Last March, California Governor Jerry Brown declared that those who wished existing federal immigration law to be enforced — in the manner that would have saved the late Kate Steinle from a five-times deported, seven-times released felon illegal alien – were:
[A]t best … troglodyte, and at worst … un-Christian.
In California, if one assumes that the law as written should be followed, one is dubbed either a cave-dweller or an apostate. Meanwhile, sophisticated non-troglodytes in San Francisco have a sheriff — with a criminal record of his own — release a repeat felon and often-deported illegal alien, and that act is proof of his enlightenment.
Did Ms. Steinle rate any editorialization from the president or his administration in the manner of Trayvon Martin or Michael Brown? In all these cases, the allegation is that the state was culpable for the death of an innocent. But Ms. Steinle had no prior criminal record or brushes with the law, and was walking and not in a fight or in the process of being arrested, so therefore her death did not rise to the level of a Ferguson or Baltimore “teachable moment.”
Last week in Canada, the governor next turned his wrath on supposed “climate change deniers.” (Note the cheap moral equivalence between skepticism of man-made global warming and denial of the Holocaust.) He included them again in his growing categories of pre-civilized cave-dwellers. Brown scoffed to his more sophisticated Canadian audience:
We have a lot of troglodytes south of the [Canadian] border.
If one is both a “climate change denier,” and wanted someone like Francisco Lopez-Sanchez not to have been let into the U.S. unless he had met a background check and had waited in line for legal entrance, or at least was deported after his first felony, not his seventh, or at least was not let back in after his first deportation rather than his fifth, is he a troglodyte squared?
Aside from violating Churchill’s dictum that it is always unbecoming for a statesmen to ridicule his own citizens to foreigners while abroad, consider Brown’s weird logic and his own record as well.
Some of the state’s pillars of addressing climate change — Solyndra, the vast, expensive, and unimpressive cost-to-benefit (but quite impressive bird-killing) Mojave desert solar farm, and the planned corridor of the high-speed rail from Fresno to Corcoran — are assumed to be sophisticated and non-troglodyte. But completing a few of the once-scheduled California Water Project reservoirs would be Neanderthal.
Building a modest million-acre gravity-fed foot reservoir (had we started in Year One of this drought, it might have been finished by the present Year Four) would supply, at about the same cost, twenty times the annual water of the new southern California desalinization plant, without the daily “carbon footprint” of a huge electrical bill.
Insulting Americans as knuckle-draggers also makes no sense for a governor who, when he once presided over a 20 million-person state in the late 1970s, did much to cancel California’s planned infrastructure growth (“spaceship earth,” “smaller is better,” “era of limits,” etc.). He now presides over a 40 million-person state, mired in drought and short of canals, dams, reservoirs, and freeways.
If we cannot build reservoirs (although we might still should there be a Year Five of the drought, when the California Water Project and Hetch Hetchy prove inadequate to water the Bay Area corridor), can we at least not discharge to the sea millions of acre feet of stored water for purposes of (failed) fish restoration, for reasons never envisioned by the architects of the project? Those who wish to improve salmon runs are not just talking about redirecting reservoir water in northern California counties, but of recreating salmon runs in the San Joaquin River, something that few now alive have ever seen.
If sea temperatures rise this next autumn and if the familiar El Nino effect – well-known over the past decades — returns, and if we have a particularly wet and snowy winter, what will we then call the return of storms? Will that transition also be dubbed “climate change” because the weather in California became wetter and colder from a slight warming of a distant ocean?
Will Barack Obama fly back into Fresno amid heavy rains, and pronounce the end of the drought as the wage of climate change, in the way that he not long ago flew into Fresno to pronounce the persistence of the drought was the wage of climate change? Oceans that warm up cause snow in California; oceans that cool down cause drought and heat. When climate change is everything, is it anything? Is a slightly warmer phase in the Pacific Ocean bad or good, odd or normal, mysterious or completely understood? Is the present anti-El-Nino effect (i.e., slightly cooler oceanic temperatures) proof of anything? Too little global warming?