Scientific American provides insight into the Syrian tragedy that we should heed (“Syria’s Climate Refugees”). A drought enhanced by uncontrolled drilling for groundwater, during the reign of President Bashar al-Assad’s father, preceded their crisis. The water tables dropped from 180 feet to more than 2,000 feet within the span of a few decades, and more than 1.5 million farmers were driven into poverty and into urban areas.
Sound familiar? It should, as this is what’s happening in our county. Those who refuse any regulation on pumping water are putting us at risk. Moneyed interests sometimes prevent democratic efforts to govern with policies promoting sustainability. It’s hard to imagine how quickly and how badly these events can turn on us.
Eric Michielssen is a local farmer and proven community leader who understands what must be done to avoid a similar catastrophe in our county. He is running for supervisor in the 5th District. Your vote for Eric is one of the most effective actions you can take to promote sustainability in San Luis Obispo County.
Jim Carlisle, Atascadero