We should then recognize that the development of basic economic infrastructure had always been a needed creation of what is required as an ‘habitable’ development of a ‘synthetic,’ rather than a presumably ‘natural’ environment for the enhancement, or even the possibility of human life and practice at some time in the existence of our human species.… Man as a creator in the likeness of the great Creator, is expressed by humanity's creation of the ‘artificial environments’ we sometimes call ‘infrastructure,’ on which both the progress, and even the merely continued existence of civilized society depends.
- Lyndon LaRouche, “What Your Accountant Never Understood: The Secret Economy,” April 17, 2010.
A recent tweet from Michael Cernovich highlights a conceptual problem holding back the revival of American greatness. Admittedly, Twitter is not a great forum for in-depth presentations and nuanced arguments, so it's hard to take a single tweet as conveying the depth of someone's thoughts—still, what was expressed clearly reflects deep ideological problems when it comes to economics.
True, bad policies have been disastrous for California over the past couple generations, however, come on man, “California became rich due to geography?”
Having grown up in California, I’ll admit I might be a little biased, but every American should know that California became the “richest” (most productive) state in the union through governance—the formerly booming California economy was created through spectacular infrastructure megaprojects, used to transform and improve the natural conditions of the territory, creating the potential for business and entrepreneurship to flourish.
For decades, the Central Valley has been the most productive agricultural land in America (and one of the most productive globally), producing nearly 10% of the nation’s crops with only 1% of the agricultural land. Where did the agricultural land of the Central Valley come from?
The greater Los Angeles and San Francisco areas are major urban regions, supporting 25 million people, and built up around far more than Hollywood and beaches—advanced aerospace, manufacturing, and tech, together with key shipping ports, were key to the growth of the coastal areas. How did these cities emerge?
None of this economically-defining activity of California could exist in the state’s natural geographical conditions. These are the products of artificial environments, created by man, built upon the spectacular river diversion and water management systems of the western United States. Government policies played a critical role—because they were the right policies—creating the potential for private business, industry, and entrepreneurship to thrive.
With a series of projects from the 1930s to the 1970s the water resources of the Colorado River were developed. Today, 29 major dams and their associated reservoirs on the Colorado River and its tributaries control the flow and provide a capacity transfer to multiple states, including into southern California. Managed in this way, the river provides water for 40 million people and 5,800 square miles of irrigation.
Solely within California, the Central Valley Project (started in 1930s) and the California State Water Project was (started in 1960s) developed the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and their tributary systems with 30+ major reservoirs and 1,300 miles of canals, providing water to 25 million people and 4,600 square miles of irrigated land.
Even San Francisco has been getting its water from a reservoir (Hetch Hetchy) 170 miles away since the 1930s.
USA with the major Colorado River & California water projects shown in green.
Without these amazing human transformations and improvements to the natural geography (i.e. infrastructure), California could never support anywhere near its population or economic activity (both of which began leading the nation in the 1960s). In Lyndon LaRouche’s science of physical economy, the economic success of California was due to a transformation of the potential relative population density of the area, largely through the development of world-leading (at the time) infrastructure megaprojects.
We will never make America great again simply by criticizing bad policies, the government needs to adopt the right policies. Not micromanaging the economy or private business, but playing its unique role in creating the potential for creative entrepreneurship to prosper and thrive.
For the western United States, water has been (and still is) key.
Looking to the Future with NAWAPA
What was done to create California is a relatively small case study for what can be done throughout the entire western half of the North American continent with the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA).
About 10 times larger than the California projects in terms of water delivered and land area affected, the original 1960s design of NAWAPA (done by the Parsons Corporation) would divert a fraction, in the range of 10-20%, of the massive freshwater runoff from the Northwest to the south as far as Mexico, and to the east as far as the Great Lakes.
Over decades, Mr. LaRouche campaigned for the implementation of an upgraded NAWAPA program, bolstered by nuclear power, and featuring extensions to bring additional water to California, the Great Plains states, and Mexico (with added water from southern Mexico diverted north). Coastal desalination could further augment the system, but in the last decade before his passing, Mr. LaRouche became increasingly interested in the potentials of new, galactically-inspired weather modification technologies (operating on the same climate and weather mechanisms as galactic cosmic radiation—the most significant contributor to climate change).
Controlling Weather to Manage the Climate — Prof. Sergey Pulinets
For more on galactically-inspired weather modification see, New Perspectives on the Western Water Crisis.
Despite hysterical shrieks from radical environmentalists, NAWAPA wouldn’t be stealing limited water resources from the Northwest, it would augment and improve the continental water cycle, ensuring that the water spends a longer—and more productive—time on land as it’s diverted south, before making its return to the ocean.
For example, simply compare the biospheric productivity of the water cycle in different regions of the continent, and how those could change with NAWAPA.
In the northwestern river basins (shown in blue in the image above), an average of 1.5 billion tonnes of plant growth is created (sustained) each year, or about 1 million tonnes of plant life per cubic kilometer of river water flow. While there is an abundance of water in the northwest, much of it spends relatively little time on land, and the major limiting factor for the biosphere is the lack of sunlight as you move farther north.
In the southwest river basins (shown in red), however, the ample sunlight and effective water management ensures the biospheric productivity per unit of water is five times higher, at 5.5 million tonnes per cubic kilometer of water flow. But, with the limited total water availability, the total plant growth each year is only a third of what gets produced in the northwest (at 0.6 billion tonnes).
Thus, according to these productivity metrics, the additional water NAWAPA would bring south could nearly triple the total plant growth throughout the southwest (from 0.6 billion tonnes to 1.4 billion tonnes per year)—while not affecting the productivity of the northwest (since the water is largely diverted shortly before it runs off into the ocean).
For the total water cycle of the western half of the continent (blue and red regions combined), NAWAPA could increase the biospheric productivity by 50% (from 2.1 to 3 billion tonnes per year)! Solar panels and windmills aren’t green, mankind improving nature with NAWAPA is the best green policy for American today.
NAWAPA is truly a great project, for a great America. Let's demonstrate that mankind is a positive force on the planet, transforming and improving nature, as we expand and grow the economy for the betterment of not just our generation, but generations into the future.
When sung from the right throat, 'Creation' can be a wondrous word. So, as I shall show here, the true song lives, not in the note, but, when song and mind, alike, dwell only in that process of constant change which resides 'between the notes.' The secret of the economy lies not in the thing produced, but, rather, in the ordering which subsumes, and surpasses each mere, made thing. Man's power to exist lies not in the things which exist, but in the process through which things, and mortal human lives, come and go, in the domain of the immortality of each soul of a very special species, mankind. Such is the true, and only form of real human knowledge. Such is the meaning of 'man's universe.' Such is the true meaning of 'infrastructure.' Such is the rarely understood grandeur of the intention of a NAWAPA whose idea could not be killed, even decades later, still today. Such is the true practical meaning of man's access to the immortality of each great dream. It partakes of the immortality of a Creator. NAWAPA could not be killed, because it was the immortal feat on which man's future presently depends. So be NAWAPA, in our present hand.
- Lyndon LaRouche, “Learn from NAWAPA: Mind or Body?” July 27, 2010
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