We Are Doomed, Again

Holy Moley! You won't believe the story I just saw in the SF Chronicle! Parts of the California wilderness - the Sierras and the Sacramento Delta - are threatened by, get this, "climate change!" This coalition of environmental groups called the Endangered Species Coalition - you've heard of them, right? - totally did this study that said that, unless we change the way we drive our cars, build our houses, and allocate our water, we might not have anymore snow or water!

Two of California's most treasured natural settings are also among the most imperiled landscapes on Earth, as disruptive changes in climate patterns promise to melt glaciers, dry out rivers and set forests ablaze in coming generations, says a coalition of conservation, sporting and community groups.

Unless people significantly alter the way they manage water supplies and fuel their cars and homes, the Sierra Nevada and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta will become increasingly hostile to already-dwindling wildlife and fish species, the Endangered Species Coalition said in a report released Wednesday.

Likewise for the Hawaiian Islands, Southwest deserts, Arctic sea ice and shallow-water coral reefs around the globe.

"Climate change is no longer a distant threat on the horizon," said Leda Huta, executive director of the Washington group. "It has arrived and is threatening ecosystems that we all depend upon, and our endangered species are particularly vulnerable."

In the report, "It's Getting Hot Out There," the coalition ranks the top 10 "hot spots" for vulnerable species, mostly within the United States with a few beyond. No. 1 on the list: the Arctic ice sheets where polar bears, seals, walruses and sea ducks make their home. Tropical coral reefs were second. The delta is No. 5 and the Sierra Nevada No. 6 on the list.

I can totally believe that because I was just in Tahoe a couple weeks ago. Five feet of snow fell there in a couple of days, but you could just tell that the snow could melt away under the right conditions.

I know we can trust the Endangered Species Coalition. It looks like they did a lot of work on this study. If they did so much work, it could only be because they care about all humanity. What an awesome burden. And, after doing all that work, I'll bet they've got all sorts of useful suggestions for taking care of the problem. I just hope people pay attention long enough so we can save the snow.

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