PATTERNS OF DISASTER CAPITALISM? THE MIDWEST, AND OROVILLE DAM: PART ...May 24, 2019
Yesterday, you'll recall, I took the opportunity of the recent storms to outline some definitions of "disaster capitalism" and to distinguish between what I am calling "primary" disaster capitalism, and "secondary" disaster capitalism. As you might also recall, I outlined my arguments for why the last couple of months' storms in the American midwest might be construed as at least the latter, and perhaps the former, and I've also outlined a brief argument that we might also be looking at actual weather warfare. But as I also pointed out, technologies capable of mimicking "acts of God" are difficult to distinguish from the actual thing. Indeed, for jurisprudence, the existence of such technologies poses a problem: how does one adjudicate contractual disputes that include "acts of God" clauses in contracts?
As I also indicated yesterday, many readers submitted articles about the problems with California's Oroville Dam prior to all the storms in the region I live in. The three at the top of the list:
A couple of years ago I did blog about the problems at the Oroville Dam in California, in conjunction with the fires there, all of which I still view in a kind of 60-40 split in favor of "disaster capitalism" being practiced by someone. In the case of the fires in California, there are enough prima facie indicators of exotic technologies in play to make me suspect that it's more of a 80-20 split.
In the case of the Oroville Dam, however, one might be looking at a modification of the patterns and definitions of primary and secondary disaster capitalism that I proposed yesterday. Let's look at a few statements from the lst article linked above:
I spoke with Paul Preston late last night and he indicated that some people, downstream from the Oroville Dam have packed up and left because of the anticipated dam failure. I asked Paul Preston, "How close is the dam to failing?" Preston replied "It could go by this weekend".. His comments, in part, are based upon the dire weather forecast in which intense rainfall is forecasted between Wednesday May 15 and Sunday, May 19th. This is significant because this could greatly add to the inflow and the outflow data which shows an extreme imbalance. And when we consider that the dam is 12 feet from overtopping, the danger multiplies exponentially. When any structure takes on more water, whether it be a ship or a dam, it is going to fail/sink.
Paul Preston has previously related to me that the California State Government has a financial motivation to see the dam fail based on the following:
- The State of California is broke and the state is quickly reaching a state of insolvency.
- If the Oroville Dam fails, the state will instantly quality for over a billion dollars in federal disaster aid.
- The state has motive to see the dam fail.
Based on these facts, one can understand why when security of the Oroville Dam disappeared for 32 hours, foul play would be suspected. We have already seen the state dynamite the earthen sides of the dam and the constant flow of trucks and their subsequent vibrations are of concern to the locals in that they believe that the activity could contribute to the failure of the dam. Subsequently, tension and emotions are running high.
If the speculations advanced in this article are true - and I personally have no difficulty believing them -- then one can add a new twist both to the primary and secondary levels of disaster capitalism: that of insolvent states using such means to harvest money from the Federal government in the ultimate "wealth redistribution plan" in the form of disaster aid.
But it is the end of this article that gives one pause, for clearly the author, Dave Hodges, is thinking in terms of the wider pattern of weather which I have been concerned with in yesterday's and today's blogs. Indeed, as of this writing, the system which moved through here a few days ago is expected to create problems from southern Ohio to Pennsylvania and most of New York state, on into New England. Here is Mr. Hodges' summary of the Oroville Dam problem in the wider context:
A policy decision has been with regard to the threat. Every time an article is published on the CSS site, about the condition of the Oroville Dam, until failure, the dangers will be published along with any new information. The following represents the risk associated with a catastrophic dam failure.
- A breach of the dam would release a 30 foot wall of water traveling at 75 MPH.
- The escaping water would reach Sacramento within 45 minutes (long estimate).
- Over one million people lie in the path of the water.
- After the dam fails, there is not time to evacuate the population.
- Thirty percent of all American retail crosses this area from ports on the Pacific Ocean. The effect on the economy would be catastrophic.
- The Central Valley is one of the most bountiful agricultural areas in the world. No crops would grow for years. Combined with the Midwest flooding, famines will result and extreme food inflation.
- America would teeter upon collapse.
While I am not as pessimistic as Mr. Hodges about the special brand of disaster capitalism that California might be practicing and its wider effects, there is no doubt that the general implications of a failure, which he has summarized in his seven points, would be very deleterious.
The bottom line for me is that disaster capitalism - both primary and secondary - is real, as is geophysical warfare. We will all need to sharpen our analytical skills. If anything emerges from a consideration of wider patterns in this respect, it is perhaps this: "they" may have switched the game plan from burning people out, to one of blowing and flooding people out.
See you on the flip side...