My take – Nature’s Past reveals that Nature’s natural cycles in California in the first millennium, unaffected by significant man made pollution were worse than our greatest fears about man made global warming. To me, these two articles are an example of the problems with an environmental viewpoint that doesn’t consider all of the tradeoffs when setting forest policy.
1) Scientists: Past California droughts have lasted 200 years – From MSN News
Some selected Quotes:
“Through studies of tree rings, sediment and other natural evidence, researchers have documented multiple droughts in California that lasted 10 or 20 years in a row during the past 1,000 years — compared to the mere three-year duration of the current dry spell. The two most severe megadroughts make the Dust Bowl of the 1930s look tame: a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years.” AND “The longest droughts of the 20th century, what Californians think of as severe, occurred from 1987 to 1992 and from 1928 to 1934. Both, Stine said, are minor compared to the ancient droughts of 850 to 1090 and 1140 to 1320.”
“”We continue to run California as if the longest drought we are ever going to encounter is about seven years,” said Scott Stine, a professor of geography and environmental studies at Cal State East Bay. “We’re living in a dream world.””
“the past century has been among the wettest of the last 7,000 years”
“Although many Californians think that population growth is the main driver of water demand statewide, it actually is agriculture”
“”I don’t think we’ll ever get to a point here where you turn on the tap and air comes out,” he said.”
2) An interesting post on the California drought and the need for better forest management in the form of reducing fuels – from the San Jose Mercury News
Some selected Quotes:
“In contrast, better forest management can reduce wildfire intensity and help to safeguard water quality. Ecologically based forest management may also increase water yield by thinning overly dense forests, thereby reducing the utilization of water by small trees and allowing more snow (and snowmelt) to reach the ground.”
“we must address the importance of California’s forested headwaters in securing and enhancing California’s water supply.
This includes the need to increase the pace and scale of fuels reduction in these forests as an important part of the state’s water strategy.”