When it comes to our point of view, the farmers point of view, it's fair to say that when analyzing coverage by the mainstream media we are simply outnumbered. If you click on our website on a daily basis (which you should do to keep up on California water news), you will notice there are often more articles with opposing points of view than there are from those on our side. The fact is that there are just a lot more articles being produced by the 'other' side than there are with the farmer's point of view.
We could pick any number of examples to make our point, but will use two recent stories to show you what we're up against. In our last newsletter (Ag Doesn't Matter) we told you about the Pacific Institute's study showing the drought wasn't such a big deal for San Joaquin Valley farmers. Now, the Pacific Institute isn't exactly a non-partisan think tank. Its President is Dr. Peter Gleick who constantly rants against farm water and is the focus of a former newsletter. This latest story is part of a constant onslaught of news from enviros about Central Valley farming and water. Yesterday's news story which basically concluded that farmers were fine without water during the drought was published in numerous newspapers and there was commentary in several blogs. Here are some of the articles and blogs that published this story:
Farm Jobs Lost? Blame Environmentalists! (Or Not) - New York Times
The California Drought (2007-2009): Myth versus Reality - San Francisco Chronicle
The Flexible Laws of Tough Love - Delta National Park Blog
How State's Farmers Weathered Drought - San Francisco Chronicle
Study Devalues California Drought Impact - Contra Costa Times
Drought Study Refutes Criticism of Environmental Measures - Bakersfield Californian
California Farms Earned Record Revenue During Recent Drought - Bay Citizen
How California Farms Finessed Impacts of Long Drought - New York Times
California Drought Drove Up Energy Costs - Los Angeles Times
Now, this is a story that basically makes the point that droughts don't matter to farmers. They would have us believe that in some ways the drought was actually good for ag. While we're all getting a good laugh out of it, look at all the publications that printed the story and all the people who read it and and now maybe think it doesn't matter how much water ag gets. They continue to reinforce the perception that it's all about big corporate ag that will rape the planet to wring every cent of profit out of the land, and damn the health of the Delta if it gets in our way. They think we can make it on less water and all the complaining about not enough water is mere corporate greed.
For our second example, let's take the opinion pieces on Devin Nunes' H.R. 1837 (The San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act). The Natural Resources Defense Council recently published a list of favorable articles supporting their point of view, which I don't have to tell you isn't our point of view. Here's the list:
State of California Opposition
U.S. Department of the Interior Opposition
Water District Opposition
Tribal, Environmental and Fishing Organization Opposition – Letters:
Editorials & Op-Eds
It's difficult for us to keep up with the propaganda being distributed by all these sources. From government officials at the state and federal level, non-government organizations, newspapers, blogs, etc. there is a constant barrage of information constantly being put out to minimize our side of the water issue. In contrast, here are some of the very few articles written in support of H.R. 1837(You might notice most are done by us):
Who Started the Water Wars? (Families Protecting the Valley)
A Deal Is a Deal! Or Is It? (Families Protecting the Valley)
Sloppy Science (Families Protecting the Valley)
The San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act (Families Protecting the Valley)
Nunes: Senate Democrats Declare Water War (Nunes Blog)
Nunes, McCarthy, Denham Announce Bill Hearing (From Nunes Website)
Nunes Pushes Bill to Boost Water to Valley Farms (Fresno Bee)
It's impossible to overstate the tremendous coverage on these issues given to the opposition. It's totally lopsided. Nevertheless, we continue to fight the good fight and we appreciate all the support you give us to try to hold the line against what are difficult odds. And we believe we are making progress as you can see by all the attention we get from those who are against us.
We are also putting up some new signs around the Valley and will have more information about them for you in an upcoming newsletter.
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