Nero’s plan is to pay influencers to tweet: ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.’


Cue up the fiddle.

Nero is apparently governing California.

We’re in the third year of a serious drought.

This past January through March — the time of heaviest snow and rain in California — was the driest since records started being kept in the 1850s.

Urban water use at the same time is up 18.9 percent.

The emperor asked us to conserve 10 months ago by cutting our water use by 15 percent.

City leaders throughout the state as well as most Californians don’t seem to be listening.

So, what are our leaders who occupy the California State Capitol whose architecture is based appropriately in large part on ancient Greek and Roman elements and motifs going to do?

The head dude is planning to spend $100 million on tax dollars on advertising urging us to conserve.

He’s not issuing directives for mandatory cutbacks.

He’s not rolling out a Marshall Style plan to finance the accelerated use of pressurized drip irrigation systems for farming.

He’s not banning  front lawns in all new housing construction.

He’s not forsaking the Marie Antoinette philosophy as swimming pools, decorative  landscape fountains, and other “essential” water uses are being built like there is no tomorrow.

Which, by the way, there won’t be a tomorrow if we don’t get our act together soon when it comes to water.

This may come as a shock for anyone who has an attention span the length of time it takes to read a Tweet.

 Water is a basic essential of civilizations.

The inability of civilizations to adapt to prolonged droughts has made more than a few perish.

Of course, that won’t happen to us. We’re too smart, right?

Nero says his advertising campaign encouraging water conservation will include traditional radio and TV spots. He’s also going to pay people with large followings on social media to urge others to save water.

It’s the perfect strategy to fiddle by. The social influencers of the world that for the most part act as if the concept “waste not want not” that helped a generation keep moving forward during the Great Depression and World War II is advice for losers.

The Kim Kardashian wannabes of the world are going to save us all.

Say what you want about Jerry Brown, but he was a true student of California.

Maybe it has to do with his “small is beauty” philosophy that led him to live a spartan lifestyle as Gov. Jerry Brown 1.0. Perhaps it is his roots that prompted him to return to his family’s Colusa County ranch after completing  Gov. Jerry Brown 2.0.

Maybe he read between the lines when his father Gov. Edmund G. Brown was pushing through the last major elements of the State Water Project to be built.

Or it might be the values and disciplines that he absorbed during the two years he spent studying in a Jesuit seminary to become a priest.

Whatever it is, Jerry Brown knows a slow moving train wreck when he sees one.

No, this isn’t a reference to high speed rail. Its’s the fact drought is something that literally sneaks up on you. By the time most people are down to 10 gallons a day to flush their toilets, take baths brush their teeth, wash clothes, cook with, drink and irrigate plants and produce gardens  there is little they can do to effectively stretch out water supplies as a drought continues to roll on.

Brown would — and did — give marching orders: Jurisdictions must cut water consumption 15 percent.

Asking almost 40 million Californians to voluntarily cutback 15 percent on their water use is like asking the same Californians to voluntarily pay income, gas, and sales taxes.

Ordering water use reductions is not an easy thing to do. Variables based on regions of the state, the type of households, and such means one-size fit all dictates don’t work.

But that is why men and women supposedly run for office. They have a desire to be the one to help make the hard decisions.

Sorry about that. My bad. I thought today was April 1.

People don’t run for office any more for the common good. They do it to reaffirm personal biases and impose them on others and to loot the public treasury for buddies that are likeminded through tax credits, social engineering via taxes, and such.

Its’s about them winning and not California as a whole winning.

If you’re fed up with California and are packing up the SUV and heading to Idaho, Colorado, Arizona or wherever you may think the grass is greener, you might want to look into the “duh” crystal ball.

The drought is throughout West.  And then more people that move to other states without the benefit of our reengineering nature on a massive scale by the  unnatural transfer of water from one basin to another, the more stress  that will be placed on water systems they are moving to.

Give it time. The grass won’t be greener unless it is artificial turf.

That means the problem is really us.

Just because some rich so and so on a 5-acre urban estate in Beverly Hills with an edgeless swimming pool off of his great room plus a traditional cement pond that Jethro coveted can get away with using all the water he wants because he can pay for it doesn’t mean we should do the same.

If leaders lack the backbone to place restrictions on use regardless of one’s income levels and ability to pay for it, that shouldn’t be a green light to squander water.

We need to do the right thing for the common good.

It’s people like the elderly neighbor down the street who  is somewhat north of my 66 years of age who switched to brooms to sweep sidewalks and driveways instead of employing a hose as one some 40 years younger than him was doing on Monday in the Manteca neighborhood where resale homes now command $1.1 million plus.

Maybe some social influencer will get the man watering his driveway and sidewalk to realize we’ve been in a drought for the past three years and see the error of his ways.

And if you believe that, I can sell you the Golden Gate Bridge for a full tank of gasoline.

Perhaps it might be more effective if he jumps into his EV, making sure he charges it before California starts pulling the plug in the coming months during peak periods of power use, and heads up into the hills.

There he can see what the drought looks like at New Melones Reservoir that is just 38 percent full these days.

And before you say cut off the farmers, remember that you eat food.

And, no, it’s can’t be all replaced with imported food. Large segments of the world are in drought as well. Plus, there is this pesky little thing called a “military action” that is disrupting food supply chains.

At the same time don’t be dismissive of the needs of fish and the environment.

Eden doesn’t exist without the fish, animals, flora and food.

Nor does it — or we — exist without water. Adult humans are composed of roughly 60 percent water.

Oh, that’s right. It’s fake science.

Or perhaps it is just an inconvenient truth.

You might want to rethink your position now instead of waiting six months to pass when  your favorite social media influencer paid with your tax dollars courtesy of Nero’s leadership tweets you “if it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.”


This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at

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