drought

California's severe drought could become new Dust Bowl; 'Agonizing death' for farmers

Wednesday, March 05, 2014 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: severe drought, Dust Bowl, California

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
FDA targets Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for sharing health benefits of coconut oil
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Whooping cough outbreak at Massachusetts high school affected only vaccinated students
Inuit Elders tell NASA Earth Axis Shifted
Vaccine flu shots still contain 25 micrograms mercury - 100 times the concentration of 'mercury-loaded' fish
Measles outbreak likely caused by vaccinated children, science shows
Baby formula is loaded with GMOs - Avoid these brands
Extreme trauma from male circumcision causes damage to areas of brain
Terminal stage IV lung cancer patient miraculously cured by cannabis oil
Costco stops selling antibiotic laden chicken in response to consumer demand
FDA cracks down Walmart, GNC, other companies selling supplements that do not contain the herbs on the label
McDonald's french fries found to contain Silly Putty ingredient and petroleum chemical

Delicious
(NaturalNews) The worst drought in at least a century threatens to reduce California's agricultural industry to ruin, possibly creating a new Dust Bowl.

According to the White House's top science and technology adviser, the western United States is suffering from the worst dry spell in 500 years. The drought's effect on California in particular has national implications: California is the top farming state in the United States, producing one-third of the country's fruits and vegetables.

California is suffering from its worst drought in at least 100 years, which Governor Jerry Brown has called an "unprecedented" emergency. Statewide, agriculture is a $44.7 billion business. In the Central Valley, California's agricultural heartland, almost 40 percent of all jobs are agriculture-related.

"It's really a crisis situation," said Kenneth McDonald, city manager of Firebaugh, a Central Valley city. "And it's going to get worse in time if this drought doesn't alleviate."

If the state's agricultural industry fails, cities like Firebaugh may end up as ghost towns, McDonald warned.

"It's going to be a slow, painful process -- but it could happen," McDonald said. "It's not going to be one big tsunami where you're gonna having something get wiped out in one big wave. It's gonna be a slow, painful, agonizing death."

A national problem

Federal agricultural officials have designated disaster areas in 11 separate states, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah, particularly noting the economic strain that the drought has placed on agricultural workers. In an attempt to mitigate this strain, President Obama has announced a $15 million assistance plan for farmers and ranchers in California and the Southwest to implement water conservation.

"The truth of the matter is that this is going to be a very challenging situation this year, and frankly, the trend lines are such where it's going to be a challenging situation for some time to come," Obama said.

As part of the $956 million farm bill, Congress has allocated $100 million in livestock-disaster aid to California ranchers. Another $60 million will be allocated to areas of the state most affected by the drought and to food banks serving drought-affected communities. In a visit to the Central Valley, Obama also announced measures designed to reduce water usage by federal facilities in California, including a moratorium on new non-essential landscaping projects.

In the same visit, Obama also announced a plan to ask Congress for a $1 billion "climate resilience fund" to help communities cope with a changing climate. However, analysts predict that passing such a bill will be an uphill battle, due to Republican reluctance to approve increased spending, or any bill implying that global warming is an undisputed reality.

Political controversy

Indeed, the drought and its effects have generated a number of political controversies on both the state and federal levels. In California, politicians, the media and farming groups are promoting a narrative that pits farmers against environmental protections. The House of Representatives recently embraced this narrative, voting to roll back environmental laws and to halt restoration of the dried-up San Joaquin river in order to restore salmon populations. The bill is opposed by Democrats and environmental advocates, who warn that the bill would not actually alleviate water shortages but do severe environmental harm. The White House has threatened to veto the bill.

In response to the House bill, California's senators have teamed up with Senate Democrats to propose an alternative bill. This bill would designate $300 million for emergency drought relief, water conservation, upgrading municipal water systems and accelerated environmental review of water projects.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.nbcnews.com

http://www.foxnews.com

http://www.witn.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.