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