Posted on | February 17, 2014 | 8 Comments
*President Obama came to the Central Valley to address drought and climate change. Everyone “is going to have to start rethinking how we approach water for decades to come,” he said. After making the remark in a speech at a ranch in Los Banos, a farm town roughly 75 miles northwest of Fresno, the President spent the weekend at a golfing resort in the Mojave Desert.
*Republican Congressman Devin Nunes greeted the President’s outreach to the Central Valley by saying, “To blame the California water crisis on global warming is ludicrous.”
*The Mayor of Los Angeles highlighted local water harvesting as a way to relieve dependence on imports while posing in front of an infiltration ground parched by drought.
*The newly appointed sustainability officer of Los Angeles addressed climate change by traveling to a conference in South Africa. Describing the trip in a Huffington Post article, the mayor’s green deputy linked to the city’s sustainability page, where the background image is of a tap water lake surrounded by turf.
*At the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, the lake surrounding Lucky Baldwin’s old cottage has been allowed to dwindle to a puddle while turf around it is emerald green and irrigation overspill still runs through the parking lot and down Baldwin Avenue. A sign posted next to the lake blames its state on drought.
Matt Petersen, the city of LA’s new sustainability officer, concluded his Huffington Post column with a call to action for citizens. “While we need government to act, we each can be what I call citizen entrepreneurs. We can take responsibility as individuals for our corner of the world, and unleash the can-do attitude …”
Speaking as a citizen, if not “entrepreneur,” who has already installed low-flow devices, removed turf, planted a drought-tolerant garden and converted my home to zero-run-off for storm water capture, I must admit to feeling patronized and depressed by leaders at federal, county and city institutions whose actions belie their words.
Correction: Kevin Roderick of LA Observed wrote in a personal communication, “Never heard ever heard the Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage area referred to as the Mojave Desert before.” Meanwhile, Joshua Tree-based environment writer for KCET Chris Clarke wrote on Facebook, “A golf resort in the Mojave would have been better. In the Coachella Valley, one of the hottest sections of the Sonoran Desert, evapotranspiration is a double-digit percentage higher than it is in the Mojave.”