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Sea Change Radio

In the film adap­ta­tion of The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, the unscrupu­lous Aloy­sius O’Hare sells oxy­gen. The audi­ence is shocked and dis­mayed by this wan­ton comod­i­fi­ca­tion of a fun­da­men­tal nat­ur­al resource. But the comod­i­fi­ca­tion of anoth­er life-sus­tain­ing resource is no fic­tion in the Amer­i­can West. This week on Sea Change Radio, we get a bit of a his­to­ry les­son about water rights in the West from Var­sha Venkata­sub­ra­man­ian, a grad­u­ate stu­dent and a con­trib­u­tor to The Edi­to­r­i­al Board. We learn about the begin­nings of Los Ange­les and the crit­i­cal role that water played in that city’s birth, why water rights dif­fer east and west of the Mis­sis­sip­pi, and how cli­mate change is mak­ing water scarcer and scarcer for mil­lions of Westerners.