I can’t help it. The libertarian local weekly free rag, run by a former restaurant guy who hasn’t read the outline of any course on journalism, loves to wax about personal responsibility and the failure of collective solutions in everything. Yet on water, where Montecito has among the most dire situations in the state, the vast majority of column inches have been given over to collective solutions that need (gasp!) bond issues approved to be executed.
So I wrote this and submitted. Sharing with you here. Just want you to see my snarky side. And I don’t know why.
The current water situation demands we all look at the full range of options available, and Bob Hazard’s preference for desalinization begs a number of questions, given the Journal’s usual position on personal responsibility and aversion to collective solutions.
The clear personal action called for is to adapt our landscaping to what looks great and is appropriate to the geography of our community. That would mean no irrigation for other than food or commercial benefit. Alternatives to lawns that are visually appealing and can be played and enjoyed are many. Implementing them will generate as much employment as lawn care does now.
Yet the Journal has not called upon Montecito residents to take these actions. Nor has it suggested that the community beautification awards value water conservation. I call on you to consider these options for response, and give them the kind of inches of coverage that you have given to the collectivized publicly funded solution that Bob Hazard has advocated.
To his credit, he has mentioned some desal schemes that have been privately funded. Yet none have been suggested for local consideration. Why is collective or socialized cost appropriate with water yet not with virtually every other social issue considered in your pages?
And there has been little if no coverage of the issue and policies of private water systems and wells, which draw upon the water resource of the whole drainage area- a natural collective exploited by some. How many of each of these are there in the bounds of the MWD for instance?
Another interesting aspect of the issues covered in your pages is your failure to note, much less explore the irony that the gas availability from the use of fracking technology has lowered carbon emissions dramatically in this country; a conundrum for environmentalists as well as the bane of coal producers whose complaints about political attacks against their industry ignore the facts about market pricing of energy. I think your are missing a real opportunity here!
Water and energy are fundamental, yet complex aspects of our way of life. Neither has been the result of individual innovation or technology alone. Our needs now and in the future will not be served by ideologically driven policies. Rather pragmatic technical, economic and social inquiries and transparent processes to arrive at solutions that will serve going forward need to be explored and debated. May your future issues give wider and fuller exposure on these issues.
Thanks for your service! I find it worth every penny I pay for it.