I am a catastrophist, I freely admit. I sometimes think that the difference between my writings and the other water pundits is that I’m willing to predict that bad things will happen, instead of repeating technological optimism. Even so, this year is making me think that I haven’t spent enough time thinking about rare events. (Yes, sure, I read Taleb.) I hadn’t, honestly, given much thought to the potential for sudden dam failure. (Yes, sure, I read McCullough.) You know what else I hadn’t thought about? The possibility of trade wars, or conventional wars, with China and Mexico. Trump brings chaos to everything he touches. Climate change increases uncertainty. Both of those will intersect vividly in the San Joaquin Valley, because it is predominantly a single climate-dependent industry and lacks the resilience of evenly-distributed wealth. If Trump is president for more than a year, I think the chaos will even reach into California.
Monthly Archives: February 2017