Let's be less egocentric, short-sighted and simplistic about all this

18 posts / 0 new
Last post
silviatic's picture
silviatic
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2012
Posts: 17
Let's be less egocentric, short-sighted and simplistic about all this

I am curious...why everybody thinks and post as if the world will end? I see posts here from 2008 and wonder what are those people doing/thinking now, four years later...

I learned about what we call “peak oil” (that really encompasses financial breakdown, climate change, peak oil, etc.) back in January this year (2012). I have read a few books and follow some blogs, such as this, the Peak Oil Blues and the PCI, among others.

There are two things that I don’t understand: 1) Most books and blogs talk about US, as if these things won’t affect (or as if they were not affecting) the world as a whole, some countries more than others. The second thing that bothers me is the emphasis in preparing for some kind of civil war and sudden collapse: people are talking about huge systems failing (food, water, electricity, etc.) and buying weapons, moving to a farm and buying gold.

Here are my two cents: I was born in a country that have already collapsed (and is still there, broken and shaking, but people have not killed each other, there is still water and food, people get creative and yes, some become criminals, but those are just a few). I also lived (as a refugee) in another country that have passed for many things. It is an oil country, so gas is cheap and abundant, but there is scarcity of goods and middle class people live hidden in their bunker houses with huge gates. Kidnapping is common, and they may kill you for a pair of shoes, but people are still working, going to restaurants and concerts, children going to schools, etc.

Now I live in Canada, from the three, the safer and nicer country: here nothing happens. I guess this is the reason people panic when thinking on what could happen if the financial system fails.

There is a reason why there are fewer blogs and forums out of US, Canada and UK: entire regions have collapsed before (in my country, people would live in cardboard-made houses, and many would line up to “buy” McDonalds’ scraps to eat that day. Banks froze money and many lost their entire life savings – my mother included in the lot. I recall travelling in 1989 when energy was controlled and we only had water and power for two hours, sometimes less a day). The thing is that this is ignored by most US and Canadian people.

You need to understand how collapses work: not all the systems break at the same time, nor equally. Systems start having problems for lack of maintenance, streets don’t get repaired because  priorities change and there is no more money to pay. More and more people become unemployed, prices skyrocket,  and  things that were free or cheap disappear, such as food banks and shelters (donations become too scarce and volunteers need to focus on their own people’s needs). Not everything breaks during collapses, not at the same time, nor with the same impact. Some people actually benefit from collapses: they make a living because they have access to certain resources, or have a network of power.

Many take advantage, and many thrive because they find that they are stronger when facing adversity.

Thinking on this affecting US (or Canada, or UK) only is selfish and short-sighted. It is affecting now the EU, but has affected South America in different degrees in the past (and still). Thinking that it will happen all of a sudden and affecting every single system at once is ignoring history, how systems are interconnected and how they work, is also ignoring how people tend to react.

I am not saying it won’t happen. But first, is not an “it”, “they” (the small collapses) are plural and complex. They will happen in different degrees, addressing one family or one town/city at a time, they won’t touch everybody. There will be losers (tons of them) and winners. Winners may not necessarily be the ones who have been building a bunker. Depending on your concept of “winners”, winners can be the ones who take advantage of others and the circumstances, or winners can be the resourceful ones who have built a strong connection with their communities, not preparing themselves for a war with weapons, keeping water and food in a basement, but helping others to create a community of resilience where all learn how to get water and food locally and share.

I prefer to be in the last boat: I am not stocking food (I don’t have the money or the space, and any amount of food I could collect may last for max 1 year, and then what?); I am not installing solar panels or a well (I live in a townhouse); I am not buying gold (I have a huge debt and a small salary, no savings and a family to feed), and I am completely against acquiring weapons (what will we do? Kill each other?)

My approach is paying my debt; learning skills or bringing them back from times when I used to take showers with a halved coconut, pump water from the yard and cook in a hand-made oven, and trying to start a community garden as a first step towards building a resilient community.

There is a flaw in the “shopping” mentality: you are just switching from shopping at Walmart to shopping at “Peak Oil store”.  Same in the preparedness: from “I isolate myself in my McMansion with 5 TVs and four SUVs” to “I isolate myself in my off the grid farm with my chicken and goats”

For real resilience to take place, we have to be less selfish, less simplistic and less short-sighted.

 

josephemer@gmail.com's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 2
silviatic

 Well said! Thanks for your refreshing reality-based perspective. 

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
egocentric?

Dear Silviatic,

Welcome to the forums.

Yes some of the posters here are egocentric. But most are not: they just want to get through any possible problems with their families fed and make a transition to a simpler lifestyle. Despite the frequent posters here who are wealthy and trying to "shop their way to resilience" the vast majority of us are concentratng on the things we can do in just such a slow decline as you describe (See The Long Emergency). My personal belief is that there is an 80 percent chance of the developed nations all turning into undeveloped, post-industrial places slowly.  I do think there is a 20 percent chance of a much quicker fall into third-worldism than you can imagine. Take the Crash Course on this site to see why.

Yes, there are many Americans here, but that makes sense - this is an English-speaking site and they have the most standard of living to lose. But there are also Canadians, Brits and other Europeans, Autralians, and New Zelanders. Basically, we have the entire English-speaking world and even people in other countries with similar beliefs like ex-pats in places like Japan or English speakers in Belgium.

Most of us do not debate politics, although some do, and most of us do not have enough money to own gold as a way to "preserve wealth" although some do. Some of us are concerned about civil unrest if a financial crash is sudden or slow, but the gun and training are more to protect our families from robbers as times get harder. Most Americans look at guns not as tools of greedy violence but as insurance against criminals.

Let me give you myself as an example of an American on this site. I do not own any gold, and I was never "rich" by Anerican standards (daughter of an elementary school teacher) but am keenly aware that I would be considered rich in most of the rest of the world. I've been to third world countries and think we are heading that way. Because I expected things in my country to get slowly more expensive with less services, I had three sons as my "retirement plan." I made sure I was out of debt (not easy, especialy after university, and it took a ong time and hard work) so I would not be a "debt slave" - paying of debt while being in debt is very hard, but working mostly to pay off things bought on credit while living expensively is eventually harder.

Recently, I moved out of a very populous area where there was no longer any land left to farm, and things were very expensive (a 100-mile long island with a population of six-million) to a place that was less expensive with land to grow food. I moved from a place that was dependent on oil to make electricity to a place that has hydropower (and some distant nuclear power.) I have concetrated on making my new husband's house ventilated by screens instead of air conditioning, and now  it is heated by wood instead of electricty, oil or natural gas.

I put in a clothesline instead of a dryer. I started growing my own vegetables. Where is the egotism in that? The emphasis for most of us on this site, not all I will admit but most, is to live simpler, with less. We plant a fruit or nut tree, maybe start raising chickens, and learn how to dehyddrate food for the winter. We are sharing things the third world knows how to do. Here, in developed countries, many simpler ways to live are forgotten knowledge. When we rediscover things, we share.

We call it accepting the coming lowering of our standard of living. We can either experience it as a lifestyle change and embrace it, or pretend things will always be this prosperous and experience the changes as a loss. And I agree that most chages will be small and complex...probably. But there is a chance that the changes may be swift. If America, for example, has no one buying her government bonds, many elderly, poor and/or disabled people will stop reciving money to live on. If that happens, my family and I want to be able to help as many as we can. *Sigh*

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, but perhaps you have misjudged us. Perghaps a sudden collapse of the developed world's financial system is more possible than you think. And perhaps you have not realized that many here are simply worried for their neighbors and their families. Again, if you have not yet taken the free Crash Course, may I suggest you do so? Then you will see that there is a rational basis for our concerns. When you're done, look at the "What should I do?" series. That's the rest of the heart of this site.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
Almost Pointless

This is almost pointless to say, but I see your post as being everything you said we should not be.

Part 1: Egocentric

You've lived in collapsed societies? Wow, hey, me too. In addition, I've lived in collapsed societies within the U.S.
Who here said everything is going to break down at one time? Furthermore, and I'll tie more into this later, but America is rife with interconnected systems - a problem/benefit that is comparably less promonent in other nations.

Egocentricity can be identified as an inability to look beyond ones' own predialections. You said:

Quote:

There are two things that I don’t understand: 1) Most books and blogs talk about US, as if these things won’t affect (or as if they were not affecting) the world as a whole, some countries more than others. The second thing that bothers me is the emphasis in preparing for some kind of civil war and sudden collapse: people are talking about huge systems failing (food, water, electricity, etc.) and buying weapons, moving to a farm and buying gold.

Again, I'll break this into two parts:
1.) Amero-centrism: This is a website run from America, populated predominantly by Americans and peppered generously with folks like Damnthematrix, AmandaV, Gyrogearloose and others who I apologize for not remembering off the top of my head. I recall two participants from Russia (and have known Russians who lived through the Soviet Collapse) and we have a strong showing from Britain, Australia and New Zealand here. 

2.) Preparing for a civil war? Please - site me one, single example of anything even remotely close to this.

The community here isn't talking about the things you listed in the context you're presenting. We do these things because that's what prudent adults do - they plan their work, and work their plan. It simply makes sense to have these things. I have rain barrels, solar and a (albeit, humble) garden because I *enjoy* these things. I like knowing I have some extra. Does this mean I'll hoard it to myself, and tell my neighbors to go pound sand in their time of need? 

No. Absolutely not. 

Guns - this is something I don't expect people to understand, but again - if you think this is something we're doing to use as standoff tools against our neighbors, you're wrong. I strongly doubt you've ever fought for your life. Again, I have. I've fought with everything from blocks of concrete, to bare fists, to Hellfires. Having, and being proficient with a weapon isn't the focus here. The focus is having a mind that is limber enough to make you a weapon - the tools are a side discussion, no different than men who are interested in cars discuss the merits of the big block 401 vs the 304.

Those engines mean nothing without a competant, skilled driver, and if you spend some time reading and learning, you'll see that most of our discussions here are familiarizing the "drivers" with the "machine", and helping them build safe, responsible skillsets that can be used against the unreasonable, irrational men that John Locke warned us about 300 years ago.

If you spent as much time here as you claim, you'd probably know this. Which brings us to;

Part 2: Short-Sighted

8 Weeks isn't long to be a member, Silviatic. In nearly 3 years, I've seen discussions on an immense variety of international topics: Fukushima, OPEC, the Saudi Oil fields, Russia's incursion into Georgia, Dr. Bartlett's "Arithmetic, population and energy", Afghanistan's Mineral Wealth, the liklihood of natural disasters, and the implications of man-made disasters, to include the Indonesian Tsunami, the Japanese Tsunami (which was one of the most read articles on this sight - how's that for Amero-centrism?) and of course, the Katrina Aftermath.

I've written specifically on breakdowns in other nations, Mumbai for example, and the site has hosted Fernando "FerFAL" Aguierra for yet another international opinion. If you read his contribution, you'll see several other posts from Argentine and Latin Americans.

A quick analysis of this shows that the participants here are worried not only about consumption and growth, but have discussed (in depth) the corollary complications that attend a variety of these situations. This, in my opinion, sounds a lot less like myopia and significantly more like a group of intelligent, concerned people weighing the merits of various situations.

Part 3: Simplicity

In addition to spending time in the third world, I also had the fortune to be in the Gulf Coast immediately post Katrina. 
If you're making the assertion that "not all the systems break at the same time, nor equally" can be tied directly back to myopia. 

Systems DO collapse entirely, and at a moments notice. People in this country eat scraps out of dumpsters, live under tarps and will kill you for shoes. People in this country live on food and energy as if it was credit. They'll pay the bill when it's due. Can that be said for where you lived? Been through the Chicago, or L.A. Riots? My old man lived through the later. How about Hurricane Katrina? The NYC Blackout? Rodney King Riots? Law and Order break down frequently, autonomous of total governmental failures.

Further, isn't it more likely that a banking crisis here, in a nation that literally relies on the flow of capital to accomplish even the most menial of tasks, a reasonable concern when you start including some basic facts about the American way of life? Here are a few to think about:
- Most of our population has never starved; see: not eaten for more than two weeks at a time
- Most of our population lives at a standard that is in radical excess to the bulk of the human population
- Our population is largely unfamiliar with primitive/sustainable agriculture
- Our population is racially hetrogenous with huge socio-economic gradients seperating populations
- For the first time in history, more people live in cities than in rural areas

So, are we making this too simple? Have I made a mistake somewhere in my "ballparking" the potential for a drastic, globally life-altering event to take place within my, or my children's lifetimes? Do those of us who choose to prepare deserve a snide, dismissive wave of the hand as being a bunch of gold-hoarding, gun-toting American psychos? 

Because as I see it, this is the mentality that allowed humans to survive. If this is your purview, then I'll gladly stick to being egocentric, short-sighted and simplistic.

Cheers,

Aaron
 

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2011
Posts: 344
lots of reasons

For starters, I can't help notice you don't reside in whatever Godforsaken wasteland you were referring to - for obvious reasons I'm guessing, but the point is, its better in a modern world for most.    Citizens of developed countries (especially those who've never had armed conflict on their soil) have no interest in hearing how "its not so bad" to live on a fraction of their current living standard.  In the US, the world revolves on the division of labor, specializtion of skill, and converting those efforts for a unit of exchange aka the dollar.  Maybe its our denial of cyclical time and our arrogance of linear interpretation, perhaps its an awareness of impending troubles, or even holding ourselves responsible for an outcome that we cannot control - forcing even proactive preppers into a very uncomfortable reactive state.  Maybe we're wiser  - preppers everywhere - I mean.  My definition of wisdom is learning from others, mostly from history...... as opposed to intelligence which limits you to your personal experiences.  I'll agree that each collapse has a unique signiture marked by events that even if small, still display a dynamic that [even if one was present to witness personally] lends itself to a variety of interpretations.

You cannot compare your known version of misery in some backwater used to and accustomed to shortages, kidnappings, turbulence, crime, and constant social upheaval to the crack in the damn which is represented by a declining global currency that once broken, will unleash a global flood of misery in a world tide together with hundreds of trillions of obligations - all competing for the honor bestowed to the winner of the global "race to the bottom" award.   You're not allowing for the reality that is represented by global banking cartels acting in coordination with governments, etc.   Folks won't just adjust, accomodate, and deal with it.  I suppose some will, but most will resist, fight, and do everything in their power to survive and thrive.  As an American, I know I want to thrive - not merely survive.  Without hope, I'm done.  Prepping allows me to hope.

Maybe preppers just see something you don't, or worse, cannot?  Maybe you're a troll infiltrating a solid site - wouldn't be the first or last I guess.  If you're serious, good luck, seriously - I believe you'll need it.  I respect your opinion though I simply could not disagree more.

inchicapi's picture
inchicapi
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 29 2010
Posts: 4
Thank you for your interesting post Silviatic

Thank you for your interesting post Silviatic and I join safewrite in welcoming you.

<< My approach is paying my debt; learning skills or bringing them back
<< from times when I used to take showers with a halved coconut, pump
<< water from the yard and cook in a hand-made oven, and trying to start
<< a community garden as a first step towards building a resilient community.

Sounds excellent!

I hope you spend fruitful time here learning and sharing along with the rest of us here.

Richard,
Peru.

xraymike79's picture
xraymike79
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 2040
As DK would say, more Liberty through better Shopping...
silviatic wrote:

...

There is a reason why there are fewer blogs and forums out of US, Canada and UK: entire regions have collapsed before (in my country, people would live in cardboard-made houses, and many would line up to “buy” McDonalds’ scraps to eat that day. Banks froze money and many lost their entire life savings – my mother included in the lot. I recall travelling in 1989 when energy was controlled and we only had water and power for two hours, sometimes less a day). The thing is that this is ignored by most US and Canadian people.

You are correct in that observation. There are fewer "collapse" blogs outside of the wealthy western countries. These wealthy countries have much further to fall than those in other countries who live and consume at a much less energy-intensive lifestyle. Because of its extensive rail system, Europe is actually much better off than the individual car-dependent America.

silviatic wrote:

You need to understand how collapses work: not all the systems break at the same time, nor equally. Systems start having problems for lack of maintenance, streets don’t get repaired because  priorities change and there is no more money to pay. More and more people become unemployed, prices skyrocket,  and  things that were free or cheap disappear, such as food banks and shelters (donations become too scarce and volunteers need to focus on their own people’s needs). Not everything breaks during collapses, not at the same time, nor with the same impact. Some people actually benefit from collapses: they make a living because they have access to certain resources, or have a network of power.

Many take advantage, and many thrive because they find that they are stronger when facing adversity.

Thinking on this affecting US (or Canada, or UK) only is selfish and short-sighted. It is affecting now the EU, but has affected South America in different degrees in the past (and still). Thinking that it will happen all of a sudden and affecting every single system at once is ignoring history, how systems are interconnected and how they work, is also ignoring how people tend to react.

I am not saying it won’t happen. But first, is not an “it”, “they” (the small collapses) are plural and complex. They will happen in different degrees, addressing one family or one town/city at a time, they won’t touch everybody. There will be losers (tons of them) and winners. Winners may not necessarily be the ones who have been building a bunker. Depending on your concept of “winners”, winners can be the ones who take advantage of others and the circumstances, or winners can be the resourceful ones who have built a strong connection with their communities, not preparing themselves for a war with weapons, keeping water and food in a basement, but helping others to create a community of resilience where all learn how to get water and food locally and share.

I agree with these thoughts which are in sync with what John Michael Greer says in "The Long Emergency" and his essays. Some areas of the economy will still function while others will disappear and be replaced by something else:

Faith in imminent apocalypse comforts those people who cannot accept society as it is; they long for a catastrophe massive enough to topple the proud towers of a civilization they loathe.

The Long Decent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age | John Michael Greer | p42

 

In past examples of the unraveling of a civilization, the process has followed very different rates and trajectories in different regions, social classes, ethnic groups, and so on. I expect that to happen this time as well. Fifty years from now, for example, there might still be regions of the United States where people in the upper and upper middle classes still have electricity, central heating, and some semblance of the internet, and work at jobs not too different from those their equivalents have today; the working classes in those same areas might be working and living in the same conditions as 19th century factory laborers; while around the remaining cities, suburbs have been replaced by vast slums like the ones in today’s Third World, where people live on the equivalent of a couple of dollars a day.  Meanwhile, in other parts of the US at that same time, things may have contracted to something not too far from a medieval peasant economy, and still other regions may be strung out at points along the spectrum in between.

There’s also a lot of diversity across time.  Civilizations don’t fall along a smooth curve; they hit crises, undergo partial disintegrations, struggle back from chaos, reestablish stability for a time, hit another round of crises; rinse and repeat, and you’ve got the standard model of decline and fall, as Arnold Toynbee among other sketched it out. That same rhythm affects individual lives.  Your next door neighbor might lose his job permanently next week, and drop from abundance industrialism straight into a salvage economy you yourself won’t see in this lifetime; he might turn around and find a different job, and move back out of the salvage economy into scarcity industrialism.

 

The Echotechnic future


And Greer doesn't see much use for gold:

Looking back at history, especially the decline of the Roman Empire, he predicts that the concept of investments will not be one that long survives in the world of long decline. Going beyond the concept that what we call economic growth will not be possible in a post peak world, so that much of what we consider wealth will turn out to be illusions, there is also the possibility that the nice yellowish metal that is so popular right now... may not turn out to be as useful as one may think. A pile of loot attracts looters as he put it. A historical example is the stockpiles of Roman gold coins that are found on a regular basis in England. Nearby is almost always the ruin of a post-Roman villa that was certainly sacked in search of those coins. Investment in things that can't be looted or are not so alluring like tools, friendships and ties to one's community might be a better bet.

The End of Investments

silviatic wrote:

My approach is paying my debt; learning skills or bringing them back from times when I used to take showers with a halved coconut, pump water from the yard and cook in a hand-made oven, and trying to start a community garden as a first step towards building a resilient community.

There is a flaw in the “shopping” mentality: you are just switching from shopping at Walmart to shopping at “Peak Oil store”.  Same in the preparedness: from “I isolate myself in my McMansion with 5 TVs and four SUVs” to “I isolate myself in my off the grid farm with my chicken and goats”

For real resilience to take place, we have to be less selfish, less simplistic and less short-sighted.

I love that quote:

There is a flaw in the “shopping” mentality: you are just switching from shopping at Walmart to shopping at “Peak Oil store”. 

America is really skillful at commercializing and profiting off of anything and everything including its own paranoia, even if it means shooting ourselves in the foot. For instance we're in the process of turning our country into a security and surveillance state in the name of this quixotic "War on Terror" that we declared after 9-11. Did we spend any of our energy on some introspection and self-examination...No, we simply made everything concerning 9-11 a two dimensional and immature argument of 'us versus them', 'you are either for us or against us.' And in the end we have destroyed civil liberties and shredded the Constitution and Bill of Rights in order to protect something not worth protecting.

 

silviatic's picture
silviatic
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2012
Posts: 17
Dear

Dear Safewrite,

Thank you for your comments. i bought the crash course book and I am reading it right now. Sorry if I sounded too harsh.

I have found many strange comments and I reacted to that...probably because I am confused about all this as well.

I am also doing many things you are mentioning: I don’t use the dryer anymore, I bought a bike, I am aggressively reducing our debt and have abandoned my studies (my degree is not recognized in Canada, so I started studying a degree again, I only have 1.5 years left, but I realized that this doesn’t make any sense now)

I have to confess that all this is affecting my work and my life in general. I also feel very isolated: my friends are in another world, and the ones who care, tell me “not to worry that much about the world” as if it were “my” problem and not theirs as well.

As a reaction to nights without sleeping and an obsession on reading more and more blogs, magazines and books about this, I have tried to see things in perspective: “hey, I lived through this before”.

It is good to see that not everybody is concerned about how many guns and gold they have. I lived in Venezuela, where middle class people live in nice bunker-houses with double gates. There, robbers don’t respect anything: there are 50-100 theft-related deaths every week.  Children are kidnapped and public buses are driven to isolated areas where women are raped. That’s why I left to Canada, and for a while, I lived here like heaven. But I learned one thing in Venezuela: having guns doesn’t work. The criminals have something we don’t have: cold blood and no respect for human life.

I hope my “entrance” into the forum is not tinted with the wrong image from now on J

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Aaron Moyer wrote: This is
Aaron Moyer wrote:

This is almost pointless to say, but I see your post as being everything you said we should not be.
 

Wow Aaron......  your best post by a very long shot!

Mike

silviatic's picture
silviatic
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2012
Posts: 17
Thanks Aaron

Hi Aaron,

Thank you for your clarification. I apologize, as I can see that many felt that my comments were directed to them personally. I wasn’t talking about you or “this” blog, my vision reflected my perception after reading many books, blogs and comments, and overall, I continue to feel the same, although that does not represent everybody;, and yes, I have been a member for 8 weeks and I have realized the mess we are in just last January: as many others out there, I was naive. That doesn’t make me less person, I can still share my point of view. Being late to this party is not a criminal offense. At least now I am awake, after thinking for almost eight years that I was in “safe land”

Many of the things you mention, unfortunately, I have to contradict you: I have been there. I have survived many things: a coup d’état with soldiers coming to my house and putting me (10 year old) against a wall, while others were taking the breath from my stepfather, looking for “proof”. I come from a country where more than 30,000 people disappeared and died in torture jails. Children were killed and parents in front of their children. I lived for 10 months in the back of trucks, backyards and tents, running all the time. I forgot how to cry and lost many friends in unspeakable ways. I have lived through bomb explosions and I had gone with my mother to demonstrations where soldiers would slap and spit on you. I had fight for my life and that of others close to me. I have survived and avoided rape just for a thin hair.

I hope this is not a competition about who suffered through  more or who has lived through more mess, but we can accept our flaws and learn from each other. Again, I apologize if I hurt your or other member’s feelings.

Your and other members’ comments have clarified many things to me and have opened a conversation

silviatic's picture
silviatic
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2012
Posts: 17
To Treemagnet

Hi Treemagnet,

If you were trying to suggest I can’t fathom a huge collapse because I come from an under-developed country used to live in misery, I am sorry to tell you that you are mistaken. And I have lived in the “developed” world enough to know how things can impact people here as well.

And I am sorry to disappoint you, but I am not a ‘troll” of any kind. I came here as you did: to learn from others and share.

silviatic's picture
silviatic
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2012
Posts: 17
Thanks Richard!

Thanks Richard, I recognize a friendly welcoming. Looking forward to learn more!

LG's picture
LG
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2009
Posts: 59
The Long Emergency

Damnthematrix,

Not Greer but Kunstler. JHK is coming out with an update of "The Long Emergency" in early July. "To Much Magic"  I am looking forward to it. Like your comments.

LG

silviatic's picture
silviatic
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2012
Posts: 17
To Xraymike79

Thanks Xraymike79,

I am reading “The long descent” by JM Greer and have finished “The long emergency” by Kunstler already.

Good to see that somebody really read my comments and took time to actually appreciated them for what they were

 

 

xraymike79's picture
xraymike79
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 24 2008
Posts: 2040
Greer/Kunstler
silviatic wrote:

I am reading “The long descent” by JM Greer and have finished “The long emergency” by Kunstler already.

Good to see that somebody really read my comments and took time to actually appreciated them for what they were.

Thanks for correcting me on the Greer and Kunstler book titles. I sometimes get them mixed up. I think it all boils down to living within our means ecologically since any economy's foundation is based on the earth's resources. For mankind to really appreciate and respect this, we will first have to change our ethos from one of exploitation and narcissism to one of cooperation and community-mindedness. The American culture/economy is, as you know, based overwhelmingly on the former principles, not the latter.

silviatic's picture
silviatic
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2012
Posts: 17
xraymike79 wrote:   Thanks
xraymike79 wrote:

 

Thanks for correcting me on the Greer and Kunstler book titles. I sometimes get them mixed up.

I started with Heinberg first (The End of Growth) and then continue with Peak Everything and "Depletion and Abundance, by Astyk.

Kunstler is very dark, but makes the point clear. Same as Orlov. But I always want to take some distance and see things in perspective.

xraymike79 wrote:

I think it all boils down to living within our means ecologically since any economy's foundation is based on the earth's resources. For mankind to really appreciate and respect this, we will first have to change our ethos from one of exploitation and narcissism to one of cooperation and community-mindedness. The American culture/economy is, as you know, based overwhelmingly on the former principles, not the latter.

 

I agree with you, although I know many Canadians and Americans that don't fall under that generalization. And many non-Americans who do. If we can change our thinking from "me" to "us" and include more people into the "us" we are going to do much better.

What saddens and concerns me is that society is too complex, and not everybody will react the same way. Many are “happy” (if we can be happy for what’s coming) because they envision a back to the community and simple living. Many of those who think this way also tend to glorify undeveloped cultures thinking that because they “look” happy, they are all happy.  The reality is that they may be more resilient, but still have many challenges, sometimes horrific challenges.

Nobody really knows how people will react and how the collapse will develop. We have examples from the past and the present, but this is a massive collapse...

We also have to be careful when we judge that undeveloped countries will do better through this because they have “experience” and/or are going through this right now, or have a “chronic” collapse. I am not that sure about this. Collapse tends to hit harder on the weak and dependent. And many of those cultures are both: they have huge debts and they have been helped, directly or indirectly by US, Canada and Europe, among others. What will happen when all the programs run out of money? When the big corporations don’t employ them anymore? Many have forgotten how to live from the Earth and have small local economies. And they don’t have access to the Internet (or have less access) to look for advise and share any preparations. They also have less money to prepare...

The roller-coaster will be really bad and many people will be hit in unexpected ways.

A. M.'s picture
A. M.
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2008
Posts: 2368
Woes

 Silviatic,

No offense taken - I'm honestly very sympathetic to your experiences and have no desire to compare notes. 
Needless to say, all manner of emergency is of concern. Even something as simple as being stranded. 

I'm actually interested in hearing your take of my article on Understanding Emergencies, if you haven't already read it. 
http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/practical-survival-skills-101-understanding-emergencies/54480 

Thanks for your reply, and again, I hope your future years are far more pleasant than your past.
Cheers,

Aaron



silviatic's picture
silviatic
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2012
Posts: 17
Aaron Moyer wrote: I'm
Aaron Moyer wrote:

I'm actually interested in hearing your take of my article on Understanding Emergencies, if you haven't already read it. 
http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/practical-survival-skills-101-understanding-emergencies/54480 

 

 

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for the suggested reading. Not sure if I mentioned before, but I am part of an ESS team (Emergency social services) and have been trained to respond to level one, two and three (these levels depend on how many people is affected and what type of resources need to be provided). To keep my mind sharp, I also volunteer for a crisis and referral line at a humanist organization. I carry a phone provided by them, and need to do needs assessment and provide services 24/7 when on shift.

Unfortunately, we are trained to prepare and respond to what you call type 1 (high intensity – short duration) and type 2 (moderate intensity – short/moderate duration) situations. Type three is never considered; at least not at the level I am trained.

We are required to keep a "grab and go bag" (similar to the one you describe in your article, but without weapons) and a kit to resist up to 72 hours. When we are deployed, we bring our grab and go and have access to supplies as the organization is big. However, in a general (or long term) disruption this may not work. I am also taking training to do presentations in schools and businesses or neigbourhoods so they are prepared. Due to the character of the organization, I am not allowed to talk about the long emergency or collapse.

I like the emphasis on switching from “acquisition of material” to “acquisition of skills”. We (people in general) tend to buy “stuff” to feel protected, and we tend to but things without order or without considering the actual needs and the long-term issues: many of the things we can buy may not be sustainable or even useful, as they may require sources of energy that we may don’t have then.

I can see that your emphasis is in physical preparation. I agree on being healthy and fit (that helps to move faster and in different environments. Martial arts are good, but if you are concerned about attacks and consider that others may be armed, it doesn’t help that much.

I emphasize in other types of skill-set as well: growing food and livestock, mechanical skills and basic understanding on how certain things work (to repair and troubleshoot all kind of machines and systems), conflict resolution, crisis management and critical thinking (this develops with training and practice in real-life scenarios) and community development and leadership (a strong community is the better weapon you can have, as it can provide for those who can’t train or care for themselves, and can leverage on the skills and supplies of all).

As a woman and not so young, I am counting more on the last ones.Biking keeps me in shape, same as trying to eat healthy.

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