From Aquafornia: California dreamin’ and schemin’

In an earlier post, the editorial team, under withering pressure from our editorial board, promised to focus more of our time and energy on the water situation in our 359933728_3bc18aaecc.jpghome state, California*. While we helpfully provided a list of the top 10 water-related reasons to leave California in that posting, we haven’t delivered much else on the Golden State.

This is not because we don’t want to terrify our visitors with California’s bleak water prospects—we really do—but because we don’t know where to start. California is about water. The state’s water crisis—like everything else here—is massive, complex, and based on an extraordinary detachment from reality. Our state’s motto is for some reason εὑρηκα/ηὑρηκαEureka, for those still struggling with ancient Greek—but it should be If you don’t like where the water is, move it!

Luckily, the author of the blog, Aquafornia, knew where to start, and he has identified California’s main water problem: Southern California. And fortunately he has helped us all get a grip on the madness by writing a number of comprehensive briefings. The following is the introduction to one of them, an article on the basics of California water worries that he wrote for a local Southern California news site, Read it. After you do, you won’t feel better, but your expert grasp of the topic will make you a big hit at the next chatty gathering:

California is a beautiful fraud; a magnificent put-on, an exquisitely lush illusion. From the farmlands of the Central Valley to the swimming pools, green lawns and flowering landscapes of Southern California, it is all a brilliantly engineered masterpiece, an extensive rearrangement of the existing natural order, created by the ingenuity and will of man, and costing billions of taxpayer dollars in the process. The palm trees, the tropical flora and fauna, as well as the millions of people, all of it does not belong here. Not any of it.

*The photo is by HDR imaging maestro James Neeley, who notes that he took no extraordinary measures to achieve this gorgeous symbol of California irreality: Nikon D2x (VR 18-200 dx lens) on a tripod with 5 shots bracketed at 1 ev steps, aperture priority at f16 as I remember. These were combined and tonemapped with Photomatix.


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