Drought Stokes California’s Class War

Joel Kotkin writing in Forbes takes a look at the class warfare embedded in our current drought. The lefty elites on the coast are not concerned about the environment that the economic plight of the central valley farmers and their workers.

Not surprisingly many in the interior and rural parts of California see themselves as victims of wealthy coastal counties, whose economies have been bolstered by rising stock prices and absurd home valuations in Silicon Valley. These people regard high-priced water, like expensive energy, as a relatively minor inconvenience. San Francisco actually depends as much or more as any place in California on imported water, but rich urbanistas do not make their living from growing food, manufacturing or logistics. For them, high prices for resources is a kind of moral penance for lives that contribute to the threat of global warming.

At the same time, the basic claim that California’s drought is an inevitable product of warmer temperatures seems a stretch. Anyone somewhat familiar with California water issues — as I have been for the better part of 40 years — knows that the state has a history of alternating wet and dry periods dating back hundreds of years. Indeed, while the most recent rains may not augur a new, wetter period, statewide precipitation has now rebounded to levels much closer to historic parameters.

CA Palmer Index

Kotkin concludes:

But unless Brown can fashion a compromise, the drought will continue to serve as propaganda fodder for the climate change community while promoting the demise of yet another basic industry, joining fossil fuel energy and, increasingly, manufacturing. This assault on tangible industries devastates scores of poorer, less media-savvy communities. The social results of such an approach is already apparent in the state: the highest poverty rate in the nation and one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients. It may seem moral to link this drought to warming for the sophisticates who control California, but from here, the whole approach seems pretty cold indeed.

It is  clear, that California’s climate is controlled by cycles, cycles that are connected to the Pacific El Niños and La Niñas. El Niños bring floods and La Niñas bring droughts. Our problem is that we lack the storage facilities for storing the moisture that falls in the flooding years. We have the power to control our future, but environmental elites prefer to believe that AGW is the cause of droughts, not natural cycles.

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
This entry was posted in Climate, Climate Change, Drought, Jobs and Economy, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Drought Stokes California’s Class War

  1. Sean says:

    It’s no wonder California leads the nation in creation of millionaires and food stamp recipients. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-07/brown-s-california-outpaces-u-s-in-millionaires-and-food.html

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  2. Sean says:

    The Wall Street Journal had a good article about this last friday from the standpoint of a farming family. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303775504579396093119215448?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop&mg=reno64-wsj
    This paragraph is telling, “That may sound paranoid, but consider that about 400,000 acre-feet of water over the past two years have been diverted from farm use merely to conduct salmon test-runs on the dry river. Such prodigious use of water for seemingly everything but farming is starting to seem familiar to growers. For the past seven years, federal regulators have been flushing hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta into the San Francisco Bay on the pretext of protecting three-inch smelt from pumps that send water to farmers in the Central Valley.” Considering that farmers are paying upwards of $1300 for an acre foot of water, the test run in the dry riverbed used $520 million of water.

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