47 blocks • 17 days ago
In disconnecting Los Angeles from its ancient water source, Bon believes we severed an essential connection to our own humanness. She cites Donna J. Haraway’s 1985 A Cyborg Manifesto, which posited, even then, that humans had become part machine, as a harbinger of where (and what) we are today — walking around with computer appendages that have partly replaced our brains.
To Bon, it was ominous enough when we started thinking of our water as coming from a faucet, not a river or a lake. “When you start importing your water through a machine and you have no concept of its source, then you let go of what’s taken millenia of storytelling and cosmology to understand. Once you grow a culture that doesn’t have any idea how to even imagine its watershed, then you’re talking about a cyborg thing, because water is life.”
As Bon explains it, the “cyborg watershed” is much bigger than LA. “All of the snow that falls to the Rocky Mountains and all of the snow that falls to Sierra is the water and power grid for all of the cities of the Intermountain West. So we are talking about Las Vegas, Phoenix, Santa Fe, San Diego, San Francisco, Portland … We are all likely to become climate refugees if the Colorado River doesn’t regain its capacity, and it’s looking like next year will be another year of drought.”