June 17th, 2013


Happy World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

Apparently it's World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. I'm in favor of that! Combating desertification and drought, I mean. I'm neutral on there being a world day for it. Seems like it should be more of an ongoing effort rather than just a day.

Desertification is not something we Upper Midwesterners generally worry much about, except in the sense that desertification elsewhere in the U.S. leads people in those desertified or desertifying areas to eye the Great Lakes greedily and think about building big pipelines to divert water from them. Drought, though, that's something we've been known to deal with. Indeed, my part of Wisconsin was in drought as recently as May of this year. Not for any recent lack of precipitation, though; it's just that last summer's dry spell was so long and so severe that it took that long to recover from it. At one point we went 22 consecutive days with no measurable precipitation. That's hardly been the case this year. We're already received close to 24 inches of precipitation here in Madison this year, more than twice as much as we'd received by this date in 2012.

One of those rainy days was, alas, this last Saturday, on which night I went to a baseball game. The good news is that it didn't start to rain until the bottom of the 8th inning, by which point the Mallards were leading the Bullfrogs 4-2, so the Mallards won and I got a solid two and a half hours of baseball entertainment before getting a solid drenching on the way to the bus stop. (I forgot my umbrella.) Plus I got the free hat -- kind of a cheapie, even by free hat standards -- not to mention a free toothbrush from Dr. Jay Hazen and free sunglasses from TDS, respectively the official dentist and cable TV provider of the Madison Mallards. So all in all, a successful night at Ye Olde Ballparke.