauty some people might think that letting this lake evaporate is the right thing to do it's the natural thing to do it returns it to its state from before we accidentally flooded it back in 1905 but if you look back a bit further you find
05:14
that there really did used to be a lake here I like which came and went but for the last several thousand years the lake was here more often than it was not and it was filled up to a higher level this whole story makes me think two things first as humans we have incredible power to drastically shape the earth we can cause entire seas to disappear and we
05:45
can create seas and the other thing is that in the absence of effort in the absence of our caring things tend towards disorder things naturally fall apart and I feel like if we don't do anything here the natural result is going to be messy and ugly I mean if you just look around at what's happened to the towns that have been abandoned in the homes which are crumbling it looks like a disaster area it looks as bad as Chernobyl but there was no nuclear
06:17
accident here there's just a lack of caring and I think this applies to more than just this sea you know we have this kind of duty to recognize what we do matters and if we don't care if we don't put in the effort it's not going to turn out very well I think that's the lesson of the Salton Sea you

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