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Desert Diary


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It doesn't seem like the neighborly thing to do, but the temptation often is there to wish ill for others if it means gain for us. Take the drought situation. Although it's been bad for much of the West and Southwest, it's hit some areas worse than others. Those who have been following the big picture have realized a common pattern recently. Namely, that when a bit of extra moisture finds its way to the northern states like Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, the Southwest just gets drier. And when the Southwest gets a few extra drops, the northerners go mostly without. Whatever happened to the good old days, if they ever existed, when north and south alike got drizzled on.

Unfortunately, the temptation to wish nothing but dust and wind on the northerners always lurks in the back of our minds, and doubtless the same is true in the opposite direction. The superstitious might claim that the two regions cancel each other out. The more enlightened know that weather pays no heed whatever to the wishes of mankind.
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Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.