Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Dealing With Drought
Much of the country is dealing with drought conditions but nowhere has been hit worse than right here in West Texas. In all of 2011 Odessa has received .16 of an inch of rain -- yes, 16 100ths of an inch of rain in seven months (and we had not gotten much precipitation before that -- 13 or so inches in 2010, which was not an outlier one way or the other). The fact that it has been over 100 degrees virtually every day for weeks on end has not helped. The region is parched. Lawns, if they still exist, are beyond relief for anyone adhering to the watering restrictions (many, many people are not adhering to those restrictions because people are selfish pricks).
This is the real danger of the potential devastation of climate change. It also reveals the possibilities of a serious resource scarcity that has the capacity to undermine not only American, but global stability. If you want to imagine a war of all against all, imagine if most of Texas finds that its access to water has been severely restricted.
There will be a certain irony in Texas scrambling to access potable water given that folks in this state have often been fond of festooning their vehicles with bumper stickers reading "Burn more oil and freeze a Yankee." Well, Tex, northerners can use electric heat or fire up the wood stoves. Good luck drinking your precious unrefined oil. Of course then I remember: I live in Texas now.
In any case, it's hot as hell and dry as a bone in Odessa. And while there have been hints of relief coming -- it was banner news in the Odessa American when West Odessa, but not the rest of the city, got rain last night -- we will believe it when we're wet.