Yes, you read that title correctly: UC Berkeley/LA Times Poll Claims “Californians Fear Worsening Weather Swings Due to Climate Change.” In fact, the Los Angeles Times claims “Nearly 70% of registered voters say they expect that volatile fluctuations between severe drought and periods of heavy rain and snow — what some call weather whiplash — will become more common in the future due to climate change, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.”
Oddly, there is no link to the Berkeley/LAT poll in the Times article. The Globe went to the Berkeley IGS Poll website, and there is no poll posted. Yet? We sent an inquiry to Mark Di Camillo, Berkeley IGS Poll Director.
Even odder still, the LA Times links to another climate change poll from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) from July 2022, which “found that nearly 7 in 10 Californians think the effects of climate change have already begun, and 8 in 10 say climate change is a serious threat to California’s future economy and way of life.”
The Globe covered this dubious report last August:
“A new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California cleverly conflates climate change, drought, wildfires and the oil and gas industry through dextrous questions and weighted demographics.”
It was clear that the PPIC was fusing “drought, wildfires and the oil and gas industry” into one great cause: Climate Change.
Here’s the PPIC’s opening salvo:
“With California facing a severe drought and wildfire season, public awareness has risen of the impact of climate change as well as state policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A sharp increase in petroleum prices has led to discussions about expanding oil production and renewable energy sources.”
In one sentence, the PPIC asserts that because of the severe drought and current wildfires, climate change awareness is more prevalent. And just the placement of the second sentence, makes it appear to imply costly oil and gas prices are causing the state to turn to renewable energy.
The PPIC also asked about “increased rising sea levels,” and “heat waves that are more severe,” “droughts that are more severe,” and “wildfires that are more severe.”
As Edward Ring reported in 2021 at the Globe:
Whenever there’s a wildfire, Newsom and all the others in denial over their epic policy failures, come shouting “climate change.” They have the audacity to tell us to turn our thermostats up to 78 degrees and refrain from using electric appliances, and they claim these fires are evidence of why this is necessary. They embark on a “renewables mandate” that jacks utility prices up to the highest in the nation in exchange for unreliable power.
More than anything else, what Newsom and all the rest of these politicians who want California to set a “climate example” to the world are in denial of is their own misanthropy. They know perfectly well that California only emits one percent of the world’s CO2. They know as well that China and India are not about to stop using fossil fuel to grow their economies. They know that fossil fuel accounts for 85 percent of global energy production, with hydroelectric and nuclear power accounting for another 11 percent. All renewables account for only four percent of global energy production. Four percent.
Further down in today’s LA Times article is the real story – the political ideology divide:
There was an even greater divide among those who are concerned that extreme weather will get worse — 91% of Democrats compared with only 28% of Republicans, the poll found.
“I think Republicans have a different mindset, and perhaps that leads to greater tolerance of some of the hardships that they may be seeing around them,” Mark Di Camillo, Berkeley IGS Poll Director said. “That also probably leads to a much smaller proportion of Republicans saying, ‘I’m very concerned about these weather events in the future that may lead me to want to move from where I live.'”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom even denounces Republicans as “climate deniers.”
The poll found “81% percent of respondents — including 95% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans — said that despite this year’s unusually wet winter, it’s still important for the state to enforce its water conservation policies and programs for residential, commercial and agricultural water users in the coming years.”
What about building more water storage? Did the pollsters even ask respondents about new reservoirs? Without seeing the actual poll, it’s challenging to answer that. However, it is apparent that this poll’s purpose is to show support for the state continuing to enforce water conservation – water restrictions. This allows water officials and lawmakers to continue to nibble around the edges of more severe water restrictions, and tell residents that you can’t water your lawn or landscaping, rather than plan for water storage that would benefit urban water users and agriculture water users for many years.
The LA Times continues:
“Among such efforts are two bills passed Wednesday by the state Assembly. AB 1572 would prohibit the use of drinking water for purely decorative grass along roads, in medians, at public and institutional properties, and at businesses and multifamily housing developments. AB 1573 would require nonresidential projects to eliminate the use of nonfunctional turf and transition to low-water and local native plants beginning in 2026.”
Did we mention that Californians are being set up for more water restrictions? It is important to note that one-size-fits-all water restrictions are patently arbitrary.
Here is one example of water use and restrictions in Northern California we reported in 2021:
Sacramento has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and mild winters. The Sacramento region is covered by approximately 75 percent of grasslands, more than 20 percent crops, and about two percent forest land. Average Sacramento temperatures swing from a low of 38 degrees in January, to a high of nearly 100 degrees in July.
San Francisco occupies the tip of a peninsula halfway up the coast of Northern California, surrounded on three sides by bodies of water.
While Sacramento is arid, dry and flat, San Francisco is laid out in a grid over more than 40 hills, which causes wide variations in temperature and sky conditions in different places in the area. San Francisco’s average temperature swing is significantly less dramatic than Sacramento, from a low of approximately 55 degrees, to an average high of just 65 degrees.
Of course San Francisco residents use less water than Sacramento Valley residents.
For pollsters, California politicians and water officials to start conditioning and manipulating water users, on the heels of one of the most magnificent winter snowpacks in state history, tells you just how corrupt this state it. The LA Times even characterizes California’s wet winter 2023 as “a shockingly wet winter.”
California’s drought conditions are actually historically normal. So are our occasional heavy wet winters. It’s not hard to plan for this – if politicians were honest. Our water projects were built and designed to provide a steady 5-7 year supply of water for the entire state, even in drought years.
50% of California’s water supply goes to environmental uses right off the top. Of the remaining 50%, urban use is only 10% and agriculture uses 40%… and state water officials and legislators are talking about a ban on decorative grass.
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