With all due respect to Jennifer Hemmingsen (July 7 column), itís not just Midwesterners who love talking about the weather. From Iowa to India, Iceland to Indiana, itís one of the most universal of subjects.
And no wonder. While daily conditions may vary, every aspect of our complex and interdependent culture is built on a single foundation: the relatively benign, relatively predictable climate that has made our agriculture-based way of life possible.
While the weather may vary from day to day (giving us something to discuss), our environmentís current transformations are something altogether different. The accelerating greenhouse effect is trapping heat in the atmosphere, increasing evaporation as the air temperature rises. More humidity means more precipitation ó and more heat means more frequent storms, along with a general rise in all sorts of unpredictable extreme weather. All, needless to say, bad for agriculture.
To mitigate what looks ever more like a future of crop failures, infrastructural collapses, and humanitarian crises, our elected leaders and our media establishment must address the causes and consequences of climate change.