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California's Water Crisis

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Arwon, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Just for the record, the farmers that planted the nut trees, grapes, and almonds (not quite sure how they are distinct from nut trees, actually), and let's throw in citrus trees and avocado trees as well, aren't going to learn anything because they mostly died decades ago, if not centuries. California being full of water intensive agriculture is nothing new. That's why the 'blame it on agriculture' plan is so wrong headed, and also why any sort of 'take it out of farming' solution is also wrong headed.
     
  2. Sommerswerd

    Sommerswerd I never yielded

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    And every time a government intervention "solution" pops into my head like "Federal tax added to water-hog crops to curb nationwide demand" or "California VAT (or some similar tax) on almonds" I always run smack into, "but then Mexico, or Greece or (whoever the hell else) will just grow cheaper and import them" ... which creates a new problem. I guess in that case at least the water consumption issue in California is addressed somewhat... but I'm thinking job-scarcity can be worse in some ways that water scarcity.
     
  3. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    Subsidize "almonds" grown in areas that require less irrigation to make them competitive with California's abundant sunlight and man-made precipitation. Attempt to compensate Californian agriculture by providing value directly for passing on using water and allowing(like El Mac said) the production of plants at least more in line with the native climate. There will be winners, and losers, and jobs will move around.

    Or, alternatively, we can just import the natural resource like you suggest. Mostly, I think we just have pretty big issues with people expecting to be able to eat like the entire world is their farm and be provided with a global palette, fresh and delivered close to thier doors every day year round. That's going to cost a lot of something no matter how we do it.
     
  4. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Or we could use those draconian tax measures, in the form of developer fees, to attack the real source of the growth in demand rather than trying to force the farmers to provide a compensating decline in their demand while taking no action to curb the growth.
     
  5. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    That very might work too, or at least help, but I bet you get better traction with screwing around with the farmers than you get with people admitting that a megalopolis in the desert is a fundamentally ecologically unsound/problematic as well as a selfish and decadent system. These are the states where the people care man! <insert old fatman judgemental chortle here>
     
  6. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Of course you get better traction screwing with farmers. There's less farmers.

    Besides, the draconian developer fees idea has massive problems besides the problems for developers.

    1) I live in a town built on land that was ... homesteaded? claimed? randomly assigned? a century and a half ago. Some descendents of claimants sold their parcels of water forsaken desert to developers in the 1950s and got rich. Same in the sixties. Same in every decade since. A sudden imposition of draconian developer fees means that those who have not sold yet are denied the opportunity everyone else had and stuck for all time with useless patches of dry dirt.

    2) Affordable housing disappears immediately, and those who are already homeowners become rich fat cats while those who aren't are locked into poverty.

    3) This town, like many others, relies on developer fees (not draconian) to maintain basic services. Cutting off further development would require a complete restructuring of the local public economy. Basically, we are addicted to growth.
     
  7. Sommerswerd

    Sommerswerd I never yielded

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    I thought we (America) were addicted to Oil ;)... I guess they are kinda' the same thing:

    Spoiler :
    .
     
  8. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    Assets depreciate as well as appreciate. Running property taxes instead of development fees as a dependency might be a healthy restructuring, depending.
     
  9. Sommerswerd

    Sommerswerd I never yielded

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    Maybe it has something to do with the high relative amount of ethnic diversity in the US. I mean I learned to make Pho from an actual old Laotian grandfather who was not a relative. We need a lot of different foods here because we have a lot of different diets, right? That kind-of makes sense to me... a little bit ;)

    No way that Democrats in Congress are going to tolerate any attempts to curb California population. Its the electoral vote cash cow.
     
  10. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Yeah. Unfortunately in the world of 'traction' we all know where property taxes fall in comparison to just having the cops hand out tickets to poor people.
     
  11. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    Well, it's not like I have actual expectations of California embracing a liberal solution. I live in a "liberal" state myself. It's mostly lip-service either way from what I can tell.
     
  12. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Draconian developer fees are a 'liberal' solution?
     
  13. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    No, but funding off of property taxes instead of non-draconian development fees(which you seem to indicate are a present foundation of funding) might be considered such.
     
  14. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    That's so Ferguson.

    J
     
  15. illram

    illram Deity

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    Unsustainable development and unsustainable commerce becoming more prohibitively expensive might not be so bad.
     
  16. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Market forces? You economic radical.

    J
     
  17. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Actually it was that which was "so Ferguson".
     
  18. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    It might be considered liberal, but it wouldn't be a solution. If the city funded services off of property taxes rather than developer fees, what would you consider doing with the developer fees? Given that the current levels produce the conversion of desert to housing at a rate the water supply finds unsustainable, that is.

    I can see the idea of impacting development by raising developer fees as making some sort of sense, despite the problems that in itself would cause. I don't see what raising property taxes to sustain the city accomplishes if you aren't going to do anything to curb development other than make the city coffers overflow.
     
  19. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    You can, and probably already do, tax at different rates. Tax residential developments in areas it's unsustainable at painful rates. Possibly mandate minimum lot sizes too. Fund conservation efforts or green energy research with the windfalls. But then again, we're pie in the sky that deep in. Maybe just settle for pricing plebs out of living in the desert if them living in the desert is unsustainable.
     
  20. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Quad B

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    Nobody else wants to live in the desert. Price out the people who live here because it is the only place in Southern California they can afford to live and the place turns into this.
     

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