Drought

Responding to Collapse, Part 2: Climate Change

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Published on The Easiest Person to Fool September 15, 2018

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These squash just climbed up and helped themselves to a seat.

The title for this series of posts started out as "Preparing for collapse", but in my last post I immediately went into a rant about how I see a hard, fast, world-crippling collapse as pretty improbable. What I'm observing instead is a slow collapse that has already been happening for several decades and will continue for several more, albeit with much the same end result as a fast collapse. KMO, one of my favourite podcasters and a follower of this blog, suggested a better title would be Responding to Collapse, and that's what I'll be using from now on. Thanks, KMO.

Of course, I expect that the degree of collapse will become more intense as time passes, and it is that which we should try to prepare for (or respond to). Times will become gradually harder and occasionally bad things will happen that make things quite a bit worse all at once. But things will be much worse in some areas than others and if you are clever you can arrange to be where you'll miss the worst of it. Though if you think you can arrange to miss all of it, you're kidding yourself.

Over the next few posts I'll be offering some rules of thumb for surviving collapse. But always remember not to follow any rule off a cliff. Look at your own current circumstances and adjust my ideas fit.

All of what I am suggesting here only works if the great majority of people ignore my advice or, more likely, never hear it in the first place. One of our biggest problems, now and for quite a while yet, is that there are too many people living on this planet. If a great many people where to head in the direction I am pointing, the advantage of being there would immediately go away.

This is already starting to play out in some parts of the world where things are getting bad enough politically, economically and/or climate-wise that many are leaving in desperation. I am talking about places like the Middle East, North Africa, Venezuela and to some extent even Puerto Rico, where people are leaving for the mainland U.S. in droves. As the numbers of refugees mount the welcome they receive gets less enthusiastic. But bear in mind that the only real choice you will have in this situation is to be part of the influx of refugees or to be among of those who are welcoming it. I would say that the latter role is very much preferable. A timely move, before things get serious, can put you on the right side of things.

And those of you who applaud their government for clamping down on immigrants and immigration, consider this: if your government is so ready to mistreat "those people", how long will they hesitate to treat you similarly when it becomes convenient? Better to take part in the political process (vote, as a minimum) and work towards a government with more humane and progressive policies.

Some of those bad things that might make you want to move will be caused by climate change and today I'd like to focus on the negative effects of climate change, specifically higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns.

I should say in advance that if you are in denial about climate change, please go somewhere else where you'll be more welcome. I simply don't have the energy or inclination to engage with you. As far as I am concerned it's happening, we're causing it by adding CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and it's going to get worse for quite a while yet. Especially since it doesn't seem like we are going to do anything about reducing green house gas emissions until collapse forces us to drastically reduce our use of fossil fuels and our level of consumption in general. At the same time, I give very little credence to those who talk about near term extinction of the human race. That's way too much of an easy way out, and little more than an excuse for inaction.

Much of how we have come to live over the last few thousand years was determined by the climate, which has been fairly stable and accommodating to the way we practice agriculture. Based on this, we have been a very successful species, at least if you judge by how we have spread over the planet and how our population has grown. During the last couple of centuries energy from fossil fuels has enabled us to become even more "successful". We have overcome some challenges that had previously been insurmountable and managed to feed an ever growing population.

The Green Revolution involved some "improved" plant varieties that give startlingly better yields in response to optimized irrigation, fertilization and pest control, all of which have been facilitated by the ready availability of cheap energy. Unfortunately, this has involved the use of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels, the water in fossil aquifers, and deposits of potash and phosphorous.

We've managed to live and even farm in areas that were previously deserts. and we've been able to ship food from all over the world to areas where the population couldn't even remotely be supported by local agriculture. But the days of cheap fossil fuels, fertilizers and pesticides, abundant fossil water, and low cost worldwide shipping (with refrigeration as needed) are coming to an end at the same time as the climate is going crazy. We're are going to have to adapt as best we can.

So, let's have a closer a look at the consequences of climate change.

There is no doubt that the climate is warming worldwide and will continue to do so. That warming is much more intense in the high latitudes, leading to melting of major ice shields in Greenland and Antarctica. Mountain glaciers are also melting and disappearing at an alarming rate. To make matters worse, the water and land exposed by melting ice is much less reflective that the ice was and retains more of the heat from the sun rather than reflecting it back into space, leading to even more warming.

Ice is only about 89.5% as dense as sea water. This is why about 10% of the mass of an iceberg sticks out of the water, and why when ice floating in sea water melts, it does not change the level of the water. So the ice covering the Arctic Ocean will have no effect on sea level as it melts. But ice sitting on land does increase sea level when it melts and runs into the sea. This is true of the ice in Greenland and in mountain glaciers, and of much of the ice in Antarctica.

The loss of mountain glaciers also effects the way in which precipitation is stored and flows into rivers and we'll get to that in a moment, but for now, let's concentrate on sea level rise.

Interestingly, sea level isn't the same everywhere. When we speak of altitudes "above sea level" we are talking about "Mean Sea Level", which is an average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's oceans. But what we are concerned about here is the actual sea level at any particular location, and this can differ quite a bit from one location to another, and from one time to another, as the sea is in constant motion, affected by the tides, wind, atmospheric pressure, local gravitational differences, temperature, salinity and so forth. In addition to melting ice, sea level has been increasing during at least the last century as the oceans have heated up due to climate change. Further, many human settlements are built on river deltas, where subsidence of land contributes to a substantially increased effective sea level rise. This is caused by both unsustainable extraction of groundwater (in some places also by extraction of oil and gas), and by levees and other flood management practices that prevent accumulation of sediments from compensating for the natural settling of deltaic soils.

Here is an interactive map that illustrates what areas will be flooded as sea level rises. You can select the amount of rise and scroll around and zoom in to see the effect on the parts of the world that interest you most.

When I initially looking at that map, even with the sea level rise set to the highest level, it didn't seem all that bad—there will be lots of dry land left. But, zooming in and giving it a little further thought, I realized that the missing piece of information is what currently occupies the relatively small areas that would be flooded—a whole lot of people, many of whom are living in the world's largest and most economically important cities.

It's hard to nail down how many people will get their feet wet for any particular increase in sea level, but I did find one article that discusses this in some detail.

The writer says,

"Current estimates for the absolute maximum sea level rise, if the glaciers at both poles melted, range from 225 to 365 feet, with the latter being more likely accurate. If sea levels rose that much, coastal lands would be depressed several meters and transgressive erosion would also occur. So, for instance, even though Long Island has many points that are above 300 feet or so, none of it would survive the transgressive erosion because it is all glacial till. It is hard to extrapolate from the numbers above to a 100+ meter rise, and improper to do so, but consider that if the human population is concentrated near the seas, and 10% live below the 10 meter line, then it is probably true that well more than half live below the 100 meter line, and many more within the area that would be claimed by the sea through erosion and depression."

But while all that ice may well melt eventually, most sources predict that sea level will only go up a few feet during this century. That would be less destructive, but even moderate increases in sea level combined with more severe and more frequent storms, and with tides (if the timing of those storms is bad), will result in previously unheard of damage to seaside settlements. We've already seen some of this with Katrina, Sandy and several storms (Harvey, Irma, Maria) in the fall 2017, that hit the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico and Florida. As I write this, Hurricane Florence is heading for the Carolinas. It promises to last longer and bring with it a lot of rain due to the unusually high temperatures associated with it

Clearly, you'll want to be away from the seashore. But you don't want to jump from the pan directly into the fire, so we need t look at what other climate change related problems you might face farther inland. In an attempt to increase the content value of this post, I found some more maps which illustrate the effect climate change is going to have over the coming decades.

Climate change is a global problem, but in my search it became obvious that quite a lot more information is available for the U.S. and Canada, and since many of my readers are from North America, I'm including some of that information here.

Looking at those maps and a lot of other study led me to the following conclusions:

Tropical storms can do quite a bit of damage fairly far inland—look at what Maria did to Puerto Rico—even the mountainous inland parts of the island. This is something to take into consideration if you currently live in the Caribbean, near the gulf coast of the U.S. or near the eastern board of the U.S. Tropical storms in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are not something we hear much about in the mass media in North America, but they do happen and have lots of potential for damage to human settlements. If you live where this happens you're probably well aware of it and can take it into account in your plans.

People are often proud of the way they have managed to rebuild after storms, and this is fine if you're talking about storms that only happen once a century or so. But as storms become more frequent the financial resources to rebuild every few years will dwindle away. The best time to move is when things have recovered nicely from the most recent storm, but well before the next one. Of course, if it looks like recovery isn't going to happen, then it's time to get out, regardless of the cost.

It always astonishes me the way people are willing, perhaps even eager, to build or move into accommodation on the floodplains of rivers. The story is always that the river floods only very rarely and hasn't flooded in a long time. Now that sounds to me like a promise that flooding can be expected shortly even without climate change. But as climate change brings more violent storms even outside the tropics and changes in the pattern of precipitation and spring melting of the winter snow pack, more frequent floods are a certainty. So don't be fooled when moving into a new area—stay away from floodplains and areas likely to be undercut by erosion.

Heat waves are becoming more common everywhere, but particularly in the tropics. Many areas will eventually get to the point where they will be uninhabitable for large parts of the year if you don't have air conditioning or housing designed to cope. As always, the poor will be hardest hit.

The lack of water can be just as much of a problem as too much.

Already deserts are expanding and they will continue to do so, consuming the semi desert areas surrounding the desert where people have been living and are now forced to leave. This is already happening in North Africa and the Middle East and is the root cause of a lot of political unrest.

Droughts are becoming more common and are striking areas that traditionally have not suffered droughts. The Pacific Northwest, including California and British Columbia, is one such example. Even areas such as the one where I live, which is getting slightly more precipitation overall, are suffering from changes in when the precipitation happens. In the case of southern Ontario, we're getting more precipitation in fall, winter and spring but less in the summer. This is a problem for agriculture hereabouts, which has traditionally relied on getting a sufficient rain in the summer.

There are areas in the southwest of the U.S. that have traditionally been seen as deserts, but during the twentieth century were made to bloom, using water from pump from fossil aquifers and rivers dammed and diverted. Unfortunately the aquifers are just about depleted and all the water in the rivers is being used while demand still grows. As precipitation decreases and temperatures increase even at higher altitudes, there is less accumulation of snow and glaciers melt away, meaning that rivers fed by melting snow and ice run dry earlier in the summer, if they run at all.

There is a great deal to be said about areas outside of North America, but this would require a lot more research on my part and delay the publication of this post even more. But I was reading recently that Spain and Portugal are experiencing a severe drought, and it is expected to get worse.

People have difficultly responding rationally to these sorts of problems. Slowly increasing temperatures, slowly rising sea levels and slowly spreading desertification are the kind of thing that we tend to let future generations worry about, thinking it's not going to happen here, not just yet anyway. Then one day it does happen and many are caught unprepared.

Catastrophes that happen irregularly and unpredictably, like storms, heat waves, droughts and forest fires, are the kind of thing we live through and convince ourselves won't be happening again anytime soon. But as climate change progresses, they will become ever more frequent and more difficult to recover from.

Don't be caught in denial—where ever you are, you'll be experiencing some negative effects from climate change. But in some places, those effects will be overwhelming and the only viable response is to move away. Better to be well ahead of the rush. If you own property, better to get it sold while there are still buyers who haven't caught on to what's happening.

So, you're looking for a place that is, and will continue to be:

  • well above sea level
  • not at the top of a bluff overlooking the sea that is being gradually eroded away
  • not situated so as to take the full brunt of tropical storms
  • not in the floodplain of a river
  • not in a desert or semi-desert that relies on water from fossil aquifers that are being depleted faster than they are replenished or rivers fed by glacial melt water
  • not subject to hot season temperatures or heat waves that are not survivable if the power goes out or you can't afford air conditioning
  • receiving enough rain to allow for agriculture
  • with a growing season and soil that will support agriculture

In addition to the problems caused by climate change, the other two main concerns of this blog (resource depletion and economic contraction) are going to see most of us becoming quite a bit poorer, and not relying on anything that uses much energy, including shipping things in from far away. Most of our own food will have to be grown locally and the smaller amount of "stuff" we consume will be made locally.

In a future post (coming soon) I'll be talking about coping with the challenge of finding and fitting into a community that can survive under these conditions. For now I'll just say don't assume that collapse will relieve you of the necessity of earning a living in the growth based capitalist economy. It's going to take a long time to switch over to a low energy, low consumption, non-growth economy and in the meantime, most of us will have to keep a foot in both worlds, and initially mainly in the currently existing world.

So any plan for a move will have to take into account the necessity of earning a living where ever you go. You may well find that the pressure of earning a living pushes you in the opposite direction from what collapse related planning would indicate is best.

Next time I'll look at the socio-economic side of things—the problems caused when we are surrounded by too many people and by too few, often at the same time.

 

Drought Survey Results

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 1, 2015

http://www.oxfamblogs.org/eastafrica/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/kenya-dead-cattle-620.jpg

Discuss these Results at the Survey Table inside the Diner

Drought Survey Results are IN!

This is a very speculative survey of course.  Nobody can give any absolute scientific proof for their opinion on any of these questions.  However, when you look at a group of Doomers, you begin to get a picture of where they think things are worst, and where they are less worse.

Since you don't know precisely where Mother Nature will decide to drop down some water in any given month or year, these estimates can change quite a bit from year to year.  For instance, the El Nino event this year appears to have brought copious rainfall to Texas, which has been in drought for quite a few years.  It hasn't completely alleviated the drought, and has actually brought the opposite problem of several major Flooding Events, which can be just as destructive.  In flooding events also, most of the water isn't captured, it ends up running back to the sea before it can be sequestered behind some dam, if in fact the dam has not burst.  For predictable Ag needs, your ideal is a regular amount of rainfall, not so little everything dries up, not so much that everything is periodically under 3 feet of water and bridges get washed away.

Despite the problems with being precise here, there are some fairly obvious ongoing trends, and Doomers who follow climate issues are pretty aware of them, so getting a snapshot here of how Drought will play out is interesting information.

So, here we go.

Starting with when the Hoover Dam will have to be shut down and stop producing cheap electricity for the Vegas Strip to stay lit up and Californicators to run their Plasma TVs

http://cbsnews1.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2014/07/23/df73eed0-6c72-40de-ba13-b6f6aba30f38/resize/620x465/3f5be2b2aaff9d34c24e49b7f3d74720/452330338.jpg

What is closest to the year that the Hoover Dam will have to be shut down and stop providing Electricity?

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2025 2030 or later The Hoover Dam will produce Electricity for the forseeable future Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 3
(6.25%)
9
(18.75%)
10
(20.83%)
2
(4.17%)
9
(18.75%)
9
(18.75%)
4
(8.33%)
2
(4.17%)
3.32 48

Most Doomers believe this will occur between 2017 and 2020, about 60%.  I agree with that assessment.

At the same time though, most Doomers think it will take until 2025 before Vegas is a complete Ghost Town and the lights on the Strip will go dark forever more.

http://banki.ir/images/stories/picture/gardeshgari/vegas-business-x3.jpg

What is closest to the year that Las Vegas will become a Ghost Town?

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2025 2030 or later Las Vegas will not become a Ghost Town for the forseeable future Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 2
(4.17%)
3
(6.25%)
3
(6.25%)
1
(2.08%)
7
(14.58%)
17
(35.42%)
15
(31.25%)
0
(0%)
6.1 48

It is hard to fathom though how people will still live there for 5 more years even if there is some drinking water left.  The Casinos will all be out of biz.  What will they do for work?  It will take a while for it to empty completely of course, but I don't think it will take 5 years.

How about Los Angeles?  When do the Californicators hit the Refugee Highway and abandon Hollywood?

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/fa/84/57/fa8457de390c1cbc8f233bd93cb018dd.jpg

What is closest to the year that Los Angeles will become a Ghost Town?

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2025 2030 or later Los Angeles will not become a Ghost Town for the forseeable future Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 2
(4.35%)
0
(0%)
3
(6.52%)
0
(0%)
3
(6.52%)
11
(23.91%)
22
(47.83%)
5
(10.87%)
6.96 46

Most Doomers think LA doesn't become a complete Ghost Town until 2030, and I mostly agree with that. There will still be some left, they will desalinate water, expend huge amounts of energy to keep Snorting Cocaine in Malibu Mansions, at least if they haven't been inundated with Mud Slides before they get the lines laid out on the Mirror and the $100 Bills rolled up..

There are even bigger and more immediate problems with drought than in Vegas or LA down in Sao Paolo, Brasil.  Really all of Brasil since they are burning down the Rainforest for Ag land which might last them 2 seasons, but Sao Paolo has the worst problems right now.

http://d.ibtimes.co.uk/en/full/1406633/sao-paulo-drought.jpg

What is closest to the year that Sao Paolo will become a Ghost Town?

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2025 2030 or later Sao Paolo will not become a Ghost Town for the forseeable future Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 2
(4.26%)
2
(4.26%)
1
(2.13%)
2
(4.26%)
13
(27.66%)
12
(25.53%)
14
(29.79%)
1
(2.13%)
5.56 47

Again, most Doomers think it will take until 2020 before the city becomes unlivable, but on that one I am not so sure.  They'll need some serious rainfall in 2016 to stay viable,and the Brasilians are also BROKE.  So building new infrastructure and pipelines for water doesn't seem likely either for the Paolistas.

Probably the BIGGEST question in terms of Global Homo Sap Dieoff from drought issues is concerned is the Great Plains of the FSoA, the so-called "Breadbasket".  It's only been a breadbasket since we started pumping water up from the Ogallala Aquifer and throwing down megatons of fossil fuel based fertilizer on the soil.  Prior to this, the neighborhood was basically a desert, only suitable for grazing herds of Bison and a few First Nations People who hunted them down, following the herds.

When Ogallala is pumped dry, or when the energy to pull up what water is still left deep underground is unavailable, the Great Plains are DONE as a Breadbasket.  Once that occurs, the FSoA will not only no longer be shipping off Food Aid to MENA countries, we will have serious problems feeding our own current population.

So when does this major Doom Event come to pass?

http://www.rodhandeland.com/FreshWater/4o3%20Ogallala%20Aquifer%20Map.jpg

What is closest to the year that the Great Plains will cease to be productive as an Agricultural Region due to depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer? (20% or less of current total grain produced)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2025 2030 or later The Great Plains will remain productive for the forseeable future Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 3
(6.25%)
2
(4.17%)
4
(8.33%)
0
(0%)
5
(10.42%)
17
(35.42%)
16
(33.33%)
1
(2.08%)
6.24 48

According to general Doomer Wisdom, this will not occur until 2025 or later.  I would agree with that except for the energy issue, having enough energy to pump the water UP from an aquifer that drops lower each year.  That factor plus availability of Fossil Fuel based fertilizer brings the crash date for Midwest Grain Production closer to 2020 than 2025, IMHO.

Ordering  few US Big Shities currently threatened by drought west of the Mississippi, Vegas comes out on top as expected.

Order these USA cities from 1st to last on which will be 50% depopulated from its current population level.

 
 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

 

7

 

Standard Deviation

 

Responses

 

Weighted Average

Las Vegas 31
(68.89%)
8
(17.78%)
2
(4.44%)
3
(6.67%)
0
(0%)
1
(2.22%)
0
(0%)
10.35 45 1.58 / 7
Los Angeles 0
(0%)
12
(26.67%)
14
(31.11%)
5
(11.11%)
8
(17.78%)
3
(6.67%)
3
(6.67%)
4.75 45 3.67 / 7
Fresno 4
(8.89%)
7
(15.56%)
9
(20%)
9
(20%)
9
(20%)
6
(13.33%)
1
(2.22%)
2.82 45 3.76 / 7
Phoenix 8
(17.78%)
13
(28.89%)
7
(15.56%)
8
(17.78%)
7
(15.56%)
2
(4.44%)
0
(0%)
3.96 45 2.98 / 7
Abequerque 1
(2.22%)
3
(6.67%)
10
(22.22%)
8
(17.78%)
9
(20%)
11
(24.44%)
3
(6.67%)
3.7 45 4.47 / 7
El Paso 1
(2.22%)
1
(2.22%)
2
(4.44%)
8
(17.78%)
9
(20%)
16
(35.56%)
8
(17.78%)
5.1 45 5.29 / 7
Salt Lake City 0
(0%)
1
(2.22%)
1
(2.22%)
4
(8.89%)
3
(6.67%)
6
(13.33%)
30
(66.67%)
9.81 45 6.27 / 7

Obviously none of these places are real good choices, but at least for this bunch if you are committed to staying in this neighborhood, this might be a good time to consider converting to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  lol.

Can Water Desalination make a difference here?  There's PLENTY of Water Earth of course, Oceans FULL of it, even if it is a little warm and being pumped full of radionucleotides by the Radiation Supply Warehouse at Fuck-You-Shima.  Just gotta take the Salt out of the water and we are SAVED!

Of course, the first problem here is that desalination is energy intensive by itself, then after that it really only works in coastal cities.  Anywhere else you have to expend still more energy to pump it uphill from Sea Level.

What do Doomers think about the plausibility of Desalination as a solution to Fresh Water Resource Depletion?

http://alarifeassociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/SaudiAl-KhobarDesalinationPlant.jpg

Can Water Desalinization make a signficant difference for coastal cities in maintaining potable water supplies?

  Yes No Maybe for a short while, but not for long. It depends how large the city is. Other Standard Deviation Responses
All Data 4
(8.33%)
13
(27.08%)
27
(56.25%)
4
(8.33%)
0
(0%)
9.69 48

Most Doomers think it can make a significant difference in coastal cities for a while.  I disagree with that.  Only a very few of the richest cities in the world like Riyahd in Saudi Arabia or Los Angeles could even get credit to build these plants to begin with, and then as soon as the monetary system and energy distribution systems fail, they fail right along with them.  It's completely insignficant as a solution on the grand scale.  Epic Fail and waste of what resources we have left here.

So, all in all the Water Issues are not shaping up well, and based on the fact Homo Sap can't live more than around 3 days without Water and the crops we grow for food need copious amounts to produce high yields, it looks likely the Dieoff of Homo Sap and population reduction will begin between 2020 and 2025.  How far down it will go is anybody's guess, but once it gets rolling my guess is that it will move along pretty fast.

Next Collapse Survey TM coming soon to a Laptop Near You:  Terrorism!

Brace for impact: Super El Niño

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 20, 2015, and on Peak Resources

Source: Climate Central, 2015

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As I have mentioned in a previous post, 2015/16 El Niño period have shown signs of becoming stronger than the devastating 1997/98 El Niño. Now weekly measurements are showing that it indeed has passed the record high of 1997/98 with temperatures in the central Pacific of 3°C above normal. November is likely to be strongest month of the El Niño season that lasts until spring next year.

Source: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

 

The ongoing El Niño has already caused a number of serious impacts globally. For example, warmer waters have lead to major coral bleaching events and according to the UN, 11 million children are at risk from hunger, disease and lack of water in eastern and southern Africa, while 2.3 million people in Central America will need food aid as El Niño exacerbates a prolonged drought.

 

Regional Impacts


South East Asia: Dryer conditions in Southeast Asia has helped fuel massive peatland wildfires in Indonesia. This has caused dense haze to cover many parts of Indonesia and neighbouring countries with serious health impacts for local populations and has released a huge amount of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere, making Indonesia a major contributor to climate change.


South Asia: Lack of precipitation in India due to changes in the southwest monsoon has also caused dryer conditions and risk of drought with potentially serious impacts on farmers and subsistence livelihoods. Especially since India suffered a deficient monsoon, lack of precipitation, last year as well. Meanwhile in Myanmar (Burma) a Tropical Storm drenched the western region and caused a massive landslide. More than 17,000 homes were destroyed, 46 people were killed, and hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the storm.


Southern Africa: A number of countries in southern Africa are reporting below average rainfall leading to drought conditions and fears of food insecurity. South Africa is in the midst of its worst drought since 1982, with 2.7 million households facing water shortages and farmers that cannot plant crops because of lack of precipitation. Some cities have implemented water restrictions, drastically reducing the amount of water residents can use. Regional prices for staple foods like maize meal, bread, eggs and chicken are up several percentage points. “When the maize crop goes down, the circumstances for social unrest go up … This is exactly how the Arab spring in the Middle East started,” said Louis Meintjes, president of the Transvaal Agriculture Union.


South America: Ecuador and Peru has suffered from flooding, extensive erosion, mudslides with loss of lives and infrastructure as well as damage to food supplies. Peru has declared a state of emergency as the country prepares itself for the worst weather system in over 60 years. Eastern Brazil is experiencing a major drought, driven by population pressure and deforestation, that could be worsened by dryer El Niño conditions. Satellite data shows the southeast of Brazil losing 56 trillion liters of water in each of the past three years – more than enough to fill Lake Tahoe. Water rationing, power blackouts and empty reservoirs in parts of the country have become a reality. More than 11,000 forest fires have been observed in the Amazonas province of Brazil this year, a 47% increase over the same period last year, according to the National Institute for Space Research. The storms that usually keep the jungles of southern Mexico and Central America wet shift northward to the southern US during strong El Niño winters. According to the World Food Program, 3.5 million people in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador need food aid due to drought and crop failures.

North America: According to NOAA, almost 95% of U.S. coral reefs will have been exposed to ocean conditions that can cause corals to bleach by the end of the year. El Niño has also contributed to a very active tropical cyclone season in the Western North Pacific and Eastern North Pacific. Hurricane Patricia, which made landfall in Mexico on 24 October, was reportedly the most intense tropical cyclone in the western hemisphere ever recorded. While category 5 Hurricane Patricia weakened rapidly after hitting the rugged terrain along Mexico’s Pacific coast, remnants of the storm combined with other weather systems over the Gulf of Mexico to produce heavy downpours and widespread flooding in Texas and Louisiana


 

El Niño conditions and disease risk

The development of these conditions has important implications for global public health. Multiple epidemiological studies have linked El Niño events with increased incidence of disease outbreaks.

 


 

Disease

Region

Climatic influence

Cholera

Great Lakes region, Bangladesh, India (coastal), Sri Lanka, Peru

Warmer water temperatures promote bacteria proliferation; flooding causes contamination of water sources.

Dengue

Indonesia, Thailand, Pacific Islands, Australia (Queensland), Mexico, United States (southern), Colombia, Ecuador (coastal)

Water storage promotes mosquito vector breeding; elevated temperatures reduce the incubation period.Elevated rainfall promotes mosquito breeding.

Hantavirus

China (eastern), United States (southwest)

Elevated rainfall increases food availability for rodents which expands populations and may promote contact with humans.

Leishmaniasis

Brazil (eastern), Costa Rica, Colombia

Warmer temperatures or dry conditions may favor sand fly vectors or contribute to waning human immunity (e.g., via malnutrition or temporarily suppressing disease transmission).

Malaria

China (Anhui Province), India/Pakistan (Punjab), Sri Lanka, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela

Elevated rainfall promotes mosquito vector breeding and survival.

Plague

Madagascar, United States (western)

Heavy rains increase food availability for populations of susceptible rodents; cooler temperatures may increase infectious flea abundance.

Rift Valley Fever

East Africa

Flooding of dry mosquito vector habitats promotes hatching of infected eggs, vector breeding and survival.

Respiratory Illness

Southeast Asia/Indonesia

forest fires cause air pollution that may increase risk of respiratory infection

Adapted from Chretien et al. (2015)

Top 10 Drought Locations

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Publishes on the Doomstead Diner on November 17, 2015

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Top 10 Drought Locations

Syria

Drought is a major reason for the  Refugee Crisis in Syria, besides the ongoing Bombing and war over the Oil Resource.

South Africa

Drought is destabilizing the South African Goobermint, and heightening already strained race relations between Blacks & Whites

Brazil

Sao Paolo is the epicenter with a population of 20M, but Rio de Janeiro also has drought problems.  Slash & Burn deforestation of the Amazon Rain Forest exacerbates the problems.

California

Lake Mead is under stress, CA groundwater subsides a few more feet each year and nobody has a clue what to do if 40M Califonicators are forced to migrate.

Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe has water issues and also is on the main migration routes from MENA countries.  Their already overstressed Water resource come under more stress as a result.  A double-whammy.

Australia

Oz sheep ranching is collapsing, and they also are under Refugee stress from South East Asia.  In the best of times, Oz is mainly desert in the interior, mostly only coastal areas are inhabitable.

New Guinea

Despite periodic flooding events, New Guinea has some of the worst drought problems around.  Destination of choice for those migrants? Oz of course.

India

India depends on Monsoons and the runoff from the Humalayas for its water supply, and they have to share the water with Pakistanis as well. All are stress points, and 100s of 1000s of Indian Farmers have committed suicide over the last decade.

Western Russia/Ukraine

Another cause of the onoing and escalating war in Ukraine, traditionally the "Breadbasket" for Mother Russia.

Puerto Rico/Jamaica

Relatively small populations, but the migration issues and economic issues for the FSoA make them sigmificant problems.

Globally, the number of places wit Drought Stress increases daily.  This forces migrations, and then areas not under drought stress become overtaxed in consumption and in waste.  Remember that in most Big Shities, water is used for disposing of Human Waster, and most migrants at least at first end up in Big Shities.

From the Global Drought Information Website:

Current Conditions

By the end of September 2015, drought conditions intensified in many locations.  El Nino is present and is currently being characterized as a strong event, similar in strength to the 1997-1998 event.  It is expected to impact the weather at least through the coming winter. In Europe, drought conditions continued to impact the majority of the continent.  Some improvement was seen in the center of the continent while drought intensified in Eastern Europe. In the Czech Republic, the hop harvest is expected to drop 34% this year due to the drought.  In Asia, drought is present from western Asia, through central and eastern Russia and in Southeast Asia and the Indian sub-continent. Some areas in southern India are too dry to plow. In Africa, drought remains entrenched across the equatorial region and through much of the South. South Africa has declared a drought disaster for Free State and North West Provinces.  In North America, the El Nino has brought some relief to the southwestern US while conditions in the Southeast and through Mexico and across the Caribbean remained dry.  The Dominican Republic and Jamaica have already experienced significant crop losses. In South America, drought remains entrenched in Brazil and has intensified through the central Amazon Basin.  In Oceana, drought has intensified throughout much of the region north of Australia while drought conditions in Australia have continued unabated. Papua New Guinea has released relief supplies for those most affected by the current drough

Sense a problem here?  MANY places are both in serious drought conditions AND they were already food importers even in the good times.  The FSoA continues to be a major food exporter, but that is entirely dependent both on the water supply flowing to CA and to the Ogallala Acquifer in the grain belt of the midwest.  Globally, we are only one bad season away from an overall food deficit.  Once the buffer is gone, the starvation begins.  It may not happen next year, but each year we inch closer to this critical point.

Where will drought problems hit first and hardest?  When will the real crunch time come?  Take the Collapse Drought Survey TM and give us your opinion.

A Human Tsunami of Overshoot

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on November 13, 2015

 

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Discuss this Rant at the Podcast Table inside the Diner

By now, everyone who follows the Collapse blogs knows about the escalating Refugee crisis in Europe, as desperate Syrians and Afghanis attempt to escape War Zones for a new life in the Promised Lands of Sweden and Germany.

Already, with barely the first ripple of this wave rolling in, communities from Kos & Lesbos in the Greek Islands right up to the border between Mother Russia and Norway north of Murmansk and north of the Arctic Circle are being overwhelmed by a HUMAN WAVE.

To date, only a few hundred thousand have begun the migration to GTFO of Dodge before it is too late, but for most it is already too late.  The Borders are closing and the local populations becoming less accepting by the day of the thousands crossing their borders looking just for a meal to eat and peace in their lives.  They are sacrificing everything they have, all they have ever known for the chance to make it to the Promised Land.  They have NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE.  They know they are dead if they stay where they lay.  So move they will, en masse here.

For those on the receiving end, they have EVERYTHING TO LOSE.  Their peaceful lives to begin with, but eventually an existential battle for survival.

This year to date in the Refugee Crisis is not the End of it.  It is not even the Beginning of the End.  It is only the End of the Beginning.  Thank you once again Winston Churchill.

If you like Happy Endings, don't listen to this rant.  It will not make you happy.

http://usherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/refugees.jpg

 

Snippet:

Even if they had food enough, they don't have the infrastructure necessary to handle so many coming in at once. The Finns are talking about using Conex shipping containers for housing refugees this witer in Finland, one hopes with some insulation added and a wood pellet stove for heating. However, what are they using for Toilet facilities in these instant ghetto communities? What is the water supply for the community? Who is hauling out the solid waste of water bottles and MRE cans and paper plates and plastic forks and spoons? Who pays for all of this and with what working money?

This crisis is already here, even without a global food deficit, and it is not going to get any better next year. Measures will be taken to try and close off borders, which will become increasingly harder to enforce and increasingly more violent. Refugee camps will be attacked and set on fire, as has already occurred in Sweden. There will be pileups of refugees in countries with very porous borders like Turkey, which again is already beyond capacity for handling the flow. It's a Human Tsunami of Overshoot, and the Wave hasn't even crested yet…

TAKE THE DROUGHT SURVEY HERE

Survey: Drought

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 10, 2015

http://cbsnews1.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2014/07/23/df73eed0-6c72-40de-ba13-b6f6aba30f38/resize/620x465/3f5be2b2aaff9d34c24e49b7f3d74720/452330338.jpg

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Although drought issues have somewhat dropped off the Collapse Headlines these days in favor of Refugee issues in Europe, drought remains on onging and increasing collapse problem.  In fact it is actually a main driver for the Syrian refugee issue, many towns and villages in Syria inhabited since Biblical times have been abandoned due to a very long ongoing drought there.  Syria is at the epicenter of the Middle East drought problem.

http://www.earthintransition.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/syria-drought-091313.jpg

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/03/02/263FC28000000578-2976063-image-m-35_1425320641620.jpg

From the Daily Mail:

Did climate change trigger the war in Syria? Severe drought may have contributed to uprising, study reveals 

  • Study finds that Syria suffered the worst drought on record before the war
  • Researchers say rainfall in the region fell by 10% between 2006 and 2010
  • Agricultural production in Syria fell by a third while the population soared
  • This led to an influx of people into cities causing rising poverty and unrest
  • This eventually led to the uprising that led to civil war breaking out in 2011
  • Scientists say drought was likely worsened by man-made global warming 

Drought problems are cropping up in other places also, the situation in Sao Paolo, Brasil has become critical.

http://thecityfix.com/files/2014/11/brazil-drought-sao-paulo-water-variability.png

http://i.embed.ly/1/display/resize?key=1e6a1a1efdb011df84894040444cdc60&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpbs.twimg.com%2Fmedia%2FB0q9LmGCAAAdqxq.png

And of course we all know about what is ongoing in CA and in fact many states west of the Mighty Mississippi, despite El Nino dropping floods on Texas, the Ogallala Aquifer continues to deplete at record rates.

http://theparagraph.com/wp-content/articles/post109/us_uncon-semi.gif

So, for our new Collapse Survey TM this week, we are looking to find out how long before these drought issues seriously affect the Land of Good & Plenty, the FSoA.  When will Californicators resemble Syrians, and start trying to migrate en masse to Alaska?  Which Big Shities will be the first to go down the toilet and when?

Since the Collapse Personality Profile Survey TM shows clearly that Doomers are GENIUSES,  your input is welcome! 🙂

TAKE THE DROUGHT SURVEY HERE

Water Stress in the Mediterranean Basin

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 5, 2015, and on Peak Resources

https://songwriterstipjar.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/dry-riverbed.jpg

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Global pressures on finite water resources have grown rapidly over the past decades as a result of population growth, increasing per capita consumption and industrial agriculture. Overexploitation of groundwater in agricultural regions of particular concern are north-western India, the north China plain, the Great Plains of North America and the Central Valley in California (Rockström et al. 2014). Climate change is already impacting the number of people living in absolute water scarcity (Schewe et al. 2013). Water scarcity is a recurrent imbalance that arises from an overuse of water resources, caused by consumption being significantly higher than the natural renewable availability. Water scarcity can be aggravated by water pollution and drought.

 

River basins, with withdrawals exceeding more than 40–60% of available water resources, experience severe water scarcity. Many economically important river basins around the world are suffering from unsustainable withdrawals of water that impinge on ecological needs or have surpassed ecological limits such as the Amu and Syr Darya, the Indus, the Nile, the Colorado, the Orange, the Lerma Chapala, the Murray Darling and the Yellow River basin.

Global hydroregions – population pressures on water security

 

 

The map above shows a relative pressure indicator (incorporating population density and runoff) for river basins in different hydroregions of the world. We can see that dry belts (medium density and very low runoff) around the equator and northern mid-latitude (high density and medium runoff) have the highest pressure on water security, while hydroregions with minimal pressure are due to high runoff and/or low population density (e.g. Amazon and Orinoco basin, Boreal hydroregions, Northern Australia basins) (Meybeck et al. 2013). Water security pressure range from the most to the least densely populated: Asia > Europe > North America > Africa > South America > Australia. Interesting to note is the difference between the “Old World” (Asia, MENA, Europe) and the “New World” (Americas and Australia).
 

Overall Water Risk around the Mediterranean

Shows level of overall water risk (physical quantity, quality and access). Source: Aqueduct-Water Risk Atlas

 

In the map above we see which countries and city regions around the Mediterranean that suffer most acutely from overall water risk. London, Budapest, Bucharest, Valencia, Naples, Odessa, Donetsk,  Sofia, Istanbul all show signs of high overall water risk due to population pressure. Countries in the dry belt of North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) all show signs of high overall water risk, either from depletion of water resources, pollution or lack of access to clean drinking water.


 

Baseline Water Stress around the Mediterranean

Shows baseline water stress (the ratio of total annual withdrawals to total available renewable supply). Source: Aqueduct-Water Risk Atlas

 

If we look at baseline water stress defined as the ratio of total annual water withdrawals to total available renewable supply (accounting for upstream consumptive use) we find that stress is extremely high (dark red) in parts of Morocco, Tunisia, Spain, Italy, Malta, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Azerbaijan, and Iran. If we compare the map above to the one below, showing population pressure in the Mediterranean region (in 2009), we find that baseline water stress occurs around many of the big cities as expected.

 

Population density around the Mediterranean

Source: UNEP-Grid (2009)

City regions along the Mediterranean east coast in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt have high population density in close proximity to each other. This at the same time as they suffer from extremely high baseline water stress is like begging for a conflict. Italy, Spain, Greece and Malta will suffer in the future if they don't do somthing about their unsustainable water situation immediatly.  Morocco, north Algeria and Tunisia will also have to adress their water situation.

Access to Water in Europe and MENA

Shows level of water risk related to access (% of population without access to safe drinking water). Source: Aqueduct-Water Risk Atlas

 

People may not perceive water stress as an issue depending on access to water defined as % of population without access to improved drinking water. Here we see the situation being severe (>20%) in countries undergoing conflict such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and large parts of North Africa. In the map below we can see that Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Cyprus all have desalination plants (red ring). This requires lots of energy, most likely from fossil fuels, that many countries can’t afford to spend and it only furthers global warming. Relying on desalinated water is a very risky strategy.

 

Water infrastructure around the Mediterranean Basin

Source: UNEP-Grid (2009)

 

From all the above pictures it is not difficult to figure out that water stress, together with climate change and peaking fossil fuels will lead to migration and conflict without any foresight or planning ahead. Water is essential for all life, without sufficient water resources people have no option but to move as ecosystems dry out. Relying on groundwater pumping and fossil aquifers with little respect for ecological limits or plans for collecting rainwater is a disaster in the making, of which we are seeing the first signs. Furthermore, explosive population growth in the MENA-region following their oil boom have lead to far more people than the arid landscape can provide for. The only reason this population increase was even possible was due to fossil aquifers now empty and massive amounts of energy from oil that has been used to desalinate water from the ocean. But these are finite resources. Thus the crisis we now see in the Middle East was forseeable, it was only ever a question of when, not if. The German Advisory Council on Global Change reported on these risk already in 2007. Most other European countries must also have been aware of these risks. A little planning could have gone a long way but all we see now instead is chaos.

 

Migration pattern due to ecological degradation and climate change

Areas where drought, desertification, and other forms of water scarcity are estimated are expected to worsen and could contribute to people migrating away from these areas to secure their livelihoods. Main projected trajectories are added where climate change-related migration can be expected in the future. (Source: Bogardi and Warner, 2009).

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America’s Refugee Crisis: On Its Way

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Published on The Daily Impact on September 9, 2015

Palestinian_refugees

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Syrian refugees in a camp in Turkey proclaim their reverence for the Koran being held aloft, and their hatred for Syrian dictator Hafez Assad. (Photo by Freedom House/Flickr)

 

Syrian refugees in a camp in Turkey proclaim their reverence for the Koran being held aloft, and their hatred for Syrian dictator Hafez Assad. (Photo by Freedom House/Flickr)

Hideous choices now urgently confront the countries of Europe as they flounder in deep waters, borne down toward drowning by the inexorably growing weight of human misery cascading into and over them from Africa and Asia. Solutions are not even imaginable, especially when so few recognize the root causes. [See “The Choice Worse than Sophie’s,” “A Tsunami of Climate Refugees is Drowning Europe.”] What even fewer will admit is that a refugee crisis of similar intensity is coming to America. In a sense, it is already here.

The refugee crisis now gestating in the United States is not one of desperate brown people pouring over our southern border,

nor even of desperate snow bunnies crashing our northern boundary, although one of the candidates for Captain of the Titanic thinks we should consider a wall on the Canadian border. The people who will constitute our next tsunami of misery, its like not seen since the days of the Dust Bowl, are citizens, already here, their misery steadily approaching the intolerable. Soon, because they have to, they will start to move.

If you want to count them, get to know them, begin with the 94 million people who have vanished from the American work force. Each month, the don’t-worry-be-happy bean counters of our government report, as they just did for August, the “creation” of a robust 173,000 jobs, resulting in a healthy contraction of the unemployment rate — the proportion of those who do not have jobs compared with those who are available for work — of 5.1%. The economy is coming back! It’s morning in America!

Except that while 173,000 jobs became available, 251,000 adults left the labor force. A minority of them retired, or went to school, but for most of them the move was not voluntary. Their unemployment benefits ran out, they are too discouraged and broke to continue the fruitless duplication of resumes, and so, by government definition, they have vanished from the pool of potentially available workers. They are un-people now.

There are 94 million of them. Their number has increased by nearly two million in one year; by almost 15 million since the last good year, 2007.

I met one of the non-people a while ago, gave him a ride to town, seven miles from his trailer home. For months he had been walking there — he could not afford to license his ancient pickup truck — every single weekday, looking for work. He had been a heavy equipment operator in construction, but has not had a regular job in seven years. He has no front teeth because he could not afford the root canals that would have saved them. His wife is ill, and while that does bring them a disability pittance once a month, they experience hunger every month. One of their close friends and neighbors takes her to medical appointments, and grocery shopping, when necessary — and charges her $30 for the favor. I came to know him as a good, reliable and knowledgeable worker. His desperation has not yet turned to anger. Not yet.

Did I mention there are at least 94 million of him?

People who “vanish” from the labor pool, and/or become homeless, mail-deprived and often phoneless, often become invisible as well to the agencies and institutions that are designed to help them. A recent book documenting the lack of a safety net for such people identified 1.5 million households, inhabited by 3 million children, whose total cash income per person per day during 2011, including public assistance, was no more than $2. For those disconnected from the job market, the authors say, there is virtually no help.

Then there is the thing we in America share with all the countries of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia whose people are now crashing into Europe: growing, spreading, intensifying drought. The western third of the United States is experiencing the worst drought in a millennium, and a consequent water crisis worse than anything in our history. Large agricultural areas (California’s Central Valley, to name just one) and some major cities (Las Vegas and Phoenix, to start) are seeing the water supplies that make them habitable vanish. When the water is gone, like the farmers of Syria after 85% of their animals dies of thirst, the population of these places will start to move.

Where are you going to build that fence, Donald?  

The Refugee Tsunami

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 20, 2015

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Migrants, who were found at sea on a boat, collect water during a heavy rain at a temporary refuge camp near Kanyin Chaung jetty, Myanmar, on June 4, 2015.

The Refugee problem is one of several Collapse Topics to be covered in a Live Broadcast this Sunday at High Noon Alaska Time on the Collapse Cafe You Tube Channel

Guests to include Nicole Foss, Gail Tverberg, Ugo Bardi, Steve Ludlum, Tom Lewis and Norman Pagett

(assuming everyone's plugins work right and the bandwidth is decent)

A growing problem all across the Globe is that of Refugees.  Millions of people trying to flee from one place and seek refuge in another.  The reasons appear to vary, in some cases because of ongoing conflict and war; in others due to Drought and the inability to provide enough food for the local population; other cases due to religious and ethnic differences between classes in the local society, etc.

Of course, all of these phenomena have two things in common, which are Population Overshoot and Resource Depletion.  All the conflicts stem from that, all the rest is just distraction.  If there really was plenty for everybody, if some people weren't being exploited for the benefit of others and there was an equitable distribution of the wealth, then you would have no conflict.  Everybody would be HAPPY! 🙂

http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/desert1101_428x269_to_468x312.jpgThe great surplus of energy we enjoyed globally here for the last couple of centuries allowed populations to balloon up all over the world, many of those populations in locations which have no chance of being self-sufficient at their current population size.  Saudi Arabia a prime example of this, they traded their oil for food and used it to pump up water from deep aquifers and desalinate still more water from the ocean, and blew up from 1M people to 30M people in a century.  In reality of course, Arabia is a DESERT!  The House of Saud Princes are descendents of a bunch of Bedouin Tribesmen who wandered that desert. Then with their Oil Wealth they imported in tons of people to do the scut work of the industrial society.   No way all these folks can continue to survive in Deserts of Arabia, so they will go on the MOVE.  At least if they don"t die first anyhow.

Although we have seen this for quite some time here in Amerika down on the Border with Mejico, constant bewailing of the problemof "Illegal Aliens" (as though they come from Outer Space without papers), the current really BIG problems are occuring in Southern Europe as refugees from the War Zones and progressively more desertified areas attempt to flee across the Mediterranean Sea by any thing that sort of floats, and on foot across Turkey and into Greece, all trying to get to the closest place where they think they still might carve out a life for themselves.

Boat-RefugeesSadly of course, Ground Zero for a lot of this migration is Italy where they are only doing marginally better than the folks down in MENA are doing.  At least 1000 a day currently actually arriving alive, plus they find a few bodies washing up on the beaches  in the Tourist hangouts on a daily basis as well.

Recently Jason Heppenstall from 22 Billion Energy Slaves was vacationing down in Italy and wrote this about the situation:

"[As an aside, a friend of mine got married in Sicily a couple of months ago and the wedding reception was continually interrupted by overhead helicopters coming back from sea with migrants dangling from them. Some children asked “What is going on?” and the adults comforted them by saying it was just some swimmers who had got into difficulty. When this carried on for two full days (Sicilian weddings being long affairs) the children must have concluded that practically everyone swimming needed rescuing.]"

For those that do make the crossing alive, they aren't exactly being welcome with open arms by the Italians

Italian protesters torch beds to try block migrant arrivals

http://www.barenakedislam.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/zx620y348_1075644.jpgRome (AFP) – Residents in a chic Rome suburb and a northern Italian village staged angry anti-immigrant protests on Friday, with villagers setting mattresses ablaze in a bid to stop authorities from housing migrants.

Authorities in the village of Quito plan to accommodate 101 immigrants in empty apartments, but several residents broke into one of the buildings, removed camp beds, mattresses and televisions intended for the newcomers and set them on fire outside.

The protesters then put up tents, with the Corriere della Sera newspaper quoting them as saying: "We aren't going home until they leave — this is an invasion."

Italy is currently hosting more than 80,000 migrants who have crossed the Mediterranean fleeing war, persecution or poverty in the Middle East and Africa. The arrivals include many Africans, particularly Eritreans, as well as Syrians.

Not very welcoming over there, obviously. Not a lot different here though, as currently leading Repub POTUS candidate The Donald not only doesn't want to let any new refugees IN, he wants to kick the ones already here OUT.

Donald Trump says illegal immigrants 'have to go' during NBC interview

Donald Trump has fired another loud shot in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, telling NBC News’ Meet the Press illegal immigrants to the US “have to go”.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said: ‘They have to go. Chuck, we either have a country, or we don’t have a country.’ Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

The real-estate mogul and sometime reality TV star, who leads polls of the Republican field after a series of controversies stoked by abrasive remarks, made the comment during an interview with host Chuck Todd which was conducted on his private plane as it sat on a runway in Des Moines, Iowa.

The conversation covered the candidate’s determination to rescind President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration which, subject to court battles, would protect up to 5 million undocumented children and family members from deportation.

Now, I cannot agree with The Donald that we even could kick all the undocumented migrants out, even if he could get such legislation passed.  It's completely impractical, how would you do such a purge?  Go on a house to house search with the Gestapo asking "Let me see your papers"?

http://northamericanimmigration.org/uploads/posts/2011-02/1298837157_statue-of-liberty.jpgHowever, the idea that in an era of steady resource depletion and population overshoot all refugees can be welcome with open arms and the Torch of the Statue of Liberty serving as a Beacon of Freedom is an equally unrealistic idea.  Both here, in Europe and in Asia as well borders are going to be shut down and migration is going to become increasingly more difficult as time goes by.  If you are figuring on trying to migrate BEFORE things get that bad in your neighborhood, now would be a good time to get moving.

As with many article on the Diner, this one was inspired by a post made by one of the KollapsniksTM on the Diner Forum.  I will close with my response to that post.

Frankly, Andre, fuck charity!  These people are voting with their feet, and they're coming to America.

I believe you were trying to embed Neil Diamond's "America", but that video version has been removed.

However, I found this one heading this article with a great Slideshow presentation, worth watching. (above heading this article)
 


Now, this gives you warm and fuzzy feelings about the History of Amerika as written in the history books,  and those images of the Statue of Liberty always bring up the Patriotic feelings and belief in the Land of Liberty.

A few things to note here though.  What do you notice about all those pictures of Immigrants?  They're all WHITE people from Europe!

Then look at those wonderful pictures of Greenery, Farms, Open Spaces etc.

Is that what CA is going to look like in 10 years?  Iowa in 20?

This is nostalgia for the PAST.  Those wide open spaces and boundless opportunity are GONE now.

Let's dissect Neil's lyrics:
 

"America"

 

 

 

 

 

Far,
We've been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star

Free,
Only want to be free

We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They're coming to America
Never looking back again,
They're coming to America

Home
Don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home
To a new and a shiny place
Make our bed and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Ev'ry time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They're coming to America
Got a dream they've come to share
They're coming to America

They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, Today,
Today, Today, Today

My country 'tis of thee (today)
Sweet land of liberty (today)
Of thee I sing (today)

Of thee I sing
Today, Today, Today
Today, today, today……

Writer(s): Neil Diamond
Copyright: Stonebridge Music


Now, how realistic is this idea of "Freedom" and Liberty in the Amerika of TODAY, not your nostalgic history lessons?  Patriot Act, NDAA, TPP, Militarized Police, spying by the NSA and data mining from Google, precisely where is the FREEDOM here?  Granted it is still probably better than wherever they are coming from, but they'll be pretty disappointed in a few years, at most.

The main issue though remains the resource problem.  Half of the land mass of the FSoA west of the Mississippi River will once again be the Great Amerikan Desert soon enough.  We will have our own internal refugee problem that cannot be solved, except by Dead People.  Taking in more now just makes the problem worse here later.

The days of escaping as a refugee to freedom in less populated lands where there was still Opportunity are OVAH.  Refugees are unlikely to be welcome anywhere pretty soon.  Certainly in Europe they are not going to constantly accept Wave After Wave of boat people coming from North Africa and walking across Syria and Turkey into Greece.

For probably 2/3rds of the Global population, there is already no hope.  They cannot escape.

In the words of Hawkeye from "Last of the Mohicans"

“they’re not strangers… and they stay as they lay…”

https://cenantua.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/mohicans1.jpg

A Tsunami of Climate Refugees is Drowning Europe

Off the keyboard of Tom Lewis

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Published on The Daily Impact on August 12, 2015

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refugees-greek-sea

Can you imagine what it would take for you to take your family on a vessel like this to cross an angry sea to a foreign country, just to stay alive? This boat is bound for a Greek island from North Africa.

Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner

One of the most desperate and destructive diasporas in history is rolling out of the parched regions of Africa and the Middle East, over Europe, toward extinction. They are being called refugees from war, but the wars they are fleeing have their origins in the desperation of people who have no food, and they have no food because of the savage droughts being inflicted on their countries by global climate change. Hence, it is perfectly legitimate, and more importantly it is honest, to call them climate refugees.

(Among all 423 current candidates for US President, only Martin O’Malley demonstrated a grasp of this reality when he said that climate change is responsible for the rise of ISIS. He was almost universally ridiculed for saying it, and this tiny, lonely spark of sense fell on wet ground and was instantly extinguished.)

In just the latest ramification of the new Dark Age advancing on Europe, 1,000 Afghan and Syrian refugees who had made their way to the Greek Island of Kos were rounded up by riot police yesterday (after having been herded with fire extinguishers) and imprisoned in an open stadium until they could be “registered.” At last report there were three — count them, three — officers taking names. It is not that the authorities are heartless, they are overwhelmed. Those 1,000 refugees are not all the refugees on Kos, that is how many refugees arrive every day. “The situation on the island is out of control,” said the mayor of Kos, “blood will be shed.”

“Greece faces a crisis within a crisis,” said prime minister Alexis Tsipras. “The migrant flows exceed the capacity of our state infrastructure.” About 120,000 refugees have stumbled ashore on the Greek Islands so far this year, four times the influx during all of 2014. The other principal landing for refugees traveling to Europe by boat, Italy, estimates that 100,000 have come aground there this year.

Imagine that you have lost your job, been served with an eviction notice, lost your car to the repo man and 20 of your closest relatives arrive on your doorstep in search of food and shelter. That’s that’s going on here. Neither these countries, nor the United Nations, nor the NGOs operating in the area, can possibly handle this rip tide of human misery.  Nor is it limited to Greece and Italy. Let’s take a brief tour:

Hungary is rushing to complete a 110-mile-long fence along its border with Serbia to stem the flow of mostly Syrian refugees — 2,000 in 2012, now 1,500 people per day —  seeking asylum in a European Union country so they can travel freely among the other EU members.

Germany is the Mecca for most of these refugees, who are fully aware of the desperate economic straits of countries such as Greece and Italy. Germany is expecting 450,000 refugees this year, double the amount of last year, and the resulting tensions are rising. So far this year there have been 150 attacks on refugee shelters, most of them attempts to burn the shelters down. When the flood of refugees overwhelmed existing camps, the government called in the army to help, a move that inflamed those who insist that any use of the army inside the country is unconstitutional.

Across Italy, increasingly violent protests are breaking out over the strains produced by the relentless onslaught of the destitute. The mayor of Rome said this week the city does not have the resources to take in any more refugees. The wealthier northern districts of Italy, called on to help by taking some of the influx, refused. Meanwhile, the Italian coast guard last weekend rescued at sea and brought ashore another 1,800 people (so far this year an estimated 2,000 refugees have died at sea).   

The first tendrils of this massive onslaught of humanity have reached England, and have convulsed the country’s politics. The prime minister speaks of a “swarm” and the foreign secretary says “millions of marauding Africans” threaten the standard of living, and must be returned to their home countries, and their own standards of living. The reality underlying this panic is that a few thousand refugees, having reached Calais on the west coast of France, have tried to walk or hitch rides through the English Channel Tunnel to England. So far, one has made it, only to be arrested at the exit. Now thanks to a mile long fence at the Calais entrance to the Chunnel, and some nasty camps of hovels for the refugees who make it that far, fewer are able to make the attempt. But the extra security has choked travel through the Chunnel, negatively impacting commerce and tourism.

Still, the bleak tide rises. Still Europe sinks beneath it as the desert sands spread from Africa to Arabia to Asia. Still, no one offers a solution, for the terrifying reason that no one has yet identified the problem.  

New Collapse Survey: Best Collapse Survival Locations & World’s Worst City Survey Results

survey-says-2Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 11, 2015

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survey-says

Discuss these results at the Surveys Table inside the Diner

Last week we surveyed the KollapsniksTM on where the WORST places to be as Collapse moves around the Globe.  Results for last week's survey are down at the bottom of this page.

For this week we look at choices for the BEST place to park yourself would be.

https://www.ctbto.org/uploads/tx_ctbtoslider/HA09_007.jpg

Tristan de Cunha, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas

Take the Best Collapse Location Survey HERE

For last week's survey, once again there were some surprising results..

Not too surprising was Las Vegas was ranked worst, because most respondents come from the FSoA and they are mostly Kollapsniks well aware of the water problems in Vegas.

http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/v2_article_large/public/2015/04/22/lake-mead-1.jpg

However, Sao Paolo has worse water problems already, but was ranked 3rd below Mexico City.  I also found it surprising New York Shity was ranked above Phoenix as worse.  Phoenix has the same water problem as Vegas, NY still has decent water supply.  Also, as center of Finance, the economy in NY still is kind of functioning.

It's also hard to imagine how Baghdad can be ranked less worse than NY?  It's a fucking war zoe already AND a desert!

My guess here is the survey respondents stopped after making acouple of selections because it is too long.   Future Surveys will have fewer choices.

World's Worst Cities Survey Results:

  1 2 3 4 Standard Deviation Responses Weighted Average
Las Vegas 4
(12.12%)
2
(6.06%)
1
(3.03%)
2
(6.06%)
1.04 33 9.76 / 36
Mexico City 1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
1.48 33 10.15 / 36
Sao Paolo 1
(3.03%)
2
(6.06%)
3
(9.09%)
0
(0%)
1.3 33 10.39 / 36
Los Angeles 1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
3
(9.09%)
1
(3.03%)
1.14 33 10.91 / 36
Beijing 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
1.34 33 11.18 / 36
New York 8
(24.24%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
0
(0%)
1.46 33 12.48 / 36
Phoenix 1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
0.98 33 12.52 / 36
Delhi 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
3
(9.09%)
1
(3.03%)
1.11 33 13.48 / 36
Chicago 1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
0.95 33 14 / 36
Rio de Janeiro 1
(3.03%)
2
(6.06%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
1.14 33 14.7 / 36
Baghdad 10
(30.3%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
2
(6.06%)
2.07 33 14.7 / 36
London 0
(0%)
5
(15.15%)
0
(0%)
3
(9.09%)
1.14 33 14.82 / 36
Moscow 0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
3
(9.09%)
0.92 33 15.33 / 36
Calcutta 2
(6.06%)
4
(12.12%)
1
(3.03%)
2
(6.06%)
1.28 33 15.85 / 36
Houston 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
1
(3.03%)
1.23 33 15.88 / 36
Singapore 1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
0.92 33 16.36 / 36
Riyadh 1
(3.03%)
5
(15.15%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
1.57 33 17.3 / 36
Berlin 0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
3
(9.09%)
3
(9.09%)
0.98 33 17.67 / 36
Miami 0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
1.32 33 18.09 / 36
Dallas/Ft. Worth 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
1.42 33 18.3 / 36
Tokyo 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1.11 33 19.36 / 36
Detroit 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
2
(6.06%)
0
(0%)
1.32 33 20.76 / 36
Nairobi 0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
1.36 33 20.79 / 36
Tel Aviv 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
1.34 33 20.94 / 36
Delhi 0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
4
(12.12%)
1.28 33 21.03 / 36
Tehran 0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
1
(3.03%)
1.34 33 21.24 / 36
Sydney 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1.14 33 21.97 / 36
Athens 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1.4 33 22.36 / 36
Madrid 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1.59 33 24.21 / 36
Paris 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1.4 33 24.67 / 36
Caracas 0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
1.55 33 25.24 / 36
Buenos Aires 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
1.62 33 26.06 / 36
Wellington/Christchurch 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
1.55 33 26.27 / 36
Lisbon 0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1.52 33 27.3 / 36
Helsinki 0
(0%)
1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
1.74 33 28.82 / 36
Honolulu 1
(3.03%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
0
(0%)
2.51 33 31.09 / 36

 

Confessions of a Carnivore

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner  on August 1, 2015

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http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Ribs-Filet.jpg

The Meat FIX for the week…

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I have a confession to make.

I am a MEAT ADDICT.

This addiction may be even worse than my Beer Addiction, it's a tossup.

http://shepherdexpress.com/imgs/hed/art10330widea.jpgI can blame the Meat Addiction on my parents.  Growing up in my youngest years in Brasil, they often took me to Churascarias where many delicious cuts of meat were served up directly off the spit.  My Taste Buds became so entranced by the flavor of Meat cooked over an Open Flame that upon returning to the FSoA around age 10 or so, I immediately embarked on a career as a BBQ Chef, utilizing a small Cast Iron Hibachi that was the site of many Steaks, Burgers, Chicken Wings and Salmon Fillets being Grilled to PERFECTION! 🙂

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/412UgoxHaSL.jpg

I am of course aware these days of how poorly treated the cows, pigs and chickens are by our Industrial Ag system, but people aren't treated a whole lot better and it becomes a bit much to worry about the unfortunate life of a cow in a feed lot when there are a few billion people not living much better lives, and besides I just LOVE MEAT!  So I can't quite buy in to the Vegan mind set because of this.

http://beefambassador.com/wp-content/gems/2014/04/feedlot-1.jpgBeyond the downside of the unfortunate life for an an Industrially raised, fed and slaughtered cow in some Chicago Feed Lot is the ENERGY and WATER problems involved with a diet copiously laden with MEAT in it.

According to HuffPo, it takes around 1847 gallons of water to raise up a Pound of Beef.  Chicken does a lot better at just 518 Gallons for a pound of Chicken, and Beer does better than Wine at 296 vs 872, although you then get into serving size questions as well.

In any event, as you can see it takes a whole heck of a lot of water to put the meat on the table, and even the Beer in your Bottle also!  To acquire enough of that water these days also takes energy, pumping it up from ever more depleted Aquifers like the Ogalalla.

However, the problems of Industrial Ag and its treatment of animals used for food sources, the problems of energy consumption and the problems of water consumption are NOT the reason I am writing this article!

The reason is that due to a few reasons, I cannot STOP buying MEAT at the grocery store!  The Feature Photo at the top of the page has this week's selections, a rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs which ON SALE came in around $4/lb, and 3 nice Filet Mignon Cuts coming in at $12/lb.  That wasn't a sale, but it's still pretty cheap for Filet Mignon.

http://storage.googleapis.com/zgt-user/Boston-Chicken-Photo.pngPrior to buying this meat, I still have in the fridge leftovers from LAST week. particularly some nice Short Ribs and about 1/3rd of a Rotisserie Chicken left to eat, and that is BEFORE I take the carcass and throw it in the Slow Cooker to make a batch of Chicken Soup, which itself will last me another 2 days EZ.

Layered on top of this is the fact that my neurological problems from my neck injury are depressing my appetite, so most of the time I just don't feel like eating any of it!  Regardless how good it smells or looks!  I'm just not feeling HUNGRY enough to devour it!

Now, because  I can't help myself as an ADDICT, I keep buying this stuff.   I'm NOT living on the SNAP Cad Gourmet budget of $2/day (yet!), but neither am I spending much more than $5/day either on food.  The Filet Mignon I picked up for around $12, The Pork Baby Back Ribs for another $16, but together this is enough Animal Protein for 2 weeks EZ!  If I would just STOP buying the stuff when i see it ON SALE, I COULD stay under $2/day!

 

http://i5.walmartimages.com/dfw/dce07b8c-fae7/k2-_f9c906d7-2db2-412b-b285-669ed7dfd238.v1.jpgBut I can't stop buying it, I'm a JUNKIE for Meat!  Not just beef, any Animal protein.  You know what ELSE I bought this week?  A Cocktail Shrimp Ring for $10!  Like I really need this with all the freaking leftovers I have in the fridge right now?  It will take me a month to work through just the LEFTOVERS, and some of it will probably go bad before I am hungry enough to eat it!

Supermarket-meatsI can't even vaccuum seal it up and put it in the Freezer!  Why not?  Because the freezer itself is JAM PACKED with as yet uncooked Steaks, Fish, Chicken and Sausage I have purchased on other occassions travelling down the Meat Aisles of the local Food Emporiums.  I'm like a kid in a Toy Store when I walk (or these days cruise on the Ewz) down the meat department.  Look at those beautifully marbled Rib Eye's ON SALE!  Gotta have those.  Hot Italian Sausage ON SALE!  Mmmm, think of the great Spaghetti Sauce I can make with those!  LOL.

Meanwhile of course out there in the rest of the world and even here in the FSoA, plenty of people have trouble just putting enough Rice in a Bowl to get the daily necessary intake of calories.  Houston, We Have a Distribution Problem!

You might think this would make me feel guilty about buying more meat than I can actually eat, but it doesn't.  Why not?  Because all the dead cow flesh in the local freezer will never make it onto the plate of a starving child in India, and in fact a good deal of it never even goes to feed the homeless up here either.  It just gets tossed if it gets too old and can't even be sold at discount. It's not my fault the distribution system is so fucked up, and I am not going to blame myself because I have more meat to eat than I can handle and somebody else has none.  It happens to be the shelf at my local grocery store, and I happen to have money to buy it, so I do.

http://lorax.blog.drugisvet.com/files/2011/11/Skinny-cow.jpgThe other reason I can't stop buying the Meat is because of the problem I KNOW is coming down the pipe here at some point, which is that the stuff just won't be available to buy AT ALL.

Cattle are already not looking too good in many parts of the world, and here in the FSoA as the water depletes out of Ogalalla and the energy isn't there to pump it up either, the Cattle right here are going to look just like the one at left.  The ones still left anyhow, since the ranchers are already culling the herds, which leads to some pretty weird effects not dissimilar from what is going on with Oil, which is that in spite of a real shortage, the prices go DOWN rather than UP. as a temporary GLUT hits the market.

You have the additional problem where as Credit dries up, the first folks to lose access to the credit are the actual End Consumers of the product, be it either Rib Eye steaks or Gas for your SUV.  If the end consumers don't have credit to buy the stuff, where can the price go but DOWN?  This deflationary driver is ongoing across the Globe at the moment, and is likely to continue on for quite a while in many places, while in others new Credit is created, driving an inflationary spiral in those places.  Eventually either way though, without the stuff on the meat rack to buy, the Money Dies.  It simply stops working to buy things, and you revert to a barter economy if you are fortunate, this already is occurring in Greece.  You do need something to barter though that somebody else wants, and they have to have something you want.  Both of those things are also likely to start disappearing too.

Which brings us back round to the old question of TIMELINE, how long will it take for this to play itself out, in what locations first and how can you best negotiate what is inevitable here, for yourself and your progeny?  There are no firm answers to those questions, but we do tackle them daily here on the pages of the Doomstead Diner.

 

Thinking Like A Watershed

Off the keyboard of Albert Bates

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Published on Peak Surfer on May 31, 2015

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Nigara-rainbow

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" This is why I turn white with foam and why they named me 'Blanco.' "


“The main challenge to rational planning for flood risk in the country is that private property rights trump even modest limitations on floodplain development,” said Nicholas Pinter, an expert on floods, people and politics at Southern Illinois University, in an email today. “And that sentiment runs deep in Texas. The result is unchecked construction on flood-prone land, up to the present day and in some places even accelerating.”

It’s worth noting that a similar pattern, although with a different mix of drivers, can be seen far from the strip malls and condos around Austin. In some of the world’s poorest places, rapid population growth and flimsy housing in zones of profound “natural” hazard have created huge vulnerability (the latest case in point is, of course, Nepal).

— Andrew Revkin, Opinion in The New York Times, May 25, 2015



In many parts of the world, watersheds like me are underappreciated and overlooked. Not me.

Maybe it is because I am in a high, dry country, long the home to roving horse nomads and then to hardscrabble ranchers. Every cottonwood grove along my banks is sacred to those people, because they are rooted in the Earth, and when the rains come they know to be thankful, and to keep a respectful distance from my banks.

In good years, I bubble out in winter from a series of springs in northern Kendall County and flow generally eastward for 87 miles between rolling hills and canyons. My bed is quite shallow, and it briefly dips below ground in some areas of the Hill Country, like a Ninja practicing the secret of invisibility.

At other turns I pass through the steep cliff walls that I have carved out of hard rock over eons, to remind you of my hidden power. When my temper is aroused, I have 1000 times more strength (3000 m3/s versus 3 m3/s). This is when I turn white with foam and why they named me, those wise Tejano Texians, "Blanco."

When I stood up last week, I raised myself 30 feet in less than 3 hours, blowing away the puny depth gauges marking my passage through the Balcones Escarpment. 

About halfway between Austin and San Antonio, near San Marcos, I take a southerly turn. About two miles west of Gonzales I join my sister Guadalupe and the two of us gather in our brother Antonio before reaching our delta and estuary at Guadalupe Bay.

If you have seen the pictures coming out of San Marcos, Austin, Houston and the other central Texas towns this past week, you might wonder why we are all this angry; why we are all Blancos.
 
Some think it has to do with climate change, and there is an element of truth in that, but you need to look a little more closely. Texas ranchers and those mad fools in the oil patch have wrecked the climate for a good long while, but what has got me mad now is sprawl. 

In one county I run through, Hays, the population grew 61% between 2000 and 2010 and shows no signs of slowing. Those humans are doubling in numbers every couple decades. All those people assume there will be water enough for their yards and gardens even in dry years, but they are paving over the recharge zones of my springs. I know one shopping center that paved over 40 acres that once absorbed runoff for me and what did they do with that land? They parked cars on it!

 
So, people, if you really want to enjoy my gentle nature, and raft or kayak on me, or water your crops and herd your cattle, you had better stop what you are doing to my watershed. For heaven's sake, control yourselves. There are limits, you know.

Smart Meters

Off the keyboard of Michael Snyder

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Published on The Economic Collapse on April 7, 2015

Drought-Monitor-July-8-2014

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Enforcement Of Mandatory Water Restrictions Is Only Just The Beginning

Warning Signs 2 - Public DomainSmart meters are now being used by authorities to crack down on “water wasters” in the state of California, but this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what they can be used for.  Ultimately, smart meters are designed to be part of an entire “smart grid” that will enable government bureaucrats “to control everything from your dishwasher to thermostat“.   And in recent years, there has been a massive push to install smart meters in as many homes in the United States and Europe as possible.  Back in December 2007, there were only 7 million smart meters installed in this country.  Today there are more than 51 million.  On the other side of the Atlantic, the European Parliament has set a goal of having smart meters in 80 percent of all homes by the year 2020.  This is being promoted as the “green” thing to do, but could it be possible that there is more to these smart meters than meets the eye?

In Long Beach, California authorities were getting complaints that a local McDonald’s restaurant was wasting water in the middle of the night.

So what did the authorities do?

They installed a smart meter which instantly started providing incriminating evidence against McDonald’s.  The following comes from CBS Los Angeles

The Long Beach Water Department says sprinklers at a McDonald’s restaurant on Bellflower Boulevard went on for 45 minutes at a time, twice a night, for an undefined number of nights. Complaints continued to mount as water pooled and wasted. The department, however, could do little about the wasting.

That was before the smart meter.

Since its installation in February, Long Beach Water Department General Manager Kevin Wattier says he saw an immediate spike by tens of thousands of gallons, each time McDonald’s overwatered their property.

And according to NPR, other large California cities are also now looking into how they can use smart meters to enforce the new mandatory water restrictions in the state…

By next February, California cities together are supposed to cut their water use by a quarter. Sacramento, San Francisco and some Central Valley cities are also seeing whether smart meters can help.

But smart meters are capable of determining far more than whether or not we are using too much water.

Already, police all over the country are using the data provided by smart meters to identify homes that are potentially growing marijuana.  Homes that grow marijuana tend to use much more electricity than other homes, and so if your home is using a high level of energy that is a red flag for the cops.

In addition, there are a whole host of other ways that smart meters can be used as surveillance devices by law enforcement.  The following list comes from an electronics and media expert from Burbank, California named Jerry Day…

1. They individually identify electrical devices inside the home and record when they are operated causing invasion of privacy.

2. They monitor household activity and occupancy in violation of rights and domestic security.

3. They transmit wireless signals which may be intercepted by unauthorized and unknown parties. Those signals can be used to monitor behavior and occupancy and they can be used by criminals to aid criminal activity against the occupants.

4. Data about occupant’s daily habits and activities are collected, recorded and stored in permanent databases which are accessed by parties not authorized or invited to know and share that private data.

5. Those with access to the smart meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-of-day metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants.

6. Those databases may be shared with, or fall into the hands of criminals, blackmailers, law enforcement, private hackers of wireless transmissions, power company employees, and other unidentified parties who may act against the interests of the occupants under metered surveillance.

7. “Smart Meters” are, by definition, surveillance devices which violate Federal and State wiretapping laws by recording and storing databases of private and personal activities and behaviors without the consent or knowledge of those people who are monitored.

8. It is possible for example, with analysis of certain “Smart Meter” data, for unauthorized and distant parties to determine medical conditions, sexual activities, physical locations of persons within the home, vacancy patterns and personal information and habits of the occupants.

If all of that wasn’t bad enough, there are also substantial concerns about the impact that these smart meters are having on our health

According to physician and epidemiologist Sam Milham, Smart Meters, which are linked to an array of health issues, emit as much as 100 times the amount of radiation as a cell phone.

Daniel Hirsch, a senior lecturer on nuclear policy at UCSC, says the federal government purposely misleads the public by conducting biased safety studies at the behest of power companies.

A Washington DC power company stirred controversy in 2013 after they were caught lying to the public about how often their smart meters emitted radiation. Despite claims that the meters only emitted radiation once every 4 to 6 hours, an investigation by WUSA9 News revealed the frequency to be closer to 4 to 6 times every minute.

When there is that much radiation blasting through our homes on a continual basis, it is inevitable that there are going to be health problems.

According to Infowars, tens of thousands of people have already reported significant health issues that they believe are directly related to the installation of smart meters in their homes…

Tens of thousands of individuals are reporting officially, to governments and utilities, that they are experiencing illness or functional impairments following the installation of “smart” meters. Reported symptoms include headaches, sleep problems, ear ringing, focus difficulties, fatigue, heart palpitations, nausea and statistically abnormal recurrences of cancer.

Perhaps you are dealing with one of the health issues just mentioned.

If so, you might want to check to see if you have a smart meter in your home.

There has got to be a better way for the state of California to monitor water usage rather than smart meters.

And without a doubt, the state of California is facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions.  The snowpack in the Sierras is only 5 percent of the long-term historical average.  Snow levels are currently at the lowest levels ever measured for this time of the year, and the snow is melting five to 30 days earlier than normal.  For much more on the nightmare that the state is dealing with, please see my previous article entitled “How Many People Will Have To Migrate Out Of California When All The Water Disappears?

Thankfully, there is a lot of waste that can be eliminated, so a lot of water can potentially be saved.  It turns out that Californians are some of the biggest water wasters on the entire planet.  The following statistic comes from the New York Times

California’s cities consume 178 gallons per person per day, on average. That’s 40 percent more than the per capita water consumption in New York City and more than double that of parched Sydney, in Australia.

So let’s hope that Californians start banding together and begin using water more wisely, because this drought is not likely to go away any time soon.

And the truth is that what is going on in the state of California is kind of a microcosm of the water crisis that is beginning to emerge all over the globe

The move by California to require mandatory cuts in water use for the first time in its history has highlighted the world’s looming water crisis and increased the focus on the links between sustainable water and sustainable energy.

“We need a new paradigm,” says Steven Solomon, author of Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization. “The days when we could just go further into the mountains and find new sources of water are past. We need to make better use of the water we have.”

In the end, the drought in California is going to affect all of us.  A tremendous amount of our produce is grown in the state, and we will all soon be feeling the pain of the drought in our local grocery stores

As California’s multi-year drought rages on, consumers in the rest of the United States may soon be feeling the pinch at the grocery store as farmers around California reduce water and plant fewer crops.

California, sometimes called the ‘nation’s salad bowl’, is the country’s largest producer of grapes, kiwis, olives, avocados, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, tree nuts and dairy. Now in the fourth year of a massive drought ‒ and facing only a year’s worth of water remaining in the state ‒ food prices in the US and agricultural unemployment in California are set to climb as farmers do what they can to conserve water and protect their investments.

So what do you think about all of this?

Wild & Wacky Winter Weather

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on February 22, 2015

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Snippet:

…It has sparked a simmering level of insanity already, with Darwin Award Contestants doing “snow diving” out of second story windows and people trading beer for parking spaces, and there has to be cabin fever across the whole metro area by now. On top of that the cold has been non-stop, which means many people are burning through their heating oil supplies, and getting a new delivery is tough, even if you still have money to order some more up.

You can’t even really pack up the car to GTFO of Dodge either, since the same shitty Wacky Winter Weather is hitting up and down the whole East coast, and even if you wanted to try and make the ESCAPE to FL, you’ll end up driving on icy roads the whole way and who knows where you can find a motel room on the journey? With those kind of conditions, it easily could take a full week to make the drive down to FL. Flying is possible between the snowstorms, but are there any parking spots left at Logan airport?…

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!!

This Week in Doom Feb. 15, 2015

That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964Off the keyboard of Surly1
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640px-South_Sea_Bubble_Cards-Tree

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on February 16, 2015


“We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”

– Charles Mackay


In  Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds published in 1841, Charles Mackay identified a common thread of individual and collective idiocy running through past fads such as alchemy, witchhunts, prophecies, fortune-telling, magnetizers, phrenology, poisoning, the admiration of thieves, the imputation of mystic powers to relics, haunted houses, crusades – and financial bubbles.

Ostensibly Mackay wrote his book with a 19th-century sense of confidence that such superstitions had been consigned to the ashheap of history by intelligence, experience and the habits of mind honed by the enlightenment. He observed that men think in herds and go mad in herds, and “only recover their senses slowly one by one.” For the most part, he has been proven right. Intelligent people typically do not invest faith in obvious superstitions like alchemy, ghosts, fortune-telling, witchcraft or crusades. Unless you count those little adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. (And Iraq again, as President BHO makes the Klown Kar Kongress an offer they will have trouble refusing.)

Today we sophisticates look down our collective noses at the bubble blowers of the past,  and view those of the Mississippi Company, South Sea Company and  the Tulip mania as aberrations of simpler less sophisticated folk. Today, resistant to superstition, we cling to the rabbit’s foot of denial for man’s responsibility for climate change, and take the knee toward the totem that central banks can relieve an unpayable global debt with more debt.

Mackay writes of a Parisian hunchback who supposedly profited by renting out his hump as a writing desk during the height of the Mississippi Company mania. Lean up against my hump and consider the latest evidences of our surrender to the embrace of comfortable superstitions.


Peak Water?

A sign (in black) that reads “Tap without Water” is seen inside an ice-cream shop at the Pinheiros neighbourhood in Sao Paulo February 10, 2015.

 Climate change is no hypothetical to the residents of São Paulo, Brazil, currently in the grips of an historic 80 year drought.

The reason for the drought is complicated: a mix of climate change, Amazonian deforestation, water mismanagement and Pereira’s theory that the massive expansion of cities like Sao Paulo with very little green spaces left has created a kind of heat island which sucks up moisture. That, Pereira says, actually diverts water from the surrounding countryside where the reservoirs are. He says he fears a future where there will be riots over water.

The Cantaeira reservoir system provides half Sao Paulo’s drinking water. It’s now down to only 6 percent of capacity.

Other regions are also affected, and soaring food prices leave many struggling to adapt. Many report having no water every day from 12 midday to 8 a.m.  Last year, Brazil famously hosted the World Cup, an effort that displaced other priorities, deferring action on what is now an environmental  disaster.

According to one report, Brazilians have already begun to create strategies to deal with shortages.

Brazilians are hoarding water in their apartments, drilling homemade wells and taking other emergency measures to prepare for forced rationing that appears likely and could leave taps dry for up to five days a week because of a drought.

After January rains disappointed, and incentives to cut consumption fell short, São Paulo officials warned their next step could be to shut off customers’ water supply for as many as five days a week – a measure that would likely last until the next rainy season starts in October, if not longer.

Some form of water rationing is almost certainly in the cards for over 40 million people destined to be affected by the water shortages. But not to worry–wealthy Brazilians are installing large storage tanks into their apartment buildings or houses to spare them the worst hardships of rationing.

Consider for a moment the specter of millions of climate refugees moving in search of water. Then consider the likely outcomes when some of the world’s great rivers, nourished by glacier melt for thousands of years, suddenly run dry.


Resource Bubble? 

The recently released study “Planetary Boundaries: Guiding Human Development on a Changing Planet,” quickly garnered a certain amount of online notoriety. Prepared by eighteen scientists from various universities, it soberly announced that human civilization had crossed four of nine environmental boundaries.   It introduces the concept of the “planetary boundary” (PB), a framework that provides a science-based analysis of the risk that humans pose to a liveable earth:

The relatively stable, 11,700-year-long Holocene epoch is the only state of the Earth System (ES) that we know for certain can support contemporary human societies. There is increasing evidence that human activities are affecting ES functioning to a degree that threatens the resilience of the ES—its ability to persist in a Holocene-like state in the face of increasing human pressures and shocks. The PB framework is based on critical processes that regulate ES functioning. By combining improved scientific understanding of ES functioning with the precautionary principle, the PB framework identifies levels of anthropogenic perturbations below which the risk of destabilization of the ES is likely to remain low—a “safe operating space” for global societal development.

Those planetary boundaries are no surprise to readers of this blog: climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, ocean acidification, biodiversity loss, biogeochemical flows, land-system change, and freshwater use.  Cue the bleating from the denialists.  As well-intentioned as this report is, it is likely to reside in the same drawer, ignored, where similar reports reside.  Find an excellent essay on this theme here.

As sea levels rise, floods have become more common on the base. Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Michael Pendergrass/U.S. Navy

And in a related story, the Pentagon understands what’s coming in terms of climate change even if our elected lawmakers do not. As residents of Norfolk, Contrary and I live at Ground Zero for sealevel rise and land subsidence. I have lived in the same home for 32 years. After 24 years of flood free living, the last eight have seen three instances when flood waters came to my front step.

Those who talk most about climate change — scientists, politicians, environmental activists — tend to frame the discussion in economic and moral terms. But last month, in a dramatic turn, President Obama talked about climate change in an explicitly military context: “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security,” he said in his State of the Union address. “We should act like it.”

On one level, this is just shrewd politics, a way of talking about climate change to people who don’t care about extinction rates among reptiles or food prices in eastern Africa. But it’s also a way of boxing in all the deniers in Congress who have blocked climate action — many of whom, it turns out, are big supporters of the military.

The Pentagon is examining its 704 coastal installations and sites in a big study to try to figure out which bases are most at risk. Eventually some tough decisions will have to be made about which ones to close, relocate or protect. Even speculating about the number of possible closures is too hot a topic for anyone in the Pentagon to touch right now.

Just as there are climate-change hot spots, there are also climate-denial hot spots — and Virginia is one of them. The Republican-dominated Virginia General Assembly has been hostile to discussion of climate change — one legislator called sea-level rise “a left-wing term.” Instead, the politically acceptable phrase in Virginia is “recurrent flooding.” 

Right up there with “legitimate rape” as part of the incantation du jour.


Forever Blowing Bubbles…

One of Collapse’s Greatest Hits is the imminent unwinding of the Ponzi scheme of debt foisted upon the peoples of the world by central bankers.  We saw a harbinger in 2007-8, with bank bailouts proffered by Congress over the heads of an insufficiently grateful populace, then later with quantitative easing (QE); and in the euro zone, loan restructurings offered to countries not named Germany at the gunpoint of austerity.  But somehow, planes, trains, and automobiles keep moving, the shelves are restocked, and the paychecks cashed. And we keep whistling in the dark because we all share a stake in the superstition that business-as-usual can go on forever; and  nobody, but nobody wants to address the fact that there is not enough collateral on this planet or the next to pay off global debt.

What do we really know? We know that oil prices have begun to ramp up after a steep dive, not unknown in the history of oil prices.  We know that since our entire business model is based on cheap energy, a fall in its price is likely to have a deflationary effect. Many who write about a coming economic collapse love to talk about the collapse of the U.S. dollar, yet the dollar is strengthening relative to other currencies.

Michael Snyder is one of those who scores these games at home and he says:

Someday the U.S. dollar will essentially be toilet paper.  But that is not in our immediate future.  What is in our immediate future is a “flight to safety” that will push the surging U.S. dollar even higher.

This is what we witnessed in 2008, and this is happening once again right now.

Just look at the chart that I have posted below.  You can see the the U.S. dollar moved upward dramatically relative to other currencies starting in mid-2008.  And toward the end of the chart you can see that the U.S. dollar is now experiencing a similar spike…

Dollar Index 2015

At the moment, almost every major currency in the world is falling relative to the U.S. dollar.

For example, this next chart shows what the euro is doing relative to the dollar.  As you can see, the euro is in the midst of a stunning decline…

Euro U.S. Dollar

Instead of focusing on the U.S. dollar, those that are looking for a harbinger of the coming financial crisis should be watching the euro.  As I discussed yesterday, analysts are telling us that if Greece leaves the eurozone the EUR/USD could fall all the way down to 0.90.  If that happens, the chart above will soon resemble a waterfall.

Will leave it for you to work out what a rising US dollar means for those growing economies all over the world that have borrowed enormous piles of very cheap U.S. dollars, and who now face the prospect of repaying those debts and interest with much more expensive dollars, when their own currencies are crashing.


Quick Takes

The Disease Time Bomb: Flooding the Country with Eradicated Diseases

Over the last year we have seen numerous eradicated diseases come surging back in the United States. From Whooping Cough and the current Measles outbreak, to mystery diseases like EV-D68, which is causing paralysis in young children, The United States seems to be a ticking time bomb of disease.

Warning: author seems to be all to willing to blame these outbreaks on immigrants.


 Empire of Lies

The redoubtable Charles High Smith addresses this week’s central theme:

We are living in an era where a single statement of truth will drive a pin into the global bubble of phantom assets and debts, and the lies spewed to justify those bubbles.

How many nations are blessed with political and financial leaders who routinely state the unvarnished truth in public?

Only two come immediately to mind: Greece and Bhutan.

 

 


Koch Brothers Group Shouted Down By Irate Citizens During Montana Town Hall Meeting

A “Healthcare Town Hall” set up by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity (AFP) group, in Kalispell, Montana, turned raucous on Thursday night. Americans for Prosperity has been crisscrossing the state of Montana, in an attempt to pressure moderate Republican lawmakers into signing a pledge to block Medicaid expansion. On Thursday, they brought their traveling road show to Kalispell. However, the residents of the small Northwestern Montana town were unpersuaded…

 Not all the news is bad. A defeat for the Koch brothers anywhere is a victory for humanity everywhere.
 

 Here’s what developer scum have in mind for the Grand Canyon:

Developers Confluence Partners want to make a 420-acre attraction out of the east rim, with a plan to put in an Imax theater, retail shops, hotels, an RV park, and a 1.6-mile-long gondola tram that would take riders from the rim of the canyon down 3,500 feet to the valley floor in about 10 minutes. Intentions for the valley floor include construction of a terraced “riverwalk” and a food pavilion.

Native American groups are banding together to battle this absurdity.


The useless agreement which everybody wanted

The Saker on the agreement between France and Germany and Russia regarding Ukraine.


Creeping Lawless Fascism Watch

The video was just released of an elderly grandfather being slammed to the ground so hard by an Alabama police officer that it severed his vertebra and paralyzed the man. As you will see in the video, the police then attempt to force the man to walk and believe he’s resisting arrest when his legs won’t work – not knowing that they broke his neck.

According to AL.comChief Larry Muncey told a small press conference in Madison that he also recommended that Parker be fired for his use of force against a man who committed no crime, did not speak English and could not understand the commands. 

There are no words.


Peak Ignorance Watch

GOP lawmaker calls women “a lesser cut of meat”

South Carolina State Sen. Thomas Corbin

 
A Republican state senator in South Carolina called women “a lesser cut of meat” and suggested that they belonged barefoot and pregnant, the libertarian-leaning blog FITS News reports.

Chauvinist in any context, Corbin’s remarks occurred during a legislative dinner this week to discuss domestic violence legislation. Sources present at the meeting told FITS that Corbin directed his comments at fellow GOP state senator Katrina Shealy, the sole woman in the 46-member chamber.

“I see it only took me two years to get you wearing shoes,” Corbin told Shealy, who won election in 2012. Corbin, the site explains, is said to have previously cracked that women should be “at home baking cookies” or “barefoot and pregnant,” not serving in the state legislature.

Contrary brought this particular rabbit turd to my attention. One might well speculate why he’s so hostile towards women….

Contrary offered this wordless comment:

Good enough for me. And illustrates why the people in South Carolina, home office of American sedition, can’t have nice things. And a reminder of what the madness of crowds can wreak.


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, articles and spittle-flecked invective on this site, and quit barking and got off the porch long enough to be active in the Occupy movement. He shares a home in Southeastern Virginia with his new bride Contrary in a triumph of hope over experience, and is grateful that he is not yet taking a dirt nap.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 5, 2014

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I’ve spent the better part of the last decade Blogging Collapse.  It’s the Gift that Keeps on Giving, not a day or week goes by that something ever more egregious occurs in the Global Theatre, there is NEVER a shortage of Collapse stories to write on or examine.  Right now for example, ongoing we have:

1- Ebola Rising

plague

2- Hong Kong Occupy

04Occupy2RDV-tmagArticle

 

3- Oil Prices Collapsing

http://static1.businessinsider.com/image/53f5edf569bedd5b100120d6-1200-900/cotd-brent-oil-1.jpg

4- ISIS

isis

5- Ruskie Sanctions

http://www.usnews.com/dims4/USNEWS/be1ba1b/2147483647/resize/652x%3E/format/png/quality/85/?url=%2Fcmsmedia%2F09%2Fb4%2Fa84230e14cf9ac0e9054288e46b4%2F20140422edcmc-a.tif

6- CA Drought

http://sites.psu.edu/carlyjean/wp-content/uploads/sites/9696/2014/02/2014-01-05-Drought2013EarthDrReeseHalter2-thumb.jpg

 

http://www.occidentaldissent.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/snap.pngAnd those are just the relatively new ones!   Fukushima hasn’t stopped Nuke Puking into the Pacific, a few dozen new species go extinct every week and the number of people on SNAP Cards inexorably climbs while the number of people in the workforce inexorably declines.  The Greeks are about to Default (AGAIN!) too.

As a Blogger, you can randomly just pick one of the topics out of a hat and there is something to write about and examine on any given day.  With this explosion of collapse topics, you would think that this would translate to an explosion of Blogs and Bloggers writing about them, but the exact opposite is true.  The longer this goes on, the fewer people who write on them there are, and of those that do, the less often they publish.

Some of the folks I used to read regularly like Nicole Foss (Stoneleigh) of The Automatic Earth almost never publish anything new.  Other folks like George Mobus of Question Everything have turned towards topics of a theoretical nature that interest them, but are only tangentially related to collapse if at all.

Here on the Diner, my fellow Bloggers Lucid Dreams of Epiphany Now and William Hunter Duncan of Off the Grid in Minneapolis just about never publish anymore, concerned more with their own daily lives than the Big Problems of the world.  Jason Heppenstall of 22 Billion Energy Slaves still publishes occassionally, but his Blogs come sporadically, maybe one a month.

Discussion in the commentary of some Blogs and on Forums is settled into a kind of formula for each place and is generally entirely predictable wherever you go, if you have been following collapse for any length of time anyhow.

Why is this?  It’s obviously not due to a shortage of topics, that is for sure.  The most obvious reasons to me are Collapse Overload TM on the part of the readers and commentariat, and Collapse Burnout TM on the part of the Bloggers.  It’s been going on so long now that anyone concerned with these topics has pretty much shot their wad on their own opinions and ideas and has read everything anyone else had to say about it, formed their own opinion on where it is going and what it means, and now is just living their life as best they can in the face of it.

For the most part this means finding or keeping a job and continuing to scratch out a living in the industrial economy.  Only a few people can afford to build their own Doomsteads © and try to become at least partially self-sufficient, and even that idea gets bollixed up by changing climate and precipitation patterns.  Diner Eddie who has a Doomstead © in Texas is quite aware that the progressing drought there makes that place likely unsustainable in the medium to long term.

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/newsphoto/2013-05-06/450/CFP433417743-182026_copy1.jpgBesides Collapse Overload TMCollapse Burnout TM in the long time Cognoscenti of Collapse TM is the more serious problem of Collapse Frustration TM.  For Doomophiles TM,  after years of jawboning Doom & Collapse on the net, the apparent inability to actually DO anything about it or even get the large majority of the population with their noses stuck in their I-Phones to even realize it is occurring leads many Doomers TM to throw up their hands and just give up!  Why bother talking about it or even DOING anything about it, because we are so seriously fucked here nothing makes a difference anyhow!

This is the meme over on Guy McPherson’s Nature Bats Last, where the Batters there have drawn the conclusion that not only are we economically fucked but we are all Doomed to Near Term Human Extinction by the now updated date of 2030.  Definitely, if we are all going to be extinct by 2030, there is not a whole lot of point to be blogging anymore, start working on your Bucket List instead!

The fact so many Bloggers have succumbed to Collapse Overload TMCollapse Burnout TM is actually a benefit for the Doomstead Diner ©, since newbies seeking out information about Collapse have fewer places to surf to on a daily basis these days, which translates to an ever rising Alexa Ranking for the Diner! Doom Surfers like the Diner so much they hang out for an amazing 17 Minutes a Day Time on Site now consuming Doom on the Diner! LOL. Most sites are lucky if they can keep short attention span readers on site for even 3 minutes! I personally battle the CO & CB Demons by sprinkling in some humor with the Doom, if you don’t look at the Lighter Side of Doom TM, you get Gloomy & Depressed and that makes it hard to keep going.

Besides Humor, the other way to battle against the Depressing Side of Doom is to NOT give in to the idea that everything is HOPELESS and there is nothing you can do, particularly if you are FRNs strapped without a lot of money to set up your own Doomstead ©.  There still are many strategies to explore, which is why we created the Non-Profit Sustaining Universal Needs Foundation, at SUN4Living.com.  While a case can be made that Collapse is inevitable and things are not going to be improving as time goes by here, there is still plenty to work out in terms of how to deal with it as it does progress.  I don’t see it as worthwhile to capitulate here as of yet, while the situation looks pretty grim, it is always Darkest Before the Dawn, as the saying goes.  Visit with us on SUN to help workout the logistics of a BETTER TOMORROW TM

In any event, the fact so many folks concerned with Collapse have left the stage or just sing the periodic aria has left a huge GAP in Collapse Analysis on the net, and a GREAT OPPORTUNITY for the Diner!  At the very least, I have got every good Collapse & Doom Term & Slogan either Trademarked or Copyrighted here!  LOL.

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.

http://www.cheatcc.com/imagesfeatures/futuresobrightwegottawearshades.jpg

This is not the time to GIVE UP!  So what if the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor?  Are you going to let a few Dead Phytoplankton get you down?  How many people ever born get to live through the Collapse of their Civilization?  It’s like Winning the LOTTO!  Let’s get out there and grab this opportunity to build a BETTER TOMORROW TM

NOTHING IS OVER UNTIL WE DECIDE IT IS!

http://www.isd547.com/Elem/extras/images/dogreporter.jpgDon’t miss the latest New Feature on the Diner Blog, Knarf’s Knewz!

Knewz Storiez Carefully Curated and Selected from around the Web by a Buddhist Monk filling you in on some of the less  well known Collapse Shenanigans.

Find the latest in Collapse Storiez in Knarf’s Knewz Widget on the Diner Blog!

Classic Rant Series: TSA Follies & Myths of Transportation Security

Collective Insanity II

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on August 15, 2014

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Snippet:

…In the last rant, I covered a small subset of the Collective Insanity ongoing around the world, but in the two days since I recorded it, Insanity has upped by an Order of Magnitude. It’s impossible to keep pace with doom these days, at least if you do all the writing, recording and audio editing yourself and hold down a regular job. To be a comprehensive Doomer these days, you gotta go Full Time at it and you need a support staff of at least 4 people.

I’ll start tonight with ongoing bullshit in Ukraine, where apparently the 300 vehicle strong Ruskie Relief Convoy supposedly partnered with the International Red Cross was held up at the Ukrainian Border by the Ukies. THEY want to administer all this aid down in the conflict region, which generally would mean anybody that supports them gets some food, anybody in favor of lining up with Vlad the Impaler does not. Also, supposedly there are anti-aircraft missiles being transported along with the food supplies, which actually makes sense these days since just because vehicles are painted White to look like Humanitarian Vehicles instead of Green to look like Military ones is no guarantee some Top Gun won’t drop Death From Above on you.

Meanwhile on the Economic end of this war, the Obamanista and NATO continue to drop sanctions on Vlad the Impaler on everything EXCEPT Natural Gas, because the folks over in europe still need this stuff to keep the lights on and their McHovels warm this winter. Who does NOT get any NG though? The folks in Ukraine, who owe the Ruskies a few billion in toilet paper for gas they burned up a while back. Except where does the NG have to transit through to get from Russia to Europe? Ukraine! This is like saying you will drive a caravan full of juicy ribeye steaks through a country of starving people and hand them over to fat people on the other side to eat. Insanity….

For the rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!

Collective Insanity I if you missed it:

TOP GROSSING RANT: ANTI-DOLLARS!!!

Collective Insanity

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on August 13, 2014

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Snippet

…I toyed with some other titles for this Rant, like “Collective Stupidity” and “Collective Ignorance” which are both in abundance these days, but as you observe the spin down progress its way around the Globe, as vast as the Stupidity and Ignorance are, both are overwhelmed by sheer INSANITY. There is insanity everywhere you look nowadays. So today’s Rant is on Collective Insanity.

Let’s start with the Stock Market. While millions more Amerikans drop out of the Labor Force every year, the Market levitates to ever more stratospheric heights. The “Smartest Guys in the Room” invest in Dogshit companies like Facepalm and PoopOn that have never turned a profit in their entire existence. Since these guys are Certified Smart with Ph.Ds from MIT, Harvard and the London School of Economics, you can’t attribute this to Stupidity, so it must be Insanity.

Where do the Smartest Guys in the Room GET the money to invest in this Dogshit? From other certified Geniuses like Helicopter Ben Bernanke and his successor, Dammit Janet Smellin Yellin, who seem to think that paying par prices for absolutely worthless collateral with freshly printed FRNs so that the Smart Guys trading have still more Funny Money to play with will somehow get the economy rolling again back to the Holy Grail of Perpetual Growth. Since you can;t have perpetual growth in a finite world, this concept is flawed from the get go, and also here since Helicopter Ben and Dammit Janet are also cetified as smart, stupidity can’t be the answer, so it must be Insanity again…

http://inspirationhut.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/dorothea-lange-photography-large-101.jpg

For rest, LISTEN TO THE RANT!!!

——————-

Don’t miss the recent interview with Josh Ellis on his Gone Viral Blog, “Everyone I know is Broken Hearted”

Or the Top Rant, ANTI-DOLLAR!!!

California Drying and Peaked Oil: Daily Impact Double Feature

From the keyboard of Thomas Lewis
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Palestinian_refugees

This hasn’t happened yet in California (it happened in Galilee in 1948). But this is what it will look like on the Oregon border if the historic drought continues (Wikipedia photo)

California Drying: “We May Have to Migrate”

First published at The Daily Impact  August 1, 2014

The only category of drought higher than the one now assigned to nearly 60 percent of California (the USDA’s Drought Monitor calls it “exceptional”)  is “Biblical.” Three years in, there is no relief in sight — the much-anticipated El Nino pattern of sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, which usually increases rainfall in California, has not materialized. It would take a full year of normal rain and snowfall to restore surface waters to normal levels. A UC Davis study just out finds the amount of surface water available to California agriculture has been reduced by 6.6 million acre-feet(yes, that’s enough water to submerge 6.6 million acres to a depth of one foot). Groundwater has been pumped to replace five million acre-feet, but the shortfall remains a jaw-dropping 1.6 million acre-feet.

It is, right now, one of the worst droughts in the history of North America. Bad enough, says Lynn Wilson, chair of the School of Arts and Sciences at Kaplan University and member of a UN delegation on climate change, that “we may have to migrate people out of California.”

Which immediately led to a post on the aptly named Lunatic Outpost ( I am not making any of this up) titled “UN panel recommends moving people out of California.”  In black transport helicopters, one assumes.  (For the record: Dr. Wilson’s UN service is not her day job, and her observation had nothing to do with the UN.)

But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you might not have to leave California. “Civilizations in the past have had to migrate out of areas of drought,” says Dr. Wilson, and although heroic measures can be expected before any such decision is reached, she says, “it can’t be taken off the table.”

Ominously, heroic measures are already being taken. Californians can now be fined $500 for washing their car or watering their ornamentals. Time to move to Phoenix. Oh, wait….

Like an earthquake far out to sea, the California catastrophe has raised a tsunami of consequences that has not yet reached the doorsteps of the rest of the country. Except for much higher prices for lettuce and, one assumes, arugula. California industrial agriculture produces half of America’s produce — fruits, vegetables and nuts — and to do it sucks up 80 per cent of the available water. (Which is why, when the drought gets really, really bad, the government cracks down on car-washing.)

With half a million acres of farmland idled for lack of irrigation water, with lettuce wilting and fruit trees dying, the hurt will soon spread beyond the region’s devastated farmers. Just this year, the California Farm Bureau estimates, the average American family should expect to spend $500 more on food because of the California drought. And next year, it’s going to get serious.

Next year, or soon thereafter, they are going to start running out of groundwater to pump onto their fields. And while the effects of that will be obvious and immediate, there’s more: they have already pumped so much water out of the Central Valley’s deep aquifer that the Sierra Nevada has rebounded upward by a half inch just in the last decade — six inches in the last century-and-a-half — and the massive San Andreas Fault has been twitching with unusual clusters of earthquakes nearby.

The UC Davis study went to great lengths to monetize the costs of the drought just this year to the state ($2.2 billion), to agriculture ($1.5 billion), and so on. But it may not be until we see the first battalions of climate refugees trudging across the Oregon border in search of rain that we comprehend the true cost of screwing around with Mother Nature.

________________________________________

Peaked Oil: Waiting for the Swords to Drop

Damocles learned that when you know about the sword up there, it’s hard to enjoy a life of luxury.

Damocles learned that when you know about the sword up there, it’s hard to enjoy a life of luxury.

First published at The Daily Impact  July 28, 2014

In the fable that bears his name, Damocles was unnerved in the midst of luxury and power by the threat of a single sword (representing the ever present possibility of failure) hanging precariously over his head. We, who because of cheap oil enjoy luxury and power in our ordinary lives beyond the imagination of the kings of old, live beneath a veritable forest of deadly blades, all of which are just about to fall. Unlike Damocles, we refuse to look up, let alone move out of the zone of impact. When they tell our fable, nobody’s going to believe it.

1. The Price Sword. The world is paying just over $100 a barrel for the 90 million barrels of oil it needs to get through a day. If the price goes any lower, it will be less than the cost of production from fracking, tar sands and deep ocean wells, which is where all the new oil is coming from. If we have to depend on the old legacy fields of Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the like, which are all in decline, the price will quickly go up, and when it gets much above $100, experience shows it will drive industrial economies into recession. So that’s two swords — one sticks you if you stand up, the other if you sit down.

2. The Demand Sword. The recession of +/- 2009 drastically reduced our consumption of oil, hence dropped oil prices and then kept them from rising as fast as they would have. As we recover, demand increases, prices go up, pushing us back into recession. As the masses of China, India and Asia have the audacity to try to live like us, with cars and air conditioners, they increase demand for oil, which increases prices, which makes it highly unlikely they will ever get to live like us, which, of course, we will soon not be doing either.  So this is really two swords, too — one sticks you if you step forward, the other takes a slice if you step back.

3. The Capital Sword. The oil bidness has done a very good job of not letting us see them sweat. But they are sweating. Not because they have to spend a lot of money to find and develop new sources of oil years ahead of getting them on line — that has always been the case. They are sweating because despite spending more and more on exploration and development, they are finding less and less oil. As Ambrose Evans-Pritchard observed in the London Telegraph recently:

Data from Bank of America show that oil and gas investment in the US has soared to $200bn a year. It has reached 20pc of total US private fixed investment, the same share as home building. This has never happened before in US history, even during the Second World War when oil production was a strategic imperative.

This is of course otherwise known as a bubble, a stampede of money started by the irrational exuberance of the hydraulic frackers. It continues, amid talk of “energy independence” and “America Numbah One,” but not for long. Look around. All the shale operators are under water. Not a single major oil company is involved in the American Fracking Revolution: Shell was, but bailed at the end of last year after taking a $2 billion dollar loss.

The same situation obtains worldwide, for deepwater, Arctic, and traditional sources. Global capital investment by oil companies doubled in just eight years (2000-2008), is running near a trillion dollars a year, and is finding virtually nothing. The major oil companies have already, quietly, begun cutting back on their capital expenditures for exploration and development, which may be the scariest single fact about the oil situation today.

4. The Depletion Sword. The Achilles heel (Too many classical allusions? Okay, I’ll stop.) of the fracking business is the hideous decline rates of the wells. Traditional oil wells lasted for 20 years. These super-expensive, water-guzzling, radioactive and toxic waste-generating  babies last for five. That means if you’re an operator and you want to show your investors steadily rising production, you had better bring a new well on line nearly every year. The good times roll on, as long as everybody believes the good times will last forever. But it’s always amazing how fast a party that everybody wanted in on can disperse when it runs out of booze.

5. The Stock Market Sword.  With the country’s economy manifestly unrecovered from the Great Recession (or the Minor Depression, whichever you prefer), it makes no sense that the stock market is dancing in the stars, wearing silly hats and blowing on noisemakers while millions sink into poverty. That which makes no sense, collapses. Reality, it turns out, is not just a good idea, its a prerequisite for persistence. (See the Enron Bubble, the Savings and Loan Bubble, the Dot-Com Bubble, the Housing Bubble, and on and on….) So it is not only conceivable, but likely, that within the next few months a standard, garden-variety stock-market correction (the other word for it — “crash”) could suck all the money out of all the fracking plays, at once. Or, the dawning realization that we have been led up a blind alley by the American Fracking Revolution could trigger the market panic that finishes fracking. Either way, it’s a lose-lose scenario.

And to think Damocles freaked out at the sight of one sword.

***

 

Thomas Lewis is a nationally recognized and reviewed author of six books, a broadcaster, public speaker and advocate of sustainable living. He also is Editor of The Daily Impact website, and former artist-in-residence at Frostburg State University. He has written several books about collapse issues, including Brace for Impact and Tribulation. Learn more about them here.

 

 

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