horrific heat wave and unprecedented drought. Knowing how droughts were affecting our own Central Valley just in the last year or two, I know the kinds of stress the citizens of those states are going through. I wish them the best.
One thing really strikes me, though. In Texas, there is governor (and potential presidential candidate) Rick Perry who was calling for days of prayer to make it rain (to make God make it rain?). It didn't work. In Oklahoma, the citizens continue to elect Senator James Inhofe, one of the most vociferous deniers of climate change and global warming. I cannot help but be impressed by the almost precise alignment of the exceptional drought and the boundaries of the two states (aside from New Mexico).
I have written at length (in these posts, for instance) about the unfortunate tendency of certain reprehensible and irresponsible religious "leaders" and televangelists to lay the blame for natural disasters on the citizens who happen to live in the affected areas. There was the business of blaming Haitians for their earthquake and the people of New Orleans for bringing on Hurricane Katrina. It seems that this particular situation is ready-made for placing blame and judgement on the people of Texas and Oklahoma, but I don't hear any preachers stepping up to the mike about this, except for a few scattered references to the end times.
Is it easier to believe in a few religious nutcases when faced with a situation like this, or is it easier to trust climate scientists who have spent their careers studying climate change, and who have successfully predicted these kinds of events? One episode doesn't prove global warming any more than a snowstorm disproves it. But the increasing number of heat waves and droughts in the predicted locations is ominous.
Whether it is God's punishment or yet another piece of evidence for global warming, I hope Senator Inhofe and Governor Perry are paying attention. Senator Inhofe in particular may not see glaciers melting in the Arctic, but he should certainly be able to see the crops withering in the sun in Oklahoma.