Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Reddit Commenters Debate: Did Texas Deserve the Drought?

Photo by Wyman Meinzer/Texas Monthly

The bacteria Chromatiaceae grows in oxygen-deprived water. It turned Croton Creek, a tributary of the Brazos, eerily red during the 2011 drought.

Our story on how the drought killed over 300 million trees in Texas got picked up by the social news site Reddit today. And it didn’t take long for one commenter to pose the question: Maybe Texas was asking for it?

“Couldn’t happen to a more deserving state,” Reddit user quelar wrote. “Perhaps this may change some peoples minds about the dangers of global warming. But I know it won’t.”

The idea that Texas deserved the drought because of stateĀ officialsĀ that deny climate change (starting with the governor) and industry-friendly policies is no doubt offensive to a wide variety of people in the state. And turns out it’s offensive to many in the Reddit community, too.

RjoTTU0bioĀ writes that he thinks the drought has forced many Texans to confront the reality of climate change: “As a Texan with a brother in Austin, parents in Houston, a girlfriend in Dallas, and that attends a college in Lubbock, I have seen it all. I witnessed the buffalo bayou drying up in west Houston, the dust storms in the plains, the drying up of lake Travis in Austin/Marble Falls, the yellowing of yards in the suburbs, and the fires (some controlled) that hit central and north Texas.”

“At one point I was driving from Lubbock to Dallas on 114, and as far as you could see to the south was dead burnt trees, and live trees to the north,” he continues. “I think the climate change skepticism is diminishing here in everyone other than the big oil employees.”

Jackson3135 concurs:

“I came in here for actual conversation and found only Texas bashing instead. Wow. Way to go, guys. You should feel proud of yourselves.

… Don’t come in here and say that you hope MY state, and the state where literally MILLIONS of people vote left, turns into an environmental s%*# hole, or that somehow every Texan is to blame for the right wing and isĀ deservingĀ of their policies’ resulting consequences.”

saktiDC backs that up:

“100% with you. I can’t believe people would go that direction with this. Climate change effects everyone, and Texas is on the front lines. Stay liberal Jackson! We’ll make Texas a swing state yet šŸ™‚

But not everyone in the forum is against the idea that Texas, in a way, had this coming. cryptoz writes:

“Texas governor Rick Perry has chosen toĀ pray for rainĀ rather than do anything to address the actual problem. While I would never wish harm on people, it is interesting to see the people of Texas vote for politicians who are willfully ignorant of what a drought is and how it works. They definitely deserve what they get.”

And we’ll leave you with MoreBeansAndRice‘s response to that:

“Unless Rick Perry controls ENSO (La Nina was the primary driver of this drought) then I pretty sure that voting for him has nothing to do with the weather or climate.”


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