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Just as a quick note and a few links. The brief note is that I’ve been really busy with environmental stuff (developers, climate change, dogs and cats living together…), and we’re getting ready to move house. I’m not even leaving the zip code, but the house search and paperwork has eaten up quite a surprisingly large chunk of time. Getting a yard and a roof that can support solar panels is definitely an upgrade.
In the meantime, On the Public Record has some lovely comments about water markets and the (un)suitability thereof. Here she is speaking on behalf of all the power hungry and ignorant regulators (it’s a plea to stop posturing and make some proposals). Or you might like this post about how regulation of groundwater in California is meeting with growers servicing their short-term self interests (I’m shocked, shocked). Equally shocking is a regulator’s take on how “coequal” environmental and economic uses of water are, at least if you believe in coded language. And last and best, here and here are her reasoned explanations for her opposition to water markets (tl;dr, she doesn’t think they’ll work). Fun stuff. I’d say the last two are the most interesting.
Yesterday, I heard a symposium presentation from an urban ecologist working on the “urban forest” of LA, and trying to make the case about how cool it is. Well, it literally is cool, in the sense of all that potable water keeping the trees alive. I’d be surprised if it’s possible to get an old-growth urban forest, especially one that’s dependent on irrigation and surrounded by overdrafted groundwater. One thing he didn’t tackle–either out of ignorance or, equally likely, out of a strong desire to stay within a particular jargon cloud consistent with his funding sources–was the idea of how urban forests might be characterized in evolutionary terms as the opening shots of symbiotic relationships between humans and the trees we cultivate. Some are ancient commensals (like ginkgo), while many others have only been in cultivation for a few decades, and are basically clonal populations. Personally, I think the urban forest of LA will dry up like Babylon’s Hanging Gardens, probably within 100 years, and its descendants will linger only around a few urban rivers and creeks. But still, it was fun to hear that researchers were finding trees in LA that no one knew were even in the US. Shows how go our agricultural inspection is, I guess.
Hope everyone’s having a good October. Feel free to post news of your own.
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