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- Why Should We Endorse Trump’s NEPA Reforms? - January 30, 2020
Californians’ own stupidity (with help from D.C.) is responsible for the water shortages now facing state residents.
California, has been arid for millennia, except for the Northern forests, largely consisting of high mountain deserts, inland deserts (think death valley), and coastal deserts. That’s why it was among the least-populated regions of the country when Native Americans dominated the continent. There simply wasn’t enough water to support tribal peoples with high population densities.
Before anyone says it, human-caused global warming is not to blame for the present drought. Indeed, in the past, the region has experienced much more severe and century-long periods of low rain and snowfall. Only Californian’s own short-sightedness made them believe it could never happen again.
In a great piece at City Journal, Victor Davis Hanson explores the roots of the current crisis.
We do know two things. First, Brown and other Democratic leaders will never concede that their own opposition in the 1970s (when California had about half its present population) to the completion of state and federal water projects, along with their more recent allowance of massive water diversions for fish and river enhancement, left no margin for error in a state now home to 40 million people. Second, the mandated restrictions will bring home another truth as lawns die, pools empty, and boutique gardens shrivel in the coastal corridor from La Jolla to Berkeley: the very idea of a 20-million-person corridor along the narrow, scenic Pacific Ocean and adjoining foothills is just as unnatural as “big” agriculture’s Westside farming. The weather, climate, lifestyle, views, and culture of coastal living may all be spectacular, but the arid Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay-area megalopolises must rely on massive water transfers from the Sierra Nevada, Northern California, or out-of-state sources to support their unnatural ecosystems.
Federal and state politicians set a goal of making California’s arid lands bloom like a rose, and they were largely successful for most of the 20th century. However, the agricultural productivity came at a high costs to wild rivers, natural lands and wildlife. Now various laws, laws imposed in part by the very environmental radicals who are now among those complaining the loudest, are forcing Californians to take environmental amenities into account — and, combined with an ongoing drought, are leaving resident’s high and dry.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of loons, in my opinion.