Rain-fed wildflowers have been sprouting from California’s desert sands after lying dormant for years — producing a spectacular display that has drawn record crowds and traffic jams to tiny towns like Borrego Springs.
An estimated 150,000 people in the past month have converged on this town of about 3,500, roughly 85 miles northeast of San Diego, for the so-called super bloom.
Wildflowers are springing up in different landscapes across the state and the western United States thanks to a wet winter. In the Antelope Valley, an arid plateau northeast of Los Angeles, blazing orange poppies are lighting up the ground.
But a “super bloom” is a term for when a mass amount of desert plants bloom at one time. In California, that happens about once in a decade in a given area. It has been occurring less frequently with the drought. Last year, the right amount of rainfall and warm temperatures produced carpets of flowers in Death Valley.
So far this year, the natural show has been concentrated in the 640,000-acre (1,000-square-mile) Anza Borrego State Park that abuts Borrego Springs.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Thursday said climate change was not caused by human activity, as the White House announced that President Donald Trump would decide by May on continued US participation in the landmark Paris Agreement limiting global carbon emissions.
How dare he!? EPA scientific integrity office reviewing Pruitt’s comments that CO2 is not climate control knob
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific integrity watchdog is reviewing whether EPA chief Scott Pruitt violated the agency’s policies when he said in a television interview he does not believe carbon dioxide is driving global climate change, according to an email seen by Reuters on Friday.
Lawyers for environmental group the Sierra Club had asked the EPA’s Office of Inspector General to check whether Pruitt violated policy when he told a CNBC interviewer on March 9, “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”
The EPA Inspector General’s office responded to the Sierra Club on Thursday in an email, saying it had referred the matter to the EPA’s Scientific Integrity Officer, Francesca Grifo, for review.
“If after the SIO review, she concludes there is some aspect of the letter itself, or her findings or conclusions that she believes are appropriate for further consideration by the OIG, she will so notify the OIG,” the email stated.
A spokeswoman for the EPA defended Pruitt’s comments.
“Administrator Pruitt makes no apologies for having a candid dialogue about climate science and commonsense regulations that will protect our environment, without creating unnecessary regulatory burdens that kill jobs,” said Liz Bowman in an emailed statement.
“Differing views and opinions on scientific and technical matters is a legitimate and necessary part of EPA’s decision-making process, which is consistent with EPA’s scientific integrity policy that was in place even during the Obama administration,” she added.
The EPA website says its scientific integrity policy requires EPA officials and staff to ensure the agency’s work respects the findings of the broader scientific community.…
He joins Mona Hanna-Attisha, the doctor who helped expose lead poisoning in Flint, Mich., as well as a molecular biologist who helped develop the technique for making insulin, Lydia Villa-Komaroff.
Organizers announced yesterday that the three will be honorary co-chairs during the April 22 event on the National Mall.
Nye said before the announcement that he’s never seen the scientific community so energized — or troubled — by political issues.
“Science is what makes our world what it is,” Nye said. “To have a movement or a tendency to set science aside is in no one’s best interest … but nevertheless, that’s what’s happening in the U.S.”
The march has sister events planned in over 400 cities, and it could become one of the scientific community’s largest demonstrations ever (Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, March 30). — CS