By Clint Richardson
I’ve driven the almost 400 mile stretch of Interstate 5 from L.A. to Sacramento dozens of times. Quite honestly, it’s as boring as it gets with only the usual gas stations, mini-marts, fast-food, home-cookin’ restaurants, and strangely a newer batch of Starbuck’s Coffee shops sprouting up everywhere. In between… farms, orchards, cattle, and dirt.
On July 15th, as I began my trip to Utah, I came off the Grapevine decline and hit the flat 250 or so mile stretch of interstate which begins the farming belt in the valley. Almost immediately I noticed what I had only heard about on the radio and in the papers. Where once there were vast fields of green, now there where empty, barely recognizable rows of unplanted dirt and growing weeds. Only sporadically at first, but once I passed Bakersfield and for about a 200 mile stretch, I could not believe my eyes. Field after field laid fallow. And not really fallow, but unattended… as if it was not going to be planted in the near future either.
Signs were staked in the ground on almost every patch of barren farmland.. The most common one, which was yellow and obviously a group effort to wake up the sleeping travelers of their future plight, read:
“CONGRESS CREATED DUST BOWL”
Others, which looked more homemade were posted on non-operational farm equipment parked as close to the freeway as possible, stated things like:
“FOOD ONLY GROWS WHERE WATER FLOWS”
“NO WATER = NO JOBS = NO FUTURE”
At one point, after 150 miles or so of seeing this horror, I broke down in tears and had to pull over to the side of the road. I saw the aqueduct, which followed Interstate 5 most of the way, and large fields of dead trees which were planted just a few feet from the flowing cement river. I imagined how those trees would feel, imprisoned in the dying dirt by their own roots, if they could indeed comprehend that their source of life was just a stones throw away.
It was like some horrific story-book come to life; science fiction in real time. I was thinking of the farmers and their families and wondering what would become of them and their land. I was thinking about the consequences of hundreds of miles of food no longer being grown, and adding together the other states like Campo, Colorado which have the same situation… only planting 60% of their crops this year.
This deadness went on until the brink of civilization once again began to show. When I approached the Stockton/Modesto highway interchange area the carnage seemed to stop, and the fields appeared to be healthy and bountiful. I can only guess that this is because more people drive on that stretch of the freeway, and so the powers that be are trying to keep up appearances. No other explanation came to mind.
To the readers of this, I can only say that living in the city has literally blinded me to the truth, even though I knew it was happening. I wonder how many other things I ignore. Many economists and trends predictors have called for food shortages and food riots in the fall, and with what I saw last week, I have new reason to believe them.
But then, that’s the real problem isn’t it? Belief…
If you believe that the food will continue to flow (magically appearing on store shelves in a grocery store near you) and just dismiss the very real claims of shortages worldwide, including a severe wheat shortage in this country due to a harmful fungus, then I might boldly say that you deserve whatever fate befalls you.
I challenge you all to take a drive up the 5 and see this for yourself. Please! Don’t let this go unseen. If you are camera or video savvy, I think it would be a really great photo exhibit or website showing the true nature of our common problem. And you better believe, as you take your daily shower, flush your toilet, and water your fertilized-non- edible grassy yards, that this is indeed a Congress created crisis. So please tell as many people about it as possible.
Lastly, if you haven’t already… buy storable food! Go to the dollar store and buy rice and beans. Buy pasta, canned and jar foods, or anything with a shelf-life of more than 6 months.
What’s the worse that can happen? You’ll have food for 6 months.
What’s the best that can happen? You’ll have food for 6 months.
Take care. Spread this information. Get mad. Fight tyranny. And… Don’t be a sheep.