The Conversation

Here's Where Obama Can Stick His $1 Billion

No, not there. Rather, a better use for the $1 billion that President Barack Obama pledged today to a "climate resilience fund" would be to invest in a desalination plant that could help alleviate some of California's periodic water shortages. An Israeli company is building one right now near San Diego that just happens to cost about $1 billion and will provide 50 million gallons of potable water when completed. That would certainly be of more direct use to California farmers than promises of relief for the projected results of "climate change." (Do those farmers elsewhere who grow more crops as a result of warmer temperatures have to pay a redistributive tax?)

Of course, desalination plants need to be near the ocean. So the best plan is to build one that pumps fresh water directly into the San Joaquin River delta--the area of greatest environmental concern--and lets the farmers tap the river upstream, as they were once legally entitled to do. But that, of course, would require environmentalists near the coast to live directly with the consequences of their own policy priorities. They would have to drive past the thing and maybe even pay higher electricity rates as a result. Oh, dear--utopian idealists forced to bear the costs themselves instead of foisting them onto distant others? This desalination idea keeps sounding better...


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