16 Oct 2010

Flashback: 11 -- 17 Oct

These were relevant a year ago -- and still are...

2009 Nobel Prizes to Ostrom (institutions) and Williamson (transactions costs) are VERY relevant to water.

My First Publication! "The End of Abundance: How Water Bureaucrats Created and Destroyed the Southern California Oasis." I am now starting a paper on conflict that draws on this article (that drew on my dissertation).

Water Resource Center Archive -- It's moving to UC Riverside. I'm not clear that this move is saving any money, but it is sure disruptive. Some insiders tell me that it's the result of incompetent management by the Dean of Research at UC Berkeley.

Kill Two Birds, Please! -- Forget the soda tax. Stop subsidizing corn that gets turned into HFCS. Oh, and the irony in 2010 is that the ethanol program is driving up the price of corn. Maybe we'll switch back to sugar? But that 's expensive because of government policies that block sugar trade to protect American farmers. This is the worst nexus of clusterfucked government policies that I've ever come across, and I haven't even started with the problems from groundwater depletion and water pollution. TRIPLE FAIL.

Water Right Priority Enforcement (or lack thereof). Is the SWRCB starting to enforce priority yet?

Poll Results -- Do we live in sustainable communities? -- No. And not much being done to change that.

Why Do People Buy Evil Cotton? A student post that elicited 20 comments. In the course of doing research for my book, I came to this conclusion:
Some [Indian] farmers escape [crop failure] by suicide. While it's true that BT cotton can fail badly when the rains fail, it's not true that BT cotton is the only culprit... About 17,000 Indian farmers commit suicide each year, about 15 percent of total Indian suicides. Since 60 percent of India's population are farmers, that means that farmer's suicide rate is only one-quarter of the non-farmer rate.

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