ALPERN AT-LARGE - There's not a lot of Californians who "like" the drought, but there are a few folks who've exploited it. Most are hucksters, control freaks, and those with strange misanthropic tendencies that probably support a conclusion of mental illness.
Kind of like those who "like" inflation, and/or the rising cost of food and gas. To listen to their sad, if not downright horrifying, justification of the plummeting quality of life we're supposed to endure to meet their personal feelings is an exercise in patience and courage.
Because we will need courage to fund a decades-overdue water/electricity infrastructure grid that will never, and I mean NEVER, meet the goals of misanthropes and control freaks who are more than happy to use the same old canards that we MUST suffer in order to save Planet Earth.
As if saving Planet Earth and promoting human quality of life was ever really mutually exclusive.
As far back as March 16,2023, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was declaring the California drought cut by half with more relief to come.
Even the Mississippi River was predicted to overflow, and levees at risk of breaking all over the state and nation were and are doomed to flow in massive quantities into the ocean.
All while water rates and human hardships (to say nothing of wildlife estuaries and preserves) were and are predicted to go up for one reason or another.
Not enough water? Up go the rates, and business bedamned.
Too much water? Up go the rates, and business bedamned.
It's to be understood that many of us were caught off-guard by "too much water too soon", and that our reservoirs were filled without the maintenance and reinforcement that should have been performed years to decades ago.
But there's a serious "industry" out there associated with wagging fingers in taxpayers' faces to justify raising rates and lower water allocations...all without the infrastructure to save water in order to avoid all that.
And we keep re-electing the misanthropes and opportunists who empower that "industry".
There WILL be future drought cycles, and there WILL be heavy rainstorms, and they will all occur in climate change settings of all types.
Too much manmade climate change? Of course--so why are we packing people into cities while paving over as much open space as we can, an obvious planning approach that will inevitably raise local temperatures with global implications?
So will those in the faux-environmentalist "industry" who regularly screams "Chicken Little" while doing everything they can to ensure environmental crises exist be elated or disappointed that the California Department of Resources will provide 100% of water allocations to cities and farms for the first time since 2006?
The crises of too few reservoirs, of not ensuring that all states get their fair share of the Colorado River's water, and the failure to keep and redistribute water from overflowing rivers from all over the Midwest will continue unabated. Ditto for the water that comes down hard without collection in the Northeast.
That's the way water works--it comes down hard, and then it doesn't come at all. Hence the Native Americans used to pray a whole lot for rain, because WATER is LIFE.
But now we need to pray once more: we need to pray that reservoir and canal/pipeline constructions, the kind that converted California from a desert to a viable place to live, will someday be sexy and attractive enough to plan, fund, and build.
And we will need to pray that the "faux-environmentalists" who have created a whole "industry" based on a long-lasting (if not never-ending, as they probably hope) can be overcome to save the lives and interests of Planet Earth's residents, both human and non-human alike.
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband to a wonderful wife and father to two cherished children. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 9, years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)