Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Climate Change, Drought, and the Fall of California Agriculture

By Garry Rogers @Garry_Rogers

California Drought

dff0919f-2938-4286-97df-adbdd4e0ccaeGR: The California drought is a result of human-caused climate change. As irrigated farmlands decline, supermarket prices will rise, and homegrown produce will become attractive. Though many will lament this blow to Human society and will fight to maintain consumer economics in the produce aisles, others will consider it a just outcome of our own stupidity. Joshua Frank says, “Planting community gardens, growing our own vegetables, and

ea090e6c-3765-4e6a-be9a-2a1ffc4d54a6

Mining waste of the land’s productivity.

shopping at local Farmer’s Markets – these are all ways we can survive without relying on the bounty California has provided.” However, this too, like irrigated agriculture, will ultimately fail. Human population growth will continue to overuse natural resources and force a decline in ecosystem stability and productivity. In the battles for fresh water and good soil, the blows to Human society will be massive and irreversible.

The following by Joshua Frank.

California Agriculture

1-IMG_1993“Thanks to cheap water and plentiful sunshine, California grows most of the US’s fruit, vegetables and nuts, writes Joshua Frank. But with the drought looking ever more permanent, the $40 billion industry is facing a terminal crisis. It’s only a matter of time before we have to rely on local produce – so let’s make a start now!

“Agriculture accounts for over 80% of California’s total water consumption. The future of the state’s big ag is grim. It’s a reality the entire country will have to face.

Invasive species of animals and plants in the Great Basin Desert

Wild horses on a Great Basin Deseert landscape denuded by domestic cattle.

“It’s bone dry in California, and as I wrote in a recent print issue of CounterPunch magazine, it’s likely to remain that way for a long, long time thanks to our warming climate.

“The melting ice in the Arctic is manipulating the jet stream off the coast, pushing winter storms out of California. By many accounts the California water crisis is in its infancy and we are only beginning to witness the many changes the state will face as a result.”

Go here for an explanation of the California drought.

Go here for the rest of the article: Climate change and the downfall of California’s big agriculture – The Ecologist.


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