Severe drought strikes US: Pray for rain!
Americans must conserve water, pray and adapt in the face of severe drought.
Be prepared to pay more for your food starting right now. Across the US, crops are failing as the worst drought since 1956 ravages the States. The result will be failed crops, failed farms, and a general rise in food prices across the US and around the world. Pray for rain.
Pray for rain, good advice this summer.
The drought is affecting crops from the California coast all the way to western Pennsylvania. The Pacific Northwest and Florida are enjoying extra moisture this season, according to information published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
Most of the western US and from Missouri to Ohio is experiencing drought conditions that are officially described as "severe." The US Agriculture Department has already declared some 1,016 counties as disaster areas.
The bad news comes as the US economy continues to grow at a sluggish pace. Now, skyrocketing food prices will probably mean higher rural unemployment and higher food prices, leaving less money available to spend on other items, thereby sending ripples through the economy.
Meanwhile, long-term forecasts predict that high pressure will probably dominate the Midwest through the summer, causing most storms to track north and east around the areas that need rain the most.
Normally, people living in the Midwest must concern themselves with severe thunderstorms that bring tornadoes and large-size hail to destroy their crops. Now, the culprit is far deadlier with wilting heat blanketing entire swathes of the continental US.
Natural disasters are typically dramatic, singular events that capture headlines, but by far droughts have historically been among the costliest and deadliest natural disasters in US history. Already the current drought is predicted to cost the economy tens of billions of dollars, and it is well on its way to being one of the 10 costliest disasters in US history.
So what can Americans do? Water conservation is a logical, immediate first step. Following that, pray for rain and have faith it will come. In the long term, this could be another impact of global climate change which is very real, even if the causes remain in dispute for some. Wise Americans will need to practice conservation and adaptation if the planet's weather changes over the generations to come.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: climate, drought, weather, food, crops, NOAA, 1956
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