Editor's note: Last month's story on the drought and Big Ag ("Crop Priority," April 8) didn't generate too many comments locally but it received a hail of comments when our friends at Metro Silicon Valley posted it on SJInside.com. Here is a sampling.
Blaming agriculture for our water crisis is like blaming retirees benefiting from Proposition 13 for our tax problems. Nowhere in this article do I see a mention of water going for construction, the expansion of housing or the fact that Northern California ships a large amount of water to Los Angeles via the California Aqueduct.
I guess it's not politically correct to put the blame on the millions of recent arrivals to California soaking their lawns until the water runs into the street. At least in agriculture a good portion of that runoff makes it back into the water table, instead of flowing over nonpermeable surfaces (concrete, etc.) into the creeks. And let's not forget companies like Nestle, who have several wells operating up and down the state.
Nature causes droughts. Politicians cause water shortages. For more than 3,000 years, humanity knew how to deal with water shortages.
There is abundant fresh water available in the Sierra, in the Pacific Northwest, in Canada. There are people eager to sell water to California. There are people eager to transport water to California. Let's make a deal!
Endangered snail darters, "Hands up, don't shoot!" and human-caused global warming are just floats in the endless parade of lies dumped on the busy, hard-working American people by the Malthusian elites who have engineered the water shortage.
The end game is population control. "Humanity is an invasive species." Paul Erlich explained it all in The Population Bomb. The Sierra Club wants you to go away. After all, it's their planet, not yours. And there are way too many of you. The Sierra Clubbers have trust funds. They can drink bottled water. But working people need jobs, and the jobs that working people are paid to do require water. No water. No jobs. No invasive species.
The author of this article expresses concern—and rightly so—about the "great unmentionables." But he's evidently afraid to mention one unmentionable, and that's unrestrained immigration, its impact on our population and on the amount of water that's used.
It's one thing to have a roommate who uses more than his share of water in some gardening project in the backyard. Things can be worked out with such a roommate. It's a different matter altogether to have a roommate who, without asking, invites his friends to live in your house and use your water, plays dumb when you point it out to him, and hires expensive lawyers and cozies up to the landlord to prevent you from evicting these water-consuming lawbreakers.
Agriculture has a legitimate place in California; illegal aliens do not. You want to start pointing fingers at "great unmentionables," then do the intellectually honest thing and point fingers at all of them.
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