#CADrought may well be the “new normal”: Daily Bullshit, September 18, 2016 (updated again and again)

Updated for a Wall Street Journal analysis of post-Brexit prospects for Irish reunification.[1] Updated again as CNN replaced its story on the New York City bombing[2] with another, with a different byline.[3] Updated yet again for a further updated version of still much the same story, but now at a separate URL, by the same authors,[4] and for a report of possibly related arrests.[5]


California drought

The impact of prolonged drought in California is probably incalculable. Not only do we have more, bigger, more intense wildfires. Not only do we have to cut back on water use. But even without the drought, California Central Valley aquifer use was probably unsustainable.[6] Central Valley agriculture and its associated livelihoods are probably toast.[7] A lot of our electricity comes from hydroelectric dams dependent on Sierra Nevada snowpack.[8] And not all of this is something California can do all that much about (although the state government is trying): “[A]ccording to current models, the increase in greenhouse gasses is contributing 15  to 25 percent to the severity of the current drought in California.”[9]

This is only one way in which the rubber is hitting the road with climate change. But it happens to be one that is particularly illustrative of the ways that individuals can contribute. The single biggest thing that people can do (even more than giving up cars[10]) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions is to switch to a plant-based lifestyle. Yes, the livestock industry is increasingly being driven out of California.[11] That only shifts the grossly disproportionate—probably on the level of two orders of magnitude—impact of land use, energy, water use, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions of the industry[12] to other states. It helps California’s water supply, but the underlying causes of the drought are global. And given California’s disproportionate contribution to the world’s food supply, this shows how we starve ourselves as a species.

Jacob Margolis, “California’s drought could continue for centuries,” KPCC, September 15, 2016, http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2016/09/15/52133/california-s-drought-could-continue-for-centuries/


So-called ‘terrorism’

Some have suspected that a terrorist attack might propel Donald Trump to victory in November. Will this indeed do the trick? I guess we’re going to find out. Certainly when “[t]he blast [in New York City] occurred on the same day as an explosion went off near a Marine Corps charity run in New Jersey and a man stabbed nine people at Minnesota mall, leaving people across the United States on edge;”[13] the Islamic State, entirely too predictably,[14] claims credit for at least one of the attacks;[15] and people tend to respond to fear by moving toward the political right,[16] it won’t help Hillary Clinton.

Chandrika Narayan, “ISIS wing claims responsibility for Minnesota mall attack,” CNN, September 18, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/18/us/minnesota-mall-stabbing/index.html

Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, “New York bombing: Investigators search for suspects, motive,” CNN, September 18, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/18/us/new-york-explosion/index.html

Andy Mai, Nicole Hensley, Rocco Parascandola, and Leonard Greene, “FBI detains five people near Verrazano Bridge in possible connection to Chelsea bombing after pipe bomb cache find in New Jersey,” New York Daily News, September 19, 2016, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/federal-agents-arrest-people-linked-chelsea-bombing-article-1.2797378

Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, “New York bombing: Police presence intensifies after explosion,” CNN, September 19, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/19/us/new-york-explosion-investigation/index.html


Brexit

Simon Nixon, “Brexit Revives Debate Over Prospects for Irish Reunification,” Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/brexit-revives-debate-over-prospects-for-irish-reunification-1474222008


  1. [1]Simon Nixon, “Brexit Revives Debate Over Prospects for Irish Reunification,” Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/brexit-revives-debate-over-prospects-for-irish-reunification-1474222008
  2. [2]Catherine E. Shoichet, Mallory Simon, and Tim Hume, “New York bombing: Investigators searching for suspects, motive,” CNN, September 18, 2016, Copy in possession of author
  3. [3]Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, “New York bombing: Investigators search for suspects, motive,” CNN, September 18, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/18/us/new-york-explosion/index.html
  4. [4]Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, “New York bombing: Police presence intensifies after explosion,” CNN, September 19, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/19/us/new-york-explosion-investigation/index.html
  5. [5]Andy Mai, Nicole Hensley, Rocco Parascandola, and Leonard Greene, “FBI detains five people near Verrazano Bridge in possible connection to Chelsea bombing after pipe bomb cache find in New Jersey,” New York Daily News, September 19, 2016, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/federal-agents-arrest-people-linked-chelsea-bombing-article-1.2797378
  6. [6]Edward Ortiz, “Valley Groundwater Threatened if Farm Use Continues at Current Levels,” University of California, Irvine, July 22, 2012, https://ps.uci.edu/news/7768
  7. [7]Kurtis Alexander, “California drought: State’s water deliveries to be halted,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 31, 2014, http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/California-drought-State-s-water-deliveries-to-5193699.php; Michael Doyle and Mark Grossi, “As drought drags on, feds could seize water that Valley farmers saved,” Fresno Bee, January 27, 2014, http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/01/27/3735473/as-california-drought-continues.html; Carolyn Lochhead, “California drought: Central Valley farmland on its last legs,” San Francisco Chronicle, March 24, 2014, http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/California-drought-Central-Valley-farmland-on-5342892.php; Jennifer Medina, “California Seeing Brown Where Green Used to Be,” New York Times, February 13, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/us/california-seeing-brown-where-green-used-to-be.html; Evelyn Nieves, “California’s farm towns are losing jobs and dying of thirst,” Salon, February 13, 2014, http://www.salon.com/2014/02/13/californias_farm_towns_are_dying_of_thirst_and_losing_jobs_partner/; David Perlman, “California drought a ‘train wreck’ for Central Valley farms,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 8, 2014, http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/California-drought-a-train-wreck-for-Central-5217669.php; David Pierson, “California drought ‘a borderline catastrophe’ in rural area,” Seattle Times, February 6, 2014, http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2022854095_califdroughtxml.html; Matt Weiser, “Water cutbacks looming for California farmers, water agencies,” Sacramento Bee, April 30, 2014, http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/30/6368291/water-cutbacks-looming-for-california.html; Matt Weiser, “Report: Well water under strain across California,” Sacramento Bee, May 1, 2014, http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/01/6371952/report-well-water-under-strain.html; Matt Weiser, “California orders thousands of Sacramento Valley water users to stop pumping from streams,” Sacramento Bee, May 29, 2014, http://www.sacbee.com/2014/05/29/6441935/state-orders-sacramento-valley.html; Matt Weiser, “Feds: Zero water for Central Valley farms,” February 27, 2015, http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article11355200.html; Matt Weiser, “Central Valley, Delta water rights under scrutiny,” Sacramento Bee, March 1, 2015, http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article11882384.html; Matt Weiser and Mark Glover, “Forecast: ‘Zero’ water for many Central Valley farms,” Sacramento Bee, February 21, 2014, http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/21/6178681/forecast-zero-water-for-many-central.html
  8. [8]Dale Kasler, “Drought cuts into state’s hydro power supplies,” Sacramento Bee, February 4, 2014, http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/04/6125877/drought-cuts-into-states-hydro.html; Dale Kasler, “Californians urged to conserve on electricity use,” Sacramento Bee, February 6, 2014, http://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/06/6135054/californians-urged-to-conserve.html
  9. [9]Jacob Margolis, “California’s drought could continue for centuries,” KPCC, September 15, 2016, http://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2016/09/15/52133/california-s-drought-could-continue-for-centuries/
  10. [10]Lindsay Abrams, “Giving up beef can do more to save the planet than giving up cars,” Salon, July 21, 2014, http://www.salon.com/2014/07/21/giving_up_beef_can_do_more_to_save_the_planet_than_giving_up_cars/
  11. [11]Stacy Finz, “California drought: Grass-fed beef industry reeling,” San Francisco Chronicle, February 21, 2014, http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/California-drought-Grass-fed-beef-industry-5253718.php; Reuters, “California drought drives exodus of cattle ranchers to eastern states,” Guardian, April 28, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/28/california-drought-cattle-ranchers-water-beef
  12. [12]Lindsay Abrams, “Giving up beef can do more to save the planet than giving up cars,” Salon, July 21, 2014, http://www.salon.com/2014/07/21/giving_up_beef_can_do_more_to_save_the_planet_than_giving_up_cars/; David Pimentel and Marcia Pimentel, “Sustainability of meat-based and Plant-Based Diets and the Environment,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 78, no. 3 (2003), http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/660S.full; Brad Plumer, “Study: Going vegetarian can cut your food carbon footprint in half,” Vox, June 13, 2016, http://www.vox.com/2014/7/2/5865109/study-going-vegetarian-could-cut-your-food-carbon-footprint-in-half; Peter Scarborough et al, “Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK,” Climatic Change, June 11, 2014, doi: 10.1007/s10584-014-1169-1
  13. [13]Catherine E. Shoichet, Mallory Simon, and Tim Hume, “New York bombing: Investigators searching for suspects, motive,” CNN, September 18, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/18/us/new-york-explosion/index.html
  14. [14]Lori Hinnant and Sarah El Deeb, “Did Islamic State claim credit for latest attacks too soon?” Washington Post, June 15, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/did-islamic-state-claim-credit-for-latest-attacks-too-soon/2016/06/15/f48e10e4-32cc-11e6-ab9d-1da2b0f24f93_story.html
  15. [15]Chandrika Narayan, “ISIS wing claims responsibility for Minnesota mall attack,” CNN, September 18, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/18/us/minnesota-mall-stabbing/index.html
  16. [16]Michael Lerner, “Why the Right Keeps Winning and the Left Keeps Losing,” Tikkun, November 10, 2014, http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/why-the-right-keeps-winning-and-the-left-keeps-losing

4 thoughts on “#CADrought may well be the “new normal”: Daily Bullshit, September 18, 2016 (updated again and again)

  1. @benfell I was at a meeting in late #1980s or early #1990s where regional !SoCal water suppliers like DWP/MWD were told that everything was based on an unusually wet time in first half of 20th century. Droughts of 100 years or longer are normal for western half of US, and a big investment in desalinization would be necessary. None of them have done anything about it.

  2. @benfell I was at a meeting in late #1980s or early #1990s where regional !SoCal water suppliers like DWP/MWD were told that everything was based on an unusually wet time in first half of 20th century. Droughts of 100 years or longer are normal for western half of US, and a big investment in desalinization would be necessary. None of them have done anything about it.

  3. I had also heard that the first part of the 20th century was unusually wet, skewing a lot of water use decisions. I hadn’t heard the rest. I’m still bugged that despite the fact that something 90 percent of the water use in California is by big agriculture, it’s the residential users who are told how long they can shower and how often they can flush their toilets. (Okay, I haven’t heard the latter this time, but remember “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down?”)

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