Noting that "This is America's hottest summer on record," Stephen Colbert recently addressed the drought that is plaguing much of the U.S. The host of "The Colbert Report" said, "This scorcher has caused a drought that rivals those of the 1930s Dust Bowl."
Despite a rosy outlook for agriculture earlier this year, "about 80 percent" of the U.S. was seeing "some form of drought conditions," by last week, reported Climate Central. Colbert observes, "An arid hellscape is not optimal for agriculture."
"Of course, the obvious answer is that farmers should switch to a crop that can withstand the heat. Grow sun-dried tomatoes or raisins," Colbert jokes. Yet the drought is no laughing matter for those whose livelihoods are challenged by the ongoing drought. Recent rains brought some relief to crops in parts of the Midwest, but it may be "too little too late to prevent further losses to corn and soybean yields," in the southwestern Midwest, explained Reuters.
For consumers, the drought could mean higher food prices later this year or in 2013. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that "consumers can expect to pay 3 percent to 4 percent more for groceries next year," reported AP.
With recent research, the link between climate change and the probability of extreme weather is becoming more apparent. According to Reuters, Christopher Field, co-chairman of a forthcoming U.N. climate change report said, "We're seeing a great deal of progress in attributing a human fingerprint to the probability of particular events or series of events."
Colbert took the news of increased food prices hard, exclaiming, "This shit just got real." He added, "It is one thing for global warming to make the sea levels rise, but nobody told me it could make my cheese levels recede."