Tag Archives: Stephen Chu

Wither the budget when Cal Ag dries up?

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the entire State Legislature is in need a new cerbral cortex.  They are not thinking straight.  We are in a budget crisis and can come to no agreement between Democrats who are afraid that the unions will recall them and Republicans who are afraid that they will be booted out of the party if they vote for a new tax.

Personally, I would rather listen to a scientist like Dr. Chu.  At least when he speaks you have more of a chance to hear a fact rather than some BS designed to make you think that the legislature is on your side.  

This comment from Dr. Chu, as reported in the LA Times, is the only one that I have seen telling the truth about the future of California.

‘We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California,’ Steven Chu says.


Start considering that in terms of budget impact.  Loss of value of farmland hitting real estate taxes, again.  Loss of the biggest industry in California and it’s sale tax revenues.  Loss of a major workforce and the implication on income taxes.

One indicator of what California may expect is to watch what is happening in Australia and Argentina.  Argentina’s wheat crop is off by over 30% from last year.  The story in Australia is worse.

Drought in Australia’s main food growing region of the Murray-Darling river system continues, with water stores near record lows despite recent rains, the head of the government’s oversight body for the system said on Wednesday.

The impact on irrigated crops is particularly bad.

The drought has already wiped more than A$20 billion from the $1 trillion economy since 2002. It is the worst in 117 years of record-keeping, with 80 percent of eucalyptus trees already dead or stressed in the Murray-Darling region

 If this is California’s future, we don’t have the right people sitting in Sacramento.

Let’s face the facts.  These will seem to be the good old days before I die and I am already drawing social security.  We have a governor who wants to build more dams… for what?  We have a State Senate Natural Resources and Water committee holding a hearing in Santa Monica on Friday where they will discuss “Improving Water Conservation and Management in Southern California: Successes and Opportunities”.  Actually, it reads more like Fran Pavley wanting to show the local folks that she is on the job.  

This year will be particularly challenging. Consecutive record-dry winters have seriously diminished available water supply throughout the state. Locally, we may soon be facing severe restrictions on water use. But it is hard to explain to our citizens the necessity for mandatory water rationing, when there are less disruptive means to meet our water needs.

What the good Senator seems not to realize is that there is not going to be enough years with enough rain to ease our way through.

All of this gamesmanship in Sacramento is rather like the Clippers playing the GS Warriors.  Two losers trying not to lose.  So, how do we build a budget for this scenario?  I don’t think it is possible.