Friday, March 18, 2011

Much going on...

© 2011 Joshua

With a baby and a new job, I've found my blogging time constrained.  Alas, the world still turns, and there are many topics on which I'd love to wax poetic...

First, this report from the U.N. on sustainable agriculture.  In a nutshell, "agroecological farming practices" can double food production in many regions.  These science-based practices empower local communities with their foods, which puts major corporate enterprises out - so, expect them to fight these conclusions.

Next, California Watch reports on a Pacific Institute report on nitrates in California's Central Valley groundwater... we've all known it's been there for years, but this report attempts to quantify the human impacts. 

My view on the Central Valley, my second home, is that its social, political, and economic infrastructure is effectively a 3rd World country, a fiefdom for a handful of extraordinarily (and inordinately) powerful people.  Pile this report on top of the reports on asthma, air quality, cancers, unemployment, working conditions, transportation, income inequality, etc.  And if you are so inclined, please pray for the Valley. 

The L.A. Times reports on Republicans using the budget in California to dismantle our environmental regulations.  Please, conservative conservationists, keep up the calls to legislators, letting them know that this is not your value.  The major law usually attacked is CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act), which, in a case of powerful irony, is just about the only transparency-in-government law out there, and is also a law very often used by companies to keep out competition from industrial growth. 

Looking at our economic and fiscal conditions, it's safe to say that these regulations have not had an economic impact on our State to any great extent, especially in relation to our quality of life, nor in comparison to more lax states like, say, Texas, whose budget deficit is larger than ours in absolute terms and in relative terms ($27 billion in Texas vs. $26.6 billion in California).  Far larger an impact on our quality of life has been our decision to stop funding infrastructure like transportation, schools, and energy. 

And, speaking to California's impact on the rest of America, it looks like our Congress has decided to run its budget show like we do here in the Golden State.

That's it for now.  I'll try to get back into the swing of things, but first, I'd like a full night's sleep.

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