Heat, Drought, Floods & Fire
The U.S. Drought Monitor reported a nearly threefold increase in areas of extreme drought over the past week in the nine Midwestern states where three quarters of the country’s corn and soybean crops are produced. “That expansion of D3 or extreme conditions intensified quite rapidly and we went from 11.9% to 28.9% in just one week,” Brian Fuchs, a climatologist and Drought Monitor author, told AFP. The drought in America’s breadbasket is intensifying at an unprecedented rate, experts are warning. More than 95% of Illinois is in a severe drought or worse, according to a national report released last Thursday.
At the Chicago Board of Trade on Friday alone, corn for September delivery was up 2.2%, August soybeans up 1.7% and September wheat up about 1.6%. Over the next week, soaring temperatures and little rain promise to destroy more crops in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Fish and fowl are now on deathwatch as the disaster takes on biblical proportions.
A lot of people are going to go hungry and many are going to die once food prices rise through the roof. People around the world are going to get desperate in a hurry, not only from much higher food prices but also from the sheer lack of supply. Freak weather in some of the world’s vital food producing regions is ravaging crops and threatening another global food crisis of even worse proportions than the ones in 2008 and 2010, which unleashed social and political unrest in several countries around the world.
Drought and scorching temperatures in Eastern Europe from Poland to Romania also have burned up crops, causing alarm about stockpiles and soaring prices. Russian wheat harvests will also be cut by drought and Indian harvests will be cut by the poorest monsoon rains in four decades, officials said on Thursday. Hot and dry weather has forced Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan to reduce their harvest forecasts and the region’s total grain output could be at least 35 million tons less than in 2011.
Flooding across impoverished North Korea this month has killed 88 people, left tens of thousands homeless and devastated swathes of farmland. More than 30,000 hectares of land for growing crops was “washed away and buried” or “submerged,” a potential blow for a state that is beset by persistent severe food shortages.
Spain is suffering through its driest period in more than 70 years and bailed-out Portugal next door is in similar straits. Drought has put a squeeze on water supplies in parts of England and its now has begun to spread. It was underway in East and South East England earlier this year. The National Meteorological Service (NMS) reports that last September was one of the driest months in some 70 years. All the signs suggest this is the worst year for drought since 1941. The worst drought in 70 years has left thousands of cattle dead and destroyed more than two million acres (almost one million hectares) of crops in once fertile fields in north Mexico.
A devastating drought in southwestern China’s Yunnan province is entering its third year. The drought has already affected more than 6.3 million people; 2.4 million have difficulty finding access to drinking water. Since early May 2012, torrential rains have been lashing regions across China. Up to that point 26,170 hectares of croplands have been destroyed. A new round of rainstorms started in late June and now it’s reported that about 982,400 hectares of farmland have been affected. At the end of July, less than a week after heavy rain and thunderstorms unleashed the worst flooding in more than 60 years on the Beijing area, another round of flooding rain pummeled the nearby city of Tianjin. Officials have kept a tight lid on information, mindful that any failure to cope with the flooding could undermine the country’s leadership as it undergoes a once-a-decade transition.
Being Broken by Storm, Heat & Dryness
“We’ve got the ‘storm of the century’ every year now,” said Bill Gausman, a senior vice president and a 38-year veteran at the Potomac Electric Power Company, which took eight days to recover from the June 29 “derecho” storm that raced from the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard and knocked out power for 4.3 million people in 10 states and the District of Columbia.
On July 18th four giant nuclear reactors shut down in New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Maryland in response to the heat wave. Access to water and water that is cool enough to operate power plants could be an Achilles’ heel for some power plants and electric systems, as the massive drought gripping 54.6% of the lower 48 states continues. Most power plants don’t operate without continuous access to large quantities of water and water that’s cool enough. Electricity generation cumulatively accounts for more than half of all water usage, so the massive drought could become an obstacle to power production in parts of the USA. Nuclear-power production in the U.S. is at the lowest seasonal levels in nine years.
Meanwhile fires have raged uncontrollably in the western United States as well as Europe. Though it looked like global cooling was coming, exactly the opposite has struck as quick as a cobra breaking records unseen in all of recorded history. Such heat if sustained is setting the stage for breaking the back of humanity.
Northern India’s power grid crashed Monday, halting hundreds of trains, forcing hospitals and airports to use backup generators and leaving 370 million people — more than the population of the United States and Canada combined. It was the extreme heat that brought down the grid. August is not promising to be nice to the northern hemisphere as the unreal heat wave is predicted to continue.
The News Not All Bad
“Brazil has a record corn crop. They’re expected to export 14 million tons. But there’s going to be a lot of competition for that cheaper Brazilian corn,” said Bill Tierney, chief economist with Chicago-based AgResource Company. There is going a lot of dancing in Brazil as prices soar for their exports.
In Asia, top grain consumers China and India have stocks of wheat and rice, thanks to near-record harvests in the last few years. “Those things take two to 12 months to work through the system. So you’ll see some effects as early as the fall (autumn) in terms of the grocery stores and restaurants, certainly later in the year and into 2013.” The full impact of the drought on food prices won’t be known for months.
This delay will feed into psychological walls of denial and the fantasy that everything is going to be all right. At this point even the thickest minded person should see that as a minimum, with prices threatening to skyrocket that food is now a good investment of the most necessary kind.
The relief we’ve recently experienced from recent food crises is temporary, a calm before what is shaping up to be a perfect storm, which will worsen in the weeks ahead. Severe drought, floods and shortage of fresh clean water for irrigation and drinking, fragile and easily disrupted food supply chains are going to combine to cause severe shortages of food. When combined with rising prices and economic and financial collapse, we are looking right down the throat of chaos.
Crops are being completely destroyed by both extreme heat and biblical type flooding. The world’s grain and food supply is taking a major hit. Hundreds of millions of marginalized people will feel the extreme pinch of increased prices on their household budgets. “World agricultural markets have become so finely balanced between supply and demand that local disruptions can have a major impact on the global prices of the affected commodities and then reverberate throughout the entire food chain.” HSBC reports.
We’re on the edge of a food supply catastrophe and a repeat of the food shortages that caused the Arab Spring.
Special Note: I have been informed that there is a sale on Rejuvenate, my favorite super and survival food that I have been recommending as a medicine for my Natural Allopathic Protocol. They are giving a 10% discount when ordering three or more items and 20% for seven or more items. Their discount code “summer” is also available that gives an additional 10% until around September 1. Doctors may apply to qualify for buying at wholesale.
Barbara Pleasant provides detailed instructions for food storage, including curing and storing onions, potatoes, leeks, cabbage, apples, squash and other produce that will last all winter.