Agriculture

The ABCs of our hollowed out American economy

Submitted: Nov 05, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 


American Business people -- in agriculture and elsewhere -- tend to blame environmentalists for the economic ills of the nation the way their fathers blamed communists. It doesn't really matter who the enemy du jour is or whether the evil doer has been fingered by the chamber of commerce or the farm bureau. The important thing seems to be to avoid accountability, responsibility or blame for the clearly ruinous economic future before us. An enormous amount of money is spent constantly on public relations and lawyers to villify and sue critics, all for the sake of "proving" that it is "Not Our Fault!" What good do you think an economy that grows wealth for a few and unemployment and poverty for the many? What good is this kind of economy? Who do you think you are to treat your fellow citizens this way? Dr. Roberts again lays down the ABCs of this dismal process so that even an unemployed rocket scientist could understand. -- blj 

 

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Federal subsidy for the Last Tango of the Dinosaurs

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

 “If it wasn’t for having crop insurance right now, I would have lost everything three generations of Messonniers have created. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be here. It’s that simple.” ... “This was the first year ever we didn’t do any rice,” (Tom Roduner) said. “Sometimes we have a little bit. It’s so bleak this year, between the water allocation and how dry things were, it just wasn’t feasible to do any.”

-- Calix, Merced Sun-Star, Oct. 28, 2015

 

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Humanity doesn't deserve Nature

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

 Suppose, contrary to nearly universal public opinion, humanity doesn't deserve nature. Man is destroying ecological system after ecological system, extinguishing species after driving them into habitat corrals, constantly encroached upon by agricultural and housing development. The only way the story of the global environmental crisis makes sense is once hope is removed from reflections on it.

Every day is the New Day!

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There are no Crocodile Dundees in the San Joaquin Valley

Submitted: Oct 21, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We are always happy to hear about our state Legislature getting out and getting exposed to educational influences. The poor dears are in the Capitol for so short a time -- thanks to the concerted, successful efforts of California's dominant corporations to impose term limits on legislators -- that it should always be reassuring to all Californians whenever our legislators are getting educated. In the case of their trip to Australia to study how that country has dealt with droughts, we ought to be especially grateful to the funders of this trip, the California Foundation on the Environment and Economy, an organization composed of termed out state legislators and lobbyists (for whom there are no term limits) from the energy and development "communities," and the building trades unions. 

This is a fine example of one of the basic assumptions of California leadership: Every day is a New Day! Why go to the abundant public record that exists on all aspects of the state's water supply and study, or at least have members of your staff study, what California has done in times of drought? How much more glamorous to go to Australia!" And it looks better on the resume than dropping by UC Davis for a workshop.

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Just put a number on it and everything will be clear

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

 "We have hundreds of millions of acre-feet of groundwater under our feet in California," Quinn said. ...The state Department of Water Resources will release a final list of critically overdrafted basins in coming days. Those basins will need to have groundwater sustainability plans in place by Jan. 31, 2020, two years earlier than other high- and medium-priority basins. -- Kate Campbell, Sierra Sun-Times, Oct. 14, 2015.

 

 

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The new Green Math of South Carolina

Submitted: Oct 05, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 10-5-15

Democracy Now!

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/10/5/headlines#1054

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The contribution to global warming of artificial fertilizers

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

 Fertilisers, especially nitrogen fertilisers, require an enormous amount of energy to produce... Faced with this dilemma, the fertiliser companies have moved aggressively to control the international debate on agriculture and climate change, and to position themselves as a necessary part of the solution.

 -- GRAIN, Sept. 30, 2015

 

 

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The Bobcat guzzles the KoolAid

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

 In vain once again, as we often have since the arrival of the University of California among us, we ask what sort of questions, if any, the faculty of UC Merced are asking as they lavish their attention on the Sierra Nevada (or not so much nevada lately).

We have watched them flirt with social issues, discovering that Hispanic youth prefer to stay at home when going to college. They solved that problem by importing Hispanic youth from Los Angeles.

There was the global warming period, when UC Merced did important original research on cow farts. There was even a time when the mission of the campus was seen as mainly in the Humanities. 

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Overdrafting credulity on the east side

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

Journalists shouldn't take at face value the public utterances of other peoples' consultants, for example the Provost and Pritchard Consulting Group, in the pay of the Eastside Water District, a mysterious institution that lacks any surface water to distribute.

We may be over-emphasizing a small point, but when the consultant said:

“The groundwater pumping has caused a ‘cone of depression’ and groundwater overdraft to occur,” said a report on the project by the Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group in Modesto. “This is due to the lack of a surface water supply that could offer groundwater recharge in the area and lead to a sustainable supply.”

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Westland/BOR deal clips

Submitted: Sep 21, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Below, you'll find a few articles on the Westlands/Bureau of Reclamation deal. As is often the case with California water stories in recent years, the best reporting is done by Dan Bacher, who grew out of reporting on good fishing spots in the Delta to become one of the few fact-based voices in the bug swarm of flak hovering above the surface of water issues in this state.

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