This isn't the next post I mentioned earlier; I'll be publishing that one later tonight. But I want to write up this warning while it's on my mind. There are two immediate and very severe negative consequences of a real megadrought once it gets seriously underway:
1. Diaspora. This happened even during the Dust Bowl era in the USA, even though the Dust Bowl drought wasn't a megadrought because it didn't last long enough to qualify; it only lasted 10 years. Technically, parts of the USA are already in a megadrought because the drought has lasted longer than 13 years. But a real megadrought, which the United States hasn't experienced in modern times, is guaranteed to create a massive displacement of people that will happen very quickly.
This will mean millions of Americans fleeing the state or region where the drought is the worst, all them seeking jobs and a place to live, any kind of job and domicile they can get. This will put them in direct competition with illegal immigrants for jobs and a place to live, not to mention social services in U.S. states -- states that are already facing big budget shortfalls and a lack of affordable housing and jobs.
To return to the Dust Bowl crisis, it coincided with the Great Depression. So, many of the Americans who piled into California weren't actually "Okies" (residents of the Dust Bowl region in Oklahoma) even though the label was applied to all the newcomers to the state. Many were white collar workers from around the country and even back East, desperately seeking any kind of job they could get, and any place to live. This was happening at a time when illegal immigration wasn't a problem, but still it caused great dislocations and a lot of social unrest in California. (This aspect of U.S. history was addressed in the second part of Ken Burns' Dust Bowl documentary.)
2. Severe water shortages. I've seen reports that mention there are already water shortages in various parts of the USA because of the drought. However, at present I don't have a breakdown of exactly where this happening and the severity in each instance.
If any reader can find such data, please email it to me at Pundita1@aol.com (The comment section at this blog only works sporadically.)
What is clear at this point is that much of the illegal immigration is coming into or at least through the southwestern USA -- just the place where the drought is the worst, and the place where a megadrought, if it is that, is now getting underway.
If it is a real megadrought, you don't want to think about the kind of water shortages this is going to create, long term, and what this is going to do to American society. And our social services.
The reality is that this is the wrong time for the United States to be opening its arms to immigrants -- legal or otherwise -- but while legal immigration can't be stopped, at least not readily, the Mexican government can be pressured to cease forwarding its own illegal immigrants from further south to the USA.
Of course this will cause bad feelings among Mexican officials and upset Americans angling to set up factories in Mexico. And it will infuriate the Democratic Party leaders, who encourage illegal immigration to shore party supporters, and Republican Party leaders, who only make a show of being against illegal immigration.
I don't know what to tell these people, beyond, say "No" now, while doing so doesn't have to be backed by the most ruthless measures. You can always turn around if the signs about megadrought are a false alarm. I will examine that question of signs in the next post.