Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

13 Jan 2023

California dreaming no more

Posted by Michael Keating

In the mid-1960s California dreamin was a popular song. I remember listening to it on the car radio as I drove to work through the snow. California, with its beaches, mountains and trend-setting culture seemed like paradise. No more. The town of Paradise, California was burned to the ground by an uncontrollable forest fire in 2018. It was one of many violent and deadly wildfires that are sweeping the world. On TV, I now watch killer floods in California. People are swept to their death by raging rivers fed by giant rainstorms.

If ever there was an example of how climate change is wrecking the world it’s in the Golden State. It’s not the only part of the world suffering from climate change devastation but it’s probably the one that’s had the greatest fall. For years California and much of the U.S. southwest has been suffering from a historic drought. Water shortages were becoming common and agriculture, heavily dependent on irrigation, was reduced. Now the state is being hit with what are known as atmospheric rivers that carry huge amounts of tropical moisture and dump it on one region after another. Scientists say they are becoming longer, wetter, and more intense on our warming planet.

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