While the forum was not presented in a "debate" format, the argument "for" desalination was essentially carried by Bill Kocher, Director of the City of Santa Cruz Water Department. Questions and concerns from a "critical" or "anti-desalination" perspective were advanced by the other three speakers: Debbie Cook, former Mayor of Huntington Beach and the President of the Post-Carbon Institute; Heather Cooley, from the Pacific Institute; and Rick Longinotti, a Santa Cruz community activist. Former Assembly Member John Laird moderated.
Something former Mayor Cook said struck me as particularly significant. Maybe it made an impression because I have been thinking about that Quaker "testimony of simplicity," but I was clearly not the only one who was impressed by what she said. The following statement, by former Mayor Cook, brought the first spontaneous applause of the evening:
We need to reduce our need to earn, which means we need to reduce our need to spend.