Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.
By James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Jay Glascoe and Makiko Sato — August 1999
Floods, Droughts Are ‘New Normal’
“It’s a new normal and I really do think that global weirding is the best way to describe what we’re seeing,” climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University told
Drought peaked during the 1930s. The last 50 years has seen much less drought than the previous 50 years. The new normal is for people like Katherine Hayhoe to talk confidently about things they obviously know little about.