Op-Ed: With climate change, we may witness sequoia forests convert to chaparral
By Tom Sileo
January 16, 2020 — 12.48pm
New York State is in the midst of a statewide crisis of unprecedented proportions.
At first glance, it would appear the numbers seem minuscule. New York has experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases, with 80,000 cases as of Monday morning, and over 500 deaths. But this is only the first phase in the unfolding of things to come when the pandemic reaches its peak.
In a world without physical distancing, we will lose even more of our most precious resource, our natural world.
One of the many things I love about New York is it’s rich landscape and natural resources. Most of the time, my eyes are drawn to the skyscrapers along the way.
The reason is simple. The city is rich with natural resources, and it is the city’s job to protect natural resources that are important to us and to the public.
That is why the city is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis to save some of our most precious natural resources for our future generations. A crisis that may be made even more acute by climate change.
Many times, when you walk in the park or explore a forest, you can’t help but pause to look up and take in a view of a huge redwood tree or a stand of sequoias.
The beauty of these trees is that they are not just beautiful trees. They are living organisms, breathing oxygen and water, and are a vital part of the ecosystem. They are a vital part of our water cycle. They are a vital part of the natural world.
And they have been for a long time — before the Columbus Christopher Columbus brought Europeans to North America and began the massive deforestation of North America, sequoias were growing here.
Now, we are losing them.
In New York State, forests have been transformed from a forest into a green-vegetation-covered golf course