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VICTOR JOECKS: Las Vegas’ megadrought shows there’s no need to stress about global warming

Not even a megadrought can cool Las Vegas’ hot housing prices and rapid population growth. It’s another reason not to panic about global warming.

On Monday, a study published in Nature Climate Change proclaimed that the West is in the midst of a megadrought. It is supposedly the driest it has been in at least 1,200 years. Not even Joe Biden is that old.

Park Williams, a climate hydrologist at UCLA and lead author of the study, blamed global warming. His computer models attributed 42 percent of the drought to temperature increases caused by humans.

“This is right in line with what people were thinking of in the 1900s as a worst-case scenario,” Williams said. “But today I think we need to be even preparing for conditions in the future that are far worse than this.”

Just look around and see how bad things have gotten. More than 32.2 million people visited Las Vegas last year. You can’t keep would-be residents away either. In the 2010 census, Clark County’s population was 1.95 million. In the 2020 census, the population stood at 2.27 million.

That’s led local housing prices to get even hotter than the planet. Prices are up more than 350 percent in the past 10 years. In January, the median sales price of single-family homes, excluding new construction, was $435,000.

This is just what global warming alarmists predicted, right? People flocking to live where warming and drought are the worst.

Oh, wait. They predicted — and continue to predict — unthinkable disasters. Last November, Biden called global warming “the existential threat to human existence as we know it.”

“For the sake of our future, and our children’s future, we must take bold action to stem the negative impacts of climate change,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said in 2020.

Dire and widely inaccurate predictions from supposed climate “experts” aren’t new. “A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000,” The Associated Press reported … in 1989. If you go back far enough, you’ll find experts in the 1970s bemoaning the coming Ice Age. Oops.

Even when global warming alarmists correctly guess if the temperature will go up or down, their doomsday outcomes don’t materialize. That’s because as temperatures change, people make changes in their environment. Rich, modern societies are especially great at adapting.

Clark County officials have been proactive with conservation. There are restrictions on grass. Indoor residential water ends back up in Lake Mead, allowing the region to reuse its allotment.

The West isn’t going to run out of water. If the drought goes on long enough, regions will adapt. California could build more desalinization plants and increase water recycling. That would be expensive, but probably not as expensive as the $105 billion it may end up spending on high-speed rail. Arizona is exploring a partnership with Mexico on a desalinization plant.

These changes aren’t without cost. But they’re less economically damaging then ending carbon emissions. They’re also a far cry from the worst-case scenarios that global warming alarmists keep predicting.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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