In the midst of the state's driest year in recorded history, Governor Jerry Brown yesterday declared a drought emergency for California. Lost in all of the media hoopla about water shortages, lack of rain, rationing plans, and assistance for farmers was the possible role that climate change has and will play in this.
A brief search of mainstream media reports (including the video accompanying this article) shows that climate change was not even mentioned in most reports of the Governor's action. However, the Governor's decision to issue the declaration was, in fact, based upon climate change science, as this excerpt from his proclamation shows:
"WHEREAS extremely dry conditions have persisted since 2012 and may continue beyond this year and more regularly into the future, based on scientific projections regarding the impact of climate change on California’s snowpack;..."
This continues a trend amongst the mainstream media to give short thrift to climate change as a news topic, as recently commented upon by famed journalist Bill Moyers and Marty Kaplan.
A prolonged drought in California will have a particularly harsh impact on Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley. One of the major agricultural regions of the entire world, a lack of sufficient water for agriculture here will affect not only that industry, but also consumers who depend upon that industry's products.
“We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas,” said Governor Brown. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.”
Climate change experts have long predicted that increasing global temperatures and concentrations of so-called "greenhouse gases" will lead to severe changes in weather patterns, including an increased frequency of droughts.