Year 3, Month 7, Day 13: Zippadee Doo Dah, Zippadee Day!

The New York Times fails at journamalism:

HILL CITY, Kan. — This town on the parched plains, best known for its bountiful pheasant hunting and museum of oil history, recently earned a new, if unwelcome, distinction — the center of America’s summer inferno.

For five days last week, a brutal heat wave here crested at 115 degrees. Crops wilted. Streets emptied. Farmers fainted in the fields. Air-conditioners gave up. Children even temporarily abandoned the municipal swimming pool. Hill City was, for a spell, in the ranks of the hottest spots in the country.

“Hell, it’s the hottest place on earth,” Allen Trexler, an 81-year-old farmer who introduced himself as Old Man Trexler. He spoke while standing in the shade of a tree on Saturday morning, the temperature already sneaking toward 100.

Gotta love Old Man Trexler. Sent July 2:

When Kansas is reeling from a blistering heat wave, it’s a human interest story, complete with a picturesque old gentleman standing in the shade of a tree. When several states are hammered with extreme high temperatures, it’s a genuine emergency.

And when the whole country is experiencing either higher temperatures or extreme weather (like the massive thunderstorms that left millions of people without electricity in Virginia and Washington, D.C.), and hundreds of nations all over the globe are going through the same kinds of troubles, what is it then?

It’s a symptom of global warming — confirming predictions made as far back as the 1970s that an accelerating greenhouse effect would lead both to higher temperatures and weirder, uglier weather.

And what’s a good way to describe a feature article on Kansas’ disastrous weather that never once mentions planetary climate change?

“Irresponsible journalism” springs to mind.

Warren Senders

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