By Rika Christensen | 20 August 2015
By now, we all know that California is in the grip of an historic drought. Anti-science conservatives keep saying that these things are cyclical, and we shouldn’t use it to further an oppressive, burdensome climate agenda. However, science (there’s that word, oh noes), says that, while the drought is part of a natural pattern, climate change has made it worse. Like many other natural patterns. Cue the anti-science talking points.
The Earth Institute at Columbia University isn’t the first to say that climate change has made the drought worse. They are, however, the first to actually measure the effects of climate change on the phenomenon. They’ve found that the drought is 25 percent worse this time around, because of climate change, according to The Washington Post.
What happens is that the warming contributes to the dryness and heat that comes from natural patterns, and makes them worse. That, in turn, makes moisture in the soil evaporate even faster, and becomes a vicious cycle. Then, when storms do come, lightning strikes the ground, sets plants ablaze, and causes all those horrific wildfires we hear about. They also cause mudslides and flash floods, and the water runs off, instead of getting soaked up, because the ground is too dry.
Conservatives, however, don’t listen to the science. Some, like Donald Trump, and Senator Snowball Inhofe (R-OK), think that, since it gets cold here in the winter, and the Midwest and Northeast get hit with arctic blasts and heavy snow, that’s all the proof we need that the whole climate change thing is a hoax. Because, you know, weather and climate are totally the same thing, and if the earth really was warmer, we wouldn’t have cold weather anymore.
Carly Fiorina has said California’s conditions are the direct result of bad policy by overzealous environmentalists. Others are blaming liberal environmentalists for California’s problems, too, according to the New Republic. These others include the conservative media, like Fox News, Breitbart, Townhall, the Wall Street Journal, and more. They say that environmentalists are preventing dams and reservoirs from being built, which, on their planet, will alleviate California’s problems (and would be just a bandaid anyway).
These anti-science agenda pushers don’t acknowledge things like the historically low snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas, which the New Republic says helps supply the San Joaquin River with its runoff. The snowpack could not possibly be at historic lows because of climate change, though. In fact, the snowpack probably isn’t important at all on their planet.
What they seem to want to do is drain the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta (and the rivers themselves), because who cares about ecosystems? There are people to think about! However, the dams, tunnels and reservoirs that they want to build would do irreparable harm to the environment, and the environment only works for us when we take care of it over the long term. Their insistence at rolling back environmental policy, and blocking new policy, is destroying California. Not the lack of dams.
This is what conservatives refuse to understand about climate change, and the environment. We need to address it. We need to take drastic steps. The longer we wait, the worse it will get. Conservatives, however, only think in the short term, and only about themselves. So, to them, because combating climate change will cost money, and require major changes in policy, in ways of doing business, and in ways of life, they’ll call it a hoax, and they’ll blame environmentalists. As long as they benefit now, nothing else matters.
California’s Drought: Inside a Home without Water
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