Published on The Doomstead Diner on February 12, 2017
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Just going back a few years, the "BRICS" were all the rage as the next great Superpower conglomeration. BRICS stood for Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa.
3 of them Brazil, India and South Africa also fit in the category of "Emerging Markets", and EMs were where all the Hot Money was flowing for investment during the period, seeking high yields and return on investment.
What could be more perfect, right? Great resource availability and populations willing to work at low wages to supply industrial products to the world! Not to mention Russia & China as large military powers with the capability of making a good fight with the FSoA if challenged! Even if they don't have the aircraft carriers the FSoA has, they have Nuke ICBMs, and they have cruise missiles capable of sending any FSoA Carrier Group to the bottom of Davey Jones Locker. The Chinese field a 1 Million Man Standing Army. Lotta potential Boots on the Ground there!
So a lot of betting went down that this group of Nation-States was going to make a serious challenge to the European and Anglo-Amerikan hegemony over the industrial economy, not to mention the Bankstering system which runs it. Even to this day, you have some pundits like Pepe Escobar claiming the Chinese are going to build a "New Silk Road" that will bring the BRICS to ascendancy as the inheritors of the failed policies of the Western Europeans and Anglo-Amerikans.
Unfortunately, something went wrong along the way here, and precisely the opposite has occured or is occuring as I write this article. What fucked up in the BRICS master plan?
To begin with, it was a typical financialized bubble. Beyond that, you have countries here with Goobermints that are corrupt beyond belief, it's possible they are all more corrupt than the FSoA Goobermint, although of course that is hard to imagine. To top it all off, you have the issue that even if said countries have energy resources left like Brazil and Russia do, you have populations that cannot afford to buy those energy resources and retire the debts incurred by the extractors of the energy.
India already jumped off the cliff with the demonetization of the biggest Rupee notes by His Modiness, which sent the entire economy into a tailspin. Not to mention the fact it further impoverished already impoverished people, and as bad as their farmer suicide problem was before this, one has to figure it has been worse since. A VAST number of Indians have no bank account, or even Goobermint ID. For them, it's entirely a Cash Economy, and no Cash, no Economy.
This of course does not even touch on the Climate and Environment problems the Indians have, or their Energy problems or population overshoot problems. Then they have the constant battle with the Pakistanis, so overall the place is a complete fucking mess. They may even start exchanging Nukes with the Pakis, since they both got 'em
Moving down to South Africa, they probably have the worst problems with drought of any of the BRICS, although Brazil is not doing too well with this problem either. Besides that is the perpetual racial divide problem of South Africa and the fact that its entire economy is a mineral resource extraction economy, and globally nobody is paying much for resources, because the Konsumers of the resources are running out of money to buy them with. Well, except for the filthy rich who are still buying some Diamonds at Tiffany's, but unfortunately there aren't enough filthy rich to fund an entire economy this way. Tiffany's isn't doing too good either, they just fired their CEO.
Doing slightly better than these two locations are the Middle Kingdom of China and Mother Russia, but not by all that much plus Newz doesn't really escape well from either Nation-State, so you can't be entirely sure of WTF is going on there. In Mother Russia, one of Vlad the Impaler's political opponents recently went to the Great Beyond, apparently resultant from Poisoning. Another one, Alexander Navalny who was a Blogger so I like him 🙂 was convicted of some kind of felony so is no longer eligible to run against Vlad to run Mother Russia. He was probably the only opponent of Vlad who stood some chance of beating him, at least in popular voting. The Ruskies do have some cheap Oil left though, and their population is not too large given the land mass available there. On the other hand they have NATO troops massing on their borders, not a good sign.
Of all the BRICS, the Chinese have weathered the storm the best so far, but by no means does this presage a rosy future for them. In fact the Chinese are TOAST, and are in worse shape than everyone in the BRICS except perhaps the Indians. Reason of course is Population Overshoot, but by no means is that their only problem. They've blown a Credit Bubble that makes the one Da Fed blew up look like Child's Balloon next to the Hindenburg. Forget about not drinking the water, half of it is not even fit for human contact! You can't walk outside in Beijing without at least a surgical mask on, but really you need a full blown activated charcoal gas mask or better yet a SCUBA tank. This is not a recipe for a bright future for the Chinese.
However, of all the BRICS, the one in the WORST shape right now and is clearly exeriencing a FAST COLLAPSE is Brazil. Their economy is in complete collapse, corruption is systemic and now they are losing control of the social structure as well.
In the state of Espirito Santo which borders on the state of Rio de Janeiro which is home to the city of Rio, Corcovado (the big Christ statue on the mountain) and numerous Favelas (slums), the Military Police recently went on strike because…they weren't getting PAID! Big fucking surprise, who is going to work at anything if you don't get your paycheck at the end of the week?
Problem for these cops of course is that just like under Amerikan Law, Strikes of "publicly essential personnel" are ILLEGAL! So even if you're not getting paid, you're supposed to KEEP WORKING! Does this sound like SLAVERY to you? It does to me.
Since these cops are MILITARY cops, one suspects they can't even quit either until whenever their enlistment in the military runs out. Not that they would quit anyhow, because in all likelihood there are no other jobs for them to take in the neighborhood. So they got a bit creative here on this one, and instead of the cops themselves not showing up for work, their families went out and blockaded the stations, so the cops could not go out on patrol. Of course, they had the option of possibly Arresting their own families for "obstruction of justice", but who is going to go out and arrest their own wives, kids, fathers and mothers, or shoot them? Not gonna happen.
So in the wake of this absence of cops on the streets of Vitoria (the capital of Espirito Santo), the population at large took the opportunity to go an a rampage of looting, raping and killing. There is of course a large population of people living the criminal life in Brazil, because there are no opportunties for them in the "legitimate" world. They deal drugs, they steal, they kill people. It's like Chicago on Steroids and much larger. Its not like everyone is a criminal, but without a police presence, it's "Criminals Gone Wild".
So Da Goobernator of Espirito Santo asks for help from Da Federal Gobermint, and they promise to do "watever it takes" to restore order and send in the Military to replace the cops on the streets. Except how many do they send in? A Big 200 soldiers to police a city of 2M people! That is 1 for every 10,000. Even only 1% of those 10K are criminals, that is still a 100:1 ratio! However, in this situation it's probably more than 1%, since many normally law abiding type citizens will take the opportunity to go loot the local grocery or Iphone store.
Normally, they put out on the street 1800 cops, so to do the same job you would need around the same number of soldiers. So now you have to pay the soldiers instead of the cops, and Da Federal Goobermint of Brazil is in no better position to do that than the states are, they are BROKE also!
Even if they could field enough paid soldiers to go in there to restore order, Vitoria and Espirito Santo as a whole is a relatively small state in Brazil. What happens when the same thing occurs in Rio De Janeiro or Sao Paolo or Brasilia? Sao Paolo has something like 20M people now, that by itself is an order of magnitude larger than Vitoria. What is to stop this from spreading to Sao Paolo? They are broke too, and besides that running short on water and the money to run their sewage treatment plants, garbage collection etc. It's not just cops not getting their paychecks, just about all the public workers are seeing wages withheld because Da Goobermint doesn't have the money to pay them.
Unlike the FSoA (also broke), the Brazilleiros cannot just issue infinite debt and have it recognized as worth anything. They have gone through NUMEROUS periods of Hyperinflation, and they are trying to avoid that problem with "austerity", but austerity means people either are paid to little to live on or not paid at all. Jobs are cut, pensions are cut and you get a downhill spiral as people have no money to spend in the economy. They can't afford to buy enough food to feed their kids. At this point, they get desperate, and take desperate measures. That is what the cops in Espirito Santo are doing.
The problem here of course is that like many other resource based economies, the Brazilleiros are running short on resources people around the globe can afford to buy at the prices they cost to extract. There are some big oil fields in deep water off the coast of Brazil, but their own state company of Petrobras is broke, and oil majors like Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell are not going to put up debt money to drill these fields, because there is no profit in it. These companies are already bleeding red ink on properties they are drilling here in the FSoA, and beyond that there is an oil GLUT due to collapsing demand around the world. So the Brazilians will not be saved by the Oil underneath the ocean floor surrounding them.
It's only a matter of time before the chaos in Espirito Santo spreads to the rest of Brazil. How much time? Then from there it spreads to other SA countries dependent on resource exports, and the chaos grows. Then it makes it to Mexico, then it migrates across the border to the FSoA. How long will that take? Timeline, Timeline, Timeline. Like Location, Location, Location in the world of Real Estate, that's always the question, not what the final outcome is.
Publishes on the Doomstead Diner on November 17, 2015
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Top 10 Drought Locations
Drought is a major reason for the Refugee Crisis in Syria, besides the ongoing Bombing and war over the Oil Resource.
Drought is destabilizing the South African Goobermint, and heightening already strained race relations between Blacks & Whites
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.
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 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.
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.
Despite periodic flooding events, New Guinea has some of the worst drought problems around. Destination of choice for those migrants? Oz of course.
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.
Another cause of the onoing and escalating war in Ukraine, traditionally the "Breadbasket" for Mother Russia.
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:
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.