Union Democrat staff

Most of our water goes to farming

To the Editor:

We hear about the drought every day. The government is always harping on the residents to conserve.

The interesting facts are that residential and business water usage in California is only 11 percent of the water. The remainder goes to farming and environmental uses. The environmental use is somewhat farming related also.

Why is it the farming usage never conserves? They could be doing drip instead of flooding and evaporating so much wasted water. If they would reduce their wasting by 10 percent that would be the same as residential cutting 80 percent.

Maybe more reservoirs should be built. We have a full workforce, unemployed, jail and prison workers, welfare people. If the government would work on and complete a solution in between droughts maybe we would not have them. The last one was 1993, what has been accomplished since then?

One more thing, where is the group that wanted to remove the Hetch Hetchy dam? I suppose it would not be a popular idea right now.

John Powell


Greenhouse gas emissions are up

To the Editor:

Regarding Michael Ackley's letter about global warming, I'm in agreement that global warming has been a cyclical event in the planet's history. The problem is, he doesn't carry his discussion any further. The danger, now, is the current cycle may cease to recycle. The current event is fed by man-made causes which didn't exist as factors in previous events.

From the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century, we have fed increasing amounts of emissions into the Earth's atmosphere. In the past 50 years the amounts emitted have gone from 1,000 metric tons a year to over 6,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and methane a year. These are measurable amounts, not some fantasies dreamed up by "manipulative" politicians and scientists with an agenda. These particles accumulate in the atmosphere and form a curtain that causes heat to be reflected back to Earth, rather than be allowed the escape back into space. It is as simple as that.

Common sense should tell us that if these numbers are sustained, or allowed to continue to increase, there will be serious consequences.

The concern is that we may soon reach a critical point in atmospheric pollution wherein it becomes a permanent shroud resulting in the Earth becoming a planet that will no longer support life.

Mahlon Conly

Twain Harte