Sunday, August 12, 2012

Drought - 2nd hit to the American Economy?

A few extra minutes at lunchtime allowed me to scan the MSN news to find out what was going on in the country.  As usual the top stories revolved around what prominent actresses were wearing and who they were seen with,  the U.S. participation in the Olympics, and who said what about the upcoming presidential election.  Buried in the corner was a small headline about drought conditions.  I clicked on it with memories of what happened in Texas only last year.  The only way to describe my reaction was:  Appalled.  I was appalled at how widespread the drought already was and I was appalled that the news which is supposed to be our lifeline to the facts of what is going on in our country had so effectively buried the information thus skewing our perception of its impact and importance.

Being a native of Washington State which is known for its rain, evergreens, and rivers, lakes and access to the ocean it is difficult for me to imagine what a drought even looks like.  We rejoice in the few days a year it does not rain and pour water upon us from the sky.

So I grabbed some pictures off the internet to give me a better idea of what was going on:

The crops most affected so far are corn and soybeans and the conditions are said to be the worst since 1956.  It would be easy to think that we could easily pass up our fresh corn on the cob this summer but remember corn is one of the main crops for raising dairy and beef animals and is a key component in ethanol which is used in gasoline.
Recently I did a post about the change in the farming population in this country.  We are down to 2% of our population who are still living on commercial or private farms.  And now this 2% is in trouble.  This could affect us all.  We are relying on a fraction of the population to provide our entire food crop and when they are calling for help and sounding the warnings we need to listen.

My mother was an example of preparation.  Each winter she would put a blanket, extra coat, boots, and a flash light in the truck of the car...just in case.  She had adequate insurance of all types...just in case.  And, we all knew where the candles and matches were in the house...just in case.  I admit that I use my mom as the example here because I was the one always walking out the door without the coat, without the umbrella, and without any preparations for the just in cases in life. 

What can or should we do regarding the conditions and seem to be heading our way?  First, I definitely do not have all the answers but a few things immediately come to mind.

1. Pray.  Not everyone is willing to do this but thankfully in this case the majority does not rule.  In fact the scripture itself is directed to a select group.

2.  Start or increase a food storage program now while things are available and affordable.  There are a number of posts on this blog which give ideas about this and links on the right hand side.  This will not only allow you to save money and provide for your family but can help displace some of the demand if supplies become limited.

3.  Plant fruit trees.  If you have even a small yard investing in one or more fruit trees can help in the preparations to establish  local food commodities.  If you have no land community gardens are a way to participate.  These are easy to locate...if you have a computer available google for the one closest to you.

4.  Read, talk to people and get ideas for your own best ideas.

5.  Be aware of what is going on and pass the word.  Some may think that all they need to do is provide for their own family but this is sadly naive.  If people become hungry many throw the rules of social ettiquette aside.

Hopefully though prayer and preparation any hardship can be avoided or minimized.  However, ignoring the situation may not be the wisest choice.  My own plans may take up to 5 years to have fully in place so I am thinking on the long term not just the immediate needs.  This is not intended and should not be construed as a message of fear.  When our alarms go off in the morning we do not run screaming out of the house.  However we should get up and be ready.  We can only hit the snooze so many times before we find ourselves late.  Far better to get up and be on time.

Here are more articles on the subject and searching under "2012 dought" will provide many others. 

All purple lettering indicates a link for more information.
Added note on Sept 7, 2012:
Well CNN is now also publishing information about a predicted food crisis in 2013, read the article here, published on Sept 3, 2012 Opinion: Global food crisis in 2013

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