I wrote recently about how SD’s drought has actually gotten worse in recent months. And the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report shows things still aren’t getting better. The Rapid City Journal reports:
Drought conditions have not changed in the Dakotas over the week.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows all of South Dakota remaining in some form of drought and just short of two-thirds of the state in the two worst categories, extreme and exceptional.
North Dakota has nothing worse than severe drought. About one-third of the state is in that category. About 91 percent of the state is rated as abnormally dry or in some form of drought.
Recent reports have found that SD’s per capita income increased last year, due mostly to a boom in agriculture. This continuing drought shows up the dangers of depending on an ag boom. It also serves as continuing, real-time evidence of global climate change.
So when Rapid City will be hosting a conference this weekend on how business leaders can exploit more fossil fuels in South Dakota and the surrounding region, I can’t help wondering if they’re aware of the connection between their chosen product, climate change, and drought. Probably. They probably don’t care either – which worries me more than simple ignorance. Especially when farmers and ranchers across South Dakota (not to mention the developing world) are footing the bill for their negative externalities in the form of catastrophic droughts and extreme weather.