30 August 2014

Astroturf™: A Modest Proposal

Well, I'm stuck in California, where there's a severe drought in progress that, in reality, shows little chance of abatement (despite hopes for potential relief this fall from El NiƱo). It's gone so far that even the California legislature has noticed and actually done something, even if it's very much a case of trying the close the barn door after the horses have left. And the barn has burned down.

Indian Wells, California, golf courseBut it's worth taking a closer look at a photograph I might have used to illustrate that story on the legislature taking some action. One would think it would be illustrated by farmland, perhaps a wasteful wide-cast irrigation system running in the heat of the day (when even more water will be wasted through simple evaporation... and the plants may be harmed through lens effects from water droplets). But as noted, the legislature has at least begun to address part of that issue. Without addressing another issue:

Why the hell don't we demand that golf courses convert to Astroturf™ and eliminate their "water hazards"?

Is it, perhaps, that golf is such a preserve of upper-class and upper-middle-class white men that we can't regulate their bloody leisure activities? And for those who would claim that golf courses are "parks" and/or "nature preserves," just try having a picnic on a fairway; or testing the runoff from a golf course; or finding a natural habitat that consists of bloody lawn cut to a uniform height without ever being allowed to go to seed. And if you've ever seen water-consumption figures for a golf course — such as, say, the course on Andrews AFB, DC, frequently played by Congresscritters and Presidents — you'll begin to wonder just how many of the purported 17,000 jobs that might be "lost" through California's groundwater regulation might be "saved" if the water expended on golf courses was reallocated to those lower-class and lower-middle-class agricultural activities in the Central and Imperial Valleys, with all the women and children and melanin-enhanced people who hold those jobs benefitting from the reallocation.

Besides, there's always Astroturf™ as an alternative for golf courses. It can even be Astroturf™ designed to retain more groundwater. There won't be issues with divots any more, either. Neither will anyone be able to whinge about inconsistent mowing... or the groundskeepers getting in the way of spoiling a good walk. Golf isn't exactly a high-impact-on-the-knees "sport," either, unlike (say) football of any variety. Given the heavily Heffalump-leaning demographic of golf "enthusiasts," it seems that imposing Astroturf™ on them would be fitting for other reasons, too...

So that's my modest proposal and modest contribution to the groundwater debate in California.