Preparing for Disasters

Back in 1993 we had our worst crop in 40 years of farming. It was so consistently wet the corn was yellow all summer. The government handed out unemployment benefits to farmers who had never paid a dime into the program. I remember going to a storefront in Mason City to sign up. The parking lot was full of late model pickups. I drove our car to save fuel.

Throughout history the most difficult times have been cold and wet. Our corn yield was 120 bushels per acre. Four years ago, our last year of growing corn, the yield was 230. Years like that are for saving to prepare for the next 1993, not for buying a fancy pickup and then expecting a handout.

Oil prices were kinda high last spring. The President released a good portion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to appear to soften the blow for folks who were having a hard time affording the drive to work. Much of that oil was sold to foreign markets. That increase in gas prices would have been trivial in a world where people sacrificed immediate luxuries in order to be ready for unforeseen events. The word “spoiled” can be used in a broad range of human disasters.

In the 10th through 13th centuries the weather was warm and great for crops and people. But then it turned cold and rainy. If only the Department of Justice and the celebrities could have been there with their SUVs and private jets to warm the climate. Just kidding. The climate changes.

In the 14th century there was not enough grain for people or animals. Fodder rotted before it could be put under a roof. Draft animals were slaughtered for food. Seeds intended for planting were eaten too. New prisoners thrown into prisons were eaten. Children were abandoned with hopes they would find more able caretakers. In the early 1300s the life expectancy in Europe was 30 years. Later that century it was 17 as disease gained a foothold in the famished population. Between 1346 and 1375 the population of Europe dropped 42%. Europe didn’t need government lockdowns to ruin the economy.

“Strategic” means planning for future events, not buying votes. Was there ever a good reason to deplete our emergency supply of oil? What if a war broke out or the weather repeated 1346? Now with oil prices going down, Biden plans on releasing more of our emergency supplies instead of replenishing them.

More and more scientists are coming out with data showing that CO2 is trivial in its effect on climate. The Wall Street Journal’s automotive columnist and Car & Driver magazine are going gaga over EVs (electric vehicles) when there is no way the grid or renewable energy will support them. Engineers have been diverted from research into viable and valuable products in order to chase government funding for this EV fairy tale.

Meanwhile, Germany was discovering that alternative energy was inadequate to run its industry. They were in the process of expanding natural gas usage because the wind didn’t blow enough. Then an emergency disrupted their supply of natural gas. Hmmm. Who benefits from these interesting developments? Certainly not the Germans or the Russians.

The terrible conditions of the 14th century were natural developments and all manner of preparation wouldn’t have been enough. The hurricane in Florida was a short term problem with some preparation being very helpful, such as emergency food storage and a generator.

The gas crisis in Europe is human caused. NATO, controlled by the defense (sic) industry, overthrew the elected government of Ukraine in 2014, threatened Russia with missile installations along its border, and bombed the Russian speaking eastern regions of Ukraine for eight years. How do you prepare for a human caused disaster like that? A relatively minor disruption like covid lockdowns has set back education and triggered (with many contributing factors) a horrendous crime wave.

How do we limit the government’s power to ruin lives and economies the way they have?


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