This blog is written by Mark Paquette.......
Much like the Bangladesh article I blogged about last week, this article discusses a similar subject matter (How will climate change affect this area?), only this time it is a little closer to home.
Newly-appointed Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, is worried about the effects global warming may have on his home state of California. More specifically, he is worried about the water supply that keeps many Californian farms in business and lets them irrigate their crops during the dry season.
Obviously, the average American has more concerns about the water supply in this area than someplace overseas for several reasons:
1) California is in our country and we can follow the weather and climate in this area more closely than say.... Bangladesh. We can see when they are experiencing a drought and when they are not, and we also hear about concerns/problems with the water supply.
2) With a huge and growing population, changes in California's climate may affect us directly if we live there or have friends or family who live there. Or if we move there when we retire, or get a job and move to the area when we are younger.
3) As is mentioned in the article, California supplies more than half of America's fruits, vegetables and nuts. Any change in the water supply will obviously affect both the amount of these goods produced and the price we pay for these items at the neighborhood grocery store.
4) Because of California's unique climate, water is already a precious commodity. If water becomes even more scarce, what changes (climatologically, politically, and economically) may occur? We have heard the states of California, Nevada and Arizona bicker over the water in the Colorado River. Will this fighting become worse and more politically heated?
5) What happens to the businesses centered in California or nearby areas (movie/TV production in Hollywood, gambling in Las Vegas, tourism everywhere, skiing in the mountains) if the water supply becomes more limited?
For residents of places where the water supply is not nearly as big of a concern as it is in California, we assume there will always be water for whatever needs we have. Residents of the water-deprived areas of the western US know how precious the water supply is and know how a dry year or years can affect almost all aspects of life. Will California feel more of a pinch due to the limits of the water supply in the future?
Snow pack in a few areas of the Sierra Nevadas March 3, 2002