Droughts in the News: Time for Another Scarcity Meme?
By Staff News & Analysis - March 19, 2015

Global population growth threatens to outstrip fresh water supply: study … Global demand for fresh water is set to outstrip supply as a result of population growth by the middle of this century if current levels of consumption continue, a study said. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: The world is running out of everything. Soon we will freeze in the dark … or maybe die of thirst.

Free-Market Analysis: Here comes Reuters, right on time.

With California and Brazil suffering from horrible droughts – or so the mainstream media tells us – this article pounds the drum for water scarcity.

Of course, as followers of the Daily Bell/VESTS model, the reality of a water shortage is not nearly so important as whether the financial community and its media abettors have decided that there is one.

The same goes for farmland, as common wisdom tells us that farmland is a dwindling commodity at a time when thin, over-used soil is the norm in many countries.

Water and farmland, if you can obtain them, are thus seen as some of the best investments going forward.

Is this true? Perhaps so. Anyway, we are TOLD it is true.

And we recognize a meme when we see one.

Some very powerful forces are promoting these scarcity memes. And that's what you, dear reader, will have to contemplate as you decide on the validity of these items.


Fears of water shortages could intensify although this is not the first time in history that demand is poised to outpace supply, Tony Parolari, the study's lead author, said on Wednesday.

"Global water consumption per capita has been declining since 1980 which means efficiency is increasing," Parolari, a researcher at Duke University, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "But if population growth trends continue, water use will have to decline more substantially."

The world's population is expected to hit 9.6 billion by 2050 from more than 7 billion now, according to U.N. estimates … The paper, published in the journal WIREs Water, analyzed historical information on water consumption and demographics with the help of mathematical models to chart changes over time.

Ah, mathematical models. The idea, of course, is to project these models into the future, though any honest statistician will tell you that is extraordinarily difficult to do.

In the article, we get an inkling of the horrors to come, but strangely enough the emphasis is not on modeling so much as current events. We are reminded of Brazil and of California – "entering its fourth year of drought."

The article does have the grace to point out in some detail that past "water scarcity" has been resolved … wait for it … by new technology. "Expanding pipeline networks to pump in water from further afield," alleviated distress in both Paris and London.

Additionally, progress in desalinization techniques could "alleviate water scarcity" throughout the world. But that's not really the point, is it?

Nope. The rumble concerning food shortages and water shortages is a constant subterranean theme. At any given time you can find some study, survey or data being reported that predicts imminent or near-term doom.

We tend to doubt or discount a lot of these reports. (Apparently in California, they've been opening dams to let out water surreptitiously that could otherwise have gone to irrigate cropland. Why this is being done is a mystery to many … but no doubt authorities will clarify sooner or later.)

In any case, from an investment standpoint, the reality of the scarcity meme is not so important as its promotion. You simply have to decide whether these programs are viable or dysfunctional.

The stakes can be high, indeed. We've pointed out recently the example of what would appear to be one successful meme: Cannabis legalization. That's going to make lots of people wealthy.

On the other hand, considerable amounts of money have been lost backing the carbon – warmist – meme. That doesn't mean the theme ceases to operate, only that for many it hasn't turned out to be exceptionally lucrative and in some cases (say you backed a carbon exchange) you might have lost a considerable amount.

After Thoughts

The world – the investment world, anyway – often runs on elite promotions. Factor their credibility into your larger speculative calculations for a better sense of how to position your assets.

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  • autonomous

    Yes, Chicken Little, the sky is falling. It behaves as it is designed to behave. Now go sit down and shut up.

    • Fred

      Danny B reports what he observes and then states some of his thoughts on what he thinks are causing the droughts. He might be right or he might be wrong. I think it would be better to consider what he has to say and, if sufficiently interested, go do some research and see how valid his conjectures are. Or you might offer evidence that refutes his conclusions. But “go sit down and shut up?” Reminds me of how “Global warming is a fact. End of discussion.”

      • Lyn Morris

        …then again, relaying first hand ‘observations’ and or ‘opinion’ is helpful, but only presents observable ‘results’. Why are these results showing up so late and now, and who has done it, and when. These answers are needed a little bit more today…and Autonomous speaks for a lot of us who just want answers.

        • Dimitri Ledkovsky

          Could the “us” wanting answers be synonymous with The Gullible Majority?

          • Lyn Morris

            No, not ‘gullible majority’, Using ‘us’ spreads the finger pointing in both directions, whereas just saying ‘them’ doesn’t help anyone to understand or gather more information. WE all see the ‘results’, in California, across the US, around the world of politically caused water depletions. Folks aren’t as ‘gullible’ as medias would claim…. WE don’t know the majority, or the minority, of anything either. So just complaining does warrant a sit-down and silence call. WE know already; let’s fix it.

        • Fred

          There are only ‘observable results’. Unobservable results are not useful. I reply out of curiosity: How does telling someone to “go sit down and shut up” imply someone who just wants answers? And what does Autonomous mean by “. . . the sky is falling. It behaves as it is designed to behave.” How is the sky designed to behave?

          I agree with you though, we need more answers. Regarding California, the evidence I have seen indicates that the weather variation there is not unexpected. In particular, I recently read an article about how California weather patterns are reverting back to historical norms, namely desert. See -

          Also, I just searched for California rainfall over the past thousand years and see an article entitled ‘California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say’ at

          More generally, there is the article ‘NASA Study Finds 1934 Had Worst Drought of Last Thousand Years’ at
          Their results, is based on tree ring data so this may be a source for getting rainfall data on California also. (I
          have only scanned this article so far.)

          Is the drought a result of weather manipulation? I don’t know. If someone has this capability to do this then I am sure they would use it to their advantage. My belief (hypothesis) is that they are, for sure, experimenting with weather manipulation but I am skeptical that they have mastered a nonlinear phenomenon to the extent they can control it consistently. Again, I don’t know.

  • Danny B

    I drive through the San Joaquin valley on a regular basis. I see the orchards ripped out. I can vouch for the sparse snow pack also. I’ve seen all the low reservoirs also. I know communities where the wells have gone dry. It is now big business drilling existing wells even deeper.

    This is all part of the depopulation program. Why do you think the Ukraine is being trashed? Why do you think America bombed the man-made river project in Libya? Historically, California would get a high-presure ridge off the coast that lasted a few days and blocked pacific moisture from crossing the coast range and precipitating in the valley and mountains. This high pressure would last a few days,,, maybe even a week. HAARP was used to heat the atmosphere and create a high pressure ridge. One year, the high pressure ridge lasted 10 months. Given the natural circulation of the Pacific ocean, this is impossible from natural causes.

    Desalinization works for domestic water but, not for agricultural water. The Oglalla aquifer is falling pretty fast. The amount of water drawn for it is equal to the flow of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
    “We’re poised to break the all-time record for the least amount of water content in the snow as of April 1,”

  • Bluebird

    As you know, we are having spring thaw in the east. We have had excessive snowfalls this winter and the ground is saturated. Every stream and all rivers are overflowing their banks, resulting in flooding. IOW, water, water everywhere! But this week, I saw in the local news that the EPA is brainwashing, er, excuse me, educating the children in the schools on the dangers of wasted water in our homes. They are having a “Fix-A-Leak” week where the children are to go home and inspect their homes for leaking faucets. Yes, charts showing how much water is wasted annually as a result are part of this “education”. Of course the children will go back and rat out their parents as they have no doubt been told to do. How long before fines are issued for a faucet drip, I wonder?

    • Dimitri Ledkovsky

      How long before the children are empowered to arrest and try their parents in court per The Little Red Book?

      • Lyn Morris

        Well, it has already started. According to news reports a young gal sued AND adjudicated in favor of, having her parents pay her college tuition and expenses. Kids can call the police on their parent(s) for disciplinary rules in the home…it will not be long now where The Little Red Book will be part of First Grade prep materials!

  • Chriskin

    I don’t know where DB’s doubt on this issue is coming from. If you’ve been on the ground in California over the last five years you’ll know how dry it is here. Are the wildfires from tinder dry brush a meme? Are the half-full reservoirs a meme? Are the farmers drilling 100s of feet deeper to reach the water table a meme? Of course the PTB will exploit the situation for their own control, but there’s definitely a serious drought in the West. We can have a real debate about what is causing it, but saying you have doubts about whether there is a drought hurts your credibility. Please show us where they’re hiding all the water. This meme is killing us out West.

    • Wrusssr

      Are the stratosphere, atmosphere, clouds seeded daily? Did the sun come up this morning? Look up! Milky days ahead courtesy the Wizards of Oz. And they’re playing their haarp for entertainment. Embarrass us at Copenhagen and our global warming honey pot? We’ll show you and your Internet what a real drought is.

      • Chriskin

        Yep business as usual on the geo-engineering front. Alas it’s making things even worse, much worse.

    • fenwick’s in the manger

      We’re “out west” and we have TONS of water. [where are we? just north of you] I think that’s the point. There is always a drought, ‘somewhere’ but, it does not mean there is a global water shortage on its way.

      • Chriskin

        There’s already a global water shortage. A billion people live without clean drinking water. Glad everything’s hunky dory where you are …

        • fenwick’s in the manger

          That was a rather snarky comment…

          The DB is all about exposing elite memes. My point is the same as the DB’s. Global water shortage is the next meme [or lie]. Think, gasoline shortages, etc.

          Clean DRINKING water issues are NOT the same as water SHORTAGE issues. CA is in the spot it is in because the ‘west’, from San Luis Obispo to the Mexican border, from the coast all the way to the MO border, is a desert. You live in a desert. When will Californians understand that? Why do people move to CA and not Oregon or other wet areas? The weather….”it’s always sunny”. I have heard that a billion times. [I was born in So Cal, moved to OR when I was 35] It’s always sunny because, it’s a desert. And apparently, almost no one in CA has planned for this reality.

          CA takes water from adjacent States to fill it’s water needs, because CA is a desert and also because CA believes it is more important that all others. try this… don’t plan anything for dinner, then tell your neighbor you will be commandeering a portion of their food for your family… that didn’t plan for a food shortage. Same thing.

          I remember, about 20 years ago, CA was pressuring OR & WA to give up a rather large percentage of water flowing down the Columbia river and to build a huge 25 foot diameter pipeline from the Columbia gorge to guess where… So Cal. So that perhaps CA could do to the Columbia river what they did to the Colorado river… dry it up. Answer was a loud NO.

          CA borders on a rather large ocean and COULD build reverse osmosis water plants but, CA has no money to do such a thing, other than some very wealthy independent cities like Santa Barbara, who has had a RO system in place for almost 25 years. < see they planned ahead.

          25 years ago we noticed we were living in a desert and, that the State was doing nothing to remedy the future problem of water availability so, we moved to the water.

          Stop complaining and take control of your State.

    • Apparently, statistically speaking the amount of rainfall in the region is below average but not unusual. The drought may be complicated by how water is dispersed state wide. It is partially political in other words.

      • Chriskin

        Of course it’s political, but you can’t imply that there isn’t a drought. It’s not raining much at all = there’s a drought. It’s mostly an engineered drought however and that’s the part that doesn’t get covered. It isn’t that there is not enough moisture, it’s the fact that the moisture is getting rerouted to create record snowfall back east to keep people confused as to the real state of the climate, as Danny B others here correctly allude to. We’ve been at 90+ and dry as hell for weeks already, and spring hasn’t even started officially has it?

    • Centurian

      During the winter and spring of last year, the state and federal governments allowed most of the snow melt runoff to flow into the ocean rather than collecting it in reservoirs as they usually do. This produced most of the drought problem. Farmers are drilling way down to a water table that has always been pretty deep as a result. Conveniently, if water is scarce enough in the central valley, it will “feed” the meme of food shortages as well.

      The wildfires are largely a byproduct of “conservation” efforts and not allowing minor fires to naturally decrease the fuel load for years at a time. Did you know that the California Redwood and Sequoia cannot reproduce without periodic fires?

      • Chriskin

        If it doesn’t rain or snow enough there’s nothing to collect. It’s not raining and the snowpack is a disaster again this year.

        • Centurian

          No doubt. But it was made much worse by intentionally letting what was there runoff into the ocean.

  • 2prickit

    Consider such infatuation with swimming pools for example, in Las Vegas and San Fernando Valley. In arid regions generally homeowners install swimming pools: having all is not satisfactory in the land of novo wealth: Debt

    Decline of Striped Bass in the California Delta has been attributed to high levels of yearn sanitation engineers unable to remove.

    But the entire West is an arid region. And I’d suppose an easy “challenge” for HAARP experimenters.

  • Akzent

    Time for Another Scarcity Meme?

    “Save” the water after “saving” the climate and the banksters?

    When will the people finally REALIZE that especially the Californian drought and probably also some severe other droughts are intentionally engineered to grab the still not privatised water (rights) biside after things after having already stolen the atmosphere and mostly all other physical property worldwide with the bankster money monopol?
    It’s unbelievable that the people don’t get what happens here while they are driven more and more in the hands of the criminal climate sect and Agenda 21 mafia.
    They money changers manipulate the wheather/climate where ever they want and how long they want with geoengineering, is this so hard to understand? They US said it, they want to “own” the wheather by 2025, but they “own” since a long time.

  • fenwick’s in the manger

    I remember, years ago, reading how the Bush family and their ‘buddies’ were buying up fresh-water rights all over the world… like they knew something we didn’t. I’m guessing that bit of info is the decades later meme of H2o shortages, even where water shortages aren’t happening.

  • Mortimer Sled

    I’m a big DB fan. However I feel the meme can start to wag the dog at times. Surely there are authentic impartations of information even via the MSM? I mean (or is it I meme), when somebody shouts fire in a crowded theater due to the building being engulfed in genuine flames, that’s not a ‘meme intended to signal alarm’, but a spontaneous and pre-reflective call to action, yes? Things really do happen in life that fail to become media content. I was re-reading Don Delillo’s ‘White Noise’ for another project the other day, where the plane almost crashes, but doesn’t:

    “Where’s the media,” she said.
    “There’s no media in Iron City.”
    “Then they went through all that for nothing?”

  • Centurian

    Today on NPR, the meme surfaced with discussion of building reservoirs near the Mississippi River to collect flood management water and then piping it to southern California. Sounds like a great big project that somebody will make a gazillion dollars completing. Bet this pipeline to get quicker approval than the Keystone oil pipeline, unless certain individuals decide to provide water trains to the west.

  • Friend of John Galt

    The water shortage meme has been developing for a long time. A cover story in National Geographic some 15 years ago (or so) featured “the coming global water crisis.” I’m somewhat surprised that it’s taken so long for this meme to be pumped up — but the same groups that support “global warming” are behind the “global water shortage” idea, so they’ve been distracted by their “war against warming deniers.”

    California’s recurrent droughts (I’m a native Californian) are affected by two factors (1) substantial population growth, particularly in arid zones that require importation of water and (2) a failure to make significant development of water sources over most of the last 30 years.

    In the 1970s, California’s political elite had been captured by the “no growth” mentality even as the state continued attracting a growing population. Expansion of roads and freeways, housing, and other public facilities were dropped due to “budget woes” and as unacceptable projects according to the left.

    It is common in California to have sets of 3 to 5 years of “low rain” years. (More importantly, these are “low snow” years, as much of California’s water is retrieved from mountain snow melt.) Up though the 1960s, California developed its water resources, with the “crowning achievement” being the completion of the “California Aqueduct” that runs south down the Central Valley and over the Tehachapi mountains into the LA basin. However, “greens” started fighting further expansion of the water facilities (with the fear that Southern California would “steal” all of the water from the north). Numerous planned reservoirs were cancelled. A “wild rivers” act, prevented any significant/additional development of water resources on the coastal rivers in the north coastal region. And, for the most part, heads were buried in the sand about the growth of the population.

    So now we’re being asked to “worry” about a shortage of water. I’m not worried. (I now live close to the Columbia River — it seems to have plenty of water.)

    • What you have stated here is key. It is easy to turn a low rainfall year into a drought if the proper planning is not done and construction is not carried out. Are there forces that might want to do this or take other action? California history is rife with water manipulation. As we recall a famous movie was made about it. …

    • no republicrat

      “Numerous planned reservoirs were cancelled.”
      Agree, failure to plan is obvious.

      Same goes for all the wildfires.

  • WPalmer

    Does anyone remember when there was a “shortage ” of denim. It was when retailers couldn’t get more than 15 bucks for a pair of jeans.
    After the “shortage” was over then jeans were selling for $40 and $50 and had moved to the realm of the designer.

    Climate change was being noted at the end of the 19th century with small but noticeable retreat of glaciers in the Alps, but in those days God was the culprit.

    I live in Vancouver, they even tried very hard to tell us there was a water shortage here… Some believed them !!

    There is sometimes in July and August, but another two rows of bricks on top of the reservoir would fix it.

  • Danny B

    There is always something new; “In fact, the amount of land devoted to agriculture could shrink by 80 percent in the next few decades.”