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Over Half The U.S. Has Now Been Hit By Drought As Lake Powell And Lake Mead Drop To “Dangerous” Low Levels

Over Half The U.S. Has Now Been Hit By Drought As Lake Powell And Lake Mead Drop To “Dangerous” Low Levels

The worst drought in years in the western half of the United States has sparked hundreds of wildfires, has crippled thousands of farms, and has produced what could ultimately be the worst water crisis in modern American history.  As you will see below, Lake Powell and Lake Mead have both dropped to dangerously low levels, and officials are warning that we may soon be looking at a substantial shortfall which would require rationing.  Unfortunately, many in the eastern half of the country don’t even realize that this is happening.  The mighty Colorado River once seemed to be virtually invulnerable, but now it doesn’t even run all the way to the ocean any longer.  Demand for water is continually increasing as major cities in the Southwest continue to grow, and this is happening at a time when that entire region just keeps getting drier and drier.  To say that we are facing a “water crisis” would be a major understatement.

I have written quite a bit about the drought in the Southwest in recent months, and it just keeps getting worse.  According to Forbes, more than half the nation is now experiencing some level of drought…

Drought conditions across the United States have worsened throughout the summer, culminating in more than half the country experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions by the end of August.

The latest update of the United States Drought Monitor shows that more than half of the country—nearly 56 percent—is abnormally dry or mired in a full-on drought. More than a third of the country is experiencing drought conditions, and almost eight percent is in an extreme or exceptional drought.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

USAF Begins Massive GPS Blackouts In The Western US During Largest Ever Air War Drill

The United States Air Force is launching its largest-ever three-week premier set of air war drills, called Red Flag 18-1, starting on Friday and will conclude February 16, said the 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs.

On January 26, the air war drill, known as Red Flag, officially kicked off at Nellis Air Force Base, 20-miles outside of Las Vegas. Base officials have warned residents of increased military aircraft activity due to aircraft departing from Nellis Air Force Base twice-a-day to conduct war drills on the Nevada Test and Training Range.

“We’re trying a few new and different things with Red Flag 18-1,” said Col Michael Mathes, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “It’s the largest Red Flag ever with the largest number of participants, highlighting the balance of training efficiency with mission effectiveness.”

The drill involves a variety of attack, fighter and bomber aircraft as well as participants from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, and Marine Corps. Foreign participants include Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Air Force.

A video from the 2015 Red Flag drill is shown below.

“Red Flag 18-1 primarily is a strike package focused training venue that we integrate at a command and control level in support of joint task force operations,” said Mathes. “It’s a lot of words to say that we integrate every capability we can into strike operations that are flown out of Nellis Air Force Base.”

According to The Drive, the air war drill is the largest of its kind in the 42-year history, as the United States prepares for a possible conflict on the Korean Penisula.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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Red Flag Warning: These California Wildfires Are ‘Among The Most Destructive Fire Events In US History’ And They Are About To Get Even Worse

Red Flag Warning: These California Wildfires Are ‘Among The Most Destructive Fire Events In US History’ And They Are About To Get Even Worse

The wildfires that are roaring through northern California are already “among the most destructive fire events in U.S. history”, and by the time it is all said and done this could be the worst wildfire season in the history of the state.  So far, fires have scorched more than 250 square miles, and more than 3,500 homes and businesses have already been destroyed.  The official death toll has risen to 21, but that is expected to rise dramatically because over 600 missing persons reports have been filed with authorities.  The worst damage has been done in Napa and Sonoma counties, and you can see some deeply troubling photos of the devastation here and here.

Unfortunately, this crisis is far from over.  In fact, the National Weather Service has just issued a pair of “red flag warnings”

The weather forecast is not looking good for those living in wine country, and for those firefighters trying to get a handle on the 22 wildfires raging through Northern California, which broke out Sunday and are barely contained more than three days later.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for the North and East bays starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday and midnight on Thursday respectively.

That means winds can gust from 20 mph to 50 mph in the higher elevation areas, fanning the flames down mountains and into the cities.

So as bad as things are at this moment, the truth is that they are going to get even worse over the next 24 hours.

And that is quite sobering to hear, because this is already one of “the most destructive fire events in U.S. history”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Conducts Successful Field Test Of New Nuclear Bomb

US Conducts Successful Field Test Of New Nuclear Bomb

With the world still abuzz over the first ever deployment of the GBU-43/B “Mother Of All Bombs” in Afghanistan, where it reportedly killed some 36 ISIS fighters, in a less noticed statement the US National Nuclear Security Administration quietly announced overnight the first successful field test of the modernized, “steerable” B61-12 gravity thermonuclear bomb in Nevada.

In a well-timed statement, just as tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program and potential US airstrikes run wild, the NNSA said that in conjunction with the US Air Force, it had completed the first qualification flight test of B61-12 gravity nuclear bomb on March 14 at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada.


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& @usairforce complete first B61-12 qualification flight test. @NellisAFB@NNSANevadahttps://nnsa.energy.gov/mediaroom/pressreleases/nnsa-air-force-complete-first-b61-12-life-extension-program-qualification 

FAA Warns That Mystery Military Tests May Lead To Widespread West Coast GPS Disruptions

FAA Warns That Mystery Military Tests May Lead To Widespread West Coast GPS Disruptions

Starting today, and continuing for the next month, the FAA has warned airplane pilots that GPS signals on on the West Coast, and especially over California and Nevada, may be impacted.

The reason why is not exactly clear, but as Gizmodo notes, the US military will be testing a device or devices that will potentially jam GPS signals for six hours each day. Officially the tests were announced by the FAA but are centered near the US Navy’s largest installation in the Mojave Desert, China Lake, located “just down the road” from Area 51. The Navy has kept silent about the nature of the tests.

An aerial view of the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake 

As Gizmodo adds, the FAA issued an advisory warning pilots on Saturday that global positioning systems (GPS) could be unreliable during six different days this month, primarily in the Southwestern United States. On June 7, 9, 21, 23, 28, and 30th the GPS interference testing will be taking place between 9:30am and 3:30pm Pacific time. But if you’re on the ground, you probably won’t notice interference.

The dates and times of potential GPS outages per the FAA are shown below:

  • 7 JUN 16 1630Z – 2230Z
  • 9 JUN 16 1630Z – 2230Z
  • 21 JUN 16 1630Z – 2230Z
  • 23 JUN 16 1630Z – 2230Z
  • 28 JUN 16 1630Z – 2230Z
  • 30 JUN 16 1630Z – 2230Z

The testing will be centered on China Lake, California—home to the Navy’s 1.1 million acre Naval Air Weapons Center in the Mojave Desert. The potentially lost signals will stretch hundreds of miles in each direction and will affect various types of GPS, reaching the furthest at higher altitudes. But the jamming will only affect aircraft above 50 feet. As shown in the FAA map below, the jamming will almost reach the California-Oregon border at 4o,000 feet above sea level and 505 nautical miles at its greatest range.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Warren Buffett’s Quieter Quest to Kill Solar in the West

Warren Buffett’s Quieter Quest to Kill Solar in the West

Not a month goes by without a story of some assault on solar-friendly policies by utilities, or by the Utility Commissions that are often in their pocket.

During the holidays at the end of 2015, it was Nevada’s utter dismembering of its net metering policy. Nevada is—or was—one of 42 states that offered net metering, a program through which customers with solar arrays are compensated for the energy they produce on their rooftops or in small installations connected to the electric grid.

NV Energy Inc. unleashed this full frontal attack on the program that—in one quick vote of three unelected commissioners—pulled the rug out from under 17,000 solar customers and eviscerated at least 8,000 solar jobs. And the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) was happy to oblige.

Nevada has the highest number of solar jobs per capita in the United States, but for how long?

As Nevada’s PUCN invited this “solar black hole” over one of the nation’s sunniest states, many pointed out how NV Energy fought tooth and nail against the successful net metering plan, and ultimately secured its demise.

NV Energy, the state’s largest utility, is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy. This net metering battle was high profile.

Many have pitched it as a Buffett versus Musk showdown, as NV Energy’s demands would prove to cripple Solar City’s business in the state, which was dependent on a consistent net metering program.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

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