May 2015

Hogwash, flattery and 2 million acre-feet

 Politicians striking poses in the face of natural disaster is older than the pharaohs. It is easier to imagine a tree falling unseen and unheard in a forest than it is to imagine a disaster without politicians crawling all over it flattering their own efforts and the strength of "their people."

"Heck of a job, Brownie"...etc.

A "temporary" barrier for the Delta?



 The last of the permits was received earlier this week. In addition to a levee modification permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a California Endangered Species Act permit from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, DWR sought and received a Temporary Urgency Change Permit renewal from the State Water Resources Control Board.

Brother George tells Gov. Smarty Pants to zip it

Contra Costa Times
George Skelton: Delta tunnel plan -- a million hours and still not shovel-ready
By George SkeltonLos Angeles Times columnist
Gov. Jerry Brown says critics of his water tunnel plan who haven't spent 1 million hours studying it -- as his administration has -- should just shut up.

Lawsuits from Earth and the Astro Plane

Two environmental lawsuits about water, both including the California Environmental Quality Act,  one from the Earth, the other from the Astro Plane Where Flak Comes From.
Westlands Water District -- who else? -- is the respondent in one and the concealed petitioner in the other. -- blj
Maven's Notebook


This just in … Lawsuit Filed Against 10 – Year Water Transfer Program; Massive Transfers Threaten North State Farms, Fish and Communities

Felix Smith: The Doctrine of the Public Trust, Managing Natural Resources and other Assets

Dr. Felix Smith's latest essay on the history of the Doctrine of Public Trust, recent case law and the Doctrine's bearing on current and long-standing California natural resources, habitat, wildlife and fish conservation issues.  -- blj
 The Doctrine of the Public Trust, Managing Natural Resources and other Assets
by Felix Smith

The astro-buzz, colony collapse disorder and other discontents

 We have come to use the term "astro-turfing," derived from plastic grass replacing real turf on playing fields and lawns, to describe various types of propaganda from political campaigns or corporate public relations campaigns (if they can be distinguished).
This posting compares one of doubtlessly many similar articles propagated by Monsanto and other pesticide manufacturers  to demonstrate their love and care for bees, and the horrifying statistics of Colony Collapse that plod down the years like the footsteps of doom itself.

Bribery follows line of least resistance

Like brine injected in deep wells, corporate bribery of public officials follows the line of least resistance in Texas, where local ordinances against fracking were banned at the state level. It's easier to round 'em up and pay 'em off once you got 'em corralled up in the State House instead of spread out all over the countryside in them damn little municipalities.

DWR Better Weather Reports Preport

 As we were looking at the state Department of Water Resources "Reer"leases this morning we had to think about Mark Twain and the weather. No one, however public spirited and desirous of remaining up-to-date on the World Famous California Drought -- dubious a desire as that is -- should have to start their week with a DWR Press Rerlease without at least a short antidotal quote from Twain on one of his favorite topics and the cause for a number of his greatest works long and short, including the blizzard-induced "Cannibalism in the Cars."

A whiff of oxygen in the presidential race

There is controversy among the Badlands Journal editorial board regarding the choice of presidential candidates, as you can imagine among such a disputatious outfit but it is fair to say that we all welcome the arrival of Bernie. Hillary is, of course, once again the adamant choice of the San Joaquin Valley Directorate's Democratic Party Division, and this will of the oligarchs will be transmitted by bagmen emanating from their law offices bearing millions to the Clintons.

Rainmaking in drought

 We cannot wrap up the current state of California water politicking in a meaningful package today. But, one theme runs through the stories below, which are characteristic of what is happening from the federal level to the local level.
The theme is Secrecy. and when public officials behave in noticeably secret ways (beyond the usual levels of concealment always for the national security), and extend the existing forms of secrecy into new areas of crisis, we can be fairly certain that financial speculation is afoot.