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Peak Civilisation is in the rear view mirror for most humans on the planet. Economies, lifestyles & environment are declining almost everywhere. Overpopulation, resource depletion, pollution & energy decline continue to exacerbate the problems. Available net energy is the determinant of the quality & complexity of civilisation. As the inexpensive, easy to get energy sources decline, disorder in human systems & the biosphere will increase.. Entropy (disorder, randomness) increases. Entropy Wins

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Lake Mead on the Colorado River, is the American Wests Largest Water Reservoir . The Drought has dropped it’s water to the lowest levels ever since its dam was constructed. 
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Lake Mead—America’s largest reservoir, Las Vegas’ main water source and an important indicator for water supplies in the Southwest—will fall this week to its lowest level since 1937 when the manmade lake was first being filled, according to forecasts from the federal Bureau of Reclamation.The record-setting low water mark—a surface elevation of 1,081.8 feet above sea level—will not trigger any restrictions for the seven states in the Colorado River Basin. Restrictions will most likely come in 2016 when the lake is projected to drop below 1,075 feet, a threshold that forces cuts in water deliveries to Arizona and Nevada, states at the head of the line for rationing.But the steadily draining lake does signal an era of new risks and urgency for an iconic and ebbing watershed that provides up to 40 million people in the U.S. and Mexico with a portion of their drinking water. The rules governing the river are complex, but the risk equation is straightforward: less supply due to a changing climate, plus increasing demands from new development, leads to greater odds of shortages.No area is more vulnerable than Las Vegas, which draws 90 percent of its water from Lake Mead. Today, in the midst of the basin’s driest 14-year period in the historical record, the gambler’s paradise is completing an expensive triage. The regional water authority is spending at least $US 829 million of ratepayer money to dig two tunnels—one at the lake bottom that will be completed next spring and the other an emergency connection between existing intakes—to ensure that the 2 million residents of southern Nevada can still drink from Mead as more of the big lake reverts to desert.Yet despite a shrinking lake, diminishing supplies and ardent pleas from tour guides and environmental groups to preserve a canyon-cutting marvel, the four states in the basin upriver from Lake Mead intend to increase the amount of water they take out of the Colorado River. All of the states are updating or developing new state water strategies, most of which involve using more Colorado River water, not less.
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/07/americas-largest-reservoir-drains-to.html

Lake Mead on the Colorado River, is the American Wests Largest Water Reservoir . The Drought has dropped it’s water to the lowest levels ever since its dam was constructed.
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Lake Mead—America’s largest reservoir, Las Vegas’ main water source and an important indicator for water supplies in the Southwest—will fall this week to its lowest level since 1937 when the manmade lake was first being filled, according to forecasts from the federal Bureau of Reclamation.The record-setting low water mark—a surface elevation of 1,081.8 feet above sea level—will not trigger any restrictions for the seven states in the Colorado River Basin. Restrictions will most likely come in 2016 when the lake is projected to drop below 1,075 feet, a threshold that forces cuts in water deliveries to Arizona and Nevada, states at the head of the line for rationing.But the steadily draining lake does signal an era of new risks and urgency for an iconic and ebbing watershed that provides up to 40 million people in the U.S. and Mexico with a portion of their drinking water. The rules governing the river are complex, but the risk equation is straightforward: less supply due to a changing climate, plus increasing demands from new development, leads to greater odds of shortages.No area is more vulnerable than Las Vegas, which draws 90 percent of its water from Lake Mead. Today, in the midst of the basin’s driest 14-year period in the historical record, the gambler’s paradise is completing an expensive triage. The regional water authority is spending at least $US 829 million of ratepayer money to dig two tunnels—one at the lake bottom that will be completed next spring and the other an emergency connection between existing intakes—to ensure that the 2 million residents of southern Nevada can still drink from Mead as more of the big lake reverts to desert.Yet despite a shrinking lake, diminishing supplies and ardent pleas from tour guides and environmental groups to preserve a canyon-cutting marvel, the four states in the basin upriver from Lake Mead intend to increase the amount of water they take out of the Colorado River. All of the states are updating or developing new state water strategies, most of which involve using more Colorado River water, not less.
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/07/americas-largest-reservoir-drains-to.html

Posted on Wednesday, July 30th 2014

Climate Change: Now The Worst Drought in California Since Records Began. 
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 Parts of the West, especially the southern portions, have been in drought for the last several years, with the PHDI reaching record or near-record low values at times. Time series of precipitation departure show the variation over time (New Mexico, California), while maps of the SPEI show the spatial extent (36-month SPEI, 48-month SPEI) of the long-term dryness. The May 2014 PHDI has surpassed the lowest values reached during the 1976-77 drought of record for parts of California — the Central Coast Drainage (climate division 4), the San Joaquin Drainage (climate division 5), and the South Coast Drainage (climate division 6). Some of these analyses show a disturbing trend toward more extreme droughts over the last 40 years in California.In the Southern Plains, the summer of 2013 was a wet reprieve for such states asTexas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The 2012 rainy season was, and now the 2014 rainy season is, much drier than normal for these states, with the dryness extending further back in time for some of them.
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/07/graph-of-day-palmer-drought-index-for.html

Climate Change: Now The Worst Drought in California Since Records Began.
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 Parts of the West, especially the southern portions, have been in drought for the last several years, with the PHDI reaching record or near-record low values at times. Time series of precipitation departure show the variation over time (New Mexico, California), while maps of the SPEI show the spatial extent (36-month SPEI, 48-month SPEI) of the long-term dryness. The May 2014 PHDI has surpassed the lowest values reached during the 1976-77 drought of record for parts of California — the Central Coast Drainage (climate division 4), the San Joaquin Drainage (climate division 5), and the South Coast Drainage (climate division 6). Some of these analyses show a disturbing trend toward more extreme droughts over the last 40 years in California.In the Southern Plains, the summer of 2013 was a wet reprieve for such states asTexas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The 2012 rainy season was, and now the 2014 rainy season is, much drier than normal for these states, with the dryness extending further back in time for some of them.
From; http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/07/graph-of-day-palmer-drought-index-for.html

Posted on Tuesday, July 29th 2014

No Wonder The Economy Is Crashing. Nobody Has A Job Anymore.
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 92 Million Working Age Americans Have Dropped Out of the Labor Force. 
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Do we still realize at all (or have we become too apatetic?) what it means that over 92 million working age Americans are not counted as being in the labor force? That’s almost 30 million more than in 1990, not far shy from a 50% increase in just 25 years. And we nevertheless feel optimistic about this ‘recovery’ we’ve been hearing about for years now, that’s just behind the corner? You know where I’m pretty sure that recovery really is? Just behind the horizon. 
In today’s BLS report, which is of course subject to several revisions to be announced later, we see 288,000 new jobs. But full time jobs fell by almost double that number, 523,000. Only to be ‘replaced’ by 799,000 part time jobs. Then we also see a falling unemployment rate, but that’s largely because 111,000 additional people are no longer counted as being in the labor force.I humbly suggest you get up out of your chair, find yourself a mirror to look in, and tell the you that you see there exactly how optimistic you feel. And I know stocks are up again, but by now it should dawn upon us all that this is being achieved solely by gutting our entire societies. And what are we going to do when that is our new reality?
From; http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-jul-3-2014-optimism-bias-cubed/

No Wonder The Economy Is Crashing. Nobody Has A Job Anymore.
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92 Million Working Age Americans Have Dropped Out of the Labor Force.
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Do we still realize at all (or have we become too apatetic?) what it means that over 92 million working age Americans are not counted as being in the labor force? That’s almost 30 million more than in 1990, not far shy from a 50% increase in just 25 years. And we nevertheless feel optimistic about this ‘recovery’ we’ve been hearing about for years now, that’s just behind the corner? You know where I’m pretty sure that recovery really is? Just behind the horizon. In today’s BLS report, which is of course subject to several revisions to be announced later, we see 288,000 new jobs. But full time jobs fell by almost double that number, 523,000. Only to be ‘replaced’ by 799,000 part time jobs. Then we also see a falling unemployment rate, but that’s largely because 111,000 additional people are no longer counted as being in the labor force.I humbly suggest you get up out of your chair, find yourself a mirror to look in, and tell the you that you see there exactly how optimistic you feel. And I know stocks are up again, but by now it should dawn upon us all that this is being achieved solely by gutting our entire societies. And what are we going to do when that is our new reality? From; http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-jul-3-2014-optimism-bias-cubed/

Posted on Monday, July 28th 2014

Our Dreams of a Utopian Future of Electric Cars, Unlimited Clean Energy & Economic Growth For Everyone, Hides The Reality of Collapsing Lifestyles, Military Threats & Crashing Environment.

Tolkien’s narrative no longer fits the crisis of our age as well as it did a few decades back. Our Ring of Power was the fantastic glut of energy we got from fossil fuels; we could have renounced it, as Tolkien’s characters renounced the One Ring, before we’d burnt enough to destabilize the climate and locked ourselves into a set of economic arrangements with no future…but that’s not what happened, of course.We didn’t make that collective choice when it still could have made a difference:  when peak oil was still decades in the future, anthropogenic climate change hadn’t yet begun to destabilize the planet’s ice sheets and weather patterns, and the variables that define the crisis of our age—depletion rates, CO2 concentrations, global population, and the rest of them—were a good deal less overwhelming than they’ve now become.  As The Limits to Growth pointed out more than four decades ago, any effort to extract industrial civilization from the trap it made for itself had to get under way long before the jaws of that trap began to bite, because the rising economic burden inflicted by the ongoing depletion of nonrenewable resources and the impacts of pollution and ecosystem degradation were eating away at the surplus wealth needed to meet the costs of the transition to sustainability.That prediction has now become our reality. Grandiose visions of vast renewable-energy buildouts and geoengineering projects on a global scale, of the kind being hawked so ebulliently these days by the  prophets of eternal business as usual, fit awkwardly with the reality that a great many industrial nations can no longer afford to maintain basic infrastructures or to keep large and growing fractions of their populations from sliding into desperate poverty. The choice that I discussed in last week’s post, reduced to its hard economic bones, was whether we were going to put what remained of our stock of fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources into maintaining our current standard of living for a while longer, or whether we were going to put it into building a livable world for our grandchildren.The great majority of us chose the first option, and insisting at the top of our lungs that of course we could have both did nothing to keep the second from slipping away into the realm of might-have-beens. The political will to make the changes and accept the sacrifices that would be required to do anything else went missing in action in the 1980s and hasn’t been seen since. That’s the trap that was hidden in the crisis of our age: while the costs of transition were still small enough that we could have met them without major sacrifice, the consequences of inaction were still far enough in the future that most people could pretend they weren’t there; by the time the consequences were hard to ignore, the costs of transition had become too great for most people to accept—and not too long after that, they had become too great to be met at all. .As a commentary on our current situation, in other words, the story of the heroic quest has passed its pull date. As I noted years ago, insisting that the world must always follow a single narrative is a fertile source of misunderstanding and misery. Consider the popular insistence that the world can grow its way out of problems caused by growth—as though you could treat the consequences of chronic alcoholism by drinking even more heavily! What gives that frankly idiotic claim the appeal it has is that it draws on one of the standard stories of our age, the Horatio Alger story of the person who overcame long odds to make a success of himself. That does happen sometimes, which is why it’s a popular story; the lie creeps in when the claim gets made that this is always what happens. When people insist, as so many of them do, that of course we’ll overcome the limits to growth and every other obstacle to our allegedly preordained destiny out there among the stars, all that means is that they have a single story wedged into their imagination so tightly that mere reality can’t shake it loose. The same thing’s true of all the other credos I’ve discussed in recent posts, from “they’ll think of something” through “it’s all somebody else’s fault” right on up to “we’re all going to be extinct soon anyway so it doesn’t matter any more.” Choose any thoughtstopper you like from your randomly generatedPeak Oil Denial Bingo card, and behind it lies a single story, repeating itself monotonously over and over in the heads of those who can’t imagine the world unfolding in any other way.The insistence that it’s not too late, that there must still be time to keep industrial civilization from crashing into ruin if only we all come together to make one great effort, and that there’s any reason to think that we can and will all come together, is another example.
From; http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-time-of-seedbearers.html

Posted on Sunday, July 27th 2014

Endless Economic Growth Is Over Replaced By Rising Poverty, Rising Debt & Crashing Lifestyles.

The fraud of business as usual in America’s years of decline.
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The question that needs asking is this: why are investors who watched those two earlier booms go bust, who either lost money in them or saw many others do so, lining up so eagerly to put their nest eggs into shale-oil companies that are losing money quarter after quarter, and can only stay in business by loading on more and more debt?  Why is the same weary drivel about a new economic era of perpetual prosperity being lapped up so uncritically for a third time in fifteen years, when anyone in possession of three functioning neurons ought to be able to recognize it as a rehash of the same failed hype paraded about in previous bubbles, all the way back to the tulip bubble in the 17th-century Netherlands?That’s not a rhetorical question; it has an answer, and the answer follows from one of the most popular stories of our culture, the story that says that getting rich is normal. From Horatio Alger right on down to the present, our entertainment media have been overloaded with tales about people who rose up out of poverty and became prosperous. What’s more, during the boom times that made up so much of the 20th century, a modest fraction of those tales were true, or at least not obviously false. Especially but not only  in the United States, you could find people who were born poor and died rich. An expanding economy brings that option within reach for some, though—despite the propaganda—never for all.The story was always at least a little dishonest, as the golden road up from poverty was never normal for more than a certain fraction of the population, and the wealth of the few always depended, as it always does depend in the real world, on the impoverishment of the many. During their 20th century heyday, the world’s industrial societies could pretend that wasn’t the case by the simple expedient of offshoring their poverty to the Third World, and supporting their standards of living at home on the backs of sharecroppers and sweatshop workers overseas. Still, in those same industrial nations, it was possible to ignore that for a while, and to daydream about a future in which every last human being on earth would get to enjoy the benefits of upward mobility in a rapidly expanding economy.That dream is over and done with. To begin with, the long arc of economic expansion is over; subtract the fake wealth generated by the mass production of unpayable IOUs—the one real growth industry in our economy these days—and we live in an economy in decline, in which real wealth trickles away and  the fraction of the population permanently shut out of the workforce rises year after year.  Downward mobility, not upward mobility, has become a central fact of our time.  The reality has changed, but the story hasn’t, and so investors convinced that their money ought to make them money are easy prey for some grifter in a Brooks Brothers suit who insists that tech stocks, or real estate, or oil shales will inevitably bring them the rising incomes and painless prosperity that the real world no longer provides.
From; http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-stories-of-our-grandchildren.html

Posted on Saturday, July 26th 2014

Economic Collapse. 
Excluding Oil, The US Trade Deficit Has Never Been Worse
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What this chart shows is that when it comes to core manufacturing and service trade, that which excludes petroleum, the US trade deficit hit some $49 billion dollars in the month of May, the highest trade deficit ever recorded! In other words, far from doubling US exports, Obama is on pace to make the export segment of the US economy the weakest it has ever been, leading to millions of export-producing jobs gone for ever (but fear not, they will be promptly replaced by part-time jobs). It also means that the collapse in Q1 GDP, much of which was driven by tumbling net exports, will continue as America appear largely unable to pull itself out of its international trade funk, much less doubling its exports.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-04/excluding-oil-us-trade-deficit-has-never-been-worse

Economic Collapse.
Excluding Oil, The US Trade Deficit Has Never Been Worse
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What this chart shows is that when it comes to core manufacturing and service trade, that which excludes petroleum, the US trade deficit hit some $49 billion dollars in the month of May, the highest trade deficit ever recorded! In other words, far from doubling US exports, Obama is on pace to make the export segment of the US economy the weakest it has ever been, leading to millions of export-producing jobs gone for ever (but fear not, they will be promptly replaced by part-time jobs). It also means that the collapse in Q1 GDP, much of which was driven by tumbling net exports, will continue as America appear largely unable to pull itself out of its international trade funk, much less doubling its exports.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-04/excluding-oil-us-trade-deficit-has-never-been-worse

Posted on Friday, July 25th 2014

What Is A Dark Age? Well, We’ve Started Our Descent Into One So Perhaps We Should Understand.

Varo, a Roman Historian, divided up history into three ages—an age of history, for which there were written records; before that, an age of fable, from which oral traditions survived; and before that, a dark age, about which no one knew anything at all. It’s a simple division but a surprisingly useful one; even in those dark ages where literacy survived as a living tradition, records tend to be extremely sparse and unhelpful, and when records pick up again they tend to be thickly frosted with fable and legend for a good long while thereafter. In a dark age, the thread of collective memory and cultural continuity snaps, the ends are lost, and a new thread must be spun from whatever raw materials happen to be on hand.There are many other ways to talk about dark ages, and we’ll get to those in later posts, but I want to focus on this aspect for the moment. Before the Greco-Roman world Varro knew, an earlier age of complex, literate civilizations had flourished and then fallen, and the dark age that followed was so severe that in many regions—Greece was one of them—even the trick of written language was lost, and had to be imported from elsewhere centuries afterwards. The dark age following Varro’s time wasn’t quite that extreme, but it was close enough; literacy became a rare attainment, and vast amounts of scientific, technical, and cultural knowledge were lost. To my mind, that discontinuity demands more attention than it’s usually been given.  What is it that snaps the thread that connects past to present, and allows the accumulated knowledge of an entire civilization to fall into oblivion?A recurring historical process lies behind that failure of transmission, and it’s one that can be seen at work in those homeless children of Dade County, whispering strange stories to one another in the night.Arnold Toynbee, whose monumental work A Study of History has been a major inspiration to this blog’s project, proposed that civilizations on the way to history’s compost heap always fail in the same general way. The most important factor that makes a rising civilization work, he suggested, is mimesis—the universal human habit by which people imitate the behavior and attitudes of those they admire. As long as the political class of a civilization can inspire admiration and affection from those below it, the civilization thrives, because the shared sense of values and purpose generated by mimesis keeps the pressures of competing class interests from tearing it apart.Civilizations fail, in turn, because their political classes lose the ability to inspire mimesis, and this happens in turn because members of the elite become so fixated on maintaining their own power and privilege that they stop doing an adequate job of addressing the problems facing their society.  As those problems spin further and further out of control, the political class loses the ability to inspire and settles instead for the ability to dominate. Outside the political class and its hangers-on, in turn, more and more of the population becomes what Toynbee calls an internal proletariat, an increasingly sullen underclass that still provides the political class with its cannon fodder and labor force but no longer sees anything to admire or emulate in those who order it around.
From; http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-broken-thread-of-culture.html

Posted on Thursday, July 24th 2014

For The First Time Ever, Two Consecutive Hottest Months On Record. May & June 2014. 
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that record ocean temperatures led to the hottest June since records started in 1880.
NOAA said July 21 that June was the hottest on record worldwide at 61.2 degrees F, or 1.3 degrees F higher than the 20th century average. June followed the hottest May on record, with an average worldwide temperature of 58.6 degrees F, or 1.33 degrees F above the 20th century average.
From; http://cir.ca/news/noaa-state-of-the-climate-report

For The First Time Ever, Two Consecutive Hottest Months On Record. May & June 2014.
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that record ocean temperatures led to the hottest June since records started in 1880.
NOAA said July 21 that June was the hottest on record worldwide at 61.2 degrees F, or 1.3 degrees F higher than the 20th century average. June followed the hottest May on record, with an average worldwide temperature of 58.6 degrees F, or 1.33 degrees F above the 20th century average.
From; http://cir.ca/news/noaa-state-of-the-climate-report

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd 2014

“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.” 

Above headline by Author Tom Clancy
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Call it what you will—taxes, penalties, fees, fines, regulations, tariffs, tickets, permits, surcharges, tolls, asset forfeitures, foreclosures, etc.—but the only word that truly describes the constant bilking of the American taxpayer by the government and its corporate partners is theft.We’re operating in a topsy-turvy Sherwood Forest where instead of Robin Hood and his merry band of thieves stealing from the rich to feed the poor, you’ve got the government and its merry band of corporate thieves stealing from the poor to fatten the wallets of the rich. In this way, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. All the while, the American Dream of peace, prosperity, and liberty has turned into a nightmare of endless wars, debilitating debt, and outright tyranny.
From; http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-22/stealing-america-cops-courts-corporations-and-congress

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd 2014

Overpopulation And Drought In India. Causing Food Price Increases & Shortages.

Worsening Droughts Add To India’s Desertification Problem

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While India has seen impressive economic growth in recent years, the country still struggles with widespread poverty and hunger. India’s poor population amounts to more than 300 million people, with almost 30 percent of India’s rural population living in poverty. The good news is, poverty has been on the decline in recent years. According to official government of India estimates, poverty declined from 37.2% in 2004-05 to 29.8% in 2009-10. Rural poverty declined by 8 percentage points from 41.8% to 33.8% and urban poverty by 4.8 percentage points from 25.7% to 20.9% over the same period (World Bank 2012).India is home to 25 percent of the world’s hungry population. An estimated 43 per cent of children under the age of five years are malnourished (WFP 2012). India remains an important global agricultural player, despite the fact that agriculture’s share in the country’s economy is declining. It has the world’s largest area under cultivation for wheat, rice, and cotton, and is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices (World Bank 2012). Nearly three-quarters of India’s households are dependent on rural incomes. Agricultural productivity in the country’s semi-arid tropical region is impeded by water shortages and recurrent drought, while environmental degradation and vulnerability to weather-related disasters pose challenges to the country as a whole.
Worsening droughts in India are having an impact on the desertification trend, as vegetation dries up and is often never replaced. On Wednesday, India’s environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, said that up to 25% of the country was now desert.Farmers and environmental policy makers have been watching out for India’s ever expanding deserts for years, but Javadekar’s estimate is far ahead of what scientists have forecast. In 2007, India’s Council of Scientific & industrial Research, one of the oldest industrial research and development centers in the country,said that by 2050, a little under 10% of the country would be unusable desert land mass. Judging by their methodology, India wouldn’t hit 25% desert for another 100 to 140 years.“Land is becoming barren, degradation is happening,” Javadekar was quoted saying in The Economic Timestoday. “A lot of areas are on the verge of becoming deserts but it can be stopped.”
Drought-like conditions have developed throughout India as a result. The monsoon season’s rainfall deficit has widened to 49% less than this time last year since the rainy season began on June 1 and temperatures remain close to 113 degrees Fahrenheit in many regions, delaying crop planting and worrying policy makers who would like to see a fat harvest to help curb the years long rise in food prices.Lackluster rainfall in the early part of the monsoon season occurred in 2009, when the worst drought in four decades triggered a prolonged burst of inflation something the new government does not want to mess with. This deficit is worse than 2009. That year, rainfall was 47% less than the previous year in June before it returned to normal in July.Besides unreliable weather patterns, poverty and environmental degradation are also problems in dry areas of India, where forests and trees contribute significantly to rural livelihoods. In order to eradicate poverty in the dry lands, it is important to protect the land from deforestation, fragmentation, degradation and drought.
From; http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2014/06/18/worsening-droughts-add-to-indias-desertification-problem/
And; http://www.foodsecurityportal.org/india/resources

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd 2014