This week’s climate change subject is drought. The following is an allegorical story on that subject from a series of books I wish to publish, World of Thermo.
Story 5 from Grim Reaping: Wind Whistlers
“Caw! I need to rest my wings on this metal thing”, said Squawk, a vulture, to Caw, a crow, who were two of Hetia’s carion fowl friends in the summer of 2025. “It looks like it has wings too. Thousands of these metal trees have cropped up all over the Plains. I wonder what type of seeds the humans are using to grow these? They must be delicious! Speaking of my diet, I have gotten so fat, Caw, from picking at new, numerous dead carcasses. I like the cattle flesh the most. It looks like Hetia’s latest heat wave and drought is the most magnificent in my lifetime. Those human thermometers were reading near 115 at Kansas City the other day. The air is so stale and dry. I think that our mother has overdone it.” The two birds had perched themselves on one of the wind blades of a power windmill in the western High Plains meant to generate electricity.
A second dust bowl was underway in the western Plains because of global warming. The thing should have been turning, but the air was too calm due to the extremely hot and stable conditions the day that various blackbirds were perched on windmill blades. “Hush Squawk! You know how the Mother likes to get the weather as hot as she can make it. She is never satisfied. Don’t let her hear that you think that it is too hot. You might just become part of a human pie”, laughed Caw.
A third bird joined the two chirpers, a raven. The raven just listened to Squawk squawk, “Yeah, I am an old bird now. I can’t remember colorful, tropical members of our kind flying into the southern Plains like they did this past winter.”
Caw replied, “I do remember when there were delicious fields of corn as far as the eye could see. Being a crow I love corn. I wonder when Hetia will let corn grow again here in western Kansas?”
The raven perked up and said, “Nevermore.”
Squawk asked Caw, “I passed a human sign on the way to this perch saying Chanute, Kansas. Small towns in the Plains, such as Chanute, are now deserted by the humans. I wonder if they will be rebuilt?”
The raven replied, “Nevermore.”
Squawk also wondered, “If we continue to follow and obey the mother Hetia, will we continue to get a good supply of horseflesh and dead cattle to eat?”
The raven replied again, “Nevermore.”
Squawk and Caw looked at each other, and didn’t know whether this raven was just another dumb bird or had the mind of a wise, old owl. Perhaps the raven was just parroting away. Caw pipped up,“Maybe Hetia will allow the Plains to cool enough for grass to grow again. I love waddling around in that green stuff.”
The raven replied, “Nevermore.”
Squawk said, “Human cars aren’t so bad. Occasionally they hit an animal, so I can gnaw on it. When will we see at least a few pass by on these country roads again?”
To which the raven replied, “Nevermore.”
Caw asked the ultimate question, “Will the humans ever be as plentiful as gophers and prairie rats in the Plains, as when I remembered back in my youth? You know raven, if you keep on repeating the same words, you will have a couple of angry birds on your hand”, said Squeak.
The raven paused, said “nevermore”, then quickly flew off into the red, roaring sunset far away from the two perplexed chirpers.
A second dust bowl in the U.S. is not out of the question in a warming world per climate models, especially in the western high Plains. Will there be temperature readings as high or higher than 115 Fahrenheit in cities such as Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Kansas City? The answer is yes during the summer, particularly as we head towards the middle of the 21st century. Agriculture will suffer in a warming world, which could lead to new ghost towns in portions of the Plains and West.
Windmills have been and will continue to be a great, growing source of power for the Plains as we move through the 21st century, but there is a danger that during the summer, air may become so stagnant that those turbines may not generate enough power for increased electric and air conditioning needs.