No, they aren’t really related. I just wanted to post tonight on two different topics.
Benghazi: The next time some right-winger starts in on Benghazi, I will say, “You know, I’m really not up on this whole Libya thing. Could you draw me a quick map and show me where Benghazi is in relation to Tripoli?”
Ogallala aquifer: Yesterday Thomas Friedman wrote about how he believed the revolt in Syria was connected to an on-going drought in that country. Men and women from the countryside could no longer make their living farming and moved to cities, where jobs were scarce. Unemployed young people are a volatile mix.
Today a front-page article in the Times talked about drought in the Midwest. Farmers are discovering that the wells they have been using to water their crops with their center pivot irrigation systems are bringing up sand. At places the Ogallala aquifer has been tapped out.
This is water underlying Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and West Texas that has been there since the Ice Age. Hydrologists think it takes thousands of years to recharge, and they have been predicting for years that we were taking too much water.
I don’t think we will see a Syrian-type revolt in Haskell County, Kansas. What I do think we will see is more and more of these environmental crises. As a headline in the New Republic put it, the planet isn’t warming, it’s dying.
How should we respond? I have it. Let’s hold more hearings on Benghazi.