On the way to Chowchilla we stopped at the Madera Fossil Discovery Center aka the county landfill where heavy equipment operators have dug up over 13,000 fossils since the 1990s, big ones like mammoths, sabertooth cats, camels (which are native to N America, who knew?), and something about 10 feet tall called a short faced bear. About 600,000 years ago, this area was predominantly grassland with a lake that attracted a large number of animals. Hence the abundant fossils. Excavation only occurs at the site every 3 years or so when the county needs to dig a new hole to deposit its garbage. I mentioned that it seemed a little unusual for a major archeological site to be excavated with heavy equipment and was told that there are no funds for academic types and this way the digging is free. I guess when you have so many fossils laying about, it doesn't matter if you smash a few to smithereens.
Everyone we meet in the valley tells us that everyone else is a climate skeptic but I suspect that there are more supporters of climate action than meet the eye. One poll last year showed that 84% of Central Valley residents support reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030, which is the same goal the dogs have in our puppet show. At any rate, the folks at the Fossil Center had a good exhibit talking about human caused climate change and the need to adapt water use and storage to the new long term drought conditions.
We arrived in Chowchilla to find that the librarian had forgotten we were coming and hadn't done any publicity for the show. So we decided to eat ice cream instead.
Dr. Wendy Ring is a family physician who set aside her clinical practice to educate and agitate for climate action..