THE AMERICAN DREAM
The four-year-long drought that affected western Canada and the U.S. at the turn of the century was the worst to hit the region in 800 years, say scientists who warn that dry spell was nothing compared to the “megadroughts” still to come.A group of 10 scientists from the University of British Columbia as well as several American universities write in Nature GeoScience that they believe the bone-dry conditions seen between 2000 and 2004 could become the “new normal” in the region.
This month, the 3 nearest cattlemen’s livestock auctions set ALL TIME EVER records for livestock sales, as farmers sell off their herds. There was only one early cutting of hay this year, and the round bales are going for $100/bale. (This should normally cost $20-25/bale.)We had a pipe break in our 340 foot deep well, which necessitated us getting the pump pulling truck out here this last month. When we originally drilled the well, in the “plenty of rain years”, the water rose to within 24 feet of the surface.Last month, it was 180 feet down to the water level, and we are down in a valley bottom, and not irrigating out of it. The guy pulling the pump told me that the call he made earlier in the day to a guy who wasn’t getting any water in his pressure tank, found, when they pulled the pump, that the water level was now 40 feet BELOW the pump, which was completely dry and burnt out! Some of the rural water systems have also run out of water, and burnt their pumps out.I talked to one of my sons today. He manages the largest elderberry farm in the U.S., up by Jefferson City, Mo. They are in their harvest now. He said that last week, they picked 10 long field rows, where, in a “normal” year, they would get about 700 pounds of berries. This year they got 35 pounds!
The condition of the U.S. corn crop worsened for an eighth straight week amid the worst Midwest drought in a generation. Soybean ratings also fell.About 24 percent of the corn was in good or excellent condition as of yesterday, down from 26 percent a week earlier and 77 percent in mid-May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. An estimated 29 percent of the soybeans got the top ratings, down from 31 percent.
India's energy crisis cascaded over half the country Tuesday when three of its regional grids collapsed, leaving 620 million people without government-supplied electricity for hours in, by far, the world's biggest blackout.Hundreds of trains stalled across the country and traffic lights went out, causing widespread traffic jams in New Delhi. Electric crematoria stopped operating, some with bodies half burnt, power officials said.Two hundred workers were stranded in three coal mines in West Bengal when the blackout cut off electricity to elevators in their underground pits, a mining company official told The Times of India.
Prolonged and widespread power outage in most of Pakistan’s cities during scorching summer heat has triggered violent protests in most areas of the country.Coupled with hot and humid summer weather, the prolonged blackout has forced outraged citizens to take to the streets to protest the tough living conditions.
Offices of Pepco, the Pakistan Electric Power Company, were also attacked in Islamabad, Abbottabad, Charsadda, Okara, Multan, Mandi Bahauddin, Sialkot, and Sheikhupura and many of them were reportedly set ablaze.
Just imagine a world where nobody has power, most cars will not start, the Internet has been fried, the financial system is offline indefinitely, nobody can make any phone calls and virtually all commerce across the entire country is brought to a complete stop. A nation that does not know how to live without technology would be almost entirely stripped of it at that point.
Are you ready for a massive food shortage caused by extended drought?