[env-trinity] Salmon Water Now Video Exposes Corruption in California Water Politics
danielbacher at fishsniffer.com
Tue Dec 15 08:35:49 PST 2009
I encourage everybody concerned about the destruction of
California's salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass and other
fisheries by corporate agribusiness and southern California water
interests to watch and share this superb new video, "Science,
Politics and Salmon." You can watch the video on: YouTube: http://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc5LC3HGWgE&fmt=18 or Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/
Salmon Water Now Video Exposes Corruption in California Water Politics
by Dan Bacher
SalmonWaterNow.org has just released a superb new video: "Science,
Politics, and Salmon," the best documentary I've seen yet on the real
reason for the collapse of Central Valley salmon runs - massive water
exports from the California Delta to subsidized corporate
agribusiness. I encourage everybody concerned about the destruction
of California's salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, striped bass and other
fisheries by agribusiness and southern California water interests to
watch and share this video.
"What does it take to get to the truth?" asks the video's producer,
Bruce Tokars. "How hard is it to come up with a scientifically sound
explanation for the disastrous decline of Pacific salmon?"
"The San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento Delta have been studied
over and over again," emphasizes Tokars. "The science seems pretty
clear. Salmon and other species that depend on a healthy mix of salt
and fresh water have been seriously hurt by excessive water
diversions. Put simply, not enough fresh water is flowing through The
Delta and San Francisco Bay because it is being sent to big growers
in the Central Valley."
Tokar notes that inadequate fresh water flows because of natural
drought are made worse by big agriculture’s never-ending demands for
more and more water. Water for crops is planted on selenium-filled,
drainage-impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley
that never should have been irrigated.
"Add politics to the mix and you have a clear path to the decline of
salmon and plenty of other species," he says. "This video shows how
big money, big agriculture, and political contributions have
prostituted the work of government scientists."
The information disclosed in the video offers a good counterpoint to
the recent report, "California Water Myths," by the Public Policy
Institute of California (PPIC), funded by Stephen P. Bechtel, Jr.,
the Gap's Fisher Family and other corporate interests, that tries to
dismiss the key role that sufficient flows of water play must play in
the restoration of salmon and other fish populations.
The Bechtel-funded report claims that it is a "myth" that "more water
will lead to healthy fish populations."
"In reality, more water alone is rarely sufficient to restore a fish
population," the Bechtel-funded report claims. "Water that has the
wrong temperature, nutrients, or sediment may harm fish, and so can
water without sufficient habitat. Supporting native fish will require
strategies that account for the complexities of aquatic ecosystems."
Of course, fish restoration requires a variety of "strategies,"
including dam removal, habitat restoration, the reduction of
pollution and other actions. However, the foundation of any
restoration program, before anything else can happen, is the
restoration of water flows in a system. The Bechtel-funded scientists
that wrote the report seem to forget that "Fish don't swim in
promises - they swim in water," as Zeke Grader, executive director of
the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations (PCFFA) says.
The Bechtel-funded scientists include many of the same U.C. Davis
folks who last July recommended the construction of the peripheral
canal, an enormously expensive boondoggle that will inevitably lead
to increased water exports from northern California and the Delta, as
the "solution" to solving the Delta's ecological problems.
Ellen Hanak, director of "research" at PPIC and the recent report's
co-author, states, "It’s essential to move beyond myth as population
growth and climate change put even more pressure on our resources.”
However, by dismissing the key role sufficient water flows play in
fish restoration, Hanak and the other Bechtel-funded scientists
appear to be embracing the myth spread by corporate agribusiness-
funded astroturf groups that everything other than water exports is
responsible for fish declines.
The video features the latest information on "Resnickgate," the huge
scandal developing over the corruption of California politics through
huge contributions of agribusiness billionaire Stewart Resnick, owner
of Paramount Farms in Kern County, to Senator Dianne Feinstein,
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and other corporate
Democrats. The video documents how the "limousine liberal" Resnick,
who made millions and millions of dollars selling subsidized water
back to the public at enormous profit to himself, has successfully
pressured Feinstein to attack protections under the Endangered
Species Act for imperiled Sacramento River chinook salmon, Central
Valley steelhead, green sturgeon, the southern resident population of
killer whales and Delta smelt.
Feinstein, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who collectively have received hundreds of
thousands of dollars from Resnick for their political campaigns, are
also pushing for a peripheral canal and the destruction of the Bay-
Delta Estuary in order to benefit Resnick and other rich corporate
agribusiness tycoons at the expense of fish, fishermen, coastal
communities, California Indian Tribes, Delta family farmers and
environmental justice communities.
You can watch the new video on: YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=Gc5LC3HGWgE&fmt=18 or Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/8163239
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