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Sep. 02, 2011

The Sooner State’s state of seeing climate change sooner

by Neil Wagner

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It may be time to rewrite a classic. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s legendary 1943 musical “Oklahoma!” boldly proclaimed, “You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma. Oklahoma, OK!”

These days, not so much. The past 12 months in Oklahoma have been interesting, to say the least:

  • This July’s average temperature in the state was 89.1 degrees, more than 7 degrees above normal. That happens to be the U.S. record for any state’s hottest month.
  • The state’s western half has seen no measurable rain in 10 months.
  • As Bebbo touches on in today’s strip, Oklahoma has also set all-time records for its lowest temperature, 24-hour snowfall, tornadoes in one month, and driest 11 month period.

Ironically, Oklahoma is home to U.S. Senator and outspoken climate change skeptic James Inhofe, who said “catastrophic global warming is a hoax.”

Julie Cart and Hailey Branson-Potts’ article in the Los Angeles Times discusses Oklahoma’s situation as well as that of Texas, where they’ve become accustomed to declaring state disasters and are implementing “toilet to tap” programs. Yes, it’s what you think and, yes, it sounds icky.

LAST DAY TO ENTER:

Your creative idea could be chosen to appear in the September 23rd edition of What on Earth? which highlights Moving Planet, the worldwide event being planned by Bill McKibben’s 350.org environmental organization. Entering the contest is easy:

  1. Think of a green mode of transportation (Walking? Electric car? HANG GLIDING?) — the wilder the better — we want your craziest green ideas!
  2. Post your idea on the “What on Earth?” Facebook page www.facebook.com/whatonearthcomics by TOMORROW.

That’s it! The winner will first be announced through 350.org. The What on Earth? comic strip featuring your idea will be circulated around the world including right here. Good luck!

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LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT ON EARTH?…

Interview: Katie Kline, Communications Officer at Ecological Society of America interviewed me via Skype for the ESA’s Ecotone blog. Read and hear it here.

Video: Bebbo and Kito were featured in one of Jim Parks’ terrific Today’s Green Minute episodes. See the video! Learn moreabout it.

About Neil Wagner

Neil Wagner's What on Earth? comic strip uses humor to discuss global warming.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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