The effects of California’s drought could soon hit the state’s food banks, which serve 2 million of its poorest residents.
Fresh produce accounts for more than half the handouts at Bay Area food banks, but with an estimated minimum of 500,000 acres to be fallowed in California, growers will have fewer fruits and vegetables to donate.
With less local supply, food prices will spike, increasing as much as 34 percent for a head of lettuce and 18 percent for tomatoes, according to an Arizona State University study released last week. With fewer fields planted, there could be as many as 20,000 unemployed agricultural workers who will need more food handouts, especially in the Central Valley.
And what caused this disaster? “Environmentalists”.
The San Joaquin Valley was one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the world until environmentalists created a dust bowl to save a three-inch fish called the Delta smelt.
This little fish, not much bigger than a minnow, suddenly became useful when radical leftists realized they could cut off the water for nearly 25 million people and millions of acres of fertile farmland in the interests of expanding federal control of the environment.
From his courtroom in Fresno, U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger declared saving the fish more important than feeding humans and, citing the Endangered Species Act, in 2007 ordered the pumps watering the valley from the Sacramento River turned off, lest the Delta smelt be disturbed.
Choosing between saving a minnow and watering the nation’s food basket was an easy call. Instead of irrigating crops of fruit, fabric, vegetables and grain, the water from the river was diverted from the farms to the Pacific Ocean.
Families, farmers and some elected officials in the Valley have pleaded with the government to turn the spigots on again. The Valley continues to shed jobs as farms dry up. The environment suffers as the parched earth invites wildfires.
Rather than working to get water to flow into the Valley again, the president offered thirsty Californians only a bailout of $160 million in federal aid. He blames global warming, of course, and his allies in Congress, like Little Sir Echo, dutifully repeat his message.