Seeing red: jobs initiative to limit California’s AB32 greenhouse gas law will be on the November ballot

With a map like this, is it any wonder that AB32 doesn’t make any sense right now?

Map from the Sacramento Bee, click for interactive map

From the Grass Valley Union

A plan to block a law cutting state greenhouse gas emissions until the economy rebounds looks likely to make the Nov. 2 ballot.

Monday, members of the California Jobs Initiative Coalition turned in more than 800,000 signatures of registered voters to qualify — nearly twice the number needed.

The initiative was started by Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda, who represents Nevada County in the Third Assembly District.

“We only needed 440,000” signatures Logue said. “People realize we need to protect and bring jobs to California. We’re going to give working families of California a break until we recover economically.”

If the California Jobs Initiative does qualify the ballot as expected, voters will be asked to consider putting the brakes on the nation’s most far-reaching global warming law. Oil companies have paid about $700,000 to fund the campaign.

The initiative would suspend stringent greenhouse gas emission standards set by legislators in AB32, a bill passed in 2006. The suspension would last until California unemployment levels dip to 5.5 percent and stay there for one full year.

The state jobless rate was at 12.6 percent in March; it hasn’t been at 5.5 percent since September 2007, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger immediately blasted “greedy oil companies” for trying to set back his sweeping environmental policy through funding Logue’s initiative.

A number of business groups warned that regulations enacting the law would cost jobs and prompt billions of dollars in higher energy prices. John Kabateck, executive director of the National Federation of Business California, said that’s a cost businesses cannot shoulder as they struggle in a weak economy.

“While the goals of AB32 are admirable, clearly the implementation of this at this time … would be a death knell for many small businesses,” Kabateck said at a news conference.

Schwarzenegger vowed to fight the initiative if it qualifies for the ballot.

More at the Grass Valley Union

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In other news: George Shultz to co-chair campaign opposing AB32

The Sac Bee has the story:

Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz has signed on as honorary co-chair of Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs, a coalition opposing a proposed ballot measure to suspend the implementation of AB32, California’s landmark law to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Shultz, a prominent Republican, said in a statement that the proposed initiative would derail “California’s innovative effort to stimulate movement toward a cleaner and more secure energy future.”

Full story here. h/t to Russ Steele

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Yahoo News has a AP story about the most and least economically stressed counties in the United States. California has 12 of the 20 most economically stressed and none in the least stressed category.  Most of the Counties are in California’s Agricultural Bread Basket.  Where are all those green jobs?

Here are the 20 most economically stressed counties with populations of at least 25,000 and their March 2010 Stress scores, according to The Associated Press Economic Stress Index:

1. Imperial County, Calif., 31.27

2. Merced County, Calif., 28.29

3. Lyon County, Nev., 27.96

4. San Benito County, Calif., 27.2

5. Sutter County, Calif., 26.41

6. Yuba County, Calif., 25.8

7. Stanislaus County, Calif., 25.46

8. Iosco County, Mich., 24.89

9. San Joaquin County, Calif., 24.78

10. Nye County, Nevada., 24.19

11. Lapeer County, Mich., 24.03

12. Cheboygan County, Mich., 23.89

13. Luna County, N.M., 23.82

14. Lake County, Calif., 23.78

15. Kern County, Calif., 23.62

16. Tulare County, Calif., 23.17

17. Madera County, Calif., 23.04

18. Fresno County, Calif., 22.72

19. Clark County, Nevada, 22.65

20. Boone County, Ill., 22.59

Complete list is here. Again a h/t to Russ Steele

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84 thoughts on “Seeing red: jobs initiative to limit California’s AB32 greenhouse gas law will be on the November ballot

  1. Who knew that going green really meant going red?

    Don’t know how true this is but it’s from the comments in the link and it doesn’t sound too far-fetched:

    The California Central Valley accounts for quite a few of the top 20. It is severely stressed due to the cutoff of water Sacramento River “required” due to a lawsuit by the environmental lobby to help a fish — the Delta smelt — of no particular significance. In order to fluff the smelt’s habitat, valuable Sacramento River water flows out into the ocean instead of being used where it is severely needed — and has previously been used for decades — in the San Joaquin Valley.

  2. I will tell you something you do not have heard up there yet. About two weeks ago I heard the world known economist Hernando De Soto, saying, that the real figures of unemployment in the USA were the double of the official ones. So, if that is true, just look around and enjoy living in a progressive paradise. (BTW, we have already lived that when subjected to tests promoted by the Carnegie and Ford foundations, back in the 1960’s an 70’s)

  3. This is what confounding GG with climate change and pollution get you….confusion, inefficiency and expense.

    Clearly, if only mis-guided and altruistic, the proponents of such action will be (relatively) quick to change tack and approach the problem sensibly. Those with agendas or those with predisposition (if big oil can work against this then big-finance can work for it…) to continue will do what they can to steer us on this course for disaster.

    Money makes our world go around but the world knows how to turn on it’s own. The world climate is separate from the biosphere as far as our presence in it is concerned. We need a healthy environment to prosper, both ecological as well as financial. Too many agendas and not enough knowledge (being proposed and accepted).

    Keep plugging away, as persistence pays (financially too).

  4. Thanks for reminding me why I always hated George Shultz, a “prominent Republican” who was exactly the kind of Republican that got them thrown out of power in the last 2 elections. Give him and his type the right level of contribution and they’ll sign any piece of paper that gets shoved in front of him – who cares about those poor schlubs without jobs? Let’s just tell them to think happy thoughts and eat cake, that’ll work!

    And thankfully Schwarzeneggers political career is within a few months of being over for good.

  5. Common sense is starting to prevail. People are sick and tired of the fear-mongering and just want to focus on basics (jobs, jobs, jobs). Any congressperson that doesn’t get that will be slaughtered come November. Even the most ardent alarmists I know identify the economy as job no. 1.

  6. and isn’t it hilarious how on that chart Green (Green is Good, right???) is ANYTHING less than 10%??? Hey wow, unemployment is only 10%, we are doin’ GREAT, guys!!!

  7. Obviously Schwartzenegger has lost touch with reality–too many make-believe movies, not enough science. The opposition to repeal of his Woo-woo-land law? They call themselves: “Californians for Clean Energy and Jobs,” a blatant misrepresentation. They should be called “Leftists for Skyrocketing Energy Prices and Plunging Employment.”

  8. Glad to see it make the ballot

    This will make at least one item I can fell good about voting for.

    God knows I do not feel that way about any of the people likely to be on the top to the ticket for either of the main parties.

  9. With Obama revealed as cap and trade corrupt!

    Where are the protests? The hearings? The investigations?. Has the American people lost all dignity and fighting spirit? Im really surprised that the “guts and glory” seems to be history? The American working guy is the one whos gonna transfer his earnings into the pockets of the Al Gore/Green capitalist mob. Dont you understand whats happening! This is not the time to be polite now its time to kick…….!

  10. I normally refrain from commenting on what happens in places that I don’t live. California society probably displays the greatest range of social and political hypocrisy and contrasts imaginable. Probably because it is a highly diverse and dynamic society. California is also the home of fantasy land and from Calgary, looking at news reports, it appears most of its citizens live in it. All winter long I get my strawberries from California and I like strawberries but I do have a price margin resistance point. As long as they can keep those illegals employed picking them, so us smug Canadians can afford to keep eating them, they should be polity ignored by the rest of us. Hum, Scrips in is California, isn’t it.

  11. Slabadang

    Had Bush made a speech about “safe offshore oil” three weeks before the Gulf spill, the press would have crucified him and hounded him out of office.

    Obama gets a free pass with this screw up, just like all the rest of them.

  12. Very glad this got on the ballot with 800k signatures is just amazing. I’ll definately be spreading the word.

    I’m waiting for the proponants of AB32 to start advertising against this bill. Wonder how they’ll try to paint the picture.

  13. Now a commercial message from Green Tech Action Fund, Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund California Ballot Measures Committee. FPPC ID # 1324059

    Stop the Texas oil companies’ dirty energy proposition.

    There are little minions of the enviro lobby out on the strees of SF, LA, SD, and Sac, handing out bumperstickers preaching hate on Valero.

    I want you to remember when it comes time to fill up,
    Valero stands in the face of the storm.

    Valero stood with you when Chevron, PG&E, and BP, were tap dancing down the path of least resistance with Michael Mann, Jim Hansen, Al Gore.

  14. This is exactly why it is important that the states have crafted their own envirionmental and health care policies, so that people can move out!

  15. Oregon is California’s Mini Me- everything they do we try to copy. Hmm this is encouraging…

  16. Environmental rules can really cause problems. Does anyone remember the uproar last year about farmers in CA being cutoff from there water supply because of a minnow? I don’t know if that was ever resolved, but talk about a major hit to the livelihoods of people who feed us. I mean a MINNOW! Come on!

    I’m sure there are many horror stories out there like this one with more to come.

  17. Love cali thought, we’ll wait for the economy to recover before we kill it permanently. But I thought we created lots of jobs by “going green”? Higher energy prices? Isn’t the wind free? WUWT???? You mean it doesn’t really work like that? WUWT???

  18. Spain leads with 20% unemployment. California is lagging. Of course the green jobs are the big joke. They don’t want just any old jobs. Green jobs or no jobs.
    There are many things aovernment can do to choke employment. There ae fery few things than can do to create growth in the private sector. Most they can do is stop interfering and taxing or punishing employment growth.

  19. Hmmm.

    So the powers that be admit that this is a job-killer. I’m really hoping Californians, and our respective Federal and other State governments can put two-and-two together.

  20. They have done this too themselves. And like a binge drinker, there are no signs that they will do anything but drink again. The State is firmly in the hands of unions and delusional leftists. Every strange leftist belief is thought to be essential. People and jobs mean nothing to the elite that run this State.

  21. Common sense teaches us that a person lives with its income, right?, and its income comes from his/her work, what he/she produces. Well where are goods produced now, in China, India, S.America?, no one can expect to survive without producing anything, be it a person or a country. Out of what are you suppose to live the following years?, from imaginary carbon shares?, out from your prophet, Al Baby?
    It does not matter how strong be a person or a country, if not working that person or such a country will not survive. Have you succesfully included the famous mexican “siesta” (resting under a “sombrero”) in your current culture and daily living?
    Don’t think so, you have always been hard working people…just think about it. Of course hard working people not having a job is really stressing.
    One of the solutions if one does not have a job is, following the logics’ “law of the absurd” to provide jobs to others, or make one self’s own job.
    Anyway, there is also the problem of the impossibility of “sailing against the wind” if there are such a lot morons spoiling all the healthy efforts of people, in such a case, as is seems the case that you are, then you must use your, thank god for it, inexaustible ingenuity.

  22. If you live in California, don’t take this the wrong way; just trying to help put you out of your misery.

    SUGGESTION: Everyone in California set your clocks to the correct time prior to 6AM tomorrow morning. Everyone in California who supports AB32 jump up in the air as high as you can beginning at 6AM and every even minute thereafter. Everyone in California who does not support AB32 jump up in the air as high as you can beginning at 6:01AM and every odd minute thereafter. Continue jumping until something happens. It shouldn’t take long.

    PS: Everyone else in the country can help California by jumping up as high as they can beginning at 6AM and every even minute thereafter. Everyone else in the world, except those in Indonesia and Japan, can help California by jumping up in the air beginning at 6:01AM and every odd minute thereafter. Everyone in Indonesia and Japan should go to Australia and wait until something big happens to California and the tsunamis have died down.

  23. <i?Enneagram says:May 4, 2010 at 8:50 am
    I will tell you something you do not have heard up there yet. About two weeks ago I heard the world known economist Hernando De Soto, saying, that the real figures of unemployment in the USA were the double of the official ones. So, if that is true, just look around and enjoy living in a progressive paradise. (BTW, we have already lived that when subjected to tests promoted by the Carnegie and Ford foundations, back in the 1960′s an 70′s)

    The official numbers are those who are receiving unemployment insurance. It does not include those whose benefits have expired, are illegally in this country, or who have quit looking for work. Latest estimates indicate the actual unemployment closer to 20 %. Of course, this does not include the unemployable, or those who have no desire to work, have never looked for work, and would not work if they had a job (politicians). That number is vaguely estimated at between 23% to 29%. Which is roughly equivalent to my federal income tax. What a coincidence.

  24. CEO Survey out today: (and this is a bit more meaningful than most surveys since CEO’s are the ones who determine where new plants will be built and where new jobs will go)

    http://jan.freedomblogging.com/2010/05/04/ceos-rank-calif-worst-for-business/36609/

    California is rated as having the ABSOLUTE WORST business climate in the country!
    In descending order, the *worst* states to do business in in this country are California, New York, Michigan, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Hmm, is there some common denominator linking those states.

    Guess who’s rated #1 State in the Nation for business- and because of this is the state which is *guaranteed* to have the best economy in the nation for the forseeable future, with the most job growth?

    Oh you don’t have to guess, you know. That’s why 1,000 citizens from other states (not illegals, but *Citizens*) are moving here *Every* *Day*. No kidding.

  25. Polar Ice Cap says:
    May 4, 2010 at 8:47 am

    You forgot the debasined Trinity River water that used to flow to the sea at Eureka being drained off to the Sacramento Valley.
    The 50 year agreement from Trinity County to the Bureau of Reclamation is about to expire. The county-of-origin compensation was never received in that 50 years, and the demise of the timber & fishing industry (est. 1 billion/yr) compounds the problems the Central Valley Project now faces. All of which were done in a succession of back-room progressive policy deals.
    The lesson here is to look at the counties whose lands and economy are at the mercy of big government. This is the fate that awaits California if the draconian greenhouse emissions law is not stopped. Things will continue to deteriorate, as they have for the counties that have been made dependent on the government for their enterprise. Such enterprise is not free, and it is not healthy.

  26. stevengoddard says:

    “Had Bush made a speech about “safe offshore oil” three weeks before the Gulf spill, the press would have crucified him and hounded him out of office.”

    Good point. Another point that galls me is the fallacious requirement that drilling activity can only be allowed when and where it’s free of risk. Clearly, it’s far riskier (and more expensive) to drill in deep water, but that’s where you have to go when the Malthusians (and their political allies) put abundant and less risky resources off limits.

  27. Well the AB-32 hold news is a good thing; but the other thing that happened yesterday was that the Governator; the man who can solve anything; decided; No way in hell is anyone ever going to drill for oil off California again; not while I’m Governor or President or whatever.
    So Californians will be in double jeopardy; in the coming years with lost oil revenues, and jobs; and then if the anti-AB-32 initiative fails; you can kiss job growth goodbye; and watch California become a third world country.

  28. In the insane asylum called California, the initiative process is our one dim beacon of hope. I’m not looking forward to the saturation ad campaign against this initiative, but I can’t wait to vote for it.

  29. “”” papertiger says:
    May 4, 2010 at 9:47 am
    Now a commercial message from Green Tech Action Fund, Environmental Defense Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund California Ballot Measures Committee. FPPC ID # 1324059

    Stop the Texas oil companies’ dirty energy proposition.

    There are little minions of the enviro lobby out on the strees of SF, LA, SD, and Sac, handing out bumperstickers preaching hate on Valero.

    I want you to remember when it comes time to fill up,
    Valero stands in the face of the storm. “””

    Thanks PaperTiger; I went to that website; and they sure weren’t in any hurry to advertise the name of those “two Texas dirty oil companies”.

    We have Valero Gas stations here and there, so I think I will start to patonise them now.

  30. George E. Smith says
    May 4, 2010 at 10:57 am
    Hey!, What a good idea!, then your folks could be paid $20 a month and you’ll be competitive with chinese products.

  31. I guess our government doesn’t feel the need to qualify where all these green jobs are being created just as long as they can brag they’re being created. China and India are pleased, of course, to be the benefactors.

  32. Be thankful: The best braking “pads”to avoid a possible running inflation is unemployees. Did you know it?. Well, at the end of the day, it is a big satisfaction be a part of an econometric equation.

  33. George E. Smith (10:57 am):

    …and watch California become a third world country.

    I was wondering how we were going to fit 51 stars on our flag if Puerto Rico becomes a state. Problem solved.

  34. Brian D says:
    May 4, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Actually, the minnow was the excuse, not the real reason, to play with the State’s water management and storage.
    Which water was cut off: The water that used to go to the senior rights users, or the water that was taken from the senior users by the Governor and handed to the extreme So. Sacramento Valley junior users?
    Did they mention that bureaucrats decided arbitrarily to flush out the Sacramento and Trinity watersheds, then panicked after they realized they had released too much water, too early in the season, and to the detriment of the fish runs?
    Letting these people handle California’s water storage and delivery is like handing the keys to your car to a drunk.
    The last time they played with water storage they panic dumped Folsom, blowing one of the flood gates off it’s track.

  35. “”” Brian D says:
    May 4, 2010 at 9:54 am
    Environmental rules can really cause problems. Does anyone remember the uproar last year about farmers in CA being cutoff from there water supply because of a minnow? I don’t know if that was ever resolved, but talk about a major hit to the livelihoods of people who feed us. I mean a MINNOW! Come on!

    I’m sure there are many horror stories out there like this one with more to come. “””

    Well actually Brian it isn’t a minnow; it’s technically a Salmonid; and it actually is the entire salmon fishing industry of California that is being threatened; not by farmers using water; but by wealthy southern Califonia commercial water interests who have long contracted rights to water; which they steal from Northern California, for peanuts and then resell to Southern Califonia Desert golf course to make green grass grow around golf ball holes.

    These So Cal water interests, are in the process of trying to have certain common species of game fishes; that have been resident in California for over 100 years or more; declared to be predatory alien species that need to be eradicated in the State.

    Actually, if these water interests can destroy the Salmon runs completely by siphoning enough water off Norcal river systems; then they can raid ALL the water resources of northern California.

    As for the farmers they have water to irrigate any areas they want to irrigate; but given the lousy economy, and all the imported foods from Latin America; they have a lot of fallow lands now; so they are selectively leaving areas dry ; particularly along Hiway 5 where it is obvious to Motorists. Don’t worry; they are watering in areas where they want to grow crops; and not very far back from that same hiway; along which they advertise their woes; which they blame on the Government. No it is Northern California People who don’t want to fund over building of unneeded houses out in the deserts of Southern California where nobody wants to live anyway. East of Hiway 99 where the long term family farmers mostly are; they still farm as usual; it is only the big Out of State owners of the conglomerates, between 5 and 99 who complain they can’t get water cheap enough to grow cotton; which we don’t need anyway.

    If your local grocery store is trying to sell you California Cotton for food, Brian; I wouldn’t buy it.

  36. stevengoddard said on May 4, 2010 at 9:22 am:
    California voted for green jobs. Looks like they got red.

    The country is getting more “red” jobs, more people are getting employed by The State. The federal government is hiring twice as many as the private sector. However, the private sector numbers have been shown to be somewhat bogus, as highlighted by the manipulations to make that “jobs saved or created” claim look true, when it’s not. Thus it seems likely the federal government is hiring at a higher rate than twice as much.

    Meanwhile on the state and local levels they are shedding government employees, too many budget shortfalls. Whatever “necessary functions” those employees were providing will likely get handled on a higher level, namely the federal government as they “have the money.” Thus power continues to flow downhill to the center, in an effect amazingly like fresh water flowing into a toilet…

  37. Apparently, the Governator and Rep Shultz need their public service terminated.

    Arnold’s been sitting down to dinner with too many of Maria’s family.

  38. That the greens/left have selected hydrocarbon fuels for their hatred is (particularly today) irrational. Oil is a natural part of earth. It doesn’t become tainted just because Man had something to do with its release. And the fixation on oil company profits is equally irrational, given that cheap energy is pro-prosperity/pro-humanity. I can only surmise that underlying this hatred is a self loathing and self destructive psychosis. Save the planet – destroy mankind.

  39. I think Ahhnold took too many hits to the head when he played the Terminator roles. No where in the world can I find any economic good news when the greenies tout money saved by green jobs. Probably Spain is the worse case for being the poster boy for green economy. Their unemployment rate has exceeded 20% and they will be the next in line to beg for bail outs from the Euro community.

  40. Hank Hancock says:
    May 4, 2010 at 11:15 am
    I guess our government doesn’t feel the need to qualify where all these green jobs

    Did someone tell you where these jobs are going to be created? For sure, far, far away from where you live.☺

  41. I hoped California will make an example how to destroy the economy via green lunacy and other can take a note and adjust their policies accordingly. Just like collapsing Greek model of “social state”, showing all Europeans where the welfare state actually leads.
    Somebody has to try it, once, really.

  42. George E. Smith says:
    May 4, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Good Gawd! Now it’s “evil” “Wealthy” farmers who are the villains? It is California’s responsibility to find resources to facilitate all growth, and maintain all industries. “Evil’ profits of wealthy farmers? “Evil” golf courses? What makes the fishery profits or the needs of Northern CA angelic? Needs are needs. Find a way to supply them all.

  43. With all the “California this, that, and the other thing” stuff above, I remembered this and can’t resist sharing it: “Americans are considered crazy anywhere in the world. They will usually concede a basis for the accusation but point to California as the focus of the infection. Californians stoutly maintain that their bad reputation is derived solely from the acts of the inhabitants of Los Angeles County. Angelenos will, when pressed, admit the charge but explain hastily, ‘It’s Hollywood. It’s not our fault – we didn’t ask for it; Hollywood just grew.’ The people in Hollywood don’t care; they glory in it….”

    Robert A. Heinlein: “-And He Built a Crooked House-“

  44. Layne Blanchard says:
    May 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    “That the greens/left have selected hydrocarbon fuels for their hatred is (particularly today) irrational.”

    Look, I am a green leftist and I love hydrocarbon fuels, even the raw
    smell of them. But mostly because they are excellent concentrated fuels,
    which have accelerated us into modernity.

    But, being rational and responsible, I find that the negative externalities
    are becoming too much:
    – they cause warming, which might become catastrophic in the 21st
    – they are dirty (SO2, NOx, heavy metals, particulates, soot)
    – they are being depleted
    – they cause political problems due to uneven distribution

  45. I wonder if the people in this state realize that the measure to stop the Greenhouse Law should really be titled:
    No to the Son of Enron, once was enough.

  46. There’s been all this talk about how the big bad oil companies are coming in from out of state to fund this initiative, but I’m surprised more folks are digging into the funding of the campaign in support of AB32…

    ClimateWire had an interesting article a while ago on this:
    http://greenconomist.com/2010/05/04/news-analysis/californias-climate-bill-battle-money-trail.htm

    No conflict of interest there… right…

    Add on top of that, now we have Blue Cross coming out in support of AB32… Good grief.

  47. OT – Der Spiegel has released a secret recording of the showdown at the Copenhagen Climate Summit

    The Copenhagen Protocol
    How did negotiations really go on for the world climate summit in Copenhagen? Secret recordings reveal how China and India prevented an agreement during the crucial meeting of the Heads of State. Powerless Europeans had to watch the negotiations fail.

    The Video (in german) can be watched here.

    I prepared a subtitled version (Youtube):

    Since I had quite some trouble catching all the words, especially from the chinese representative, please feel free editing the subtitles on the original Dotsub page.

  48. George E. Smith says:
    May 4, 2010 at 11:26 am

    What nonsense. The Salmon aren’t engangered. The Delta Smelt isn’t a federally endangered species (though the state defines it that way), just threatened. Besides that, the Delta Smelt can cross breed with several other variants of the Smelt family, including the Longfin Smelt which isn’t threatened. What’s the big difference between the Longfin Smelt and the Delta Smelt? The Delta Smelt like hanging out in the Delta.

    “which they steal from Northern California”… San Francisco has no right to water from the Sierras. The people of the Sierras should have the right to determine who gets their water. Cut off San Francisco now. Let them shower using Evian.

    ” Don’t worry; they are watering in areas where they want to grow crops; and not very far back from that same hiway; along which they advertise their woes; which they blame on the Government. ”

    Folks who say this care nothing for farmers & high food prices hurt the poor and starving throughout the world. Why do they thing there’s high unemployment in those farming counties since the water was banned? What a pack of lies.

    And of course the Coastal Commission prevents desal plants. We in CA are at the mercy of Green Stalinists.

  49. His wikipedia article doesn’t seem to have been updated to show that he switched side to the democrats.

  50. “”” Polar Ice Cap says:
    May 4, 2010 at 8:47 am
    Who knew that going green really meant going red?

    Don’t know how true this is but it’s from the comments in the link and it doesn’t sound too far-fetched:

    The California Central Valley accounts for quite a few of the top 20. It is severely stressed due to the cutoff of water Sacramento River “required” due to a lawsuit by the environmental lobby to help a fish — the Delta smelt — of no particular significance. In order to fluff the smelt’s habitat, valuable Sacramento River water flows out into the ocean instead of being used where it is severely needed — and has previously been used for decades — in the San Joaquin Valley. “””

    Well Ice Cap, that water from the Sacramento, San Joachin, Mokelume river delta systems has for eons provided for the entire ecology of the Monterey Bay Area of those oceans; and the entire California Fishing Industry relies on that river water that is being “wasted” by letting it flow to the oceans.

    The San Joachin Valley has its own rivers that supply water to it; and used to feed Tulare Lake; the largest lake West of the Mississippi.

    But then those San Joachin “farmers”; actually out of State mega conglomerates that “farm” the valley between hiway 99 and highway 5; even over to 101; the So-called “West Side” deliberately drained the entirety of Tulare lake, and sent ALL of its water up the San Joachin River (one of the rare north flowing rivers); and the greedy SOBs did it just to get a few more acres of land to farm in the San Joachn Valley.
    And the loss of Tulare Lake affected the entire climate of tulare and Fresno Counties and probably Kings County as well; and removed the main feed source for the underground aquifer that used to support all of those farmers.

    And back when those farmers were getting Northern California delta water for pennies on the dollar; it wasn’t being used to grow golf courses, and desert towns out in the boondocks of Southern California.

    There’s a reason for the Arctic ice; it gets cold up there; and there’s a reason for the Mojave Desert; California has historically been a desert; and Gaia never intended for anything besides cactus to grow there; and nothing to live there besides Gila Monsters, and Rattle snakes.. So she didn’t provide water for wall to wall hovels for people to live where there is no work to do.

    California does have a water problem; but it isn’t caused by any minnows. Just try getting approval to build any more reservoirs in California, to store water, when we do get a surplus; not a chance unless that reservoir is in Southern California; like the East Side Reservoir that wash finished not so long ago, and filled mostly with Delta water from the north (also Colorado river water).

    The greenies won’t allow water storage; they won’t allow energy sources; even green ones that kill birds; their aim is to return California to its geological historic desert state.
    It doesn’t have anything to do with farmers not being able to grow food; if they wanted to grow food; why are they planting cotton, that can be grown in other States that have an over abundance of water every year.

  51. wws says:
    And thankfully Schwarzeneggers political career is within a few months of being over for good.

    Not to go too far OT, but I am tired of people bashing Arnold as a governor. Arnold came into office with the right ideas. He knew that the previous state bankruptcy/downturn was partially a result of national economics and partially the fault of a Sacramento that was wholly in the pocket of public labor unions. For some reason California has allowed public labor unions to bankroll elections and ignore the inherent conflict of interest when civil servants end up with more influence over their bosses than the public at large. Arnold knew when he came in that this self-serving circle had to end. He tried to break them, he failed. When California rejected his ballot initiatives (a special election in which his side was horrifically outspent by the labor unions), he gave up. He’s been lame duck ever since, but it’s not his fault. California rejected sanity, not Arnold.

    • Jeremy

      Interesting points. I have long held the belief that public employees should not be allowed to vote.

  52. “”” mikael pihlström says:
    May 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm
    Layne Blanchard says:
    May 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    “That the greens/left have selected hydrocarbon fuels for their hatred is (particularly today) irrational.”

    Look, I am a green leftist and I love hydrocarbon fuels, even the raw
    smell of them. But mostly because they are excellent concentrated fuels,
    which have accelerated us into modernity.

    But, being rational and responsible, I find that the negative externalities
    are becoming too much:
    – they cause warming, which might become catastrophic in the 21st
    – they are dirty (SO2, NOx, heavy metals, particulates, soot)
    – they are being depleted
    – they cause political problems due to uneven distribution “””

    Well mikael; if you are so against fossil fuels for their pollution problems and depletion; why would you support the use of fossil fuel energy sources to pay the cost of installing what are supposedly clean green free renewable abundant alternative energies.

    Silicon solar cells for one thing are not clean green; you wouldn’t believe the toxic wastes produced by that industry; try Nitrogen TriFluoride, that is suposedly 17,000 times as potent as CO2 as a GHG; and is almost entirely an effluent of the Electronics Industry.

    But PV Solar is an energy source isn’t it; so why don’t they use their own energy to run their silicon foundries; that produce that stuff; why the need for fossil fuelled subsidies.

    And you better hope that that oil and gas and coal never run out; because when they do; so will the subsidies for green clean free renewable alternative energies; most of which will be found to be energy wasting schemes; not energy providing schemes.

    And even if they luck out and provide some positive energy availability gain; the total energy consumption circulating in the system; will simply amplify the waste heat and CO2 and water effluent load on the climate.

    If it takes all the energy from 10 barrels of oil to create 11 barrels of oil equivalent in renewable energy, then you are basically consuming 10 barrels of oil, to do what you could have donw in the first place with just once barrel of oil.

    Even if 10 gets you 20 , you are generating much more waste and pollution than if oyu simply used the available (fossil) energy for what it is best suited for.

    I plan to live till the fossil fuels run out just so I can watch the collapse of the free clean green abundant renewable energy industry; once it’s real motive force is removed by its very absence. Try doing solar renewable then; I’ll then happily laugh all the way to my funeral pyre.

  53. Kinda echoes the John Carpenter 1996 Documentary ‘Escape from LA’, starring Kurt Russell.

    To quote the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) that Al Gore invented – ‘Escape from LA follows almost exactly the same plotline as Escape from New York; A city has become a colony for criminals,…’ er,…just saying is all.

    In the film its encircled by the sea, thanks to an earth quake, which has made it an Island,…(oh please god, please).

    Perhaps today it could be humanely ring fenced with Prius’s, Tofu vendors, Yoga schools and Screenwriter guild union offices, in order to prevent the rich aroma of unreality (HO2), watermellon politics and general insanity permeating into the rest of the state.

    The current level of HO2 (Heightened Offensiveness – squared) is rated at 1:1, One part per millimetre, and its been steadily increasing since Bob Crane got his first video camera. We can’t account for why the earth hasn’t rebuked LA and swallowed it whole, and its a travesty we can’t.

  54. “”” Dennis Nikols says:
    May 4, 2010 at 9:39 am
    I normally refrain from commenting on what happens in places that I don’t live. California society probably displays the greatest range of social and political hypocrisy and contrasts imaginable. Probably because it is a highly diverse and dynamic society. California is also the home of fantasy land and from Calgary, looking at news reports, it appears most of its citizens live in it. All winter long I get my strawberries from California and I like strawberries but I do have a price margin resistance point. As long as they can keep those illegals employed picking them, so us smug Canadians can afford to keep eating them, they should be polity ignored by the rest of us. Hum, Scrips in is California, isn’t it. “””

    Dennis,

    Go ahead and enjoy those California Strawberries; I’m sure they will keep coming to you. And don’t worry too much about them
    being picked or grown by illegals; that is actually not too likely. I have my home in tulare County; which is one of the poorest, if not the poorest Couties in all of California; and they grow Strawberries all around my house; and boy are they ever good; and pretty cheap too.
    But in don’t know of any Strawberry farmers anywhere near me, who are illegals. Almost all of the strawberry growers are Vietnamese Hmong Farmers; whose ancestors were refugees from the Vietnam war; all legally immigrated to the USA under Government resettling programs for their support of the US foces during that war. We also have Phillipino ancestry farmers in the area; but they typically aren’t growing strawberries. The Armenian Farmers in the County whose roots go back to the 1915 Turkish massacre; are a major influence in the Citrus and Grape, and stone Fruit industries; and all of them that I know employ ONLY legal non-union migrant family farmers who have been employed by the same farmers for decades; and at wages and working conditions much ahead of the Cesar Chavez United Farm Workers Union rates that apply in much of the state agriculture. The “illegals” mostly get their work from someone from their own culture in the “coyote” business, who works with growers who aren’t too fussy who they employ. My next door neighbor happens to be of Mexican ancestry who lived in Santa Ana CA since he got out of the US Army after Korea; and did city work until he decided to try his hand at farming; so he started from scratch in our neighborhood; with help and land that he bought from one of the long time “white” farmers in the area. I have watched him grow his businees from a small start to a successful small family farm operation that he and his wife work themsleves; along with two or three perfectly legal long term employees of Mexican Ancestry. The Illegals only came by his place once; to tell him to take down his Stars and Stripes Flag from his flagstaff. He told them where to get off; and they haven’t bothered him since.
    Oh those exploitative Coyotes who get work for illegals (of any nationality); we have one of those in the family; my wife’s cousin; so yes I do know how that system works.
    For most family farmers; the costs of dealing with government paperwork make it very uneconomical to employ illegal farm workers; so in fact, most of them we do not need.

  55. mikael pihlström says:(May 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm)

    “Look, I am a green leftist …… ”

    Yes you are.

    “But, being rational and responsible…”

    In whose eyes? Ah yes, your own.
    Now that is robust verification of your green leftness.

  56. “”” David Corcoran says:
    May 4, 2010 at 2:30 pm
    George E. Smith says:
    May 4, 2010 at 11:26 am

    What nonsense. The Salmon aren’t engangered. The Delta Smelt isn’t a federally endangered species (though the state defines it that way), just threatened. Besides that, the Delta Smelt can cross breed with several other variants of the Smelt family, including the Longfin Smelt which isn’t threatened. What’s the big difference between the Longfin Smelt and the Delta Smelt? The Delta Smelt like hanging out in the Delta.

    “which they steal from Northern California”… San Francisco has no right to water from the Sierras. The people of the Sierras should have the right to determine who gets their water. Cut off San Francisco now. Let them shower using Evian.

    ” Don’t worry; they are watering in areas where they want to grow crops; and not very far back from that same hiway; along which they advertise their woes; which they blame on the Government. ”

    Folks who say this care nothing for farmers & high food prices hurt the poor and starving throughout the world. Why do they thing there’s high unemployment in those farming counties since the water was banned? What a pack of lies. “””

    Well you obviously know what you are talking about. I happen to have my home to the East of hiway 99 right in Tulare county; so those farmers are my neighbors so I can see what they are doing; which happens to be farming right now. And when I drive down there from the Bay area I drive right through those fallow areas on the West side; and wouldn’t you know it; I get a mile of so east of Hiway 5; and stuff starts growing again. And vast areas of that West side are growing cotton; not food; and much of the land taken out of service was growing cotton and not food.
    And I pay an annual fee to the local water district for the privilege of having them cut through my property with their irrigation canalso I have to have a bridge on my own property, simply to get to my house; over their canal. And no the amount of water I get from them and their canal is precisely zero. Adn they won’t let me upgrade my bridge (which I own) unless I want to construct some monstrosity that can carry a huge truck that you cannot legally put on any public road anywhere in the USA. They broke the bridge I had with one of their nincompoop drivers, and won’t let me replace it with what I want; so I simply repaired what had been standing there for 75 years.
    I get all of my water out of my own well; and in addition I have a much bigger well that supplies water from my land to a surrounding farmer to irrigate about 100 acres of citrus and row crops; and I don’t get a cent for my water from him.

    So if you want to separate reality from “a pack of lies” why don’t you actually go and visit some of these places to see for yourself.

    And as for the salmon not being endangered; that of course is why you can’t keep silver salmon caught in California waters any more, or whay the commercial salmon fishery has bee shut down for a couple of years; by some miracle there will be a short salmon season this year; no thanks to the water thieves.
    As for the delta smelt; and also the salmon smolt and other species; there would be a lot less problem if the water thieves had bothered to put in proper fish separators in the first place, instead of just sucking everything into their pumps, in a rush to get it to Socal.
    Whay do you suppose all the southern california lakes are infested with Striped bass, and other alien species from the delta; they get sucked into those pumps and those that aren’t ground up into chum, make it to so cal lakes; that are kept full with nocal water. Try adding a thimble full of water to Pyramid lake by hiway 5 in socal; which is surrounded by an arid desert; not exactly anyone’s idea of a watershed.

  57. “”” Enneagram says:
    May 4, 2010 at 11:14 am
    George E. Smith says
    May 4, 2010 at 10:57 am
    Hey!, What a good idea!, then your folks could be paid $20 a month and you’ll be competitive with chinese products. “””

    I don’t have a problem with anybody citing anything that I ever say here.

    Please don’t ever report that I said something that I absolutely never ever have said.

    Anybody can go back to my 10:57 AM post and see that your statement is completely absent from my post.

    Did your mother never tell you that nobody has a good enough memory to succeed as a liar.

  58. Most amusing is the most frequent solution to unemployment….construction.

    Here in Nevada we’re getting major construction projects crammed down our throats, and the most highly touted? Road work. “It will create jobs!”, “It will get the economy started!”…..

    And what is the backbone of road construction?? Trucks, trucks, trucks. And some more trucks. Diesel trucks. And concrete. And asphalt.

    All the stuff of a cleaner environment…. LOL!!

  59. Brian D says:
    May 4, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Environmental rules can really cause problems. Does anyone remember the uproar last year about farmers in CA being cutoff from there water supply because of a minnow? I don’t know if that was ever resolved, but talk about a major hit to the livelihoods of people who feed us. I mean a MINNOW! Come on!

    I’m sure there are many horror stories out there like this one with more to come.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Yes California Farmers took a second hit with the Food Safety’s Scorched Earth Policy

  60. The watermelon should be the new symbol for the enviro-nazis…
    Green on the outside…Red in the middle

  61. “…until the economy rebounds”….? Then what, pass the thing and kill the economy again?

    Too many people will say “this is not the time to institute (fill in whatever green initiative)…” as though some time in the future will be better. None of these initiatives should be enacted, ever, because they are all premised on a false assertion that increasing levels of “man-made” CO2 is somehow likely to cause catastrophic increases in global temperature. This assertion is unobserved, and unproven.

    Bad policy based on bad science is still bad policy.

  62. Polar Ice Cap says: Don’t know how true this is but it’s from the comments in the link and it doesn’t sound too far-fetched:

    “The California Central Valley accounts for quite a few of the top 20. It is severely stressed due to the cutoff of water Sacramento River “required” due to a lawsuit by the environmental lobby to help a fish — the Delta smelt — of no particular significance. ” […]” — in the San Joaquin Valley.”

    While generally true, look north of Sacramento, that northern part is the Sacramento Valley (it’s San Joaquin to the south). That area does not depend nearly so much on Fed water (lots of wells… water table between 14 and 30 feet in most places)

    That’s my old “home turf” from decades ago… Lots of peaches, rice, nuts, kiwi fruit and some cattle.

    Those folks have gone “big time” into automation of farming (largely due to minimum wage laws). So you tell them that all that farm machinery is not going to be runnable without “carbon credits” or that they have to get a giant harvester ‘smog tested’ somehow and, well, it’s easy to put the land fallow for a year, or just run some cattle on pasture instead…

    BTW, that’s not a hypothetical… There was at one time a proposal to have ALL California farm equipment smog checked under CARB. Don’t know whatever happened to it, but it will be real interesting finding out what the “smog spec” is for an old John Deer 60 or a Farmall from before 1950…

    And I lived through the automation push after the UFW decided to strong arm some farmers for “union wages”. One guy took out a great grape orchard and put in mechanized harvest crops. For some reason, he didn’t like being the target of blackmail via a targeted strike… So he “caved” one year and got the crop harvested. Then started pulling out established grapes due to “labor cost”. About 4 years later, no more grapes, and no more UFW contract to deal with.

    So what The State has forgotten is that a farmer has choices. LOTS of choices.

    They’ve driven a lot of the “truck crops” or “row crops” to Mexico from labor costs.
    They’ve driven a lot of “table grapes” out of business via union costs.
    They’ve driven a lot of the REST of the crops to extreme automation ( I watched ‘tree shakers’ take over from hand picking and knew a guy working on designing an automated pumpkin picker. Watched the automated sugar beet harvester take over.)

    So you lean on them Real Hard with extra costs for running equipment? Well, it’s like this, they don’t NEED to run high equipment operations.

    It doesn’t take much labor and it doesn’t take much equipment to put a bunch of cows or sheep on a pasture. Then hire someone from out of state to round them up and ship them away to market…

    Then all the folks who sell and fix all that machinery are out of work.
    And all the folks who run that equipment or provide farm labor are out of work.
    And then all the folks who sold THEM stuff are out of work.
    And then all the restaurants and gas stations they used to visit are out of work.
    And then …

    (My family ran the restaurant. We watched this stuff really closely… Where I first started learning about Economics at about age 7 from my Dad.)

    BTW, the meat packing plants were largely run out of state some time ago. Yeah, there are some hanger ons, but it’s not that hard to ship live cattle somewhere out of state for processing. See this story for an example of a Bay Area ranch that sends it’s cattle to Utah… Oh, and consider that those trucks and truck drivers can be “home based” in Nevada or Utah too. California need not apply…

    http://www.sautewednesday.com/archives/2006/06/slaughterhouse.html

    So the meat packer will be out of work in California too… But the cattle will get a ’round trip’ to Utah via Diesel truck…

    I really really wish political critters would learn some economics. At least just enough to realize that you can not legislate away the laws of economics…

    If the farmer has too much burden put on them, they can not function in that product, so they will simply shift to a product without that burden. They do not have a choice of staying in a failing product…

    I grew up in that farm country and lived through several shifts of main crop. I have fond memories of the local “fruit and vegetable stands” ( that evaporated as minimum wage laws drove the row crops under). I watched “nut crops” go to “mechanized tree shakers” for harvest and I watched “table grapes” leave when the UFW tried to unionize them [ and force prices higher ]. I watched tomatoes go from hand picked to those funny trolly things. Now wine grapes are going to mechanized picking. And harvesters have grown to the size of giants, cutting the drivers needed per acre way down. Expect robotic harvesters “soon”.

    One of the “iron laws” is that any wage above market equilibrium will increase unemployment… Another is “tax it and you get less of it”…

    So: Yes, the land can’t leave. But it doesn’t need to employ people either…

    (Note: I’m not saying what is GOOD. I’m saying what DOES HAPPEN.)

    One trivial example: Put a ‘volatile organic compound’ limit on bug sprays, I can just not spray. Less yield, but the goal is max PROFIT not max CROP.

    So if it costs out to spray, you do. If it doesn’t, you don’t. Make it cost more, folks spray less. That means unemployed folks at the spray company, the labor who spray it, and less demand for trucks to haul product and processors to process it… The farmer maximizes profit, but the cost to everyone down the line is not his concern.

    This is NOT a theoretical. I remember studying linear programming models of income optimization from picking the ideal PROFIT level of spraying… The things you learn in farm country… It’s a standard thing for bigger farmers to do. Exact optimization of “inputs”. Raise the cost, you WILL lower the inputs. And all the labor going in and coming out. This is Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” and something the political critters don’t seem to understand (even though they are driving this bus…)

    One other point: Someone will, no doubt, think “Folks won’t cut down an orchard just because of THAT.” Think on this: Every orchard has a lifetime. In any one year, a few percent of the total orchards have “passed optimum productivity” and are pulled out. Then you replant and wait about 5 years to start getting more harvest…

    So, you get to put about $5000 / acre into the ground, and wait 5 years, while dealing with a load of regulatory crap and ‘cap and tax’ or… You could spread some grass and clover seeds and run some cattle… get “instant” profit.

    Every time an orchard reaches “end of life” the farmer makes a decision about what to do next. It isn’t always ‘replant the orchard’. IMHO, it would take about 20 years, max, to have converted the bulk of orchards to something else. And the labor impact would be immediate as the planting of new orchards is labor intensive.

    So why are all those places having that high unemployment? Because the laws “managing” the economy are putting them out of work. Get rid of the laws, you would have employment. ( The “invisible hand” is always there, waiting to put folks to work…)

    Sorry for the rant, but I watched this build up over my lifetime in that area. From hundreds and hundreds of migrant workers every year following the harvest; to a boat load of folks “on the dole” as it paid better with more free time. (They even put in a ‘subsidized housing’ section to house the folks getting the free money to not work… For a while “welfare housing” was a growth industry in my home town…)

    And I watched farmers convert to crops that were not their dream due to labor costs. As people sat unemployed on the dole watching TV… Farmers can be remarkably passionate about things like peaches or tomatoes. Being pushed into alfalfa against their will can be a real bummer. One good friends dad did that. Wanted a small peach orchard, grew alfalfa… It was a cost issue.

    So California went into the “Welfare and Welfare Housing” business. And now they are running out of the money to pay for it as the productive parts left the state “for greener pastures”. We now import people to join the welfare queue (great package, including medical, dental, housing, food,…) and export industries and wealth production.

    I probably would not be as worked up about this if it were not for the fact that the politicians seem surprised at the result…

  63. E.M.Smith tells it like it is. I’ve been a farmer in California for most of my 64 years and every thing he says is A FACT.

  64. Dennis Nikols says: California society probably displays the greatest range of social and political hypocrisy and contrasts imaginable. Probably because it is a highly diverse and dynamic society. California is also the home of fantasy land and from Calgary, looking at news reports, it appears most of its citizens live in it.

    To understand California, it is best to mentally divide it into 3 sections.

    1) The LaLaLand L.A. Basin. All that “SoCal” stuff in an arc from Santa Barbara to San Diego with the center about L.A. Lots of “light industry” and loads of Media / Movies. Largely culturally dominated by the Hollywood ethic, but with pockets of “blue collar” conservatives (just not enough to outvote the Hollywood Limousine Liberal cult.

    2) The San Francisco Bay Area (including SillyCon Valley). Mostly hard core Looney Lefties with some (a few) centrists and Radical Right who mostly keep their heads down so they won’t get it chopped off for political incorrectness. Culturally dominated by the SF Gay Scene with the “Cool Wanabees” in SillyCon Valley trying to look cool by accepting whatever SF says is cool. A modest number (dwindling fast) of tech companies and some financial centers in SF (LA has some financial centers too). Oh, and all the rich liberals living in Marin. This BTW, is why the rest of you have been afflicted with Nancy Pelosi. It is her “Home Turf” and the folks in SF just LOVE her… I think that kind of says it all.

    3) Everything else. All that broad swath of mountains, valleys, farming, deserts. Throughout most of that, it is fairly conservative. Yeah, you get the ‘acceptance’ of the left agenda since they are dominated by the two major population centers, but it’s the moral equivalent of the “Flyover Country” states in the center of the USA. Modestly conservative farm country mostly. There are some “bedroom communities” in, for example, Stockton, that feed … well, “fed”, now that things have collapsed; fed workers to the SillyCon Valley tech market. Mostly the blue collar and poorer folks who could not afford a home in the Bay Area, so leaning more conservative. (That’s “California Conservative”, so slightly more liberal than a Texas Democrat ;-)

    Most of the people in #3 would love to be free of areas #1 and #2, but are out voted on attempts to break up the state. (That, and they keep wanting to leave the SF area in with the rest of N. California and the idea of being completely dominated by SF is just appalling… better to have LA in the mix to keep SF in second place…)

    Oh, and there is an “honorable mention” of a semi-area #4. All along the coastal band there are pockets of semi-rural left leaning folks. An odd mix of “Just want to be left alone” with “looney left” politics. In the north end you get the California Humbolt Mary Jane farmers; so that band spreads a bit more inland than to the south. They would love to have a political leaning, but they are mostly just trying to remember where they left the pickup truck… and could you go away now? To the south of SF, inland a couple of miles, you get a band of conservative farm country until you run into about Cal Poly SLO. From there on down it starts to be rich liberals with an ocean view… and their servants and hangers on. North of that, it’s a fairly thin band right along the coast. An ideal example of this is Santa Cruz / Monterey / Carmel as the epitome of Looney Lefty, but about 15 miles inland is a valley of conservative farmers. Salinas on down.

    And throughout the whole area you get raisins in the dough. In the conservative farm areas you get a fair amount of Mexican influence with their mix of liberal attitudes toward drugs and conservative attitudes other areas. And Clint Eastwood was mayor of Carmel because the left there wanted to prevent him from having a bar and restaurant (or some such) and he got motivated to run for office. While in Sacramento, we have Ahhnold (Mr. Shriver-Kennedy…) and frankly, you get an odd sort of political “type” here. Loads of folks are strongly conservative fiscally, but think the government has no business in your bedroom or your drug stash. Sort of a “Libertarian Conservative”. There are also “Liberals” who think drugs are evil and abortion ought to be banned… So some times it’s hard to pigeon hole folks here…

    From the How Maps Lie department:

    That big green splotch on the Nevada boarder has very few people living in it. It’s a farm country valley, but in parts of it the water rights were bought up by L.A. and folks just have dry land. Around Bishop there are some nice mountains, though. Other parts still have water and farming. I think the major employment is the Mammoth Mountain ski area and some Dept. of Forestry & Interior workers. It’s more akin to Nevada than California, really, but with lots of transfer payments coming in. That green splotch from Santa Barbara to one block north will be dominated by employment at UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly SLO along with Vandenberg Air Force Base and Lompoc Prison IIRC. Basically, a lot of government money forms their economic base… Finally, that green splotch set in a bit from SF is a kind of semi-rural area (around Fairfield/ Vacaville from the looks of it). If I’ve picked it out right, that’s mostly going to be shopping stops for folks on I-80 East and I-5 going North and Travis Air Force Base… Along with a bit of near Napa Wineries.

    So as I look at the employment map, I see a major military base between LA and San Diego, and some other military bases, with employment. I see a recreation / farm area with most of the farmers already not farming (and government money coming in), I see a very very rich part of SF and Marin with employment (if you are a rich self employed person or management, you usually don’t lay yourself off…) and I see a “government rich” zone near Santa Barbara.

    My take on it, frankly, is that the only thing keeping it from being 20% or more state wide is all the government money being slopped in the trough…

    BTW, I’m quite certain that the official rate is too low. I know a fair number of folks who are not “unemployed” in that they don’t report to the unemployment office asking for benefits (that’s how it’s measured) but have no job. I’m one of them, as is a neighbors kid. There are several others I know too. And that doesn’t count the “under employed”. The teachers are being given unpaid “furlough days” to cut costs and I know of one Ph.D. Aeronautics who is teaching math in high school… Another friend is “early retired” and living on ‘the package’. The neighbor 2 houses down is getting a military check (was working for the city too, now just on the military payment…) So personally, I’d guess those numbers are way low.

    The metric I use is the traffic jams. 10 years ago, I had to hit the on-ramp at 6:30 AM or earlier to make it across the south bay. Any later, it was a hard jam with about a 5 – 10 mph average speed. Now at peak time ( 8am) it’s 60 mph+ the whole way. There is no way that’s from a 10% reduction in employment. We had more than 10% of folks doing 4 day work weeks and still the Monday / Friday commutes were horrid. Not any more.

    My best guess would be about 25% presently unemployed and with employment about 35% under peak of what it was a decade ago (i.e. 10% of workers have simply left town). But there is a lot of slop in that. It could be higher.

    So please, don’t think of it as “social and political hypocrisy”. Think of it instead as the result of a large “strain” between opposing poles, with the Uber Left dominating much of the time, but sometimes the other side peeking out a little. A good example would be all those folks from Marin and SF. They don’t SEE the unemployment problem, so to them, it does not exist. Since they never visit the Central Valley farm areas, they have no clue that 1/3 of some of the town is unemployed (and another 1/3 is on welfare…). They have no idea what their votes do to the “outback” of California. Their experience is different from reality. So any wonder their thinking would diverge from it too?

  65. @ E.M.Smith, well-said, sir, well-said.

    Those same laws of economics also work (as you very well know), for most every other sector of the economy. Thus, when, for example, oil refineries are faced with spending billions to comply with cap-and-trade laws to curb their carbon dioxide output, they may find it less expensive (and more profitable) to shut down the refineries’ manufacturing portions and import gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel from refineries in other states or other countries. The job losses will be substantial, as it takes only a few people to run a tank farm. They can also dismantle and remove the manufacturing portions and reduce their property tax bills. Having less manufacturing equipment, or simply not running it, means fewer parts and supplies must be purchased, fewer contract workers employed for maintenance and repairs, and the same chain of events you described above for local businesses. There will be fewer people in the hotels and restaurants, and school attendance will decrease.

    Car assembly plants have already run a similar set of calculations and shut down every single plant in California. There are also many other businesses and manufacturing entities that decided the cumulative costs of doing business in California is just not worth the time, cost, aggravation, potential for fines for “doing it wrong,” lawsuits from almost every direction, and other wonderful aspects of running a business in California.

    What we do have remaining are the ports, especially in Los Angeles and Long Beach. These would, one surmises, be immune from the vagaries of California laws and regulatory burdens. These should be a booming economic engine that bring in goods from overseas. One would surmise wrongly. The ports (called POLA and POLB, pronounced “Pole A” and “Pole B” by the locals…somewhat amusing, I think) are subject to the draconian Air Resources Board, plus its local arm, South Coast Air Quality Management District. Those two august bodies have decided that ships are dirty, smelly, and create pollution. Thus, they have passed laws that make it very costly for the ships to continue to use these particular ports. Laws such as must use shore power when at the dock, cannot burn the usual ship’s fuel oil within a certain distance to land, but a more costly low-sulfur fuel, and must slow down within a certain distance of land.

    Shippers, like farmers, have options. In this case, a new port is in progress down the coast a few hundred miles in Mexico. The organizers are having difficulties, mostly with Mexican regulations and politics, but eventually the port will be built. The Mexican port will have a rail line to move the containers north into the US. Then, California’s days of having enormous economic activity from two of the busiest ports in the nation will be over. The knock-on effects of less port activity includes trucking companies to move the containers from the ports to inland warehouses, the warehouse distribution centers, and railroads to move the containers to destinations throughout the US. Jobs in all those sectors will be lost. But the air will be cleaner. Tourists in Disneyland will be overjoyed.

    What AB 32 is about to do to California is kill the economy. As an economist, I would hope you would agree that increasing the costs of electric power, gasoline, and diesel fuel will increase the costs of almost every person and business. AB 32 requires huge amounts of renewable electric power, low-carbon gasoline (read ethanol at higher levels than before), and low-carbon diesel fuel (which will be bio-diesel). All will be much more expensive. Consumers will have less disposable income, while prices for goods and services must increase if businesses continue to make a profit.

  66. So as I look at the employment map, I see a major military base between LA and San Diego, and some other military bases, with employment.

    No, that green area between LA and San Diego County is Orange County. Notably the most “republican/conservative” county in SoCal. Camp Pendelton Marine Base is just to the south of it and belongs to San Diego County. The only large military base in Orange County, El Toro Marine Base, was closed years ago.

  67. “”” E.M.Smith says:
    May 4, 2010 at 11:01 pm
    Polar Ice Cap says: Don’t know how true this is but it’s from the comments in the link and it doesn’t sound too far-fetched:

    “The California Central Valley accounts for quite a few of the top 20. It is severely stressed due to the cutoff of water Sacramento River “required” due to a lawsuit by the environmental lobby to help a fish — the Delta smelt — of no particular significance. ” […]” — in the San Joaquin Valley.”
    ……………
    ……………

    “”” And I watched farmers convert to crops that were not their dream due to labor costs. As people sat unemployed on the dole watching TV… Farmers can be remarkably passionate about things like peaches or tomatoes. Being pushed into alfalfa against their will can be a real bummer. One good friends dad did that. Wanted a small peach orchard, grew alfalfa… It was a cost issue. “””

    Well E.M. has been closer to the action than I have, and for a longer time; but his Epistle above is the exact picture I am familiar with.

    The wackos rant and rave about farmers spraying poisonous chemicals all over the farm workers. Did you get what E.M. said about maximisng profits; you don’t make any profit from wasting pesticides or herbicides on people. It the weeds and food eating critters you want to spray. Row crops are automated so the crop and the weed area are segregated; so you can spray the weeds, and not the crop. They don’t want the weeds because then they are wasting water growing weeds. I met a chap once who developed an LED multispectral scanner, that went into a sensor head on the weed sprayer. Multicolor LEDs including Infrared, illuminated the ground as the machine moved over it; and most of the time, the returned signal gives a clear signature of ordinary plain dirt; well actually good quality soil.
    So who wants to spray dirt; it’s harmless. Now and then a weed pops up and gives out its characteristic Chlorophyl signature; with a strong infrared reflectance. You know that isn’t a crop plant, because it is not in the crop row; so the spray head zaps that one single weed plant; they ain’t spraying the entire known universe. AS EM said it is profit they are trying to maximise; not the use of pesticides, and herbicides.

    If the stone fruit farmer suddenly is presented with a sudden rain squall, before he has picked his peaches, and nectarines; well he has a problem. In just a few hours he is going to have brown rot, and lose most of his crop; so now he has to choose whether to let the crop go or pay the cost of spraying or dusting; I believe it is yellow sulphur they use. My neighbor grows exotic stone fruit, Citrus, and grapes; table grapes. He waters appropriately and gets his grapes (mostly exotics) nice and fat and juicy with plenty of sugar content; then he and his wife pick and box them twice a week, and then drive them to LA to sell them to long time customers in Santa Monica Farmers Markets. It’s a lot of hard back breaking work for them; but it gets them more profit than selling a few tons of grapes to some wine maker.
    A few years ago; we had a short 30 minute hailstorm from nowhere that hit the bay area with a “gee whiz” where did that come from; with cars slipping and sliding all over the road.
    My neighbor down in the San Joachin; was on his way back from his Saturday trip to the market; when the hail storm went zipping through our neighborhood. I was actually home at the time; so I went over there, and covered up all his raisin papers on the ground with a couple more papers, and weighed them down with a little dirt. He got home about 20 minutes after the hail went through. The raisins I covered were all that survived the hail damage. The next day, another local farmer (white guy) helped him pick his entire table grape crop, and truck it off to a brandy manufacturer. He collected an $800 check for his entire crop; that would normally have netted him a $24,000 return. Yes he had some crop insurance; but for him and his wife; their grape farming was over for the year. He survived and still grows his operation steadily; and the Bay area drivers still slip and slide every time the TV weatherman says”gee whizz; I wonder where that came from.” He does have his own wells; both house and Agriculture; plus he can get water from the canal that goes through my place; well that is when they actually have water in the canal; that’s when I can harvest the crawdads; and sometimes get a bullfrog or two.

    You wouldn’t believe some of the other horror stories from those communities; including that of a family business, that was visited by George W. Bush. They are the largest employer in the region; and their experience with illegal aliens; would make you hair stand on end; I should tell you the founder of the business; was also Ex US Army (WW-II), and also of Mexican Ancestry.

  68. Enneagram (May 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm)

    Did someone tell you where these jobs are going to be created? For sure, far, far away from where you live.

    Our senator, Harry Reid, runs television adds bragging about how many green jobs he’s brought to Nevada. Our unemployment remains one of the highest in the nation. Meanwhile, the envirowackos are standing in opposition of building solar power plants because of their environmental impact and have taken control of the Bureau of Land Management. Most solar plant permits are tied up in environmental red tape. Nevada doesn’t have enough class 5 land to make wind power even remotely feasible. There are no (practically speaking) green jobs in Nevada unless, of course, you define “green job” as any job isn’t directly related to the oil industry. Then most new jobs in Nevada are green jobs. It’s all in the semantics.

  69. Did some more research on where our hard-earned stimulus money has been going to and the amount staying in the U.S. is higher than I expected (well, depending on which report you believe):

    http://greenconomist.com/2010/05/05/news-analysis/wind-energy-where-are-the-jobs-going-and-why.htm

    The major problem I see is that without AB32 to provide some demand visibility, we’re just going to keep losing manufacturing overseas — case in point GE’s new offshore plant to be built in the UK. Come on…

  70. Thanks for some great posts, E. M. Smith, and what’s happening in the US has already happened here in the UK some time ago. Less than 1.2% of population are involved in growing food and mechanisation dominant.

    People adapt to the unfair rules, regs, taxes e.t.c. imposed by bureaucracy and find ways around the systems to maximise income. Outside of agribusiness we have a thriving black-market culture in all areas of commerce, with the government losing out on £b’s in taxes and duty – cash is king.

    We need to get some common sense back into politics fast!

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