Monday, April 28, 2014

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Plane Crashes Into South Dakota Wind Farm In Fog - Kills Pilot And Three Passengers!

April 28, 2014 - SOUTH DAKOTA, UNITED STATES - A small airplane heading back to South Dakota after a Texas cattle sale crashed into a wind farm in foggy weather, killing the pilot and three passengers.




The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, but authorities have not released any details on the crash.

Authorities have not released the names of the victims, but Luce Funeral Home confirmed that Fischer, the 30-year-old pilot, died. Lien Funeral Home confirmed the deaths of cattlemen Brent Beitelspacher, of Bowdle, and Logan Rau, of Java.

The funeral home handling arrangements for the fourth victim said it could not release any information.

The three passengers were in Hereford to attend a sale of live cattle and embryos, primarily for the production of show steers, said Mike Mimms, a veterinarian who runs the annual event.

Mimms, who performs cattle embryo transfers, said he has probably bought 3,000 cows from Beitelspacher through telephone calls but hadn't had the opportunity to meet him until this past weekend.

"I got a Christmas card from him this Christmas," Mimms said. "It was the first time I even knew what he looked like, and he's standing there with his family with young kids. And I can't get that image out of my mind."

Fischer, a crop sprayer for Air Kraft Spraying Inc., followed in his father's footsteps into the aerial business and was extremely involved in his community, said state Rep. Corey Brown, R- Gettysburg.

Brown, a longtime family friend, said Fischer had just gotten married in March and was a volunteer emergency medical technician who was often out on calls.

"This is one of those things that's going to hit the community pretty hard, because I would venture to say there are probably are not many people here who D.J. didn't touch their life in some way," Brown said.

Fischer attended South Dakota State University and played defensive tackle for the school's football team from 2002-2005.

John Stiegelmeier, SDSU's head football coach, described Fischer as a gifted athlete who was a great friend to his teammates.

"I'm a small school guy and he was the same -- phenomenal work ethic, phenomenal loyalty to the coaching staff and his teammates," Stiegelmeier said. "Whatever you asked D.J. to do, he did it, with a smile on his face, too. He didn't hesitate."

Mimms said the three cattlemen noted that they had a rough flight down to Texas due to high winds, and conditions were similar in Hereford when they left Sunday morning.

"They made it through the windy weather, and the fog was the problem when they got there," he said.

The wreckage was found Monday at the South Dakota Wind Energy Center, a site south of Highmore with 27 turbines that are about 213 feet tall, plus the length of the blade.

Steve Stengel, a spokesman with Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc., said there was damage to a turbine but he couldn't say what part of the tower was hit.

"It's been so foggy up there and we haven't had a chance to investigate," Stengel said Monday.




Fog and low clouds combined for reduced visibility in the Highmore area on Sunday night, and winds were out of the east at about 15 to 25 mph, said Renee Wise, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Aberdeen. There were also scattered showers across region Sunday night, and some might have been heavy at times, she said.

Mimms, said the news has sent shock and sadness through the close-knit ranching community.

"There are a lot of people out there who feel like they lost one of their best friends," Mimms said.

Similar conditions contributed to a 2008 crash in southeast Minnesota. Federal investigators concluded the pilot of a 1948 Cessna 140 lacked proper instrument training for the day's foul weather. The National Transportation Safety Board's probable cause report also noted the pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering around a wind farm. - Syracuse.


EXTREME WEATHER: The Strongest Sandstorm In Decades Sweeps China - Visibility Reduced To Less Than 65 Feet; Red Alert Issued, The Highest Level Alert! [VIDEO]

April 28, 2014 - CHINA -  Sand envelopes Gansu Province in northwest China reducing visibility to less than 65ft, in the strongest sandstorm since 1996.




A strong sandstorm swept Gansu Province in northwest China on Wednesday, reducing visibility to less than 65ft, according to the provincial meteorological center.

The sandstorm, the strongest since 1996 according to reports, started in the early afternoon in Dunhuang County.

"Suddenly it became dark and I can't tell whether it's day or night," said one resident.




"My nose hurts and I can't open my eyes," another resident said.

The Jiuquan City Meteorological Center, which includes Dunhuang, issued a sandstorm red alert, the highest level alert, forecasting that visibility would be reduced to less than 164ft throughout Jiuquan on Wednesday evening.


WATCH: Strongest sandstorm in decades sweeps China.

 


As well as Dunhuang, neighbouring counties were also affected, with Guazhou, Subei, Yumen and Jinta counties also issuing sandstorm red alerts.

The provincial meteorological center forecast that the sandstorm will die down on Thursday. - Telegraph.



EUROPEAN VAMPIRISM: "Burn, Baby, Burn" - Canadian Aborted Babies Incinerated In Oregon Waste-To-Energy Facility To Provide Electricity?!

April 28, 2014 - BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA -  The British Columbia Health Ministry has admitted that the remains of babies destroyed by abortion in B.C. facilities are ending up in a waste-to-power facility in the United States, providing electricity for residents of Oregon.


The Covanta Marion waste-to-energy facility in Oregon that incinerates
British Columbia "medical waste," including aborted babies.


The province’s Health Ministry said in an email to the B.C. Catholic that “biomedical waste” shipped to the U.S. to be incinerated includes “human tissue, such as surgically removed cancerous tissue, amputated limbs, and fetal tissue.”

“The ministry understands that some is transferred to Oregon. There it is incinerated in a waste-to-energy plant,” the email stated.

The ministry said that contractors handling the province’s “biomedical waste” follow “health and safety protocols, as well as federal, provincial, and local regulations.”

Kristan Mitchell, executive director of the Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association, told the B.C. Catholic that the “biomedical waste” likely ends up at the Covanta Marion waste-to-energy facility in Oregon since it is the only facility that uses waste to power the grid. The facility confirmed that it still receives and incinerates B.C. medical waste.

The power facility, located in Brookes just off the I-5, burns waste in two massive boilers at a temperature of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat transfers into water tubes, which creates steam to drive turbines. The turbines generate electricity.

A 2007 article about the Marion waste-to-energy facility that appeared in the Willamette Live — ironically titled “Burn, Baby, Burn” — stated that at the time the incinerator burned about 800 tons (1,764,000 pounds) of medical waste per year.

“Medical waste is brought to the facility in sealed boxes and is carried to the furnace on a conveyor belt which layers it with the rest of the solid waste being processed,” the article states.

Locals at the time protested the “importation and burning of medical waste,” expressing concern about breathing “toxic emissions.”

The news comes one month after the remains of more than 15,000 aborted babies were found to have been incinerated, along with other “medical waste,” to heat and generate power for British hospitals. - LifeSiteNews.



PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Study - Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA ‘Superbug’ Found In US Homes!

April 28, 2014 - UNITED STATES - An anti-biotic resistant “superbug” that has long affected hospitals and other health care locations around the world has now found a new “reservoir” location: inside U.S. homes.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to many of the strongest antibiotics,
and although recent prevalence has been limited to hospitals and nursing homes, a new study of 161 New York City
residents who contracted the MRSA infections finds that the these people’s homes were “major reservoirs” for the
bacteria strains. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to many of the strongest antibiotics, and although recent prevalence has been limited to hospitals and nursing homes, a new study of 161 New York City residents who contracted the MRSA infections finds that the these people’s homes were “major reservoirs” for the bacteria strains, HealthDay reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that in communities outside of health care settings, most MRSA strains are skin infections that are spread by physical contact, such as the sharing of towels or razors. Athletes, military barracks, prisons and other close-quarter living areas are at an increased risk of contracting and spreading the bug.

In medical facilities, MRSA causes life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical infections.

But the new study shows that the MRSA has spread into average U.S. homes.

“What our findings show is it’s also endemic in households,” lead researcher Dr. Anne-Catrin Uhlemann, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, tells HealthDay, from the study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences.

According to a report released by the CDC last September, more than 2 million Americans get drug-resistant infections each year. And about 23,000 die from these diseases that are increasingly resistant to the strongest antibiotics that doctors use to fight the infections.

Uhlemann and fellow researchers took samples from those affected by MRSA strains along with samples of a comparison group of people how had not fallen ill. The researchers then took samples from these patients’ household surfaces and other social contacts to see if the bacteria had spread.

Ultimately, the research showed that many homes outside of just those affected by MRSA were “major reservoirs” for the MRSA strain, USA300, which HealthDay notes is the primary cause of MRSA infections in communities throughout the country.

Bedding, clothes and other everyday surfaces used by someone affected by MRSA are suggested to be cleaned by bleach and hot water, although Uhlemann says the role of surfaces in transmitting the disease is not “well delineated.”

“We can’t just treat the person with the infection,” Uhlemann told HealthDay. “We have to attempt to remove the (MRSA) colonization from the home,” and another MRSA expert not involved in the study added that the new study “confirms what we’ve suspected all along.”

Correct bandaging, protection of wounds, and hand-washing were suggested by experts as the best ways to protect family members and others who one may come in physical contact with regularly, thereby spreading the bacteria to others.

The CDC has estimated that nearly one-in-three people carry staph bacteria in their nose, and typically feel no symptoms of sickness. About 2 percent of people carry MRSA.

The World Health Organization has previously stated that the overuse of antibiotics has become so common that even normal infections may become deadly in the future, due to the evolution of these bacteria strains.

“It is not too late,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said to CBSNews.com during a press conference. “If we’re not careful, the medicine chest will be empty when we go there to look for a lifesaving antibiotic for someone with a deadly infection. If we act now, we can preserve these medications while we continue to work on lifesaving medications.”

Dr. Henry Chambers, chair of the antimicrobial resistance committee for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, told HealthDay he agreed, and that “about half of antibiotics prescribed aren’t needed.”

A report earlier this month found that the drug-resistant bacteria caused a fatal blood infection in a Brazilian patient, according to Live Science. His body had developed a resistance to the powerful antibiotic vancomycin – used widely to treat the infection – during the course of his stay at the hospital. - CBS Atlanta.



FIRE IN THE SKY: Asteroids Cause Dozens Of Nuclear-Scale Blasts In Earth's Atmosphere - Many Explosions Stronger Than Hiroshima Bomb!

April 28, 2014 - SPACE - Asteroids caused 26 nuclear-scale explosions in the Earth's atmosphere between 2000 and 2013, a new report reveals.




Some were more powerful – in one case, dozens of times stronger – than the atom bomb blast that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 with an energy yield equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT.

Most occurred too high in the atmosphere to cause any serious damage on the ground. But the evidence was a sobering reminder of how vulnerable the Earth was to the threat from space, scientists said.

The impacts were recorded by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation, which operates a global network of sensors set up to detect nuclear weapon detonations. None of the asteroids were picked up or tracked in advance by any space- or Earth-based observatory.

The former astronaut Ed Lu, speaking about the data at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, said: "While most large asteroids with the potential to destroy an entire country or continent have been detected, less than 10,000 of the more than a million dangerous asteroids with the potential to destroy an entire major metropolitan area have been found by all existing space or terrestrially operated observatories."

Lu is co-founder and chief executive of the B612 Foundation, a research body dedicated to finding ways of protecting the Earth from dangerous asteroids.

The most dramatic asteroid impact in recent times occurred when an object exploded over Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908 with an energy yield equivalent to between five million and 15 million tons of TNT. An area of remote forest covering 770 square miles was flattened by the blast.

In 2013, a 500-kiloton meteor explosion above the Russian town of Chelyabinsk caused extensive damage to property.

Asteroid impacts greater than 20 kilotons occurred in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2009, the Southern Ocean in 2004, and the Mediterranean Sea in 2002.

In 2018, the B612 Foundation plans to launch the world's first privately funded deep space mission, Sentinel, which will use an infrared space telescope to identify threatening objects when they are still millions of miles away. It is expected to detect and track more than 200,000 asteroids in its first year of operation. - Guardian.



INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: "It's Unstoppable" - Experts Warn Civilian World Not Ready For EMP-Caused Blackout!

April 28, 2014 - THE ELECTRIC GRID - In the first few minutes of an EMP, nearly half a million people would die. That’s the worst-case scenario that author William R. Forstchen estimated in 2011 would be the result of an EMP on the electric grid — whether by an act of God, or a nuclear missile detonating in Earth’s upper atmosphere.


THEY’RE TESTING: The government testing electromagnetic pulses uses a simulator
hanging over an airborne command post.


An electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic energy strong enough to disable, and even destroy, nearby electronic devices.

The scenario sounds like something in a Hollywood film, but the U.S. military has been preparing its electronic systems for such an event since the Cold War. The protective measures taken to harden facilities against a nuclear attack also help in some cases to protect against EMPs.

The civilian world is another story.

States have been working to fill in the legislative and regulatory gap left by Congress, as previously reported by Watchdog.org, and private companies have been developing technologies that would protect against EMPs.

In 2011, state utilities commissioners recognized the need to invest in equipment that could help protect the power grid, but experts continue to warn that time to do so is running out.

Much focus during the past several years has been placed on society’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Sophisticated computer hackers working in secret, most likely sponsored by nation-states, can steal identities, money and even potentially hijack airplanes.

National Geographic, in the movie American Blackout, explored the catastrophic effects a cyberattack on the grid would have on society.

The movie premiered in October 2013 at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., accompanied by a panel of national security experts from the U.S. intelligence community.

IT’S STOPPABLE: Peter Vincent Pry says technology
exists to protect against the damage from
electromagnetic pulses.
Cyberattacks against the grid are possible. Stuxnet, the computer virus developed by the United States and Israel to sabotage Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, demonstrated that such an attack is not only possible, it can be done.

Computer viruses are software programs designed to attack specific entities. But even computers need electricity, otherwise they are little more than expensive paper weights.

Electricity is the lifeblood of the modern world. Food, transportation, medical facilities and communication systems all need it to function.

An EMP attack from a nuclear missile launched by a country like North Korea, on the other hand, would indiscriminately cripple whole regions.

Unlike nation-states, which can be deterred through diplomacy and force, however, the universe acts of its own accord.

An EMP from a super solar flare would behave similarly to one generated by a nuclear missile that detonated in Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Solar flares are explosions on the surface of the Sun; coronal mass ejections (CME), a solar flare’s accompanying EMP, can disturb the space weather around the Earth and affect communications signals traveling through the upper atmosphere.

On multiple occasions during the past 155 years, large enough CME’s have disrupted electrical systems on Earth. One of the largest recorded solar flares happened in 1859. The CME, called the Carrington Event, disrupted telegraph systems in Europe and North America, and lit up the evening sky.

A solar flare in 1989 caused a blackout in Quebec that lasted more than nine hours, and systems as far away as New Jersey were also damaged. In 2013, Space.com ranked the solar storm that caused the blackout as the fourth worst in history.

Space.com ranked a solar storm in December 2006 as the worst, and U.S. government officials reported that the event disrupted satellite communications and GPS signals for about 10 minutes and damaged the satellite that took the picture of the storm.

A joint study published in 2013 by researchers at Lloyd’s of London and Atmospheric and Environmental Research found that a similar event today would cost the world economy $2.3 trillion.

Risk of another Carrington-class solar flare is expected to peak by early 2015. In the summer of 2012, Earth narrowly missed one estimated to have been more powerful than the Carrington Event and 35 times the size of Earth. - Watchdog.



GLOBAL FOOD & WATER CRISIS: Plagues, Pestilences & Pollution - Unprecedented Plagues Hit Oranges And Bananas; U.S. Orange Production Hit By Deadly Bacteria, Juice Prices Soar; And 60 PERCENT Of China's Water "Too Polluted To Drink"!

April 28, 2014 - GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS - What is causing all of these plagues to hit our food supply? Have you heard of citrus greening disease? Probably not, but it has already gotten so bad that it is being projected that Florida's orange harvest will be the smallest in 30 years. Have you heard of TR4? Probably not, but it has become such a nightmare that some analysts believe that it could eventually wipe out the entire global supply of the type of bananas that Americans eat. In addition, another major plague is killing millions of our pigs, and a crippling drought that never seems to end is absolutely devastating agricultural production in the state of California. Are we just having bad luck, or is there something else to all of this?

Unprecedented Plagues Hit Oranges And Bananas


Citrus greening disease has been a steadily growing problem that has reached epidemic levels this year. Because of this disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting that orange production in the U.S. this year will be down 18 percent compared to last year. Here is more on this horrible plague from Yahoo News...
A citrus disease spread by a tiny insect has devastated Florida's orange crop, which is expected to be the worst in nearly 30 years, and sent juice prices soaring on New York markets.

The culprit? The gnat-sized Asian citrus psyllid, which is infecting citrus trees across the Sunshine State with huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, which causes fruit to taste bitter and fall from trees too soon.

"It feels we are losing the fight," said Ellis Hunt, the head of a family-run citrus farm spread over about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) in the central Florida town of Lake Wales.


Another horrifying disease is threatening the global supply of bananas. In fact, according to a recent CNBC article, the kind of bananas that we eat today could eventually be totally eliminated by the TR4 fungus...
Banana lovers take note: The world's supply of the fruit is under attack from a fungus strain that could wipe out the popular variety that Americans eat.

"It's a very serious situation," said Randy Ploetz, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida who in 1989 originally discovered a strain of Panama disease, called TR4, that may be growing into a serious threat to U.S. supplies of the fruit and Latin American producers.

"There's nothing at this point that really keeps the fungus from spreading," he said in an interview with CNBC.

While there are nearly 1,000 varieties of bananas, the most popular is the Cavendish, which accounts for 45 percent of the fruit's global crop - and the one Americans mostly find in their supermarkets.
Another plague that is affecting our food supply is a virus known as porcine epidemic diarrhea. It has already spread to 27 different U.S. states and has already killed up to 6 million pigs since first being spotted in the U.S. last May.

As a result of this virus, pork production is going to be down substantially this year, and it is being estimated that Americans could pay up to 20 percent more for pork by the end of the year.

And of course perhaps the worst plague of all that we are experiencing at the moment is the nightmarish drought in California that never seems to end. Conditions are so dry that it is being estimated that California farmers may leave up to 800,000 acres fallow this year. In other words, they are not going to grow anything at all.

Needless to say, this is going to result in much smaller overall harvests. Just check out these numbers from the New York Times...
A recent report on prospective planting from the federal Department of Agriculture forecast a 20 percent decline in California's rice crop and a 35 percent decline in cotton this year from last year's crop.
And it isn't just rice and cotton that we need to be concerned about. In a previous article, I included the following information which shows how dependent the rest of the U.S. is on fruits and vegetables grown in the state of California...
The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California's got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S. - and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?


Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better.
The lack of fresh produce is already being felt in California. Usually, fresh produce accounts for about half of the food handed out at food banks in the state, but these days fresh produce is in short supply...
The effects of California's drought could soon hit the state's food banks, which serve 2 million of its poorest residents.

Fresh produce accounts for more than half the handouts at Bay Area food banks, but with an estimated minimum of 500,000 acres to be fallowed in California, growers will have fewer fruits and vegetables to donate.

With less local supply, food prices will spike, increasing as much as 34 percent for a head of lettuce and 18 percent for tomatoes, according to an Arizona State University study released last week. With fewer fields planted, there could be as many as 20,000 unemployed agricultural workers who will need more food handouts, especially in the Central Valley.
By themselves, each one of these plagues is very serious.

Taken together, they represent an emerging "perfect storm" which could have a dramatic impact on our food supply.

So why is all of this happening?

Why is our food supply being hit with so many plagues? - The American Dream.


U.S. Orange Production Hit By Deadly Bacteria, Juice Prices Soar
AFP/Robert Sullivan

A citrus disease spread by a tiny insect has devastated Florida's orange crop, which is expected to be the worst in nearly 30 years, and sent juice prices soaring on New York markets.

The culprit? The gnat-sized Asian citrus psyllid, which is infecting citrus trees across the Sunshine State with huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, which causes fruit to taste bitter and fall from trees too soon.

"It feels we are losing the fight," said Ellis Hunt, the head of a family-run citrus farm spread over about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) in the central Florida town of Lake Wales.

The deadly bacteria has slashed his annual production over the past few years from one million boxes of fruit to 750,000.

Citrus greening disease has become such a problem this year that the US government has lowered its forecast for the upcoming harvest four times.

The latest figures, published earlier this month by the US Department of Agriculture, predict production of 110 million boxes of fruit, or roughly 4.95 million tons.

That is 18 percent less than last year, and the lowest since 1985, when citrus groves were hit by a deep freeze. It is also far from the record 244 million boxes collected in 1998.

The outlook surprised investors, as the USDA forecast dip was "bigger than the trade had anticipated," according to Joe Nikruto, senior market strategist for RJO Futures.

Following the release of the latest USDA figures, the price of frozen concentrated orange juice rose to its highest point on the Intercontinental Exchange in New York since late March 2012.

Juice for May delivery, the most traded, rose seven percent in three trading sessions to $1.67 a pound.

The price has also been driven by drought in Brazil, the world's top producer of orange juice, but Nikruto explained: "The USDA numbers are fueling this fire."

Putting juice back on breakfast table

On his Florida farm, Hunt is fighting the good fight but all the insecticide, fertilizer and extra minerals in the world don't seem to be helping.

"We spray at least every four weeks... but we are not keeping pace with the spread," he said.

Some small growers have practically abandoned their trees, as the rise in prices will not make up for their production shortfalls.

Authorities are scrambling to help the citrus industry -- which generates $9 billion a year in Florida alone and employs 76,000 people -- stay afloat.

Millions of dollars have been poured into research on ways to battle citrus greening disease.

Of course, experts are bearing in mind that spreading bacteria-fighting chemicals on 70 million trees across 530,000 acres would be no easy task.

"We will witness replanting and increases in production within the next three to five years," said Daniel Sleep, an official in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"With the vast array of resources that have been committed, no other outcome seems possible."

But once the immediate crisis is averted, another problem looms: how to convince American consumers to put orange juice back on their breakfast tables.

The United States remains by far the world's top consumer of the drink, but that consumption has dropped by 30 percent since 2003.

Why? Grocery store shelves are loaded with other beverage options, including diet sodas and flavored waters with lower calorie counts for weight-conscious Americans.

"Juice is often associated with breakfast and as our society changes, we rush ourselves a little bit and we have a tendency to skip it," Sleep noted.

The juice-breakfast link is however helping to keep prices from going up too much, Nikruto says, as it is difficult to "charge more for a product that people are demanding less every day." - Yahoo.


60 PERCENT Of China's Water "Too Polluted To Drink"


Forget bank-runs, the water run has begun in China. Residents of the western city of Lanzhou rushed to buy mineral water earlier this month after local tap water was found to contain excessive levels of the toxic chemical benzene. But that is the tip of what is a massive problem facing the Chinese people.

Not only do they suffer choking smog day after day, but, as The Business Times reports, sixty per cent of underground water in China which is officially monitored is too polluted to drink directly, state media have reported, underlining the country's grave environmental problems.

As The Business Times reports,
Sixty per cent of underground water in China which is officially monitored is too polluted to drink directly, state media have reported, underlining the country's grave environmental problems.

Water quality measured in 203 cities across the country last year rated "very poor" or "relatively poor" in an annual survey released by the Ministry of Land and Resources, the official Xinhua news agency said late Tuesday.

Water rated "relatively" poor quality cannot be used for drinking without prior treatment, while water of "very" poor quality cannot be used as a source of drinking water, the report said.

The proportion of water not suitable for direct drinking rose from 57.4 per cent from 2012, it said.
As we noted previously, The World Bank's Ismail Serageldin puts it succinctly: "The wars of the 21st century will be fought over water."

That old axiom that the earth is 75% water... not quite. In reality, water constitutes only 0.07% of the earth by mass, or 0.4% by volume.

This is how much we have, depicted graphically:



What this shows is the relative size of our water supply if it were all gathered together into a ball and superimposed on the globe.

The large blob, centered over the western US, is all water (oceans, icecaps, glaciers, lakes, rivers, groundwater, and water in the atmosphere). It's a sphere about 860 miles in diameter, or roughly the distance from Salt Lake City to Topeka. The smaller sphere, over Kentucky, is the fresh water in the ground and in lakes, rivers, and swamps.

Now examine the image closely. See that last, tiny dot over Georgia? It's the fresh water in lakes and rivers.

There's no doubt that this is a looming crisis we cannot avoid. Everyone has an interest in water. How quickly we respond to the challenges ahead is going to be a matter, literally, of life and death. Where we have choices at all, we had better make some good ones. - Zero Hedge.