Monday, April 4, 2016

Chronic versus acute problems

When the California drought really got going, in the sense of a generalized panic about it, it was late 2013 / early 2014. The drought had actually started at least a couple of years before that. Now, here we are, a couple of years later, and by most accounts it looks like we're entering year five, despite a relatively wet winter in some parts of the state.

In those early days, I treated the drought much like I used to treat wildfire events when I worked on fire issues: as an acute problem -- an intense, urgent event that would have at least a somewhat distinct end. This is as opposed to a chronic problem -- one relatively unchanging in condition and with no definite end.