March 25, 2015 at 4:24 am #39292
Oh so many responses. I’ll take one at a time.
MB – I agree, specialization would grow out of survival mode as that is our natural inclination. However, having the ability to fall back on a generalized way of life is good. That’s why I said many people have a natural gift which enables them to specialize. I was specifically thinking of my daughter who just yesterday told me planting was stupid and she would never need to grow food. She is just 13 and a fantastic artist. She puts me to shame and I have won awards over my art and made my own coloring book. She is just amazing. In her world she believes she can live off of her art, even though I reminded her that starving artist is a phrase for a reason. She believes this because people actually pay her to make them pictures. While I know in good economic times, or even mediocre ones, she could survive off of her art…she has already done pretty well remember…I am stoic and understand that “art” is not a necessity of life and therefore has a very elastic demand. My daughter lives and breathes art, so she can’t see past her own love affair with it to see the dangers of being highly specialized. Her natural gifts and passions for art proves to me, the human race as a whole will always seek to specialize, because it is in our nature to want to be different from one another and to create. I think after a year or three, society would again begin trade routes, specializations, and civilized society once again would emerge in some form or fashion. I just hope that future generations retain the nuts and bolts enough to survive should they “need” to generalize once more.
Magus, “Modern Ag is driven by nitrogen.”
Oh yes indeed it does! It needs that and so much more like oil. Without oil modern ag dies. Without nitrogen, modern ag dies. We are facing that situation though. What is a solution? Well we could try to make more oil come out of the ground and that is what we have been doing as far as I know. Aside from possible climate concerns, we’ve been very lucky and the oil has continued to flow. I personally don’t believe this is the best path forward, but eh. Nitrogen though can be found in very many places. Legumes fix it into the soil, so growing hairy vetch gives the soil more nitrogen and plenty of organic matter. Manure fixes it into the soil and adds quite a bit of organic matter. Blood meal, or even just animal blood drained when killing to eat, has a lot of vital nutrients most especially nitrogen. Nitrogen is not the limiting factor. I believe that oil is.
However, this only solves the fertilizer issue. It does not solve the problem that nitrogen is used for a TON of other stuff. I don’t know what to say about that except, we will eat well eventually. Non-GMO seeds are going to be huge I agree. If you ever wanted to get ahead of the curve, now would be the time to save seeds and possibly become a seed dealer for your local area. Build a name now so later they know where to turn for their garden seeds.
~ We” could have quite a nice little trade business going but most people, many preppers included still don’t have a clue.
“So much depends on where we are.
Things I could do in another area, but can’t do here.
Like gardening. Here its more work than its worth.
But we have more meat on the hoof than one can shake a stick at.
But just like firewood, it won’t last long with everyone blasting away at anything with hair.”
I agree to a point. What happens after they run out of stuff to blast away? How far can they go on foot to leave and find somewhere else to find stuff? What happens when where they go to is even less able to provide resources? I really don’t know to be honest. If they can’t leave, those over populated areas would die out and population would decline. That’s the sad part. People just die. If they can…well their neighbors are going to have a sorry lot to deal with unless they have no resources either. Then it’s just a larger population with nothing. So I agree, but sort of.
The sort of part is this, those places not over populated and with plenty of natural resources, will they too be stripped bare? Will some equilibrium occur? Will outsiders come in and take the natural resources? What happens if they are very far from any population? I mean, I read about Austria during their hyperinflation. I suppose you could equate that situation with what I am talking about. Will it be like Austria or will some balance occur or will herds of humans go from place to place (even rural places) to take whatever they can to survive?
> Hence my comment about getting the oil flowing as a primary focus.
Oil for gas/diesel, heating fuel, lubricants, that way we can get crops growing, harvested, transported, just like every other product out there. Get it from where there’s an excess to where the shortages are.
I disagree this is the ultimately correct path. Relocalization is. Reruralfication is the answer. I believe that we can create more jobs, more security and use less oil if we would bring back localized production of basic needs, even if it is specialized in the end. If you read John Michael Greer he has a lot of lovely words to say on this. He is an ecologist. This doesn’t mean we go back to the 1700’s. Even at my grandma Mary’s the standard of living was higher than that. It means we take the appropriate tech, usually a lower tech approach, and apply it where it works best. You can’t really go back anyway. We know too much now, but if we change to reusable goods, durable goods, and limit the amount of goods needed to operate our society, we will automatically reduce oil use. Add localized manufacturing and localized production and oil is reduced further. Then we can save what oil we have for when disaster strikes and local area A can not provide for themselves, area B and C can share. We already do this on a global scale, but it needs to be down to the city state or county scale. It needs to be deconsolidated. Where as Walmart sells almost everything now days, we need our “Local Town department store” TM what ever town you are in, in every town, supplied by our local town manufacturing and producing sectors from that town.
It used to be that way not long ago.
However, if we don’t do that….which I really doubt we will, you will have a reversion to the mean. Which ultimately means a peasant economy, which leaves only homesteaders and tenant farmers left. Or a war lord economy, which is more like a feudal society…which means we went back a thousand years or more.
Oil is a finite resource. so getting more doesn’t just happen. We might be able to find more, or find better ways of getting more out of the earth, but eventually it all goes away. It is a zero sum game in the end. Why not face that reality now and make a better future by downgrading our lifestyle a little bit, relocalizing, making things more durable and making things reusable or fixable. That way when oil is very low, we can save it and allocate it in the best way, for the best interest of our nation? If we pump until it’s all gone, modern medicine is gone for a long time. If we relocalize and preserve it, we may yet keep medicine and electricity. That’s just how I see it.
When was the last time you went without electricity, running water, food, and had babies screaming for food...now you know why I prep. These are the things a mother's nightmares are made of.March 25, 2015 at 6:48 am #39294
First I agree that it would be good to quote the song and “Small up and simple down”, but the majority aren’t going to do it. Ever.
Small shareholdings and self sustaining farms would be a wonderful thing, but for most its beyond our reach, monetarily to begin with.
One still has bills and expenses that must be paid, to include the tax men.
My focus on oil post-SHTF is simple, short term it may be, but people have to eat, goods need to get places. And unless we are willing to sacrifice lives on a grand scale, to include those that just need medications, we have to find an answer.
And for now that is getting the trucks rolling.March 25, 2015 at 11:22 pm #39340
The future is hard to see clearly from now. Sure, we can all foresee likely consequences of our actions, or the actions of others, that we actually know about, to the extent that we actually do know. We do our best to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world, but there’s much that we cannot easily get at. We get a few of the general outlines, but the details often arrive as surprises. Through the lens of history, we foresee some of the possible consequences, and we imagine how our situations may play out. But we should remember that history doesn’t exactly repeat: it “rhymes.”
The impending collapse of this nation will not only be an economic tsunami, wherein we’ll struggle to keep food on the table, but many of us and our less prepared fellow citizens will probably be at pains to keep the table itself, hunkering behind it, hoping that it can stop, or significantly slow, the projectiles fired by yet others of our desperate fellow citizens. That their desperation is self-made, and that we, having worked for what they seek to take from us, have a superior claim, will have little effect on the outcome. We’ll be pressed to apply old rules to new situations.
But further, should such internal collapse occur before the similar collapses of more regimented, more populous, and better equipped nations (such as depicted in namelus’s video), one or more of them could come calling (militarily) for settlement of debts those less prudent fellow citizens allowed to be racked up in our collective name.
It’s only prudent to become personally able to use low-tech ways to supply our needs, but to get through the next decade nationally intact, is likely going to take all of the food, fiber, metal, and energy supplies, not to mention, individual energy, that America can still produce, given our reduced and globally-dependent state. (Hard for me to believe that a nation which no longer produces its own steel, or cloth, would be truly able, in the short run, to defend itself against similarly-armed nations which can and do … from whom it buys those materials!) Transitionally improving mechanized agriculture to cut down strip-mining and impoverishing the soil, consuming more water than nature supplies, would be good. But discarding modern production techniques wholesale would only weaken the nation.
Cry, "Treason!"March 26, 2015 at 12:10 am #39341
I agree with most of what you stated , except for 1 thing .
There are 3 countries in this world you dont invade ………unless you want to die .
The United States , Russia , and China .March 26, 2015 at 12:23 am #39344
One comment for Malgus on the fertilizer issue. Due to the terrain and climate, corporate farms are almost non-existent in New England. They just don’t make economic sense. Farms are still small family owned operations. The standard for centuries has been part cow pasture, part hayfield, part corn field, and part woods. The corn field is fertilized used manure from the cows. The cows eat the corn and the hay. The woods supply fuel for winter heat and for sugaring, and of course the maple trees for the sugaring. There is no need for irrigation. The weak link is that the farms use tractors and thus need fuel. Draft horses and oxen are long gone for the most part.March 26, 2015 at 12:29 am #39346
You seem to think that preventing massive loss of life – what I consider to be us living beyond our carrying capacity – to be a bad thing.
In truth, I seriously doubt anything we do will mitigate the loss of life that is sure to result. Thinking we can is just typical human hubris and arrogance.
Return to a feudal society?
Well, I remember reading a book – don’t remember which one – where there was some type of “crash” and – instead of chaos, anarchy and violence that results when there is a crash – some countries (Germany most notably) voluntarily returned – regressed – to a feudal society instead of allowing all the violence and chaos, and then the establishment of a feudal system afterwards. Their regression was measured and orderly and at least some of the Old World was maintained…
If it goes down here in the US – and I think it will – I don’t see any reason why a neo-feudal system wouldn’t arise. Landowners will be the aristocracy, same as it ever was. People will trade their skills and labor in an effort to keep themselves and their families alive.
Regressing to a feudal system isn’t necessarily a bad thing… at least we wouldn’t regress to complete anarchy and chaos and will have a system that will maintain – even advance – technology and have some standard of living.
“Oh, but the poor exploited workers, blah, blah….”
Yep. Workers have been exploited since Day 1 of human civilization. You not liking it will have no effect on it. In fact, go out of your way to rabble-rouse – that whole “workers of the world unite!” El Che thing, and in a post-collapse society you’ll earn yourself a bullet to the base of the skull more often than not… doesn’t make it right, just saying that it’s probably what’s gonna happen. At least with a neo-feudal soceity, people will be getting fed, things will be produced and some standards will be maintained… better to save some with a low to middling standard of living, than hardly any at all with a nonexistent standard of living..
But, give us time… sooner or later, we’ll be back…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 26, 2015 at 1:14 am #39349
100 years ago most people that had any semblance of middle class status had live-in servants. Servants got room & board and a pittance for pay and were better off than many many others in a day and age without entitlements or safety nets. Also, 100 years ago, anyone with a room to spare took in boarders to earn a little extra cash. Our modern concepts of privacy and space hadn’t taken hold yet. Such systems could work again.March 26, 2015 at 1:32 am #39351
… 3 countries in this world you dont invade ………unless you want to die .
The United States , Russia , and China .
Leaving aside the remarkable current instance of the USSA, wherein the (mostly unarmed, and un-uniformed) invaders are often rewarded with free housing, medical, educational, and legal services, not to mention, the menial jobs for which they ostensibly invaded, justifying the “Earned” Income Tax Credits and Social Security benefits their unsubstantiatably long work histories will provide them at our expense, most other invasions have resulted in many invader deaths, even when the invasion was ultimately “successful.”
Those who plan and order invasions are usually the rich and, rarely affected beyond the accumulation of more “national debt,” unless their forces lose decisively enough to bring on a successful counter-invasion of their home ground. So they usually have little reason to hold back when the odds appear to be in their favor. Given the reported state of US worldwide military deployment and morale, and the questionable willingness of our current regime to actually defend a nation they’ve already hinted they find less than worthy of defense, I’d also question the chances of our swift victory, or territorial integrity, against the array of likelier attackers.
But then, I’m a pessimist by nature, and the knowledge that many of the possible invaders may also be some variant of Pagan, does little to cheer me.
Cry, "Treason!"March 26, 2015 at 5:34 am #39353
Let me put it to you this way , IF the US was invaded , the people of this country , liberal or conservative , black , white , etc. etc. ………….our land being invaded would be a bonding agent . There are enough guns in private ownership as it stands now , not to mention what is on the market . In an event of an invasion by foreign nationals , that would be enough to unite all factions of this country to drive away any invader . And that is just the civil population , the military is another thing . They cant do it . That would be the one uniting thing that this country would fight against . ………..Suicide for an invader .March 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm #39354
We have been invaded, by 30 million Mexicans.March 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm #39355
You and many others seem to think a massive die off is a good thing.
I find that both disturbing and un-Christian.
Something our muslim buddies worldwide would likely appreciate though.
Since there’s no way to predict who would survive, its probably best that as many survive as possible.
The people who know how to turn the power back on, those that can fix what’s broke, farmers and technicians, doctors and garbage men.
I’m reminded of the “Survivor’s Club” in Heinlein’s Beyond This Horizon.
It wouldn’t create a utopia, but a whole bunch of hard work.
There’s a reason we developed technology, because hard work ain’t fun.
Tractors beat horse drawn plows, my great grandfather knew that well.
Semis beat horse drawn wagons, reduces spoilage for one thing.
Fuel oil beats coal, which beats fire wood, not just in efficiency but labor wise.
Punching the start button on a CNC machine and having AR receivers fall out beats hand filing and bending shovel blades into AK flats.
And yes, generalization is good, but so is specialization.
I have no problem going to GP for a run of antibiotics, but if I have a brain tumor, I want a specialist, and specialist tools.March 26, 2015 at 2:21 pm #39356
and robots beat humans for a slave race whirl… useless eaters…humans need not apply….. all of our problems come from one source many people competeing for same resources…. quickest fix get rid of extra … how many managers do you need? office workers? only useful when managing other humans what if you dont need to “manage them”?
All the things you have mentioned are mechanical improvement we are at the cusp of a new robotic sentience if not already there, what are most of us humans worth? not much top 85 families are worth more than bottom 50% of population,,, what value are those to the top who will make and own the robots nothing but liabilities.
look back it always goes financial collapse then war. it is always the same. Who dies alone in the front the poor and the powerless, never the rich and powerful. The best weapon of all dictators is food/water nothing kills vast amounts of people than starvation. Banks have bought up a lot of water rights and food production…. comply or starve…what do you/ most choose?
and whirl with a brain tumor….. would you really want to go through chemo? much better things out there but the system specialist will send you down the same path as the last set of corpses… heralding the successes like a casino heralds winners … remember you too can WIN.
when things come to what is legally right and what is morally right what do you choose? Remember the concentration camps on both sides of WW2 where both legal but immoral. Saying nothing means you feed the machine and are just as guilty as the person saying i was following orders….March 26, 2015 at 7:02 pm #39375
You and many others seem to think a massive die off is a good thing.
Not parsing words, but I didn’t say it would be a good thing. I said it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Please do not put words into my mouth.
Something can happen and it can be neither good nor bad. It just is.. Or, it could be seen on it’s face as “bad”, but end up being a net “good” down the line a ways..
Take the Black Death. Initially, it was considered God’s Wrath and that it was “bad”. Well, yes, on it’s face it was ‘bad’. But, since only the strongest – and those who were immune – survived, the net effect was that the European population was that much stronger when the population rebounded. Massive depopulation also weakened the then-current feudal system and laid the foundation for the Renaissance, property rights, individual rights, etc. All of which wouldn’t have happened when it did if not for massive depopulation brought on by Y pestis
I find that both disturbing and un-Christian.
Nice try playing the Christian card, but alas, no traction. Applying your own personal values and what you personally consider to be “un-Christian” to any situation does not guarantee that anyone else will think the same, or even have the same values.
In point of fact, no, not all human life is of equal value, contrary to what the egalitarians say. Not all cultures are the same or even on equal footing. Charity is nice, except when it’s not. Look at Ethiopia. Remember “Band Aid” 20-something years ago? Poor starving wretches over in Ethiopia need your help! And so zillions of dollars and millions of metric tons of food and other aid flowed into Ethiopia. Back then, there were only a few million starving wretches.
Fast forward a generation, and now there are somewhere north of 30 million starving wretches. The kids we fed 20 years ago are now Kalashnikov toting hearties in their late 20’s, robbing, raping and generating bastard children at will, and are likely quite hostile to the US.
Something our muslim buddies worldwide would likely appreciate though.
Ahh, the “TERR-RIST!” card… In point of fact, our muzzie buddies are currently killing each other off, and I’m rooting for both sides. I don’t care which side wins or loses, so long as lots of muzzies bite the dust. They’re doing our work for us, as far as I’m concerned… Furthermore, given our main occupation of inventing Boogey-men where none existed in order to justify war and so enrich those who run the Military/Industrial Complex, I seriously doubt that some illiterate goat herder in some cave in the Hindu Kush is in any way a threat – real or existential – to the US. And if they are, simply ban them or kick them out of the country. That we do not have the political will to do so doesn’t mean the idea isn’t a good one.
Whirl, there is a major population readjustment coming. It’s a foregone conclusion. It’s just a matter of when and how much of a readjustment. Those places that have the biggest populations and not the means to feed them will be hardest hit. Sorry, but I cannot devote – and refuse to devote – any concern, worry, or resources towards them. They are outside my sphere of influence. I have a say as to what happens locally and can extend a hand to a few individuals here and there, but as a whole? I couldn’t influence anything, even if I wanted to.
Hard work? Heh… anyone afraid of hard work doesn’t deserve to be here. And LACK of hard work is what has led us down the primrose path and created generations of spoiled, narcissistic, self-absorbed, button pushing brats in adult bodies. A nation of entitled, squabbling tribes all looking for a handout that has substituted the god of Government in place of the Almighty…
We NEED to get knocked back on our asses, in my opinion… perhaps when people learn what goes into actually living, then maybe they’ll learn to appreciate life again…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 26, 2015 at 7:27 pm #39376
Separate post, but goes to the conversation…
Not all technology is good.
The computer and the internet have single handedly killed off the ability to write in cursive, gone a long ways into destroying small communities (why go visit someone to see how they’re doing when you can just shoot them an email or punch them up on Skype or Facebook?) and the only reason the Postal system still exists is to apparently bring me sh*t I don’t want and put it all in my mailbox…
My own son does not possess the ability to write in cursive. They stopped teaching that formally in school. Why would he need that skill if everyone bangs out documents on the computer? I think mine was the last generation – Gen 13 – to be taught cursive formally in school. People’s handwriting today more resemble a cave man making marks with a burnt stick on a cave wall than any sort of effective communication… Which also has an impact on the language. I once had an English professor that was so adept, he could read a random passage from any book and peg it’s date of publication to within 10 years, solely based on the degradation of the English language…
Modern medicine has given rise to a population explosion which has generally weakened the human race as a whole. People who have inherited diseases now live long enough to pass on their defects to their children, creating even more who need special care. Not to mention the use of antibiotics has given rise to resistant strains of bacteria that threaten to sweep through the population – it’s only through blind luck and the Hand of Providence that we’re not in the grip of an Ebola or Marburg pandemic right this instant.
The low IQ, the tax eaters, the lazy and the feebs are paid to reproduce by the millions – funded by robbing the producers at gunpoint (or via threat of violence and imprisonment), which only creates vast swarms of more low IQ, more tax eaters, more lazy and more feebs… the producers being forced to shoulder an ever-increasing weight on their own, all the while their numbers relative to the non-producers dwindling… tax the rich? HAH!! The elites are the power brokers and king makers who put their cronies and shills in office… they don’t get taxed. YOU do.
No… I welcome a population readjustment…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 26, 2015 at 9:52 pm #39383
“No… I welcome a population readjustment…” Malgus
Your last line speaks for itself. Knowing that you want corrections in most social & economic factors, it comes as no surprise you would find societal reorganization through global calamity acceptable. I doubt the end result would resemble anything that you might envision as desirable though. Just in case it should happen as you suggest I’m claiming the Eastern US states on the coastline from Maryland to the Georgia State line as mine.
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