August 14, 2011

Dry Rot

The crisis in Texas combines the worst of two trends: climate change driven by global warming and politics driven by religion. The end result is a withering on the vine of Biblical proportions.

The current drought in Texas is the single worst drought in a state that has a long history of severe droughts. June and July were the hottest months on record, going back to 1895. July was the fifth month in a row where rainfall totals were ranked in the 10 lowest on record. According to John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist, "“These statistics rank the current drought as the most severe one-year drought ever for Texas. “Never before has so little rain been recorded prior to and during the primary growing season for crops, plants and warm-season grasses.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry recently announced his candidacy for president, so it seems fair to me to assess his potential performance as crisis-manager-in-chief based on how he has handled the current drought crisis in his home state. His plan of attack is two-fold: crush the global warming conspiracy and its minions at EPA and pray for rain.

That's it. That's the plan. How's it been working for him? Well, despite numerous prayers and entreaties to God to bring rain, including a proclamation issued in April of this year, the drought has continued unabated. As for the global warming conspiracy, well, it's doing just fine thank you. Never better ... or worse, depending on how you look at it.

Here is the sad part. Like Governor Perry, I too pray with all my heart that my fears about climate change driven by global warming are unfounded. I don't want my children and grandchildren or anyone else's children and grandchildren to go through the slow death that is gripping Texas and the rest of the southwest.

But wishing it isn't so, praying that it will go away ... that is not enough. You have to do something about it. That's why we have elected representatives. That's why we have a president. They are there to deal with the problems, not ignore them or wish them away or pray that something better will just come along.

My prior post was entitled The Age of Stupid Meets the True Believers. Well, this is a perfect summary of the Rick Perry candidacy. America has a history of religious-driven anger-fueled populist moments. In the past, the mood usually shifted as good times returned. That's the bitch about climate change. It is not going away any time soon. In fact, it is just warming up, so to speak.

Governor Perry has accomplished one very minor miracle. He has driven me back to prayer. I pray every day to the baby Jesus that Rick Perry does not become our president.

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