December 14: Drought Expands In Kansas, Oklahoma, And Texas

Drought continued to expand through many key farming states within the central United States in the past week, as scattered rainfall failed to replenish parched soils, according to a report issued Thursday by state and federal climatology experts. [Reuters]

Congress isn’t planning to take action on climate change any time soon. But if the planet keeps warming, a number of states won’t be able to ignore the problem quite so easily. One good place to see this is in the Colorado River basin. [Washington Post]

American energy businesses accounted for 23 big deals this year. But not all of them were in drillers, natural gas, or oil. [Daily Beast]

In an interview with HuffPost Live Thursday, former U.S. Army Brigadier General Steven M. Anderson spoke out against the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, warning that “all Americans should be outraged” about the national security implications of the project.  [Huffington Post]

More than 100 physicians urged the Obama administration on Thursday not to approve the construction of liquefied natural gas export terminals until more is known about the health effects of hydraulic fracturing, the drilling process that has opened the way for a big increase in domestic gas production. [New York Times]

A visit to the grocery store is likely to make shoppers skeptical about news of falling inflation. The drought last summer in the nation’s breadbasket is starting to reflect in food costs even as falling prices at the pump are pushing down overall inflation. [Wall Street Journal]

Susan Rice, the embattled U.N. ambassador, abruptly withdrew from consideration to be the next secretary of state Thursday after a bitter, weekslong standoff with Republican senators who declared they would fight to defeat her nomination. [Associated Press]

Nearly 4 out of 5 Americans now think temperatures are rising and that global warming will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds. [Associated Press]

Conservative groups pressed lawmakers in a Wednesday letter to oppose all proposals to enact a carbon tax. [The Hill]

28 Responses to December 14: Drought Expands In Kansas, Oklahoma, And Texas

  1. John McCormick says:

    Watching the US winter wheat crop collapsing”

    ” Roughly 63 percent of the new winter wheat crop that U.S. farmers planted in the fall is in drought-hit areas, with the hard red winter wheat belt – especially from South Dakota to Texas – remaining deeply entrenched in drought, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Extreme temperature fluctuations from warmer-than-normal to freezing conditions have stressed the crop, which already was in poor shape due to lack of moisture.”

  2. catman306 says:

    I reposted “Vote for a Carbon Tax” at my local paper. Most of the criticism was directed at the idea of a new tax that could magically fix some problem. The right wingers really believe that ‘no new taxes’ meme. See their responses here:

  3. An additional roundup of energy and climate news headlines for 12/14 is posted at

  4. Sasparilla says:

    “The grid of 2030: all renewable, 90 percent of the time”

    Study looks at renewables 30, 90, 100 percent of the time, one of the interesting side effects of building out enough renewable energy to cover 90% use means building (in their study) 180% renewable capacity to cover peak loads under all conditions – this would have the effect of a lot of the renewable infrastructure sitting idle (particularly in the winter) – so the authors posited that since the vast majority of cost of renewables is in the initial construction and not in its ongoing use – they should use the spare electric capacity to generate heat even though its not that efficient a process since its essentially being generated for free. Interesting angle.

  5. prokaryotes says:

    Landmark climate change report leaked online

    Draft of IPCC’s fifth assessment, due to be published in September 2013, leaked online by climate sceptic Alex Rawls

  6. J.R. says:

    “But if the planet keeps warming, a number of states won’t be able to ignore the problem quite so easily.”

    If the planet keeps warming? Won’t be able to ignore “the problem” quite so easily?

    It’s weakly worded articles like this one that give everyone the impressions that it’s not dangerous, urgent, occurring (I won’t even say imminent, because it’s not anymore) and getting worse.

  7. prokaryotes says:

    Carbon dioxide affecting fish brains: study

    In the 1960s, many people learned that “acid” (the drug LSD) made them behave quite strangely. Our emissions of CO2 are causing marine life to experience the effects of a much different kind of acid, but research is showing that it may also affect the behavior of fish (the vertebrate group, not the homophonic jam band). The thinking used to be that the effects of ocean acidification were mostly limited to plankton and coral, which build their shells and skeletons of CaCO3. Impacts on these groups would then ripple up the food chain. However, it’s becoming apparent that fish can be directly harmed, as was shown in a pair of papers last month. Those studies demonstrated that increasing acidification caused increased mortality and abnormal growth of inland silverside and Atlantic cod larvae. A new study in Nature Climate Change shows that acidification can cause detrimental behavioral changes in fish, and uncovers the mechanism by which acidification affects the brain.

  8. Paul Magnus says:

    Nearly 4 out of 5 Americans now think temperatures are rising and that global warming will be a serious problem for the United States

  9. Paul Magnus says:

    Are we a new kind of microbo… let me get back to u on that….

    Permian mass extinction triggered by humble microbe

  10. Paul Magnus says:

    Utility companies should be required to create plans based on “future predictions of climate rather than historic observations,” the petition stated, and those plans should be updated as climate projections change.
    For example, Con Edison had based plans to protect its power equipment based on an 1821 storm surge of 11 feet. The surge from Sandy was nearly 14 feet.

    Read more:

  11. Merrelyn Emery says:

    Do the citizens understand that rising food prices are the result of climate change or will they just lash out at some politician or other? Should be an important strategy, ME

  12. prokaryotes says:

    Climate Change Crime Wave: Study Links Global Warming to 30,000 Additional Murders by 2099

  13. Paul Magnus says:

    Interesting. Here is a connected area…

    Is Climate Change a Mental Health Emergency?

  14. Paul Magnus says:

    Two hundred million Americans will be subject to stress because of climate change, it concluded.

  15. Paul Magnus says:

    This article was penned in march last year! I think the situation has hardened much more for the US since then….

    “The authors urged a new field of mental health study, to probe the link between climate change and mental health and come up with best practices.

    The report referenced the mental state of “solastalgia,” a term coined by Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht in 2003 as he pondered the effects of a deep drought in New South Wales. It isn’t nostalgia, which is the melancholy caused by missing of a home long gone. Instead it is the distressed caused by the alteration of one’s home environment into a disquieting new normal.”

  16. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    Athens, is that Georgia? College town, right?

  17. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    I recently saw a poll in which somewhere in the neighborhood of 29% of Americans agree with the findings of the Pinetta-Rowling Report… which doesn’t exist.