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Claytoonz: Vanishing Lake Mead is concrete evidence of climate change

Lake Mead is a Colorado River reservoir just 30 minutes outside Las Vegas. Former Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said Monday. “It’s not a bad place to dump a body.” Well, now it is.

Climate change is an international crisis and it’s affecting everyone, whether they know it or not. Republicans in fucknut Florida claim it doesn’t exist while their state is slowly going underwater. In other locations, lakes and rivers are drying up. In the United States, we’re slowly losing Tulare Lake, Salton Sea, Pyramid Lake, Owens Lake, Mono Lake, and Lake Mead. Lake Mead is starting to reveal secrets.

The water level in Lake Mead has dropped more than 170 feet since 1983. Mayor Goodman is a lawyer who used to have Vegas mobsters as clients, and he said they were always very interested in “climate control,” which was mob code for keeping the lake level up and bodies down in their watery graves. Two sets of human remains have emerged in Lake Mead over the past week.

One of the bodies was found in a barrel and authorities say the person was shot.

Michael Green, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas history professor whose father dealt blackjack for decades at the Stardust and the Showboat, said, “If the lake goes down much farther, it’s very possible we’re going to have some very interesting things surface. I wouldn’t bet the mortgage that we’re going to solve who killed Bugsy Siegel, but I would be willing to bet there are going to be a few more bodies.”

Las Vegas was founded by the Mafia with Bugsy Siegel being a driving force behind it. This isn’t a whispered-about secret. There’s a mob museum in Las Vegas. What was once a dried-up little desert town founded in 1905 started to grow with the construction of the nearby Hoover Dam, reduced residency for divorce, and the legalization of casino gambling, all in 1931. Now the U.S. Census predicts Nevada (in case you’re a Republican, that’s where Las Vegas is located) will be the fastest-growing state for the next two decades and by 2030, Las Vegas will have over four million residents. Right now, the population of the city is a little over 640,000.

The Mafia is responsible for the creation of the nation’s most popular gambling destination, but the days of celebrity mobsters may be over. The bodies people are finding are from decades ago and while there are predictions more bodies will be found as Lake Mead dries up, most won’t be from mob hits. Sorry to ruin it for you.

Sure, a body in a barrel is a pretty good sign the mob was responsible, but most bodies may be from other murders or just swimming and boating accidents. Professor Green pointed out, “People will talk about this for the right reasons and the wrong reasons. They’re going to think we’re going to solve every mob murder. In fact, we may see some. But it’s also worth remembering that the mob did not like murders to take place in the Las Vegas area because they did not like bad publicity going out under the Las Vegas dateline.” Ever hear the expression, “Don’t shit where you eat?”

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While discovering bodies in barrels is intriguing and adds to mob folklore, it’s the wrong focus on a lake evaporating. The real focus here should be climate change.

The mob will never kill as many people as climate change kills, which is blamed for over 250,000 deaths annually.

A grandmother dying from heatstroke in August because she can’t afford air conditioning may not be as glamorous as goons shooting Bugsy Siegel in the back of his head in Beverly Hills, but it’s the death we should be talking about. We still don’t know who killed Bugsy or why, but we know who’s killing grandma. Not to mention that cities like Las Vegas are having to find alternative sources of water.

Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at Claytoonz.com.

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