Friday, February 28, 2014

Sorry Denying Fools, There's Still A Drought

Orange County is one of the most affluent regions of America, and many of its well off citizens spew no shortage of effluent from their mouths about things they do not understand - either willfully or ignorantly.  When I hear some elderly, affluent man, talking to his girl friend / daughter on a walking path in a posh coastal community (like Dana Point's Strand Beach) and he says "They say on a scale of 1 to 10, that this drought is an 11, but then it rained. They don't know anything! Where I live up in Los Angeles County, they have weekend water restrictions, and you can only water on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (dagnabit!).  There's no water shortage, they just need to stop dumping it in the rivers for all them damn fish and give it to the farmers and their farms instead!" ...when I hear such mis-informed, incorrect, misguided statements coming from an elderly man, it really makes me lose respect for 'the greatest generation.'  No Brokaw, this guy was not among them.

There are many really smart, factually well informed retired persons.  I correspond via email with many of them.  I strike up conversations with some of them in person when I am at a grocery store, concert, or family gathering.  But it seems that the (wealthier they are + the older they are)  x (the more geographically concentrated with other wealthy retirees they are) = (the more willfully ignorant & misinformed they are).  As Louis C.K. once said: “A 55 year-old garbage man is a million times smarter than a 28 year-old with three Ph.D.s, especially smarter than him.”

If you are a frequent visitor to JustJoeP, you know I am a fan of rain.  I write about it Often (link here). I used to play in it as a kid.  I missed having it frequently when I lived in Arizona for 5 years.  Rain (in moderation) helps things grow, refills reservoirs, brings life to places that were rather barren previously.  Rain is good.  California is in a HUGE drought, that has been more severe than any drought in recorded 120 year history in California (here the DATA: link)
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Now, if Americans scored better on basic math aptitude tests, they'd be able to see that "6 inches" is smaller than "22 inches".  And if they scored better on English and Language aptitude tests, they'd know that "Driest to Date" does not mean "bring a chapstick & some lube when you pick me up tonight to go out for dinner".

So when there's an intense storm that sweeps into a drought stricken area, as all of Southern & Central California are drought stricken, and it drops a few inches of rain (1 or 2 or 3 inches, all numbers still much less than the 16 inches we never got last year), the drought is still not over.  It doesn't even become a mini-drought.  It's still a very severe drought.  We'd need 6 more of these massive storms to come through, and dump just as much rain (if it ends up being 3 inches, by the time it is all over Sunday - we got a 'whopping' 0.96 inches this morning... or...  about 15 more of these "1 inch" storms would be needed, for the Faux News watchers who can't do math).

Sure, the weather radar was all angry & red this morning, for about 20 minutes.  Then it passed, and the birds started singing again.  Some drizzle came, some "green radar" rain came, and then it all subsided again.  It's a very wet world outside right now, but we are still in a severe drought.

Just because it snowed in the Midwest & North East today doesn't mean there's no such thing as climate change.  Climate Change, by definition, Will Cause More Severe Fluctuations.

Tell the English citizens living along the Thames that the current variation is "normal".  Tell the farmers in Bakersfield CA that the lack of rainfall is normal.  Tell the polar bears who don't have any ice aged more than 6 months old from which to hunt seals.  Tell the Australians who had record floods last year.  Local weather events Do Not contradict over-all climate change trends.  They reinforce it.  Deny it all you want, it doesn't mean it will go away or that it is not true.

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