I have been studying California climate history for years to understand global warming issues in the state. Most recent I was reading The West Without Water, which catalogs the states long drought history. Histories driven by our location next to the Pacific Ocean, the lagest body of water on the planet. When the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is negative California is dry for decades. It has been that way for millions of years, according to the paleoclimatology record. What is it that Governor Brown does not understand about California’s climate history?

Portraying California as the front line of climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown said Monday that the effects of man-made global warming were devastating the state, drawing a direct link between climate change and both the record-setting drought that has left the state parched and the early-season wildfires that broke out across California last week. He declared that people must find a way “to live with nature, not collide with it.”

If California has a long history of droughts, especially during negative PDO which we are currently experiencing, how are humans responsible? Some droughts lasted for decades. If the state has a long history of droughts long before humans had SUVs and power plants, how can humans be responsible man-made global warming now, which Gov. Brown is blamed for the current drought? It has happend for millions of years before humans were burning fossil fuels. So, why are humans now responsible for the drought?

Maybe readers can help me understand this new connection. How have humans been able to negated climate history and inserted their own influence? Are we powerful enough to challenge Mother Nature?

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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3 Responses to Help?

  1. This may be a slight departure from your topic, but It’s too bad more people don’t get around in America, so that they would know about it’s history and how powerful forces of climate etc. are constantly changing the earth’s surface. During our travel through Glacier National Park, McDonald Lake was formed by a river of ice over 2,000 feet thick that moved down this valley. Lake McDonald is evidence of it’s passing. When the glacier receded more than 10,000 years ago, it revealed a changed landscape. The ice had quarried away huge amounts of rocks. A terminal moraine dammed McDonald Creek, impounding Lake McDonald. Glaciers are slow moving rivers of ice. Like conveyor belts they transport large volumes of material. As rocks and dirt pile up along the edes of the melting ice, they form moraines. Material that builds up at the snout is called a terminal moraine; debris deposited along the sides forms lateral moraines.

    Our travels reveal that the United States was once covered by glaciers. They carved the great beautiful valleys we now enjoy while they were melting and moving. Mastodon and wooly mammoth remains have been found all over Canada, North America, and central Mexico. These large, elephant-like animals roamed the earth 26 million to 10 thousand years ago, but suddenly disappeared. Was it because of global warming, or was it something else? Recent studies by scientists in Ohio and New York concluded that tuberculosis may have been partly responsible for the extinction of the mastodon. It was one of the largest land animals living during the ice age. Mastodon belonged to the family Mammutidae, that originated in North Africa, spreading to Eurasia and entering North America millions of years ago. Apparently, they were mostly adapted to feeding on conifer forests that flourished in the cold climate.

    Everywhere we travelled the story is told on the government (science) plaques. Since it’s a historic matter that the sun, earth and forces of nature were responsible for creating and melting glaciers by using them to change the surface with cold & warm climate changes, it proves that humans don’t have that power. What this also proves is the length some humans will go for money and power over other humans.


  2. Russ Steele says:

    Dr. John Christy provided testimony to Congress in December 2013 addressing wildfire data from the National Interagency Fire Center for the entire country showing no increasing nationwide wildfire trends since 1986. Dr. Christy’s testimony can be found here:

    Dr. Christy’s testimony addressed the hundreds of years long natural climate variation of severe droughts in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California and the Rocky Mountain upper Colorado River basis. His testimony showed that the western U.S. will likely see increasing droughts in the coming years because of natural climate variation reflecting patterns long exhibited in the regional paleoclimate drought record as noted below from his testimony.

    H/T to Guest essay by Larry Hamlin at WUWT.


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