Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas Lessons from California



...The last two months of California weather were among the driest autumn months on record. Unless 2018 is a miraculously wet year, California will find itself on the cusp of another existential drought.

Yet California politicians are currently obsessed with the usual race/class/gender agendas, as Sacramento broadcasts that California is a sanctuary state exempt from federal immigration laws.

Periodically, Governor Jerry Brown, in prophetic Old Testament style, offers rebukes of President Donald Trump, as Brown tours the globe as commander in chief of California.

But meanwhile, in the real (dry) world, did Brown’s state prepare for such a disaster during either its recent four-year dry spell or its near-record wet year in 2016? Hardly.

Over some 50 consecutive months of drought, California did not start work on a single major reservoir — though many had long ago been planned and designed.

Instead, given the lack of water-storage capacity, and due to environmental diversions, tens of millions of acre-feet of precious runoff water last year were simply let out to the ocean.

This year, the state may want all of that water back....

Flights over California’s coastal corridor this autumn offered a scene out of Dante’s Inferno. Fires seemed to engulf entire populated hillsides from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to Santa Rosa....

The hillsides are overgrown with drought-stricken scrub and half-dead trees, in part due to restrictions on grazing, brush removal, and logging. They prove to be veritable kindling that fuels raging fires....

What are the lessons for the nation from these random glimpses of 21st-century California?...

Remember that voting progressively in the abstract does not automatically translate into living progressively in the concrete.