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The Great Drought

(article, Culinate staff)

Bryan Walsh, who covers environmental issues for Time magazine, recently penned a few updates on the ongoing Great Drought of 2012. His paper take is only available to magazine subscribers, but he summed things up for online readers in a quick blog plug. 

Walsh also expanded on the topic in a lengthy blog post that listed the grim stats (half of the nation's counties are now considered disaster areas) and pointed out a confusing seeming contradiction: that, on the one hand, the drought has convinced more Americans that climate change is real, but on the other hand, the geological record shows that terrible decades-long droughts are not uncommon.

And in another blog post, Walsh documented the perverse outcome of the drought for farmers: thanks to crop insurance, they'll do just fine, while taxpayers will be on the hook both for those insurance payouts and for the higher food prices that will inevitably result from the impending crop shortage this fall.

Are we headed for a new Dust Bowl? Hard to say, but maps of the current drought sure make it look like it. 

Which is why, as Grist recently noted, farmers are embracing no-water farming. Impossible? No; actually, it's an ancient technique being revived by California farmers. And it can produce intensely flavored produce. Maybe the fruit of the future will all be dry-farmed.