Heat and Drought Pummel South and Southwestern US

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The U.S. is in the grip of a searing heat wave, with temperature warnings and advisories in effect for a large stretch of the central part of the country. States in the south and southwest have been experiencing extreme weather for many months, resulting in a severe drought across a belt of 14 states from Florida to Arizona. Crops and livestock are suffering, as farmers and ranchers struggle to keep them alive. But with no rain in sight and a shaky economy, some are questioning whether this could be a 21st century Dust Bowl.

Pete Bonds, a cattle rancher from Saginow, Texas, is in Omaha on his way to Iowa in search of new grass to feed his cattle. He says in 55 years of living on a cattle farm, this is the worst drought he's ever seen. Dr. Donald Wilhite, founding director of The National Drought Mitigation Center and now director of the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, concurs with Bonds. He thinks this drought, caused by La Nina, is likely the worst since the 1950s.


Pete Bonds and Dr. Don Wilhite

Comments [2]


Actually Peg, New York needs both the clean energy of natural gas as well as its excellent water supply. And there is no reason at all to think it can't have both simultaneously. The people in Texas I'm sure appreciate the fact that they are producing and gaining revenues from their natural gas and oil, which never seemed to interfere much with their ranching and farming economies. And of course, Texas was the first place to pioneer hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett Shale, lessons of which are now being applied on a very massive scale in Pennsylvania.

Jul. 20 2011 04:34 PM
Peg from Southern Tier NY

Heat waves remind New Yorkers how lucky we are to have SO MUCH wonderful clean water compared to the rest of the country. WATER is New York's most valuable resource - not natural gas. Fracking in New York threatens the source of clean drinking water for millions of Americans, and as it exists now, is not a safe choice for New York State and other Americans who do not live here but rely on this precious resource that originates in our state.

Jul. 20 2011 07:13 AM

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