Southern California was recently pelted with a much needed storm. The state has been experiencing an unprecedented drought, and many believed the heavy rain was all the region needed to avoid wildfires and agricultural shortages, but scientists are saying the rain has done little to quench Southern Californiaʼs need for moisture. According to weather experts, California is experiencing one of its worst droughts in history, and many scientists claim it is due to global warming.
So far this year, the Forestry and Fire Protection Department has reported 487 fires, and 100% of the state is experiencing at least a mild drought. Paleoclimatologists at UC Berkeley claim that not since 1580 has California been this dry, 434 years ago. Californiaʼs agricultural industry is worth $44.7 billion, and these massive droughts are expected to really hurt the industryʼs profits as farmers can only grow as much as the soil and climate will allow. Governor Jerry Brown has already proposed a $687 million aid plan to help conserve scarce water resources and assist farmers, and state officials claim that if it rained every other day until May, we would still be in a drought due to how dry the past two years have been in California.
What this means to us as citizens, and responsible inhabitants of this state, is that we need to recognize that it is up to us to conserve water and be mindful of how abundantly we use our resources. It has been all but established as scientific fact that climate change is a real thing which has been affected by the increasing human population on this planet, and if you look at the numbers our current growth rate simply isnʼt sustainable. There simply isnʼt enough room or resources on this planet to allow for much more population growth, but the population is only expected to grow even bigger.
We often think of untampered land as new frontiers for us to tear down and inhabit, but the truth is that we live in a delicate ecosystem in which we rely on other organisms to balance out the environment, and when we destroy all the other organisms around us we are only hurting ourselves in the long run. As a lover of nature it is painful to see what is happening to our planet.