California: Land of the Grasshoppers

Saturday, April 11, 2015
by Patrick Dorinson

California is now in a drought of almost Biblical proportions. Every region in the state is affected from Silicon Valley to the Central Valley and from the Oregon border in the north to the Mexican border in the south.

 The folks at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena say that this current drought began in 2000 and will last 20 years. Perhaps that is why Governor Jerry Brown looks as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs.

Like many of us old-timers he has seen this movie before.

The drought that lasted from 1976 to 1977 were the driest two years on record up to that point.

And what was the common denominator in both the present predicament and that drought long ago and far away? It was who occupied the Governor’s office.

If you guessed Jerry Brown you go to the head of the class.

Jerry took office for the first time 40 years ago in January 1975.

Jerry’s Age of Aquarius agenda sought to transform California and in many ways he did though not for the better.

Back then he somberly declared, “This is an era of limits and we all had better get used to it”.

And he also said that if we don’t build it-meaning infrastructure like freeways and water systems- they won’t come.

Well we didn’t build it and they kept coming.

He appointed an urban planner and with absolutely no experience in transportation as the Director at Caltransthe state’s highway department. Instead of building roads she favored trains and heavily subsidized public transit.

Adriana Gianturko’s disastrous tenure crippled Caltrans road building department and highway construction has never recovered from her incompetence.

He hired a radical environmentalist John Bryson of the Natural Resources Defense Council to head the California Air Resources Board. CARB is now one of the most powerful regulatory bureaucracies in the state and they want to regulate everything from emissions from wood burning fireplaces to backyard BBQs.

Many of the odious and burdensome regulations that businesses cite when they leave or hesitate to expand in California are produced at CARB.

When it comes to water the most important resource needed to sustain life he sided with environmentalists and did absolutely nothing except halt construction of reservoirs and storage facilities and other state and federal water systems.

Today we are paying the price for the decisions Jerry Brown made 40 years ago during his first governorship.

Lack of planning for the future and the head in the clouds environmentalism that has California politicians bowing at the altar of America’s new religion of Climate Change has brought us to this point.

And if NASA is right and we are in a 20 year drought we still have 5 years to go.

But what if this is the beginning of a 100 year drought?

Jerry has no real plan other than old ideas cobbled together. He is demanding conservation. But conservation by itself while noble and necessary only saves what you already have. It does nothing to expand storage capacity to catch the water when it does rain again.

As usual the Legislature is as useless as a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest. There is a flurry of activity as they fumble about and have hearings and meetings but they take no action.

And never confuse activity for action.

In short California faces a day of reckoning because our putative leaders didn’t plan for the future and they followed the false New Age prophets who offered up a vision of California as a progressive Utopia but never drew up workable plans to achieve their vision possibly because their vision is as real as a unicorn sighting.

So here is your Cowboy Wisdom for the Week. And it is from Aesop’s Fables.

In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to his nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling in that way?’

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and I recommend you do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; We have got plenty of food at present.”

But the Ant went on its way and continued to toil.

When the winter came the Grasshopper found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing, every day, corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.

Then the Grasshopper knew.

It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

California is full of grasshoppers. Unfortunately many of them are in positions of power.

They have done nothing for the last 40 years to prepare for the “days of necessity”.

And the same person, Jerry Brown, who presides over this disaster is the same one who presided over the last one. In fact he is reaping what he sowed 40 years ago.

As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again!”