Why this story needs to be told
I wanted to know what caused the drought that cost these people their jobs. Was it just an act of god? Part of the natural cycle? Or could it have been caused by us?
Last year, Cargill, the largest privately-held company in the U.S., closed down its huge meat-packing plant in Plainview, TX. The company said that because of the drought there just weren’t enough cattle to make it worthwhile to keep the plant open.
In Pray for Rain, Don Cheadle visits Plainview and finds that most people blame the drought on the will of God or say it’s part of a natural cycle. Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist and Evangelical Christian, has a very different explanation.
Lubbock TX; Plainview, TX; Portales, NM
Meet The Characters
That day when they told us, they took us into the cafeteria…It was like they rounded up a herd of cattle…and just hit us over the head with it.
I was born into it, I was born right here. Never really wanted to do anything else until now but the thought of doing something different crosses your mind pretty regular now, maybe it’s not going to rain I don’t know. Everybody prays for it every day. I don’t know what causes it It doesn’t matter, it’s happening and the end result’s the same.
Behind The Scenes
Science Behind The Story
In Texas a three-year drought devastated the cattle herd causing the total cattle herd in Texas to be reduced by 2 million cattle.SOURCE
In Texas a three-year drought devastated the cattle herd causing the total cattle herd in Texas to be reduced by 2 million cattle.
United States Department of Agriculture. http://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/results/E943D27C-98FA-3144-A9BA-0AD4C6B91434
United States Drought Monitor. http://atmo.tamu.edu/osc/drought/animation_usdm.php?sdate=20100105&edate=20140107#
Droughts are already part of life in many parts of the world, including Texas. Severe droughts can affect our food, our economy, and even our health. As climate changes, warmer temperatures will make our droughts worse, on average, by increasing the amount of water that evaporates during the drought, and drying out the soil. Climate change is also expected to alter our rainfall patterns, bringing more frequent drought conditions to many parts of the U.S., particularly in summer.