Agriculture

The whole enchilada on our front porch

Submitted: Jul 02, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 An editor of Badlands Journal was once studying agricultural economics at a great UC campus established firmly on the back of California agriculture. One night, shortly before leaving these studies, the future Badlands editor looked up from his equations, gazed out into a hot summer night, and formulated the one scientific thought he had ever had: The San Joaquin Valley of California is the greatest laboratory in the world to demonstrate all that is wrong with agribusiness.

As usual, his thought was puny compared to the onrushing reality. -- blj

 

 

 

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Water lawsuits scream overhead

Submitted: Jun 28, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There have been a slew of articles this past 10 days about California water-rights lawsuits following the state's announcement of its intention to "curtail" the rights of senior water-rights holders. There have also been articles that try to explain California water rights. And there have been articles about cities and towns under mounting water-supply stress and about farmers ignoring various orders to stop using various sources of water to which they believe they are entitled. Throughout is stated the generally agreed upon ratio that agriculture uses 80 percent and municipalities 20 percent of California water resources.

 

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Vineyard expansion in Malibu curtailed -- quelle horreur!

Submitted: Jun 26, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The ban was opposed by vineyard operators.

“It seems like we’re being targeted for vines, whereas other things that might actually lead to more significant drought reduction are not even being mentioned in this -- agriculture, housing, horses,” said Malibu resident Dan Fredman, who has been operating a vineyard for about five years. “All of those things use significantly more water than grapes do. -Paige Austen, Patch.com, June 17, 2015

 

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Thanks, guys, for your rendition of "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"

Submitted: Jun 24, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Thanks guys, for another rendition of that same-old/same-old Country favorite, "I hear that huge, old suckin' sound"(the Trans-Pacific- Partnership version). Thanks for all the bribery and corruption enabling  our cowardly, venal and crooked members of Congress to vote to blind themselves from what's in the trade agreement.  Thanks for all the lies and corporatist "rules" of secrecy. Thanks for helping further close the American mind -- what's left of it -- for your profits. Thanks for shrugging your shoulders about Global Warming. Special thanks in advance for all the jobs this trade "agreement" will cost the US -- surely many entrepreneurs and dues-paying members of the Chamber of Commerce will arise from all that involuntary leisure.  Thanks for your treason, all bunted up in the red, white and blue.

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The pope and the water gurus

Submitted: Jun 23, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The world's water challenges are technical, economic, political, and social issues, but the Vatican Encyclical reminds us that ultimately they are ethical and moral issues as well. This is a valuable and timely reminder. -- Dr. Peter Gleick, Huffington Post, June 18, 2015

 

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Finest young minds confront California drought

Submitted: Jun 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences recently developed a tool to quantitatively evaluate these water management options. Working with the Nature Conservancy, we designed the model to assess strategies for restoring populations of native fish on Mill Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River. -- Jenny Ta, Joshua Viers, California Water Blog, June 14, 2015

 

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War of the moral universes: California water stories, June 2015

Submitted: Jun 15, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 “The problem lies, in part, in the social isolation of the rich, the moral isolation of the rich.” The rich, she said, were “lacking a sense that we are all in this together”. --Tim Walker, The Independent, April 4, 2015.

 

Barbre sits on the 37-member board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a huge water wholesaler serving 17 million customers. He is fond of referring to his watering hose with Charlton Heston’s famous quote about guns: “They’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.” -- Rob Kuznia, Washington Post, June 13, 2015.

 

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The new face of agro-plutocracy

Submitted: Jun 10, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

 

"Many of these businesses are getting 20 to 30 to sometimes 40 percent of their gross revenues directly from the government," Phillip Bowles told KGO. "I don't have a good explanation for that. Somebody else might, but it beats me."

Economists say they can find no rationale for the subsidies, which started in 1933 as temporary aid for small farmers devastated by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Then, a quarter of Americans lived on farms. Today, less than 1 percent do -- so few that the Census Bureau quit counting.

-- Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, July 26, 2007.

 

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A good year for fixing dams

Submitted: Jun 03, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 While dams provide many benefits, they also pose a significant hazard.  Dam owners, individuals living and working downstream, first responders, local and state officials all are encouraged to know the risks and benefits of dams located in their respective communities. -- California Department of Water Resources, May 28,2015

 

Last week, we received  a press release from the state Department of Water Resources announcing National Dam Safety Awareness Day.

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Merced by the numbers last week

Submitted: Jun 01, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Like most Mercedians, our attention was grabbed by Friday's frontpage stories in the Sun-Star. Above the fold, we saw the headline: "Area manufacturing growth fastest in U.S." Below the fold, we read "Gang probe yields guns, drugs."

The top headline was such a typical bit of the cognitive dissonance we expect from the Sun-Star that we moved to the cops-and-robbers story on the theory, reached entirely unconsciously over the first cup of coffee, that the second story might be more realistic.

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