Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
While teevee heads fulminate about the Lewis Libby commutation, which Bush has promised may not be the end of administration ass-covering and that a pardon is still "on the table," there are decidedly bleak stories other than the swirling admixture of the Iraq debacle, the Darfur crisis, the Pakistani uproar, the rise of the Taliban, the devastating civil war in the Congo. Barely noticed by the Beltway bubble, droughts and floods are ravaging various parts of the globe, especially right here, where the worst drought on record is blasting the southeast.
Northern Alabama has become acre after acre of shriveled cornstalks, cracked red dirt for miles and days of unrelenting white heat. The region’s most severe drought in over a century has farmers here averting their gaze from a future that looks as bleak as their fields.We might want to reconsider the obviously ridiculous ethanol future:
The drought is worst here, but it is wilting much of the Southeast, causing watering restrictions and curtailed crops in Georgia, premature cattle sales in Mississippi and Tennessee, and rivers so low that power companies in the region are scrambling and barges are unable to navigate. Fourth of July fireworks are out of the question in many tinderbox areas. Hay to feed livestock is in increasingly short supply, watermelons are coming in small and some places have not had good rain since the start of the year.
Gleaming steel grain bins that should be full of corn ready to become ethanol are virtually empty.Actually, we don't need to reconsider it at all. It is being reconsidered for us.