California is not in a drought.
The sign on the wall said “California is in a drought” and I was tempted to the most benevolent vandalism ever. (Unless you count this, which you should.) Because while I agree with the purpose, I have a problem with the wording. See, I have bad news: California is not in a drought. At least, not in the sense in which we understand the term.
A drought is something you hunker down and wait out. You install low-flow toilets and let your lawn die, then two years later you replace the grass (in the meantime you’ve realized that NOT having low-flow toilets just doesn’t make sense). But this? This isn’t that kind of drought.
Should I list data? Talk about the mega drought? Would that be too depressing? The most important datum is that our definition of “normal” is based on the 20th century, which was the wettest in the previous millenium. Our “normal” was highly abnormal.
Hence my vandal urges (vandalbond urges?) in the bathroom: to change “California is in a drought” to “
CaliforniaThe American Southwest is in a drought a desert.” The advice/plea for saving water is the same, but the mindset is crucially different. This is not something we just outwait for a couple years, this is the reality for the rest of the century.
Also, while the poster’s recommendations (like turning the water off while you soap up in the shower etc) are important, they’re not very well prioritized. Better is to skip beef and nuts. For that matter, call someone in government and point out how ridiculous it is that Jerry Brown’s new water conservation rules say nothing about agriculture, which uses 80% of California’s water. (All residential use combined accounts for 14%. And the rest of the country can stop shaking their finger at us, unless they haven’t eaten any of our myriad agricultural exports.) (Or better yet yet, admit that the fundamental problem, again/as always, is overpopulation.)
On the plus side, I’m going to get some epic desert photos in my home state. I wonder if we’ll riot when the water
runs out gets expensive?