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They Don’t Even Clean Out the Flood Control Channels January 29, 2024

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By Paul H. Betancourt KE

I was in San Diego on January 22nd when their thousand-year storm hit. As my train pulled out of the station it really started coming down. By the time we were in Oceanside there was flooding in the streets.

The next day in the paper the Mayor of San Diego is telling everyone, This is what climate change looks like! Two days later people in San Diego started threatening lawsuits against the city. Apparently, a lot of the flooding was due to the fact the city let trash and junk accumulate in the flood control channels. Water backed up and homes got flooded.

(We had similar problems here last year. Lack of maintenance in flood control projects allowed flooding instead of preventing it.)

Lidco Inc.

And therein lies my problem with all the handwringing about climate change. Of course, I want to care for the environment. As a man of faith, I think our responsibility to care for the natural world goes all the way back to the beginning of the book of Genesis in the Bible. We have solar for our home and Sheryl loves her electric car. (I don’t think we can ever get her back into a gas powered car.) But, and this is a big but, I do not support turning over our lives and the economy to the government in the name of any climate ‘crisis’. They have proven repeatedly they are not up to the task.

There were proposals last year that the President declare a climate emergency and rule by executive order. Seriously? Let’s look at the recent pandemic. What did they do during the pandemic that gave you any confidence they are ready for an even larger task? Do they even understand why we have three branches of government? Reading Montesquieu the Founders agreed that is a bad idea to put too much power in one person’s hands. The three-ring circus we see in DC all the time is intentional. The Founders had lived under a monarchy and they really didn’t like the king. There is a famous saying about power and corruption.

So, what can we do? Well, for starters, we are learning there are some places we should not be building homes. If you build them in a forest and there are forest fires… If you build them on the hills of San Diego, make sure there is a place for the water to go. There is an old song about rain in California, but I grew up down there and when it rains it can really rain. It will come as no surprise to those of you who know me, but I was a Boy Scout. What is the Boy Scout motto?- Be Prepared. That is good advice on a personal level and for us as a community.

Before we give the government even more control over our lives let them prove they are up to the task by doing with excellence that which they are already responsible for. It is hard to think of giving more responsibility to the guys who do not keep flood channels maintained or fix the potholes in our streets. I know it makes good political theater when the mayor of a major city ( or governor or president) get up and cry ‘climate change’. But, I am not interested in political theater. I am interested in the administration of good policy on our behalf. That starts with the simpler, mundane and less sexy tasks they already have.

Paul Betancourt farmed full time in the San Joaquin Valley for 38 years and is a Past President of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. In semi-retirement he still farms 27 acres of almonds, is a Lecturer at Fresno State and on staff at La Vina Covenant Church in Kerman.

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