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(Permanent Musical) AccompanimentFor this Post
Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and where Achilles is in the alleyway, and he don’t want you here.
We start in Oregon with another episode in our ongoing series. Thirst: The Next Generation.From the Washington Post:
Over the past century, the federal government has overseen a complex and imperfect system for water distribution that is intended to sustain an economy and ecosystem. The entire precarious balance was based upon the assumption that enough snow would fall and melt to fill the huge Klamath River Basin watershed, which is located at the border of California/Oregon and is home for approximately 124,000 people. The region fell under the weight of one of the worst droughts in recent years. worst droughts ever recorded.
The Bureau of Reclamation has not distributed water to the region in more than 100 years. Farmers who grow alfalfa to feed cattle in China, peppermint to export to Europe, and potatoes for In-N-Out Burger and Frito-Lay have no water.
No water for the fish that is sacred to the Klamath Tribes. They consider the Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker to be central to their survival. There is no water for migratory birds who rest and breed at two wildlife refuges that are in decline along the Pacific Flyway. For hundreds of people who live in the vicinity of the Klamath Project, there is no water. Their wells are dry. The extreme droughts caused by climate change have intensified a long-standing conflict between Native Americans, farmers, and ranchers who all fight for the resources that are essential to their survival.
A century-old water system, forced upon the Native peoples by the federal government, has been broken by droughts that have as their cause the climate crisis that, according to far too many people in that government, doesn’t even exist.
“Nature is obviously quite complicated. Everything is intertwined,” said Alex Gonyaw, senior fish biologist for the Klamath Tribes. “Agriculture came in and just modified absolutely everything you can think of in terms of wetlands and hydrology and the way the ecosystem functioned.” The C’waam and Koptu fish essential to tribal culture once numbered in the tens of millions; now there are about 3,400 left in the wild, Gonyaw said. The young don’t live long enough to reproduce because of poor water quality in the Upper Klamath Lake.
One of the greatest, most darkly successful achievements of the climate denial movement was its ability to sell the idea that nature is just a collection of individual interactions and that everything is interconnected. The movement achieved enough success in this area to overturn many of the country’s positive instincts about its environmental policies that date back to Teddy Roosevelt.
Speaking of which, let’s go down to Florida and see what Governor Ron DeSantis had to say to Florida PoliticsThe whole thing:
A reporter asked DeSantis about his efforts to address the root causes of global warming, rising sea levels, and the Governor responded with a scathing attack on liberal ideologies. “What I found is, people, when they start talking about things like global warming, they typically use that as a pretext to do a bunch of left-wing things that they would want to do anyways,” DeSantis said. “We’re not doing any left-wing stuff. What we’re doing, though, is just reacting to the fact that, OK, we’re a flood-prone state, we do have storms.”
While he’s fending off left-wing things, DeSantis also wants credit for spending money to keep Florida from becoming part of the Caribbean. From the Florida Phoenix:
The event in Oldsmar was hosted to spotlight DeSantis’ announcement that, stated variously, $270 million for 76 projects (or $276 million for 70 projects) is pledged in state grants for local projects to protect cities and infrastructure from worsening sea-level rise and inland flooding. DeSantis indicated that funding is being proposed over three years, as part of his yet unpublished budget recommendations. DeSantis’ newly nominated secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, Shawn Hamilton, and his newly appointed chief resilience officer, Dr. Wes Brooks, also offered remarks, none of which included the phrase “climate change.”
Me? I think if the “chief resilience officer” were doing his job, he’d find a way to pry the governorship out of the hands of a guy who spends so much money to fight a problem he says he doesn’t believe exists.
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We continue on to Arizona, where Kari Lake, a former TV newsreader, is running for governor. She has already been endorsed by El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, for whatever that’s worth. It’s obvious that her platform is a huge bowl of nuts. From the Arizona Republic:
Lake finally presented a policy proposal just weeks ago. She would install cameras in every public school classroom so that parents would be able to root out “woke” educators and their secret plan to indoctrinate our children in leftie ideas.
Lake has promised to Build The Wall along the Arizona-Mexico border, and she is undaunted by the fact that a) there’s already a wall there, and b) the state doesn’t own the land anyway. But she does still have her TV news pose down, doesn’t she? I expect that we will be checking in on Lake campaign with some regularity.
And we conclude, as is our custom, in the great state of Oklahoma, whence Blog Reindeer Games Referee Friedman of the Plains brings us the saga of the state’s attorney general, who, like so many Republican politicians these days, moonlights as a virologist. From Tulsa Public Radio:
During a Tuesday press conference to give updates on his five lawsuits against vaccine requirements for various groups, Attorney General John O’Connor said the science behind the vaccine “really isn’t clear.”
This nonsense flew as the Oklahoma governor’s office went to war over vaccine mandates. From the Oklahoman:
The attorney general was responding when asked why COVID-19 vaccines are treated differently than the smallpox shot and polio shots, or any of the more than a dozen vaccinations required for military personnel. O’Connor stated that COVID-19 vaccines are still relatively new, and suggested that long-term effects may not be clear. O’Connor also stated that it can be difficult for people to trust information about COVID-19 vaccines.
Only 52 percent are fully vaccinated in Oklahoma, which is far below the national average. However, their governor has signed onto five anti-mandate lawsuits. So priorities are in order.
This is America’s democracy. This is your democracy, America.
Charles P Pierce is the author and editor of four books, including Idiot America. He has been a working journalist since 1976.
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