I reported that California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled the state’s first water restrictions in response to the “mega-drought”.
As I foresaw, the rules have turned out to be more about revenue generation than resource protection.
What I did not predict is that my teen son and his lengthy showers would make him the latest environmental villain.
Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) said Californians will face heavy fines for taking long showers.
Brown said, “This executive order is done under emergency power. It has the force of law. Very unusual. It’s requiring action and changes in behavior from the Oregon border all the way to the Mexican border. It affects lawns. It affects people’s — how long they stay in the shower. How businesses use water.”
Brown said to enforce his order, “Each water district that actually delivers waters — water to homes and businesses, they carry it out. We have a state water board that overseas the relationships with the districts. Hundreds of them. If they don’t comply, people can be fined $500 a day. Districts can go to court to get a cease and desist order. The enforcement mechanism is powerful. In a drought of this magnitude, you have to change that behavior and you have to change it substantially.”
It looks like I am going to have to work harder to pay for my son than I originally thought.
The good news is that reporters are now talking to scientists about the realities of the California climate instead of automatically blaming “global warming”.
The bad news is that the real California climate is fairly harsh.
..We continue to run California as if the longest drought we are ever going to encounter is about seven years,” said Scott Stine, a professor of geography and environmental studies at Cal State East Bay. “We’re living in a dream world.”
California in 2013 received less rain than in any year since it became a state in 1850. And at least one Bay Area scientist says that based on tree ring data, the current rainfall season is on pace to be the driest since 1580 — more than 150 years before George Washington was born. The question is: How much longer will it last?
A megadrought today would have catastrophic effects.
California, the nation’s most populous state with 38 million residents, has built a massive economy, Silicon Valley, Hollywood and millions of acres of farmland, all in a semiarid area. The state’s dams, canals and reservoirs have never been tested by the kind of prolonged drought that experts say will almost certainly occur again.
Stine, who has spent decades studying tree stumps in Mono Lake, Tenaya Lake, the Walker River and other parts of the Sierra Nevada, said that the past century has been among the wettest of the last 7,000 years.
But my son isn’t the only environmental villain. For years, California has had the reputation of being a major source of fruit and nuts for the nation…and I’m not talking about our politicians.
Now, our food production is coming under scrutiny.
Those arrows point to “forages” and alfalfa — crops raised almost exclusively for feeding farm animals. In California, the largest milk-producing state in the US, the vast majority of these animals are cows. “Forages” include the fields that get watered for cows to graze on and the corn and other irrigated crops that later get churned into cow feed.
Interestingly, a good portion of that animal feed gets shipped back to China — returned in the cargo containers used to haul the materials we buy from that country.
I would be interested to learn how Governor Brown intends to deal with China’s needs for our evil crops.DONATE
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