The Black Swan’s Right-Hook Knockout Punch: Locust Swarms

Swarms of desert locusts fly up into the air from crops in Katitika village, Kitui county, Kenya Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Desert locusts have swarmed into Kenya by the hundreds of millions from Somalia and Ethiopia, countries that haven't seen such numbers in a quarter-century, destroying farmland and threatening an already vulnerable region. PHOTO: The Sun/Ben Curtis/AP

This post is a sequel to yesterday’s topic: “Coronavirus (nCOv) as a Black Swan Event.”

The downside of kakistocratic rule is that shit happens, and usually it is because of their expediency and abject failure to employ robust responses to the inevitable challenges of this world.

In yesterday’s post, we warned that Africa and India will emerge as major new destinations for nCOv. This will be amplified by another knockout punch, namely locust-induced starvation. Locusts are historically the most destructive migratory pests in the world.

The terminally corrupt have been married to “global warming” narratives when in fact the Grand Solar Minimum (aka Cold Sun), which we discussed last spring, is bringing wetter, cooler weather, including rare cyclones. Locusts thrive in Cold Sun phases. Because of breeding cycles, locust-swarm warnings are unfortunately usually only given four to six weeks in advance and require aggressive interdiction.

Only Iran has gotten in front of this.

Read “Global Warming Industry is Hiding Impending ‘Cold Sun’ Dark Winter Phase”

FAO‘s Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS) in Rome, Italy, monitors the weather, ecological conditions and the locust situation on a daily basis. DLIS receives results of survey and control operations carried out by national teams in affected countries and combines this information with satellite data, such as MODIS, rainfall estimates and seasonal temperature and rainfall predictions to assess the current situation and forecast the timing, scale and location of breeding and migration.

FAO issued warnings to Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya of prime desert locusts conditions on Oct. 18, 2019. Then on Oct. 28, 2019, another warning was issued as the rare Cyclone Kyarr approached the southern Arabian coast.

Then the Horn of Africa caught a bad break when cyclone Pawan hit Somalia on Dec. 6, 2019, setting up prime locust reproductive conditions. FAO warned on Dec, 17, 2019: Due to this favorable ecological conditions, coupled with the presence of parental populations and the impact of cyclone Pawan, more swarms will likely develop in Ethiopia and northern Somalia. If left unattended, they will spread to northeastern Kenya, adjacent areas in Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti. Breeding will continue on both sides of the Red Sea.

However, efforts to eradicate potential swarms fell flat and were ineffective. Now, a massive desert locust and green grasshopper outbreak is threatening devastation in East Africa, Pakistan/India and the southern Arabian peninsula. A locust plague is threatening the livelihoods of 13 million people in Madagascar, nine million of whom earn a living from agriculture.

Even a small swarm of locusts of a square kilometer in size can consume the equivalent of food for 35,000 people in just one day. Each adult can consume the equivalent of its own weight in food every 24 hours. Nearly all crops and noncrop plants are eaten. Naturally, hungry and starving populations — combined with the kakistocracy — are vectors for a variety of contagious diseases. And a steady stream of coronavirus infected people is being flown in.

On Feb. 3, FAO reported that some swarms have already laid eggs, and hatching is almost certainly underway. Swarms have also entered the Rift Valley in Ethiopia. Aerial and ground operations are in progress but remain insufficient. Breeding during February will cause a further increase with numerous hopper bands in all three countries. Some swarms may still reach Uganda and South Sudan in the coming days.

Locust infestations continue to grow along both sides of the Red Sea where numerous hopper groups, bands and adult groups are forming. A swarm formed on the coast near the  Sudan/Egypt border, swarms have laid near the Sudan/Eritrea border, and formed on the coast of Yemen, some of which have moved into the central highlands and to adjacent areas in southwest Saudi Arabia. At least one swarm appeared on the southern coast of Eritrea. Several swarms, presumably from the Indo-Pakistan border area, recently arrived on the eastern coast of Oman and moved south to Yemen. Residual adult groups and swarms are still present along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border while some swarms have moved into adjacent areas to the north.

The locusts are currently ravaging the breadbasket of Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous country. Last week, startled residents of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, started reporting sightings of the insects.

Unusually heavy rainfall continues, according to the AP. The locusts can’t survive as well in drier conditions, which are not expected to start until June. Meanwhile, “breeding will cause a further increase in locusts in number with hatching and band formations during February and March.”

Experts warn that if left unchecked, the number of locusts could grow by 500 times by June, when drier weather will help bring the outbreak under control.

Just five planes are currently spraying as Kenyan and other authorities try to stop the locusts from spreading to neighboring Uganda and South Sudan. The United Nations has said $76 million is needed immediately to widen such efforts across East Africa. But only $15 million has been raised so far.

“One especially large swarm in northeastern Kenya measured 60 kilometers long by 40 kilometers wide,” or 37 miles long by 25 miles wide, according to the AP. The country’s harvest season in April.

There are 40 million per square kilometer in East Africa, and an estimated total of 360 billion locusts and growing, creating a plague of “Biblical proportions.”

Locust swarms fly with the wind at roughly the speed of the wind. They can cover from 100 to 200 kilometers in a day. Locusts avoid rain forests and altitudes above 2000 meters..

A single swarm can cover up to 1,200 square kilometers and can contain between 40 and 80 million locusts per square kilometer, or 50 to 100 billion locusts per swarm. The locust can live between three and six months, and there is a 10- to 16-fold increase in locust numbers from one generation to the next.

3 Comments on The Black Swan’s Right-Hook Knockout Punch: Locust Swarms

  1. Prefect weather conditions… how much of that us through engineering? I moved a few months ago from TX to the North East and I cannot believe the amount they spray here. I hardly ever see a clear “blue” sky without it turning to hazy and “clouds” within an hour.
    Seems to me tptb are just pushing for a global reset.

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