Whenever you look at up recent news on trees, the world slaps you with a slew of depressing tidbits. There are trees dying because of the drought in California and given the season, it seems that Christmas trees are particularly affected. This year, they are smaller and scarcer due to the lack of rain. This is throwing a wrench in many people’s annual holiday traditions. According to Elissa Harrington of ABC7, “Real trees can dry out so you have to keep them watered. Some require more than a gallon of water a day. The drought has a lot of Californians rethinking this holiday tradition. Third of Californians say the drought will impact their tree choice. Some aren’t planning to display one at all.”
For many who rely on such holiday traditions to get them through the season and to make them happy, this is a huge blow. Because of the difficulty surrounding Christmas trees in California, many are planning on getting artificial trees, but others are thinking of abandoning the tradition altogether. There are many tragic things happening in the world and certainly the lack of Christmas trees in California pales in comparison to them, but it is still sad and is representative of a larger problem: climate change.
The California drought, for example, is a symptom of climate change, “a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.” Wherever you fall on the issue of climate change, it is clear that the weather is changing; in some areas of the country, it is so erratic people do not know what to expect on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, it is easy to become complacent regarding these changes, but when annual traditions are affected, we tend to take notice, as in the case with California’s Christmas trees.
At Cold Stream Farm, we wish Californians a happy Christmas, but we must not lose sight of the bigger picture: trees are dying worldwide as the result of climate change and it is our duty to do whatever we can to prevent the situation from getting worse.