Blog round-up: The BDCP, Big Gulps, brown jobs vs green jobs, and dollars for climate adaptation or mitigation and more!
The BDCP is mindful of the coequal goals, says Richard Stapler, Deputy Secretary of Communications for the California Natural Resources Agency in a blog post: “The legislation is important context for people following the rollout of draft BDCP chapters over the next month. It reminds us that by law, the plan's elements must come together in a way that helps to rectify both environmental degradation and erratic water deliveries. Progress should be made on both fronts at the same time,” he writes. Read more here: The Dual Goals: An Elegant, Simple Reminder of What We’re Working Toward
We missed our Big Gulp opportunity, say the State Water Contractors: With the season looking to be a dry one, it looks like we missed our opportunity to take that Big Gulp that is often talked about. Pumping restrictions to protect the Delta smelt meant that the high flows could not be captured: ““Earlier this year, storms came through that could have provided a substantial boost to our water reservoirs, but we simply could not capture enoughwater due to restrictions facing the existing projects in the southern Delta,” said Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors. “If we had intakes in the northern Delta and a way to convey those supplies to the existing aqueducts, as proposed by the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, we could have diverted more supplies without impacting fish species such as Delta smelt.” Read more from the State Water Contrators here: Did California Miss the “Big Gulp” Water Supply Moment This Year?
The peripheral tunnels won't protect fish, says Restore the Delta: The CSPA and Restore the Delta have produced a new white paper that says fish losses could even increase with the north Delta diversion: ““The Peripheral Tunnels would increase, not decrease, the massive fish kills from water exports, “ said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of RTD. “For decades, they have failed to provide effective fish screens at the existing pumps. Why would anyone believe that new, untested fish screens at a second diversion point will be any better? The Peripheral Tunnels are the death knell for our salmon fisheries, and deny San Francisco Bay of the freshwater flows to sustain Pacific fisheries.” Read more from Restore the Delta here: Peripheral Tunnels will not Eliminate Massive Fish Kills at Export Facilities
Reliable for whom? for fracking? asks Burt Wilson: ” … Northern California already has a reliable water supply, so that goal should properly read: “provide a more reliable water supply for southern California.” And that's where most of the water will go–for fracking wells in the Bakersfield area and for new development in the high desert areas east of Los Angeles … ” Read more here: The “Big Lie” is alive and well
But hey, brown jobs have more potential than green jobs, so bring on the fracking, says the Cal Watchdog blog, who notes that California led the nation with the creation of 26,000 green jobs last year, but so what: ” … Let’s look at the employment numbers in North Dakota, where leaders emphasize brown jobs — created by the fracking boom — not subsidized, corporate crony green jobs. From 2010 to 2012, this tiny little state went from 370,000 employed residents to 421,000 employed residents — a stunning 14 percent increase with few parallels in recent U.S. history. Equivalent growth in the California workforce would mean 2 million new jobs. … ” Read more from the Cal Watchdog blog here: CA job growth vs. ND job growth: Bring on fracking!
Meanwhile, in other water blog news, pumping has returned to normal, says Alex Breitler, the Inkstain blog notes that the environment has always gotten the short end of the stick, and the Pacific Legal Foundation's Liberty Blog weighs in on the Casitas water rights decision.
Planet CO2 levels will top 400 ppm for the first time in human existence next year, predicts Peter Gleick: “That’s a significant and shocking figure. Unfortunately, it is only a temporary marker on the way to even higher and higher levels. … There is a range of estimates around the detailed time record of atmospheric composition, and the study of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the billions of years of the Earth’s existence is an exciting area for research. A commonly cited figure with strong evidence comes from measurements of air trapped in ancient ice cores obtained from Antarctic ice. We now have a detailed 800,000 year record, which shows clearly that atmospheric CO2 levels never approached 400 ppm during this period,” he writes. Read more here: An Inevitable Headline in 2014: “Planet’s CO2 level reaches 400 ppm for first time in human existence.”
How should we spend our money on the climate – for adaptation or for mitigation? Also noting the same data as Peter Gleick does, Mark Lubell ponders: ” … this data suggests a serious need to answer the question about how to allocate resources between mitigation and adaptation. Let's imagine that all of our limited resources for addressing climate change are boiled down into a single “climate dollar”. How should we split this dollar? … ” Read more from Mark Lubell's blog here: How Should We Spend Our Climate Dollar?
Ninth Circuit takes up NRDC vs. Salazar en banc: Is this good news? Yes, says the Legal Planet blog. No, says the Pacific Legal Foundation’s Liberty Blog.
And lastly … spring is coming to the Central Valley – take a look!