While the rest of the country has been enjoying the “Polar Vortex”, my home state has had a slightly different set of “climate change” issues to address.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on Friday, citing a need for conservation efforts and a fingers-crossed message that he “hopes it will rain” soon during what looks like it will be the driest year on record in the history of California.

This is “perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago,” Brown said at a news conference on Friday.

A piece in Breitbart notes that the drought may produce a spate of wildfires in the fall, when such disasters usually occur in the Golden State, and increasing tension between regions.

Reservoir levels in the north and central parts of the state were more depleted than in Southern California, but Brown still asked Los Angeles to do its part to conserve _ and gave a nod to the politics of water in the vast state.

“The drought accentuates and further displays the conflicts between north and south and between urban and rural parts of the state. So, as governor, I’ll be doing my part to bring people together and working through this.

These regional tensions often inspire proposals to break California apart, such as that offered by noted technology investor Tim Draper to split California into six separate states. However, those ideas are going to be as fruitful as our current drought-ridden fields.

Furthermore, Brown’s plans for “bringing people to together” will likely be heavy on new rules (e.g., California’s version of Cap-and-Trade, the Global Warming Solutions Act). Interestingly, state Senate president Darrell Steinberg is now just discovering the economic costs of anticarbon politics.

Mr. Steinberg’s real beef seems to be that out-of-state businesses are again gaming California’s quarter-baked policies. The California Air Resources Board allows in-state businesses to comply with the cap by buying “offsets” from out-of-state enterprises such as forest conservation projects and methane digesters. The offsets, which are cheaper than permits, were intended to help businesses and prevent a jobs exodus.

…. But the upshot is that money is flowing from California businesses to out-of-state green companies. Meantime, energy costs will rise when the cap hits fuel suppliers next year. “I worry about what it could do to energy costs,” said Mr. Steinberg.

Finally, let’s follow the money. As Lorraine Yapps Cohen notes, by declaring a “water emergency”, our Governor gets to flood our bureaucracy with more funding:

A water emergency allows suppliers to restrict customers’ usage, while charging more for less water and collecting penalties for using more than one’s fair share. …

Remember also that water department officials around the state must be paid their unusually high government salaries. Senior management and water department executives pull in more than $217,000 annually. With federal funds flowing in faster than water, a drought in California might mean a windfall for its government people instead of funding large water resources projects such as NEWTAP.

Dr.Ryan Maue of WeatherBELL Analytics has a great synopsis of exactly the type of climate change that can be predicted based on California’s history — of floods followed by drought.

Based on history, I can make a prediction, too: Brown’s declaration of drought will cause a flood of new regulations and agencies that will lead to economic disaster.

(Image Credit – National Weather Service).


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