Monday, 26 November 2007

Climate Change: Loss of Income


We have had unseasonable rain the last week. Serious rain, up to 200mm, (8 inches) in some places. This during November, a non-rainy month at the beginning of summer. Globally, this is the trend. The UK, Middle East, Americas and Europe have all had their share of unseasonable weather conditions. From fires to floods, with a massive impact on the economy, both Regional and National.
If ones income is not directly coupled to the negative results of bad weather, the impact is not experienced as intensely as those who are directly influenced. The region I live in is Agricultural, wine, deciduous fruits and Citrus are a major contributors to the regions income. Many, many workers are seasonal workers that are paid per hour. The rain experienced during the last two weeks has decimated deciduous crops, both for local and export markets.
Today we should be working; the factory is silent, as it has been for most of the last week. 180 people at home, not earning money. Under normal circumstances, these people would be working long shifts and earning good money. No sign of anything significant happening for the next three weeks.
We have been told that the harvest, as estimated until 15 December, is no more. It will rot on the trees.
Economics has the term “The Multiplier Effect”. I am not in the mood to look for an academic definition, but the basic theory is like this:-
When a person earns a Dollar, Rand, Peso, whatever, you spend that money at the local shop for bread, food etc. The shopkeeper buys vegetables from a local farmer to sell in his shop, using that same money. The vegetable farmer goes off to the pub and uses part of that money to buy a beer. In this way money is “turned over” in a community. Macro Economists will be able to tell you what the turnover is, based on the characteristics of the area. In a predominately “cash” economy, like ours, the turnover is the highest. The average ratio, whatever that is worth, is about 3:1. A unit of money is spent three times before it disappears into the system, and lands up, for example, in a bank or the States account somewhere else. I am convinced that the ratio is higher here.
What am I trying to say?
In summary, the farmer has lost his crop, and each Rand he has lost, is also lost by four other people in the region. There is also a level of critical mass. This is when the loss is so high that people cannot make a living, we have unemployment and debt. I am not even going there.
People who still insist that Climate Change is a figment of the imagination, limited to Doomsday Prophets, are either blind or earn their money from a “safe” source.
Beware, the disappearance of Multiplier Effect will also catch up to you one day.
And it is still raining, hard.

3 comments:

me said...

You`re right on Graham

anyjazz said...

We're pretty backward here in Oklahoma...but even here we think inhofe and idiot are interchangeable words.

berto said...

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