We need to face the fact that the climate is changing throughout the world, and the sooner we plan for it, the better we?ll be able to deal with it. Nature, in the form of pollution, wildfires and floods, is constantly forcing California to plan for the future, and now they’re planning for a future after global warming as well.

“Climate change is upon us. In 20 to 25 years, we really will be working with a different climate,” says U.S. Geological Survey biologist Michael Dettinger. Don Thompson writes that California will be more affected than some other areas because of its long coastline and its dependence on mountain snow for water and hydroelectricity.

Environmentalist Robert Wilkinson, who wrote a paper on the impact of global warming on California, says that oceans rose 4 inches to 8 inches over the last century, but they could rise as much as 3 feet this century, flooding areas of San Francisco. This could force saltwater into the pumps that send fresh water from the Sacramento area to Southern California, resulting in water wars. The Sierra snowpack, which functions as its largest water reservoir, could shrink by one-third by 2060 and to half by 2090.

Computer climate programs predict an increase of between 3 and 6 degrees in temperature by 2100. Warmer temperatures will cause fir trees and chaparral to will grow more quickly, leading to even more wildfires. But warmer weather also means longer growing seasons?as long as there’s enough water for irrigation. However, it may cause the end of the wine industry because wine grapes can’t withstand changes in temperature.

Every state needs to make an assessment like this?has your state government faced facts yet? Maybe this summer’s movie about global warming, based on Whitley and Art Bell’s book, will finally wake them up.

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