Greenie?!

by Curt Burnett on November 17, 2011

Today I heard for the first time that some of my readers consider me a “greenie”.  After getting over the shock of hearing that I have any readers at all (and you both know who you are), I tried to think just what a greenie might be. With no clear definition and only the vague sense that it isn’t a compliment, I’ve decided to repeat some of the things that I do believe, at least in the narrow context of water use. So here’s a list, in no particular order:

1) Agriculture, like manufacturing, is a bedrock part of the American economy. As a nation we should never neglect or take for granted our agricultural bounty. It’s a tough business even in the best of times and we should be grateful that anybody wants to do it for us.

2) There is no shortage of water, and there never will be. There is a growing shortage in numerous places of usable water, in the right spots, right quality, at the right price or pumping cost, and so on.

3) Waste is bad, efficiency is good. Efficiency comes from the creative application of human knowledge to eliminate waste.

4) One of the better slogans I’ve ever heard is often used by the Irrigation Association (http://www.irrigation.org/ ) of which we’re a member: “More Crop Per Drop.” That kind of says it in a nutshell.

5) Here’s another pithy saying: “That which can’t go on forever, won’t”.  There are some water use practices in some places that will come to an end sooner or later, regardless of any regulatory activity or lack of it. For instance, when ancient water in very dry places is gone, it’s gone (for our lifetimes, at least).

6) We think that American agriculture as a whole is the quintessential learning industry, constantly developing in its ability to acquire information and to use that information to produce more with less. We hope we can do our little part to help out.

How green is that?

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