Europe and the UK
You can't make it up, after years of blaming CO2 on our planet's current climate chaos the UK is facing a shortage so big it could bring the meat industry to it's knees in the next 10 days. A 70% rise in wholesale gas prices has prompted US-owned CF industries to stop production causing a 60% shortage of the UK's CO2 production.
The gas is used to stun animals for slaughter, package meat and also in refrigeration systems. It is also used in fizzy drinks, beer, cheese, fruit and vegetables and crumpets, among other items.
Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4: ‘We’ve been saying for several months now that the just in time system is under the most strain it’s ever been in the 40 years it’s been there.
'We've heard poultry production would begin to erode very seriously by the end of this week, we know the same is true of pig production, and bakery products and meat packaging are probably a week behind.
‘So we’ve got around 10 days before shoppers and diners start to realise those products aren’t available.'
To make matters worse, the UK's energy companies are in panic with some facing closure as desperate companies today urged the Government to scrap the price cap and allow them to add hundreds of pounds to the average bill as the UK wholesale price of gas soared to a record high and suppliers went to the wall at the rate of one a week.
Seven firms have collapsed in 2021 in total and many have only been in existence for five years. Experts have predicted that up to 39 more could go in the next year. It's the same story in Europe too with Holland expecting customers to have to pay an extra 500 Euros to heat their homes this winter. A shortage of wind has also ground wind turbines to a halt.
A lack of wind!
The possibility of power outages throughout Ireland has increased due to power generating units being offline, along with a drop in winds powering electricity-generating windmills. The news follows Ireland's Single Electricity Market Operator issuing another amber warning "due to a generation shortfall". The warning meant that there was enough power to meet current consumer demands, but not enough in reserves in case of unexpected problems.
Additionally, a number of other power generators were unavailable or had reduced capacity, while normal support from Britain through the East-West Interconnector was lessened due to their own diminished supplies. Meanwhile, Ireland was forced to halt transmission via the Moyle Interconnector, which usually exports electricity from Northern Ireland to Scotland.
Electricity prices across Europe are near record-high prices. In the wholesale market, an auction for UK intraday power prices reached $2,766 per megawatt-hour from noon to 12.30 pm, nine times higher than prices at 8 am. In Spain, electricity prices rose 7.5 percent to a record $180 per megawatt-hour, and in France, the benchmark power price for delivery next year rose 2.2 percent to a record $117 per megawatt-hour. Ireland's latest amber warnings follow concerns that Ireland might not be able to generate enough electricity to avoid power cuts when consumer demand increases ahead of the winter.
As Europe floats becalmed during a very mild and balmy September the wind farms have stood idle for more than a week sending a massive charge in electricity prices and with the Russians tightening control on their gas exports is causing a combination of gas and electric hikes across the continent which could cripple many poor people if the price hike continues, especially in the winter months.
With Christmas just around the corner Britain could be looking at a 1970's three day week, preserving electric and gas supplies as well as facing food supplies and and more soul-destroying lockdowns from a resurgent covid pandemic.
In America it's not much better. According to the Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 is officially the most deadly outbreak in recent American history, surpassing the estimated U.S. fatalities from the 1918 influenza pandemic