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“In a free society, when it comes to a choice between people and a fish, people come out on top. Then they eat the fish.”

Today, the United States Senate voted down an amendment that would have turned the water back on in California.  On the floor, during these proceedings, Senator Diane Feinstein of California explained that she could not support the amendment because the water issues in California are, among other things, complicated.

Well, they shouldn’t be complicated.  In a free society, when it comes to a choice between people and a fish, people come out on top. Then they eat the fish.

How did we get to a point where people are afraid to make an easy (and supremely logical) decision because things are complicated?

Because I just went to confession three days ago, and have no desire to repeat again next Saturday, I will not get into my thoughts on radical environmentalism right now. I’ll let you use your imagination. Suffice it to say that they’re not complicated.

Instead, I will focus on the human side of the equation…

The San Joaquin Valley is just about the most productive farmland on the face of the Earth.  It not only feeds America, but it also feeds much of the rest of the world. When it produces less food, there is less food for the world to eat. That’s not complicated.

That said…

I happen to live in the mountains near the area in question.  I don’t have the same water issues as the farmers around here, but I can see how hard they are hit whenever I drive down Hwy. 99 and get off the main highway a bit… It’s not pretty… Where once there were green fields covered with fruits and vegetables, there is now a lot of dust and dry weeds.

The farmers who own the farms cannot grow anything that requires water – which is just about anything you and I would like to eat. That’s not complicated.

Because they cannot grow anything, they do not plant anything. That’s not complicated.

Because they cannot plant anything, they cannot produce anything to sell. That’s not complicated.

Because they don’t have anything to sell, there is less food available for all of us to eat. That’s not complicated.

Because there is less food to eat, the food costs more, requiring more of our families’ budgets. That’s not complicated.

Because we still have to eat, we have to buy somebody else’s produce. That’s not complicated.

Around here, that means more food from China. That’s not logical, especially when you live in the bread basket of the world.

Now, because our farmers don’t have anything to sell, they don’t make a proffit. That’s not complicated.

Because they cannot make a profit, they cannot hire and keep farm workers, so the unemployment rate grows. That’s not complicated.

The estimated number of farm and farm related jobs to be lost in the Central Valley of California is around 40,000. That’s 40,000 families that will be extremely negatively impacted by complications. That’s in a state that is already three steps beyond circling the drain, economically speaking.

And what’s more – these are ALL  GREEN JOBS!  Is there a greener profession than farming?

If the farmers cannot make a living farming, they will end up selling their land to someone who will develop it into homes and shopping centers.  How green is that?

Or perhaps the land will be purchased and developed into some other kind of farm – Wind farms? Solar farms? (Oops – did I say that?) In which case some of the complications may be a little clearer.

(It has long been my contention that the environmentalist movement has a real problem just because there are so many different facets that they cannot help but be at odds with each other’s goals – OK – I got through that without swearing.)

Hopefully, unless there is something even more nefarious going on, somebody somewhere will have a sudden attack of irresistable logic and the water will be turned back on – SOON.

Equally hopefully, many of the members of the Senate and Congress – and state level politicians – who are fighting to save the Delta Smelt will be asking the voters why they have turned against them and have voted them out of office… I have the perfect answer for them…

“Well,” we can tell them, “It’s complicated.”