Relief from the drought is on the way, as the change in season typically brings cooler temperatures, more frequent precipitation and warmer soil -- prime conditions to both help settle the nation's agricultural turmoil and help homeowners nurse lawns back to health.
"Is this global warming?" "Is climate change to blame?" "Is the weather getting worse?" These are big -- almost existential -- questions. I suspect they are a polite way of asking, "Is this our fault?"
Although placing a dollar value on wild ecosystems may seem trite, it is actually the first step towards global conservation. Once our ecosystems have been assigned a monetary value then their importance become apparent to everyone.