Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's No Joke - Spring Is Coming

For some of our staff and readers who live in the Midwest, so far spring 2013 hasn't exactly put a lot of bounce in our step. In fact, every time the temperature gets seasonably comfortable, everyone begins to cringe, as though they're just waiting for winter to jump out from behind a rock and maul the fair maiden of spring once again.

From the snowbound doubleheader at the Rockies-Mets game last week, to the spring snow storms that hit Kansas and Colorado, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota this month, Midwesterners have had good reason to fear that winter will never go away. Even now, a hard freeze overnight Tuesday into Wednesday in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa will leave daytime temperatures today far cooler than they should be for this time of year.

Not surprisingly, the anti-science idiots who insist climate change isn't real are crowing with glee once again, in the shadow of Earth Day 2013 (which was Monday, April 22). They continue to insist all this cold weather must mean that global warming isn't happening.

As we reminded them and you last year on Earth Day, there is a difference between climate and weather - and this year, that difference is more important than ever.

While the weather in the Midwest this spring may have appeared to be colder and wetter than normal, the climate for the region is still warmer - and drier. In fact, according to a report released recently by NOAA, and made understandable by the Pulitzer Prize-winning InsideClimateNews, 2013 looks to be another bleak and desperate year for drought conditions, comparable to the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s.

Thankfully, there are some state governments that are grudgingly moving forward on climate change legislation, that primarily focuses on the most important potential problem created by climate change in landlocked regions like the Midwest: water. Even in deep red conservative Nebraska, lawmakers seem to clearly understand that without access to clean, drinkable, useable water in the Midwest, everyone and everything will be dead.

We're not going to tell you that any level of government in the U.S. has been perfect on environmental issues. President Obama has been more successful in his environmental initiatives than most liberals will give him credit for - especially with the obstructionist Republicans in Congress he must deal with. Still, we expect more from him, and from all areas of government.

Those who care about the environment may get more help soon on crucial issues, in light of the EPA's harsh review of the State Department's flimsy Keystone review, and the million-plus citizen responses against the Keystone pipeline that the State Department received during the official public comment period.

No matter what the weather is outside, or what the anti-science idiots are saying, the fact remains that environmentally sensible decisions will often lead to positive outcomes in the long term.

It's also true that in the long term, spring will eventually come back to the region. As the old joke goes, why wouldn't spring come to the Midwest? It's already been everywhere else.

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