Sunday, July 30, 2006

Caught Between Drought and Hurricanes

AP story on Salon (may require watching an ad):

By JAMES MacPHERSON Associated Press Writer

July 29,2006 | STEELE, N.D. -- More than 60 percent of the United States now has abnormally dry or drought conditions, stretching from Georgia to Arizona and across the north through the Dakotas, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin, said Mark Svoboda, a climatologist for the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

An area stretching from south central North Dakota to central South Dakota is the most drought-stricken region in the nation, Svoboda said.

"It's the epicenter," he said. "It's just like a wasteland in north central South Dakota."

More Than 60 Percent of US in Drought

Yeah, right, global warming is a figment of Al Gore's imagination. Read the whole article. The Dakotas make up a major agricultural zone for the US, leading the nation in production of key crops, as well as provididing a lot of cattle for market. It's where my family is from and where a lot of my relatives still live. What happens if that area becomes too arid to farm?

Global warming means severe climatic changes. The extreme drought of the upper plains is one indicator, as are massive hurricanes in the Gulf. The maniac terrorists of the Middle east (and elsewhere) cannot do a sliver of the damage to us that the weather can. Even the big boogeyman monster of a nuclear device can be prevented by better border controls (Well, it could be prevented if the Cheney adminsitration actually gave a damn about protecting the nation. George Bush can't even be bothered to watch a movie.), but we can't stop a hurricane or a drought.

People are actually paying attention now. Perhaps not enough to act, but enough to know something's wrong. Now we just have to battle past the apocalypticans who want the world to end, the Know-nothings, who are too busy burying their heads in the sand to deal with reality, and the oligarchs, who are intent on extracting every dollar they can from the resources of the earth, imagining that their money can somehow buy them safety.

The question is whether ordinary people can translate their concern into political action or will they remain enthralled by the boogeymen of the right.


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