A three-year drought in California’s Central Valley is driving households to desperation, with the New York Times telling the story of Tulare County residents who “cannot flush a toilet, fill a drinking glass, wash dishes or clothes, or even rinse their hands without reaching for a bottle or bucket.”
“You don’t think of water as privilege until you don’t have it anymore,” said local resident Yolanda Serrato. “We were very proud of making a life here for ourselves, for raising children here. We never ever expected to live this way.”
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On the Climate Progress blog, Joe Romm warns that this “dust-bowlification” will “become commonplace for the Southwest, Central Plains, and much of the currently inhabited and arable land around the world in the second half of the century” without immediate, drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. “By failing to curb carbon pollution, humans are dramatically increasing the chances of multi-decade megadroughts that in the past have overturned entire civilizations.”