Blue State Blues: The Obama Dust Bowl in California

The left has a convenient explanation for California’s severe drought: climate change. Though scientists have yet to make a direct connection, and have suggested instead that the drought is the result of a wind anomaly not related to overall global warming, that has not prevented politicians from putting on their lab coats and declaring their conclusions, demanding not only (sensible) water restrictions but also (irrational) controls on the use of fossil fuels, as if less coal equals more rain.

Climate change has become a religious belief to the left, an unfalsifiable theory that is cited as the explanation for everything that happens, regardless of the evidence. President Barack Obama even blamed climate change this week for his daughter’s early asthma.

A likelier explanation would be allergies, or poor local air quality on the South Side of Chicago, or–gasp–the cigarettes Obama used to smoke. (The latter, however, would substitute personal responsibility for government power).

Regardless, Obama is partly to blame for the effects of the California drought. Not the weather, but the water shortage. Just this week, as Californians grappled with Gov. Jerry Brown’s new mandatory 25% water cuts, state and federal officials were preparing to empty massive amounts of fresh water from a reservoir in Northern California to the sea.

The theory, San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Steven Greenhut notes, is that a few trout might need help finding their way to the ocean.

The Obama administration has steadfastly refused to do anything to stop the madness of an overreaching environmental philosophy that has sacrificed the real needs of human beings to the hypothetical needs of migratory fish. Over and over again, President Obama has threatened to veto water legislation that would correct the imbalance. He has been happy to golf on California’s well-watered courses, but refuses to allow Californians to benefit from water the state actually has.

As early as 2012, the president threatened to veto legislation that would bring more water to the farmers of the Central Valley. The reason given was that new federal legislation would interfere with decades of work between various agencies and water users to manage a scarce and precious resource.

But that work is not “working,” and it has been interrupted by court decisions and legal attacks launched by environmental groups seeking–often successfully-to impose their will.

The drought has been years in the making. It did not start in 2015; it began in 2011-2, and the state is naturally dry anyway.

If Obama really cared about California, as well as the hundreds of millions of Americans who rely on the state’s farms for the fruits and vegetables that the First Lady wants to put on every kid’s tray, he would not have stopped with a veto threat. He would have led in trying to broker a new water arrangement between the federal government and the various users.

Instead, Obama flew to the Central Valley last year to offer a paltry amount of federal cash, most of it for food banks and livestock losses. Better, evidently, to have the government feed farmers (and farm workers) than to have farmers feed themselves.

Obama then promptly flew off to Palm Springs to play golf and meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah, even though both leaders had actually been in Washington, DC that week. He has done nothing to help the water crisis in the year since.

Instead, the leadership role has fallen to Jerry Brown, who was governor in the late 1970s, when the last major drought hit the state. Brown has, to his credit, brought both parties together to back new water projects–though his plans continue to neglect water storage, and none of his proposals will help this drought. Under a national spotlight, with presidential talk in the air, Brown is doing his best to manage the crisis–one made worse by presidential neglect.

Call it the Obama Dust Bowl.


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