Temperatures soared into triple digits across the western United States as a continuing heat wave strained energy supplies and sent thousands to beaches, lakes and shopping malls in search of cooler climes. The high temperatures are affecting people’s normal activities. “Some days I am so exhausted from the heat, I have been going to bed before 8 p.m.,” Zimmerle writes. “This triple-digit heat has also affected our business since it is almost impossible to put shingles on in this type of weather.” Many types of economic activity are curtailed in the driving heat.
In the press are the headlines, “Tightening the Noose, U.S. Corn Crops Devastated.” The U.S. government continues to slash supply estimates for nearly everything in the U.S. cornucopia, including corn, soybeans and sorghum. It has started to rain but it’s too late to benefit the devastated corn crop. Farmers and everyone else who is paying attention is watching the corn fields deteriorate on a daily basis. Some have seen cornfields browning at the roots in weeks past and now fields that have held up longer than others are starting to fail.
The two worst levels of drought now grip nearly one-fourth of the lower 48 states, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported. About 24.1% of the region was suffering extreme or exceptional drought in the week ending August 7, up from 22.3% in the previous period and 18.3% last year.
Let Them Eat Ethanol
Gasoline prices in the United States rose over the past two weeks, driven partly by supply disruptions and a drought-induced rise in ethanol prices. In 2011, almost 40% of the giant U.S. corn crop went into making ethanol, and the United States still exported more than half of all corn shipments worldwide. Lawmakers have asked Obama to relax ethanol production targets, citing low corn supplies and spiking prices.
An Obama spokesman says officials are keeping a close eye on corn yields but have made no decision. We know that there is going to be a lot less food around since governmental officials are not shutting off the spigot to ethanol producers to prevent a sharp spike in food prices.
Shenggen Fan, director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute, said the global spike in food prices in 2008 showed how poor crops and tight supplies have wide impact. IFPRI is the analytical arm of a coalition of agricultural research facilities. “Food crop demand for biofuels, particularly in the United States and European Union, must be cut substantially, as should mandates for ethanol content in fuel, to help relieve the pressures on both domestic and global food markets,” Fan said in a release.
“Poor and vulnerable groups in developing countries are hard hit by high and volatile prices of the agricultural commodities they depend on for their primary daily caloric intake,” Fan said. “As experienced during the 2007-08 global food price crisis, price movements in domestic markets can have significant impacts on global markets, and vice versa.”
Not Just an American Problem
The drought that’s drying up the Heartland of America isn’t just an American problem. It’s already causing food prices to surge worldwide. “This is not some gentle monthly wake-up call, it’s the same global alarm that’s been screaming at us since 2008,” said Colin Roche of Oxfam, noting that the drought could lead to food shortages for millions of people worldwide.
Analysts expect corn yield to fall below 128 bushels per acre. That would be the lowest yield in 14 years and down 23% from the record 166.0 bushels that was initially forecast by the U.S. government.
Vegetable gardens are withering; onions are dying off and apples are rotting as soon as they ripen. Corn crop yields in the largest producing states will be much lower than experts have forecast though they are dropping their expectations as fast as their intellects can handle.
Buyers in China and other hungry nations fret that the expected sharp drop in U.S. harvests will cause shortages and price spikes. Greg Page, chief executive of global grains trading giant Cargill, Inc. said on CBS that, “What we see are 3-4% declines in supply lead to 40-50% increases in prices, and I think the mandates are what drives that.”
Stock Up While You Have the Chance
Stock up on delicious super/survival/medicinal foods while you have the chance has been my mantra of late. My urgent call and advice to my readers is to secure your food supplies and that is not going to be easy in the world of tomorrow that is hurling at warp speed at us today. My idea of survival food is quite a bit different than most others. I recommend a great-tasting superfood formula that has a long shelf life and doubles as a potent medicine for health and strength.
People in the News
The news itself today is having a more violent effect on our senses, mirroring as it does the surging violence of Nature as well as the weaknesses in us humans that are coming more frequently and intensely to the surface. People are becoming upset and are sensing something coming around the corner though there are plenty of folk out there who fantasize that life will continue on just as usual.
It is hard to navigate one’s way through life with so much uncertainty threatening from so many sides.
- Photo: CLARA MOLDEN
One of my favorite people to listen to is Nigel Farage, a British politician, currently the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Member of the European Parliament for South East England.
The Daily Bell writes, “He is a courageous politician… Anyone who has seen the many YouTube videos of Farage standing up to the EU political establishment, speaking eloquently in Parliament without notes about the corruption and disenfranchisement of the European public, has got to come away with some feeling for the man.”
He did an interview with Eric King entitled, “They Will Collapse the System & Enslave People.” Farage moves in power elite circles. He doesn’t know ABOUT these people; he actually physically knows them. He knows where they live, what they think and… most importantly, what they have in mind.”
Preparing for the world of tomorrow is not easy or comfortably established. It is with unease that we must navigate and find our path for ourselves and our families. Some are actually looking forward to the imminent crash of civilization because they know that it is our only hope in righting what is wrong. The problem is that we have been wrong for so long we have no idea what right is so there will be hell to pay when the storm finally reaches our shores.