NBC ran a story last night about the drought conditions in the Inland Valley growing region of Southern California. The story opened with an auction of farm equipment by a third generation farmer pulling up stakes due to the fact that he could NOT afford to irrigate his farm after a record 1.93" of rainfall the past year -- which, as reporter George Lewis points out, is less than Death Valley's totals.
"Last year we harvested only half a crop and this year we did not even plant."
Mike Boris, California Farmer.
"California and the west, as well as portions of the southeast, are suffering through severe and extreme drought."
George Lewis, NBC
"We're pretty concerned that things are conspiring to give us a perfect drought out here, lasting not years, but maybe decades."
Glen Mac Donald, UCLA Geography Professor
California Governator, Ahnold, visited the region today with a warning that the state was on the brink of disaster: "If we have another dry season like this, I would say that it would be catastrophic."
Short and to the point (especially for him), but backed up by facts and negligible rainfall totals (1.93").
UCLA professor Glen MacDonald has confirmed that, while there have been acute droughts in the past, some lasting half a century, climate change has made it worse:
"Global warming really raised the odds of severe drought in California and the Southwest."
UCLA Professor of Geology
The development is doubly worrisome when you take into account the increase in western wildfires:
As a heat wave made parched terrain even drier, wildfires dotted the West on Saturday, forcing authorities to evacuate homes and close highways and wilderness areas.
A link to the NBC story above.
So, what can you do?
Here's a link to Al Gore's 7 point pledge (take it).
To the LiveEarth Climate Crisis Solutions Page.
To Greenpeace's Climate Crisis Solutions Page.
To Earthday.net's Climate Crisis Solutions Page.
And a link to the site that can help individuals reduce their carbon footprint.