ON A SUMMER NIGHT, YOU CAN HEAR THE CORN GROWING
This is bill deadline season in the California Legislature, with all bills having to pass out of their house of origin by Friday, May 28, or wait to be resurrected next year. It is a time when the always noisy Assembly becomes a little silly as bill after bill is debated on the floor.
Yesterday, in reaching for a level of comity that always somehow seems behind their reach, Assembly members tried enforcing a rule that prohibits one from referring to another by name in floor remarks. This is the rule that leads to the stilted style associated with the United States Senate, where members are always referred to as "the senator from Iowa" or "the gentleman from West Virginia." The attempt had limited success, and if nothing else generated some good humor.
Still, nothing could be done about the substance of the debate. In arguing against a bill by Assemblyman Joe Nation that would require a greenhouse gas emission index to be posted on new cars along with their fuel-efficiency rating, Assemblyman Ray Haynes not only disputed the idea that carbon-burning fuels might contribute to global warming, but also suggested that the phenomenon of global warming could help California agriculture because many crops grow faster during "hot nights."
Many in the agriculture community are more concerned with another phenomenon that global warming could bring: a severe reduction in the Sierra snowpack, source of most of the water that irrigates California crops.