Who Is To Blame for Killer Drought Ravaging Mexico and Southern U.S.?
by Dennis Small
Jan. 30—Some readers will respond with instinctive annoyance, even anger, to the suggestion in the title of this article that certain human beings, or their ideas, might be responsible for "natural disasters" such as the devastating drought—the worst in 70 years—currently sweeping northern Mexico and the southern United States.
A few might even be sympathetic to the cynical response from a Mexican blogger to the alarm sounded by UNAM university researcher Emilio Romero Polanco, who warned on Jan. 27 that more than 2.5 million Mexicans are threatened with starvation, unless immediate steps are taken to address the drought now afflicting 50% of the country's municipalities, and that "in some states there could be a situation similar to that seen in Haiti, Vietnam, Egypt, and Sudan, which caused great population exoduses and situations of social and political convulsion."
"It's not the government's fault," fumed blogger Julio Poot. "Don't look for guilty parties. Romero: perhaps if you did the ancient Rain Dance in honor of the god Chac, you would help the peasants more than by saying what we all know."
Poot's enraged reaction may sound extreme, but it is actually a fair reflection of the British imperial thinking—what Lyndon LaRouche has called the oligarchical principle—which is shared by the majority of the U.S. (and Mexican, and other) population today. And it is the policies, and lack of policies, produced by such thinking, that are directly culpable for the U.S.-Mexican drought and resulting starvation, and in fact for the broader threat of extinction now facing the human species.
As LaRouche put it in a Jan. 28 discussion with associates: "After all, the British have intended, and said very clearly: They're intent upon a policy commitment of reducing the world's population from 7 billion people to 1 or less, at a rapid rate, and that is happening! It's happening with the food supplies in the United States, for example.... And therefore, we have to think differently than we have been thinking before."
Starvation and Emigration
The current crisis is so severe, according to Mexican farm activists, that Tarahumara Indians are beginning to die of starvation in the sierras of Chihuahua—a marker of what will quickly become generalized among the more than 20 million Mexicans already living in so-called "food poverty." Thousands are fleeing their ancestral villages to the cities, in desperate search of sustenance. Mexico's Health Ministry has warned of broader "population dislocation as has occurred in other countries, as a result of the drought," and is preparing to deal with health crises among the refugees. And the government of President Felipe Calderón has so far distributed 250,000 high-protein emergency food kits to the most affected states—a pittance which in no way addresses the real problem.
In Chihuahua and the neighboring states of Zacatecas and Durango, 25,000 children have stopped attending school, according to the National Federation of Associations of Heads of Households. Families that depend on agriculture have no money to buy food and other necessities, or make the voluntary monetary contributions to allow children to go to school.
Economic researcher Romero estimates that the ongoing drought, including last year's, has destroyed at least 3.5 million acres of food crops, and killed 1.7 million head of cattle, sheep, and other livestock. This, on top of 2011's loss of 3.2 million tons of corn and 600,000 tons of beans—both staples in the Mexican diet. In the state of Tamaulipas alone, 70% of the grain harvest was lost; 40,000 cattle died in Durango, and unless water and forage are made available, another 500,000 head could die, Romero warned.
In early January testimony before the Third Commission of Mexico's Congress, farm leaders and legislators specified that the destruction caused by the drought could mean that Mexico will have to import 50% of its food needs this year. The critical months for agriculture are March, April, and May, and as things now stand, as much as 5 million acres could cease to be sown for basic grain production, causing a 50% drop in both corn and bean output.
But it is likely that Mexico won't even be able to import the corn it needs for human consumption. Argentina, the second-largest corn exporter in the world after the United States, providing nearly 20% of the world's traded corn, is also facing a severe drought, which is expected to result in a 20% drop in its corn harvest this year. The United States is also facing major shortfalls, aggravated by the drought hitting the southern part of the country, and the insane policy of using 40% of its corn crop for destructive ethanol production.
Major food price inflation is feared for Mexico in the weeks and months ahead. In January, food prices rose 6.8% over a year ago, and the price of all-important corn-based tortillas was 17% higher than one year earlier. Congressman and farm leader Federico Ovalle Vaquera warned that the price of a kilo of tortillas could double again by May, and soar even higher by the end of the year.
The economic, political, social, and migratory consequences of this situation should be obvious to all but the most dim-witted.
The Return of the Gila Monster ...
What is perhaps most infuriating about this devastation, is that it is so utterly unnecessary. The area of northern Mexico and the southern United States that is being slammed by the current drought, is precisely the area that would today be a flourishing agro-industrial zone, had the Kennedy-era North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) been implemented (Figure 1).
Instead, with the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, not only was NAWAPA shelved, but the thinking behind it was systematically extirpated from the American population. The biosphere in this region was then subjected to a deliberate downshift, as per British environmentalist policies, in which existing water resources were never replenished—let alone new ones created—and the Great American Desert was in effect handed back over to the dinosaur-like gila monster.
As such, this region provides a perfect case study of the broader planetary crisis humanity faces. As recently proven in the Jan. 26 LaRouche PAC-TV Weekly Report, "The Economics of Extinction and the Principle of Progress" [published in this issue], the actual history of our planet within the galaxy shows a process of ascending, directed growth, with the biosphere self-developing an increasing energy-flux density of the life forms within it. Contrary to greenie rain dances and other magical beliefs induced by the oligarchy, the record of the extinction of species shows that those species not apt to participate in and facilitate this anti-entropic development of the biosphere, were swept into extinction and replaced by others.
This universal principle carries over to today's era of the noösphere as well: Either man deploys his creativity to change his behavior and leads the engineering of the biosphere—such as with the NAWAPA project—or he will vanish as the dinosaurs did ... and give way to their modern cousins, the gila monster.
The British monarchy has voted emphatically for the gila monster. Prince Philip's own Nazi environmentalist hit squad, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has signed an agreement with Mexico's National Water Commission (Conagua), to lock up water basins across Mexico as ecological "water reserves," under a new paradigm of national water management proclaimed as "reclaiming water" from human use "for the environment." In practice, the WWF-Conagua water reserve agreement, signed last Dec. 15, and touted as a global model, aims to prohibit any new water project under the pretext of protecting a so-called "natural" water cycle.
Conagua head and WWF-toady José Luis Luege Tamargo was laconically indifferent about the impact of his masters' policies. "Unfortunately, we believe that the situation is going to get more serious between now and March.... We haven't seen any deaths as a result of the drought," he lied, "although there has been an increase in cases of malnourishment. Logically, if there's no water in the dams, there won't be corn."
The groundwork for today's crisis was also laid by decades of British free trade and globalization policies, which tore down the near-self-sufficiency in food that Mexico had achieved under President José López Portillo (1976-82), and made the country a sitting duck for the starvation which is now right around the corner (see "Mexico's Food Policy: What a Difference a Generation Makes," EIR June 20, 2008).
Don't think Mexico is an exceptional case. Those globalization policies which are leading to mass starvation are being enforced through the Empire's World Trade Organization, which insists that the "markets" rule.
The intention of these combined British policies is nothing less than mass murder.
... Or the Greening of the Desert
Consider what NAWAPA will do in the area, as compared to such British genocide. In your mind's eye, see where that part of the biosphere would be today, in contrast to its current collapse.
The NAWAPA project, as elaborated as a huge biospheric engineering endeavor by the LPAC Basement scientific team, will bring an additional 90 million acre feet of water into the southern U.S. and northern Mexico.
On the U.S. side of the border, this means that in six high-impact states—California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas—the total irrigated land will more than double (Table 1). Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, three of the states hardest hit by the current drought, will get vastly increased water supplies, which will allow them to expand their irrigated land by 295%, 253%, and 137%, respectively.
As for Mexico, its six border states will also get major increases in freshwater that NAWAPA will feed into the Colorado, Yaqui, and Rio Grande river systems—rivers which are today running dry, over the scorched earth created by British policies. These six Mexican states will be able to increase their irrigated acreage by about 111%.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg of what can be done. The LaRouche PAC Basement Team is currently preparing a further elaboration of the NAWAPA project, which will be presented soon on its website.
One thing that we can say for sure already: It doesn't look good for the gila monsters of this universe.