Almost two-thirds of the European territory is on drought alert or has issued warnings due to heat waves and low rainfall, as a result of which navigation on rivers and lakes has been restricted, the electricity production and the yields of certain crops, an agency of the European Union announced yesterday.
The above portend an unprecedented economic disaster. A disaster, of course, which is the result of multiple plagues, reminiscent of the Ten Plagues of the Pharaoh.
First of all, Covid-19. An epidemic that before it came seemed like a science fiction scenario, not only as a disease but also all its accessory companions, such as mandatory vaccinations with experimental preparations, bans on movement and gatherings and many others as you all know.
Second, the war in Ukraine. A war that came at a pivotal moment, since the reopening of industries that had been under-functioning for two years due to Covid-19 was just about to begin in the world. No one imagined the damage caused to the world by this war, a result of which will be hunger due to the lack of basic necessities (inflation), the shortage of natural gas but also the jump in fuel prices.
Third is the hunger, which is also the result of various factors such as the lack of grain due to the war and also the drought which “freezes” everything that can be cultivated, but also “freezes” the transport of all products.
Fourth is poverty, which has “struck” red, since apart from the decline of all previous years, Western economies are now sinking due to inflation and shortages because in the end what counts is what someone has and not whether they have “paper” to buy it. Demonstrations are taking place across the European Union over rising costs of basic food and energy. It should be noted that four European governments have already “fallen” due to their policies on the pandemic and the Ukrainian issue.
Fifth, the drought, among the number one problems is the dryness of the rivers, which are the main supply channels in the EU.
Sixth, the cold that is coming, due to the lack of natural gas in Europe. It is characteristic of what the German Minister of Finance, Robert Hambeck recently said, that Germany is heading towards a shortage of natural gas, which implies that some industries would have to stop production and lay off workers, some areas would lose entire industrial complexes, supply chains could collapse, people would be charged to pay extremely high heating bills, they would become poorer.
Seventh are the fires, which this year have burned unprecedented areas in the European territory, since all summer Western Europe is in a fiery zone, as many fire outbreaks have broken out in the last few days in France, Spain, Croatia and Portugal, in the middle of a heat wave.
Eighth is an unprecedented project of the European Commission, which approved as food for European citizens the consumption of crickets, worms and locusts in order to withstand the decrease in agricultural production caused by the war in Ukraine.
Ninth, the lack of grains and cereals throughout Europe, because Russia has banned from exporting fertilizers to “unfriendly states”, which has resulted in a decrease in the production of vegetables, cereals, etc., but also a ban on the export of cereals which resulted in the reduction of animal feed.
Tenth, is the dense darkness. Already, electricity prices have become unaffordable with citizens unable to pay them.
Regarding the drought report of the European Drought Observatory (EDO), which is overseen by the European Commission, it is stated that 47% of Europe is in drought warning conditions, with very low soil moisture, and 17% in a state of alert, in which vegetation is destroyed.
“Severe drought has been affecting many regions of Europe since the beginning of the year and has been expanding and worsening since early August,” the report said.
Summer crops have been hit, with 2022 maize yields expected to be 16% below the five-year average, while soybean and sunflower yields are expected to decline by 15% and 12% respectively.
Hydropower generation has also been affected, with further impact on power producers due to a lack of water to feed cooling systems.
Low water levels impede navigation on rivers and lakes, such as along the Rhine, and reduced ship loads affect the transport of coal and oil.
The EDO reports that in mid-August rains eased somehow the situation, but in some cases came in the form of storms which caused further damage.