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Science, Healthy Lifestyles, Global Warming - California Crops Enter the Pacific Northwest


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Science affects healthy lifestyles in many ways, such as whether where we live has us living under a palm tree, or a pine tree, or a cactus bush. And what we have seen happening in the past half century is affecting us all. My good fortune as a teen was that our family moved from the Pacific Northwest climate of Vancouver Canada to the sub tropical climate of Los Angeles California in 1956. I loved the experience and made many friends. But for my father it was too much of everything; the traffic, commute, demands and within the year we were back in Vancouver.

By age 19 I had moved to the largest island off the west coast of the America's, Vancouver Island and have lived at the southern tip, Victoria since. It seemed to me we should be able to grow some hardy version, as we now do, of the majestic tall palm trees that line fine old boulevards of Beverly Hills, and I read all I could, sent for and studied weather patterns. In particular, since Victoria had the same coldest month January average temperature as Seattle and Portland at 39.5 farenheit. The areas west of the Mississippi had mildest climates for their latitude at the outer tips of the west coast right up to Alaska. But the Washington Windmill Fan Palm now is growing tall up to and including Vancouver Island and the surrounding Gulf Islands in Canada and San Juan Islands in America.

But this changed quickly to freezing winters at the north-south mountains, the Coast Range, and the Cascades down to the mighty Sierra Nevada mountains that secure western California as an area that seldom knows an extended cold. The great change was always coming down either the coastal route and the scruffier palms all the way down from Canada give way at Eureka to mansion with a mighty palm as from Beverly Hills. And if you are coming south on the train next to the now interstate you see such as sight as you come down from those huge mountains that protect California and look at tall Beverly Hills type palms in Redding.

And you know you will see these wonderful trees all the way to San Diego. Here grow citrus crops of lemons and oranges! The January winter average temperature then was 45 F and that made all the difference. That inland valley is protected by the wide gap of San Francisco Bay that fills the inland valleys north and south with a mild tule fog. So my observation then and now is that a freezing winter average temperature range from about 40 up to 45 creates this new cornucopia of plenty. And I get a surprise when new statistics show Seattle now is above 41 F in January.

In Victoria 72 miles as the crow flies from Seattle our mild English weather island is now growing the north China Changsha Mandarin Oranges in protected places and the hardier bananas of north Japan, while California heats up too much and the former vineyards are so dry they are on fire. It is the same on the east coast, and in between.

This is a massive opportunity for extending precious crops and those in the path of the warming winds from the south are wise to begin adapting now. We need to ensure to deal with the issues on the downside, including needing gondolas to tend our oranges and avocados, which science predicts will soon be possible as far north as Canada. Hello? It is here, the future that is. Get your plants on your sunny side of the street, or the house.

Derek Dashwood enjoys searching out hidden news items that are shaping us and our future, but often go unnoticed by most of us. The future is now - each morning a new challenge and opportunity. We discuss this and have examples of ways to get advantages from this knowledge at Healthy Lifestyles and show examples at Rare Science Books


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