Monday, October 15, 2007

Water Water Everywhere

Today I was feeling a little sick of all the bad, bad songs playing on the radio, so I turned the dial to NPR. (I like news and am very likely a news/news blog junkie, but unlike everyone else I know, I am not an NPR junkie. In fact, I think I may have been peer-pressured into adding NPR to my pre-select buttons, because I can count on one hand the number of times that I've listened to NPR in the past six months. I don't know if this says more about me, in that I will listen to top 40 radio over listening to NPR, or if it says more about my friends in that they peer-pressured me to do something extremely nerdy. But I digress.)

One of the stories that caught my attention quickly was about the water shortage we're currently experiencing in California. According to NPR, the water shortage is the worst California has experienced in fifteen years. In fact, I clearly remember that drought 15 years ago. It lasted from 1987-1992, and it's very clearly imprinted in my memory, because as Californians, we were exhorted to do everything we could to conserve water. We were advised to turn off the tap while we brushed our teeth, to cut back on watering our lawn, to take shorter showers, to use the run off from our showers to water our plants. And of course, who could forget, the little rhyme, "If it's yellow let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."

And yet, this time, no one seems to be mentioning any of this. Californians are not being called upon to conserve water. We are not being asked to only water our lawns in the early mornings, or to use low-flow shower heads. I remember, 15 years ago, Californians bragged about the latest technique they employed to save water. This go around, it's all different. Many Californians are barely aware of our water crisis, and we certainly aren't being called upon to help our beautiful state.

Why is that? Why are public officials so afraid to ask us to DO something for our state or for our country? Why are they afraid of asking us to rally behind a cause? Do they really think that Californians are so shallow that we would kick an elected official out of office simply because he asked us to take shorter showers?

1 comment:

ScienceMama said...

I'm currently watching the documentary "The War" about WWII, and it's amazing the comparison between the way that civilians worked for the war effort during WWII. But these days people just put a yellow ribbon sticker on the back of their Hummer and call it good.