Whenever I get in a panic about climate change, economic collapse, or peak oil, I refer to "the Zombies" as shorthand for the worst-case societal collapse scenario. As depicted in some bad movie, or a scene from Cormac McCarthy's The Road, the desperate bad guys turn into zombies who over-run our cities and destroy our children before our eyes.
The latest drought warnings had me awake one night. That's it, I thought, the collapse is upon us, my children will get eaten by the zombies and I am too weak to protect them.
I can usually count on friend and reader Alison C. to provide some reassuring good sense online. My husband is another stabilizing force, offline.
Today the Los Angeles Times adds some context. It appears that the folk who want to circumvent environmental laws are the ones shouting loudest about this so-called worst-ever drought. They want to build canals and siphon even more water away from our rivers - damn the fish. However, the drought is not actually the worst ever, and this month's rain is making it better.
Of course we need to behave sensibly about our water. Let's hope L.A. isn't just trying to get out of changing its ways around water use. I am willing to reorganize our life to cope. I would install a graywater system. I would consider a compost toilet. I would research a cistern to capture run-off for summer watering needs.
As a state, we should reconsider growing cotton and almonds in the desert.
Alison suggests I read Cadillac Desert. She says the first chapter is bombast but the rest is a very good explanation of the whole agriculture, water project and fish nexus in our state.
The zombies are not going to roam the streets of Oakland, drinking blood for lack of water. Not this year.
But turn off the spigots! We still need to conserve.