Climate Change is real! The facts can not be refuted. And for many of us around the country, the realities are setting in and it’s not pretty. 

In a historic move this week, Californias Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously in favor of a petition that provides a specific plant protected status for a year while the state conducts a study on the dangers they face. After conducting that research, the commissioners will decide whether or not those protections should be made permanent.

Western Joshua trees are the strange-looking, tall plants of Southern California. They are the first-ever plant species to be protected under the California Endangered Species Act because of the threat of climate change.

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“This is a huge victory for these beautiful trees and their fragile desert ecosystem,” Brendan Cummings, the Center for Biological Diversity’s conservation director who lives in the town named after the plant, said in a statement. “If Joshua trees are to survive the inhospitable climate we’re giving them, the first and most important thing we can do is protect their habitat. This decision will do that across most of their range.”

It has been sad to see the damage that has already  begun. In August, the massive Dome fire scorched 43,000 acres of Mojave National Park, burning 1.3 million of the otherworldly plants to a crisp.

What’s even more sad is that a lot of the beauty of our country will continue to disappear if more isn’t done. 

Presidential candidate Joe Biden has taken a serious stance on the importance of combating climate change. Saying, “These are the most critical investments we can make for the long-term health and vitality of both the American economy and the physical health and safety of the American people,” he said. “When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax.’ When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs.”

And while jobs may be the last thing some are thinking about regarding climate change, it feels good to have a presidential candidate that cares about the issue. 

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