The Biggest Lies About the Drought and Water
Note to readers: Please send us your examples of lies.
The biggest lie is that global warming, or as most now call it, climate change, is the cause of the drought, which most scientists refuse to endorse, though recent studies claim that the warmer weather exacerbates the drought. And of course, all this is caused by the activities of mankind.
As the report by Ben Deniston, featured on this website, makes clear the climate of our planet is driven by the Sun, other Solar System processes and Galactic effects. Man’s impact on the climate is next to nil.
The climate is always changing and has always changed. The simplistic and wrong idea that man has caused dramatic climate change also ignores the well-known history of our planet. One hundred and fifty million years ago the only way dinausaurs could survive at all was because the climate was much warmer than today, thus the Earth was able to produce enough food for these huge animals. In addition, perhaps it is forgetten that over the past one million years periodic Ice Ages have encased a good chunk of the northern hemisphere in hundreds of feet of ice.
Deniston makes the point that there is plenty of water, both in the oceans and in the atmosphere. What is lacking is the political will and a culture that acts on the truth that mankind has always depended upon his own actions to discover how to provide himself with what he requires.
Here are five more:
1) First is the myth, or more accurately a fraud, that California has one year of water left, then we will be in a serious crisis. Some refine that by specifying that there is one-year supply left in the reservoirs. Regardless, the truth is that the state is already in a serious crisis– it is out of water— that is out of an adequate supply to provide for all the needs of the population, industry and agriculture. It is quite amazing that all of the so-called authorities could continue to promulgate such an outright fraud. Perhaps everyone but the farmers of the Central Valley and thousands of households, like the people of East Porterville, whose wells have gone dry, do not count anymore. The Central Valley farmers are receiving this year zero or 20% of the amount of water they require from the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project. Last year they received even less. The forecast for the Central Valley is that one million acres of the world’s best farm land will lie fallow this year. Brushing off this disaster by claiming that the state has one more year is worst than irresponsible, it is criminal.
2) A related lie, promulgated since Governor Brown announced on April Fool’s Day that urban water users must reduce consumption by 25 percent, is that he “let the farmers off the hook.” Again, to repeat what was stated in point 1) above, the agricultural sector has already been cut– last year by 90-100 percent from the federal and state water projects; and this year they will only receive between zero to 20 percent of what they require. Some really stupid people have proposed that the state tell the farmers what they can grow. Other stupid people have proposed that agriculture in the state just be shut down.
Some organizations, like the California Water Impact Network, attempt to focus attention on what they consider to be “non-essential” crops, like almonds. They argue that since California exports most of the almonds grown in the state, we should cut-off the water to almond growers. They add that especially since most of the exports are going to China this should be done.
Since California provides half or more of all the fruits,nuts and vegetables, and 20 percent of the nation’s dairy products, water for agriculture in the state is an absolute necessity.
Also we hear that all the water used by agriculture goes to enrich the big corporate farms. The truth is that there are 76,400 farms and ranches in the state, which produced $21 billion in agricultural exports in 2013, according to the California Department of Food & Agriculture. The vast majority of farms and ranches are family-run enterprises.
3) Virtually every press report that mentions water use in the state claims that agriculture uses 80% of the state’s water. Some of them state that agriculture uses 80 percent of the water used by humans, without really making clear exactly how the water that flows in the rivers and streams of the state is actually divided. What this supposedly shocking figure tends to evoke is stupid statements like, “we should cut off agriculture and give the water to the people,” as if people can get by with water and no food. That was a real comment posted to a recent article. The reality is that 50% of the state’s water is reserved for “environmental reasons,” like letting water run out the Delta to the Bay to obey the Endangered Species Act. Agriculture actually uses 80% of the state’s water that is consumed for human use, or, looked at in another way, 30% of the total of the water that flows through the state each year is used by agriculture.
The March 20 comment on blaming the farmers for the affects of the drought by Families Protecting the Valley that, “In their opinion, if it weren’t for the farmers none of this would be happening,” is appropriate.
4) Frequently in the press is the complaint that Southern California steals the water of Northern California, via the State Water Project, which in normal years does send 1.2 million acre feet of water from the north to Southern California. Simply, there is no such thing as “Northern California’s water.” The following is from Article 10, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of California:
“SEC. 2. It is hereby declared that because of the conditions prevailing in this State the general welfare requires that the water resources of the State be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they are capable, and that the waste or unreasonable use or unreasonable method of use of water be prevented, and that the conservation of such waters is to be exercised with a view to the reasonable and beneficial use thereof in the interest of the people and for the public welfare.”
Further, Section 2 states that California practices appropriation law, and that water may be diverted to the property of those who do not have water on their own land if it ensures that the water will be put to beneficial use.
There it is. All the water of the state belongs to all the people of the state. There is no “northern water” or “southern water.” More fundamentally, Section 2 echoes the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution, in that the purpose of the government is to represent all the people and their posterity in every way.
Here is the Preamble:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
5) One final example. It has been reported again and again that since agriculture makes up only about 4% of California’s GDP, even if we lose it all it really won’t hurt the economy. For example here is my report on such a “study” from the October 13, 2014 California Drought Update:
“The Los Angeles Times on October 9, published an opinion piece, “Will the drought kill California’s economy?” The article reports on a study by climate researchers, mainly some of the university- connected people who have been quoted in recent months commenting on the drought. The study ran a computer simulation of what would the affects on California’s economy be if there was a 70 year drought. The study found that agriculture would be hit hard, with the state’s 8 to 9 million acres of irrigated crop land falling by at least one-half. But, as is claimed, since agriculture contributes only about four percent to the total economy of the state, then the impact would not be all that bad. Green lawns would disappear, water prices would sky-rocket, and the state would have to build desalination plants, but overall, things won’t be that bad. Not a word about the huge loss to the nation’s food supply or the devastation caused to millions of people.”
And to underline the insanity of the system that shuts down its industry, does not build infrastructure and considers money as a measure of value, here is a section from my California Drought Report of September 30, 2014:
“Brietbard.com on September 26, reports some statistics that demonstrate the de-industrialization of the state. Water use between the years 2000 and 2010 declined by 12% in the state, even with the population growing by 9% in those ten years. But, commercial and industrial water use fell 36% and 18% respectively. Water use by residential users fell 27% per capita in the same period. The falling use-rate is usually attributed to residents installing water saving fixtures and farmers using more efficient forms of irrigation, but the same cannot be said about industry. In that same time period nearly the entire aerospace sector and most of the auto sector shut down in California.”