You are betraying our children's future with your destruction of native shrublands and forests.
Stop releasing carbon with your habitat clearance and logging projects under the guise of fire protection.
Acknowledge your actions are contributing to Climate Change as if your kid's lives depend on it, because they do.
We are running out of time.
The preeminent threat the chaparral faces, we all face, is human-caused climate disturbance caused by the unnatural release of carbon from the burning of fossil fuels - stored carbon that has been locked away for millions of years.
Like adding too much sugar to a cup of coffee will make it undrinkable,
adding excessive amounts of carbon to the atmosphere
will radically alter the world's climate.
Take personal action to help reverse this civilization killing behavior.
3. Make personal changes to reduce the amount of carbon you add to the atmosphere. For example:
- Reduce or eliminate beef from your diet.
- Alter your transportation habits to reduce consumption of fossil fuels.
- Help others understand the impact of the Climate Crisis (connect emotionally).
- Vote for leaders who acknowledge the Climate Crisis and support change.
- Support companies who are reducing their carbon emissions (vote with your wallet).
- Replace screen time with socializing, creating, learning, art, hiking, gardening, loving.
- Install solar panels if you own a home and can afford it.
Under a future high emissions/hot and dry climate scenario for the time period 2070 - 2099, much of the area currently occupied by chaparral will no longer be suitable for that plant community (shown in red). The likely replacement will be highly flammable, non-native weeds. From Thorne et al. 2016. Click image to download the full paper.
The Impact of Climate Change on Mediterranean-type climate ecosystems
1. Loss of chaparral. As the climate changes due to the burning of fossil fuels, the environment in which chaparral thrives will be radically altered. Look at the map above. The red areas represent where chaparral exists today, but will likely be replaced by weeds within the next century if we continue to alter the climate. Therefore, the clearance and burning of habitat under the guise of fire protection is not only irresponsible, but it also contributes to the Climate Crisis (destroying carbon sequestering habitat).
The destruction of habitat is exactly the approach California Governor Newsom has endorsed and Cal Fire is trying to implement.
2. Native habitats at risk. "At current rates of emissions, about 45-56 percent of all the natural vegetation in the state is at risk, or from 61,190 to 75,866 square miles," said lead author James Thorne, a research scientist with the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at UC Davis. "If we reduce the rate to Paris accord targets, those numbers are lowered to between 21 and 28 percent of the lands at climatic risk." To read more, please see the 2018 research summary here. You can also download the full paper.
3. Southern California is moving north. "One consequence of climate disturbance in California will be a shift of biodiversity to the north (Loarie et al. 2008). Scientists from the US Geological Survey developed the Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) to assess the physical vulnerability of the California coast. They found that from San Luis Obispo to the Mexico border, communities along this coastline have “high” or “very high” vulnerability to climate change (McGinnis et al. 2009; National Park Service 2004; Stein et al. 2000)." - Dr. Michael McGinnis: READ MORE.
A Plea to Land Management Agencies
Please stop contributing to climate change by grinding up chaparral and clearing habitat under the guise of fire protection.
Gonzalez, P., G.P. Asner, J.J. Battles, M.A. Lefsky, K.M. Waring, and M. Palace. 2010. Forest carbon densities and uncertainties from Lidar, QuickBird, and field measurements in California. Remote Sensing of Environment 114: 1561-1575. The climate change data for this paper comes from a report by Battles, et. al 2014. It has some calculations on the chaparral's level of carbon sequestration, namely chaparral in southern California 1-3 meters tall sequesters about 50 +/- 8 metric tonnes per hectare (2.5 acres).