Weather How It May Impact The Economy And You
There is a storm headed your way. The east coast is about to be blasted with snow, the mid west will be blasted with rain and high winds. California and the southern United States will have thunder storms.
Unfortunately thunder storms do not necessarily mean there will be rain. California and the southern part of the western United States desperately need rain.
Weather has side effects. Lets look at some of the side effects the winter of 2014
The Long Winter
This winter reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder's book The Long Winter. The weather was freezing for what seems like forever. .
Will this winter will ever end? The United States has been blanketed with snow, ice and flooding for months. The days and days of snow have kept people from working, children from going to school and millions of people have been stuck in airports because of weather delays.
For some people no work means no pay. (Now that is a side effect)
While most of the United States is extremely cold and wet,
California has little or no precipitation for months and months. People in our area have been told to reduce water consumption twenty percent. Some communities rely completely on ground water. When the ground water is depleted the earth collapses. The people of California have also been asked to cut back on electricity and gas consumption. You ask,"What does gas and electricity have to do with drought"? Keep reading to find the answer to this question and others on how the weather during the winter of 2013-2014 has and will cause a change in social and economic development in the United States. The idea for this hub came from a question of a similar name by J S Matthews.
Winter Of 2014
Weather Transportation And Shipping
The weather has affected travel. Nearly 80,000 flights have been canceled this winter because of weather. The airlines have lost revenue, Travelers have lost hours of work and productivity because they couldn't get to their destinations for meetings or to and from vacations. Often it takes days to recover from numerous cancelled flights.
Companies and people who can afford to hire private aircraft to get them to their destination can do so for a price.
These private aircraft companies keep track of where the weather is likely to be bad. They station their aircraft as close to weather snarls as they can without being involved. When the weather eases they are poised to fly in, pick up passengers and fly them out. You may be saying those rich ---, but keep in mind when they surrender seats on commercial flights there are fewer people in the queue. Groups can hire jets from these companies. Some of these companies require you be a member with a hefty membership fee. Many of them respond on very little notice.
Sometimes weather is the impetus for change. Companies looking to reduce travel costs may move into the world of video conferencing. Increases in video conferencing would eliminate lost revenue caused by travel delays.
The trucking industry has been crippled just like the airline industry. We know airline pilots have restrictions on the number of hours they can fly. Truckers have restrictions as well. According to my friend Larry, a trucker for many years:
"Drivers can drive 11 hours if they cross state lines. There is some leeway if the trucker doesn't cross state lines; they can drive an extra hour or two to get home. A long haul trucker who finds him or herself in the middle of nowhere when their driving time is up has to pull over and park for 10 hours. Monitoring systems prevent drivers from fudging their time sheets.Some shipments are time sensitive. If a time sensitive shipment doesn't arrive on time the trucking company doesn't get paid, but still has spent money for gas. The purchasing company suffers loss because they can't meet their demands When trucks don't roll neither drivers nor their companies make money.
Weather related accidents raise the cost of doing business as well regardless if it is a truck, car or bus
Many trucks have been stranded in snow and ice throughout the United States. When companies lose money they either go out of business or raise their rates. The trucking industry has been hurt this winter by weather.
Many on-line purchases ordered for Christmas and Valentine's Day missed their holiday delivery date because of weather this winter. Companies who guaranteed delivery if ordered by December 23 couldn't make good on their promises. Did everything you receive everything you ordered on time?
Weather And The Tourist Industry
Many companies require vacation dates be requested up to a year in advance. Vacation days are usually fixed. Long flight delays can force vacationers to cancel vacations and lose deposits on cruises and in hotels. When travelers cancel hotel and condominiums everything around them suffers. Restaurants do not have customers, attractions don't have visitors and the money businesses make on the high season drys up and causint difficulty during the off season.
In California and Nevada ski resorts draw big crowds to the mountains. The last three years the mountains have been barren. Ski resorts haven't been open their full schedule nor have they employed the usual number of staff. This reaches farther than just the local area. It isn't uncommon to find California ski resorts staffed with Europeans.
Ebbits Pass high in the mountains usually closes in October and opens the end of May. The last two years it has been open year round.
Lake Tahoes ski resorts charge nearly a hundred dollars a day for lift tickets. Few if any of the most seasoned skiers will pay to ski when there is more rock than snow. Freeways in California on Fridays during ski season frequently snarl. Drought years people go other places than the mountains on the weekends and the traffic is better.
Vacations Weather And Food
Vacation locations have lost customers because vacationers couldn't reach the vacation location. Several acquaintances of ours rent their vacation homes near ski resorts. This winter early bookins were cancled at an all time high. There was little or no snow. The camps that cater to winter activities broke out archery ranges and summer activities to entertain campers who would have normally been skiing.
After three winters of poor skiing, and seeking to sell the resort, owners of Bear Valley Ski Resort announced they were investigating co-oping in a last ditch effort to keep the resort open. This family friendly ski resort is the closest ski resort to the San Francisco Bay Area. It is located east of Stockton, California on Highway 4. The draw for many people in the bay area is Bear Valley. The property in this area is less expensive than the Lake Tahoe area, but Bear Valley is the only resort in this area. At one time there was a small one lift resort with a rope tow to the top of a tubing hill, but raising costs in electricity and no buyers forced Cottage Springs out of business. Will history repeat itself with Bear Valley? The homeowners along the fifty mile stretch of highway 4 may buy into this co-op to avoid a collapse in property values.
Your food bill is going up, up,up because there is no water to grow food in California. Most of the ranchers in our area have sold whole herds including breeding stock because there was no grass land.
Organic dairy farmers in Marine County, California were asking to be able to use organic feed instead of losing their organic certifications. Rules say organic dairies must pasture their cows in organic fields for at least 4 months a year. In February
Now look at farmers in the midwest. They are going to be late planting. Most of the nation is frozen. or alternating between freezing and flooding Can't grow food when it's that cold.
Chickens don't lay eggs when it's cold either. Cows don't produce as much milk in the winter. Paid nearly $5 a dozen last week.
Californians are being asked to reduce not only water intake by 20% they are being asked to reduce energy consumption. Scarcity of water means the cost is going up. 17% of our electricity comes from hydro electric plants.Work hours are cut because plants can't operate without water.
It is safe to assume weather effects social and economic factors can be effected by the weather.
Thankfully we have had some rain.
Weather And Heating Bills
The reason Californians have been asked to reduce electric and natural gas consumption is this,government agencies, AARP and the Natural Gas Supply Association predicted the winter of 2013-14 would be similar or warmer to 2012-13. This resulted in a shortage of natural gas in the central and eastern parts of the nation. California is in the midst of a sever drought which effects their hydro-electric production. Seventeen of the electricity California uses comes from electricity produced by water running through dams. This is a green energy source with a draw back; when the amount of precipitation decreases the amount of electricity produced also decreases or ceases altogether. The government predicted heating bills will increase this winter regardless of the weather. In part this would be caused by the number of coal mines that have been closed because of EPA regulations and competition from natural gas and wind power.
It is conceivable people will still be paying their winter heating bills into next winter.
The winter of 2013-14 is going to go into history as the worst winter in the last hundred years. The amount of damage to motor vehicles and buildings caused by storms mounted into the millions. The amount of lost revenue to air lines and the trucking industry caused by storm related delays will require companies to look for ways to recover loses.
Weather is effecting our economy. Dark gloomy weather causes depression. Good weather may not make us happy, but it surely helps. Our economy and society revolve around the weather. Action-reaction to weather has made people believe global cooling in the 1970s and 1980s. Global warming in the 1990s and 2000s. No matter what your beliefs weather and how it effects people, livestock and society is complicated. Someday we may know for certain if people have had any effect on weather, but for right now I am praying for rain and looking for ways to keep a garden alive if I can't water it.
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