By David Flemming
The lower 48 states in the U.S. have the smallest levels of drought in years. That is the conclusion any observer will come to after looking at the US Drought Monitor, a project produced jointly by the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). As of August 6, only 4.4% (see chart) of the U.S. is in drought, slightly higher than the 19-year low of 2.3% this past April.
What does this mean in regards to climate change? Not much — after all, we have only have two decades of data, while the earth’s climate has been changing for centuries. That didn’t stop climate alarmists from using California’s record-breaking drought to jump to conclusions regarding the severity of climate change and the potential for parts of California to be uninhabitable in the 2020s. But California’s drought ended in March, and the rest of the U.S. is similarly in good shape, at least water wise.
Of the 30 lowest U.S. drought weeks in the past 1023 weeks, 19 have occurred in 2019.
Since climate change is a global phenomenon, we should strive to work on measuring droughts on a global scale, which is much more difficult to do than just measuring the U.S. We should continue to measure CO2 emissions, sea levels and frequency of storm events to get a better picture about how climate change is affecting our the environment and our quality of life, and adjust our lives accordingly. Ideally, with maximum personal responsibility and minimal government involvement.
David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.