I am a firm believer in go-bags, survival skills of all kinds, security, and other preparedness needs. The climate in the U.S. in terms of future outlook, violence, security, politics, and especially long-term survival has changed rapidly these past few months and will continue to change.
The cumulative effects of the Covid-19 virus, which is no different than a common flu, but that has been politically weaponized will be an issue to be reckoned with both now and in the future; if for no other reason than political entities have now determined how to control the masses rapidly.
Our future is now more uncertain than ever. The violent ramping up of the terrorist Antifa movement and what they represent, coupled with lessening the power of law enforcement and putting the burden on the average person and patriots to protect themselves, makes us wonder what is coming around the next corner? Are you prepared? In this article I want you to put on your thinking cap and just for a moment, stop looking at guns, go bags, starting fires, and typical survival principles. Instead look at a longer-term strategy on what may you may need to deal with.
Many articles have talked about getting out of Dodge as it were and escaping to some off-grid location or safe haven. However, most of that lately has revolved around fleeing from natural disasters that affect a substantial portion of a geographic area. Far too many pay little attention to geopolitics, water, energy, and food trends, and causal effects related to critical infrastructure and interdependent causes. What do I mean by that?
Let us look at the recent virus. It has caused toilet paper, food stuffs, and meat shortages, as well as reduction in work hours and revenue earned and shifted the control of the balance of survival to favor those who you must not trust. It has also disrupted supply lines due to ship-on-demand policies of major companies.
In southern Colorado on September 9, 2020, we received the earliest snowfall on record since 1898. At the time of this writing more than 4.6 million acres of forests have burned in the western U.S. with many more acres continuing to burn. The effects of those fires will last for quite some time with the immediate effect, due to blankets of heavy smoke, being a more rapid cool down of temperatures in the west and Midwest U.S. This is just a part of the interdependent effects we need to understand. Let us look at more.
China is experiencing its worst flooding in over 100 years, especially in the modern era since the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Twenty percent of the global supply of corn (maize) along with many fruits and vegetables, are grown within the Yangtze flood basin. China is also the world’s largest producer of barley, cotton, millet, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, soybeans, tea, and wheat. The bulk of these food crops also are cultivated in the Yangtze flood basin. Additionally, the basin is also the region of China where they beef, chicken, and pigs for meat. Over 30% of the world’s supply of Chicken and Eggs are farmed there. Likely, you are unaware that China just experienced an atmospheric river that flooded the basin and killed the majority of crops and almost took out the Three Gorges Dam. And, if you follow the news, you know that China just made the largest corn and soybean purchase from U.S. farmers in its history. The floods have started the beginning of a global crises. The year 2020 has proven to be one of the worst Asian Monsoon seasons in history. Total rainfall amounts have increased to more than 200% above the past decade average in China, with a dozen other countries being affected by massive flooding, including Cambodia, Japan, North and South Korea, Vietnam, and others. The result is massive losses of agricultural crops just prior to harvest and what will become a major food-security problem for the world.
We have yet to determine the extent of this damage, but it will impact food security globally because China is the world’s largest consumer of food with over one billion in population, as well as the world’s largest producer and supplier of food in terms of total output. The real problem is the area affected, the Yangtze River basin and its floodplain. Also, if you are unaware, Hubei Province, the most affected, is where Wuhan, the outbreak of Covid-19 occurred. Many of these people have left and even those that remain, make physical distance moot.
Elsewhere, because of the virus, have resulted in global riots due to lock-down and thus interference in supply-chain continuance; food prices have been rising steadily with the effects felt globally. For example, supermarket suppliers in Australia warn of a national food shortage due to the virus lock-down in that country. Coupled with that is a shortage of domestically-grown rice, projected to run out in Australia by December 2020. Furthermore, as agricultural commodities such as wheat and dairy trade at record highs, some governments, such as Russia, are implementing price controls on selected types of bread, cheese, milk, eggs, and vegetable oil. This is not something seen on the nightly news in the U.S. due to political polarization of two parties. It should also be mentioned that the reduced agricultural production causes a reduction in plant bio-fuels and thus, an increase in their price with a consequent increase in shipping prices – for everything.
What Can You Do?
Quit thinking guns and go bags for a while and dig into these issues; inform yourself and your family. You cannot afford to become lost in the noise of the Marxist group Black Lives Matter, divisive politics, supreme court justice appointments, and those distracting issues that go along with them. To being, try planting a garden and getting your hands dirty from the fun of it. Every couple of weeks, get some basics from the store and build up your supply of food so that you and your family are safe. Focus on rice and beans (for a 2,000 calorie per day diet, the requirement is one pound of beans and 0.8 pounds of rice) and other basics – salt, sugar, spices, and a variety of canned goods. Prepare you and your family for food security long-term with healthy food supplies.
In addition to the basics listed, consider professionally prepared food storage, canned meats and other types of food storage such as freeze dried. All this is a part of our survival courses at the Academy, but due to costs, most need to begin a good program now.
Flooding and drought are major considerations that can be the causal factor of food insecurity. Thus far, we have seen virus lock-downs and riots on a large scale. What is next? What are the effects a larger droughts or flooding? In simple terms, too much water reduces yields and or kills crops and too little water, i.e., drought, has the same effect, as well as a great many other effects. Both can occur in the same year such as when harvesting winter wheat, planting summer crops, and, harvesting them in the fall. With that in mind, let me close with an example of the results of a short-term drought.
The 1995 Texas Drought
A drought reduces water supply overall and in 1995 in Texas, a drought lasting less than 5 months led to total regional drought impacts ranging from $10 to $15 billion (discounting social and environmental impacts). Major effects included:
- Decreased vegetable production with related job and income losses.
- Food prices increased 22 percent in response to the lower production levels for milk, meat, produce, and other foodstuffs.
- Prices for gasoline, diesel, and liquefied petroleum rose 15 percent above earlier levels.
- Extensive population migration from rural areas to cities to find jobs.
- Severe water restrictions cut usage by 25%.
- Winter wheat production in 19 states was extremely poor.
- Wind and insect damage reduced crop production and drastically reduced yields.
- Shortage of hay reached disastrous proportions resulting in cattle and other livestock starving.
- $5 billion damage in Texas alone for agricultural losses – cotton, wheat, feed grains, cattle, corn, and agriculturally related industries such as harvesting, trucking, and food processing.
Just think back to the very recent toilet paper shortage and its cause. What I wish to emphasize is that the Texas drought demonstrates the significant level of vulnerability, diversity of impacts, and the effects such impacts can have on a myriad of food-security risks for people.
I discussed this with various universities, including the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, U.S. NORTHCOM, OneHealth, state of California (including what they are now seeing with wildfires), Congressional Liaisons, Congressmen, and other countries a decade ago. The only ones who listened were the other countries in Central America. Now, it is at our doors. Currently, few are talking about the above, in addition to crop devastation’s across Africa, Middle East, India, and China, as well as shortfalls here in the U.S.
This winter, due to our being in a Grand Solar Minimum, could bring the following:
- Continued drought in the Southwest (this could result in a 40% water reduction to Los Angeles from Lake Meade due to water levels in the lake).
- Heavy snow and cold in the Midwest that can cause serious problems during harvest due too wet fields, as well as if it gets very wet before freeze up, it will add direly to yield and harvest problems. It can also mean fields too wet to plant next spring or delayed planting resulting in potential yield disaster if there is an early fall/winter in 2021.
- National food disruption leading to massive civil unrest.
- Energy shortages leading to transportation and logistical problems spurring above crises.
- Large natural disasters causing massive migrations, chaos, and disorder problems, as if the current riots are not bad enough.
- Other issues there is no room here to discuss.
If you are not considering these strategic survival issues – you should!