Blog

rangizzz/Shutterstock

You're Likely A Lot Less Prepared For Crisis Than You Realize

Lessons from the recent rash of natural disasters
Friday, September 22, 2017, 3:25 PM

It seems as if Mother Nature is waking up. Either she's trying to send humans an important warning, or perhaps she's just out to kill us all.

Massive storms across the globe, earthquakes, and collapsing ecosystems all combine to remind us that we are indeed intimately connected to our planet's natural systems. And that our well-being rests on staying on Mother Nature's good side.

Well, Mother Nature has seemed pretty pissed at us of late. Her recent punishments should be taken as a disciplinary wake-up call: It's time.

It’s time to prepare, everyone. Way past time.

And it’s time to recognize that there are multiplying failure points across the many systems we depend on for our way of life -- both natural and man-made. For example:

  • The wealth gap between the rich and the poor is now grossly obscene and yet still growing wider.
  • Our industrially-farmed soils are being depleted of their nutrients.
  • Species are going extinct every single day.
  • Global oil consumption ticks higher every year.
  • Stock price overvaluation is about the highest it's ever been.
  • Bonds have never been more expensive (i.e. yields have never been lower) in all of recorded history.
  • Debt levels have never been higher (both globally and, in most cases, locally).
  • The planet's population continues to explode (7.5 billion today, 10 billion by 2050) while key resources deplete at accelerating rates.

Only the foolish, or the seriously self-deluded, would think that these observations and trends will be consequence-free. 

Which means we have to begin doing things very differently. We have to change who we are, the actions we take, the investments we prioritize, and even our most fundamental values and priorities.

However most people simply will not prepare, not notice, and not change anything until they are forced to by crisis. And even then, some will resist any notion of change until they’ve lost everything.

The recent destructive hurricanes have been literally and figuratively instructive in this regard.

When To Stay And When To Go

The first lesson we learned from the hurricanes was this: Stay if you can, leave sooner than everyone else if you cannot.

Evacuating has a host of problems for those caught up in the exodus. Traffic jams, lack of fuel along the route, and having to drive for many hours only to end up in a distant hotel in a town probably not ready for a massive influx of people are just a few of the stresses. Living out of hotels and away from your job is also very expensive, especially for a nation where more than 75% live from paycheck to paycheck.

As the people of the Florida Keys learned with Irma, once you’ve evacuated, you're then unable to return until authorities have decided you can, creating enormous stress for people who want to check on their properties and (possibly) pets left behind, put tarps over damaged roofs, etc. The lesson many claimed to have learned from that experience was to not evacuate in the first place.

After reading enough accounts of people who regretted evacuating, coupled to the relatively low loss of life even in places like Dominca that took the full brunt of a Cat 5 hurricane where people live in less-than-ideal structures (flimsy, wood frame, tin roof affairs), it would take quite a lot for me to decide to not ride out a storm.

I’d have to have some special mitigating factors to impel me to evacuate -- like tall trees next to my house, being in a flood plain or near a flimsy dam or dyke, or having special needs people under my care who might need electricity or other services to remain alive.

I’ve never sat through a Cat 5 storm, so perhaps I’d change my mind if I ever did. All reports are it's an extremely terrifying experience: loud, violent, and seemingly endless. But I’m pretty confident that I’d choose to wait out a Cat 3 or lower in my house.

That said, I'd have a pre-arranged and well-defined evacuation plan in place, just in case. The experiences shared below have convinced me of the high value of doing so.

Getting Prepared Beforehand

We've had several PeakProsperity.com members write in who were in the direct paths of Harvey and Irma and came out from the storms OK. One best practice they shared in common was they were already fully stocked with emergency provisions well before the hurricanes even began forming way out in the Atlantic. These were folks who had prioritized being prepared for *whatever* future disaster might arise.

Despite this, they still experienced some surprises. No matter how well prepared you think you are, reality has a way of exposing your overlooked weaknesses.

Here's an account from one of our readers (Rector):

We live south of Corpus Christi and Harvey just missed our area. We began the usual fire drill of preparing for the hurricane, but it veered north just in time. Bizarrely the follow-on weather was delightful - sunny, crisp, and breezy - while the rest of the gulf coast became an apocalyptic nightmare. As I watched the news I was painfully aware of how close we came to being flooded, displaced, and disrupted.

As a card-carrying member of the Peak Prosperity Preparer's Club - I came to the realization that Chris articulated - nothing can prepare you for this kind of Black Swan event. No matter what - losses will occur. My takeaways after being grazed by the Harvey bullet are (so far):

1. Be prepared to accept refugees. Family members are on the way (I think). At this point they are without resources and fractured. Dad is a cop and cannot leave Houston. We are happy to accept them into our home - but it wasn't exactly planned. In a wider emergency the same might happen and I will say yes then too. I need to expand my preparations for the likelihood of more people camping out with us. Turning everyone away outside of a pandemic scenario is not an option (really). What's the point of all this anyway if you can't help people?

2. Being 5% prepared is WAY better than zero. As I watch people in Houston it has occurred to me that I need a boat. I live on a body of water which has flooded before and will flood again. I built my home well above the flood plain - but Harvey just made a joke out of that math. As I watch people wade in chest deep water while others float by in boats; I'm buying a boat. Today.

3. Being prepared is great! I needed to do NOTHING to get ready for the hurricane at my home. Turns out that was really helpful because my time was spent getting other people and places prepared. All of my employees (save one) asked for the day off (to get their homes ready) leaving me alone in my preparations. Thankfully I didn't have to waste time at the gas pump, ATM, or the grocery store.

4. Evacuation plans are a real priority for me now. With four kids my mental default position has been to "hunker down". "We don't evacuate for hurricanes here" has been the attitude because we are prepared and have always done well. Harvey has demonstrated this is NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE.

I will now focus my considerable prepping energy to developing a viable evacuation strategy. Not an overland hike in ghilli suits - but a real strategy to get this group of people somewhere else quickly and safely. Routes in every direction. A list of destinations. Checklists for packing, securing, and evacuating. Documentation, asset relocation, etc. I am even going to develop a plan to go into Mexico. I had a day and a half between threat presentation and expected landfall. Some events may present even less time.

5. I need to be able to execute a plan at less than 100%. As luck would have it, I pulled a muscle at CrossFita week before and would have needed to do all the above while limping around in pain. I represent the lion's share of muscle power for the family - but can they execute in my absence or incapacity? Hmm. . . not ready for that.

6. It is possible for two bad things to happen at the same time. The financial crisis could begin, North Korea could strike, or any of the other crap I worry about could commence at any moment. WHILE LIVING IN A FEMA SHELTER because I hadn't planned on evacuating. Am I ready to execute trades, etc. while in that shape? Hmm. . . not ready for that either.

I am thankful that we were spared the apocalypse but it has (again) identified holes in my plan that are the result of false premises. Challenge yours because you just can't make this stuff up.

Rector

(Source – Peak Prosperity)

So many lessons packed into that experience! Huge thanks to Rector for sharing that all with us. The part that really caught me and made me rethink my entire levels of preparation centered around just how unprepared I would be if I had to completely bug out and leave my home behind.

Harvey (and Katrina) showed that sometimes you have to do just that. So has Maria, which is going to leave parts of Puerto Rico without power for possibly several months, maybe as long as half a year.

Would you be willing to live without power in a tropical climate without power for 6 months? I wouldn’t. Just keeping food from spoiling would be a hard challenge, but just one of many -- including sleeping without A/C or fans (or rather trying to sleep I should say).

The other important lesson to take from Rector and other like him is that if preparing beforehand is comparatively easy. But during a crisis? It becomes very hard and sometimes impossible. Another reader account, this one from Morpheus who was in the direct path of Irma for time, confirms this:

I live in Palm Beach City Florida and right now both the US and European forecasting models have a Cat 4/Cat-5 eyewall slamming right into my house.

Maybe not as bad as a currency collapse, but it will be worse for me. Anyways, to make a long story short, we think that we are well prepped, at least we thought so.

But crisis' of this magnitude get you to think even deeper than you normally would. And boy o' boy, I wish I had thought deeper.

We're better prepped than 99% of the population out there but now all that procrastination over the years is grating on me like sandpaper.

Ohh the easy things that I could have done a month ago, 6 months, a year ago.

(Source – Peak Prosperity)

The message is clear: Even for those who think they are well-prepared, a true emergency can shine a harsh light on your shortcomings. The best time to prepare is as far beforehand as you can manage.

The vast majority of people will ignore this message. Take this story that made the rounds during Irma:

Like many Floridians racing to buy food and supplies before the arrival of Hurricane Irma, Pam Brekke found herself miles from home today, desperately hoping to score a generator.

According to ABC affiliate WFTV-TV, Brekke, a Sanford, Florida, resident, had spent days waiting for empty shelves to be restocked and searching for a generator.

She said today that she'd traveled more than 30 miles to Orlando to a Lowe's Home Improvement store that had received a surprise shipment of a little more than 200 generators.

Within two hours, however, the generators were sold out and Brekke, who had been next in line, was empty-handed.

A heartbroken Brekke then began to cry. Ramon Santiago, who had gotten one of the generators but had not purchased it yet, noticed and insisted that she take his.

"She needs the generator," Santiago told WFTV-TV. "It's OK."

Brekke shared with Santiago that it was her ailing father who needed the generator to power his oxygen supply.

(Source)

A heartwarming story to be sure, and we can all applaud Mr. Santiago for his actions, but it's also an instructive tale that reveals the extent to which many people fail to think through their plans until forced to.

An imminent hurricane should not be a required prompt to begin thinking about scoring a generator. Look, if I had an ailing parent that required electricity in order to survive, hurricane threat or not, you can bet I would have back-up power already on site and thought through. Hey, sometimes the power goes out. Hurricane, blown transformer, or errant squirrel. It's insane to think it will always be available, uninterrupted, 100% of the time. 

So while this story had a happy ending, it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

People should be prepared to take care of themselves through any reasonable and foreseeable emergency. Some are. Most are not.

Preparing in a rush while an emergency is approaching or underway is difficult, and not advised. In Puerto Rico, this was immediately apparent even before Maria landed:

"This storm promises to be catastrophic for our island," said Ernesto Morales with the U.S. National Weather Service in San Juan. "All of Puerto Rico will experience hurricane force winds."

Puerto Rico has imposed rationing of basic supplies including baby formula, water, milk, canned food, batteries and flashlights.

(Source)

That is, once a disaster is on the way, it’s too late to stock up! Don't get caught having delayed too long.

Preparing Is A Selfless Act

The entire topic of "prepping" seems to have gone dead over the past few years. But, trust me, it’s going to come back into style again soon.

Right now, many people have a negative reaction to the idea of ‘preparing’ and denigrate it as some sort of loony act.  This is really just a psychological evasion, a coping technique that allows them to ignore their own lack of resilience.

We all expect our corporations and governments (federal state and local) to be ready to easily predictable emergencies, and we get quite irate when that proves not to be true -- even though most of us have taken zero steps in our own lives to prepare for these "easily predictable" events.

This passage from our book Prosper! provides our views on what it means to prepare responsibly:

Selfless, Not Selfish

Another objection we hear to the prospect of preparing and becoming more resilient is that those actions could be seen by others as being selfish. Instead we see them as being selfless. Those who are not prepared when an emergency strikes are a drain on critical resources, while those who are prepared can be of assistance.

To be among those who can be in a position to render assistance, or at least need none of their own, means that your prior acts of preparation have selflessly removed you from the minus column in an emergency and placed you on the plus side. Anyone who has flown in an airplane is familiar with this model. During the emergency-procedure review prior to takeoff, you’re reminded to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting others or your own children. The reason for this is obvious: if you lose consciousness, then you’ll be of no help to anyone and become a burden on others.

The first steps toward preparedness usually involve addressing your own needs or those of your loved ones, but many people then go beyond that and prepare for others who may not be able to do so, or have not done so, or maybe even will not do so.

But let us put an important qualifier on that: preparing before a crisis hits is responsible and selfless, but trying to accumulate necessary items during a crisis is an act of hoarding. We do not and never will advocate hoarding. Responsible preparations begin long before any trouble appears. Anything else stands a good chance of making things worse, not better, and may earn you some enemies.

The news has been full of stories of how people behave when scarcity strikes, and these are often quite distressing tales of bad behavior and fragile civility. People in Boston fought over bottled water just hours after a water main broke in 2010. Nasty fights, too, given that the water main had broken just hours earlier.

In Venezuela, as of the writing of this book, desperate people are attempting to buy anything and everything that might remain in the stores as their national currency devalues by the day. Looting and violence are on the rise and hunger and hopelessness are taking hold. This has brought forth all sorts of stopgap government-mandated counter measures that are typically making things worse for average families.

In the process of becoming more resilient, time is your most valuable asset. Be aware that many things that are easily available now may be difficult or impossible to obtain later. Now, before any big crises have hit, it’s very easy to pick up the phone, or click a mouse button, and have the big brown truck of happiness roll up to your doorstep a few days later with your purchase.

Everything you could ever want to buy is currently available and stores are abundantly stocked (in most countries). However, we can imagine a large number of possible futures where such access to consumer goods and desired items is either much more restricted, much more expensive, or even impossible. For those without monetary resources, some of your most important assets—such as Social and Emotional Capital—require no money at all…but will take time to develop.

Preparing beforehand -- and thereby being in a position to help those around you in the event of an emergency -- is selfless. Preparing in the midst of a crisis, grabbing what you can, is selfish.

Why Bring All This Up? The Coming Financial Storm

The recent hurricanes are merely reminders that sometimes things happen that are out of our control. They remind us that risk still exists.

Our longstanding view is that there’s a financial storm coming. One that is going to be larger and more destructive than all the others that came before.

Just as the hurricanes in the Atlantic basin were fueled by ocean temperatures a full 1.5 degrees warmer than average, the coming financial storm will be fueled by the most excessive pool of "hot money" created in all of history.

In 2016, the stock market had convincingly rolled over and formed a very reliable head-and-shoulders top indicating an approaching correction. In response, the world's central banking cartel (led by the ECB and Bank of Japan in this case) went on the most aggressive money printing spree the world had yet seen, flooding the markets to drive prices back higher. Here's what happened to the Dow Jones industrial average in response:

While that “rescued” the stock market, it has only served to drive it to a higher level that will be far more destructive when it finally corrects. Such ‘help’ always turns out to have come with a long-term cost far greater than the short-term benefit.

History shows that every bubble experiences a final blow-off top phase. They all do, whether the object of fascination is a railroad, swamp land in Florida, tulip bulbs, or today’s financial assets.

The final spurt on the above monthly chart of the Dow certainly looks like that moment of central bank panic of 2016 has finally resulted in the blow off-top we've been looking for. One that has been long in coming.

Another feature of bubbles is that they require prices to depart wildly from their underlying fundamentals. Well, we need look no further than small cap stocks in the US, which have just hit a brand new record high as earnings have been in terminal decline:

Yes, Virginia: stocks hitting new highs as earnings expectations hit new lows is very telling. It means that the crazy liquidity experiment of the central banks now has a life of its own. It’s crazy for stocks to be behaving this way, especially since this is our third (and biggest) asset price bubble in 20 years.

Stock prices now shrug off the risk of nuclear war, despite the escalating saber-rattling between the US and North Korea. They are also immune to the increasing trade tensions between the US and China, and a host of other generally deteriorating geopolitical trends.

In short, they are in bubble land and are now in search of a pin.

The situation is now so obvious that even "mainstream" media outlets like MarketWatch are reporting on the dangerous repercussions of the Federal Reserve's behavior:

“I’ll admit that it feels a little surreal that this Federal Reserve with its addiction to manipulating markets is actually trying to kick the habit. The unwinding of the balance sheet will dominate markets for at least the next two years and cements our outlook for higher rates,” said Bryce Doty, senior portfolio manager at SIT Investments, which manages some $7 billion.

(Source)

I suppose it’s gratifying to finally see in print the same things we’ve been saying for years: The Federal Reserve and rest of the world's central banking cartel are addicted to manipulating markets. But the world eventually catches up.

At the same time it’s a little unnerving to see these ideas going mainstream, because that means we’re much closer to the end of this experiment than the beginning. All it takes is a critical mass of people to lose faith in the central banks for things to really get started to the downside.

Once they do, we predict the financial turmoil will take on a life of its own and we’ll all be damned lucky if that doesn’t spread into wider and more destructive geopolitical conflicts.

In Part 2 -- Crisis Preparation: What To Do, we detail out, point-by-point, the most important steps concerned individuals should take now -- before another disaster arrives -- to safeguard their investment capital, their property, and the personal security of their families.

Because whether caused by Mother Nature or man's own recklessness, we are due for more crisis. Don't be caught unprepared.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

Endorsed Financial Adviser Endorsed Financial Adviser

Looking for a financial adviser who sees the world through a similar lens as we do? Free consultation available.

Learn More »
Read Our New Book "Prosper!"Read Our New Book

Prosper! is a "how to" guide for living well no matter what the future brings.

Learn More »

 

Related content

32 Comments

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 713
Overpopulation Severly Limits Evacuation

Only a tiny portion of massive metropolitan areas can evacuate, and only the first wave of evacuees has a chance of success.  Transportation, accommodation and supply infrastructures won’t support a dramatic increase in traffic.  In many cases, day-to-day travel already taxes our transportation systems to the max.

If you question this, try driving  to or from Florida when the Snowbirds are migrating.  Florida estimates their Snowbird count at under one million.  I think the number is way higher, never the less, it’s enough to over utilize travel capacity for Florida and several surrounding states. 

For that matter, try driving in rush hour traffic, in just about any major city on any day of the year.  Is there any unused capacity?

Miami and Houston’s population are 5+ million.  You really don’t evacuate cities that size.  

From memory, DC and Boston are 9 million, LA is 12+ million, New York 23+ million...

Nope, prepping to evacuate is a less effective plan than living in a less densely populated location.

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 1129
Overpopulation Severly Limits Evacuation

That right, and happiness is easier for me to find in low density pop. settings.

Kelsey has been settled, again. We'll have two teams of heavy horses soon!

 

dcm's picture
dcm
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 14 2009
Posts: 177
over 200

Good point. McDonalds, the ongoing disaster,  has over 200 billion . So I left a long time ago.

kaimu's picture
kaimu
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2013
Posts: 154
TECH MIGRATION

Aloha! With all the high tech innovations I am amazed that a virtual office cannot become the norm for many businesses. We cling to this centralized model for everything from business to government that has severe limits.

As a former Silicon Valley commuter back when I was involved with Cisco Systems it seemed to me that this virtual office would have been more widespread and adopted sooner than later. At the time we had worked with Cisco Systems on their latest cutting edge technology at Menlo College in 1998. We combined video and voice over internet protocol. Every student who had a dorm could speak and have video with every other student and faculty using a phone set with a flip up five inch screen that was part of their phone.

The first video phone was developed in 1969 by AT&T. The first internet application was much later and Menlo College was Cisco Systems first prototype and even that was some 20 years ago. In fact back then the Cisco IT guys told me this was the future of movies and tv. They were dead right! I thought it would be the future of virtual offices too! I was dead wrong!

All that said it seems like a monkey wrench has been purposely thrown into the decentralization of corporate headquarters. Sadly decentralizing offices would also depopulate major US cities and actually improve the rural economies of America. I can think of a thousand places I'd rather live than Los Angeles or New York City!

As an example I am temporary CFO of a Hollywood studio for the past two years and my office is my laptop. With Skype we can have meetings and payroll can run from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection. Any sorts of banking transactions are online. I reside between a a lake home an hour drive north of Houston, Texas and a farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. I drop in at the studio about three times a year for a week or two.

I think there is this inherent human thing called "safety in numbers". Sadly that might work for wild animal packs roaming Africa or the Rockies but not for insane human species crammed into Los Angeles with all their collection of junk and their one ton cars all consuming huge quantities of resources at an unending rapid pace. I think it is has been way past time to finally "let go"!

 

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 713
robie robinson
robie robinson wrote:

 happiness is easier for me to find in low density pop. settings.

Ditto!  The county I live in has a density of 94 people per square mile.

Sadly, I’m greedy.  I hope most of the city folk stay put.  I don’t want an influx of more peeps to my neighborhood.

KugsCheese's picture
KugsCheese
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 2 2010
Posts: 1410
Central Banking Encourages Overpopulation

Central Banking Encourages Overpopulation.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 713
KugsCheese wrote: Central
KugsCheese wrote:

Central Banking Encourages Overpopulation.

An "Algal Bloom," a rapid increase in algae population in fresh water, is prompted by an excess of nutrients (algae food).

Makes more sense to me that the rapid increase in human population is due to excess human food availability.

I rest my case.

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 65
Overpopulation Hypocrisy

Most citical thinkers recognize that overpopulation is a problem. But yet...some of us glowingly espouse the comments of those who have 4 children. Perhaps Chris knows that Rector has adopted 3 or more kids...

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 248
Longer life spans
Quote:

 rapid increase in human population is due to excess human food availability

Don't forget about things like vaccinations, antibiotics and good plumbing.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1633
Multi-faceted

The population growth thing is multi-faceted.

For example:  I would love to have grandchildren, to hold them, play soccer with them, read stories, attend school outings, etc., etc.   Yet I also dread the possibility that they might be born into a time when a great population die-off might happen. And I recognize that our love for children is an intrinsic part the human instinct suite that drives the human population surplus. 

And, as Yoxa points out above, by being involved in medical care we are actively working to keep people alive longer.

<sigh>

David Allan's picture
David Allan
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 15 2009
Posts: 94
Event vs 'Long Emergency' Preparedness

It might be worth highlighting the difference between 'Emergency Event' preparedness (as for a weather event / earthquake etc) and preparedness for 'the Long Emergency' as JHK would say. There is much crossover of course.

Getting ready for an emergency event takes thought and planning but it doesn't require a huge investment of time or money.

Getting ready for the long emergency will depend on your own individual assessment of what you think might unfold. It is likely to take commitment and time and money, not to mention plenty of blood, sweat and tears. In our case it took 18 months to get sold up then purchase and move to our rural block. That was Janurary 2011. It's taken thousands of hours establishing our fruit and nut orchards and a big vege garden, chickens and a few animals. I'd never even had a garden beforehand and I certainly didn't anticipate having to deliver a calf (hint - you need to roll up your sleeve a very long way!) it's been a near vertical learning curve. And there's still loads to do.

But we're here and we're living at least partly a more sustainable life - a life that could continue after a substantial collapse. For anyone still dithering it's time to get clear on what you're prepping for, then make a plan and take action.

blackeagle's picture
blackeagle
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: May 16 2013
Posts: 206
Overpopulation

Matt Holbert wrote:

Most citical thinkers recognize that overpopulation is a problem. But yet...some of us glowingly espouse the comments of those who have 4 children. Perhaps Chris knows that Rector has adopted 3 or more kids...

Adopted? So, these 3 or more children were already here. Rector is not "guilty of aggravating the overpopulation problem". They now got a family and a real chance to have a better life. Rector, being a fellow PP member, is certainly teaching them the right way to grasp life from the sustainable side. This is a very honorable selfless act.

 

 

Rector's picture
Rector
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 8 2010
Posts: 480
The Mean

Matt,

As you may have noticed, Chris was writing about emergency preparedness - as was I at the time.  I'm sure you don't believe Chris is to be faulted for quoting my post because I have too many children, do you?  I'm just not sure "hypocrisy" applies here - unless you believe that my fertility is sufficiently offensive to block my comments on any topic at PP.com.  If so, please list the things I need to believe in sufficiently in order to post - I don't want to sully our threads with ideological impurity.

With regard to your critical thinking about overpopulation:  I would propose that a more pressing and manageable problem is the level of resource consumption in the industrialized world - most absurdly the United States.  A culture of wasteful and abusive materialism is doing us in faster than overpopulation.  In fact, overpopulation in the US, Europe, and Japan doesn't exist - sans immigration, we are in terminal decline.  However our culture of waste is a problem that can be managed through education, policy, and cultural awareness.  I am afraid that managing population globally would require a level of totalitarian control that would make life pretty miserable - forced abortions in China come to mind.  

With war, abortion, disease, opioid addiction, sexbots, gay marriage and declining fertility - we're in no danger of overpopulating the US.  My wife and I are just doing our part to maintain the average replacement rate which is currently 1.84.  In fact 2016 saw the fertility rate in the US hit its historical low!  Since lots of people (you included I assume) have decided that zero is the right number of children to have - someone has to have three or more to keep the average up.  I have told my kids that they will need to work hard to pay for your Social Security and Medicare - even though you wish they didn't exist.

Now back to discussing emergency preparedness.

Rector

Image result for high birth rate india

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 1444
Gee, I don't know

Yo Matt! I don't think I understand what you're getting at or what's your point. I don't see how adopting 3 children adds to the overpopulation problem. They were already born to someone else, right. Soooo, the total number of people on earth didn't increase because 3 were adopted. However, procreating 3 more of your own biological children WOULD add 3 additional people to Earth's population.

Besides, do you mean to say that we shouldn't pay any attention to people who have "too many" children? So who decides how many is "too many" and therefore who we can/can't listen to or learn from? And while we're purifying this site shouldn't we also not listen to the following kinds people also:

1. SUV drivers/owners, or maybe all drivers who get less than 30 mpg;

2. Eaters who consume more than 8 oz of meat per week;

3. Residents who consume more than 10,000 BTU equivalents per day to run their home, or maybe anybody who gets more than 20% of the energy necessary to run their home from the grid;

Help me out here Matt.

VeganDB12's picture
VeganDB12
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 18 2008
Posts: 718
childless

It has been my experience that people are more likely to disregard the opinions of the childless in discussions of important life issues. I once had a supervisor, a famous analyst, who said anyone who doesn't have children has a narcissistic personality disorder. I have had co workers tell me their life is worth more than mine because they have kids. Maybe so. 

By Tom's calculation, I get points for being childless so Sandpuppy will keep be allowed to keep me alive when I am old. And I'm Vegan! But I lose points for having a car that gets 21 MPH.  Sadly I also try to keep other people alive in my work too so  I guess I'll have to see how the calculation goes. ;). sarc off.

With all due respect to the very intelligent, caring people on this very good thread things are getting off topic.  May I gently suggest this issue is too personal to debate without a lot of emotion. Myself included. 

 

 

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 4 2014
Posts: 415
Unfortunately (or fortunately). . .

Unfortunately (fortunately), the problem will most likely take care of itself

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 4683
oh the shame

So its a funny thing. I think we have a population problem too, I think a "terminal decline" might actually be a really good idea - at least until we get down to the carrying capacity of the place.  (Yeah I know.  No social security for me.)

How to get everyone to at least consider the issue?  That's a tougher thing.  One tool in the box is to use shame.  This seems to be the current favorite trick of the SJWs.  (My mom: favorite trick was its close cousin, guilt.)  Whenever I am on the receiving end of the "shame assault", I do not feel persuaded.  Instead, I just think the "shame attacker" is not someone I really want to engage with.  That, and I know they are utterly without any skill at persuasion, because whatever message they are attempting to convey gets instantly rejected simply because the approach is so disagreeable.

My older sister is a vegetarian.  I'm not.  We enjoy each other's company in part because she doesn't try to shame me because I eat meat.  In turn, I don't insist on getting her to try meat.  "No really, with the peppercorn sauce, its really tasty."  We live and let live.  And as a result, I am exposed to all sorts of new meal preparation techniques I didn't know existed.  They're really pretty good.  I end up eating more vegetables.  That's a win for her side, but I don't feel its a loss for me.

Kindness, sensitivity, tolerance.  Good persuasion techniques, I think.  (I should try them more often!)

Maybe Rector's youngest child will save the world someday.  Who can say?

AKGrannyWGrit's picture
AKGrannyWGrit
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2011
Posts: 379
Cognitive Problems

A sociatial problem today that no one talks about is the copious amount of children being born who are exposed to drugs and alcohol while the child was in the womb..  There was an article in our local paper about the problem of babies bing born with THC from pot in their systems now that pot is legal up here and elsewhere.  The Health Care industry isn't sure what long-term effects are for these pot dependent babies. We live in a society ill-equipped to handle a large group of young people who have cognitive challenges and an aging cohort of baby boomers, some of whom will suffer from cognitive decline themselves.  That's another freight train headed our way.

AKGrannyWGrit

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 713
Arithmetic, Population and Energy

Prepping is a good thing, but it has something in common with evacuation plans.  If the planet is seriously past a sustainable population level, as I firmly believe, a die off has to occur.  That means prepping can’t save everyone on the planet.  

What keeps me up at night, is the magnitude of the necessary “die off” necessary to get back to a sustainable population level.

Sure, it may be possible for every one on the planet to survive, if every single person becomes a permaculturist and everyone alive forsakes energy consumption above the bare minimum, but I’m not expecting that to happen, nor do I consider it a wise solution.

My idea of a solution to the population disaster, is for everyone on the planet to read Dr. Albert Bartlett’s “Arithmetic, Population and Energy” speech once a month, until they have it memorized.  

The simple take away is that any global population growth rate above zero is unsustailable, regardless of individual consumption issues.  Until and unless that concept hits home globally, we are toast.

I have Dr. Bartlett’s speech in ebook format, If anyone is interested.

A tougher read is Robert Malthus’s “An Essay on the Principles of Population.”  However, it, addresses the likewise thorny issue of the effectiveness of charity.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1633
Bartlett's Talk

Here are links to Dr Albert Barlett's talk on "Arithmetic, Population and Energy" mentioned above by Les.

Transcript is here:

http://www.albartlett.org/presentations/arithmetic_population_energy_tra...

And video here:

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 4 2014
Posts: 415
We ain't seen nothing yet, Dr. Barlett

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5406
The real migrations have yet to happen
Uncletommy wrote:

I completely agree.  Most of these are either war or economic refugees and migrants.  Wait until the ecological migrations begin...the above chart would need to by multiplied by some larger number like 10x or more.

Then the very hard, very difficult, very painful decisions will have to be made.  What exactly does one do with a sinking boat full of people that cannot be accepted into your host country and cannot be brought back to their country of origin?  Watch?  Take them aboard...but then what?

Once the food wars begin the scope of human tragedy will be extraordinary and heartbreaking.  Worst of all, it didn't have to end up that way.  We have the ability to foresee these things.  We could have made different choices.

Snydeman's picture
Snydeman
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2013
Posts: 356
Yeah, like

We could choose to go apeshit over football players kneeling, or Presidents saying they should be fired.

 

/shakes head

 

We are doomed. 

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 457
HUMAN FORESIGHT

So true Chris. Humanity could make take a different path but my observations tell me it will not. It could be our species greatest failing or it could be more akin to the process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.

From a spiritual point of view, I like to think that those who have the foresight to understand where we are in the process of human evolution is more akin to the imaginal cell of the butterfly. But that is just what I want to believe because I like the outcome better.  http://www.butterflymysteries.com/imaginal-cells.html

It's going to get gooey before we get our wings!

Coop

ckessel's picture
ckessel
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 12 2008
Posts: 457
Predicaments and Outcomes

I agree with you Les that I too do not expect that to happen but it seems like a 'wiser' solution than the alternative which likely lies along the road of war, pestilence and famine. It seems like it would be worth a try and why not end up taking a 'winter walk' in your garden on your terms vs. holed up in a bunker fighting off the whatevers.

We established a 501 c.3 local sustainability non profit group here http://www.focusnews.org/ in Sonora which only speaks to a small number of the population. It has struggled for membership, mostly because it took on political and controversial subjects at the outset and that produced the obvious outcome. In the past few years we have concentrated on local food production, permaculture educational classes, medicinal herbs courses, culinary arts classes and helped the local high schools ag programs and everyone gets along fine!

Just don't discuss the election ..... or climate change......or!

Coop

AKGrannyWGrit's picture
AKGrannyWGrit
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2011
Posts: 379
Gail Tverberg

Gail Tverberg has a great new article out on her website. https://ourfiniteworld.com/author/gailtheactuary/

Had an "ah-ha" moment as she explained how lack of growth impacts us. Her examples are very relevant!

As a regular shopper at Goodwill stores I can attest to the fact that they are getting busier often in lieu of shopping at department stores.  Many preps can be picked up for pennies on the dollar such as blankets, candles, extra clothes, games and so on.

Would love to hear Gail as a guest again!

AKGrannyWGrit

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 744
Patriotism
Snydeman wrote:

Yeah, like [w]e could choose to go apeshit over football players kneeling, or Presidents saying they should be fired.

/shakes head

Snydeman,

I'm not sure if you were dissing the football players kneeling or the President suggesting they should be fired. Perhaps you were just commenting on the fixated discourse on the MSM.

Have you ever thought about what patriotism means? Is it a one way street or multifaceted? To me, it is an unspoken contract between the populace and the elected leaders. For the last 3+ decades, the elected leaders have shirked their end of the bargain. Instead of doing what was/is right, they do what they can to accentuate power or merely to build personal treasure. In my book, that isn't right.

On January 14, 2014, I posted a comment on "https://www.peakprosperity.com/insider/84301/nsa-scandal-just-getting-worse" (Post #41). I was responding to jtwalsh concerning the events of 9/11. Here is a snippet of the post:

When I first came to the conclusion that the official story didn't make sense, I started looking for scenarios that did. I worked up the ladder of possibilities as you did, but the only explanation that made sense to me was that high level people in my government perpetrated this crime. (I think the motive was a twisted version of "greater good.") I wanted them to pay! In my zeal for justice, I alienated coworkers and friends. I was cautioned by my boss that I shouldn't talk about "that 9/11 crap" on company property or I would face disciplinary actions, likely termination. After that, I stopped talking about it at work.

I rarely go to sporting events, but shortly thereafter, a coworker had season tickets and couldn't find anyone to go. He asked me. I balked but gave in. Before the game, there was the obligatory singing of the national anthem. My knee jerk reaction was to place my hand over my heart and stand there. I questioned myself about why I was conforming and put my hand down. Then, the thought that our leadership was using our patriotism against us ... flashed through my mind. In anger, I turned and faced the back of the stadium, looking at the feet of the people in the row behind me. My wife watched the game on TV that evening and told me I stood out like a sore thumb during a camera pan of the audience.

I love what this country was all about. I hate what the moneyed interests and TBTF have done to it. Realistically, a single person or small group can't do anything to stop it. The most you can hope to do is raise awareness. Once a large enough minority questions the events, the clamor to investigate will become deafening. First, you need to educate yourself. There is an awful lot of information out there. Unfortunately, not all of it is true. Sand_Puppy has posted some really good links. I have found www.ae911truth.org to have the highest integrity. They, like Chris, just want to see it investigated. I support their cause.

I understand the frustration that the football players are feeling. There is a wrong that needs to be righted. Is this the most appropriate way to do so? Probably not. What would be the most effective way to see change happen? Meanwhile, ask yourself if your patriotism is positioned correctly? Is your patriotism rooted in current reality or just a dream that might have been?

For what it's worth, in the '60s I wanted to join the Army to go to Viet Nam and kill Gooks. (I'm purposefully using the inflammatory language that I used then.) For Christmas one year, I asked for the Green Beret album. I wore it out. I thought the hippies protesting the war were commies who wanted to destroy this country. When Nixon was caught in the Watergate scandal, I believed he was innocent.

Fighting in Viet Nam had ended by the time I could join the military. My brother talked me into joining the Air Force instead of the Army. I served 4 years of active duty and got an honorable discharge. (That is just because I didn't get caught.) My naivete was the first casualty. I was angry that I had been duped as a youth. I started questioning people's motives. I may not have questioned everything, but I certainly didn't swallow all the lies anymore.

I no longer believe this country is salvageable. We are too far in debt and too aged to pull out of the nosedive. Patriotism is an easy sell for politicians ... but it doesn't fix anything. The NFL protests may just be a sideshow or a symptom of bigger problems. Don't just dismiss it because it cuts across the staid grain.

Grover

Snydeman's picture
Snydeman
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 6 2013
Posts: 356
Grover
Grover wrote:
Snydeman wrote:

Yeah, like [w]e could choose to go apeshit over football players kneeling, or Presidents saying they should be fired.

/shakes head

Snydeman,

I'm not sure if you were dissing the football players kneeling or the President suggesting they should be fired. Perhaps you were just commenting on the fixated discourse on the MSM.

 

The last one of the three.

 

First off, you are right to challenge my post along the lines you did, because you are completely correct. I understand and agree with what you are saying, and believe me I understand why the players were taking knees, as well as the issues surrounding what patriotism means. I just get frustrated that we as Americans are so fixated on these issues - which are important - at the expense of ignoring far greater, and in my opinion deadlier, crises landing at our collective doorsteps. However, the manner of my post leaves the impression that I don't care about the issues that are at the heart of this current domestic firestorm. I know better than to post out of emotion, least of all frustration, so for that I apologize. 

 

I suppose it comes down to this: arguing over First Amendment rights seems moot if our economy collapses or our social fabric unravels due to the myriad of global-level problems we face. But that doesn't mean I don't take First Amendment issues, racism, or the question of the nature of patriotism seriously. I think I am even more frustrated by this current firestorm precisely because the MSM has therefore ignored things like Puerto Rico, Houston, North Korea, etc, and because it just feels like a classic bait-and-switch intended to draw our attention away from something bigger and badder going on. It didn't help that I've spent the last two days watching my FB ignite over the issue of players protesting racism, but never seeing the same kind of passion about the environment, climate change, dwindling oil, political corruption, etc. Still, I could have written a better and more elucidating post saying the same thing.

 

kaimu's picture
kaimu
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2013
Posts: 154
CLICK BAITED!!

Aloha! Whenever politics enters into America it becomes a catalyst for useless anger. Taking a knee would be better served in a Chicago ghetto but then again a lot less exposure would result.

While the NFL players took a knee since this Sunday seven blacks were killed in Chicago ghettos. The month of September is not yet over and already 51 have died in Chicago ghettos, mostly black. Over the past eight years over 4,000 have died in Chicago ghettos. It is a disgrace that Obama and his good friend Rahm let that happen, especially since they are at the top of the power structure there.

If you want to see the real victims of generations of oppression go HERE. But they were not oppressed by police. 

Thelittlestvampire's picture
Thelittlestvampire
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 28 2017
Posts: 1
As a resident of a tropical

As a resident of a tropical area, I'm amused by the notion that living for 6 months without power in a tropical area would be some kind of hellish experience. If you can't handle an electricity-free existence for a few months in the tropics, you're gonna have a heck of a time dealing with the upcoming collapse! 

 

We we don't have air conditioning. Few people where we live (besides tourists) do. My mom grew up without a/c in Miami. It's really not that horrific. Frankly, the hardest part of dealing without fans would be the lack of noise. My husband and I are addicted to white noise to sleep. 

 

This brings me to the suggestion that one of the core facets of being prepared for whatever comes is physical health. Sure, if you are acclimatized to cold, tropical heat would be difficult. But if u live in a tropical climate and cannot survive without a/c (or even power) you either need to move somewhere colder, or you need to improve your health. And, frankly (as un-pc as it is to say it) lose weight.

 

i love air conditioning. I love it like I love chocolate or baclava or scotch. But I love it the way you love a LUXURY. Aka, something you don't need to survive. But when it comes to getting through hard times, some basics are in order; the ability to walk a few miles. The ability to find water and shade in the heat, and hopefully a breeze. All life flourishes in the tropics. Human life as well. 

 

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 744
Advertising
Snydeman wrote:
Grover wrote:

Snydeman,

I'm not sure if you were dissing the football players kneeling or the President suggesting they should be fired. Perhaps you were just commenting on the fixated discourse on the MSM.

The last one of the three.

Snydeman,

I'm glad you were just commenting on the status of the MSM. Remember that their goal is to sell advertising. Controversy sells advertising. Who really cares what it is for (as long as advertisers pay to promote it)?

I agree that there are many, many crises that the MSM doesn't address. (Obviously, none of those issues sell advertising.) That is only somewhat tongue-in-cheek. These problems will either become the match that lights the fuse or those issues will subside while a dozen other crises take the stage. It is just where we are in the grand cycle of things.

These myriad crises will coalesce into a giant conflagration at some point. It may matter to historians which crises caused the meltdown, but does it really matter to those living through it? We will have to deal with whatever comes ... or die trying.

I really don't expect help from our elected leaders. They may appear to push for low-interest loans or temporary housing for disaster victims (at huge public expense,) but they won't be there when it really matters. When the going gets tough, they'll abandon their jobs and try to care for loved ones. That's the only signal you need to watch. The rest is just noise. Some of it sells advertising. ;-)

Grover

Manyarrows's picture
Manyarrows
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 9 2014
Posts: 1
There aren't too many smart people... :)

12 of our own and adopted 1.  Critical thinkers should have more children, and raise more critical thinkers.  My wife taught all of ours at home and we have 4 with or on their way to having their PhD's in STEM fields.  

You don't look at a field with a lot of weeds and say we have too many plants and stop planting the good stuff... :)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments