Let’s count the word choices in this huge New York Times feature article:
California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth
The state’s history as a frontier of prosperity and glamour faces an uncertain future as the fourth year of severe shortages prompts Gov. Jerry Brown to mandate a 25 percent reduction in non-agricultural water use.
By ADAM NAGOURNEY, JACK HEALY and NELSON D. SCHWARTZ APRIL 4, 2015
LOS ANGELES — For more than a century, California has been the state where people flocked for a better life — 164,000 square miles of mountains, farmland and coastline, shimmering with ambition and dreams, money and beauty. It was the cutting-edge symbol of possibility: Hollywood, Silicon Valley, aerospace, agriculture and vineyards.
But now a punishing drought — and the unprecedented measures the state announced last week to compel people to reduce water consumption — is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been this state’s driving engine has run against the limits of nature.
The 25 percent cut in water consumption ordered by Gov. Jerry Brown raises fundamental questions about what life in California will be like in the years ahead, and even whether this state faces the prospect of people leaving for wetter climates — assuming, as Mr. Brown and other state leaders do, that this marks a permanent change in the climate, rather than a particularly severe cyclical drought. …
To find out what is to blame for this state of affairs, I hit CTRL-F and looked up how often various words are used in this article:
Lawns – 9 usages
Development / Developers – 7
Golf – 3
Turf – 2
Showers – 2
Gardens – 1
Swimming pool – 1
Burbling fountains – 1
Immigration / Immigrants – 0
Of course, in reality, agriculture uses up 80% of the water in California, including wasting it on absurd monsoon crops like rice. So maybe the 80/20 rule suggests agriculture should be where the bulk of cutbacks should come from. But hiring unskilled illegal aliens to do stoop laborer has traditionally been a major engine of California’s demographic transformation, so Californians must take shorter and fewer showers to ensure that landowners can still haul in enough middle school dropouts from south of the border to ensure that California’s NAEP test scores stay low in future generations.
But never mind all that, the real villains remain Ozzie with his lawn and Harriet with her garden. Of course, non-Hispanic whites in California are down from 15.9 million in 1980 to 15.1 million and 39.0% of the population in 2013, but the liability of white golfers is where attention should be focused. Nonwhites tripled from 7.8 million in 1980 to 23.7 million today, but they are Good so their growth can’t have anything to do with the water shortage. Don’t you understand Science?