Hey baby boomers, gen Xers, and early Gen Y’ers….
No, not all of you. There are some very responsible people on this site. Just being here puts you above the average American.
I am anxiously awaiting this "what to do" section and hope that it grants some comfort. I don’t have assets to convert into gold. I don’t have a large enough savings cushion to ride this thing out, and I don’t have time to save up either. I don’t have a mortgage. I don’t have car payments to make. I spent a few hours watching the whole crash course, and I appreciate the information but now I’m scared. Very scared. The next 20 years will be nothing like the last, and I haven’t even been around 20 years! Next monday is my 19th birthday. I’m the cliche broke college student.
What is a guy like me to do? Buy gold? Can’t save up in time, and the longer I wait the more expensive it gets. Stock up at home? I don’t have my own, only my parents’.
I suppose the only advantage I have is that my old car was bought cash. No debt there. And I don’t have children to feed or a wife to support. What though, does the future have in store for me? Less class mobility, less job advancement, less jobs period, expensive energy, the inability to ever trust a politician, a struggle for survival?
What would you advise me to do, now being informed?
What you’ve got is youth, strength, and health. You can use that to perform labor for which you can be paid. Learn a trade, be a hard worker, don’t whine, be an honest person, be a kind person. These traits will be better than riches.
after researching these subjects for the last 4 years, I can say with certainty that to prosper and have a real impact on the sustainability of our species, learn permaculture.
I have information about it on my blog – http://www.infopatriots.org
now that you’re awake you must do something with your knowledge. remember that you came here to be part of this history. look at these problems as great opportunities. you do not need anything but time and motivation. get together with those who have resources you need and create partnerships. start building gardens and growing fruit and nut trees and berry bushes. plant seeds all around town. plant them guerilla style if you have to. plant seeds everywhere. learn to graft and then graft those seeds as they grow plus create a nursery in your community. we need to have free food everywhere. if we follow permaculture we can really have a great time here on earth because when we use nature as a model, we can create abundance.
There are solutions to these problems. But as chris said, as each day passes and we do nothing we are wasting precious resources and time. There is much work to do and the more people we have helping us the easier it will be, plus it is more FUN when done in groups. start creating PARTIES and bring together people and share food and knowledge. email the crash course to everyone you know and ask them if they’ve watched it often. keep bugging them. tell them its for their benefit and that you care for them.
be confident that if you trust your intuition and think for yourself, you’ll make it.
You said you’re a college student. College isn’t cheap by any means. And it’s questionable what the value of that piece of paper will be post crash. Some of that has to do with what you’re studying.
So consider the options around the resources you and your parents are plowing into your degree. Especially if you’re majoring in something without a clear role in a post-crash society. The first step is to share the crash course with your parents. Know that it may be much more difficult for them to face/accept/take action on than it is for you.
You are a member of the ‘hero’ generation. You may resent what your elders have wrought, but you are not only empowered but expected to be among the heroes that solves some of these problems. Check out ‘The Fourth Turning’ by Str William and Neil Howe or look at http://www.GenerationalDynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?d=ww2010.i.basics
Really my friend, do not worry. Here are some reasons not to panic too much:
There never was a guarantee about anything in this word before you saw those videos – there still isn’t
Not everything in Chris’s videos are a given, – predictions are exactly those – predictions. Many many people disagree with Chris, None of us know for sure. Who would have thought even 20 years ago they could grow new organs – admittidly for mice 😉 But in your life time you will probably be able to get a new heart or lung. So who knows what technology is just around the corner, and that my friend is exciting.
Not having alot of money/material possessions is actually a good thing – having things , especially alot of things makes people scared of losing what they have. You know why when you often would want to do something, and elders said no, it was not always because you had a bad idea, it was because they were scared, scared to lose, scared to upset the status quo.
Most things are alot easier than people would like you to believe – never forget this one!!
What you should do:
Finish your education, in every society knowledge and education are valuable.
Like some of the other posters have said, learn more things permaculture, hair dressing, plastering, carpentry as you do your college work. You can earn money from these skills.
Make friends – as many as possible
Do not waste money – if it possible not to spend the money you just earnt, don’t.
Don’t worry too much about all of this, just make a little plan, and start doing it , i.e. get to the top 3% in college course. Learn how to repair a roof, learn how to plaster a wall. whatever it is you want to do.
Be happy, enjoy the life 🙂
kaikaroo is what we say in india " what to do"
i have a daughter a little older than you my advice to her is finish school, think outside the box. the folks who are bringing up this mess have for a very long time thought globally they have businesses ,homes etc all over the world. get a degree in finance, business not english lit unless of course you wish to teach or write. if you consider the world as your oyster you will always find a place to eat and have a home. dubai is absolutely booming you can find anything you want there. they love people who speak english. in the long term view it will be the last place affected by peak oil. china is another good bet for now. as far as manual labor iceland has a dramatic shortage of crafs people they are top heavy with degreed people so electricians etc can do very well there. maybe that is the solution for our immigration problem?
english is still the language of business worldwide a skill and the ability to speak english will be a great asset. i have a friend who tutors english in china he makes $15 an hour pretty crappy right/ except evryone else is making $15 a month. he is doing very well thank you.
just follow the money where is wal mart? where is wal mart going? brazil another good long term bet. remember you are a citizen of the universe. your country left you a long time ago. you are young travel see the world see what feels right to you.
NEVER EVER TRUST A POLITICIAN. AS OREILLY SAYS "WHO IS LOOKLING OUT FOR YOU"? you are looking out for you . the only thing certain to stay the same is change. be flexible. it is a great time to be alive your opportunities are boundless but you can not rely on the old paradigm it is done. create your own………………. wow i envy you.
You and your capacity to earn are your biggest assets. Find ways to make yourself more valuable to other people. Finish college, but start thinking about jobs now. Try to find jobs or internships in your chosen field NOW so that you are more marketable when you graduate. Finding work may be tough in the coming years.
Stay out of debt. Debt = slavery. You only want to go into debt to purchase an appreciating asset, like improving your earning capacity through education. Do not use debt to purchase material things that decline in value. Along those lines, do not buy another car if you can avoid it, and never waste money on a new car. Live with as few material possessions as possible.
Don’t worry about buying gold. That’s for people who already have assets that they are worried about protecting. If at some point in the future you do have money to save or invest find ways to save it in other currencies besides the dollar. There are many ways of doing this (too many to go into here), but don’t worry about it until you have money.
Start developing healthy habits if you have not already. Stop eating junk food and start eating healthy. Get exercise. Play sports if you enjoy them. Don’t pay money to join a gym. Use the school’s facilities or buy yourself a kettlebell and learn how to exercise with it.
Maintain old friendships and try to begin new ones.
Believe it or not, RIGHT NOW is still a great time to be alive. Good luck.
I just graduated college and understand the feelings you have, since I first became aware of these issues about two years ago. Here’s what I would suggest. Earn what you can. As mentioned several times, earning power is great right for you right now. You didn’t mention what you’re major was, but you can probably provide services to others to get cash for college and bills. Look on Craigslist, elancer, and other sites for small jobs you can pick up to pay the bills.
Avoid debt. It’ll hurt you, trust me. I’m working every freelance job I can get to get it paid off.
Go into a "real" major and take "real" classes. Stuff that will provide you valuable knowledge. Sorry if you’re a Comm major or philosophy. If you’re in marketing, it might pay to realize how much of the service economy is driven by a pyramid scheme of advertisers, particulary on the web. You advertise on a site to get people to visit your site to see the ads on your site and so on. You will need to be the best there is in your area to get jobs in the future, so you might have to cut back on the social stuff. Science, engineering, technology and ag are where its going to be at. (Yes technology, if you can use tech to save energy – telecommuting, sharing logistics information etc, you’re going to come out ahead. Electronically sharing information has saved immense amounts of energy. Trying to create the next facebook might not be the best business path or use of tech, though.)
And stay positive. There’s a chance a silver bullet is out there. No need to be a sourpuss around friends and whatnot. Know what you know, share it with the interested, and let it drive you’re decisions. Its pretty depressing knowledge but stay upbeat.
Thats my take anyway.
Well count me as one of the pessimists….I’ve seen this coming for years. Without knowing what your major is, it’s hard to say if your could spend your money more wisely education-wise. I spent a pretty penny on my Computer Science BS and never even made enough money to pay off the loans, though I did enjoy myself for a time. Perhaps a technical college would be better as they tend focus on occupations not easily outsourced.
Am I the only one who thinks maxing out your credit now and paying it back in hyper inflationary dollars might be smart? Smart that is if you spend that credit on things of real value….I’ve got my eye on one of those portable solar panel thingys.
I doubt sincerely though that if there is an economic collapse, that it will be a peaceful one. So your youth will be a great advantage, if that can be said of such a terrible scenario. In any case, good luck.
I’m in my mid 30s and though I’m long out of college, I recently decided to change careers as a direct result of what I’ve been learning about resource depletion, economic instability and climate change. I’m studying to become an acupuncturist and herbalist. I’m also learning to grow and prepare medicinal herbs, training in first aid techniques (bone-setting, suturing, etc.) and learning how to help people stay healthy and well with nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and other non-drug techniques.
When/if the economy tanks, people will lose their jobs and will no longer have health insurance. The health insurance and medical care system itself is likely to not function well even for those that still do have insurance. Western medicine is incredibly reliant upon technology and energy – especially oil. Pharmaceutical medicines are petrochemical-based, for example, and hospitals are unbelievable consumers of electricity. There’s going to be a strong demand for cheap, simple and effective methods of health care in a "post-carbon" world, no matter where one lives.
I have another friend who is training to be a midwife. Same story there. Yet another friend has apprenticed with a cobbler (shoemaker) and is learning to make shoes. Did you know that there are virtually no U.S.-based shoemaking companies anymore? We import almost all of our shoes now from China, and when oil gets too expensive, those boats will stop coming.
This is a rather long-winded way of saying: think about the products and services that will be valuable in a society where energy is declining and the economy is in a depression. People will still need to eat, they’ll still wear clothes and shoes, they’ll still need houses to live in (particularly energy efficient homes), they’ll still need health care, they’ll still need some level of education and a way to learn new skills. These are good places to start. Another way to get at this is to think back to the time before the industrial revolution. What were people doing for a living? Bakers, cobblers, builders, farmers, toolmakers… these professions will be in demand in some form or another.
Of course there are also new professions that will see increased demand, such as solar and wind power engineers, permaculture design experts, and so forth. And while some here may disagree, I believe there will be a strong need for community leaders who have the ability to motivate, inspire, organize and resolve conflicts in their local areas.
The silver lining here is that I sincerely believe that the result of this transition (which won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination), is a more local, sustainable, humane and ultimately satisfying way to live for most people. When I look around today I see that most people are not truly happy with the way we are living. Yet we cling to this life because it’s what we know, and the "misery of the known" is often preferable to the fear of the unknown. I think people will be surprised to find out how much more they enjoy life when they are doing work that is relevant and practical, when they have strong connections with their local communities, when they are walking, riding a bicycle and taking public transportation instead of driving 100 miles each day, when they are playing music and putting together local theater performances instead of watching mindless TV…
Don’t get me wrong, though. We have a long ways to go from where we are now to what I describe above. But the important thing is to be part of that change. We’ve been having meetings in my community about this, and just the act of coming together with other people and discussing ideas, strategies, working together, has been a great experience for all of us. So be part of the solution! Get involved. Choose a trade or vocation that you love and that will be in demand in any economy and any place. Live within your means and don’t spend money on stuff that won’t be valuable in a post-carbon economy. And above all, keep enjoying life as much as you can! It doesn’t serve anyone if you’re depressed and immobilized by fear.
I bet this is really heavy stuff to learn about when you feel like you have your whole life ahead of you. But the trick is to find the opportunity in the crisis and to look for things you can get excited about. That’s true for all of us, I think.