Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Joel Kotkin, like many other recent commentators, notes the rapid deterioration of California's state-run economy. The following passage about the systematic destruction of its agricultural sector by "greens" struck me as particularly ironic, given the state's historical role as a destination for "Okies" fleeing the Dust Bowl back in the Great Depression, and who is causing it to happen:
Nowhere was California's old technological ethos more pronounced than in agriculture, where great Californians such as William Mulholland, creator of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and Pat Brown, who forged the state water project, created the greatest water-delivery system since the Roman Empire. Their effort brought water from the ice-bound Sierra Nevada mountains down to the state's dry but fertile valleys and to the great desert metropolis of Southern California. Now, largely at the behest of greens, California agriculture is being systematically cut down by regulation. In an attempt to protect a small fish called the Delta smelt, upward of 200,000 acres of prime farmland have been idled, according to the state's Department of Conservation. Even in the current "wet" cycle, California's agricultural industry, which exports roughly $14 billion annually, is slowly being decimated. Unemployment in some Central Valley towns tops 30 percent, and in cases even 40 percent.As with anything else that promotes human life, so it is with water: If we don't have it, we're supposed to do without it, and if we have it, we're supposed to do without it.
And now, notes my friend, Salinas Mayor Dennis Donohue, green regulators are imposing new groundwater regulations that may force the shutdown of production even in areas like his that have their own ample water supplies.
Today: Corrected spelling of "Okies."