President Obama had plenty of photo ops in California February 14 as he strolled in farmlands parched by the ongoing drought. To the farmers he added the inevitable offer of government money to help those suffering — money that presumably belongs to taxpayers outside the drought area. He reiterated the long-questioned connection between climate change and the drought:
What we have to do is all come together and figure out how we all are going to make sure that agricultural needs, urban needs, industrial needs, environmental and conservation concerns are all addressed….
We’re going to have to stop looking at these disasters as something to wait for [before responding].
And then, on cue, he pulled out the government’s checkbook and ticked off just where that money was going to go: Food banks serving drought victims would get some, and new government grants would be passed out to so-called scientists to study the problem and come up with more government-funded solutions. The president also whipped out his executive order pen and ordered federal agencies to cut back on their water usage. If the president has his way with the recalcitrant Congress, the total will be in excess of a billion dollars to make the problem go away.
But it’s going to take far more than a paltry billion to make that problem go away. He added:
These actions will help but they’re just the first step. We have to be clear. A changing climate means that weather-related disasters like droughts, wildfires, storms [and] floods are potentially going to be costlier and they’re going to be harsher.
The New York Times was gentle but firm in its rebuke of the president’s claim of his undebatable connection between the drought that has been hammering the southwest for the past two years and its alleged cause, climate change:
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of cracked dry bed of Almaden Reservoir in San Jose, Calif., Feb. 7, 2014: AP Images