Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pricing water

In his ToT today, Howard Mechanic stumps for more rational pricing of effluent water to help balance revenues and address our water-mining problem. He sensibly takes a bite that's small enough for the average reader to chew, but we will need to go farther, of course.

Pricing is the most effective and arguably the easiest method for encouraging conservation and rational use of water, and it is vastly underused here given the magnitude of the problem we face.

As we wind up into the council election, I'd like to see a public debate on pricing that includes big changes in favor of conservative use. (We'll also need to look hard at legislation that will allow us to keep what we conserve for the future — there are some legal complications that need addressing.) If we can price water according to something like its real value, what we give up in green lawns we will more than get back in secure water resources into the future.

Another waste-of-time debate

Today we have yet another letter (this one from Noel Dusek) in the endless and pointless debate over whether the Founders were Xtians. There's nothing new here, again, and as usual the argument is pitched over utterly irrelevant ideas.

The Enlightenment Xtians of the 18th century had very little in common with the deranged evangelicals of today, so it's more than a little silly for today's extremists to cite the professed faith of the signers of the Constitution as proof that the US was meant to be a "Christian nation." But it's also silly to debate them on that ground, because it's completely irrelevant.

Whatever their individual choices of faith, the men who debated and signed the Constitution agreed that there should never be a state religion here. That says conclusively that they put rational governance above their own superstition and understood the value of that. This is, by the way, a hallmark of Enlightenment thought.

Like Mormons reading the obits, evangelicals want to draft the Founders onto their team to support their aspirations to Xtian dominionism and a religious state.

So for gad's sake quit debating whether the Founders were deists or whatever. We have the document that they hammered out and agreed on. We know them by their fruits.