Columns

California Catastrophe

Emanuela de Paula
Emanuela de Paula
Photographer Jacques Dequeker takes to the water for the cover shoot of Brazil's most recent Wish Report. Dequeker captures cover girl Emanuela de Paula as an ethereal goddess in floating gowns and ornate headpieces. | Photo: Jacques Dequeker | Emanuela De Paula, Brazil, Model, Sexy, Water, Pool, Art,

Drought-stricken California will burn this summer.

It's like nothing I've ever seen in my memory which goes back to the time I was four years old and in all the years I've lived in California, day after day of cloudless skies and summer temperatures.

Some disasters you can see and feel, like an earthquake, or a hurricane, or tornado. It's easy to tell things are wrong. Like a sign post goes roaring past your head and decapitates a tree. You pretty much know things aren't cool.

California's drought on the other hand is like a cancer that silently kills without symptoms (warnings). A giant high pressure ridge covering much of the Pacific Ocean funneling all the moisture what there is up and over Washington State and down into the Midwest and East, leaving California dry and ready to burn this summer.

Charles Manson once said, "They'll be fires in your cities," and though he meant a race war by killing random people, his prophesy was ahead of its time. He could have meant the upcoming summer of 2014. Speaking of Manson, little Al Jardine of the Beach Boys (Manson knew Dennis Wilson, another of the Beach Boys) was one of the worried residents gathered at a briefing during a fire recently in Big Sur that burned many expensive homes in the rural coastal area.

The Big Sur fire happened in mid-December, a summer-like wild fire in a non summer month at the height of winter. Draw your own conclusion. Something ain't right in Denmark as they say.

People like to build multi-million dollar palaces in heavily wooded areas with little fire access, and on mountaintops above canyons where fire can race up and wipe them out. Then when fire happens, they scream for protection from beleaguered fire crews, because they built their homes where no logical person should.

California is set to burn this summer.

This will be the final nail in the coffin of the state's already faded reputation as the "Golden State."

Back in the old days, before water was illegally stolen from Owens Valley and the Colorado River by pirates and piped south to Los Angeles to create a giant city where like Al Jardine's house, it shouldn't be. Before that, L.A. was a dusty dry Mexican pueblo where a few Latino locales and a few Native Americans eked a miserable existence tanning hides or collecting skins. California was living in environmental balance with its normally semi dry arid climate.

How much water can 3,000 people in a tiny hamlet use who never take a shower?

That was before golf courses and half the populations of 35 different countries moving to California. Every time the United States loses a war, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, half the population of those countries immigrate to California. That means less water for a poor starved salmon trying to pathetically right its way upward past a dammed stream and a radioactive fallout dump somewhere so the state's already terminally ill fishing industry can hang on one more year.

The handwriting is on the wall for California.

Go outside of your comfortable home and look above you. Not a cloud in the sky. Just like yesterday, and the day before that.

California's billion dollar agricultural industry in the San Joaquin Valley, which feeds about half the world, depends on runoff from snow melt in the Sierra Nevada. Think of it, a gigantic mountain range that after this winter-----bare rock. No snow. You want my honest opinion. You can call me a cynic. I think California has had it.

Half the population will immigrate out of state as things go from bad to worse because of the drought, back east where global warming is causing more hurricanes. At least there's water there. As the roof is ripping from the top of your newly acquired immigrant home, you can stand out in your front lawn and open your mouth wide and drink the roaring rain water blowing sideways.

I think the worst part of the drought here is that's it's so pretty, so quiet. Blue skies every day. If I was a retired old fart instead of a working man with a young boy's mind in an old body, I might enjoy this weather. Old people on three retirement incomes move to places in Arizona just to get this type of weather. But I can't enjoy it, because I know the fire season is coming and the brush is dry.

Even if it should rain in February, the ground is so dry it will just drink it up and be dry again like it never rained at all.

This is a state filled with golf courses and swimming pools and all sorts of water-related luxuries. The only option is to develop salt sea water desalinization plants, but they are costly and leave behind toxic byproducts that need disposal.

Unlike that water, rainwater is free.

But so far there is none.

Comment on Disqus

Comment on Facebook

Updated May 10, 2017 9:58 AM EDT | More details

AND Magazine AND MAGAZINE

©2017 AND Magazine, LLC
5 Columbus Circle, 8th Floor
New York, New York 10019 USA

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written permission from AND Magazine corporate offices. All rights reserved.