By Joe Romm
4 August 2011
In light of the sustained drought, Governor Mary Fallin today asked all Oklahomans to set aside time this Sunday, July 17, to pray for rain.
That was two weeks ago. The result is that Oklahoma went from the drought condition on the right to the one on the left in just two short weeks:
Yes, in a mere two weeks, another 30% of the state went into extreme or exceptional drought! Now the entire state is under severe drought or worse.
For some reason, science-denying southern Republican governors keep returning to one particular ineffectual ‘adaptation’ strategy: “Texas Drought Now Far, Far Worse Than When Gov. Rick Perry Issued Proclamation Calling on All Texans to Pray for Rain“ (7/15/11).
And speaking of Gov. Perry, who apparently is edging closer and closer to a presidential run, his state has been utterly devastated since his proclamation. Texas A&M reports:
As Texas continues to bake in record heat, the drought news for the state continues to be bleak – Texas is now in the midst of its most severe one-year drought on record, according to John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist and professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University. …
Nielsen-Gammon explains [,] “Never before has so little rain been recorded prior to and during the primary growing season for crops, plants and warm-season grasses.”
Of course, we don’t really have any short-term strategies to address extreme weather. In the longer term, prayer would appear to be a non-optimal approach, given Texas’s and Oklahoma’s experience.
The percent of contiguous U.S. land area experiencing exceptional drought in July reached the highest levels in the history of the U.S. Drought Monitor, an official at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said
Sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions, however, would seem our best hope of sharply reducing the prospects that the Southwest becomes a permanent dust bowl. It also has the benefit of science underpinning it. […]