The End of Water
Sasha Abramsky’s “Life on the Wrong Side of the Drought” [August 3/10] is excellent in many ways. His description of people in poverty who suffer from lack of water is priceless.
But alack! He undermines his article with one gargantuan and egregious omission: animal agriculture. California’s meat and dairy industries suck up 47 percent of the state’s water. It’s a staggering amount used for livestock: 4.8 trillion gallons per year, drop by drop by drop. But Abramsky doesn’t drop one word about factory farming in his article. That’s a very huge elephant he’s ignoring.
walnut creek, calif.
The State of California should start aggressively enforcing the public-trust doctrine, a well-established common-law principle that imbues the state with a fiduciary duty to protect public resources (e.g., water) from being wasted or damaged. It is the public-trust doctrine that saved Mono Lake from being drained by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in the ’80s. Three years into the worst drought in 1,200 years, the public-trust doctrine can and must prevent wealthy corporate farms and frackers from sucking dry and contaminating the aquifers that Californians depend on for their drinking water.
This is possibly the best piece I’ve seen so far on the California drought. So many people are in total denial as long as they don’t see the photos of dead orange groves, the Sierra reservoirs dry, etc. I’m a native of Southern California and have seen the pattern over my 57 years; this is far beyond anything in the past.
A Nuclear Double Standard
While many of the points raised in the editorial “Breakthrough With Iran” [August 3/10] are well stated, there is a fundamental aspect that is missing with regard to nuclear proliferation. It is essential to put into perspective that the United States has the world’s largest nuclear stockpile, and I don’t believe that our government allows the regular inspections that it now demands of Iran. Meanwhile, Israel—the only country in the Middle East that has its own nuclear weapons—doesn’t even acknowledge their existence, much less permit inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.