California is now in its 5th year of severe drought, and things are not looking up. While over the past year, we did accumulate around 12 inches of rain water (which is a high) it is still not enough to substantiate the major loss of water we have seen within previous years. The central valley is a heavily reliant on farming, which exacerbates the drought because around 80% of water goes to agriculture, meaning that if the majority of our area relies on farming, large quantities of water are required to maintain farms. The California State Water Resource Control Board want more water flow to the San Francisco Delta Bay in order to help struggling salmon and smelt populations survive. They plan to divert the water from 3 main rivers, one being the Tuolumne River. This is problematic because it diverts needed water away from local farmers. Due to the severity of the drought, many are upset with the boards proposal and are fighting back. The majority of our jobs rely on agriculture which relies on water, creating a domino effect that losses jobs, food, an money. Based off of what I have read, I disagree with re-direction of water, however, I have not adequately read into the opposing side so take my argument with a grain of salt.
Within the last thirty years, climate grown to be one of the most pressing political, economic, and social issues of our time. However, many are still in defiance of it's existence, even when presented with extensive amounts of evidence. If global warming is real, how come it is still very cold in some areas? One of the most basic arguments, also one of the weakest. Those who look to day to day weather patterns as evidence of global warming, do not understand what the term means. Climate change is measured on a long-term climate trends. There is an immense difference between weather and climate, and in order to truly understand climate change one must look at the long term effects and patterns recorded by scientists.
A common misconception people make is that the earth is constantly changing temperatures and this time is no different. This is true, however, they do not take into consideration the rapid spike in C02 and temperature. These truths hold to be self evident as they are clearly man made. Carbon in our atmosphere has increased by 42% since the Industrial Revolution and continues to skyrocket unless we do something about it.
Governor Bentley of Alabama has issued a state of emergency in light of a recent pipeline burst. The broken Pipeline released around 250,000 gallons of gasoline into the surrounding environment.The pipeline that usually ships around 1.3 million barrels per day of refined gasoline is now closed. Luckily, the EPA assured the public that no residents are in danger, however, surrounding wildlife and rivers might be.No matter where they take place, oil spills are disastrous. Our reliance on fossil fuels proves to be detrimental not only to our atmosphere, but the plants and animals in which we share this earth with. It is true that with new EPA plans, instituted by Obama, we are expected to reduce our reliance on oil and usage of carbon, however this does not solve for the damage we are doing right now. Hopefully we won't go past the point of no return.
While the media has been freaking out about China not giving Obama his normal red stairs to dismount Air Force One from, the US has made substantial progress in getting China on board with reducing Climate Change. Last Sunday, Obama met with China's president, Xi Jinping, to talk about reducing carbon outputs. The US and China are the two largest polluters, contributing to about 38% of the worlds Carbon emissions. Both countries agreed they need to cut emissions, and set goals for themselves. The US plans to cut emissions by 26% in the next 15 years, while China plans to stop its rising rate of carbon discharge by 2030. The US has already started to implement measures of reduction, such as a cap and trade system in California and a carbon tax in Boulder Colorado. Two of the worlds most potent leaders coming together to address such an important issue is truly amazing and will reap everlasting benefits for our planet.
Thursday morning Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church announced that harming the environment is now considered a sin. He declared "caring for the environment" to the list of traditional seven works of mercy that all Christians are called upon to follow. With the Pope being one of the most influential persons around the globe, many should listen and hopefully follow his proposal. Having Pope Francis acknowledge the growing issue of climate change and more importantly addressing it and asking for change, is a huge step forward for not only climate change activists, but the world. Calling for us humans to repay our debt to the earth, the Pope exclaims, “Economics and politics, society and culture cannot be dominated by thinking only of the short-term and immediate financial or electoral gains”, which is completely true. As climate change worsens, it's heartwarming to see such well known influential people, call for a change.
Climate change is escalating and it is expected that within the next 50 years, we will completely run out of some crucial renewable resources. However, recent studies point to signs that we are actually beginning to cut back our impact on the environment. In order to determine the rate at which we are degrading the planet, we must first look to population and economic growth rates and compare those to the rate of degradation.
Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society collected data using satellite surveys and ground surveys found that the population increased 23%, the economy grew 153%, but the global human footprint only grew 9%.That is significantly less than the other two percentages, displaying a decline in exploitation. 9% still is not that great, however, it does exhibit a step in the right direction. So, are humans truly starting to cut back on their environmental impact, and if so, how much is required to ensure we don't run out of earth? (Photos included for situational irony)
While California is experiencing one its worst droughts in the last 12 centuries, Louisiana is drowning. With 4+ inches of rainfall every 48 hour, Louisiana is in a state of emergency.So far the flooding has claimed the lives of 13 people, and left over 35,000 homes completely destroyed. The Red cross has claimed that this is the "worst natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina". As the water continues to flood the state, many are questioning whether or not they should rebuild.
With such a destructive calamity, many are wondering why science did not predict the flood's extremity and warn the citizens as they did with Hurricane Katrina. The simply answer is that this storm was not supposed to materialize. With the flood originally having a .1 chance of occurrence it is very clear what the cause of it was. I'm sorry Donald Trump, but climate change is real. Just about every climatologist claims this is a result of climate change and would be have been unlikely to take place naturally naturally. It appearsour atrocious ways of treating the earth is finally starting to catch up to us.