Friday, June 20, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER: Global Food Crisis - California's Drought Getting Even Worse, Experts Say!

June 20, 2014 - CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - California's drought conditions have worsened over the past week with the percentage of the state suffering from the highest category increasing, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

Looking toward the San Gabriel River from East Fork Road north of Azuza in February, the San Gabriel reservoir can
be seen in the far distance where it has receded more than a mile. Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

"Exceptional" drought conditions have spread in Central California since a week ago, weather officials said. Areas in Northern California have also moved into this category since last week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Almost 33% of the state faces exceptional conditions. About 25% of the state faced those conditions last week.

Every part of California remains in what is considered severe drought.

National Weather Service released a U.S. Drought Monitor update, which shows that drought conditions
have worsened over the last week. National Weather Service

A year ago, no part of the state was in exceptional drought conditions, the weather service said.

The drought has prompted water conservation efforts as well as rationing in some parts of the state. L.A. saw record dry conditions this winter, and snowfall in the Sierras has also been significantly down.

But the political impact of the drought has been a subject of debate.

A USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll in June found most Californians surveyed say the statewide drought has had little or no impact on their daily lives, and a majority oppose the suspension of environmental protections or large-scale public spending to boost water supplies.

Although 89% characterize the drought as a major problem or crisis, only 16% say it has personally affected them to a major degree.

Despite widespread news coverage of the drought the state's major population centers have largely escaped severe mandatory rationing.

Even agriculture, which as California's thirstiest sector is inevitably hit the hardest by drought, has partially compensated for reduced water delivery by pumping more groundwater. - LA Times.

DELUGE: Severe Torrential Rainfall, Hailstorm, Heavy Floods Hit Eastern Bulgaria - At Least 12 Killed In Varna And Dobrich; Hundreds Without Power And Food! [PHOTOS]

June 20, 2014 - BULGARIA - At least 12 people have died and several are missing after torrential rain and heavy floods hit eastern Bulgaria, officials say.

The flooding in Bulgaria follows on from similar deluges in the Balkans last monthAFP

Floodwaters in the Black Sea port city of Varna surged up to 1m (3.2ft).

Many residents had to be rescued as cars were swept away. Hundreds have been left without electricity or food.

There have been hailstorms and heavy rain in several parts of Bulgaria in recent days. Forecasts say the extreme weather is set to continue.

Ten people died in Varna, including two children. There were also at least another two deaths reported a few miles north in Dobrich, where electricity was down and water was said to be flowing through the streets.

Forecasters said that the equivalent of a month's rain fell in the regions of Varna and Burgas over the past 24 hours.

"The tragedy is enormous. I am here on a street in the suburb of Asparuhovo. The street is not here, the houses are not here, there are cars on top of each other," Varna mayor Ivan Portnih was quoted by the Reuters new agency as saying.

Many residents told how they had to clamber on to their roofs to escape the floods.

In Dobrich, the River Suha burst its banks and there were fears of a flood surge although authorities said water levels were expected to fall in the coming hours.

Cars and even homes were swept away by the force of the floodingReuters

Helicopters airlifted residents from their homes in the flooded nearby village of Prilep.

A state of emergency has been declared in parts of central and north-eastern Bulgaria, Novinite news agency reports.

A day of mourning was declared for 23 June The flooding in Bulgaria follows on from similar deluges in the Balkans last month

Fire-fighters in the town of Kilifarevo in central Bulgaria rescued 11 people from the tops of their houses, police said.

Last month nearby Serbia and Bosnia were hit by the worst flooding since modern records began. - BBC

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Landslide In Indonesia - Leave 6 Dead, 3 Missing!

June 20, 2014 - INDONESIA - Six people have been killed and three others are missing after torrential rains sparked a landslide in Indonesia’s West Java province.

Residents salvage belongings from their houses destroyed by a landslide at a village in
Kudus district in Indonesia’s Central Java province on January 22, 2014.

Director of Bogor Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) Yos Sudrajat said the incident took place at around 1:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday (1830 GMT Monday) in Bogor district of the province, the English-language newspaper Jakarta Globe reported.

“The torrential rain poured over the Mekarwangi village, in the Cariu subdistrict, and triggered the collapse of a 30-meter-high slope and buried five houses,” he noted.
“We are still searching for three more people, while seven have been rescued and sustained only minor injuries. They have been treated,” Yos said, adding that 30 BPBD workers have been deployed to the area to search for the victims.
Bogor Police chief, Adjutant Senior Commander Sony Movianto said 100 police officers and soldiers have taken part in rescue operations.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the national disaster management agency said seven people have been rescued safely.

Floods and landslides have repeatedly battered Indonesia in recent years. During Indonesia’s annual rainy season, which peaks between December and February, the country is prone to flooding, exacerbated by clogged rivers and sewers.

In January, at least 23 people lost their lives in days of flash floods and landslides in the Southeast Asian country.

Officials say an average of 541 people have died every year from floods and landslides in Indonesia over the past decade. - Press TV

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: 25 Shocking Facts About The Earth's Dwindling Water Resources - Right Now, 1.6 BILLION People Live In Areas Facing "Absolute Water Scarcity"!

June 20, 2014 - EARTH - War, famine, mass extinctions and devastating plagues - all of these are coming unless some kind of miraculous solution is found to the world's rapidly growing water crisis. By the year 2030, the global demand for water will exceed the global supply of water by an astounding 40 percent according to one very disturbing U.S. government report.

As you read this article, lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers are steadily drying up all over the planet. The lack of global water could potentially be enough to bring about a worldwide economic collapse all by itself if nothing is done because no society can function without water. Just try to live a single day without using any water some time. You will quickly realize how difficult it is. Fresh water is the single most important natural resource on the planet, and we are very rapidly running out of it. The following are 25 shocking facts about the Earth's dwindling water resources that everyone should know...

#1 Right now, 1.6 billion people live in areas of the world that are facing "absolute water scarcity".

#2 Global water use has quadrupled over the past 100 years and continues to rise rapidly.

#3 One recent study found that a third of all global corn crops are facing "water stress".

#4 A child dies from a water-related disease every 15 seconds.

#5 By 2025, two-thirds of the population of Earth will "be living under water stressed conditions".

#6 Due to a lack of water, Chinese food imports now require more land than the entire state of California.

#7 At this point, the amount of water that China imports is already greater than the amount of oil that the United States imports.

#8 Approximately 80 percent of the major rivers in China have become so polluted that they no longer support any aquatic life at all.

#9 The Great Lakes hold about 21 percent of the total supply of fresh water in the entire world, but Barack Obama is allowing water from those lakes "to be drained, bottled and shipped to China" at a frightening pace.

#10 It is being projected that India will essentially "run out of water" by the year 2050.

#11 It has been estimated that 75 percent of all surface water in India has been heavily contaminated by human or agricultural waste.

#12 In the Middle East, the flow of water in the Jordan River is down to only 2 percent of its historic rate.

#13 Due to a lack of water, Saudi Arabia has essentially given up on trying to grow wheat and will be 100 percent dependent on wheat imports by the year 2016.

#14 Of the 60 million people added to the major cities of the world every year, the vast majority of them live in deeply impoverished areas that have no sanitation facilities whatsoever.

#15 Nearly the entire southwestern United States is experiencing drought conditions as you read this article. It has been this way for most of the past several years.

#16 Thanks in part to the seemingly endless drought, the price index for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs in the U.S. just hit a new all-time high.

#17 As underground aquifers are relentlessly drained in California, some areas of the San Joaquin Valley are sinking by 11 inches a year.

#18 It is being projected that Lake Mead has a 50 percent chance of running dry by the year 2025.

#19 Most Americans don't realize this, but the once mighty Colorado River has become so depleted that it no longer runs all the way to the ocean.

#20 According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie" has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940, and it is currently being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.

#21 Once upon a time, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of approximately 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet. In some areas of Texas, the water is already completely gone.

#22 Approximately 40 percent of all rivers and approximately 46 percent of all lakes in the United States have become so polluted that they are are no longer fit for human use.

#23 Because of the high cost and the inefficient use of energy, desalination is not considered to be a widely feasible solution to our water problems at this time...
The largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere is currently under construction in Carlsbad in San Diego County at great expense. The price tag: $1 billion.

Right now, San Diego is almost totally dependent onimported water from Sierra snowmelt and the Colorado River. When the desalination plant comes online in 2016, it will produce 50 million gallons per day, enough to offset just 7 percent of the county's water usage. That's a huge bill for not very much additional water.
#24 We have filled the North Pacific Ocean with 100 million tons of plastic, and this is starting to have a very serious affect on the marine food chain. Ultimately, this could mean a lot less food available from the Pacific Ocean for humans.

#25 One very shocking U.S. government report concluded that the global demand for water will exceed the global supply of water by 40 percent by the year 2030.

Sadly, most Americans are not going to take this report seriously because they can still turn on their taps and get as much fresh water as they want.

For generations, we have been able to take our seemingly endless supplies of fresh water completely for granted, but things have now changed.

We are heading into a horrendous water crisis unlike anything that the world has ever experienced before, and right now there do not seem to be any large scale solutions capable of addressing this crisis.

Hundreds of millions of people living in North Africa, the Middle East, India and parts of China already deal with severe water shortages as part of their daily lives.

But this is just the beginning.

If nothing is done, the lack of fresh water will eventually be deeply felt by nearly everyone on the entire planet. - The Economic Collapse Blog

FIRE IN THE SKY: "Take It To The Moon" - NASA Plans To Grab Asteroid That Just Whizzed Past Earth!

June 20, 2014 - SPACE - NASA is set to capture an asteroid, haul it near the moon and have astronauts visit. The prime candidate is now in sight: a small asteroid “the size of a delivery truck” that whizzed about 7,600 miles above Earth in 2011.


“We might be able to put this asteroid in a garage,” Northern Arizona University astronomer Michael

Mommert, who studied the rock, told AP.

The asteroid is called 2011 MD.

The plan is to capture it with a giant claw or a giant inflatable bag, and the “truck” asteroid would be “parked” above the moon, ready for the astronauts to explore.

The second option being considered by NASA is sending a spacecraft to a much bigger asteroid, taking a boulder and bringing it to the moon for exploration.

The decision between the two options is set to be made by the end of the year, Michele Gates, program director for the asteroid mission, told AP.

The Moon (Reuters/Hyungwon Kang)

There are currently three candidates for each option, and NASA isn’t obliged to choose the final target until a year before the launch, with the latter planned for 2019.

Thursday’s press conference focused on 2011 MD due to the fact that it was examined by telescopes on Earth and the Spitzer Space Telescope three years ago. The observations demonstrated that it weighed around 100 tons, but is quite porous, with about two-thirds of empty space inside.

The robotic cost of the mission would be about $1.2 billion, Gates said. However, there is no exact estimate of the astronaut part, which is set to include a giant rocket.

Eventually, it is scheduled that 10 asteroids would be captured by the early 2020s, not all of them tiny. - RT

THE WAR ON MOTHER NATURE: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch - We Are Literally Filling Up The Pacific Ocean With Plastic! [VIDEO]

June 20, 2014 - EARTH - We are starting to see that there are very serious consequences for filling up our oceans with massive amounts of plastic that never biodegrades. In fact, this is one of the greatest environmental disasters of all time and yet you rarely hear it talked about.

Virtually every molecule of plastic ever created still exists somewhere, and we all use things made out of plastic every single day. But have you ever stopped to think about what happens to all of that plastic? Well, the truth is that a lot of it ends up in our oceans. In fact, humanity produces approximately 200 billion pounds of plastic every year, and about 10 percent of that total ends up in our oceans. In other words, we are slowly but steadily filling up our oceans with our garbage. In the North Pacific Ocean, there is a vast area where so much plastic has collected that it has become known as "the Great Pacific Garbage Patch" and as "the Pacific Trash Vortex". This "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" stretches from Hawaii to Japan, and it has been estimated to be larger than the entire continental United States. It contains more than 100 million tons of plastic, and every single year it gets even larger.

When people hear the term "Great Pacific Garbage Patch", they expect to find millions of plastic bottles floating around out there. But that is not what we are dealing with. You see, when plastic gets into the ocean it never biodegrades, but it does photodegrade. So what we end up with is a "plastic soup" of billions upon billions of microscopic pieces of plastic. Some are approximately the size of your pinkie fingernail, but most of the pieces are much smaller.

WATCH: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Even though all sorts of different kinds of garbage get into our oceans, plastic is of particular concern.

Yes, it breaks down into smaller components, but it never goes away. So the plastic bottle that you toss overboard today will still be there in some form a hundred years from now. And this creates some major league problems...
The main problem with plastic - besides there being so much of it - is that it doesn't biodegrade. No natural process can break it down. (Experts point out ­that the durability that makes plastic so useful to humans also makes it quite harmful to nature.) Instead, plastic photodegrades. A plastic cigarette lighter cast out to sea will fragment into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic without breaking into simpler compounds, which scientists estimate could take hundreds of years. The small bits of plastic produced by photodegradation are called mermaid tears or nurdles.
Perhaps the biggest danger that all of this plastic poses is to our food chain.

According to Captain Charles Moore, plastic is found in a significant percentage of the fish that his team catches...
"35 percent of the fish that we caught out there had an average of two pieces of plastic in their stomach."
But fish are only part of the story. Just check out the following excerpt from an excellent Wikipedia article...
Some of these long-lasting plastics end up in the stomachs of marine birds and animals, and their young, including sea turtles and the Black-footed Albatross. Midway Atoll receives substantial amounts of marine debris from the patch. Of the 1.5 million Laysan Albatrosses that inhabit Midway, nearly all are found to have plastic in their digestive system. Approximately one-third of their chicks die, and many of those deaths are due to being fed plastic from their parents. Twenty tons of plastic debris washes up on Midway every year with five tons of that debris being fed to Albatross chicks.
That is just tragic.

But what we are witnessing now is just the beginning. The plastic soup in our oceans is starting to block sunlight from reaching the algae and plankton that form the very base of the food chain.

And that could rapidly become an absolutely massive crisis.

If we start wiping out the algae and the plankton, that could cause a chain reaction up and down the marine food chain. The following is how National Geographic describes what we could be facing...
If algae and plankton communities are threatened, the entire food web may change. Animals such as fish and turtles that feed on algae and plankton will have less food. If those animals start to die, there will be less food for predator species such as tuna, sharks, and whales.
In turn, that could ultimately mean a lot less food out of the oceans for humanity.

And already, vast portions of the Pacific Ocean appear to be "dying". In a previous article, I included a quote from a very experienced Australian adventurer in which he stated that he felt as though "the ocean itself was dead" as he journeyed from Japan to San Francisco recently...
The next leg of the long voyage was from Osaka to San Francisco and for most of that trip the desolation was tinged with nauseous horror and a degree of fear.

"After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead," Macfadyen said.

"We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.

"I've done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I'm used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen."

In place of the missing life was garbage in astounding volumes.

"Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load of stuff and carried it out to sea. And it's still out there, everywhere you look."
What in the world would cause vast areas of the Pacific Ocean to appear to be "dead"?

In addition to all of the plastic in the ocean, it is also certainly possible that the Fukushima nuclear disaster is playing a huge role in the enormous changes that we have been witnessing in the Pacific. For much more on that, please see my previous article entitled Japan Begins Purposely Dumping 100s Of Tons Of Radioactive Water From Fukushima Into The Pacific.

In any event, it is undeniable that conditions in the Pacific Ocean are getting worse with each passing year.

And every single day more garbage, more plastic and more radioactive water from Fukushima gets added to the mix.

If future generations get the chance, they will probably look back on us as "the crazy plastic people". Nearly everything that we buy comes wrapped or contained in this substance that we know won't biodegrade. But we keep dumping hundreds of billions of pounds of it into our landfills and into our oceans without ever considering the consequences.

There is no way that we are ever going to be able to clean up the "plastic soup" that we have created in the Pacific Ocean. But it would be nice if we would stop making it worse every single day.

Sadly, very few people seem interested in doing anything about this very preventable crisis. - The American Dream