15 May 2014

Fact check: drought versus shortage

This lie caught my eye:
With Texas facing one of the most severe droughts in history - one that's rapidly depleting the state’s reservoirs and underground aquifers.
Here's the corrected version:
With Texas facing one of the most severe droughts in history, continued use of water is rapidly depleting the state’s reservoirs and underground aquifers.
Droughts are natural. Shortages are manmade.

We'll now continue with our regularly scheduled broadcast.

3 comments:

  1. One looming question (perhaps one that people don't want to really tackle right now) is whether Texas' drought (and California's too) is actually now the new normal.

    If it's a drought, then the weather of the past few years is an aberration, and government relief (and insurance relief, too) can be called for.

    If it's the new normal, then the weather of the past few years is what the weather of the next few years (and possibly decades and centuries) is more of the same. This means that the concept of "relief" is no longer viable, that it would be merely "relief" from living in a desert. Government agencies and insurance companies would - likely - no longer have to pay any recompense. (And any recompense would become welfare.)

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  2. Thanks. I need to be reminded to be sensitive to this sort of non sequitur. It might be more accurate to say "continued irresponsible use of water ..." since responsible use could probably maintain the aquifer and provide for some human use

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  3. @Umlud -- extremely relevant question. "Nobody ever says the Sahara is in drought"

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