Andrew Revkin, the ‘Dot Earth’ blogger for New York Times, discusses the connection between the turbulent weather, droughts and floods, and the politics of climate change:
The extraordinarily hot, dry summer in the American heartland has seen higher temperatures, so far, than any single year during the devastating 1930s dry spell … As corn crops wither and food prices rise, this has resulted in a steady string of visits to Iowa and other sun-baked states by politicians, including both Rep. Paul Ryan and President Obama today.
It has also resulted in a stream of coverage and commentary on the relationship of this and other recent drought episodes to global warming. It’s worth digging a little deeper and putting the heated discussions of the moment into global and historical context.
Which he does here. Yet, the leaders have studiously ignored the issue and avoided anything that approaches a commitment to respond.
For the record, I’ll make a prediction. If (and here’s the qualifier) there’s another year – two at the most – of the extremes in weather we have seen this year, along with the consequences and costs, material and human, accompanied by the drumbeat of data and exposure of media, the politics will follow. It may come as suddenly as a derecho – but it will come.
How the politics will manifest itself, I couldn’t say. That’s why history is such a good read: the forces, the unexpected events and the response of leaders and followers all conspire to produce the unpredictable. No doubt, it will all seem obvious in retrospect.
But whatever comes in on the wind will not be denied.