Monday, May 28, 2007


It's just the end of May, the time of year when everything should be verdant and lush. Yesterday, as I was walking through the front yard of one of my respondent's houses, I noticed that the yard was beginning to have the sound that grass gets in driest August; the sound of brown, dry grass. Yipes! And today, as I was feeding the dogs, I saw that birds have been in the dog's water. There is a creek across the street from our house; a couple of days ago I saw that it is dry, an event that doesn't usually happen until much later in the summer. I guess the birds are getting water where they can. I can't imagine what it will be like in August and September if we don't get much rain by then.

We're so spoiled. We turn on the tap and water comes out. That never ends: as long as we need it, water will be there for us. (I'm talking middle-class Americans here). We never have to really consider the impact of a drought beyond not being able to water our lawns without fear of a fine. We believe that true adversity can't touch us; that technology will save us from nature and from the cumulative impact of our collective actions as a culture and nation. Acid rain? Global warming? Floods? Droughts? Hurricanes? No worries: I'm safe in suburbia. I stand with my President and I know he will protect me (those people in New Orleans chose their fate when they decided to stay).

Here's a map of last week's drought conditions:

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