See Salt. See Salt Run.

I’ve been thinking a lot about water lately. I read an article about surviving in the wilderness (hey…I drive a Jeep Wrangler…it could happen) and the very first thing they recommend was to find a source of clean water. Not shelter. Not food. Not a phone. Water. Apparently, you can go weeks without food, but not very long without liquids. So it positively mystifies me that California is in the fix they’re in. Let me explain…

California is, for better or worse, hugely important to the global food supply. They’re responsible for a huge chunk of fruits and vegetables produced in the USA, and (I had a hard time believing this, living in Texas) they have more horses in Cali than we do in the Lone Star State. (!) In short, there’s what we THINK about California (LA, San Francisco, San Diego) and then there’s the REST of the state (which is the important part).

California has a problem – massive growth over the last 20 years (where do you think a huge percentage of illegals go?) but almost no eye towards a sane water policy to keep up with that growth. In fact, the Republicans tried to pass several bills that would address the problem, but they were voted down by the Dems. (Nice job, morons.) So in the past two decades, we’ve seen explosive growth, no new dams, and a water policy that can be summed up by the words “we hope a disaster doesn’t occur.” Brilliant.

Now if we look to our energy overlords friends from Saudi Arabia, they’ve got a water problem, too. (Duh. Desert.) So they’ve spent billions to build desalinization plants to convert plentiful salt water into drinking water. Genius. Now these plants are expensive. But when you need water, they aren’t really an option, but a necessity. So why hasn’t the People’s Republik of Kalifornia built some?

Turns out, one municipality has. But just before it went online back in the 70’s the drought du jour ended with some massive rainfalls that negated the need for it. So they mothballed it, green screens and floppy disk controllers and all. Recently, they’ve talked about bringing it back online, and that has the environmentalist all up in arms.

Wait a minute. Environmentalists? What…we’re supposed to demand “free-range” water, or something? This is a joke, right? Did Gwyneth Paltrow convince you clowns that water has feelings? Sheesh…

No. It’s worse than that. When you suck the minerals (salts) out of sea water to get fresh water, you’re left with…brine. (Yeah…and?) And the ecoNazis are all a twitter (hashtag: #tinfoilhatbrigade) that putting the brine back into the ocean will harm the fragile balance of the sea. They also claim it takes more energy to desalinize water than to get water from other sources. Okay, that makes sense…right up until all the other sources dry up (no pun intended, but I’m good with it either way).

Apparently, these mental giants skipped science class when we learned about “dilution,” and econ class when they talked about “supply and demand.”

I’m also thinking about the time I was walking in the mall with my daughter, and she was accosted by some young, middle-Eastern entrepreneur, trying to sell her on some kind of facial scrub, made with the wholesome goodness of sea salt. “How do they make sea salt?” you may ask. (Glad you asked.) Um, they have giant trays they fill with sea water, and allow it to evaporate, leaving the salts. And people pay good money for sea salt.

Now I’m not a scientist. But I’m thinking there’s a by product of desalinization that sounds remarkably similar to the end product of folks producing sea salt. Trying to connect the dots here…

Maybe it’s a plot by the Morton people (Big Salt?) to deny California entry into the lucrative salt markets. I’m sure that’s it. Couldn’t be stupid politicians, who’d rather spend billions they don’t have, giving it to a U.S. Senator’s husband to build a train to nowhere, instead of spending billions they don’t have to save the farmers and residents of the state. Yep. Must be Big Salt’s fault. Meanwhile, California goes thirsty, and it’s only a matter of time before they have to armor-up the Sparkletts and Ozarka trucks, and put armed guards around private swimming pools.

As for me, I’m glad I’m not in California. Texas suits me just fine. Think I’ll mosey on down to the kitchen and fix myself some breakfast, seasoned with sea salt. Then it’s back to the salt mines. Heh.

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