Poor Cody Petterson is despondent:
As a child, he had happily played and hiked among these statuesque conifers, which provide shelter to black bears and black-tailed deer. By the age of 37, he wanted to do his bit to conserve and repair the land.Gosh, that's terrible. What's happening?
But in the six years since he began, California has experienced severe drought, which scientists link to global warming, and 650 of Cody's 750 seedlings died.
In California, the effects of climate change are ubiquitous - recent years have produced record-breaking temperatures, earlier springs and less reliable rainfall.
That would indeed be worrying, what does the per-location rainfall data say? Well, although 2018 was 50% to 70% of "normal" level, it seems that 2019 has already been up to 20% above normal - and there's more unseasonably late rain to come this week. Even worse, the data shows that 2018 was particularly dry in SoCal (25% of normal), and yet is still significantly above normal this year.
So the fact that Cody (or the article's author Georgina Rannard) makes the inference that "climate change" is causing irreversible changes to the California climate seems to be less than conclusively proven by the available data.
Incidentally [prediction] this year is going to be a really bad year for fires in California. We've had a wet, long winter to allow grass to grow and thrive. We're having a second, late, belt of rain that will feed the undergrowth. Fire season is going to start late, but when it starts there's going to be a staggeringly high amount of tinder and fuel for the fires.
- Is this due to a change in weather? Sure! Very different from the past few years.
- Is it due to "climate change"? Sure! The climate is always changing.
- Is it due to man-made contributions? Definitely, but not the way you might think:
It’s counterintuitive, but the United States’ history of suppressing wildfires has actually made present-day wildfires worse.(New York Times, by the way)
“For the last century we fought fire, and we did pretty well at it across all of the Western United States,” Dr. Williams said. “And every time we fought a fire successfully, that means that a bunch of stuff that would have burned didn’t burn. And so over the last hundred years we’ve had an accumulation of plants in a lot of areas.
What's more, California has been very "successful" at preventing controlled burns, and preventing people from cutting down trees and brush near their houses to make their areas defensible against fire, which has resulted in a huge source of fire fuel right next to where people live. Great job, guys.
I assume the environmental lawyers all live in San Francisco and Sacramento, which are 95% concrete and immune to the consequences of their actions...