Climate is a long-term phenomenon. And relative to climate, human life is short.
In 1976, I lived in Santa Barbara from January through March, just when southern California was being deluged with torrential daily rains. The TV news showed film of these downpours while "It never rains in southern California..." played in the background.
But an article in a Los Angeles newspaper at the time revealed that actually the last couple of centuries had been equally soaked. In fact, the driest period on record had stretched from the 1930's until the 1970's, exactly when the most recent migration to California had occurred. All those unsuspecting sun-seekers had put down roots in California just when the rains were holding off for forty years.
Now the West and Midwest are in the midst of a severe, record-setting drought, and those of us who live here or farm here, are looking forward to live-giving, wetter years ahead. But in fact, recent climate research shows that for the past 100 and even the past 2000 years, the country has been drying out more and more severely.
Our problem is that we live such a short time compared to climate trends, it's easy to make the mistake of judging climate by a few decades of experience. Instead, we need to do more climate research. And we need our elected officials to start believing that research as if their, and our, lives depend on it.