Since the 1990s, I have been reading about climate change — piece by piece, as evidence accumulates, demonstrating that we are loading our atmosphere with gasses that are altering fundamental earth systems. We are now seeing unprecedented weather events, changes in ocean chemistry and temperature, and the worldwide melting of glaciers and ice sheets. To deny this is happening is simply fatuous.

One possibility that has occurred to me, over several years, is that Northern California could revert to an ancient pattern of extremely low rainfall. With studies suggesting that the hottest temperatures, now experienced in the U.S., will eventually be felt all the way to the Canadian border, that might make our climate more like the Sonoran Desert.

This could all be wrong. We might have normal rainfall for our lifetimes. We are not in a position to know what climate instability will bring, only that on a global scale, we will continue to see things we have never seen before.

As of 10 years ago, I realized a lifelong dream of growing food on a mini-farm. As of right now, I see the strong possibility that my well will be dry by the end of summer, that gardens will wither and fruit trees will die.

As a participant in the creation of this crisis, I only hope to maintain the view that I am not a victim of forces beyond my control — rather, that I am experiencing a natural consequence of my own behavior — and that of my own species.

— Patrick Newman, Chico

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