Growers of Painted Mountain Corn in the United States and Beyond:
200 million Americans now at risk of catastrophic flooding.
1 million calves lost in Nebraska.
(Photo from DroneBase via AP)
“Nearly two-thirds of the country is at risk of flooding through May, the NOAA said Thursday. About half of those states face the potential for major or moderate flooding, situations that could affect nearly 200 million Americans this season."
"The extensive flooding we've seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream," said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center.
"This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season."
You might ask the rhetorical question, “how does the flooding in the mid-west affect me?"
If you are in the low lands of the river bottoms and flood plains or below a dam that ruptured, you know the answer to that question because you are directly experiencing the effects now or could be soon.
If you are on higher ground and your lives are more or less proceeding in their normal trajectory you may think that it could never happen to you. Such events of God and nature fall into the realm of “force majeure” beyond your control, so why disrupt your busy schedule?
"force majeure" describes those uncontrollable events (such as war, labor stoppages, or extreme weather) that are not the fault of any party and that make it difficult or impossible to carry out normal business. A company may insert a force majeure clause into a contract to absolve itself from liability in the event it cannot fulfill the terms of a contract (or if attempting to do so will result in loss or damage of goods) for reasons beyond its control.
Beware of “normalcy bias,” the fatal conceit that leads to self-sabotage with terminal consequences.
You will be affected regardless of your physical location.
You may avoid the direct effects but the indirect and “knock on” effects can be just as deadly.
Rules of Thumb as Your Guide to Black Swans and Other Disasters
Rules of thumb can help you avoid or mitigate natural and man-made disasters whether from floods or radioactive fallout.
Western civilization with all it’s inter-dependencies and accouterments that we take for granted is a complex system growing ever more complex with advances in digital technology. One could argue that the rate of complexity is accelerating. One could beg the question and ask to what end? Is that end a digital paradise or digital oblivion? Or is it more simply, that complexity increases because it can until it can not.
With sufficient feed-back loops the system may self-correct and continue at a lower level of complexity or the system may collapse into it’s primordial constituents.
You may want to check out Joseph Tainter’s The Collapse of Complex Societies and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond to discover how a Viking colony flourished for almost 500 years in ice-covered Greenland and then suddenly disappeared.
I tire easily with the abstractions and windy expositions of academics but sometimes you need to listen closer to winnow the wheat from the chaff. You might find out that your lives are governed by the theories of dead economists.
The floods are destroying the means of production for a significant portion of the nation’s food supply along with the means of transportation for the food supply via roads, rails and river barges.
Granted that almost all the corn is GMO and fed to livestock, exported or distilled into ethanol under federal mandate. All the soybeans are GMO and either exported or crushed into oil which is sold and traded around the world and meal which is fed to livestock. Wheat is exported or consumed in myriad wheat products.
This is the Big Ag paradigm and so called “green revolution” dating from the 1960’s that has fed the world albeit one can argue that it is a poisonous paradigm considering the chemicals that are necessary to keep it going and their deleterious effects on health and the natural environment.
Take economics at it’s rudiments. Consider the simple concept of supply and demand applied to food in big cities. Drill down further with this econometric model and apply it to EBT card recipients.
A pretty good assumption for big city EBT recipients is that the demand for burgers, fries and shakes will stay the same or increase over a given period of time. If the supply of food that market segment is accustomed to suddenly decreases or if the price for those staples suddenly increases, what is a reasonable resultant for that equation? Notice I said “reasonable” because there is hardly any precision at all in applying mathematics to human propensities despite the protestations of the faculties of the so-called Social Sciences.
Instead, we use “rules of thumb” that are accurate enough for real world applications.
Demand > Affordable Supply = Riots + Burning Cities
Who will question our rule of thumb food equation for EBT recipients in big cities?
Maybe or maybe not.
In my book The Atomic Trekker I get into a detailed discussion of how “rules of thumb” can guide your quest for antifragility which is a state beyond mere resiliency or robustness. Everyone should study Taleb’s work to understand the unseen forces at play that have major impacts on your world and determine whether you succeed or fail in life.You will be affected regardless of your physical location.
This is an excerpt from the Prologue of The Atomic Trekker:
Take another look at our previous supply and demand equation, a rule of thumb with time-honored and proven origins.
In our case of big city dwelling EBT recipients, the Demand for burgers, fries and shakes is greater than the available (affordable) Supply, equating to Riots plus Burning Cities.
Demand > Affordable Supply = Riots + Burning Cities
Hence, we see a derivation for practical corollaries that are becoming quite familiar as tactical guidance going forward.
Come out of the cities.
Stay away from crowds.
I submit that our economic actions today are still guided by the “invisible hand” of Adam Smith from where he has been resting quietly in Canongate, Edinburgh since 1790 after penning The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and The Wealth of Nations (1776).
The astute reader will note that 1776 was a banner year which saw the publication of three seminal treatises that inform the destiny of a people that would be free – a rare condition in the history of mankind.
1. The Declaration of Independence authored by the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.
2. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.
3. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.
In what may be known as "The Great Floods of 2019" here are some practical tools that will help you to find out what is going on underneath the pronouncements of government agencies that tell you what a great job they are doing while obscuring the facts.
Track river gages, floods and water conditions for your state: https://water.usgs.gov/floods/
I was going to put up the link to the NOAA Spring hydrological forecast but it’s inaccurate in my opinion. I would say laughable except for the Nebraska farmers and ranchers who got wiped out when NOAA predicted only moderate flooding is not a laughing matter. I can tell you that there is no love lost between farm and ranch communities and the Army Corp of Engineers either.
Don’t depend on Big Brother Agencies.
Develop your own flood networks for on-the-ground reporting of conditions in your state and AO (Area of Operations). It can be as simple as this report from myself which I will post on my fledgling blog. Feel free to comment – add your own local reports and we will see where it goes as a real time experiment. In the interest of Operational Security, comments will be screened to maintain anonymity. Alternatively, you can send reports to ChiefYak@TheAtomicTrekker.com and they will be edited for anonymity and posted.
Custer’s Last Stand – Flooded Deja Vu
Yep, they closed Interstate 90 at Hardin, Montana right there on the Little Bighorn near Custer’s Last Stand. The Interstate was shut down for 50 miles all the way to the Wyoming line. Normally the Little Bighorn is not much to look at – so little water you hardly notice it.
Goes to show ya what an ice jam and the Spring runoff from just the surrounding low lands will do in a wet year. Meanwhile the snowpack in the Beartooths and the Bighorns keeps building. No telling when that will let loose. Could be a couple of more months yet.
Could be about the time ole Custer met his final denouement on June 25 in 1876 – a lesson in fatal hubris almost 100 years to the week after the signing of the Declaration of Independence – which leads us to a recitation of eternal verities to guide you on your way.
At times the wheels of karma grind exceedingly slow but rest assured that they grind exceedingly fine.
Mountains of Montana
March 29, 2019
by New Ordnance
The data does not lie and climate scientists agree that we are in a period of minimum sunspot activity which corresponds with lower earth temperatures. These cycles have been thoroughly identified through the historical record. We are entering a natural cycle of global cooling and very likely a “Grand” cycle which is driven by the coincidence of a number of large long-term cycles that have resulted in mini-ice ages in the ancient and near past.
The Rocky Mountains and a good part of the northern US were covered by glaciers not so long ago as measured in geologic epochs.
Remember the old wood-cuts of Londoners ice skating on the Thames back in Dickens's time?
I grew up with anecdotal tales of mule-skinners driving wagons across frozen lower tributaries of the Mississippi River in certain years back in the 19th century.
Not wanting to get too friendly with cloned and resurrected woolly mammoths all over again, I think it would be prudent to focus on practical matters this spring.
Looking out the window I see 18 inches of snow on the ground which is highly unusual to say the least. The last two years, the snow at these lower elevations has gone out in the third week of February. Night-time temperatures are still in the single digits.
If there is an extended power outage most folks in the yuppified cities will probably die of hypothermia and exposure before they die of starvation – even up here in Montana. The survivors could be faced with eating their storage food through a number of growing seasons while they scramble to keep their houses warm. Even if they heat their ranch houses with wood, most people don’t live up in the timber (that burns up every summer). They make excursions into the mountains to cut and bring the firewood down.
Under these conditions energy efficiency is all important.
Far better to have a passive solar house that uses the latent heat stored in the earth as a great diurnal heat source and heat sink to change the temperature profile of the earth surrounding the house.
Far better to have a simple Montana pit garden that uses these passive principles to double your growing season and produce all the vegetables that you could ever want under adverse growing conditions including epic wind, hail and low temperatures. Automatic drip irrigation from your underground off-grid water cistern is a natural compliment.
Far better to have the Alpine Varietal of Painted Mountain Corn (click here to learn more) in your regular garden. Painted Mountain was already cold-hardy before we developed the Alpine Varietal. It grows at elevations with short growing seasons where no other grain will grow, even barley. It became our high-protein, staple grain that could be hand grown and harvested without dependence on machinery.
In retrospect, I can say that our Montana homestead was built utilizing anti-fragile principles.
I could leave the house unattended in the middle of the winter with no heat source other than the sun and earth. The water system inside would never freeze, even at thirty to forty below.
What we are talking about here is true sustainability that relies on subtle, usually unrecognized principles and low-tech natural systems.
Look at the word sustainable in it’s original definition – not the globalist propaganda cliché with it’s attendant sociopolitical baggage.
Sustainable… being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.
– Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
I have been there before and know how to thrive under those conditions and you can too.
To become truly antifragile, rely on Gabe Brown’s system of sustainable food production going forward under these or any other conditions. That means you will use the correct livestock in your new agricultural paradigm that relies on the natural symbiotic relationships between plant and animals that evolved for eons on this planet.
Going forward into The Grand Solar Minimum I will rely on three animals.
Saanens are a milk breed from Switzerland that are extremely cold hardy in my experience. When the children were young we had two Saanens that yielded copious quantities of excellent milk as long as their minimal requirements were met. They are a large breed yet gentle, to the point where children can tend them, and not ornery and stubborn as other goats can be. The goats had their own small shed that was well ventilated and a small yard surrounded by four to five foot high snow fence. They were quite happy in their own domain as long as they were milked twice a day and good food and water was provided. They never jumped the fence. Of course if the gate was left open they would go out and forage like all goats, eating the bark off the newly planted Siberian Elms.
Saanen milk is very rich and mild, not having the “goaty” taste that most people associate with other breeds. Of course that can change if the goats free-range out into the sagebrush. Free range feed can be exploited and controlled to a certain extent by staking them out in good grass with a long rope. They can wear bells or not, depending on your operational security requirements.
One winter the temperature was routinely plunging to thirty-five degrees F. below zero at night. With good alfalfa hay, the Saanens produced a lot of body heat. On going out to the breezy goat shed for the morning milking, we would find the animals all in a pile. The two goats were at the bottom, bedded happily in the fresh straw renewed every day. Several cats that normally lived in the woodpile would be in the heap seeking the warmth of the heat-producing goats. The bantam chickens that someone had given us were scattered on and around the heap. Inevitably, several “bantys” would be frozen solid. They were small and not well adapted to the cold – a tragic but necessary object lesson for the children on the way of the natural world.
The animals would welcome the first rays of the sun through the large south facing window that illuminated the interior of their winter home as the milking got underway. The cats and the children were underfoot, greedily awaiting a squirt of warm milk in their direction.
Going forward, I am determined to try Tibetan Yaks as the necessary animal component of the new/old agricultural paradigm as elucidated and demonstrated by Gabe Brown and others in the no-till, mob-grazing natural production operation that easily scales up or down. (Click here to learn more.)
Yaks are reputedly easy to handle with a mild disposition but I will follow my own rule of thumb and never turn my back on large beasts in close proximity, particularly bulls. Some of you ranchers out there can school me on this. I need advice here. From what I have read Yaks are twice as efficient in converting feed to weight as ordinary cattle. Put another way, they can put on an equivalent amount of weight with 50% less feed, the epitome of a guiding principle that maximizes Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI).
Scottish Highlands Cattle
I have observed this breed here in Montana and they seem to maximize the cold-hardy requirement but are not popular with the current ranching production model because they take longer to bring to market.
I see more Black Angus here than anything else. Ranchers like Black Angus for their hardiness and short feed to weight production characteristics that are necessary to maintain their annual bottom line to finance all the machinery, chemicals and irrigation equipment required for the current farm-ranch paradigm. This terribly flawed model could well prove to be quite ephemeral as we get deeper into the Grand Solar Minimum.
Use these suggestions freely to build your own self-reliant life for tribe and family. In a fractured and frozen society, foster interdependence at the local level in your own communities and eliminate dependence on centralized command and control from afar.
The Atomic Trekker
You can learn these lessons and many more from my successes and mistakes of a similar nature that I wrote about in The Atomic Trekker (click here to order) which is now ready for publication.
With The Atomic Trekker you will discover how to build a blast and radiation home shelter that also functions as an excellent Grand Solar Minimum Shelter.
From my experience, a properly designed shelter will sustain you through those cold nights with no heat sources required other than healthy bodies and the latent heat stored in the earth.
Until then, stay warm my brothers and sisters. Come out of the cities and avoid crowds. (Hat Tip to Old Remus)