Thursday, August 19, 2021 12:39 AM
Educational Nightmares (2021Aug19)
I just watched two PBS specials that blew my mind. One of them explained that the Egyptian Empire’s ‘Old Kingdom’ (the era in which all pyramids were constructed) ended mysteriously about 4,000 years ago, with the death of the 90-year-old Pepi II.
They found evidence that Egypt’s plains were once Savannahs, not the deserts of today, teeming with Ibex and other deer-like game. Evidence also indicated the sacred crocs of the Old Kingdom (Which were raised, fed, worshipped, and mummified at death by the temple priests.) left fossils which indicated they once inhabited the whole of North Africa, which would’ve required interconnected waterways.
Both core-samples of ice from the North Pole—and mud from the bottom of the ‘oasis’ at Birket Qarun (formerly Lake Moeris) independently came up with identical evidence of a ten-year drought, at the time of the death of Pepi II!
Anyway, Lake Moeris, which in those days was over 200-feet deep, was connected to the Nile. I can’t believe nobody in Hollywood has written a screenplay set in Egypt’s glory days, when the pyramids were white, geometric, and tipped with gold—and surrounded not by desert, but by lush savannah.
The parallel to Lake Mead’s recent news is unavoidable:
From the Washington Post:
“CARSON CITY, Nev. — Water levels in the two largest man-made reservoirs in the United States could dip to critically low levels by 2025, jeopardizing the steady flow of Colorado River water that more than 40 million people rely on in the American West.
After a dry summer, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released models on Tuesday suggesting looming shortages in Lake Powell–a and Lake Mead — the reservoirs where Colorado River water is stored — are more likely.
Only 55% of Colorado River water is flowing from the Rocky Mountains down to Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona line. Due to the below-average runoff, government scientists say the reservoirs are 12% more likely to fall to critically low levels by 2025 than they projected.”
What worries me is that many people, including people I care about, live on America’s West Coast—and the “The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage” describes the Old Kingdom’s downfall as featuring domestic cannibalism (A record of that era which most scholars, until recently, thought fanciful). If that’s not a warning from history, nothing is.
The Other PBS special was “Operation Bridge Rescue”, about saving ancient bridges in China and a sorta-ancient covered-bridge in upstate New York. This was a fascinating show about how the Chinese invented a wooden bridge structure which was only vulnerable to flooding—which pushed upward on the interwoven support-beams, destroying the bridge’s integrity. To remedy this, old Chinese bridges had heavy stones as pavement and complex, massive pagoda-roofs to ensure that gravity would win out over water pressure.
These bridges are important historical sites in China’s culture—but a recent, massive flood (due to climate instability) destroyed three of these beautiful artifacts. The same thing happened to the old-timey covered bridge in Blenheim, NY. The show followed the differences and similarities in traditional construction techniques and modern planning for severe weather to continue. As I caromed from one of these shows to the other, I was struck by how hard it is, these days, for PBS to do a documentary that has no mention of the climate crisis. I guess that’s why the Republicants hate PBS & the NEA—it’s a streaming denial of all their oil-grubbing lies….