Conservationist William deBuys presented a lecture focusing on sustainability and the repercussion of dry weather in the southwest region of the U.S. at Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday.
His book, A Great Aridness, focuses on climate change and how it will influence Southern California in particular.
Since the book’s release, there has been research and new climate change findings discussing its effects on the southwest region.
During his demonstration, deBuys presented many color-coded maps that showed the warming climate around the world.
DeBuys wanted to stress the impact that climate change can have to the planet and to the people living in it.
According to deBuys, young people will be affected the most as time progresses because the climate will intensify and water scarcity will worsen.
“Climate change is the paramount challenge of the world today,” deBuys said. “The thing we really need more urgently than anything else, is a total engagement of the younger generation.”
Areas closest to the coast will become cooler, while inland regions will become hotter, leading to an increase in extreme weather.
According to deBuys, wet places will get wetter and dry places will get drier. Water supplies will also become scarce, causing California reservoirs to shrink.
Other consequences of hotter weather that deBuys mentioned includes the increase of insects. The warm temperature will mean more insects, which will have an impact on the forest. This will result in dead trees and forests vulnerable to fires.
Matthew E. Kirby, a paleoclimatology professor, agreed with deBuys water argument.
“Water is the final frontier in Southern California and the southwest United States, so he’s absolutely right that we’re going to continue to face very serious issues with water availability and water management,” said Kirby.
Zvi Drezner, Ph.D., a statistics professor, said he believes that variations of weather have been occurring for a long time.
“The climate always changes, and to blame every change on global warming, on pollution, I think its ridiculous,” said Drezner.
Drezner said that this winter has been one of the coldest winters.
He called climate change a hoax, adding that climate fluctuations could be due to the variations of the sun’s activity.
According to deBuys, climate change can have a negative effect on human relations.
Although other natural disasters help bring people together, drought is different and tends to divide people by further stressing “human fault lines,” deBuys said. Fault lines, according to deBuys, could be the negative aspects of a person, or areas where they fall short.
DeBuys is the first speaker of the Focus on Sustainability series of lectures that will continue through the first week of May, along with an exhibit in the Pollak Library that focuses on the art of sustainability.