With Mother Nature, we must take human nature into account
Reading the headline for the December 19 edition of Marin IJ, “Above Average Tanks,” I looked further and saw that water officials were considering removing the restrictions. It reminded me of a study I conducted in 1978 for the National Science Foundation to find out how the Bay Area responded to the drought of the late 1970s (published in the journal of the American Water Works Association).
We studied drought policies and the public response to those policies in six Bay Area watershed districts, including Marin County. We measured the effectiveness of policies that increased water supply (e.g., the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge pipeline, more wells, and wastewater treatment) versus those that encouraged water conservation ( such as reducing outdoor watering and shorter showers).
We have found that relying on structural rather than behavioral solutions is much more reliable in the long run. Simply put, placing a brick in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water needed to flush is much more reliable than having people flush the toilet less often. The brick stays in the tank, hunt after hunt, for years as behavior changes come and go with the patience of the public.
Public compliance is rarely a consistent long-term response. Likewise, we don’t need to go beyond the ebb and flow of policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitalizations are increasing and people are avoiding crowds and wearing masks. Hospitalizations are decreasing due to vaccines and strict public compliance and relaxed public policies.
We may be heading towards that stage of relaxation with our drought policies. People are tired of changing their normal behavior and the cycle starts all over again.
Whether it’s the Sailor’s health worker requiring you to venture out only with a mask or the water district requiring you to stop watering your lawn, structural solutions like a bang in the arm or a brick in the backs. toilets are really the only long term solutions. to the whims of Mother Nature.
– Mark Hoffman, San Rafael
Financing agricultural land is not a priority for Marin
Unlike the recent ode to West Marin farming by political columnist IJ Dick Spotswood (“The Value of MALT as a Protector of Measure A of Farm Fuels Supervisors,” December 19), the county is foolishness to continue to invest unnecessarily to “protect” this land. . I think climate change will make the region unsustainable for agriculture in most of our lives.
Either way, I think West Marin will be protected by state Williamson law and Marin’s zoning limitations on residential density limiting new buildings to one house per 60 acres. These protections make the financing of measure A a rat hole for our money. It is reckless and superfluous to our real critical and essential needs.
The renewal of measure A is a waste of public taxes. This additional funding did not go to deferred maintenance, but to the unnecessary growth of programs and projects. This money should be reallocated to affordable housing, homelessness issues and mental health needs. I think Measure A only launders regressive tax money from the poor to wealthy landowning families in West Marin. They have become professional public fundraisers.
Not so long ago, members of the board of directors of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust were allowed to vote for costly easements for their families. It should never have happened.
There is no guarantee of permanence in agricultural easements. These are only renegotiable contractual agreements between the two parties. These are changing and empty promises at too high a price. I think it’s money taken from the needy and given to the needy.
Marin needs new priorities. Marin must do better.
– Randall Knox, San Rafael
Trump had a low approval rating during his tenure
I am writing about Rich Cairns letter to the editor published on December 19 with the headline “Newsom Keeps State Failure”. Cairns hinted that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s landslide victory over the effort to recall him from office revealed 38% voter dissatisfaction and that means he should be removed from office.
This startling statement immediately reminded our former President Donald Trump, who was escorted to office with 46.1% of the vote (against 48.2% for his opponent), never achieved even 50% approval in four. long years and left office with an approval. 34% rating.
Not only has Trump kept his job, much of his Republican Party seems determined to run him again as a candidate in 2024. The hypocrisy is overwhelming and unintentionally hilarious.
– Stephen Lees, Novato