CORONADO — When Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina called California’s drought “man-made” earlier this year, blaming mismanagement by the state’s liberal politicians, Democrats mocked her. The Washington Post‘s fact-checker even gave her two “Pinocchios” for the claim. However, on Sunday the New York Times appeared to agree that the drought is man-made, at least in its impacts–and blamed former Gov. Pat Brown, father of current Gov. Jerry Brown.
California, the Times‘ Adam Nagourney wrote, “is confronting fundamental questions about its limits and growth, fed by the collision of the severe drought dominating Jerry Brown’s final years as governor and the water and energy demands– from homes, industries and farms, not to mention pools, gardens and golf courses–driven by the aggressive growth policies advocated by his father during his two terms in office.”
Nagourney goes on to make the classic Mathusian environmental argument that economic growth and propserity necessarily lead to increasingly scarce resources. Unlike Fiorina, he ignores the mismanagement of water policy due to environmentalist overreach. Still, he blames politicians, not nature alone.
Much of Nagourney’s piece is actually a profile of Jerry Brown himself, explaining how he entered politics. Nagourney notes, approvingly, that today’s Brown is focused on setting limits to economic growth. Brown is considered a long-shot candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2016, and has said he would run if he were younger.