Blog

CLIMATE CHANGE

While I’m not a big believer in ‘Global Warming’, I am a believer in climate change. Our planet has
constantly been changing since it was created, and I suspect it will continue. I find it interesting that some
scientists make long term predictions based on some very short term records. How many years have we been
keeping accurate world wide weather records? I believe that the first weather satellites were launched in the
1960’s. While we as a species have amassed a great deal knowledge, we still don’t totally understand all of
the effects of the sun, solar flares, gravitational pull, etc has on our planet. Scientists have determined that
violent volcanic eruptions have wiped out entire species and changed our world for era’s. Our planet is 3/5’s
ocean. We have barely scratched the surface in their exploration. I would suggest a few hundred more years
of research and learning will go a long way in making informed predictions.

AGRICULTURAL EXODUS

I can see an exodus of agricultural producers from California to other parts of the U.S. and abroad in the
near future. The multi-year drought that they are in will force those producers to look elsewhere. I welcome
them to my backyard, NM, Tx, Okla. & Colo. All of our economies will benefit.

CALIFORNIA WATER WOES

What a disaster shaping up in California! Water Shortage! The worlds 7th largest economy. If you look at
Redwood tree rings, you see that some form of drought is more predominant than wetter periods. With all of
the water restrictions being put in place and those that will have to be implemented in the future, the rest of us
will feel the loss of lettuce, strawberries, nuts etc, for some time to come. What water that is available, will go
to the cities with the most political pull, those without will have to hope for rain and snow!

CORN FOR ETHANOL????

Anybody watch the commodity markets and see corns decline? It’s a relatively cheap feed again. Good for
the livestock industry. I put thousands of miles on my vehicle every year. I really try to avoid gasoline with
ethanol. I try to find stations that sell pure gasoline. My mileage improves dramatically and my pickups
performance is better, so is the horsepower! There is a great app for your phone to locate those stations.

GOT MILK???

I don’t drink a lot of milk, maybe a quart a week. Every week I drive past numerous dairies in New Mexico
and west Texas. Thousands and thousands of holsteins producing thousands of gallons of milk. The local
economies where these dairies are located get a huge boost. Farmers, equipment dealers, truckers,
veterinarians and so on are involved in the process. What we see when we drive by merely scratches the
surface of what is really going on. I like to picture a green wheat field with hundreds of cattle gazing on it.

BEEF PRICES

Anyone gone to the store lately and bought some steaks? Prices seem pretty high. Beef is still my food of
choice. I’m still buying it no matter the price. Drought in the western U.S. forced a huge reduction in cattle
numbers in recent years. It is going to take years for the ranchers to build their herds back up. It’s still a
supply and demand issue.

OIL PRICES

I don’t know about you, but I have been enjoying the lower gasoline prices at the pump. My job requires a
lot of miles each week. These reduced gas prices are giving me more disposable income. Instead of a $100
bill each time I fill up, its between $60 and $70. This is allowing me to either save the difference or spend it on
a meal at a nicer restaurant. I hope it continues.

WESTERN WATER HISTORY

Water west of the Mississippi has long been a valuable resource. The early explorers that mapped our
country recognized that water was not as plentiful to the west as it was back to the east. Towns, cattle drives
and even railroads were dependent on easily accessible sources of water. Water Rights in the western U.S.,
for the most part, are based on the Doctrine of Prior Appropriations. This doctrine has its roots back to the
California gold rush days when miners would divert water to help in the mining operations. Many times a
diversion of water upstream would be a detriment to an operation downstream, so on and so forth. These
were the first water wars fought in the west. Because of the value of the gold, the labor to extract it became
so great that water became the most efficient way to remove it from the ground. The Doctrine of Prior
Appropriations basically states that the earliest ‘claim’ or ‘right’ to water has a stronger standing than later
claims or rights. Every State has variations of the rule, but basically the concept is the same.