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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 ...

Ranchers lose hope drought aid will come in time

by Margery A. Beck, Associated Press, -- 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, -- 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.

Rains Too Late to Revive Drought-Stricken Crops

by Sam Nelson, Reuters, -- 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, -- 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, 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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When you say congress, rather you should say (11+ / 0-)

    Congressional republicans.  Totally unwilling to vote for anything that could make anything better during Obama's administration.

  •  Just something to think about, but (9+ / 0-)

    I think we should always use the term "climate change" instead of "global warming".

    When you say "global warming", we're setting ourselves up. The moment the first snowfall or rainfall hits, "global warming" becomes an instant punchline.

    "Climate change", however, can be used to describe freakish snow and rainstorms as well as vicious hot stretches like this one. Because it's not tied to a description of temperature.

    I know that "climate" is not the same thing as "weather" and that "global warming" can mean unusual snow or rain fall, but the average person isn't a climatologist and they don't always get the differences. When the first snowflakes hit the ground this fall, all talk of "global warming" will be forgotten as they run outside to idle their gas-burners and laugh at how foolish they were back in the summer when they worried about "global warming". Haw, haw.  

  •  What should Congress do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's hard for me to imagine how one legislates against drought.  Tax credits for farmers and others damaged by the drought?  Drought management programs?

    Just curious. I haven't watched debates on this.

    •  Opening up federal lands for grazing - allowing (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      politik, DuzT, jamess, PeterHug, NoMoreLies, Timaeus

      farmers to mow and collect 'ditch weed' for emergency feed for livestock along the highway and interstate right of ways.  As pointed out in the diary, make arrangements to purchace goods at a better rate (say beef is now going at $100 per hundred weight due to flooding the market - purchase at $120 per hundred weight).

      Just to name a few things....

    •  the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, Timaeus

      first intro link puts it this way:

      The House approved $383 million in disaster relief earlier this month, but Congress went home before the Senate acted on the bill.

      The Senate had previously passed a disaster aid package as part of a five-year farm bill, but GOP leaders in the House refused to bring that to a vote because many Republicans object to the nearly $80 billion included for the food stamp program.


      Priority number one is gridlock,

      Priority number two is all their vacations.

      business as usual.

      Are you ready to Vote? Are you still 'allowed' to Vote?
      -- Are you sure?

      by jamess on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 07:48:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Man's impact on the environment is well known (n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, NoMoreLies

    with pollution, habitat encroachment, fertilizer run-off, topsoil erosion, and dead spots in the ocean to name a few.  
    Unfortunately conservatives and their monied influences have built a huge distraction around climate change/global warming.  Climate change is only the tip of the melting iceberg.

    •  I heard something a few days (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      on Bill Maher, I think.

      the author of Carbon-nation  (sp?)

      was saying our farming techniques are

      crushing the soil's natural ability to store CO2.

      He was adamant that if we change the way we farm
      we could start to curb the rate Climate Change, through the soil

      -- although he really didn't get into the specifics, of how that worked,

      Maher was making constant jokes.

      Are you ready to Vote? Are you still 'allowed' to Vote?
      -- Are you sure?

      by jamess on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 07:45:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the weirding of the weather continues (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, NoMoreLies

    in what has been a rather prolonged drought in the southeast (not like the drought in the midwest, as these droughts had less of extreme high temperatures, but are more cyclical),  pockets of rain and cool exist, after a hot and dry July, it has been a cool and wet August in North Georgia, so much so that one evening every body at the barn went looking for jackets.  That's October weather, not August weather.  Grass, which in a normal year, let alone a drought year, would be crispy and browning,  is green as can be and growing six inches a week, no problem with hay here, if you can cut it for the rain.  Other parts of the state can't beg or borrow rain.

    But in the midst of the green, the corn crop looks like crap, because when we needed the rain for the ears to form and grow, we didn't get it.

    And for once, every one wants a cold winter, good hard freezes, if we don't kill bugs soon, we will be totally over run with flies, misquitoes, stink bugs, fleas, ticks, beetles, roaches, etc.  

    As for Republicans hurting the midwest, western states,  I can only hope it shows up in the polls come November.  These red states/lean red states need to see what racial hatred, religious wingnuttery and fiscal stupidity cost them in the most basic ways.   When the chips are down, you are on your own because rich people need more money.

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