Hello, everyone. I am already exhausted. I got everything watered and managed to trim a bit on the roses and harvest a couple of strawberries, a lemon squash and three dragon's tongue beans. We plan to have chef salads for dinner and will use the strawberries and lemon squash. The temperature was a bit over 80 but with a brutal humidity. We expect another triple digit day. They have extended the heat warning to tomorrow. We just saw the news report on the damage from a pop-up storm that hit Gary and Merrillville--about 25 miles west of here. Thankfully, all we got was a bit of cloud cover that temporarily reduced the heat. I have noticed that the cucumbers and beans are showing a bit of stress. But the more corn plants are tasseling.
As the heat continues some news outlets have taken note. I saw a couple of stories yesterday where reporters sounded an alarm over the possible consequences--general food prices increasing by 2-5% and meat prices as much as 10%. The Department of Agriculture has severely reduced its early, optimistic estimates of corn and soy yields. I was a bit skeptical because I was reading accounts of some plains farmers sowing corn in fields that were much too dry for the seed to germinate. They had a no-win choice: plant a crop that was likely to fail and collect the crop insurance or not plant and have no income. And the weather people see no easing of the drought and an intensification in most areas.
Reading this article led me to ask a question that I am sure the powers that be would rather we not ask. The economy produced a paltry 80K jobs last month. That by itself was disappointing since most of the supposed experts thought the number would range from 100K to 150K. But then most experts I read have maintained that we need 150K each month to keep up with the new workers entering the labor market. That means that last month 70K new workers didn't have jobs waiting (150K-80K=70K). But the unemployment rate stayed at 8.2. So how many fell off the statistical radar?
Attaturk at Firedoglake has noticed the silence on the climate change denial side now that we have an ongoing heatwave of historic proportions.