Climate Change: Humanity and Nature, Collaborating

If you’re worried about climate change and its devastating effects on the natural balance of the environment, you’re certainly not alone. For many years, meteorologists and other scientists have warned that the increase of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere would lead to extreme droughts, hurricanes, and other extreme weather patterns.

As the forests in the drought-stricken western United States have continued to burn, and as filthy piles of snow — leftovers from the most extreme winter in Boston’s history — have continued to melt well into the summer, these predictions have proceeded to drive concerns about the climate. But hope about the future, from both human and natural causes, has begun to emanate from California and the Pacific region.

For instance, in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s unprecedented set of mandatory water rationing orders, the citizens of the Golden State have immediately achieved incredible reductions in water usage. Urban water districts, for instance, reduced their water consumption by 27.3% in June, well above the Governor’s 25% order.

And California is also receiving help from Mother Nature. Apparently, an extremely powerful El Nino effect is expected to manifest in the Pacific Ocean this winter. Such effects typically lead to extremely rainy weather on the west coast of the United States, and to relatively mild and dry weather in Boston and other northeastern cities.

Less human water use and extreme rain events are exactly what California needs to deal with the cumulative effects of its devastating five year drought. And mild and dry winter weather is precisely what Boston needs to recover from its Arctic-like winter of 2014-15.

Of course, this is most certainly not the time to grow complacent about climate change. Most scientists are deeply worried about its long term impact on our natural environment.

Nevertheless, this may well be the time to feel a little better about our ability to manage the impact of climate change. For at the moment, in California and the Pacific region, it does appear that humanity and nature are collaborating to moderate the recent extremes in our climate.