Grassroots Commentary

The Lesson of the Drought

William Stoecker · Mar. 9, 2016

Here in Northern California we have finally had some serious storms with steady and prolonged rain, and we pray for much, much more and hope that this will become a “March miracle.” We are years into a drought in a state and in a region (the West) that is overpopulated. The long-term rainfall patterns and the current El Nino event gave us hope for relief, but, thus far, it has been a disappointment. Last summer I caught shower water in plastic containers and carried it out to try to keep some of our lawn alive. If the rains continue for another six or eight weeks we may be able to avoid severe water rationing this summer and fall. If they do not continue, we are in trouble. The quality of life here will suffer if lawns and gardens die, farmers and ranchers are ruined and food becomes scarcer and more expensive, and if even Sacramento’s beautiful and abundant trees begin to die. There is even a chance that in another year or two the taps may run dry in many towns and even in the larger cities. California will become uninhabitable, and our homes will become worthless. The most extreme and very remote possibility is that ten or twenty million people will have no food to eat, no water to drink, and no place to go. Needless to say, all of this would hurt the rest of the nation as well.

Perhaps I fear drought more than most, for when I was a child we lived on a farm/ranch for three years in South Texas during one of the worst droughts ever to hit that state, with conditions rivaling the Dust Bowl of the nineteen thirties, including apocalyptic dust storms that seeped into our house, covering everything. We were all but ruined and experienced a kind of poverty unknown to today’s pampered and privileged inner city welfare types.

For six years I have written for a print magazine, Atlantis Rising, that deals with such forbidden topics as alternative science, history, and prehistory. Researching for articles about what really happened in Humanity’s past, I have been struck by the way natural climate change and natural disasters, some of them real mega-catastrophes, have impacted human beings, and about how helpless we really are. Most people have a vague idea that there have been ice ages, when huge glacial ice sheets covered large parts of North America and Europe. The last one came on fairly suddenly about 76,000 years ago, perhaps triggered by a mega-volcano in Indonesia. Things were beginning to warm up a bit when our ancestors were hit by the Younger Dryas event, a sudden return to deep freeze conditions about 12,900 years ago, caused by a change in ocean currents and/or a comet explosion over North America. Then it began to get warmer again, and by about 11,700 years ago the ice age was pretty much over. Temperatures continued to climb, and by 10,000 years ago the Earth was warmer than today, without the help of man-caused global warming. No fossil cars or coal-fired power plants have been discovered. From 7,000-5,000 years ago it was so warm (and wet, due to rain caused by clouds formed from evaporated sea water) that the period is called the Holocene Optimum. The Sahara was mostly grassland, with montane and riverine forests, and the seas did not rise, even though our glorious King Hussein was not there to command them. The climate then got colder and dryer, and Egypt’s Old Kingdom ended in drought 4,150 years ago. A warmer period helped the rise of Greece and Rome, and cold and drought (perhaps caused by another mega-volcano) may have hastened the end of the Roman Empire and led to the Dark Ages. In the eleventh century it got warmer again — the Medieval Warm Period — and Europe flourished, only to suffer famine and plague in the Little Ice Age, beginning in the fourteenth century.

Climate changed when nature decided to change it, and people were merely the victims, not the perpetrators. For all of our imagined knowledge and power, we are like tiny ants on a vast rock face, battered by weather and by disasters like mega-volcanoes, mega-tsunamis, and asteroid and comet impacts.

Moonbeam Jerry Brown and the other leftists ruling the former Golden State are doing next to nothing to prepare for a continuation of this drought or for the inevitable future droughts. Welfare recipients and illegal aliens are welcomed in our sanctuary cities, swelling the population even more, but new dams are not being built, and water is sent into the sea to save imaginary endangered species. At a national level, we are left vulnerable to EMP while spending trillions on “defense” in countries most Americans have never heard of. Our infrastructure continues to deteriorate and our economy is so weak that we have no “slack” to call on if the Cascadia subduction zone or the New Madrid fault rips open. In the Old Testament the Pharaoh took Joseph’s good advice and stockpiled grain during the seven “fat” years to prepare for the years of drought. Our current leaders stockpile nothing and spend everything on vote-buying and on rewarding the crony capitalists who put them in power.

As individual citizens, we need to prep as best we can. For, even without major natural disasters, our nation will not endure much longer on its present course.

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