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California’s Agricultural Backbone Imperiled by Drought and Climate Controversy

January 25th, 2014 | by Morris Beschloss | Comments

As the “Golden State” of California suffers from the worst drought and “winter heat” in its history, its agriculture, key to the state’s well-being, will suffer severely as this climatic overhang persists.

While most observers focus on California as the genesis of advanced technology emanating from Silicon Valley or entertainment spectacles from Hollywood, as well as all aspects of lifestyle enhancement, what does not capture headlines is that this most populous state (38 million) harbors agricultural resources not matched anywhere else in America, and few in other parts of the world. The latter has proven a matter of concern by the California Air Resources Board that makes the Environmental Protection Agency and the Sierra Club seem tame by comparison.

Although laudable in its early years, in the mid-20th century, when it cleaned up a smog-ridden greater Los Angeles, this extremist guardian of California’s climate, does not let even state government get in its way. Some may remember that when then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who went from adoration to disgrace, did nothing to save central California’s farm belt from desolation, due to CARB’s contention that agricultural water input endangered the life of “smelts.”

If the continued extremism of the “environmental purists” continue unchecked, the California “golden” image will find itself tarnished, as the fruits, vegetables, and a wide gamut of industrial products are suffering in the state’s center, already dealing with record unemployment.

With the United States facing its greatest growth opportunity ever, because of an unprecedented outburst of energy development for domestic, as well as export benefits, California’s Monterrey Shale, the nation’s richest repository of oil and natural gas, will likely be put on hold, despite a Southern California University study, indicating $75 to $100 billion in additional revenues and new jobs, in the tens of thousands.

While Governor Jerry Brown indicates “go-ahead” support, it’s doubtful that he would resist the pressure of the “climatological purists,” supported by the President’s new enforcer, John Podesta, who has made climate control a top priority.

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