Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

The Sinoloa Cartel Declares War On Water In California

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 1 week ago

From Wirecutter’s Place, this disturbing piece from California.

Quite some time ago, the Sinoloa drug cartel took up shop in Humboldt County, CA. Today, they are controlling much of the marijuana trafficking from a region that is now often referred to as the Emerald Triangle. They engage in illegal water diversion to irrigate their crops courtesy of Nancy and Paul Pelosi. They have trouble with rodents and small animals eating through the PVC piping. Subsequently, the Sinoloas spread and extreme toxin on the perimeter of their property to kill all-would-be invaders that would destroy their PVC piping. The United States Forest Service has become aware of this practice because of the threat to both the drinking water for millions of Californians as well as the dramatic effect this can have on the food chain.

Besides using rodenticide, the pot growers liberally spray their plants with highly concentrated insecticides such as carbofuran, a chemical that can seep through soil and enter ground water….

“The water lines get gnawed on primarily by rodents, so they scatter rodenticide pellets along
the pipe,” Thompson said. “But the water catchment pond and the actual camp are draws for all kinds of critters, so we find rodenticide pellets as well as open cans of tuna and cat food laced with insecticide. The tuna and cat food targets species like foxes, bears, and ravens.  ”The killing effects can spread up the food chain, in a process called bioaccumulation, as larger predators  feed on the smaller, poisoned animals. In one memorable case of bioaccumulation that Thompson observed,  a fox died from consuming insecticide-laced bait. All the fleas, ticks, and flies on the fox died as well, and a  vulture that fed on the dead fox also died. A recent study (link is external) by California State researchers  on owls further validates that toxic levels of rodenticides and insecticides are entering the terrestrial food web.

Carbofuran’s chemical formula is C12H15NO3.  “Carbofuran has one of the highest acute toxicities to humans of any insecticide widely used on field crops … Since its toxic effects are due to its activity as a cholinesterase inhibitor it is considered a neurotoxic pesticide.”  Cholinesterase serves as a neurotransmitter.

There is also this potential side effect.  In one study of rats, Carbofuran in sublethal amounts decreased testosterone by 88%.  Great.

Other insurgents know how to use water as a weapon of war.  Whether intentionally or accidentally, diversion of water supplies is open warfare.  Too, poisoning what remains of the water supply is serious business.  Call it was it is: warfare on all accounts.  Don’t look for the folks in California to do anything about it.

So just to be sure, if you’re smoking pot, you could be inhaling rat poison and Carbofuran.  The rat poison can make you very sick in nonlethal doses, and the Carbofuran suppresses your testosterone.  If you smoke that stuff (I don’t), enjoy your doobie and have a good cry.  I’m also glad I don’t live in California.

ISIS Uses Water As Weapon Of War On Mosul Fight

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 10 months ago

Fox6:

IRBIL, Iraq — At least half a million people caught in the crossfire inside the Iraqi city of Mosul now have no access to running water, the United Nations told CNN on Wednesday.

One of three major water pipelines was struck as Iraqi troops fought back ISIS militants in parts of eastern Mosul.

The damaged conduit remains inside the group’s territory, making it inaccessible for repairs, according to a UNICEF statement released Wednesday.

An Iraqi-led offensive began in October to liberate Mosul after more than two years under ISIS control. Mosul is the terror group’s last major power base in Iraq.

Officials and witnesses admit a pipeline break has occurred but said ISIS’ more sinister agenda has escalated the problem. The group has intentionally cut off water supplies to neighborhoods near the front line, according to Zuhair Hazem al-Jabouri, a Mosul City Council official responsible for supervising the city’s water and energy services.

“They (ISIS) cut the electricity to the water stations that feed several neighborhoods where Iraqi troops are advancing,” Jabouri said. “They are depriving people of drinking water in eastern Mosul. They want to force people to retreat with them in order to use them as human shields.”

Water has been used as a weapon of war in Syria by both the Syrian forces and ISIS, so they are well practiced at this sort of thing, as were the insurgents during OIF who routinely cut power to residents of entire cities.

The Romans controlled the water supply as a weapon of war two millennia ago, so this isn’t anything new.  The point is that in any scenario such as war, TEOTWAWKI, or even pseudo-dystopia in America, be aware of your needs and prepare ahead of time.  Do you have access to potable water?  If not, do you have access to water along with the necessary filtration and treatment systems?

EPA And ISIS Take Similar Attitudes Towards Natural Resources

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

The Washington Times:

President Obama’s administration on Wednesday claimed dominion over all of America’s streams, creeks, rills, ditches, brooks, rivulets, burns, tributaries, criks, wetlands — perhaps even puddles — in a sweeping move to assert unilateral federal authority.

The Environmental Protection Agency, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, says it has the authority to control all waterways within the United States — and will exercise that authority.

Do you recall how the terrorists think of water?

According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water infrastructure has been targeted by both sides in the conflict, leading to crippling disruptions in water supply over the last several months in cities such as Aleppo, Homs and Hama. The disabling of water treatment plants has led to a reported increase in waterborne diseases such as typhoid.

According to Chatham House researcher and fellow Nouar Shamout, the war has only worsened an already complicated and precarious water situation. ISIS, the Islamist rebel group that has seized control of many parts of Syria and northern Iraq, controls key parts of the water infrastructure in the regionally crucial Euphrates River system, including Al-Raqqa dam, which supplies one-fifth of Syria’s electricity and controls irrigation flows downstream.

The federal government is filled with terrorists who rival ISIS in their nefariousness and who are unrivaled in their power and influence.  They’re just more subtle about it.  What’s that I’ve heard about “enemies foreign and domestic?”

Using Water As A Weapon Of War

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 2 months ago

Next City:

In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population.

According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water infrastructure has been targeted by both sides in the conflict, leading to crippling disruptions in water supply over the last several months in cities such as Aleppo, Homs and Hama. The disabling of water treatment plants has led to a reported increase in waterborne diseases such as typhoid.

According to Chatham House researcher and fellow Nouar Shamout, the war has only worsened an already complicated and precarious water situation. ISIS, the Islamist rebel group that has seized control of many parts of Syria and northern Iraq, controls key parts of the water infrastructure in the regionally crucial Euphrates River system, including Al-Raqqa dam, which supplies one-fifth of Syria’s electricity and controls irrigation flows downstream.

Shamout writes:

The Euphrates River, which provides 65 per cent of the country’s water needs, is also experiencing a dangerous decrease in its flow rates. This is likely to be due to a combination of factors: decades of poor water management, current neglect of water infrastructure on the Euphrates, and the absence of any coordination between Syria and upstream Turkey regarding the river flow. As a result, in late May, the river dried up downstream of Al-Raqqa city, depriving many downstream towns of water. The water level of Al-Assad Lake — Syria’s largest reservoir, which provides irrigation for some 500 square miles of agricultural land and all of Aleppo’s drinking water — has dropped by six meters since ISIS took control in January. If the lake loses one more meter the water system will stop working. This will leave more than four million inhabitants without access to safe water. This could result in a humanitarian catastrophe that would overwhelm agencies on the ground.

The article devolves at that point, with analysis by Peter Gleick about how water is one of the causes of the current conflict.  In fact, the conflict is caused by militant Islam and criminal warlords (and Islam, given its history and inherent problems and self contradiction, welcomes criminal warlords).

But up until that point the article is worth heeding in its warnings.  For those of us who believe that the current system and infrastructure cannot and will not continue due to the ideological and moral rot at its core, there are a number of object lessons.

First of all, without logistics – and this includes ordnance, food, ammunition, water, clothing, hygiene products – an army cannot even survive, much less be effective and succeed.  But this goes for men and their families too.

Consider the recent example of Toledo, Ohio:

Water in Toledo, Ohio, and surrounding areas remained officially undrinkable Sunday evening, more than 24 hours after a do-not-drink order went into place for 500,000 people.

Water at a Toledo treatment plant tested positive for a toxin on Saturday, leading the governor to declare a state of emergency in three counties, state officials told the Los Angeles Times.

[ … ]

Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency for residents of Lucas, Wood and Fulton counties early Saturday after two water samples from a Toledo treatment plant tested positive for microcystin, a toxin possibly caused by an algae bloom in Lake Erie.

[ … ]

Earlier Saturday, state officials warned residents in Toledo and surrounding areas not to drink, or even boil, the water tainted with microcystin, which can cause nausea and impair liver function.

This incident presumably has natural causes, and yet it has literally shut down Toledo’s water supply.  Consider the damage that could be done with intentional and malicious actions by, say, terrorists bent on inflicting death and destruction.

The same could be said of terrorist actions against the nation’s electrical grid, as we’ve discussed before here, here and here.  Without electricity, the nation’s financial system and manufacturing infrastructure comes to a halt.  But the issue of water and other essential logistics is even more pernicious in that the lack of it means certain death, and very quickly.

In addition to death without it, it means certain violence and pandemonium among those who are deprived of it.  Those who are left without the requirements for life will lose patience quickly with efforts to find them, and thievery and killing ensues.

If the lack of water and other requirements for life is pernicious because of the very nature of basic necessities, what man can do with that need is even more pernicious because nature isn’t evil.  Man is.

Suppose that the state decides to approach the basic necessities of life as a means to ensure their own survival and power?  You and your clan are then at the mercy of the authorities unless you have the means to provide those necessities yourself without state support (and it goes without saying, without state interference).

The Islamists have already learned to do that, and in fact used the electrical grid, drainage systems, sewage systems, and water supply as weapons of war during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The Syrian authorities and ISIS are not the first to do this.  The Roman Empire long before had learned to use water as a means of control over the population.

… powerful individuals followed legislation on rural water use with considerable interest. Water was always central for crops and animals, and the access to and right to use rivers, torrents, lakes, ponds,springs and wells was of paramount importance. Thus there should always have been much attention paid to legislation dealing with irrigation and rural water rights and servitudes.

Again, one could substitute electricity, food and other necessities here, but the best example is the most extreme.  Don’t believe for a second that the modern counterinsurgency theorists haven’t thought of basic needs as keys to populations, e.g., see Kilcullen’s own prose on this subject.

This era’s unprecedented urbanization is concentrated in the least developed areas of Asia, Latin America and Africa.  The data shows that coastal cities are about to be swamped by a human tide that will force them to absorb—in less than 40 years—almost the entire increase in population absorbed by the whole planet, in all of recorded human history up to 1960. And virtually all this urbanization will happen in the world’s least developed areas, by definition the poorest equipped to handle it—a recipe for conflict, crises in health, education and governance, and food, energy and water scarcity.

Rapid urbanization creates economic, social and governance challenges while simultaneously straining city infrastructure, making the most vulnerable cities less able to meet these challenges. The implications for future conflict are profound, with more people fighting over scarcer resources in crowded, under-serviced and under-governed urban areas.

There is no specific recipe for success against terrorists, whether foreign or your own government, except to know and read the signs of the times, think about your options, and be prepared.

UPDATE #1: What It’s Like To Die Of Thirst

As this barbarism continues, I asked Jeffrey Berns, president-elect of the National Kidney Foundation and a nephrologist at the University of Pennsylvania, what these children may be going through.

“Thirst, as you probably know, is one of the most potent drives for behavior we have. It may be the most potent we have, more than even hunger,” he said.

“People are going to be miserable.”

The body is about 60 percent water, and under normal conditions, he said, an average person will lose about a quart of water each day by sweating and breathing and another one to three quarts by urinating, he said. In the heat and under more difficult physical conditions, that amount increases, he said.

If it’s not replaced over time and dehydration becomes severe, cells throughout the body will begin to shrink as water moves out of them and into the blood stream, part of the body’s efforts to keep the organs perfused in fluid.

“All the cells will shrink,” Berns said, “but the ones that count are the brain cells. They don’t operate normally when they’re’ shrinking.” Changes in mental status will follow, including confusion and ultimately coma, he said. As the brain becomes smaller, it takes up less room in the skull and blood vessels connecting it to the inside of the cranium can pull away and rupture.

This man, who died of dehydration, during a wilderness survival exercise, suffered delirium and hallucinations before he succumbed, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Victims’ kidneys may shut down first, Berns said, as they continue to lack access to both water and salt. The kidneys cleanse the blood of waste products which, under normal conditions, are excreted in urine. Without water, blood volume will decline and all the organs will start to fail, he said. Kidney failure will soon lead to disastrous consequences and ultimately death as blood volume continues to fall and waste products that should be eliminated from the body remain.

Also see WRSA.


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