Climate Change


Tree Lupine


I have an aversion to using someone else’s labels, especially when they are bantered about in the political arena, but wildflowers here at the first of February are unusually early. Temperatures for the past 10 days have been over 70 degrees, no rain in sight.

We are half-way through our rainy season with slightly over 3 inches of precipitation to date when our annual rainfall averages over 15 inches. Four of the last five years have been declared droughts by the USDA, and this season is off to the slowest start since record-keeping began. Sierra snowpack is 14% of normal. Regardless of what you want to call it, our weather, our climate, has become extremely volatile and it is changing.

Blame is a useless exercise at this juncture, I believe, because we must deal with the impacts, whatever and wherever they are, now and adapt—we’re all in this together, like it or not. From a cattleman’s perspective, green grass is short or non-existent, hay extremely hard to find. Water for farmers in the San Joaquin Valley will be expensive or unavailable this coming growing season. The price of food will increase for everyone.

I want to thank freelance journalist Carson Vaughan for bringing the topic of ‘Climate Change’ to the foreground as he interviewed people at the recent National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. I predicted that 7 out of 10 would be in denial. I truly hope I was wrong!


Foothill Poppy


8 responses to “Climate Change

  1. Thank you, John! So in agreement with you here. We cannot live as we do and not impact the earth negatively. But the blame and chest pounding is a fruitless endeavor. It is drier here than I have ever seen or read about – not because the records show or do not show — but because it is so.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh, thank you, my friend. Beautifully expressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree!! We here in the Gold Country foothills are seeing the same thing. I already had to mow, we have to keep our grass at 4 inches for fire safety.
    All the little wildflowers are up and there is minimal snow on the low mountains which are usually all white by now. CDF is doing controlled burns already!!!
    What were the results of the Climate Change opinions at Elko? So many people do not see what is happening. They are only concerned if they cannot ski or fish or turn their tap on when they want to.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The real problem is overpopulation. Thank your local church wanting more members to give the leaders more power.


  5. John: On politics, I used to say that the Republican’s didn’t understand science and the Democrat’s didn’t understand economics. I now suspect that both don’t understand either one. The case for anthropomorphic climate change is clear. But the idea that “Paris” serves to change anything measurable is laughable. How many of the thousands in attendance walked there? The market will work to mitigate the RATE of increase (LEDs, electric vehicles, etc.), Its ten years past the time we need more reservoirs, adaptive agriculture, higher water and gas taxes dedicated toward adaptation not larger governments. Ever think of running for… no, I won’t even ask. You have too much common sense. Just keep writing and snapping photos for us who love you and Robin.
    “…and I’m inside polishing my verse instead of outside oiling the saddle I’m almost too old to ride.”
    Great Lord above, thank you for our Poets!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You said it better than anyone has yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The view from my place on Lime Kiln hill looks out towards Dry Creek. This morning I was looking at orange blossoms getting ready to push . . . . early to mid April being typical historical bloom. Farmers & ranchers are the ones who experience climate change most directly, but also more likely to deny the science. This is exemplified by the Farm Bureau policy on climate change . . . we don’t want cost, sacrifice, or regulations. We don’t want to be leaders. The consequences of mother nature will continue to be far more costly and painful. Thanks John, I appreciate your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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