Year 3, Month 10, Day 23: As Dry As An Elephant’s Sigh…

The San Antonio Express-News notes that there is a developing problem out there in flyover country:

WASHINGTON — Joe Waldman is saying goodbye to corn after yet another hot, dry summer convinced him that rainfall won’t be there when he needs it anymore.

“I finally just said uncle,” said Waldman, 52, surveying his stunted crop about 100 miles north of Dodge City, Kansas.

Instead, he will expand sorghum, which requires less rain; let some fields remain fallow; and restrict corn to irrigated fields.

While farmers nationwide planted the most corn this year since 1937, growers in Kansas sowed the fewest acres in three years, instead turning to less-thirsty crops such as wheat, sorghum and even triticale, a wheat-rye mix popular in Poland.

Meanwhile, corn acreage in Manitoba, a Canadian province about 700 miles north of Kansas, has nearly doubled over the past decade because of weather changes and higher prices.

Shifts such as these reflect a view among food producers that this summer’s drought in the United States, the worst in half a century, isn’t a random disaster. It’s a glimpse of a future altered by climate change that will affect worldwide production.

But we don’t need to do anything, because Al Gore is fat. And besides, FREEDOM! Sent October 16:

Scientists have estimated that for each 1 degree Celsius increase in global temperature, we’ll experience a 10 percent drop in agricultural productivity. International climate conferences have produced position papers and draft agreements predicated on a 2-degree rise, but this number is already looking absurdly low; experts warn that we’re on track for triple that by the end of the century.

Aside from drastically boosting the number of storms and extreme weather events, such a temperature increase will cripple agriculture throughout the world. Are we ready for the food shortages and refugee crises that inevitably follow crop failures? When these geopolitical and environmental pressures collide with the American conservative strategy of politicized ignorance and obstruction, horrifying results are guaranteed.

Deny-and-delay ceases to be effective political strategy when millions of human lives hang in the balance. We must address the climate catastrophe before it forces us into what biologists coyly call an “evolutionary bottleneck.”

Warren Senders

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