Year 4, Month 2, Day 10: Looking Through A Bent-Backed Tulip, To See How The Other Half Lives

The Argus-Leader’s Steve Young discusses climate change’s impact on South Dakota:

South Dakota in 2050 will have longer growing seasons, milder winters and more extreme weather events if national weather experts are correct in analyzing the effects of greenhouse gases on climate warming.

A draft report released earlier this month by the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee projects that at the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, the average temperature in South Dakota will rise an additional 5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050.

That comes as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that 2012 was the hottest year on record in the contiguous United States.

What will warming bring to the state? Growing seasons will stretch longer. There will be fewer subzero-degree days in the winter and snow won’t stick around as long. Storms will be more extreme, dumping significant amounts of snow and rain but unleashing precipitation less often.

Wheee! Same basic letter I’ve sent twice already to different states; I’m in a hurry today.

South Dakota’s not alone. The whole planet is finding out that climate change is an abstraction no longer, but a radically disruptive fact. If the weather’s too unpredictable, agriculture becomes impossible, and even the most robust infrastructure can be damaged or destroyed by extreme storms. Once-fertile land turns arid and unproductive under drought conditions, while rising sea levels may simply wipe some island nations off the map completely.

Although the accelerating climate crisis is irrevocably altering lives all over the planet, in the offices of Senate and Congressional Republicans, it’s making no impact at all. These plush chambers aren’t just air-conditioned against the heat — thanks to fossil-fuel corporations, they’re also cash-conditioned against the facts. Anti-science conservatives may come from different parts of the country, but ultimately they all represent the same state of denial. In a time of planetary emergency, South Dakota — and the world — deserves better.

Warren Senders

Love it — “cash-conditioned against the facts.”
Love you, Warren!

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