Fish Instead of People, Ideologies without Consequences

silicon_valley_duck_race_3-30-14-1 The 4th Annual Silicon Valley Rubber Duck Race in Vasona Lake Park on June 12, 2011, in Los Gatos, California.

If only people had to live in the world that they dreamed of for others.

Endangered species everywhere are supposed to be at risk -- except birds of prey shredded by wind turbine farms, or reptilian habitats harmed by massive solar farms. High-speed rail is great for utopian visionaries -- except don’t dare start it in the Bay Area, when there are yokels aplenty down in Hanford to experiment on. Let’s raise power bills to the highest levels in the country with all sorts of green mandates -- given that we live in 70-degree year-round temperatures, while “they” who are stupid enough to dwell in 105-degree Bakersfield deserve the resulting high power bills. We need cheap labor, open borders, multiculturalism, and identity politics, but not too near my kids’ Santa Monica or Atherton prep schools. I like my beamer in La Jolla and my Mercedes in Menlo Park, but not the fracking that might provide cheaper gas for Juan and Jose who drive a used 10-year-old Yukon 40 miles to work in Mendota.

Appreciate these contradictions of the liberal elite mind and the current California drought is logical rather than aberrant.

In this third year of California drought, perhaps 500,000 acres of farmland will lie idle for lack of water. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be sunk into lowering wells, as the aquifer dives, when too many straws compete for too little water at the bottom of the glass. There are reasons why a drought threatens existential ruin in the billions of dollars rather than mere hardship. Our forefathers 50 years ago knew well the ancient California equation: a) California’s population always grows; b) 80% of the state wishes to live where 20% of the rain falls; c) therefore, to ensure that the normal cycles of drought do not prove fatal to commerce and agriculture, man must transfer water from the north to the south of the state.

Unlike 1976-77, there are no longer just 23 million Californians, but 40 million. But unlike the past, Californians in the 1970s gave up on completing the state California Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project that had supplemented the earlier Colorado River, Big Creek, and Hetch Hetchy water storage and transference efforts.

At some fateful moment in the 1970s, the other California on the coast, drunk with the globalized wealth that poured into Napa Valley, the Silicon Valley, the great coastal university nexuses at Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA and Caltech, the entertainment industry, the defense industry, and the financial industry decided that they had transcended the old warnings of more Californians needing far more water to survive more droughts. When you are rich, you can afford for the first time in your life to favor a newt with spots on his toes over someone else that lacks your money, clout, and sensitivities.