‘merica – Flash! Middle America from Texas to the Northeast is currently being pounded for the second time in a month from a type of storm that has gained notoriety due to wide scale destruction. Derechos are defined as “a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath” 1 by the National Weather Service. The recent spat of storms led to page updates five times in the last month.
The term was first coined in the late 1800s by Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs, a physics professor at the University of Iowa. After power was lost by millions during an extreme heat wave in mid July interest in the term increased exponentially. West Virginia was declared a national disaster in sharp contrast to the fire scorched canyons of Colorado.
The debate over climate change rages on as “domestic energy” is exploited via partisan politics. Drought strangles crops while other regions suffer through extreme rainfall. The fate of a potential “game over” looms as tar sands harvesting threaten the already overburdened atmosphere. If climate degradation continues the human and economic cost will increase drastically while the root cause survives thanks to indoctrinated ignorance.