"Crossing the Calchaqui"
Plus, a few words for the preppers,
alarmists and deniers alike...
By Bill Bonner
“I was thinking maybe instead of building houses,
we could live in tepees because it’s better in a lot of ways”
~ Richie Norris, "Mars Attack"
San Martin, Argentina - "The dreaded ‘climate change’ is upon us already. We drove from our farm in the Calchaqui Valley up to Salta, taking our daughter and her husband back to the airport. All along the way, the roads were ‘feo,’ ugly. In many places, mud covered the road. In others, the road was washed out, forcing us to back up and find a way around the chasm that the water had opened up.
That this was ‘odd’ barely begins to describe the oddity of it. In our area, we say it ‘never rains.’ That was always an exaggeration. But with annual rainfall of less than 2 inches, “never” is within the range of normal linguistic tolerances. And now…suddenly, it is raining! It is raining so much that the grass is greener than ever…and the roads are practically impassible.
Almost Underwater: On the weekend, we went to visit a neighbor. His farm is very close to ours…and on the same side of the river. Normally, this time of year, we can cross the river with no problem. We don’t even need 4-wheel drive. But this time, we saw the water was higher than usual, so we went for “low 4x4” and plunged in. The water splashed over the hood. We thought we were in trouble, but the Toyota pick-up kept going and got us to the other side.
Then, we needed to cross the river again to get to our neighbor’s house. That is, we could see the house, but the river shifts and the way to cross it changes too. A local man, Domingo, showed up at the crossroads and volunteered to show us the way across. Here again, we sank deeper than ever before and wondered if we would make it across. But Domingo, in a pick-up ahead of us, kept going; we guessed that we could do it too. Sure enough, we got to the other side, had lunch, and then repeated the ordeal in reverse.
What’s going on? Is this ‘climate change?’ Or just a wet spell? The deciders and influencers in the rich and powerful G-7 countries want us to believe that this is not ‘normal.’ They say the world’s HVAC system is out of order…and we’re to blame for it. If it is too hot, the cause is ‘global climate change.’ If it is too cold, again, the culprit: global climate change. Too wet? Too dry? Too windy? Too many bugs or hurricanes? Yes, ‘global climate change,’ GCC is the explanation.
The planet…poor, distressed Mother Earth…is overburdened, the activists believe. She is like a boat with too many passengers. She is already taking on water…and soon will be sinking. GCC is not good. Climate activists know that. Here in the high valleys, we may appreciate the extra warmth. But the activists know GCC will not end well. They know the future. And they think we would all be a whole lot better off, if we could prevent it from happening.
Sinking Ships: But how? In general, GCC enthusiasts live in the rich countries. They already have the benefits that fossil fuels bring. On the great ship Earth, they have the upper, first-class cabins – with all the conveniences, including room service.
Down below decks, the common people aspire to reach the upper decks some day. And to get there, they know they have to use more energy…energy to build things…energy to produce more food…energy to move products and people. But the only kind of energy with that kind of cost/benefit payoff is the old-fashioned kind. Oil and gas, that is…the very stuff that puts out CO2 as well as usable energy…and the very thing that the elite ‘experts’ say may turn the earth into a red-hot cinder.
How to keep the ship afloat? How about heaving the poor overboard? Not literally, of course. But if the masses could only agree not to want what we’ve got, disaster might be averted. They could live in teepees, rather than energy-gobbling suburban homes. They could ride bicycles to work…and labor in un-airconditioned factories…where maybe they could produce synthetic food made out of insects. It doesn’t sound very attractive to us, but we’re talking about avoiding the extinction of our species; surely, they could make some sacrifices.
Here on the farm, we hang our heads. We have no doubt that we contribute more than our share to the world’s CO2. Our electricity all comes from solar panels. And our irrigation system works on gravity, with water running long distances through canals and eventually getting to the corn and alfalfa below.
Armageddon Ahead? But you can’t run a farm without plows, planters, rakes, balers, and combines – all of which get pulled by tractors…all of which run on diesel fuel. From 4 in the morning until 6 at night, the tractors do their work…usually, three of them at a time. One cuts. One rakes up the grass. And another spins it into large, round bales.
All of this CO2-generating work is intended to feed a herd of 500 cattle. And every one of those animals emits CO2 of its own…a by-product of its own planet-destroying digestive system. And despite the armageddon ahead, selfish people still want to eat beef. They want to drive cars, too. And turn on the AC when it gets hot.
Whether this brings the end of the world or not, we don’t know any better than anyone else. But with our pastures flush with green grass, our cattle fat…and water running abundantly in our irrigation canals, all we know for sure is that, if this is the ‘climate change’ we’ve heard about…so far, it is going our way."