It’s been a busy few days and I had not planned time to sit down and blog today BUT sometimes you find a reason so good you’ll forget emptying the dishwasher and starting the laundry to dish out a righteous amount of snark.
Last week I lamented about California’s “war on women” as Governor Jerry Brown seeks to limit the amount of time we can spend in the shower. Sorry, ladies, but you don’t have time to shave, let that conditioner set, or belt out that latest Taylor Swift chorus – you’ve gotta save water because the state is in a drought and suddenly it’s time to panic. Or something.
But then the voice of reason steps in and presents SCIENCE! When your primary argument is “Save the Fish!” and the numbers indicate what you’re doing isn’t working, well, it’s time to stop saving the fishes the way you want to and think of something else.
Malia Zimmerman published an article on Fox News today about California’s drought. Click here to read the whole thing. Her headline is very professional.
Personally, I would have suggested something like this:
That’s why Ms. Zimmerman gets paid the big bucks. It’s not that I am against saving the environment. I love the environment, with all of its animals and plants and trees. I’m for clean air and clean water. I recycle and clip 6-pack rings before I put them in the aforementioned recycle bin. Heck, I even use canvas bags at the grocery store (even though I don’t support a plastic bag ban, let’s be really clear about that). We can be good stewards of our resources without being ridiculous.
AMEN! As we all learn in 6th grade earth science, there is a difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day activity: it’s sunny, it’s raining, look out the window and describe what you see. Climate is the long-term pattern that defines a region: it’s hot, it’s dry, it’s wet, it’s snowy. Remember the climate zones? Temperate, tropical, polar… (Thanks for being an awesome science teacher, Mrs. Gordon!)
Southern California, even on the coast, is dry. Sure we get a nice layer of dew every morning, but there’s a reason people love the “perfect” weather here: it’s 70-something and sunny almost every day – it doesn’t rain. Oh, and the desert, well, that’s a desert so, honestly, why would anyone expect it to rain there?! Lack of rain in a desert should surprise no one. If you live in a desert and you know it’s not going to rain, common sense would suggest you plan infrastructure and resource management accordingly.
The problem isn’t there’s not enough water. The problem is the water is being poorly managed. Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink because WE’RE POURING IT INTO THE OCEAN. “But, Ashley,” you say, “they have big water storage and transport thingies!” Yah, let’s talk about those… Next paragraph!
1980 was 35 years ago, y’all. Can you imagine if we didn’t update our roads for 35 years? Water traveling through this system will cause excessive wear and tear on the network. Building new ones? Nope. Updating old ones? I mean, if we have to but definitely don’t expand them because SAVE ALL THE FISHES!!
As I mentioned earlier, I like fish. I like their contributions to the ecosystem, as well as my dinner plate.
Here’s the problem:
Dear Environmentalists: YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG! Seriously, if my goal was to save $10,000 over the course of 2015 and I get to December and only have $6 saved, I need to re-think my strategy because whatever I tried, clearly, didn’t work.
California Congressman Republican (they’re evil, I know) Devin Nunes states in the article that, obviously, the environmentalists didn’t set out to destroy California’s water supply but they got
a little carried away and *oops!* they did. He claimed that if the state had built only three new dams and stored water over the last 40 years (instead of allowing environmental zealots to shut down every proposed plan in court), California wouldn’t be in this mess. But we let the fish-savers win and here we are.
Something about that fish is just creepy…
Do you want to know how carried away these people are, still? They are opposed to desalination (removing salt from ocean water) because it would require “too much energy”. They’re against building new dams and water storage facilities because it might tear down a tree. And, have mercy, don’t consider removing all the red tape they so carefully, and abundantly, put in place.
Understand me: there are people in this state and country who would prioritize 6 fish over 319 million Americans. “Okay, Ashley, that is a serious overstatement. You’re fear mongering!” Before you go and accuse me of being an evil Republican, answer me this question:
Do you eat food?
Well, do ya, punk? I don’t care if you’re paleo, vegan, vegetarian, pescadarian, carnivore, omnivore, no carbs or all carbs. Do you eat food? Then this drought affects you, too.
Forget “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!” and start chanting “NO WATER, NO FOOD!” because that’s exactly what is happening. If we have to save those 6 little fish that an expert says is probably going to die anyway, if we have to divert water away from farms to save a doomed species, then we will produce less food. Supply and demand isn’t hard.
Less Product + Higher Demand = Higher Prices
More Product + Less Demand = Lower Prices
Take a look at your grocery bills over the last few years. The cost of bread, milk, and produce has skyrocketed while the fishie population has dwindled. It’s not that we shouldn’t care about the plight of one of God’s creatures, but we have to be reasonable about it: people need food and jobs and showers, for crying out loud. Besides, do you really want to be represented by these guys? I can smell the patchouli from here.
What’s that about jobs? Oh, yah. Fewer crops require fewer workers. Fewer crops require fewer truck drivers. Fewer truck drivers require fewer logistics coordinators. Fewer logistics coordinators require fewer bosses. As you can see, we’re all in this boat together and the boat is in rough shape. Like, “held together with a wine cork, bubble gum, and a paperclip” bad shape.
So hug your tree-hugging neighbor, tell them it was a good try, clap ’em on the back and tell them that it’s time to get real. It’s time to re-align priorities and re-think strategies. It’s past time to build a few dams and store rain water. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to let my family suffer because a few fishes aren’t smart enough to find less-salty water to live in. Darwin was on to something…
By the way, this is the prized Delta Smelt. It’s really, uh, something…