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Laurie David Headshot

Extreme Weather: Once Every... Well, Every Day Lately

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Extreme weather is becoming the norm. It's all but taken up residence in the Top Story slot of our evening news shows. Pretty soon we'll need another category: "extremely extreme weather."

Right now we've got four different kinds of extreme weather plaguing our country. Drought in California, with the resultant wildfires bearing down on Los Angeles. Drought-driven wildfires have already wiped out 40 homes and buildings in Northern Minnesota, while flooding in the Midwest has busted levees holding the Missouri River at bay -- with more flooding to come over the next several days. Florida is experiencing the worst drought in its history. People there are watching Lake Okeechobee water levels shrink to near-record lows with little rain in sight, and the entire watershed of the Everglades is drying out fast. There's smoke all over Orlando and the center of the state from brushfires, and Georgia's largest-ever wildfire -- which has burned over 100,000 acres so far -- is knocking on the door of Florida's northern border. And now there's Tropical Storm Andrea, a freakishly early hurricane-like storm off the southeastern coast, more than three weeks before hurricane season officially starts.

Global warming might not be directly linkable to every one of these events, but it certainly appears to be pumping our weather full of steroids and drying out our land. Just as predicted. As President Bush visits Kansas to view the aftermath of last week's killer tornado, he could do much more for the country than just paying his respects to those who've lost everything. Extreme weather is wreaking havoc on our planet, and it's high time our government got serious about solving global warming. If not, what will our newscasts look like in just two years? Keeping up with the soaring number of 'State of Emergency' declarations could become the full time job for our next president.


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