don’t call it “drought”

I’ve long thought “drought” is a troublesome word, implying abnormal when we’re really talking about dry part of the normal range of variability.

My colleague Rene Romo has a marvelous quote that sidles up to that point in an excellent story today about the problems of southeastern New Mexico farmers and ranchers:

Woods Houghton, the Eddy County agriculture extension agent, said the county lost roughly 30 to 40 percent of its farmland output this year due to drought.

“I always tell people in Eddy County we are in perpetual drought interrupted by moisture,” Houghton said. “But the last two years have been more severe than anything I’ve seen in the last 32 as county agent.”



  1. Easy to just define away the problem this way, John. Very similar to the logic expressed in your Mayan collapse column. Erroneous approach IMHO.

  2. Pingback: Another Week of GW News, September 2, 2012 – A Few Things Ill Considered

Comments are closed.