California Drought: Sign of “New Geologic Age”

California Drought: Sign of “New Geologic Age” — Interviews Available
Date: 2015-04-02 10:21
From: “Institute for Public Accuracy .”

Institute for Public Accuracy
980 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 [1] * [2] *

Thursday, April 2, 2015

California Drought: More Climate Change or Water “Over-Exploitation”?

Interviews Available
MARK HERTSGAARD,, @markhertsgaard [3]
Available for a very limited number of interviews, Hertsgaard [4] —
author of the book _Hot_ — stated on “Democracy Now!” today [5]: “The
new executive order by Gov. Brown issued yesterday really focused mainly
on the urban sector. … What was striking about the order is that it
did not require those same kind of cuts from the agriculture sector,
which, in California, is the big player in water. Agriculture uses about
80 percent of all of the developed water here in the state. … The
absolute historic low in the snowpack that we’re seeing here, quite
frankly, it’s quite scary, but it’s quite directly related to climate

“There are communities out in Central Valley, the poor communities
where a lot of farm workers live, that literally don’t have water coming
out of their household taps anymore. That is not the case for Mr.
Stewart Reznick and a lot of bigger farmers. In fact, my story in the
Daily Beast [“How Growers Gamed California’s Drought [6]”] started with
a conference that Mr. Reznick and his pistachio company, Paramount
Farms, held just last month, where they bragged, literally bragged and
celebrated about the record profits that they are making on pistachios,
on almonds, and not only the profits, but the record production levels,
and the record acreage levels, which means that as the state has been
going into drought, nevertheless agricultural interests are planting
more and more acreage.”

MAUDE BARLOW, via Sujata Dey, (800) 387-7177 ext. 226 [7], mobile: (613)
796-7724 [8],, @councilofcdns [9] Barlow is author of
_Blue Future: Protecting Water for People and the Planet Forever_ and is
a former UN adviser on water. She recently wrote [10]: Our collective
abuse of water has caused the planet to enter ‘a new geologic age’ — a
‘planetary transformation’ akin to the retreat of the glaciers more than
11,000 years ago. This is according to 500 renowned scientists brought
together in Bonn at the invitation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
on May 2013. A majority of the world’s population lives within 30 miles
of water sources that are badly impaired or running out, the scientists
said. …

“So how are world leaders and global institutions dealing with this
threat? Very badly and with no plan. This is because the water crisis
has been misdiagnosed.

“While recognized as real, the water crisis is usually seen as a
symptom of climate change, itself caused by excessive greenhouse gas
emissions. Droughts are almost always reported as the result of climate
change. While no doubt greenhouse gas emission-driven climate change
does have an important and negative impact on watersheds, warming
temperatures and speeding up evaporation, there is another story that
needs to be told.

“Massive water diversion for flood irrigation and the over-exploitation
of groundwater has left large areas of the world without water. The
destruction of the Aral Sea and Lake Chad — once the fourth and sixth
largest lakes in the world respectively — was not caused by climate
change. It was a result of relentless extraction for commodity exports.

“The drought crisis in California is not climate change per se, but the
massive engineering of the state’s water supplies to provide for a
handful of powerful farmers. A huge amount of the state’s water is
exported as ‘virtual water’ embedded in export commodities. The Ogallala
Aquifer is not being depleted by climate change, but from unremitting
extraction, mostly for corn ethanol.

“Removing water from water-retentive landscapes leaves behind parched
lands and desertification, another cause of the water crisis. Removing
vegetation from water-retentive landscapes changes the water patterns
forever. The current crisis in Brazil — once a water rich country — is
largely due to the destruction of the rainforest. Take down the forests
and the hydrologic cycle is negatively affected.”

Barlow is national chairperson of the Council of Canadians [11].

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 [1], (202) 421-6858 [12]; or David Zupan,
(541) 484-9167 [13]

Contact information: Institute for Public Accuracy, Institute for Public
Accuracy, 980 National Press Building, Washington, DC 20045

[1] tel:%28202%29%20347-0020
[7] tel:%28800%29%20387-7177%20ext.%20226
[8] tel:%28613%29%20796-7724
[12] tel:%28202%29%20421-6858
[13] tel:%28541%29%20484-9167


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