I was planning to write today about a restaurant, but I changed my mind in light of recent news about wildfires in California. Right now, there are 11 different wildfires burning in the state of California, including a devastating fire that has burned 225 square miles of Yosemite National Park. Statewide, more than 8,300 firefighters are battling nearly 400 square miles of fires. (source CBSNews).
Official reports today say that the fire at Yosemite is dangerously close to the reservoir that provides most of the drinking water to San Francisco, as well as our electricity. Firefighters are doing what they can to contain the fire and prevent damage to our favorite park, and our water, but they admit that their resources are running thin.
What about the trees?
Historically, the Giant Sequoias and the Eucalyptus trees are fire-resistant due to an oil produced in the bark. This may explain the abundance of these two species (evolution and adaption make me all tingly inside). But this fire is one of the largest in California history so park officials are taking every precaution to protect the trees.
Let’s talk about climate change
I think it’s time we get our heads out of our butts and take the data on climate change seriously. It’s not a theory or a hypothesis anymore. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that the temperature of the earth is increasing, and there are going to be serious consequences. One 2006 Arizona State University study found that rising temperatures appear to be a major driver of increased Western wildfires in recent years. One reason is that, as winters get warmer and warmer, the snowpack in the mountains has gotten smaller and is melting earlier in the year. (source washingtonpost.com).
So I decided to write this today because I’m feeling overwhelmed by the evidence, consequences, and future projections of climate change. If you are feeling overwhelmed too, I have a few suggestions about what we can do about it. We all are doing a good job reducing our electricity and water consumption, and staying informed about greenhouses emissions. Keep it up! You could also try buying local produce, because it takes a lot less gas to get it to you. Look for biodegradable or recyclable packaging at the store and avoid styrofoam at all costs.
I apologize for using this blog as a soapbox. My heart is heavy today and I wanted to let you know. I have made an effort to educate myself about climate change and the practices that are affecting it, and I think in the next 5-10 years we are going to see some serious action from government and individuals to fix it.
If you want to read more about the fires that are sweeping through California, Oregon, and Idaho, please visit http://www.inciweb.org/.