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Thread: California Drought

  1. #21
    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'd like to see even more Californians overrun Washington. It would make this place a lot better.

  2. #22
    chaotic neutral shitpost jigglypuff's Avatar
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    ^ californians do complain about PNW people moving here too but under the broader umbrella of "gentrification."

    edit: this was meant to go under ent's post
    i sneeze like a grandpa.

  3. #23
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    I think people in LA and the bay area will be fine. We're a relatively affluent population, so if shit hits the fan we'll just throw up some super expensive desalination plants and all start drinking (more) bottled water. I've heard desalinated water tastes like ass. Maybe we can get Google to pay for it. If not, even tripling or quadrupling our current water bill would be a drop in the bucket compared to the exorbitant amount we pay for housing.

    People in the central valley will be screwed. Agriculture doesn't bring in enough money to support those kinds of infrastructure projects. Not to mention, they'd need 4x as many of them as we would, all funded by 2% of the state's GDP. What will probably happen is the affluent urban centers will wind up paying for their water as well, while they complain about welfare and government intervention and shit. I'm not sure why telling a bunch of farmers to go fuck an almond tree is so taboo (probably because food prices would spike for the whole country, if not the world, but still do we need that much wine and nuts?), but I doubt Sacramento will just allow market forces to take over once the groundwater dries up.

    The folks most at risk here are the regular people who live in the central valley. A lot of poorer folks already don't have running water because their wells have dried up, and they don't have $20k to drill another one that is deep enough, and even if they did who knows how long it will be until that goes dry too. I think that problem will start creeping up the food chain as farms start pumping more and more to make up for what they're not getting in dam releases and rainfall, and dried up wells will start hitting more middle class neighborhoods. Right now, it's just affecting the poor, and nobody cares about the poor.

  4. #24
    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    I added a post to my Global Warming thread related to this.

    I think this might have the up side of bringing the debate on Global warming to the forefront.
    Last edited by OrionzRevenge; 04-10-2015 at 03:34 PM.
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

  5. #25
    Senior Member Spartan26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico View Post
    I take it that which is yellow is already being allowed to mellow?
    One shower if I don't use it too frequently will come out that nasty orange but clears rather quickly. My big thing is that I want the tiles warmed up by the water and steam billowing. It definitely doesn't take as long as I allow. I often will take a short shower but then there are times the water will be just the right temperature and I'm certain if I say in there long enough answers to all the world's problems will come flowing to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico View Post
    Thanks! Be sure to include some antibiotics, too, please!

  6. #26
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    Culturally it seemed really wasteful, and I'm genuinely not sure how that culture/psyche is going to handle living within your means or government intervention, especially since American culture seems to have image and profligacy as relatively strong elements.
    This^. I'm sure they California will throw boatloads of money at the problem before doing any real conservation. I mean maybe a install a few more low flow toilets and all, but it's not like they are going to stop building golf courses or anything crazy like that. That's hardly the American way. Desalination plants or water pipelines are a more likely approach if push comes to shove.

  7. #27
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    Well it's not like they've done nothing. You now have to ASK for water at a restaurant. They're not allowed to serve it to you otherwise!

  8. #28
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    Obviously I don't live there, but have a bit of experience with all this kerfuffle because of living in Australia, bitch, and thus grew up through water shortages and restrictions.

    When we were over there last year, it struck us both how people in LA at least really um, didn't seem to give a shit about resource conservation or management. Both energy and water. Culturally it seemed really wasteful, and I'm genuinely not sure how that culture/psyche is going to handle living within your means or government intervention, especially since American culture seems to have image and profligacy as relatively strong elements.

    Just so you know, we haven't really got water management down either, one of our main river systems is pretty sick and a tragedy of the commons. But it's weird having lived through drought, and nothing I saw last year suggested anyone was prepared to deal with the issue with any seriousness...

    Reminds me of my impressions the one time I spent a few days in Las Vegas--the city is like some kind of monument to human denial of ecological reality.

    At least in the season when I was there (mid-July), the basic prevailing conditions of life in Las Vegas are of course:

    A. It's really fucking hot.
    B. It's really fucking dry.

    So, of course, what does the 'built environment' of downtown Las Vegas look like?

    Basically a bunch of huge, hermetically sealed buildings that are constantly air conditioned--and prior to this trip I hadn't realized that the big casinos are all linked together by underground tunnel complexes. The tunnel complexes are themselves rather large and sometimes contain things like shopping malls. It's like they built a whole city as a tourist trap, but one predicated on the plan that people should be able to spend a week there without ever going outside. I've never felt more like I was really in a Fallout-style postapocalyptic residential bunker system.

    Of course, people do go outside to brave the sunblasted desert sometimes--because how else are you supposed to go swimming? Every hotel, and from what I could see a large percentage of residential houses, naturally have attached swimming pools. The hotel I stayed at installed a wave machine in theirs and then piled a bunch of sand in front of it so you can pretend you're at the ocean--you know, until you look at anything higher than the knees of the people around you and can clearly see again that you're in the middle of a sunblasted desert nowhere near any major bodies of water. The little fake ocean you're swimming in is brought to you courtesy of some engineering marvel or other that allows the water to be piped in a good distance from some place that actually has bodies of water.

    It all fits in with the surrealistic effect of how they recreated a bunch of architectural landmarks from all around the world within an area of a relative few square miles. (At least the Egyptian pyramid kind of fits the setting, but you can walk from there to the Eiffel Tower and then the Statue of Liberty, probably within an hour or two.) The underlying theme seems pretty clear--this is a place for grownups to play pretend, which is fine if you can make it work, of course, especially if it's designed as a short-term fantasy package that people do for a few days as a vacation.



    California is kind of like this same concept writ large, though--I mean, I lived there for about 18 months and the Denial is Strong with Californians across the board. The "California Dream"--the idea that one should be able to achieve a lifestyle that transcends all imaginable forms of constraint on the id and ego, effectively building a little world for oneself with properties and rules of one's own choosing, if one is intelligent and motivated enough--really is a core component of the place's culture. It's the prevailing archetypical image of 'The Good Life' that seems to exist to at least some extent in the back of everyone's subconscious.

    I suspect this could be said of most parts of the western United States, of course, and probably dates back all the way to the era of Lewis and Clark, the Mexican-American War, etc.--these are the places where "America" got to engage in its own colonialism after detaching itself from the British colonial project, and various evolved modern permutations on that old idea of heading to the frontier to find 'freedom' seem to characterize the distinctive regional cultures of most places I've ever been within a rough square that goes from Texas up to Montana, over to Bellingham in Washington, and back down to San Diego. In Oregon and Washington, IME, the equivalent meme is the hope for a sort of Emersonian experience where you cast off the hypocritical facades of civilization and commune with the primal forces of nature until you discover your true self. In California it's a more... I want to use the word "Babylonian"... mentality where you say "well, fuck Nature too if it comes to that--I will build my own oasis if the desert doesn't give me one." (My will-to-power shouldn't have to chafe under the yoke of the laws of physics and biology any more than it should have to chafe under the yoke of the laws of Society.)

    Even in places where the local culture is noted for enthusiasm about "being Green", (like the San Francisco conurbation) the thought process that surrounds this concept will often have a kind of sclerotic quality that can't see the forest for the trees. I remember people vehemently objecting to a proposed expansion of the BART public transit system up to Novato, which would be designed to relieve the notoriously car-choked stretch of highway that leads there from SF proper as an alternative to expansion of the highway, over some kind of concern about some small areas of wetland bird habitat. The sentiment amounted to "no, you guys, come on, we have to stay in our cars and keep driving--for the Earth! Don't you care about the Earth?" (Don't get me started on the subject of Californians and their cars, of course.)

    You see this in how even the discourse around trying to be realistic and reasonable about the water crisis seems to be still a few steps shy of fully comprehending what the problem is. I mean, sure, they'd save a bit of water if they all converted their grass lawns into cactus gardens and shut down all the golf courses, but that's hardly the main issue when the bulk of the problem (80% of the problem to be more precise) comes from the basic project of growing food to support the population of people out there trying to "Live the Dream" at its current size in the first place.


    It's not like there isn't some awareness of this, even:

    “For over 10,000 years, people lived in California, but the number of those people were never more than 300,000 or 400,000,” [Governor] Brown said. “Now we are embarked upon an experiment that no one has ever tried: 38 million people, with 32 million vehicles, living at the level of comfort that we all strive to attain. This will require adjustment.”
    But watch the implications completely fail to sink into anyone's consciousness as even the "This will Require Adjustment" premise of needing to make short-term, trivial sacrifices for the sake of appearances becomes the focal point of indignant debate:

    “I’m not going to stop watering,” said Matthew Post, 45, referring to the gardens around his Benedict Canyon home. “The state does not know how to arrange the resources they have, and so we have to pay for it,” he said. “They say that they will raise the prices because there is a drought, but when the drought ends, will they reduce the prices?”

    Quote Originally Posted by Ptah View Post
    No history, no exposition, no anecdote or argument changes the invariant: we are all human beings, and some humans are idiots.

  9. #29
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    when the drought ends
    when the drought ends
    when the drought ends
    when the drought ends
    So that's the foresight people have? Good luck, California. You deserve what's coming.

  10. #30
    chaotic neutral shitpost jigglypuff's Avatar
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    lol i didn't realize people hated CA that much. even though you've probably eaten/relied on food that's grown here

    stop eating?

    i personally am not a climate change denying, golf-playing "when the drought ends" person (they seem kinda insulated from reality) but it seems lacking in foresight to think this kind of thing stays contained to one place in terms of economic impact.

    agricultural water reforms mentioned by @LowIQLogan makes sense. people in & outside CA will feel the hit anyway if/when food prices rise.
    Last edited by jigglypuff; 04-10-2015 at 04:43 PM.
    i sneeze like a grandpa.

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