The death toll continues to rise because of the California wildfires currently scorching across wine country. With 23 dead and hundreds missing, the fires are labeled as a ‘serious critical catastrophic event’ complete with power grid failures. The wind known as the Diablo is picking up again, the air is dry, there is no rain in sight and the killer wildfires that have scorched the wine country of Northern California remain almost completely uncontained. Officials warned Wednesday that some of the big fires could merge making them almost impossible to contain. While thousands have been told to evacuate or prepare to leave their homes, hundreds are missing and 23 are dead. There’s now also a probable link between the wildfires and the power grid failure. The huge utility company PG&E acknowledged that the extreme winds late Sunday and early Monday had knocked trees into power lines in conditions conducive to wildfires. ‘The historic wind event that swept across PG&E’s service area late Sunday and early Monday packed hurricane-strength winds in excess of 75 mph in some cases,’ said Ari Vanrenen, a PG&E spokeswoman, in a statement released after the San Jose Mercury News first reported on a possible link between the wildfires and the power grid. ‘These destructive winds, along with millions of trees weakened by years of drought and recent renewed vegetation growth from winter storms, all contributed to some trees, branches, and debris impacting our electric lines across the North Bay,’ she said.
This post was published at shtfplan on October 12th, 2017.
In a breakthrough that could permanently ameliorate the threat of thinning water supplies in California and much of the western US, a team of scientists says it will soon be able to induce rainfall and lightning storms by firing high-energy laser beams into the heavens. Express reports that the breakthrough involves manipulating the static electricity present in clouds – which, after all, are just balls of condensation, triggering rainfall, according to experts at the University of Central Florida and the University of Arizona. A six year drought in California was finally declared over this year but the threat for the south-western state as well as other locations in the world remains the same.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 29, 2017.
Grover Cleveland was probably the most libertarian of all presidents with respect to the use of federal funds. He vetoed almost 600 bills, and most of these were boondoggles for federal funds. His most famous veto was of money to buy seed corn for Texas farmers who were suffering from drought conditions. I don’t think President Trump is going to veto any such legislation this month, nor do I expect him to wax eloquent about reasons for the veto. Here are the words of Cleveland. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Feb. 16, 1887 To the House of Representatives: I return without my approval House bill number 10203, entitled “An Act to enable the Commissioner of Agriculture to make a special distribution of seeds in drought-stricken counties of Texas, and making an appropriation therefor.” It is represented that a long-continued and extensive drought has existed in certain portions of the State of Texas, resulting in a failure of crops and consequent distress and destitution. Though there has been some difference in statements concerning the extent of the people’s needs in the localities thus affected, there seems to be no doubt that there has existed a condition calling for relief; and I am willing to believe that, notwithstanding the aid already furnished, a donation of seed grain to the farmers located in this region, to enable them to put in new crops, would serve to avert a continuance or return of an unfortunate blight.
This post was published at Gary North on September 07, 2017.
Throughout history, until about the middle of the 18th century, mass poverty was nearly everywhere the normal condition of man. Then capital accumulation and a series of major inventions ushered in the Industrial Revolution. In spite of occasional setbacks, economic progress became accelerative. Today, in the United States, in Canada, in nearly all of Europe, in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, mass poverty has been practically eliminated. It has either been conquered or is in process of being conquered by a progressive capitalism. Mass poverty is still found in most of Latin America, most of Asia, and most of Africa. Yet even the United States, the most affluent of all countries, continues to be plagued by “pockets” of poverty and by individual poverty. Temporary pockets of poverty, or of distress, are an almost necessary result of a free competitive enterprise system. In such a system some firms and industries are growing or being born, others are shrinking or dying; and many entrepreneurs and workers in the dying industries are unwilling or unable to change their residence or their occupation. Pockets of poverty may be the result of a failure to meet domestic or foreign competition, of a shrinkage or disappearance of demand for some product, of mines or wells that have been exhausted, of land that has become a dust bowl, and of droughts, floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. There is no way of preventing most of these contingencies, and no all encompassing cure for them. Each is likely to call for its own special measures of alleviation or adjustment. Whatever general measures may be advisable can best be considered as part of the broader problem of individual poverty. This problem is nearly always referred to by socialists as “the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty.” The implication of the phrase is not only that such poverty is inexcusable, but that its existence must be the fault of those who have the “plenty.” We are most likely to see the problem clearly, however, if we stop blaming “society” in advance and seek an unemotional analysis.
The price of your bagels and pizzas are about to rise as the cost of so-called ‘aristocrat of wheat’ – Hard red spring wheat – is exploding on the back of a worsening drought in the US High Plains. Futures soared as much as 8.5 percent on Thursday, the most intraday since 2010, after Canada cut its planting outlook and drought conditions expand in U. S. growing states. Prices are up 31 percent in June, beating the gains for 80 other commodities tracked by Bloomberg.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 30, 2017.
After 51 consecutive months, the dead CAT spell is finally over. On Monday, traditionally just ahead of earnings, Caterpillar reported that in March its world retail sales rose 1% Y/Y, the first increase since November 2012. The reason: Asia/Pacific, also known as China, which saw a 46% surge in total machine sales, up from 39% last month, and the best Asian performance going all the way back to April 2011. Aside from China, however, the drought remained as every other region posted a decline in annual sales, led by Latin America (down 25%), North America (down 13%) and EAME (down 3%).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 24, 2017.
While some measure of stability has returned to pockets of northern Syria following the Syrian Army’s recent liberation of al-Qaeda from Aleppo and elsewhere, external forces seem determined to keep the region volatile, regardless of the cost. In the latest example of aggressive foreign intervention in Syria, Turkey, which has long played an antagonistic role in Syria’s nearly six-year-long conflict, has now cut off the flow of the Euphrates River into Syria, depriving the nation of one of its primary sources of water. According to the Kurdish Hawar News Agency, Turkey cut water supplies to Syria around Feb. 23, which subsequently forced a hydroelectric plant at the Tishrin Dam to shut down while also significantly reducing water levels on its associated reservoir. The dam supplies both water and power to key parts of northern Syria, such as the city of Manbij and other parts of the predominantly Kurdish Kobani Canton. The dam is one of several major dams along the Euphrates River. Just downstream from Tishrin lies the Tabqa Dam and its reservoir Lake Assad, which supplies Aleppo with most of its power and drinking water, as well as irrigation water for over 640,000 hectares (2,500 square miles) of farmland. A city official in Manbij told Hawar that the city would provide generator fuel to civilians to help cope with the blackout that has resulted from the river being cut off. The same official added that Turkey had ‘violated the international conventions of water and rivers energy by cutting off Euphrates water.’
Following a woefully belated response by California authorities’ to the dangerous situation unfolding at the Lake Oroville Dam in Northern California over the weekend, an evacuation order forcing some 200,000 people living below the tallest dam in the US remained in place early on Monday after residents were abruptly told to flee when a spillway appeared in danger of collapse. The Oroville dam is nearly full following winter storms that brought relief to the state after four years of drought. Water levels were less than 7 feet (2 meters) from the top of the dam on Friday. State authorities and engineers on Thursday began releasing water from the dam after noticing that large chunks of concrete were missing from a spillway. California Governor Jerry Brown asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday to declare the area a major disaster due to flooding and mudslides brought on by the storms.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 13, 2017.
NASA has actually admitted that there may be a link between the solar climate and the earth climate. ‘[In] recent years, researchers have considered the possibility that the sun plays a role in global warming. After all, the sun is the main source of heat for our planet,’ Nasa confirmed. Despite the constant stories of how recent years have been the hottest, historically, NASA has estimated that four of the 10 hottest years in the U. S. were actually during the 1930s, with 1934 the hottest of all. This was the Dust Bowl; the combination of vast dust storms created by drought and hot weather.
Just as California’s liberal elites had convinced everyone that climate change had permanently altered global weather patterns such that the entire state was doomed to be stuck in a perpetual drought which would inevitably render it about as inhabitable as the surface of Mars within years, an unrelenting series of storms has struck and in a matter of days filled lakes, overflowed rivers and buried mountains in snow. And just like that, 40% of California was lifted from a drought that had plagued the state for a decade. Of course, that much rain, in such a short period of time, can have devastating consequences as this video from Big Sur illustrates.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 13, 2017.
Submitted by Gaius Publius via Down With Tyranny blog, I’ve written in the past about two of the most climate-vulnerable regions of the U. S., Florida and the American Southwest. (A third region, the Pacific Northwest, is vulnerable, but to a non-climate event, a magnitude 9.0 mega-earthquake.) Here I want to look again to the problems of California and the Southwest. Much of the water that sustains California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and surrounding areas comes from the ever-drying Colorado River. Just as it’s now clear that we’ve passed the tipping point for extreme weather, we’re also very likely passed the tipping point for the long-term habitability of the American Southwest. The report is from NASA; the write-up is from EcoWatch (my emphasis): NASA: Megadrought Lasting Decades Is 99% Certain in American Southwest A study released in Science Advances Wednesday finds strong evidence for severe, long-term droughtsafflicting the American Southwest, driven by climate change. A megadrought lasting decades is 99 percent certain to hit the region this century, said scientists from Cornell University, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 15, 2016.
The Foliage Network Still far too early for leaves to be changing colours, except for the ones that have fallen because of the mini-drought we had here that was broken when the cold front went through last night. And those went right from brown to ground. lol. Today is just a gorgeous early autumnal day: crisp and sunny. Its always a little cooler up here in the foothills.
Only a careless person would waste water during a drought to water their lawn – only the government would bring that waste to an entirely new level by watering a fake lawn. Los Angeles, CA – The drought in California has been big news for roughly five years, and water conservation is on everyone’s minds. Oddly enough, government buildings in California are actually watering fake grass during these difficult times. According to a CBS Los Angeles investigation, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has been using water sprinklers on fake grass at their buildings, despite claiming that they have curtailed their water usage. A sign at one of their locations even read ‘We stopped watering the grass to do our part to save water.’ Local residents are furious with the situation, considering that there are strict regulations against their water usage, and they risk fines and other penalties. ‘They’re quick to fine us for certain things, overwatering or whatever. That kind of raise questions,’ resident Amber Gordon told CBS.
The plight of the American farmer has been a frequent topic for us over the past couple of months. A few weeks ago we pointed out how declining corn, wheat and soybean prices were leading to the first declines in farmland values in the Midwest since the 80s (see “Farmland Bubble Bursts As Ag Credit Conditions Crumble“). We alsoquestioned whether California farmland was overvalued by $70 billion as almond prices have been cut in half over the past year and drought conditions threaten farming sustainability in many regions of the Central Valley (see “Is California Farmland Overvalued By $70 Billion?“). Most food grown in the U. S. has come under extreme pressure in 2016 due primarily to lower Chinese consumption resulting from the combined effect both a weak Chinese economy and a relatively strong U. S. dollar. This slack in demand has resulted in massive supply gluts for several commodities as producers failed to adjust supply quickly enough to meet new levels of demand. Unfortunately, per the USDA’s latest farming income forecast for 2016 (released yesterday), conditions only look to be getting worse for farmers as demand still remains low but supply has been slow to adjust in the wake of improving yields. Below are a couple of the key takeaways from the USDA’s 2016 forecast. Real farm incomes in 2016 are expected to sink below 2010 levels which represents a 34% decline from the recent peak and 14% decline YoY.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 1, 2016.
The German government is now advising its people to stockpile food for 10 days. This advice should be heeded throughout Europe and even in the United States. Here are the storage tips from the Red Cross. This is now time to begin to do this. Those who have the basement space, may also want to consider setting up your indoor farm. It’s not a bad idea. Besides the risk of civil unrest disrupting food supplies, we are headed into a serious downturn in temperature. During such sharp cold spells, food rises in price and declines in supply. Great famines coincide with war and plagues. But there are droughts and ice age type declines which also have reduced food supplies. Some famines have sparked great migrations such as the Irish potato famine 1845-1849. Sweden and Finland saw 15% of their population die in the 1866 – 1868 famine. The Ukrainian Famine of 1932 – 1933 caused by the Russians killed about 8 million for which the Ukrainians will never forget.
Back in December 2015, international surfing phenom Kelly Slater set the internet abuzz when he released video footage of himself surfing what he called the “perfect” man made wave. Slater made headlines again in May 2016 when he announced the sale of a majority stake in his Kelly Slater Wave Company to the World Surf League, an organization that hosts surfing competitions around the globe (terms of the sale were not disclosed). We have to admit, it’s pretty awesome, dude. Turns out that the perfect man made wave happens to be located in the middle of California’s Central Valley, over 100 miles from the coast. For those of you not familiar with the Central Valley, it’s an agricultural oasis in the middle of California that produces a large percentage of the fruits and vegetables consumed in this country (see our post entitled “California Is Turning Back Into A Desert And There Are No Contingency Plans“). The problem, as we’ve pointed out multiple times on this site, is that California’s historic drought has forced farmers in the Central Valley to fallow over 500,000 acres in recent years due to a lack of water. In fact, as can be seen in the charts below, state and federal water allocations to farmers in recent years have been all but non-existent. That said, farmers aren’t the only ones making sacrifices, water wells are running dry for rural homeowners in the Central Valley and Jerry Brown imposed the State’s first ever mandatory water restrictions on residential consumers back in 2015.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 9, 2016.
Submitted by Erico Matias Tavares via Sinclair & Co., Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the US, supplying water to Arizona, Southern California, southern Nevada and northern Mexico. As such, its levels can provide a useful indication of the water situation in the US Southwest. And the picture right now is anything but comforting. At 1073ft above sea level, the July reading at the Hoover Dam was the lowest elevation since the reservoir was filled in the late 1930s, lower even than the first threshold (1075ft) that triggers emergency rationing measures across several states. However, the crucial measurement is not the current level but the mid-August assessment by the Bureau of Reclamation for 1 January 2017. And if it is below that threshold an official water shortage at Lake Mead will be declared.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 6, 2016.
Californians were recently warned that water levels in the San Luis Reservoir were dangerously low and that water deliveries from the project would likely be shut down as early as this weekend. The San Luis Reservoir supplies water to the Santa Clara Valley, San Benito County as well as farmers in the Central Valley. As of July 22nd, the reservoir stood at 11% of total capacity (226k AF) which puts storage well below the levels recorded during the driest season recorded in 1976-1977. This news comes in spite of a robust rainy season in California with YTD precipitation roughly 16% higher than the long-term average and over 200% higher than the driest 1976-1977 season.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 23, 2016.