"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Coming California Dust Bowl

"You're a plague and we are the cure."
"I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure."

By Gary:

As a Conservative John Muir-Theodore Roosevelt Conservationist it staggers me the lack of any real interest by either party in protecting the environment of our Golden State of California.

Democratic Governor Jerry Brown and assorted political hacks are strutting around pretending to care about the severe drought while spending endless billions on high speed rail and illegal aliens.

It is business as usual.  The drought is here and no one really cares.  After all, water is "magic" and pours from the tap on command.  Farmers and cities feel they have a God given right to turn the entire state into a modern Dust Bowl.

California is a desert.  But meaningful conservation and the massive building of desalination plants up and down the coast is not on political table.  The hacks keep sucking down water and turning once green areas into modern deserts.

An excellent example of the Dust Bowl effect is the once great Tulare Lake.

"Tulare Lake was once the largest body of fresh water west of the Mississippi. But it is no more. This lake (and surrounding ecosystem) was one of the first major casualties of Central Valley agriculture, way back around the turn of the previous century. Farmers from the East settled here after the Civil War, and maps from that era show the lake with roads drawing closer to the tantalizing water source," reports Slate Magazine.

"Technically, four rivers still connect to this lake bed, but none actually make it here with water anymore. The lake has partially reappeared at times, as recently as 1997’s El Niño–driven floods, which couldn’t be contained by the maze of canals and river diversions that feed local agriculture."

Another example is the Dust Bowl of Owens Lake (see photos below).  The politicians sucked that lake dry to feed the growth of Los Angeles.

Now the political hacks have targeted the Sacramento Delta.  Some $23 billion is being spent on huge tunnels running under the delta to "ensure" a steady flow of water south. 

With a straight face the hacks claim no additional water will be taken from the delta.  Right.  All that money is being spent NOT to ship more water out.

Both Democrats and Republicans pay lip service to the environment.  All of their political actions are designed import millions of new people into California (each person a new water user) and to placate unions and businesses wanting to suck down more water.

Simply, California is a desert.  More water is just not available, but everyone wants to pretend that it is.

There are no more John Muirs or Theodore Roosevelts.  Instead we march into the future Matrix style, consuming every resource in our path.

A Man-Made Desert
Tulare Lake was the largest US freshwater lake west of the Mississippi until it was sucked dry into a man-made desert. 
Tulare Lake was once the receptacle of the watershed on the lower San Joaquin Valley and became, like the Sacramento Delta, the site of systematic transformation by agricultural land speculation of a riparian ecosystem. It was home to the Yokuts Indian Nation and the destination of the southernmost runs of spawning Chinook Salmon.

Yokuts on Tulare Lake

The Kern River "feeding" Lake Tulare
Passing through Bakersfield, the Kern River has been sucked dry by man.  No fishing, no water for animals and no water for Lake Tulare.
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The Sinking Central Valley
It has taken thousands and thousands of years for unground water to build up in California.  In only a few decades cities and agribusiness have drained those supplies so much that the Central Valley is sinking.
About 30 percent of California’s water supply comes from underground supplies, more during droughts. Eighty percent of state residents rely to some degree on groundwater. Some towns, cities and farming operations depend entirely on it.
See our article San Joaquin Valley is sinking as groundwater stores are depleted

The Bessie Brady steamship on
Owens Lake
Before Los Angeles sucked it into a dry dust bowl, Owens Lake served the communities of the eastern Sierras.  Now the L.A. water interests say they need the Sacramento Delta water.  They say "Don't worry about a thing."
In Owens Valley on the east side of the Sierra Nevada Range, desert steamers once served the silver mining boom of the 1870’s. This curious maritime history began in 1872 when the first steamboat was christened on the saline waters of Owens Lake. The pioneer steamer, the Bessie Brady, proudly proclaimed to be "The Pioneer inland steamer of the Pacific Coast.”

Though this was untrue, as steamers had already been used in Lake Tahoe in 1864, in Meadow Lake in 1866, and Donner Lake a few years later, the sight of a steamboat in the midst of Death Valley must have been a strange site.   

Owens "Lake" Today.
Los Angeles drained the Eastern Sierra Nevada lake dry and created a dust bowl environmental disaster as part the city's endless quest to suck down every drop of water.  Now the political hacks are leering at the beautiful Sacramento River Delta.
See our article
The Sacramento Delta Tunnels - "Lies, damned lies, and statistics"

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