As I watch the news updates about the hurricane in Texas, I'm amazed about the contradictions in our increasingly unstable weather patterns. While the people in Texas are getting apocalyptic amounts of rainfall, the Plains states are experiencing one of the worst droughts in decades. The drought conditions are affecting food and hay crops and searing pastures that feed the cattle, causing many ranchers to sell off their cattle. This drought situation will adversely affect the dry bean crop, wheat and barley production, corn and soybeans, and will eventually be felt in the wallets of consumers. According to the National Weather Service the drought conditions continue across western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming.
Meanwhile, hurricane Harvey is expected to linger for 5 days dumping up to 36 inches of rain in some parts of Texas. There will be major flooding to be sure and yet people will have to drink bottled water, because there will be no clean water available. This disaster too will affect many, far beyond the path of this storm...like the availability of and an increase in the price of gasoline for starters. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum! It's scary to be sure, but that's just what's happening in the U.S.
Natural disasters and extreme weather is going on all around the globe. The tsunami in Japan; landslides in Switzerland; typhoons in Asia; flooding north of Ireland, in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh; earthquake in Italy -- and all these disasters occurred just this past week. It makes doing all we can to lessen our impact to the environment even more urgent. Prayers for all in harm's way.