Climate scientist Michael Mann wrote an Op Ed in the LA Times, On the climate crisis, delay has become the new form of denial. The Op Ed has many concepts that resonate with what is happening with California water management. Mann argues:
One can no longer credibly deny that climate change is real, human-caused, and a threat to our civilization. That means that the forces of inaction — the fossil fuel interests and the front groups, organizations and mouthpieces-for-hire they fund — have been forced to turn to other tactics in their effort to keep us dependent on fossil fuels.
These tactics include deflection (focusing attention entirely on individual behavioral change so as to steer the societal discourse away from a discussion of the needed policies and systematic changes), division (getting climate advocates fighting with each rather than speaking with a united voice), and the promotion of doomism (convincing some climate advocates that it’s too late to do anything anyway).
But the D-word du jour is delay. And we’ve become all too familiar with the lexicon employed in its service: “adaptation,” “resilience,” “geoengineering” and “carbon capture.” These words offer the soothing promise of action, but all fail to address the scale of the problem.
In California water management, we can no longer credibly deny that aquatic ecosystems are being devastated, and fish are going extinct. But water agencies and front groups like the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta are using deflection (focusing on habitat restoration to steer discourse away from a discussion of needed changes in California water management), division, and doomism (because of climate change, fish will go extinct anyway.)
And just as in the climate wars, the D-word du jour in the California water wars is delay. And the same lexicon of adaptation and resilience is being used to offer the soothing promise of action, while utterly failing to address the scale of the problem.