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The Glass Fire Wildfire in Sonoma County. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Newsom’s True Opponents? Water and Fire

Water is running against Newsom in the upcoming recall election, and water is winning, but fire is his even bigger opponent

By Edward Ring, August 8, 2021 2:18 am

Not quite one year ago, Gavin Newsom did something that took political courage. It was also the right thing to do. He removed from one of the state’s local water boards one of the most outspoken critics of a desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach.

Unlike critics of desalination (once referred to as desalinization, and swiftly being rebranded yet again as desalting), Newsom understands a fundamental fact: When the Colorado Aqueduct reduces its annual contribution to the water supply of Southern California from over 1.0 million acre feet to zero, and the Delta pumps stop sending additional millions of acre feet of water down the California Aqueduct, in the midst of a drought that lasts not three years, but twenty years, all the water conservation in the world will not slake the thirst of Southern Californians.

Water conservation, when pushed to the limit, does more harm than good. It raises the price of water, since the entire operational infrastructure delivering water has a relatively fixed overhead that must be paid even when quantities delivered are reduced. It results in rationing, with consequences that are glibly dismissed. When lawns and trees die, more than “culture” is lost. Life is lost. Trees and lawns are life. They filter and cool the air, they nourish the human spirit. And every place you see a lawn, what you are really seeing is water resiliency. Surplus in the water system is healthy. Bend every fraction of surplus out of the equation, and when the prolonged drought comes, the system breaks.

Unfortunately, when it comes to water, Newsom hasn’t done nearly enough. California’s farmers and inland cities, especially in the San Joaquin Valley, are already experiencing extraordinary hardship. One more dry winter, and every Californian will endure similar trauma. Water politics are complicated, and every water engineering solution generates controversy, but the cause of this predicament is simple: California hasn’t invested in increasing the supply of water to cities and farms in over 30 years.

Water is running against Newsom in the upcoming recall election, and water is winning. When state regulators recently shut down access to water for every farmer that isn’t a mega corporation with mega wells and mega lobbyists, where was Newsom? When back in 2014 the California Water Commission was authorized via Prop. 1  to spend billions to increase California’s water supply, and then, eight years later, has built almost nothing, where was Newsom?

Why won’t Newsom call an emergency conference of legislators and stakeholders, put them in a room, and tell them: “Conservation is not enough. We’re not a communist dictatorship and we’re not a banana republic. Determine what investments in new infrastructure will produce another five million acre feet of water per year for our farmers and our cities, and don’t leave until you’ve agreed on the plan.”

If water is one of Newsom’s implacable opponents this year, imagine how much more formidable an opponent water will be next year. If Newsom survives the recall coming up next month, he’ll face another recall of sorts when he runs for reelection in November 2022. He’d better hope that it rains and it pours between now and then.

It’s fire, however, that is Newsom’s even bigger opponent this year, as he fights for his political survival. And on this, Newsom has nothing to show. After the devastating fires of 2020, Newsom’s reaction was to mandate more sales of electric cars. This is idiotic posturing, not because electric cars don’t have a place in our automotive future, but because they have nothing to do with the fires currently raging through California’s forests.

California’s fires are obviously worsened in their intensity by drought conditions. But the primary cause of these fires is a century of fire suppression, combined with a perfect storm of counterproductive policies: California’s timber industry is one quarter the size it was just 30 years ago, and a punitive, time consuming, bewildering, expensive permit process prevents effective efforts at forest thinning and controlled burns. California’s forests are dangerously overgrown. That’s why the trees are dying. That’s why we’re having superfires. Period. Fact. Any other explanation is denial and deflection.

Why hasn’t Newsom challenged the firefighters union, whose leadership had the audacity to drag their members into marching with the United Teachers of Los Angeles in January 2019, to instead use its political clout to reform forest management in California? Why didn’t Newsom expand the inmate firefighter programs, instead of cutting them back?

Newsom needs to do the right thing, regardless of whether or not any particular special interest benefits or is harmed by his actions. Here again, Newsom could call an emergency conference of legislators and stakeholders, put them in a room, and tell them: “We used to manage our forests, but over the past 30 years we’ve done everything wrong. So figure out how to reengage the timber and biomass industries to thin the forests, figure out how to get drug addicts and petty thieves off the streets and back onto the fire lines, make it easier for property owners to thin their land and do controlled burns, and don’t leave until you’ve agreed on the plan.”

That would be leadership. Get busy, Governor Newsom. You would not only save your political career. You’d save California. Water, and Fire, would be your allies instead of your enemies.

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14 thoughts on “Newsom’s True Opponents? Water and Fire

  1. gavin not too bright. the current leadership has an endless hunger for power. create crisis, gain power is the mode of operation. i recall the bear fire, i recall the camp fire, i recall dixie fire, i recall the quarantine, i recall the vax mandate, i recall the civil unrest for over a year, i recall the invasion from the southern border …… plently of public destruction follows this man. .

  2. Mr. Ring, another great article. You would make an excellent Governor. If Larry Elder becomes California’s next Governor I hope you would be an advisor to him.

  3. When you live under Democrat One party rulers, it begins to literally look like HELL!

    Mr. Ring your words are so important right now.

  4. Edward Ring, one of California’s valuable resources and a reason to keep living here. As long as he stays, I stay. And that goes for Katy Grimes and Victor Davis Hanson, to name just two others, too!

  5. Another wonderfully logical, cogent analysis from Mr. Ring…

    However, there’s one serious flaw in his reasoning, and that is captured in this paragraph :

    “Conservation is not enough. We’re not a communist dictatorship and we’re not a banana republic.”

    Newsom’s ChiCom “partners”(BYD, et al) WANT California to become an extension of their communist dictatorship and are undoubtedly demanding that the state be run as a banana republic…

    How else does one logically explain SIX BILLION GALLONS of precious, record rainfall flushed out to sea, in a Quixotic attempt to save a fish that is inconsequential to daily life in California???

    There must be an economic end-game and I believe that the majority of the San Franfreakshow Democrats that graduate to Sacramento are in bed with the ChiComs (Swallwell is LITERALLY!!) and California is being weakened intentionally to be sold off for pennies on the dollar…

    On a related note, I saw a stump speech by Sam Galucci, candidate for Governor who has a strong slate of Exuective Orders to clean up the voter rolls at the county level and to immediately DECERTIFY Dominion Voting Systems and their baked-in backdoors and security exploits…

    Galucci doesn’t have the name recognition of Larry Elder, but he has a forcefulness and experience from industry and later with the Hispanic communities that he plans to rally…

    Might be worth a serious look…

  6. Gullible Comrades
    Stop reading this stuff….with print at home cheater ballots…..it’s over…..go to work and redistribute as usual….

    1. Comrade Queeng, you are praised for your precinct orders. We must be regularly reminded not to think but to submit.

  7. I often ponder why would Newsom and his predecessors have failed to develop more water resources in California. We have voted for many water propositions, but as the article states no significant water sources have been developed in 30 years. I am only left with two thoughts:
    – Political Weakness
    – Intentionally fail small family farmers
    Political weakness almost seems too common and expected.
    My later thought is that politicians like Newsom, intentionally want smaller farmers/land owners to fail. “Burn down capitalism”. Forcing smaller farmers into failure will allow corporations and other foreign entities to purchase their land. Once done, water will once again flow to the central valley.

    1. It is all about allegiance to the anti-civilization/human “greens” and their billionaire puppet masters. The left wants to run everyone out so they can swoop in and own and control everything. When land does not have water it can be bought up cheap. The water can be turned on later with a few choice political contributions.

  8. Excellent article!
    How many years do we need to endure water shortage drought conditions and extreme wildfires before somebody take some action???

  9. Ditto CW. Its about the Greenies pretending to be so noble and righteous but actually they are wolves in sheep;’s clothing. Opportunists making money off of everyone’s suffering.
    Case in point: Sacramento voted down a bill that would help PGE clear forests away from their power lines by putting a moratorium on the PUCs requirement that they spend 20% of revenue on renewables. Voted down because the Greedy Greenies would be hurt financially and their $$ contributons would shrink!
    The fanaticism of the idealistic environmentalists are to blame for the state of affairs in California. This began back during Governor Moonbeams term. Gavin is but a puppet, look behind the curtain for the marionettes.
    Thank you Mr. Ring but I think you too are an idealist if you think that Gavin and his Greedy Greenies will step up and “do the right thing” by leading us to a better California. The only way out is leadership and legislative body change. The only way to effect that is to stop Shirley. Start with Fix California and EIPCa. Honest elections are possible, then and only then can this state get back to Golden.

  10. Edward Ring forgot to mention how agribusiness is using water at a phenomenal rate to grow unnecessary crops.

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