Who says global warming doesn't matter? If these recent weather-related events are any preview of what's to be expected over the next several decades, I'd be tempted to say global warming will matter a lot.
To a lot of ordinary people, in a lot of extraordinary ways ...
by Margery A. Beck, Associated Press, mercurynews.com -- 08/19/2012
OMAHA, Neb. -- It's hard to tell what frustrates Todd Eggerling more -- the weather or Congress.
Searing temperatures and drought scorched Eggerling's land in southeast Nebraska, leaving little grass to feed his 100 cattle.
Then Congress left for a five-week break without agreeing on aid to help ranchers through one of the worst droughts in the nation's history.
Drought Cripples Hay Feed Industry
by Bill Tomson, wsj.com -- August 19, 2012
Widespread drought has scorched much of the pastureland and hay fields needed to sustain cattle herds in the U.S., forcing many ranchers to find feed alternatives or sell their animals early into what has become a soft beef market.
The shortage has led to higher hay prices, with some farmers saying they have to pay two to three times last year's rates.
Despite farmers setting aside more land to grow hay this year, they are still producing a lot less because of the drought, according to a recent Department of Agriculture estimate.
The Drought's so bad, that even some late summer rain fails to help to save many crops.
by Sam Nelson, Reuters, theFiscalTimes.com -- August 19, 2012
Dry weather will return to the drought-stricken U.S. Midwest crop region, with corn and soybeans ending their growing season on a negative note after this week's rains proved to be too little too late, an agricultural meteorologist said Friday.
"There were some decent rains in central Illinois and west central Indiana yesterday, but it's too late for corn and too late for most of the bean crop," said Don Keeney, meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather.
In Midst of a Drought, Keeping Traffic Moving on the Mississippi
by John Schwartz, nytimes.com -- August 19, 2012
The Army Corps of Engineers has more than a dozen dredging vessels working the Mississippi this summer. Despite being fed by water flowing in from more than 40 percent of the United States, the river is feeling the ruinous drought affecting so much of the Midwest. Some stretches are nearing the record low-water levels experienced in 1988, when river traffic was suspended in several spots.
The low water is not just affecting the 500 million tons of cargo like coal, grain and fertilizer that move up and down the river each year. [...]
The volume of water coming down the river is so much lower than normal this summer that a wedge of salt water is creeping up the Mississippi toward New Orleans, imperiling local water supplies drawn from the river.
Obama taps well of federal agencies to help drought-stricken farmers
foxnews.com, Associated Press -- August 19, 2012
The Obama administration is calling on federal agencies ranging from the Coast Guard to the Transportation Department in a multibillion-dollar effort to help farmers and others stricken by the worst U.S. drought in a half century.
The drought, expected to continue through November, has resulted in severe conditions in at least 33 states across the West and Midwest and is projected to cost the U.S. economy as much as $50 billion.
The administration has already provided farmers with an estimated $9 billion so far this year to help pay crop-insurance premiums. And just last week the White House announced the government will buy as much as $170 million worth of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish to help drought-stricken farmers struggling with the high cost of animal feed.
It's the Worst Drought in 50 years ... which should make you wonder what part of "worst" or "drought" that so much of Congress fails to understand?
Right on top of the "warmest decade" on record too.
You'd think that a lot of ordinary people, will start noticing in a lot of extraordinary ways
-- well if you think that, you'd probably be right.
And Congress (the Republican Congress) sees fit to go on extended summer vacation, as per usual. What's 50 years anyways. Nothing to break a sweat about. It's just the weather. No big deal -- for them.