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.