If we care about the lives our great-grandchildren will live on Earth, then we have to act. And action has to start somewhere. We're proud that one of the places setting the pace for a better future is California.
The need for solutions is growing ever more imperative as carbon dioxide emissions remain high, even if per capita emissions are lower today than in 1990. Equally ominous, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has climbed above 400 parts per million, more than a third higher than in 1800. The result has been global warming of about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, an outcome that will take at least 1,000 years to overcome. The California report found that at Lake Tahoe, there are now 30 fewer days a year when air temperatures average below freezing compared with a century ago. Meanwhile, only 34 percent of the precipitation at the lake today falls as snow, compared to 52 percent in 1910. Less snow means less runoff and less water for farms and cities.Clearly, Californians are facing a challenge we hope will mean alternatives are more quickly embraced. Already, in more liberal areas of the state, electric vehicles, solar electricity, wind power and more energy efficiency have become less an alternative and more a part of everyday life. These trends need to become more widespread and affordable.
Slowing and stopping climate change will take some time -- and a lot of innovation. The best hope we can think of is California's entrepreneurial tradition.
Our state can lead the way. Starting now.
(1) - http://www.water.ca.gov/climatechange/
(2) - http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/California-at-top-in-climate-change-preparedness-3463387.php