"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not really a Texas-centered drought at all

via University College London


D.J. Andrews said...

Note the drought around Hudson and James Bays. I've been working in and around the fly-in communities in that area for the past few years. The people there keep asking me what has happened to the weather, and they rhyme off a list of the way things used to be (ice off lakes early June, now off in April, etc).

Wish we could ship some deniers north to live with the people up there for a while. Maybe all the anecdotes might carry more weight for them than the actual science.

Patrick R said...

For how long has Mexico been experiencing these drought conditions? When an entire country is subjected to such a drought the question of what people are going to eat must eventually come to the fore.

Michael Tobis said...

Patrick, yes that is the obvious question.

The Texas drought is almost a year old now, so I guess the same is true of the Mexican one, since they seem to be the same phenomenon.

Although there are many desperately poor people in Mexico, Mexico is no longer considered a poor country. I presume they can import food for a while on their oil income. Small solace for the long term, I'll admit.

Steve Bloom said...

The NADM, apparently using data only 16 days older, presents a somewhat different picture. It's clearly higher-resolution, but is it more accurate?

On NPR this morning I heard Somalia described as Texas-sized. I will now wait patiently for Texas to be described as Somalia-sized. Maybe after the Beast, er, I mean the Governor, holds his rally this Sunday?

Michael Tobis said...

There are various drought indices; it's not a fundamental physical quantity. These pictures are similar enough in the subtropics. (In fact, it's in subarctic Canada where they most differ.)