On Wednesday, July 12, our Congressman Devin Nunes took to the floor of the House of Representatives and made a fool of himself (again – remember Russia, anyone?) (and of us, for electing him to office, repeatedly). Here’s the video.
Nunes was speaking in favor of House Resolution 23, the GROW Act (it passed the House). In it, he chastises the left and environmentalists for letting 92% of water entering the Delta flow out into the Pacific Ocean. An ocean which, he says three times, is allegedly rising due to global warming. In his comments, perhaps meant as sarcasm (it’s not clear whether he was being sarcastic or if he actually believes this), he wonders why anyone would want to add water to already rising seas. At this point, we could devote time to explaining the hydrological cycle to Mr. Nunes, and how all that water had to come from the Pacific Ocean to begin with, before any of it “flushed” back out past the Golden Gate bridge. That, however, is for another time. Perhaps the Congressman’s 6th grade science teacher can send him a reminder.
During his time speaking to a nearly empty House Chamber (hear the echo in the video? but, in his defense, most speeches made before the House are to a near-empty chamber), he held up a photograph of a woman scooping water out of a tank on her patio, because her home has no water. Nunes doesn’t explain how this bill will help her, but chastises the left, as if it’s somehow their fault. He does not credit the picture, which is from this article, originally by Fresno Bee writer Andrea Castillo, which appeared July 30, 2015, at NewsDeeply. He also fails to explain how this project will help her, since her problem is due to dropping water tables under her home in East Porterville. Those water tables are recharged by rain and the Tule River. Delta water does not make it’s way to East Porterville, and increased storage in other parts of California will not raise the aquifer under her home. As far as I can tell, he simply found a poignant image unrelated to the bill before the House, to create a touching photo op.
In his comments, Nunes makes reference to “supposedly severe drought”, and then realizing he should amend that, says “and it was, no question, a severe drought, but…” and then made his comments about letting 46 million acre feet of water be “flushed” out into the ocean. An ocean that is rising due to global warming. He wants to know why anyone would want that. I suppose we should give credit where credit is due, and acknowledge that Nunes has finally come around to accepting that the drought was (is – we’re not certain that our very wet season this year means it’s over) real, and not a machination of evil Democrats in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Progress, even if only baby steps.
I don’t know if more storage is the solution to water shortages or not. I do know that ever-increasing farming of what is essentially a desert has to take into consideration the inherent difficulties in balancing the need for irrigation with the need to protect and preserve delicate ecosystems throughout the state. One doesn’t get to ignore the other, and users have to recognize the needs of all those effected by both drought and abundance.
In an email sent out by Congressman Nunes on Friday, he continued his attacks on environmentalists and Governor Brown. Here’s that email:
Yesterday, in an attempt to convince California lawmakers to renew the state’s dysfunctionalcap and trade program, Governor Jerry Brown called climate change “a threat to human existence.” He instructed lawmakers that their vote on cap and trade would be “the most important vote of your life” and warned of a future “horrible situation that you’re going to see mass migrations, vector diseases, forest fires, [and] Southern California burning up.”
Since the “environmentalists” are forcing California to dump millions of acre-feet of water into the ocean supposedly to benefit the smelt, a three-inch baitfish, I have to wonder whether some of this water might be useful for putting out Brown’s cataclysmic fires.
You may be curious what you can do to avoid such a terrible fate. Conveniently, some academics published an article this week recommending four measures people can take to avoid the global warming apocalypse: have less kids, don’t drive cars, don’t fly on planes, and don’t eat meat.
As environmental extremists continue subjecting us to their absurd doomsday predictions and their preposterous “solutions,” I’m going to have a bite of a gift sent to my office by Rep. David Valadao: smelt-themed cupcakes.”
Included in the email was a picture of cupcakes, with gummy fish garnished on top of the frosting.
Why the “scare quotes” around environmentalists? Are people who value naturally operating ecosystems, and yes, even a 3″ fish, scary to Nunes? Perhaps. An educated constituency is dangerous for many Republicans.
While Nunes has (apparently) accepted the idea of a drought, he hasn’t accepted the overwhelming consensus that climate change is real, and driven by human activity. Anyone who believes in the science is, in his mind, an “environmental extremist”. One baby step forward, but lost in the rearward march of right-wing denial.
We really need to begin considering alternatives to Devin Nunes as our representative. He’s not serving the needs of his constituents, and it’s time to elect someone who will. He’s up for re-election in 2018. Let’s get some fresh perspectives to represent the 22nd District.
Image credit: Screen capture of CSPAN via YouTube, as posted by Representative Devin Nunes