On the eve of the first Republican presidential debate, Governor Jerry Brown laid down a gauntlet of a challenge to the field of Republican candidates running for President of the United States: “My message is real clear: California’s burning. What the hell are you going to do about it?”
Obvious answer aside that none of the Republican candidates for president are firefighters, the real question is, “Governor Brown, what the hell have YOU done?”
California’s answer to the drought has been water conservation – wonderful. How much new water has it created? Zero. California voters approved Proposition 1 last year that apportioned $7.5 billion in water infrastructure and conservation efforts. How many shovels of dirt have been turned to build new water storage facilities? Zero. California has, over the last 15 years, passed $18.25 BILLION worth of bond funding for water projects and not a single shovel of dirt has been moved to build infrastructure or to plan for the future population’s thirst for water. But high-speed rail is on the way.
In fact the last state or federally funded reservoir in California was built over 35 years ago, while over 15 million people have since moved into the state over that same time frame. California has built no new freeways or transportation infrastructure. The last California State University was built back in 2002 (Channel Islands) and the last University of California was built in 2005 (Merced). But here is the Chief Executive for the State of California asking other people what THEY would do to address climate change.
California’s elected leaders, and presidential candidates for good measure, are unfortunately not blessed with the power to control weather – as much as they seem to think that they can. But let’s say that Governor Brown is right and that we agree with all of the science around the world emphasizing that “climate change” is real and should be addressed -- what can ANYONE do?
We can’t move the sun farther away from the Earth. We can’t heat or cool our oceans any faster or slower, nor can we remove any of the harmful gases that contribute to this phenomenon. We cannot patch up holes in the ozone nor can we replace any atmosphere that has already vanished.
So unless Governor Brown is hiding some scientific miracle in his pocket, he might also want to exhaust his resources at home before trying to bully Republican presidential candidates, or his canoeing “paddle left, paddle right” political routine may be nothing more than mistaking motion for progress – backwards.
This post was authored by The Genie, a resident of Yolo County. All opinions contained herein are the author's own and not necessarily those of the Yolo County Republican Party.