Plan B & Community Relocation Group
This is a group reserved for those seriously interested in exploring all the topics around relocating to a resilient location especially with the intention of creating and belonging to (or joining) a community to some extent.
Here we’ll discuss the basics:
- Who gets to join?
- What sorts of selection criteria will be used?
- What does the physical facility and the lands consist of?
- What features are desired?
- Which are non-negotiable?
- At the state or regional level, what are the considerations?
- At the town level, what are the considerations?
- At the actual parcel of land, what are the criteria and considerations?
- What’s the time frame for moving?
- How much urgency is there?
- Why are we doing this at all?
- If fossil fuels are waning basically forever, the “why” includes a sense of what’s being left behind for future generations.
- If we’re not simply trying to re-create “culture 1.0” but in another location, and if we agree that our current culture is missing from vital things which can and should be remedied, the “how” becomes about how we organize ourselves and how we do things as a group or community.
Glad to see the conversation getting kicked off in the forum about this. I attended the get-together and am interested to continue the conversation.
Most of my explorations and visioning around a homestead prior to Chris sharing his idea was around more of a nuclear family model, with a desire to locate in an area that has quality neighbors. I’ve seen examples of rural neighbors a mile apart being WAY more connected and helpful to each other than I have today with my suburban neighbors who are less than a hundred feet away. I’ve also thought of a myriad of reasons that being more tight-knit as a community is advantageous. Chris’ post was well-timed and I wanted to go network and challenge my old assumptions.
What’s the ‘people density’ of a community? Has anyone physically seen a community that exists today and exhibits a design that they love?
One of the big questions for those making such a big decision is “where?” Apologies to non-US focused readers. I did a quick internet search on US maps on topics that I’d consider when searching for my “forever home” or plan B community location. These may not be the main considerations for everyone, but do follow many of the main themes talked about here on PP. I’m wondering, if one could overlay all of these maps and pick out the most appealing locations, where would those be? Does anyone else have a map to be considered here?
USDA Plant Hardiness Zones
Why? Determines if the climate in the region suitable for your agricultural intentions.
Land cover characteristics data in the U.S.
Why? Determines if the region suitable for your overall land use intentions.
US Population Density
Why? Economic activity, pollution, crime, desperate people.
Why? Oil companies get to “self police” and don’t prioritize my access to clean drinking or crop irrigation water over their continuing profits. Read more…
Water contamination: Substantial evidence shows that drilling and fracking activities, and associated wastewater disposal practices, inherently threaten groundwater and have polluted drinking water sources. Repudiating industry claims of risk-free fracking, studies from across the United States present irrefutable evidence that groundwater contamination occurs as a result of fracking activities and is more likely to occur close to well pads. In Pennsylvania alone, the state has determined that 343 private drinking water wells have been contaminated or otherwise impacted as the result of drilling and fracking operations over an eight-year period. As determined by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the chemical contamination of some private water wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania posed demonstrable health risks, rendering the water unsuitable for drinking. Evidence of instances and pathways of water contamination exist even though scientific inquiry is impeded by industry secrecy and regulatory exemptions. The 2005 Energy Policy Act exempts hydraulic fracturing from key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. As a result, fracking chemicals have been protected from public scrutiny as “trade secrets.” The oil and gas sector is the only U.S. industry permitted to inject known hazardous materials near, or directly into, underground drinking water aquifers. At the same time, in most states where fracking occurs, routine monitoring of groundwater aquifers near drilling and fracking operations is not required, nor are companies compelled to fully disclose the identity of chemicals used in fracking fluid, their quantities, or their fate once injected underground. Nevertheless, of the more than 1,000 chemicals that are confirmed ingredients in fracking fluid, an estimated 100 are known endocrine disruptors, acting as reproductive and developmental toxicants. Adding to this mix are heavy metals, radioactive elements, brine, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which occur naturally in deep geological formations a… (read more here. source: https://www.psr.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/compendium-6.pdf)
US Shale Basins and Shale Play Map vs Farms
EPA Cleanup Sites
Why? To help guide you to a region that allows you to minimize the amount of toxins you eat and breathe.
Why? This is a significant source of renewable energy. Ability to keep the lights on longer. Shout out to JHK. Most importantly, where there’s hydroelectric there is significant water (in the form of surface water) and waterways.
National Parks, Forests, and Wilderness Area Map
Why? Outdoor recreation, hunting, foraging, habitat for wildlife, boundaries from industrial activity, clean water sheds, and legitimate permaculture zones 4 & 5.
Light Pollution Map
Why? Just because life is good when I can see a sky full of stars.
If all of these maps could be overlaid on each other which locations would emerge? What other maps should be considered in the decision?
I like your thinking. That’s some good data and a few ideas I haven’t thought of.
A note of plant hardiness and land cover, climate change will change everything. And the rate of change may be too fast for most things to adapt.
The data is showing climate change is accelerating do to a number of feedback loops (the largest being permafrost melt). We are on track to loose all ice coverage in the arctic within 10 years. The difference in temperatures between the poles and the equator are declining causing the jet streams to slow down. We will end up with troths and valleys of the jet stream getting stuck in regions for months on end. Either you get hot & dry, or cold & wet. This is what we have been seeing, but it’s on track to intensify greatly.
Imagine a cold wet spring that rains and floods until July, and then switches to hot and dry with 90 degree days up until October. Wait, we pretty much just had that here in Ohio.
Yes, I am aware of Solar Forcing theories, but green house gases are currently a much larger factor.
Thus, I would include the following regional climate predictions:
* Southwest north America – Desertification
* Midwest US – Seasonal flooding then dry and hot
* Southeast – Tropical rains, cat 5 hurricanes
* Northeast – Cooler and rainy (because of Greenland and the jet streams)
* Northwest / Alaska – Lots more Pacific heat blob conditions
* The equator regions – wetbulb conditions
* Florida and coastal areas – Sea level rise rates will increase
I’d love to see a good debate on these details.
I had responded with this to another post, but this seems like a better place, and I hope it sparks some ideas.
If we hit a point when SHTF, homesteading on the low my be a ones best option.
Here are some ideas for playing it low:
Stop mowing the grass an extra year in advance
Keep your compost or manure piles in the open
Let the trees and bushes grow in
Keep a dog that barks
Hide any working vehicles, don’t use them.
Don’t shoot guns or other things that make lots of noise
Let the garden get overgrown, that’s actually healthier for it
Keep your livestock out of sight from the road
Don’t post pictures online
Don’t share unnecessary info with your neighbors
Leave junk laying around outside
Stop using visible lights and or block up windows at night
Put up a few simple signs that says “We will shoot”, “No begging, we are desperate too”
Always spend a few minutes looking outside before you go outside.
Provide visibility cover at your home exits
Don’t start visible fires or leave a smoke trail
Use decoys where you can, even a decoy house, and a decoy in your bed
Don’t sleep where anyone would expect you to sleep
Have plans for xyz situations and act them out with your group
Keep a crossbow at the ready as they don’t make noise
Share a set of radios with neighbors that you can trust
Provide a signal your neighbors can use to safely approach your property
Be ready to grab your gear and leave at any time
The other option here is you have a functioning community. If you have a functioning community then a security team will be a must have. The security team will have to be large enough to deter all aggressors and steer any refugees. I think turning away refugees will be the hardest part. When the refugees leave they will talk to others about what they have seen. And many in the community will have a hard time turning away women and children. Thus, they will need to be turned away far from the community. In other words, you will need to control all roads into the community.
Just some thoughts..
TLWA1879 and travissidelinger: great information. Have you read the book “Strategic Relocation” by Joel M. Skousen. He does a great job of overlaying the “maps” and recommending areas for relocation. At the time I read his book, his top Eastern USA choice was in North Georgia/Southeastern Tennessee/North Carolina mountains (Blue Ridge mountain area).
On another note. I watched Mike Maloney’s video posts with Chris Martenson where Mike mentioned he was seriously considering a timberland investment in Puerto Rico. I wondered at the time about his thoughts around investing into timberland in a location increasingly impacted by climate change. Maybe I missed-out on something there. Any thoughts?
I personally would not invest in timber in Puerto Rico.
If we are looking at a low energy future – Timber is heavy and difficult to move. I suppose you can load it on boats and float it. We use to float the logs on rivers.
If we are looking at climate change – The island may get a little smaller, but wet bulb conditions will be bad (35C at 100% humidity human beings die). I’ve been to Puerto Rico twice, it was really hot and humid in the summer 20 years ago. And I certainly can’t image a bunch of timber workers saying, sure let me go sweat our asses off cutting and hauling those trees. Imagine if they had to cut them by hand and pull them with horses.
Now, the global economy may not collapse tomorrow and there is still time for that investment to pay off.
Currently 38$. Pricey, though sounds interesting.
Those are some great maps. Thanks for sharing – I have been thinking about the same kinds of things.
My own point of view is to steer away from areas susceptible to coastal flooding and hurricanes. The storms are devastating to your property and crops. The prevalence of those storms is only going to increase. Puerto Rico is exposed to those storms and getting supplies in and out (be they regular or emergency supplies) would have to happen by sea or air. Am I missing something?
I have kids, so my perspective tends to consider future climate trends. If you were only planning for your own lifetime, some decisions might be made differently.
My partner and I would have love to be part of the NH plan, but we have kids in Ohio and we are stuck her for another 12 years, at least.
But, we are actively looking for a plan B option.
We did put in an offer on some property in NW PA, but the seller some delusions. And there are plenty of other options. So we are currently looking at options.
My family has a 220 acre farm in that area we may end up considering it. It is on hill, thus it’s not ideal. We’d rather have land that forms a watershed with a year round running stream.
To answer Chris’ questions, here are my thoughts.
Who gets to join?
What sorts of selection criteria will be used?
We would certainly like to have a small group of people, either on the same land or close near by. If you are interested in this idea to begin with, then you are probably 80% of the way there.
I would include the following criteria:
* Common goals (To build a sustainable future)
* Would choose to cherish and protect nature
* Emotional intelligence. Just read Emotional Intelligence 2.0.
* A common understanding of the world. You’ve read PP’s two books and you get them, along with a number of other key books.
* Can fully comprehend what it means to be in a population overshoot
* All spouses and immediate family are always included
What does the physical facility and the lands consist of?
What features are desired?
Which are non-negotiable?
* As much land as possible
* No crazy zoning rules or land use restrictions
* Relative seclusion from nearby roads
* Low surrounding pollution density
* Terrain of the land, a gentle valley is preferred
* Southern orientation, or at least not the north side of a hill
* Within a larger resilient community
* Far enough from a major metro area
* Any upstream water shed needs to be on “safe” land
* Good soil for gardening/farming
* Trees that can be harvested for firewood
* Contains a water shed and a year round running stream
* Has a large pond, with some fish would be a bonus
* Some pasture land
* Cost of building an access road (If the property cost $100k, but the access road and bridge will cost $100k, then the property really costs $200k)
* Mineral rights, and land that was not fracked nor will be fracked
* Police reports in the area
At the state or regional level, what are the considerations?
At the town level, what are the considerations?
At the actual parcel of land, what are the criteria and considerations?
I would recommend the north eastern US and Canada, based on the theory that after the the arctic sea ice is completely gone (in about ten years) what is left of the arctic polar vortex will shift down over Greenland. The polar vortex spins counter clockwise. Thus, it will tend to bring cooler weather down over the north eastern region. Keep in mind we really don’t know what will happen for sure, and that cooler air may be another 4C warmer then current. I’m personally very worried about what will happen after the arctic sea ice is completely gone. This last year we had 1ft of water running down a nearby street and 90F temperatures in October, and the ice is not completely gone yet.
Also, the location must be within 1/2 a days drive from where we live.
What’s the time frame for moving?
How much urgency is there?
Hey, it takes 10 years to establish a homestead. The sooner you get started the better.
* Fruit trees need planted
* Compost piles needs started
* Soil needs layered year after year on the garden
* Trees need planed. The ones you won’t keep need cut back. The ones you want to keep need helped out
* Water systems need established
* A pond or stream ecosystem needs time to build up
* If you had to alter the land to build a house, it will take time for the ecosystem to bounce back
* Wild game populations may need time to adapt to your changes, and you need to adapt to them.
Why are we doing this at all?
If fossil fuels are waning basically forever, the “why” includes a sense of what’s being left behind for future generations.
Simple, we have young kids. I personally think the SHTF scenario is a real possibility within 5 to 20 years. Once people collectively start to figure out the severity of our conundrums, people here are very capable of not being civil towards each other.
If we’re not simply trying to re-create “culture 1.0” but in another location, and if we agree that our current culture is missing from vital things which can and should be remedied, the “how” becomes about how we organize ourselves and how we do things as a group or community
This is a big topic. Charles Hugh Smith has certainly spent some time thinking this over. And there is certain no one right answer.
Let me try to first answer a few core things that went wrong with the United States of America:
* All laws and rules need to have expiration dates. If it was really a good idea, then it will get renewed. If it wasn’t a good idea it will just go away. We just have layers of junk piled on junk.
* The people should never be able to directly elect their own leaders. That’s like picking your own parents or your own boss. Most other countries choose a parliamentary system.
* Popular voting systems will always lead to binary options. Ranked voting or up and down voting are much better solutions.
* The people should be able to hold a simple vote and have any politician or official removed from office.
* Money should never be allowed in politics, period. A campaign wants to buy balloons. The answer is no. A campaign wants to rent an auditorium. The answer is no. A for profit news agentcy want to report on the candidates. The answer is no.
Sure, that’s not everything. But it’s enough for here.
So knowing these basics, say you have a group of 100 people:
* We vote on a leadership counsel
* The counsel writes any rules and are there to resolve any disagreements
* The leadership counsel selects the group leader
* The group leader proposes who he/she would like on key posts (security, treasurer, food production, land management, etc). They run the show working for the group leader.
* Ranked voting or up and down voting are used
* Any rules the console agree on one year need to be re-approved the following year
* All positions of power need to have term limits and peaceful transitions to minimize corruption. Term limits do get harder in smaller groups as you may only have one person that is able to do that task, but then corruption is harder because everyone knows each other much better.
* Most important, everyone needs to trust each other. A main job of the leader will be to monitor and manage levels of trust.
Most everything else you just figure it out as you go.
Hopefully that seems simple enough and familiar to what we already know.