Michael Snyder, Contributor
This week has provided two very clear examples of why it is so important to keep on prepping. In the United States, the historic drought ravaging the central part of the country is absolutely devastating our crops.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, drought is affecting nearly 90 percent of all corn crops in America at this point.
This is pushing the price of corn to levels never seen before. On Tuesday, the price of corn hit another new record high of $8.20 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Over the past six weeks the price of corn has risen more than 50 percent, and it could go a lot higher as the drought continues to absolutely bake America.
Meanwhile, the massive power grid failures in India are reminding us all just how incredibly dependent we are on electricity and technology. Power was cut off to nearly a tenth of the entire global population on Tuesday, and there was quite a bit of panic about that even though power is rapidly being restored.
So what would happen to them (or to us) someday if the power went off for good?
Without the rain that falls from the sky, there would be mass starvation on this planet. We are not immune to drought, and there are a lot of indications that the drought we are experiencing right now is just the beginning of a longer trend.
For example, one team of scientists has just published a study that says that the western United States could be facing a “100-year drought“.
They say that the recent drought of 2000-2004 was the worst long-term drought in more than 800 years. The following is from a recent CTVNews article….
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.
And as I wrote about recently, this current drought is the worst single year drought in more than 50 years, and the federal government has declared the largest natural disaster area in U.S. history because of this drought.
On Monday, the high temperature hit 111 degrees in Little Rock, Arkansas. That was a new all-time record for July 30th, and it was the third-highest temperature ever recorded in Little Rock.
The heat and drought are causing massive problems for farmers and ranchers all over the country. The following is an excerpt from the shocking information that Ron Klinefelter shared on standeyo.com the other day….
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 latest U.S. Drought Monitor map is posted below. As you can see, the drought continues to get even worse….
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.
Sadly, even when this summer ends our problems will be far from over.
In a previous article I detailed a bunch of signs that the western United States is progressively becoming drier and drier. If something does not change, it is only a matter of time before dust bowl conditions return to the western United States.
Already, giant dust storms that are thousands of feet high called haboobs are hitting major cities in the southwest such as Phoenix, Arizona.
What will people do in these areas when these giant dust storms get even worse?
Sadly, it is not just the United States that is fighting these kinds of conditions. Heat and wildfires are also absolutely ravaging Russia right now. It turns out that Russia is not going to be able to export as much food as they were anticipating this year.
So what is going to happen someday if the United States and Russia do not have any food to export?
How many people around the world are going to starve?
That is frightening to think about.
Meanwhile, massive power grid failures in India and Pakistan are reminding all of us how desperately we all need electricity.
This week hundreds of millions of people in India have been left without power. On Tuesday, a second major power grid failure in just two days plunged more than 600 million people into the dark. The following is from a Fox News article about the recent blackouts in India….
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.
You can see a picture of the horrible traffic jams in India right here.
At one point on Tuesday nearly one-tenth of the entire population of the globe was without power. Sadly, it is not just India that is dealing with major power grid problems.
Right now in Pakistan extended blackouts have become so common that people are starting to riot….
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.
According to PressTV, power company offices all over the country have been attacked by angry citizens….
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.
So what happens someday if the power goes out for all of us for an extended period of time?
All it would take is one really, really bad solar storm. A massive EMP burst from the sun could potentially fry electronics all over the planet. Scientists tell us that such a burst has happened before and that one is likely to happen again.
In a previous article, I discussed what the world might look like after such an EMP burst….
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.
So are you ready for these things?
Are you ready for the power grid to go down?
Are you ready for a massive food shortage caused by extended drought?
Just because we have experienced incredibly good times for decades does not mean that things will always be that way.
Our world is becoming increasingly unstable. The economy is falling apart, war in the Middle East could break out at any time, society is decaying all around us, and natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more powerful.
In such an environment, it only makes sense to work hard to prepare yourself and your family for what is coming.
There is evidence that the system is starting to fail wherever you look, so now is the time to work to become more independent of the system.
In the end, it is those that are totally dependent on the system that will feel the most pain when everything begins to completely fall apart.
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This article first appeared here at the American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.