Although California’s five-year drought has come to an end, how has it affected the state’s giant sequoia trees? In this video, we meet a scientist who is seeking to understand these seemingly indestructible giants. Although though the skies have finally opened and the rains have started to fall on California, more than 100 million trees died during the state’s historic five-year drought. Such a monumental loss of trees — trees are amongst the best, most consistent “living sponges” that sequester CO2 from the Earth’s atmosphere — accelerates global warming.
Archive for date: February 26th, 2017
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Good politicians like Jerry Brown know not to waste a good crisis. And so last week he urged that lawmakers spend $437 million for flood control. It is a modest request, though not nearly enough, as he readily acknowledged by displaying charts showing that upgrading California’s water infrastructure, including 1,500 dams and thousands of miles of levees, would cost $50 billion. If we Californians are to live and prosper in our re-engineered state, we will need to pay for it, or, as Brown said, “belly up to the bar.”
The cracks in the 50-year-old Oroville Dam, and the massive spillage and massive evacuations that followed, shed light on the true legacy of Jerry Brown. The governor, most recently in Newsweek, has cast himself as both the Subcomandante Zero of the anti-Trump resistance and savior of the planet. But when Brown finally departs Sacramento next year, he will be leaving behind a state that is in danger of falling apart both physically and socially.
For three weeks, Oroville Dam’s fractured main spillway and the surrounding hillsides have taken a nearly nonstop pounding. The stunning waterfall crashing down what’s left of the 3,000-foot concrete span has split the spillway in two and carved massive canyons on either side. The Department of Water Resources, which operates the dam, has had little choice.