How is it that a state that birthed the aerospace industry, challenged our imagination through movies and developed Star Wars technology and the personal computer with all its peripherals, attachments and assorted software cannot find the radical common sense necessary to make water a sustainable commodity for human beings?
California was once the envy of the free world. We once boasted the 5th largest economy in the world. That was before we fired our governor in a recall election and hired the "Terminator" to make life better for us.
Yeah, that didn’t work!
According to Victor Davis Hanson, a Selma, Calif. farmer who teaches at Stanford University and writes as prolifically as he thinks, the dire consequences of California’s latest natural drought were highly avoidable.
Hanson sees both sides of California on his daily drive to the Bay Area from Central California. When he leaves home in America’s raisin capitol, he departs a region where over 20 percent of the population lives below the poverty level.
Three hours later. he’s in a region where the median income is six figures higher and most of the billionaires in the U.S. call home.
The “coastal elites,” as Hanson calls them, are largely responsible for the kinds of political decisions that force poor people in places like East Porterville to carry water in buckets to their homes because they have no running water.
Some of these same elitists even buy up surrounding properties to their eight- and nine-figure Bay Area homes in hopes of controlling who become their neighbors. Hanson cited a well-known name apparently doing just that.
Decades ago, California had a policy of making sure water was available for all residents through efforts that had positive implications for recreation, sustainable power, flood control, agriculture and the environment.
Now the only proper use of water not destined for the taps of multi-million dollar homes, swimming pools and desert golf courses where presidents play is to ensure that tiny fish are forced downstream so that predatory, non-native fish can eat them.
Human uses of water in the rest of California are irrelevant.
These “Massachusetts-style coastal elites” who reside primarily from Marin County to San Diego and pay for politicians in Sacramento and Washington D.C. don’t like dams and have no clue that 100 miles from their protected enclaves abject poverty exists because of their decisions and policies.
All they know is that’s where almonds come from so it must be a bad place.
At an annual gathering of almond growers in Fresno, Calif. where he was the keynote speaker, Hanson further said that this distaste for dams by coastal elites could reverse itself rather drastically, possibly as soon as next year, if California’s drought drags into a fifth year.
That will be when, Hanson predicts, sources of urban drinking water – Hetch Hetchy, the Eastern Sierra, Pyramid Lake – dry up. That is when California’s refusal to make water infrastructure a priority, as our current Governor’s father did decades ago when he was governor, will become real to California's voting majority.
Until then, the reality of third world conditions where much of America’s food is grown will remain lore and the subject of the occasional nightly news feature for these protected elitists to watch and read about on their media devices.
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