Monthly Archives: December 2018

Thank you, State Board

They did it! I am so relieved and pleased. I really worried that there would be political considerations that forced the bullshit voluntary settlements on them and once again, I would have to be giving my own allies the benefit of the doubt as they punt on something that very clearly needs doing. But they did it! They made a choice for living rivers, against turning public rivers into private money for the few. I wish it were more; I wish it were stronger. But it is such a wonderful step in the right direction that I am inspired again.

It has been hard to write when it is hard to believe that the side of the very basics, the obvious fundamentals will win out. Without optimism, I have not believed that we are capable of choosing anything over capitalism, even the very ecosystems we need to live. I am in a fair amount of despair over what we are leaving to our children. Frankly, I do not give western modernity good odds in the next couple decades. Part of why I haven’t written has been that I could only add bile and gloom; when I can’t add value, I try not to say anything.

But today I am delighted and inspired! In the face of an actual hard choice (as compared to some win-win bullshit), the State Board got it right. You know, it is time for the infinite number of Governor Brown retrospectives and of course, the discourse would be incomplete without mine on his water efforts.  He didn’t entirely align with my preferences, so naturally I’m tempted to think that little got done. But that isn’t the case. Far as I can tell, the State Board got revitalized and became wonderful. DWR got sucked into the vortex of Gov. Brown’s obsession with the Delta Tunnels and languished.

It wasn’t that long ago that I called the State Board a bunch of fearful twitchy wretches. And they were! But it has been a couple years since I’ve noticed that they are all hoppity now. They bound into meetings with a ton of ideas and energy and they look young. Honestly, in the Brown administration, the State Board has been like the American in Paris. They’ve gone from overwhelmed and scared in traffic to a fabulous jazzy finale. Felicia Marcus has been the face of that, but I imagine that she would share credit. Anyway, the State Board has a whole lot to be proud of. Not just last night’s work, but the internal transformation. (Re-listening, I can even hear the drought years in the American in Paris.)

Congratulations State Water Resources Control Board. Thank you. In addition to helping our rivers, you’ve revitalized at least me, and I suspect many more.


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