While those of us who live in the Northeast may not believe it, last winter was America’s warmest ever recorded.
California was already experiencing drought conditions, and the warm winter and lack of snowpack going into the summer won’t help.
Florida is also at risk for negative consequences of climate change — but for sea level rise and flooding.
Neither of these states have put forward quite the best response to their respective impending dooms, which of course provides perfect fodder for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.
Employees at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection were famously barred from using the words “climate change” and “global warming” since Rick Scott became governor of the state in 2011.
In a news clip on The Daily Show, former Florida state employee Kristina Trotta said they were not even allowed to mention “sea level rise,” but had to use the term “nuisance flooding.”
Just trying to help, Jon Stewart whipped out his “Roget’s Denial Thesaurus” to suggest Florida officials could use the terms “moisture inconvenience,” “statewide jaccuzification,” and “surprise pool party.”
But really, Florida has made it too easy for Jon Stewart to get laughs at its expense. All the show had to do to underscore the absurdity of the situation was play a clip of Florida’s Emergency Management Chief speaking at a state Senate hearing.
When directly asked a question about the state’s response plan for future climate change related emergencies, the poor man had to do linguistic backflips to avoid saying the forbidden phrase. The entire Senate chamber erupted in laughter.
A tough nut to crack
On the other side of the country, California has instituted restrictions on personal water use, such as requiring restaurants to give water only to customers who ask for it.
But Jon Stewart isn’t convinced that’s the right way to address the drought problem: “California’s fix for the biggest drought in its history is to slightly curtail the personal water use that makes up a whopping 4% of California’s water footprint.”
Agriculture is the sector that guzzles most water in California, and some crops require more than others. Alfalfa, used for livestock feed, takes about a fifth of the state’s water. Almond growing is another top water consumer for the state.
So what better way to emphasise agriculture’s attitude in California than have a talking almond and burger show up to bully Stewart into not asking for water at restaurants so they can get their water?
Watch the whole video below, courtesy of Comedy Central.