Even as Texas Governor Rick Perry campaigns around the country calling climate change science "manipulated," Texas is experiencing its worst drought since the 1950s.
According to a new report on Thursday, the summer-long drought has towns in the western part of the Lone Star state on the brink of drying up—even ones like Robert Lee, whose proximity to Lake Spence made it formerly a boating and swimming destination.
As reported by the AP:
Prized as Lake Spence's dwindling supply is, the actual water is terrible. The lake is less than a half-percent full, making what's left thick with saline and sunken dead matter, and almost too contaminated to be treated.
Beverly Hawkins, who manages the only florist shop in Robert Lee, turned on the sink in her store last week to fill a vase. She put her finger in the water and dabbed it on her tongue. It tasted salty as seawater.
"It's been worse. At least this time it's clear," Hawkins said. Like most people in Robert Lee, she brushes her teeth with bottled water.
By most estimates, the drought has caused over $5 billion in losses to the state's agriculture. And with over 90 percent of Texas listed under "extreme" or "exceptional" drought conditions by the U.S. Drought Monitor, the losses are bound to have implications for the state's agricultural system for years to come.
But don't try telling that to Governor Rick Perry.
"If you’re in the farming business, you’re going to have good years, you’re going to have bad years. It's just our bad year coming," said the presidential hopeful recently. "We’ve had some awful good ones, back in—and we'll be fine. As my dad says, it’ll rain. It always does."
Read the full story after the jump.