Warming Will Wipe Out Calif. Agriculture: Energy Sec.

Top US producer faces disaster without swift action on climate change
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2009 11:35 AM CST
Energy Secretary Steven Chu.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees dire effects of global warming, particularly on his home state of California, he tells the Los Angeles Times. Some 90% of the snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains, a vital storehouse for water used in farming and cultivation, could disappear, he said. “We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California,” Chu said.

“I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen,” Chu continued. A study last year estimated the state has $2.5 trillion in real estate, including farmland, endangered by warming. Critics called Chu’s warning far-fetched. “Computer model predictions of the year 2100 are simply not evidence of a looming climate catastrophe,” said GOP Sen. James Inhofe.