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So, what’s your number?

Exceptional Drought
Exceptional Drought
The National Drought Mitigation Center

California is suffering from a drought in 2014. Nothing new here. California has suffered from droughts for centuries and will for centuries into the future. California is mostly a desert after all, something that most people forget with all that's been paved over.

Droughts are common.

The water shortage has some people behaving erratically. “Twitter tattletales” and other not so alliterative terms like “drought-shaming” are the new busybody activity in the Golden (brown) State.

It also can rain very hard in California. I remember laughing at a response Johnny Carson gave to David Letterman after he retired to southern California from The Tonight Show. "How's it going?" Letterman asked by telephone. "Great," Carson responded. "The mudslides are putting out all the forest fires." (rimshot)

California is ranked 40th of all the states in annual precipitation with an average of 22.2 inches a year. And, as you already know, California ranks first in population with 38.3 million people.

And, it is the population of California that makes the weather matter. In 1900 California’s population was approximately 1.5 million people. By mid century it was 10.5 million. By 2000 it had grown to 34 million and is currently officially estimated at 38.3 million.

I say “estimated” because the 2010 Census count, at least in California, is suspect for the reason that a very large number of illegal aliens went unreported.

I know this because of what happened during the Census. The orders were to count everyone, illegal alien or not. The problem was that the illegals, most of them, didn’t want to be counted. They didn’t want to talk to anybody from the government. I heard continual reports from various enumerators that Spanish speaking people refused to cooperate. They didn’t want to answer questions, however benign. The workers knew where the pockets of illegal aliens were located and had interpreters available for almost every language, certainly Spanish, and they were hardly requested.

One story I heard repeatedly was that after a knock on the door a young teenager would answer, speaking perfectly good English, and then would tell the parent(s) in Spanish or English that a census taker was there. These anchor babies knew very well what was going on and how harmless it was to answer Census questions and would explain it to the parent(s) in English and Spanish. But, frequently the parent would walk over and simply push the door shut without a word, leaving the kids with a slightly embarrassed look on their face.

There is no way to estimate the undercount in California, but it has to have been substantial.

What’s the connection between a flawed census and a drought?

California’s water demands are population driven. As the population grows, from internal migration, legal immigration and illegal aliens, the demands on the limited water grows, obviously.

Whenever I talk to someone about the problems of illegal immigration and get some smart-aleck response about how illegal immigration doesn’t matter I ask, “So, what’s your number?”

"Huh? What?” they inevitably respond.

The conversation usually continues like this:


What’s your optimum population number for the country and the state? Because there are at least 4 million illegal crossings a year into our country. The country's population is estimated to grow to 500 million, that’s half a billion, people by 2050, only 36 years off. So, what’s your number?” (Innocent shrug.)


You’re racist, man!” (Fleeing.)

Et cetera.

One would think that environmentalists like, oh, the Sierra Club, would be concerned about the environmental problems of population growth and mass immigration, since that is where all of America’s population growth is coming from, but…no.

Now, some estimate California’s real population at closer to 45 million people. Some have said we’re closer to 50 million than the official number of 38 million.

The investment banking firm of Bear Stearns estimated in 2005 that there were 20 million illegal aliens in the United States. That was nine years ago! Anybody today who is using the 11 million number for illegal aliens is either stupid or corrupt. Don’t believe the number, don’t believe them.

Whatever the official population number, it is inflated by illegal immigration which puts demands on infrastructure and exacerbates the drought.

Here’s a little challenge. Try to find a story in the mainstream media tying California’s drought woes to population growth, let alone illegal immigration.

And, if anybody tries to "drought shame" you, bring up the immigration thing. Have some fun with it. Don't forget to shrug, innocently.

Good luck.


You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. --Winston Churchill


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