Agriculture

Rainy days and state budgets, part 1

Submitted: May 14, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This article is the first in a series by longtime water researcher and activist, Patrick Porgans, on the opposite and contradictory polls of the "500-year California drought," the state's growing gross dtate product (GDP) and its growing budget. Porgans asks a number of questions about water and finances in California: Did the drought really affect agricultural profits? Where did the water really go? Why don't the data support the claims of drought-driven economic ruin? Why do urban citizens have to subsidize agribusiness, which exports so much produce grown with subsidized irrigation water? The article is dense with facts and figures and requires reading several times to get their full impact. It can't be boiled down into either a TV sound-byte or a wire-service news story.

Enjoy the results of real sustained research on matters vital to the health of the state. -- blj


 Read More »
| »

Delta "Fix" a can of worms

Submitted: May 13, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

The stink on the Delta these days isn't just the stink of fish species going extinct. Two state legislators are raising questions about how secure funding from the federal water contractors is for construction of the Delta tunnels. The Inspector General of the Department of Interior has opened an invistigation into how the federal Bureau of Reclamation, foremost enabler of gigantic water projects in the West, has been diverting funds designated for species restoration to the twin tunnels project. 

This one has the earmarks of a possible end-of-regime financial scandal the size of the Julia McDonald afffair at the end of the Bush Jr. presidential term with the added attraction of the Swan Song of Moonbeam. 

Stay tuned. -- blj


 Read More »
| »

Big bucks, big nuts and wine win: Californians lose

Submitted: May 12, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Jerry imposes permanent water restrictions on cities.

So, Jerry Brown's brave new California will be characterized by dead lawns and green orchards and vineyards, triumphantly announces Wall Street's other home newspaper.  

Monopoly financed Big Nuts and Wine win.

Californians lose.

 Read More »
| »

The weasel word

Submitted: May 06, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

Often, we witness how public officials, squirming under mandates causing discomfort for their more powerful constituents, convert "shall" to "may" in a straightforward regulation. This effectively closes the door to enforcement and opens a door to deal-making, bribery, intimidation, and the other forms of daily corruption in government that its practitioners call "balance". But the global and local environment are already so far out of balance and the destruction resulting from this unbalanced state gains velocity every day. 

 Read More »
| »

UC Merced's newest bright, shiny thing

Submitted: May 04, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In memory of William Trombley (1929-2009)

 

We are frankly skeptical of the UC Merced-sponsored "Climate Feedback" website, which aims at rating the scientific accuracy of media coverage of environmental issues. Apparently, the group of scientists has a special grievance against online publications. Badlands Journal, such a publication,  has reported thoroughly on the environmental damage directly caused by UC Merced and stimulated by the campus site, including environemntal permit comment letters and legal actions done by San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center, Protect Our Water (POW), the Central Valley Safe Environment Network and other public organizations.

 Read More »
| »

Rising sea level could flood the twin tunnels shortly after construction

Submitted: Apr 29, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Following the widespread oceanic observations (1) that ice packs everywhere are melting much more quickly than at first predicted, and that seas are consequently rising more quickly, Chris Clarke, the author of these two articles, puts the Delta tunnels project into the context of a Delta rapidly flooding with seawater. Viewed in this context, the tunnels project looks like the height of futility, its possible only purpose being to squeeze one more building boom out of Southern California and stimulate the production of almonds in the San Joaquin Valley to the point where every grower goes broke from over-production.

--blj

 

 

 

 Read More »
| »

Remembering Rep. Dennis Cardoza, "The Pimlico Kid"

Submitted: Apr 27, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 He did it for his Mom:

 

When the new depreciation schedule kicked in the following year, Cardoza entered the industry, buying seven racehorses, including Regrettable Romance, Dad’s Little Man, Flying Spirit and Jade River.

 Read More »
| »

Branding manure and other acts of antic agrarian acquisition

Submitted: Apr 26, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The Great California Drought, now in year five (though Northern Cal is getting some temporary relief), is the worst drought in California history. According to NASA we are currently trillions (yes, trillions) of gallons below where we should be in groundwater. This has forced us to deplete our precious aquifers—many that took millennia to fill. Recently, NASA, using satellites to measure underground water supplies, found was that nearly one in seven US aquifers are so depleted that they must now be classified as ‘extremely” or “highly” stressed, and that California’s Central Valley Aquifer—which is being sucked dry to help drought-stricken farms in our core growing region—is now by far the most troubled in the United States. Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who lead the study, called the situation “critical,” adding that “we are running out of groundwater.” According to the federal government nine cities in California are at risk of going bone dry, and some small towns are already needing to truck in water for daily use.-- Kopald and Chouinard, Huffington Post, April 20, 2016

 Read More »
| »

Smog replaces foreclosures, murder and drought as top Valley distraction

Submitted: Apr 21, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  This pair of articles about our deteriorating air quality demonstrates a couple of disgusting sides to journalism and the "public information" racket today.

First, you cannot do a "balanced" story on a topic so obviously, totally out of balance as Valley air pollution. You simply cannot be permitted to correctly quote the Valley air board's sleazy flak telling the gasping public to take it all with a grain of salt.

 Read More »
| »

Criollo and churro: heritage breeds from the desert

Submitted: Apr 13, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 11-10-14

High Country News

The desert-friendly cow

A rancher and a researcher search for a better bovine — and think they’ve found one.

 Read More »
| »


To manage site Login