Letters to the Editor

Ed Staley: Let city dwellers eat concrete

Re “Would state endure amid megadrought?” (Page A1, Oct.8): I just finished reading the article and midway through it I picked up a “Let them eat cake” attitude. No wonder. It must be a reprint from the Los Angeles Times. Right on.

When writer Bettina Boxall discussed how they were not growing grass or creating “Versailles” type architecture anymore to save water, this had to be a city-dweller’s theory of conservation. I was disappointed not to read about the simplistic turning off the water while we brush our teeth! Then, with royal-like indifference, our friends who grow pavement said, “Some farm communities would turn into ghost towns,” she wrote. The writer quoted UC’s Daniel Sumner saying, “For a while, poor people would get a lot poorer throughout the Central Valley. Then they’d move.”

The crowning remark came as listing the agricultural production and food processing here make up “only about 4 percent of California’s overall economy.” I seriously doubt that number, but even if it is true, try eating concrete for lunch. Why doesn’t the downsized Modesto Bee write an original story about us in the agricultural north instead of reprinting specious words from L.A.?

Ed Staley, Modesto

Editor’s note: The Bee has written dozens of stories about the drought, groundwater overdrafting and its effects on farming and business throughout the region. The number provided for agriculture’s contribution to California’s overall economy, 4 percent, is correct.