City Journal Autumn 2014

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Autumn 2014
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Steven Greenhut
Can’t Live by Scenery Alone « Back to Story

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Disband the EPA, DOE, BLM, FDA, NLRB, TSA and a bunch of other Govt. labor unions...
The air quality in the Central Valley is also affected by pollutants pushed southward into it from winds in the San Francisco Bay area. So some of 'our' pollution is actually blown in here from the urban areas in the SF Bay area. We will end up paying, in part, for their air pollution.
The real politics on this has nothing to do with environmentalism. This is simply self-promotion by urban metropolises for increasing water supplies. The conflict is for the diversion of surface water supplies. This takes place while California's coastal cities continue to disregard new supplies through desalination because of its costs. Rural regions have painted themselves in the corner through their depletion of groundwater supplies.

It is a classic urban vs. rural water war. Cities gave themselves a blank check for growth through diversions of surface water from rural regions. Now, every diversion sparks conflict. This has nothing to do with the environment, just users fighting for supplies of surface freshwater. It could be resolved simply by regional planning and sustainable prioritization of regional supplies by regional users. The longer the diversions are the focus of the conflict the more intense it will become.

Two large sub-states should be mapped, with Los Angeles included in the southern sub-state. The secessionist map of the Central Valley separatists did not include Los Angeles. Clearly, this was a self-serving proposition. All supplies stay in the sub-states. Regions are established within the sub-states that are basin-based and anticipate imbalances within the sub-states in regards to supplies, but NO diversions can be authorized outside of each sub-state.

Mull it over. California simply is unable to dodge desalination. It cannot continue to rob Peter to pay Paul. Regions need the capability of defining their own priorities in water use and resource development. Rural regions are rapidly transforming with the growth of population. Their economic uses and residential uses are increasing coming up against the stone wall of restricted supplies. My proposed water management reconfiguration is the only one that will open the door to users and avoid economic and political catastrophe. Without new supplies there will be only ghost towns and agricultural crises.
I lived in CA for nine years, and traveled through/vacationed in all the areas described. The enviro/whackos totally ignore the agricultural production importance of that state, and think all the water it gets belongs to them for drinking, showering and watering lawns and parkways. If they had their way, no grapes, no lettuces, no garlic, no oranges, citrus or anything else would be grown in that state. They think the waterways are their private playgrounds.
Don't let them do it!
I guess this is just creating a larger tax base for Texas.
The Federal government and State government will be ceded, at some point, 80% of the land to be return to nature. 100 years from now when China’s superior blue water navy plies the waters off the West Coast and the American annual income is below Mexico’s there will be a movement to develop California again. And our great grandkids will slap their foreheads and wonder what we were thinking.
Nothing is permanent – this too will pass (eventually).
Re. my prior comment, I should correct a term I used. ICLEI used to stand for the International Council (I said "Community") of Local Environmental Initiatives. They now call themselves "ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability."
OMG Utopians. They're trying to help. Run and don't look back!

In fact the "ruralists" have been hooked on government largess and public sympathy from the beginning. Their worldview is propped up on myths and falsehoods, now reinforced by FauxNewz.
I'm hearing the same thing in my area, though the anger from rural residents is directed at local county government, not the state. The county imposes what sound like onerous regulations on rural, unincorporated property that it does not impose on properties in the cities. These regulations have been increasing over the years, and the feeling of at least some rural residents is that the county is deliberately trying to push them out of unincorporated areas into the cities. Tammy Bruce, a former progressive, has talked about this, that the global warming agenda is being used to diminish the leverage of conservative political activity. Conservatism tends to be concentrated, and better represented in rural areas. Liberalism is concentrated in the cities. By forcing people out of rural areas into the cities, which have a higher proportional liberal population to conservatives, the conservative faction of our country can be muted, because it will be more difficult for them to organize, because it will be opposed by a large activist population, and more difficult for them to gain representation in government.

I've heard Agenda 21 mentioned locally. There's really no reason to go into conspiracy territory with it. It's out in the open. You can look at the UN's Agenda 21 document online (at http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/). I've heard from those who've read it that the "kicker" is in the last 20 or so pages of the document. The people spreading the word about Agenda 21 have also connected some other initiatives to it. They say the ultimate goal is to implement The Wildlands Project. The idea being to move the population into a relative few, isolated population centers in the country, which will be self-sufficient, with their own power generation, water supply, and what are called "food sheds," farms surrounding the community with enough food to feed it. The people who talk about Agenda 21 connect this to "densification," "smart energy," "smart grid," and "smart growth" initiatives, as a "first stage" in an evolving process towards this goal. The Wildlands Project further calls for these population centers to be connected by corridors, with buffer zones around them. It calls for whole swaths of the country to be off limits to humans. The idea that this is the objective of Agenda 21 sounds speculative to me. One document I read on this said that Agenda 21 looks at The Wildlands Project as one of a few possible goals, but not a definitive, singular goal. Still, just considering it is enough to give one the creeps.

Looking into it further, I found out about ICLEI, the International Community of Local Environmental Initiatives, an organization created by the UN. You can read about that at http://www.iclei.org/. The people who have been spreading the word about Agenda 21 connect it to ICLEI. They say that it is implementing Agenda 21 through local initiatives, that it's not being done through a federal program. It's happening county by county, city by city. Also, supposedly the American Planning Association (at http://www.planning.org) is involved with it. These links to Agenda 21 are speculative to me. I honestly don't know whether they're connected or not. I haven't looked into it enough to know. From what I can tell, which may be wrong, it seems to me the reason people make this connection is because of the term "sustainable." They take the term as code for a set of policy prescriptions and civic beliefs about how people should live, which they believe are embodied in Agenda 21. They may be right, for all I know. I put this information out there for the curious.

The conclusion I came to in my research on this is that you don't necessarily have to worry about all this. If you don't like what's going on in your community, it's kind of helpful to consider that maybe there's a larger force at work in it, but you can only do what you can do. Don't get yourself overwhelmed by the possibility that there's some nefarious global agenda. It's enough that you don't like what's going on in your neck of the woods to justify trying to do something about it in your own area. If you find others in other communities who are having the same problems you are, find ways to network and organize with each other, to find actionable information and raise funds you can use to advance your own agenda to oppose it.