How’s the weather, America? July 5, 2012 edition
Everything west of the Mississippi is still on fire.
Also, some spots east of the Mississippi. Maybe also the Mississippi.
InciWeb tracks wildfires currently burning in the United States; right now, there are literally hundreds of thousands of acres on fire or recently burned. (Grist List has a horrifying, sad video from a family that visited the “moonscape” that was once their neighborhood.)
On the plus side, people are more and more willing to point at climate change as the culprit. Here’s Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano drawing that connection.
Meanwhile, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) told the National Journal, “It was only a matter of time before someone came out and wanted, for political gain, to link global warming to recent events.” One time, he built an igloo to dispute global warming for his own political gain, so you should literally do the opposite of everything he says, always.
People are powerless.
(See what we did there?)
A series of storms swept across Michigan yesterday, knocking out power for more than 283,000 homes and businesses. There are still thousands of customers in the Washington, D.C., area without power after the derecho.
June was ridiculously hot …
Between June 25 and July 1, the nation saw 2,100 record high temperatures.
… which damaged a lot of crops.
Already, some farmers in Illinois and Missouri have given up on parched and stunted fields, mowing them over. National experts say parts of five corn-growing states, including Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, are experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions. And in at least nine states, conditions in one-fifth to one-half of cornfields have been deemed poor or very poor, federal authorities reported this week, a notable shift from the high expectations of just a month ago.
Crop insurance agents and agricultural economists are watching closely, a few comparing the situation with the devastating drought of 1988, when corn yields shriveled significantly, while some farmers have begun alluding, unhappily, to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
On the other hand, some experts think it might not be as bad as the crushing drought that resulted in the mass migration of thousands of Americans in the 1930s, so that’s good. Sen. Inhofe was unavailable for comment.
It is hot currently.
Thirteen states are currently experiencing temperatures over 100 degrees. Washington, D.C., has set a record for the most 95 degree days in a row. In Tennessee, it is literally too hot to go fishing.
Counterpoint: The weather in southern England is quite nice!
I was there last week. We’re talking mid- to upper-60s! Or, in Celsius, 4 or something. It was pleasant.
Also, I saw these little piglets.
Yes, we’re always going to post pictures of cute animals to counteract the heavily depressing weather news. Unless Inhofe comes out in favor of cute animals, because then we’re obviously doing something wrong.