2:00PM Water Cooler 3/20/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


In an “oversight,” Clinton Foundation did not disclose all donors, despite promise to Obama [Reuters].

Clinton’s server has not been in her home since 2010. It runs in on a server in Huntsville, Alabama. “Based on server data, mail.clintonemail.com is running on an instance of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 with Internet Information Server 7.5” [Ars Technica].

Clnton hopes to raise a billion [WaPo]. A billion here, a billion there….

Michael Gerson: “If the next election is viewed by Republicans as a referendum on Hillary Clinton’s scandals — and this distracts from the task of reconstituting the Republican message and appeal — then Clinton may take the Nixonian path to the Oval Office” [WaPo]. They won’t be able to help themselves.

O’Malley’s invested donations and staff time in Iowa. Will there be a return? [WaPo]. It worked for Carter [The Hill].

Staffers now fair game for oppo, e.g., Walker’s Liz Mair [Politico].

Quote: “Along with reporters’ calls, we started getting calls from very aggressive hedge fund managers wanting to know which bills were going to move that day. It was my first indication that these money people had bets on what was going on” [Bloomberg]. Yikes!

The Hill

Obama’s war powers resolution might never be passed [The Hill]. So I suppose he’ll go with the Executive Order….

Herd on the Street

“Apple Watch Doesn’t Have Safari And You Didn’t Even Notice” [Medium]. Well, I’m not going to be reading anything holding my wrist up to my eyes. That said, Apple hates the web and is trying to destroy it because its business model is the “walled garden.”

“Citigroup Inc.’s failure to pay 24,000 people owed money as part of a settlement with the government over foreclosure abuses has prompted a U.S. lawmaker to call for an investigation into whether banks missed other borrowers” [Bloomberg]. Shocker!

Australian newspapers reported Friday that the government was considering injecting as much as 3 billion Australian dollars ($2.3 billion) into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank [Wall Street Journal, “Australia Signals Readiness to Join China-Led Infrastructure Bank”]. Final decision Monday.

“Bayer weighing options for consumer garden products” [Reuters].

Stats Watch

Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations, for March 2015: “The latest report is consistent with low inflation numbers in CPI and PPI reports. It also helps justify the Fed’s latest FOMC decision to not yet hint when policy rates are going to start to rise” [Bloomberg].


Rahm’s re-election strategy is to appeal to Republicans [National Journal]. Which is why Republicans are buying pieces of him now, doubtless anticipating payoffs in the form of privatization later, based on past performance; read the whole thing for a really astounding list of quid pro quos and insider dealings, even for Chicago.

Rahm Emanuel steals and misquotes The Young Turks Meetup footage for attack ad [YouTube]. Stay classy, Tiny Dancer!

“With $20.2 million raised, Emanuel is far outpacing Garcia in fundraising. Garcia has collected $3 million” [Los Angeles Times].

California Drought

“Nearly 40 percent of the state remains in an “exceptional drought,” according to the weekly drought report” [Desert Sun].

“[M]ost local water departments have been reluctant to crack down on water-wasters. Warning letters are unusual. Small fines are rare” [AP].

California proposes $1 billion drought package, new regulations. “Given how little the new water regulations ask of residents, it’s easy to wonder why they weren’t enacted earlier” [Time]. Xeriscaping, xeriscaping, xeriscaping! Why the heck isn’t that public policy, instead of this pissant “don’t water your lawn so much” stuff?

To make the Los Angeles region more drought resilient, water wholesaler Metropolitan Water District constructed a massive reservoir in Diamond Valley. Largely because of its reserve supply, Southern California so far has been less directly affected by the drought than much of the rest of the state. Diamond Valley is down to 48 percent of capacity at the end of the typical rainy season. “We’re getting close to that critical range,” said Record, noting the MWD must keep a reserve for unexpected catastrophes such as a major earthquake that could sever aqueducts [NBC]. Now there’s an interesting disaster scenario…

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has offered Sacramento Valley rice farmers such a good price for their water it makes for them to stop growing rice [Sacramento Bee].


“Fragments from a Russian surface-to-air missile have been recovered from the wreckage of Flight MH17. The distorted scrap of metal was picked up by a Dutch journalist visiting the village of Hrabove where the stricken aircraft ploughed into the ground” [News.com]. Eesh. Chain of custody issues, much?

Dutch Safety Board: “Additional investigation material is welcome, but it is imperative that it can be indisputably shown that there is a relationship between the material and the downed aircraft” [Radio Free Europe].

Dutch investigators return to MH17 crash site [Wall Street Journal].

Health Care

California strips Blue Shield of its non-profit status [Los Angeles Times]. $4.2 billion in the bank, $5 million CEO salary.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“In early March the Missouri state Supreme Court reassigned all Ferguson municipal court cases to Judge Richter, an appeals court judge, effectively taking over the city’s municipal court system” [Wall Street Journal, “State Judge Ushers in New Era at Ferguson Municipal Court”]. Hope it doesn’t turn out to be a “rocket docket.”

“The unrest in Ferguson has cost Missouri residents, area police departments, and taxpayers more than $22 million since August” [KMOV]. Well, Darren Wilson shouldn’t have whacked Mike Brown, then, if it’s all about the money.

Excellent portrait of Ferguson live streaming [New York Times]. As we learned in Occupy, well-attested, trusted live-streaming is so important.

Slaves crossing over to Union lines in the Civil War forced the issue of emancipation [New York Times]. I continue to be amazed that Northern wage workers didn’t head South to become slaves, given what slavery’s apologists have to say about the life of Riley on the old plantation.

Class Warfare

“Almost every institution in America—from our corporations to our schools, hospitals, and civic authorities—now seems to operate largely as an engine for extracting revenue, by imposing ever more complex sets of rules that are designed to be broken” [David Graeber, Gawker].

Headline: “Why a Spielberg and a Goldwyn Passed Over Their Dads’ Hollywood for Snapchat” [New York Times]. A Speilberg. A Goldwyn. Pace Terry Pratchett: “Aristocracy. What a good idea.”

“[T]he more veto players in a government, the greater the nation’s economic inequality” [The New Yorker].

“In an environment where credit is not being used in a material way, the fate of wages matters,” [Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC] said. “They’re doing all of the driving from a consumption perspective” [Bloomberg].

News of the Wired

  • “The Obama administration on Friday is due to unveil rules for oil companies that frack on federal land” [Reuters]. How about not fracking on Federal land at all?
  • “In three speedy hearings on Wednesday night in the Town of Reading court, Judge Raymond Berry granted a motion to dismiss all charges “in the interests of justice” brought by 42 Seneca Lake protesters. All had been arrested as part of a sustained civil disobedience campaign” [We Are Seneca]. More like this, please.
  • Palm oil-related deforestation, the supply chain, and the funders [Monga Bay].
  • Middlefingergate goes totally meta [New York Times]. Meanwhile, Greek children feed themselves by picking through garbage….
  • Two seafloor gateways discovered that could allow warm ocean water to reach the base of Totten Glacier, East Antarctica’s largest and most rapidly thinning glacier [Geoscience].
  • “Earth Has Its 2nd Warmest February and Warmest Northern Hemisphere Winter” [Weather Underground]. Boy, did Maine luck out….

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant, the fifth of “I Wish It Were Spring!” week (SD):


SD writes:

Hard to believe two weeks ago there was an inch of sleet and 4″ of snow on
the ground. Two kinds of kale, chard, leeks, two tomato plants, and
radish/carrot/beet seedlings just coming up.

Four inches. Four inches?!

Readers sent in some very nice “I Wish It Were Spring!” photos. Let’s do it again next week! (Of course, there are some parts of the country where it’s spring now. Anybody got their garden going?)

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. It’s the heating season!

Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Llewelyn Moss

    Happy First Day Of Spring. Snow just started here, up to 6 inches forecasted. Well, now Mother Nature is just f***ing with us.

    1. sleepy

      A lot of weather extremes this past year. The low in my northern Iowa town on March 1st was minus 20. Two weeks later it was in the 70s. Everything is now bone dry with no precip/snow since mid February and there are fire warnings up. It’s really too early in the year for that sort of stuff.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        Yes, here in Northeast, lots of all time records have been falling in the past 5 years — both for winter and summer extremes. Thankfully no droughts though.

      2. different clue

        If all the snow melted and ran away over the frozen ground, then there is no snow around to melt and seep into the ground once the ground is thawed enough to recieve it. So any little dry spell could function as a drought.

        After enough milder versions of that same thing in SE Michigan, I began shovelling up all the snow off of my little yard and packing it onto my tiny garden beds so some would still be left and ready to melt when the ground began thawing out enough to insoak it.

          1. different clue

            If the gardens were right up against the house then banking the house could be a form of snow-packing the gardens also. If one captured as much meltwater into the gardens as if the snow had not been banked all the way against the house, then one gets all the meltwater plus the little bit of snowbanking insulation besides. A minor bit of permaculture-form function-stacking.

            And whatever part of the house the snowbank keeps the wind directly off of may give the snow some active windblock value as well as passive R-value in still air.

            But if my gardens are detached from the house, I will snowpack the gardens as against snowbank the house . . . . in order to capture the most possible snowmelt into garden soil.

            1. different clue

              Though as I think about it . . . one could snowbank the house for all of deep winter and earliest pre-spring, and then when it appears the Big Melt is upon us . . . move the remaining snow from the house-walls to the garden plots. If the house were snowbanked facing the normal prevailing winds, a lot of wind-driven heat-suckage would be prevented.
              Moving large amounts of snow like that would require a Yooper Scooper ( or whatever else they are called in Maine). Like this:

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                Moving the snow sounds like work, though. I wonder if its possible to get the prevailing wind to channel the snow to the gardens. Fences or windbreaks (sp?) or something.

    2. jrs

      I feel like we’ve already had summer here. You mean there’s a real summer yet to come? Scary.

    3. Demeter

      Once the ice melted, my snowdrops, fully grown, in bloom and lying sideways, were able to stand up and be counted.

      Two years ago they were up on January 2nd. This year, it was more like March 2nd.

  2. wbgonne

    The Obama administration on Friday is due to unveil rules for oil companies that frack on federal land

    Seven years into Obama’s presidency! After seven years of uncontrolled, unregulated, profligate drilling and fracking, now Obama proposes regulations. And in true neoliberal fashion, President Frankenstein let the frackers themselves draft the regulations. About which they will scream bloody murder anyway. And which will go nowhere anyhow as Obama dithers until he leaves office. What an abomination.

    BTW: among the things I’d like to see from Hillary’s private email collection are those pertaining to her work promoting fracking internationally on behalf of the Office of Secretary of State/The Clinton Fund/Big Oil/herself.

  3. Carla

    Xeriscaping my eye. SoCal municipalities water the median strips in their boulevards to keep the grass emerald green. I met a guy out in San Diego who actually bragged to me that his water bill was $700 a month because “I like to keep my lawn nice.”

    1. craazyboy

      Here in AZ we are way ahead of CA in adopting desert landscaping. Then again conspicuous consumption is still alive and well in the small corners where the well_to_do hang out. Had to laugh one time when I was sight seeing in one of our foothill areas next to the mountain ranges that surround us. This is where we have half acre and up properties with big houses on them. Now, desert landscaping is no fun without planting a wide variety of cactus here and there. But these guys had about 10X the cactus density you could naturally have in a semi-arid region. You couldn’t even see the ground thru the cactus cover! I realized these guys are irrigating their 1 acre cactus plantations. Now I wonder how much it costs to water the lawn in AZ? hahahaha.

    2. low integer

      My guess is he’s also the type who drives an enormous SUV, thinks recycling is for losers, replaces appliances and gadgets constantly (and once the initial distraction passes, is left wondering why his new whatever hasn’t quite alleviated that feeling of emptiness, so the cycle repeats), and leaves all the lights on in his house while he is out.

    3. hunkerdown

      $10 worth of road salt oughta fix that right up. Not that I am advocating property damage, mind.

  4. ambrit

    Spring is here, Down South. Yellow pollen is covering everything. Sinusitis going ballistic. Seven tomato seedlings planted, a half dozen jalapeno peppers, two parsley to compliment the extant three year old parsley plant, sweet basil in purple and green. The sure sign that spring is here at last will be when the pecan trees put forth leaves. Be of good cheer. Spring will creep up and go “boo” when you least expect it.

    1. SD

      In North TX, the growing season is from the last freeze (late Feb to mid-March) until Memorial Day, maybe July 4th for the tomatoes. Only the chard and tomatoes will still be in this bed by mid-June, and the tomatoes will be losing their fight with hornworms, mites, and early blight by then. On the plus side, fresh kale/broccoli/mustard all winter long.

      1. ambrit

        Our tomatoes will be replaced with a late crop. My best all time hornworm solution has been some garden snakes that live under the kitchen and slither out in spring. They love hornworms. Broc and brussels sprouts were so so this winter. The big crop are the spice plants for cooking. Thinking about Mr Strether and perma gardening, perhaps an asparagus bed would do him right.

    2. different clue

      Did you do anything specific to get that parsley plant to survive three years? Or was it just genetically lucky and perhaps a source of naturally perennial parsley plants?

      1. scott

        I’ve kept parsley and chard alive for over 2 and a half years. The key is getting them through the summer. Eventually they will deplete the nutrients in their soil and stop growing. Till them under and let the worms and microbes do their part, I say.

      2. ambrit

        I use a lot of pine needle mulch, winter and summer. It’s in a small raised bed, with three quarter sun. It looks like it’s making a flower stalk, which, I’ve been told, is the kiss of death. Most parsley is biennial, so my three year run is a bit extraordinary. I’m going to let this one set seeds and plant them next year and see if I’m lucky and have “discovered” a three year variety. (Side dressing with year old compost helps maintain healthy greenery too.)

  5. craazyboy

    • “The Obama administration on Friday is due to unveil rules for oil companies that frack on federal land” [Reuters]. How about not fracking on Federal land at all?

    I think I’d offer them a small patch of rattlesnake preserve on the condition they disclose what fracking fluid is made from.

    1. PhilK

      Here’s at least one of those “secret ingredients”:

      “Teaming up with the U.S. Government and Union Carbide Corp., who operate nuclear materials divisions at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee, Halliburton was then credited with ‘solving’ the radioactive waste problem faced by America’s secretive nuclear industry. Dumping waste via fracking had apparently been going on since 1960, according to the reports, but was only made public here in 1964.”

      Fracking Used to Inject Nuclear Waste Underground for Decades

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        The Gasland II documentary film did an analysis of water poisoned on a farmers land by frackers. It had extremely high levels of all sorts of carcinogenic chems. There is really no question it is real nasty sh1+. Apparently only congress critters still think it’s just sugar water.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        In the news at the time, but news from the 60s is hard to find. Heck, news from five years ago is hard to find. It’s almost like they don’t want us to know.

      3. Gaianne


        Thank you for this item.

        For months–well, years, really–we have been hearing that the radioactivity “comes from the ground”. Only, most (though not all) geological formations should have no radioactivity whatever. A mystery. So now we have it solved: They were just lying (of course) and the radioactivity was from what they put in the ground in the first place.


    2. Llewelyn Moss

      re: Obama New Rules for Fracking The Sh1+ out of Public Lands

      Ok first, it’s a given that Obama talks out of both sides of his crooked mouth on environmental issues. But…

      Big Oil / Big Gas answer for polluting the planet for profit is always “job creation and economic growth”. Sure go ahead and poisen all the nation’s water aquifers because they will recover in NEVER years.

      “A duplicative layer of new federal regulation is unnecessary, and we urge the BLM to work carefully with the states to minimize costs and delays created by the new rules to ensure that public lands can still be a source of job creation and economic growth,” said Eric Milito, a director at the American Petroleum Institute.

      And a POX ON BOTH PARTIES for allowing them to not disclose what poisens are being pumped into the wells and bleeding into aquifers.

      1. craazyboy

        Translation: We don’t need two EPAs to tell “go pound off.” It’s unproductive. Also too…Yobs, Yobs, and more Yobs!

      1. craazyboy

        Yikes! I’m behind the times. They are disclosing. But now it looks like I need to know what brand name fracking fluid I’m drinking?! Is it the good stuff – or some cheap no-name generic stuff with who knows what in it.

          1. craazyboy

            Actually I closed the barn door a few years ago – I got a ceramic water filter. Supposed to get rid of just about anything. But I wasn’t thinking radioactive at the time, so I’m still not sure if I’m covered there.

  6. Mel

    “In an environment where credit is not being used in a material way…”

    You know me, I’ve been putting it the other way. In an environment where wages are not being paid, how are they gonna pay these (*&^* loans back?

  7. grayslady

    Regarding the Clinton email debacle, National Review and New Eastern Outlook both have articles on Clinton stating that Hillary wasn’t the only one to use clintonemail.com: Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s Chief of Staff at the State Dept., also had a clintonemail.com account. The National Review claims that Huma Abedin, Clinton’s long-time personal aide, also had a clintonemail.com account.

    I have to admit that, at first, while I was offended at Clinton’s arrogance in using the private email account, I didn’t know enough about government regulations regarding email accounts to determine whether lawbreaking was involved. Now, however, the more I read about the Clinton Foundation (of which Mills is a board member), the Clinton Global Initiative, the actions of the Clintons in Haiti–and think about all of this in light of the email scandal–the more disgusted I become with both Hillary and Bill Clinton. To me, they now represent the worst of our “entitlement elite”, being neither entitled nor elite. My gut tells me there’s something slimier here than just emails. Too many ugly coincidences for me to feel comfortable.

  8. direction

    I agree when you say ” That said, Apple hates the web and is trying to destroy it because its business model is the “walled garden.”

    I have a question for readers without iphones: i have friends who recently felt forced to buy iphones because their text messages from family would not come through on their non apple phones. Is this a thing now?

    1. etnograf

      I still use an old Nokia brick phone and text messages work fine from other phones–as long as they’re actually text. As soon as someone tries to send you a message that includes photos and other content then it cannot display them.

      Be careful what the cell phone companies tell you, however. AT&T tried to convince me that they were upgrading the networks to some kind of new system that would cause my phone to stop working. That was years ago and the now ancient phone continues to work great for calling and texting.

    2. hunkerdown

      If one is using Apple’s walled IM garden rather than text while thinking otherwise, that sure could be a thing.

      Friends and family just need to know what they’re doing, I think. An iPhone that couldn’t send texts to the public switch telephone network would not make carriers happy, I’d think.

    3. Lee

      My old Samsung flip phone just died after 8 years of faithful service. My new $180 Motorola Android phone exchanges text and photos with iphones just fine. I’m told that problems of the kind you describe can occur if the i-messaging function on an Apple phone is turned on. Turning it off in settings may fix the problem.

      I also left Verizon for Consumer Cellular and have cut my monthly cell phone bill in half. Also, there is no contract!

  9. Llewelyn Moss

    re: Ferguson and the Criminalization of American Life [David Graeber, Gawker].

    Nice job of connecting the dots. All American institutions (not just Police depts) extracting revenues by preying on citizens and customers by fees and penalties for not following complex rules designed to trip you up.

    Ever notice that when you drive the actual speed limit you feel like a freakin Tortoise could pass you. Bug or a feature?

    1. RUKidding

      On Edit: this was in response to graylady, above. my mistake.

      I was always leary of the Clintons and only voted for the Big Dog once. Clinton’s Pres was just like Obama’s. A lot of happy talk, but the actual actions taken were draconian and not good for the little peeps.

      I could see it years and years ago when we had much less access to the kinds of info we have now. It amazes me how many of my friends are still in thrall to the Clintons and worship and venerate them.

      I. Don’t. Get. It.

      Agree with you. There’s some very very sleazy stuff affiliated with the Clintons. The email-gate thing is way down on the totem pole of their venality, criminality & outright war crimes. I may be wrong, but it’s my understanding that the email server use did not outright break the law. That said, it’s an ever so convenient way to hide what you’re doing and to be very opaque, indeed.

      1. Vince in MN

        Bubba and Mrs. Bubba have always been sleazy, it just wasn’t common knowledge until about ’93.

    2. hunkerdown

      Speed limits used to be set empirically, by unposting limits and measuring the 85th percentile unguided speed of drivers on that section of road. Now, in many localities, speed limits may be set for any or no reason by the relevant governing body.

      Yes, American life is cribbage.

  10. Kurt Sperry

    “The unrest in Ferguson has cost Missouri residents, area police departments, and taxpayers more than $22 million since August” Correction: it has cost MO residents and taxpayer 22 million; it has netted area police departments 22 million. The worse things get (or they make them), the more money they see.

  11. RUKidding

    I admit to love wearing my tinfoil hat and cannot avoid this opportunity to do so. Just be forewarned.

    So Clinton’s email server was located in Huntsville AL – eh? I had a relative (now deceased) who used to work in Huntsville, but that relative also worked an awful lot in Jordan & other “secret” locations in the Middle East on “projects” about which that relative could not reveal much. So, uh, hmmm….

    Maybe we should send FOIA requests to the CIA?

    1. Llewelyn Moss

      Fellow Tin Foiler here.

      Note that Clinton moved the email server in 2010 from her home to the data center in Huntsville AL (probably beefier hardware and dedicated systems admins). Same time frame as the Haiti earthquake and when the Clinton Global Initiative business would be ramping up. I wonder how many of the 32,000 deleted emails contained the word “Haiti”. Naomi Klien should write Shock Doctrine II to include Haiti Shannigans.

      Sidebar: One of the cool things about the teevee show Better Call Saul is his brother the Tinfoiler. He won’t leave his house and wraps himself in a Space Blanket to shield himself from radio waves. hahaha.

  12. gonzomarx

    Turn the page on fairy tale economics, says Monty Python star
    Universities must be realistic about crashes and capitalism, says Terry Jones ahead of the premiere of documentary Boom Bust Boom

    he’s not the head of JPMorgan, he’s a very naughty boy

  13. jrs

    What they seem to be advocating as xeriscaping is what is usually goes by “drought tolerant” planting or “native plants”. Of course those may need some water but native plants have other benefits (native wildlife).

    I think for most xeriscaping carries the connotation of lots of rocks, lots of rocks and some cactus. And yea the rocks will provide no cooling for the house they surround and you’ll be cranking the A/C. But planting the yard if you have the space with oak trees would not use much more water and would actually provide shade and soak up carbon right?

    As for the rice planting, planting rice in California is stupid and wasteful, but everywhere else in the country that rice is grown seems to be contaminated with toxic levels of arsenic.

    1. Lee

      Cotton too. CA produces $3.5 billion worth annually on 200,000 acres. Each acre of cotton requires 11 acre feet of water (3,584,365 gallons). Cotton growing employs 20,000 workers. Average household water use for the state is 360 gallons per day. So, how much are the shirts on our backs actually worth if made from cotton grown in California?

      Hint: do not ask an economist or a banker.
      For suggested further reading Google “Dust Bowl”.

  14. ron

    Water use in Calif is not about lawns but AG:
    Jeffrey Mount
    Water uses vary dramatically by region
    Environmental water use fluctuates most
    Water in California is shared across three main sectors.
    Statewide, average water use is roughly 50% environmental, 40% agricultural, and 10% urban. However, the percentage of water use by sector varies dramatically across regions and between wet and dry years. Some of the water used by each of these sectors returns to rivers and groundwater basins, and can be used again
    Approximately nine million acres of farmland in California are irrigated, representing roughly 80% of all human water use. Higher revenue perennial crops—nuts, grapes, and other fruit—have increased as a share of irrigated crop acreage (from 27% in 1998 to 32% in 2010 statewide, and from 33% to 40% in the southern Central Valley). This shift, plus rising crop yields, has increased the value of farm output (from $16.3 billion of gross state product in 1998 to $22.3 billion in 2010, in 2010 dollars), thereby increasing the value of agricultural water used. But even as the agricultural economy is growing, the rest of the economy is growing faster. Today, farm production and food processing only generate about 2% of California’s gross state product, down from about 5% in the early 1960s.

    1. craazyboy

      Sorry to hear about the lack of AG growth (as a % of GDP). May I suggest CA start growing luxury branded watermelons? They are hard up for water all around the Pacific Rim, and once the TPP is here, it should be a slam dunk to crack the Japanese, Chinese, and Indian high end water consumer market. Watermelons are great cause they are their own shipping container, you don’t need to mix them with anything, and you can drink them with chopsticks – even better than Asian soup! That should be a tidy boost to CA AG exports.

    2. Lee

      It’s too bad that what is produced by the larger, faster growing sectors of the economy is neither edible nor drinkable. If only Apple produced apples. I see repricing in our future.

    3. Vince in MN

      Fortunately, California is on the coast. The simplest solution is to tow some of those icebergs down from the Arctic. All that fresh water is just melting up there and going to waste anyway. And the cost could be subsidized with tax payer dollars. What a great opportunity for some forward looking corporation like Nestle.

  15. Kevin Smith

    When that groundhog bit a guy’s ear I just KNEW it was going to be a long, hard winter!

  16. Oregoncharles

    Oregon is now in drought, too. Not as deep or as long as CA, but we’re in trouble. It’s raining right now in the valley – if we get a lot of late rain, which is a pain in the rear, we’ll be OK here, but the farmers dependent on snowpack will not.

    Sometimes good weather is not good news – and we’ve had a lot of it.

    The wWillamette Valley grows a lot of vegetables, but also produces seed for almost everywhere else.

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