April 14, 2014
It may seem like only yesterday that Texans were asked to conserve water after another scorching summer, but in reality it was four, dry years ago. The drought, which began in 2010 after La Niña altered sea level temperatures in the Pacific, continues to persist in the Lone Star State and promises to surpass the state’s record-setting multi-year drought from the 1950s. Ranchers have been forced to sell off cattle, town water supplies continue to go dry, and power plants struggle to provide a reliable supply of electricity due to water scarcity and long stretches of hot weather. Given these bleak conditions, it should not come as a surprise that 70 percent of Texans believe global warming is happening—and 52 percent said they have personally experienced the effects of global warming.
Don Cheadle will kick off the new series this Sunday, as he travels to Plainview and Lubbock, Texas to meet with ranchers, Texas Tech Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe and others as they share how their lives are impacted by the drought. EDF’s own leadership, Fred Krupp and Eric Pooley, participated on the advisory board for this film, along with several other thought-leading experts and environmental advocates. For a sneak peak, watch here. For my fellow Texans and me, the drought has been at the top of our minds for the past four years and will be for many more. And as climate change intensifies, many other Americans will also face the water scarcity issues we Texans are too familiar with. Most of the western-half of the United States is currently in the midst of a drought and California, in particular, is reeling from the effects. In fact, California’s conditions are very similar to those in Texas back in 2011, which means rising food prices and devastating wildfires are soon to follow, and the impacts will be felt far beyond its borders.