Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The troble with Los Angeles

We all know that Los Angeles has many problems and it is hard for a Green not to read a blog entry with that title. But I had a different introduction to James Hrynyshyn's post at Island of Doubt. Hrynyshyn is another blogger at scienceblogs.com and offers his localized take on Jon Gertner's NY Times Magazine story that Alex posted a few days ago.

Hrynyshyn is pretty blunt about the scope of the problem that we face.
That's [Jon Gertner's use of the word Armageddon] perhaps a bit too strong a metaphor , but conflict between farms, cities and industry for dwindling water supplies is certain to grow, and if trends continue, it won't be restricted to the courtroom.
He is also just as direct when it comes to defining what we have to do in this case.
How are we going to get around the pending and current water crunches? Gertner writes of schemes like desalination plants on the west coast paid for my interior cities, which are then rewarded with larger shares of river water. But those are only stop-gap measures. Long-term solutions will require massive lifestyle changes or massive investment in dubious mega-engineering projects.
It is just those "mega-engineering projects" that Hrynyshyn finds to be dubious that form the basis of Schwarzenegger's plans for the California Delta They are also the essence of what I found in the Will Durst ad that I critiqued yesterday.

As Southern California fights through the most massive outbreak of wild fires that they have ever experienced this week, we have to consider what would happen if the firemen came, hooked up their hoses and there was no water.

These things a closely linked. Global warming, water, fire are all part of the ecological future that we have defined for ourselves. This is a situation for which only a deep ecology green solution makes any sense. It can be the driving force for the life-style changes that do not come from the threat of peak oil.

Los Angeles Greens are in a position to lead the way here and have begun to take the sort of actions that are required. I strongly encourage them to follow up on this now, to not let up on the pressure. They have taken the lead in the fight to impeach Bush and Cheney. I hope that they take the lead in this fight as well.

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