In Marc Benjamin’s April 25 piece on the bark beetles in the Sierra Nevada, he quotes tree faller Richard Brechbuehl as stating that nobody could have predicted this catastrophic tree die-off.
This is not true. Scientists working for NASA, NOAA and universities throughout the world have long predicted the warmer winters, increasingly erratic weather (including drought), and changing conditions for wildlife (including insects such as the bark beetle) as a result of increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. Alan Carroll, of the University of British Columbia, specifically predicted the bark beetles spreading across North America and doing the damage that we are seeing in the Sierra National Forest.
This catastrophe was predicted but we chose to ignore the warnings. Now that the severe results of climate change are staring us in the face, perhaps we will do the responsible thing and reign in greenhouse gas emissions to prevent even worse consequences. If we don’t, then I predict that we will see many more people falsely claiming that nobody could have predicted what has long been predicted.
Matt Armstrong, Fresno