Saudi Arabia is still drinking our milkshake

The most popular docu-mental issues and podcasts so far

vol. 1, issue 20


Welcome to all our new subscribers, including our new premium level subscribers!

My name is Whitney Fishburn. I am a former full-time health sciences and policy journalist based in Washington, DC, and I appreciate your interest in this newsletter. It’s my goal to present you with useful tools for processing the news so you don’t become anxious and/or depressed. One way I do that is to look for pathways past partisanship pitfalls, and go instead into realms we all share as americans, little “a”.

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Meanwhile, here’s a guide to some docu-mental issues and episodes you might have missed since we debuted six months ago.

Our most popular podcasts:

My Days and Nights with the Reagans
An interview with Reagan biographer and former TIME White House correspondent, Larry Barrett.

It's not him, it's us: narcissism in POTUS45 is beside the point
An interview with the sole surviving member of the American Psychiatric Association’s Ethics Committee that wrote the Goldwater “Rule” that calls for APA members to refrain from commenting on the mental status of public figures. (This is the one that earned me both the most hate and love mail.)

Our most popular commentaries:

Valuing silence: Why noise-free zones should matter to our legislators
“In the silence, there are things that you do not know exist until you put yourself in their path of not hearing them.”

From the Heart of the Civil War
“I just wish that I could fly the flag, pledge my allegiance, and love my country without it being co-opted by one and scorned by the other.”

Our most popular analyses:

The new economic paradigm:
How house concerts and independent publishing are at the leading edge of a parallel universe of trade

Why are surprise military missions on the rise in US cities?
DOD fears of dystopia are also up

Saudis drink our watery milkshake
Among our most popular items of all was this analysis of the impact of a Saudi-backed agricultural conglomerate’s purchase of water rights in drought-stricken California.

Here’s an update:

Saudi Arabia sucking up dwindling American water supplies

If you read the article I wrote back in April about how Almarai, a Saudi Arabia-backed agricultural firm, has been scooping up largely unrestricted water rights in drought-stricken California, this article in The Guardian might be of interest. It highlights that natural water supplies in that nation are expected to run dry within 150 years. Put another way, by its own admission, the kingdom is using four times more water than its natural underground aquifers can regenerate to support current levels of consumption.

Despite the kingdom has raised awareness over its water shortage plight, a plan to promote tourism on the Red Sea includes plans for 50 luxury hotels to be built. Projections are that once completed, water consumption by hotels along the coast will average about 56,000 cubic meters per day.

The incongruity will likely aggravate the situation for Saudis whose daily water consumption is double the rest of the world’s.

Desalination projects have been less than inspiring due to their environmental impact. Meanwhile, curbs on agricultural production do not mean Almarai uses less water…just less of their own water, and more of ours.

And our most popular Friday Funny:

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