Dry Me a River

By Bill Maher

Americans are willfully ignorant. If you give any credence to science whatsoever, you know global warming is happening. If you have eyes and nerve endings, you can see it and feel it. And yet, we somehow dismiss this crisis, this global emergency, as something we'll either think our way out of or Jesus will take care of. But what if Jesus' way of taking care of it is to slowly turn up the thermostat until we take a hint and get off our asses?

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 65 percent of America's mainland is experiencing some form of drought. In Michigan, hay has gotten so expensive people are abandoning their horses. In Colorado, Parks and Wildlife officials have had to destroy 30 "nuisance" bears because they've encroached on populated areas looking for food. In Missouri, over-dry soil is shifting, causing homes to crumble and crack. In New Mexico, ranchers are cutting their neighbors' fences so their cattle can graze. In Texas, water is so scarce Rick Perry’s been forced to grind up and snort his painkillers.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Map courtesy of NDMC-UNL.

In fact, as Forbes recently reported,

"Droughts, floods, hurricanes and other extreme weather cost the U.S. economy at least $55 billion in 2011, according to NOAA, with 14 separate events exceeding $1 billion. The devastating drought and associated wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma alone cost American crop farmers $7.6 billion and the cotton and cattle industries around $5.4 billion."

There's a real, measurable economic cost. You'd think, for no other reason, greed would compel us to adjust how we live and make money in a way that would allow us to, well, continue to live and make money.