Reader Survey

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Reader Survey

Hi Everybody,

I have been visiting this site since the 17th chapter of the CC was posted.  Since I read the posts daily, sometimes up to 2 hours in the evenings I have started to get an idea about some of the members ages, occupations and beleifs.   I was wondering if people would be kind enough to share a little bit about themselves by just giving a brief description (no names of course, and just general, not to much info) about where in the world they reside, age, married or single, children, educational background, occupation, etc.  How did you find the Crash Course?  How extreme do you think this economic downturn will be?  What have you done to prepare if you believe it is going to be severe?  If you are preparing for a Mad Max scenario how far along are you?

I am a 42 year old restaurant / bar owner living in the Portland, Oregon area.  I have been self employed for 17 years.  I am married with two children, one in 1st grade and one in kindergarten.  I stumbled upon the Crash Course while doing a search on Google Video for Peak Oil presentations.  I feel fortunate to have had two years of economics in college which has helped me to understand that this event is very severe, unfortunately I still can't come to terms with the idea that this could be another Great Depression.  Part of me believes it will, but having grown up not knowing any truly hard economic times I don't know what to expect and I think that I am still in denial.  Like one person posted the other day "life seems normal right now".  Yes, it does, but is 2009 going to be the year that civil unrest starts due to massive unemployment and state government collapse? 

As far as preparedness goes I became friends with a survivalist about 12 years ago.   At first I thought he was a nutty conspiracy theorist, and I didn't always understand why he felt the way he did about things, but after doing some research and watching things pan out the last 5 years I think he was right.  I lost contact with him about eight years ago but fortunately all his prodding got me to slowly keep investing in the tools of survival and independent living.  My wife and I have over a 150 acre family farm are currently working on relocating to.  The stage I am currently in is gathering food stock in the form of canned goods and enough seed stock for the next few years.  This year we are doubling our garden with the idea of canning and preserving most of it.  We will see how it goes.

I look forward to your replies.

SamLinder's picture
SamLinder
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Joined: Jul 10 2008
Posts: 1499
Re: Reader Survey

Retired 65 year old. Married, 3 adult children, 8 grandchildren. 2 years college, computer consultant - medical devices.

Also living in Portland, Oregon area - specifically an unincorporated area of Washington County between Hillsboro and Beaverton. Although would like to relocate to a rural area and return to a simpler life style, it isn't going to happen at my age!

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Reader Survey

I'll be 57 next month... and I've been pretty well retired for 10 years.  I have been a draftsman and a professional photographer in previous lives.  I retrained in Renewable Energy (Diploma level), but got tired of bashing my head on a brick wall and never really got my new venture going, hence the retirement.  I looked after the twins while my wife who's a Nurse did her essential work.  I now refuse to work at anything unsustainable.

Six years ago (we live in Australia) we bought 1.5 acres 100 miles from our capital city, and I've built (myself) a state of the art energy efficient house that incorporates everything I learnt when I retrained.  Best thing I ever did....  we LOVE the house, so cool in summer, so warm in winter.

At about the same time I did a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) and our entire 1.5 acres is designed on sustainable Permaculture Principles.  We have 21 yo twins, one living with us, plus three goats, seven chooks (errrr I mean chickens) and currently 21 ducks. 

The most important thing we've done in the last 6 months was instigate a Transition Town Initiative in our village to build resilience in our community.  As a result we have more friends than we have ever had...

I found out about this site on  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/killer_ape-peak_oil/

I've been a Peak Oil activist for maybe eight years now....  I'm stunned at just how fast everything's unraveling.  How bad will it get?  Well that depends on US as far as I'm concerned.  We the people must take over from the morons in charge of the world.

Mike. 

pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 456
Re: Reader Survey

Hi

I also turn 57 next month. Medical retirement 15 years ago but make composting toilets for the past five years. Electronics and computing with social sciences in my eclectic background. Live in South Island of New Zealand. Found Chris by searching on "end of money" after sort of figuring it out. Live with my female partner on the fringes of suburbia in an area of 50,000 people or so.

We have vege gardens fruit trees and berries. Lots of stored seeds (organic no hybrids) and heaps of stored food. Solar power for some things. Made a huge list of things needed for survival and then went and got most of them. Prepared to move and live in our freezer panel caravan away from people if necessary and possible but it will be a last resort. Fortunately know an area well that has no residents, is accessible and could support us at a pinch.

Expect things to get very bad here after america or europe which ever falls first. Have really been surprised at how slow it is all happening. Know that the planet has to shed many billions of people but don't yet know how and when.

Don

___________________________________________________

7 billion people can be wrong, very wrong

affert's picture
affert
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Joined: Sep 22 2008
Posts: 100
Re: Reader Survey

I am 28 years old.  I am married.  I telecommute into a job doing client set-up for company that provides database/datamining services for hospitals and pharmacys.  My wife and I are moving to St Paul MN for her to start a PhD in Environmental Policy (focusing on Energy Resources) this summer.  I first found about the CC by someone in the Motley Fool forumns while I was trying to research more after watching 'Money as Debt'.

We have done some teir 1 actions (get some money out of the banking system, buy some gold), but haven't done much beyond that.  I would like to buy property (house with enough room for big garden) sometime in the next couple years, but don't want to be burdened by lots of debt to do that.   We've moved around a lot in the past few years, so we don't feel strongly plugged in anywhere at this point. 

SingleSpeak's picture
SingleSpeak
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Joined: Dec 1 2008
Posts: 503
Re: Reader Survey

I'm 51 and married and raising a couple of grandkids. I've taught music privately since 1990. I opened a music school here in Murrieta, CA, 5 years ago (academyofmusik.com) so now I do mainly administration and little direct teaching. In addition to the school, I play guitar in a Beatles tribute band (silverbeatlesband.com).

After watching our retirement shrink about 25% last year, I started freaking out a little and searching for a way to avoid the carnage. I listened to Robert Kiyosaki saying that he believed owning silver at this time is a smart strategy. It was while investigating that on goldsilver.com that I found the Crash Course. As far as steps taken so far, I've retreated from the stock market and have 90% of what was left in precious metals. I'm taking a course on trading later this week so I can get a better understanding on how to short the market instead of always going long. I have a hunch that the shorts are going to be winners for a while. 

Basically, I'm preparing for my next 20 years to be completely different than my last 20 years. I wish everyone the best in facing the coming challenges. I believe that paying attention to Chris Martenson and others that have not buried their head in the sand like Ron Paul and Peter Schiff, etc. is a good way to not get blindsided by the coming changes.

Doug's picture
Doug
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Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3157
Re: Reader Survey

I'm a 62 yo Fed. gov't employee who lives in a rural western New York area on about 14 acres, most of which is in various stages of second growth woods.  The house and barn are nearly 200 years old, but aren't as energy efficient a I would like.  I commute two days a week into a medium sized city 45 miles away.  We are my wife, two kids (almost 16 and 18) and me.  The eldest will be heading off to college in the fall at one of the preeminent environmental science schools in the country.  That's assuming the s doesn't truly htf first.

I really don't remember how I found this site, probably linked from some political, economic or environmental website, since I spent a good bit of time at such sites before landing here.

In terms of preparation, we have enough cash on hand to get by for a while, been storing food and necessities and already had a lot of gardening and timbering tools.  We have a fair sized garden every year, but are planning on doing it more intensively this year.  We have the remnants of an old orchard that still produces a lot of apples each year and have been harvesting raspberries (my personal favorite) and blueberries.  My wife scours the countryside every year to gather thimbleberries and blackberries.  I've been talking to a few of my neighbors and distributing the CC dvd's to those I think would be receptive.  I withdrew about 60% of my retirement account and rolled it over into an IRA, most of which I moved offshore.  I'm not so sure of our near term future that I feel totally confident about that move.  But, I didn't see any better alternatives.

Although we've thought about moving to an existing organized community, I don't see that happening before the youngest graduates from college.  In the meantime one of the things I would like to do is install some form of solar and/or wind energy system, but the costs have been prohibitive. 

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
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Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 305
Re: Reader Survey

Hey, Larstup! DH and I moved from Murrieta 14 months ago! We visited over thanksgiving, and it seems to be holding up better than I anticipated, being at ground zero of the real estate crash. Hope it's still doing well...

 DH and I are 44 and 43, with two kids 10 and 7. We have been keeping our income and outgo low since the first child, to be as involved as we both could be in childrearing. Pre kids we were newspaper journalists, then I went into media relations, they stayed at home, then retrained and worked as a massage therapist (wonderful boost to my right brain!) and DH quit his LA Times job with a buyout package, taught at the community college, then I dragged us to Colorado because I really, really felt like we needed to get out of California. I didn't see any of this coming, but I must have felt it at some level.

We live just outside a university town in Northern Colorado and DH commutes to what was supposed to be a 50 percent job in Boulder as a magazine art director. The hours have been slipping over the past  year. We'll see what happens. I found the CC in September while reading a lovely blog of another unschooler down in New Mexico who has a sustainable homestead. Ironwood Farm Project is their farm's name.

 I'd been vaguely aware of discussions about peak oil on the simple living discussion boards, but wasn't ready to hear it. In September, after about the third morning of newspaper headlines screaming biggest ever collapse of Lehman Bros and such-and-such unprecedented Fed action I finally was moved to figure out what was going on. Ever since then I've been trying to balance the urge to understand what might happen and the need to stay grounded in my actual reality, where I'm fine, and safe and prosperous. Tricky balance, I will say, but absolutely necessary for me  to maintain some peace of my and not destroy my enjoyment of the now.

 I got the rest of the way out of stocks as soon as I listened to the CC and I got DH out a few weeks later. I pulled about 20 percent of our retirement money out (ROTH contributions plus as much of my regular IRA as I could pull out without going into the next tax bracket, which was sizeable, we're living small these days) and bought physical gold. I stocked up on some foodstuffs and made sure we had access to a couple months of cash.

 Interestingly, even though I had little energy for food gardening in CA (and horrible soil there in Murrieta) and did almost none, leaving it to DH, here I've been weirdly driven. We have almost 300 s/f of raised beds and I'm sheet composting another 50 to 100 s/f of our lawn this winter as weather allows. I've planted two dozen berry bushes, with plans for more this spring, four or five fruit trees and will put in some hazelnuts this spring as well. We got four hens in May who are now laying for us and have 3 pullets cheeping in our living room right now.

We're on a quarter-acre and it's not enough to feed us if the shtf, but I don't get the feeling it will fall apart to that degree, and I'm listening to those feeling more and more. We are helping start up a grow-food-not-lawns group in town, and I would like to find/help start a transition town initiative here. Hard to balance family needs with social needs sometimes though.

fwiw,

warmly,

sue

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jerry_lee
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 24 2008
Posts: 126
Re: Reader Survey

I'm 60 and S is 56. 2 children in 20's.One in Dc. One in Philadelphia. We live in Lancaster PA. Except I work as a pastor in a small rural community 100 miles away. I stay there 3 nights per week. S is in adult education. One of her current students just made the front page here for mudering a woman.(Sorry to mention that)

We have done the tier 1 stuff and are in discussions with a realtor to sell our home and then relocate...possibly to where I'm pastoring. Many upsides to that. The downside would be S probably would not have job centered employment, which means we lose health insurance.

I garden, do vermiculture and write and record songs as a 'hobby'. I give away harmonicas and teach people how to play. I plan to keep a large supply of harmonicas on hand to give to people when they're ready to entertain themselves. I've had a band for 9 years consisting of all harmonica players that I've taught. 

I have no doubt we're in for a long emergency.

NLP's picture
NLP
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Joined: Sep 5 2008
Posts: 51
Re: Reader Survey

Just celebrated my 46th birthday.  My husband and I are raising three children (ages 17, 13, 9) in San Bernardino County California. 

I work as an Executive Director for a community chamber of commerce.  I found the Crash Course last August via an email blast.  Since that time, the chamber is actively building a local living economy; ie, one that looks at sustainability and investment in local business.  One way we are doing this is by starting a community garden.  Daily I advocate for building community through small business ownership.  I am finding myself say outloud in business meetings "The next twenty years will be completely unlike the last twenty years".  

It is an exciting time in which we live.  TOGETHER I believe we can find answers.

gregroberts's picture
gregroberts
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Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 1024
Re: Reader Survey

"7 billion people can be wrong, very wrong"

This started me thinking, if a billion dollars is 334 feet high, how high would 7 billion people be if stacked back to stomach, at an average thickness of 15 inches? (Squash factor due to weight not factored in)

8,750,000,000 feet high

1,657,197 miles high, or approx to the moon and back 2 1/2 times or around the Earth at the equator approx 67 times.

Lucky there is not a trillion people, ;-)

Greg

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Arthur Vibert
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Joined: May 16 2008
Posts: 116
Re: Reader Survey

I'm 55 and live in the SF Bay Area. I used to work in advertising (if you remember Max Headroom and Saturn cars you've seen some of my work) but now I have my own business creating corporate videos. Not an especially booming business, just at the moment.

I have a 10 year old son. My wife works in the corporate world. I discovered the Crash Course reading Kunstler. Chris had a reply to one of the articles in which he referenced his site as a source for additional information and I've been reading it ever since.

I think things have the potential to get very bad - in ways we can't really imagine. I'm convinced that, in addition to all the obvious ways of dealing with the dangers that lurk in the future, the best thing we can do is to reinforce our relationships with friends, neighbors and family. No one's going to get through this alone.

Arthur 

Roundhouse's picture
Roundhouse
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Joined: Sep 14 2008
Posts: 36
Re: Reader Survey

58 years old, retired from Education (administrator, all the blah blah degrees and titles) and now happily work as a general contractor with my 28 year old son in Eastern Washington.  We live in a very efficient round house on top of a ridge with spectacular views in every direction. 20 acres, 1/2 is second growth and provides more than enough firewood every year.  We heat with wood, get water from a great well and have creek near enough to irrigate with if it came to that.  Raising chickens for the first time, what a learning experience for a city boy!   We are also lucky to have power supplied from a nearby dam that is NOT owned by the government.

We are debt free (more luck than planning) and are surrounded by acres of commercial fruit orchards.  Our neighbors are about 1/2 on board since I bought them all copies of The Crash Course for xmas.  We have done the usual food/cash/gold preps but our biggest work has been community and planning as a group.  With the amazing amount of independent, self-reliant, talented folks around here, we should survive all but the worst of things.

 When we moved here 4 years ago, I just thought it was the most beautiful place to live, now I'm thanking my lucky stars I got out of the big cities when I did (again, more luck than planning). 

I fear for two of our daughters living in large cities. 

 

SamLinder's picture
SamLinder
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 10 2008
Posts: 1499
Re: Reader Survey
Roundhouse wrote:

58 years old, retired from Education (administrator, all the blah blah degrees and titles) and now happily work as a general contractor with my 28 year old son in Eastern Washington.  We live in a very efficient round house on top of a ridge with spectacular views in every direction. 20 acres, 1/2 is second growth and provides more than enough firewood every year.  We heat with wood, get water from a great well and have creek near enough to irrigate with if it came to that.  Raising chickens for the first time, what a learning experience for a city boy!   We are also lucky to have power supplied from a nearby dam that is NOT owned by the government.

We are debt free (more luck than planning) and are surrounded by acres of commercial fruit orchards.  Our neighbors are about 1/2 on board since I bought them all copies of The Crash Course for xmas.  We have done the usual food/cash/gold preps but our biggest work has been community and planning as a group.  With the amazing amount of independent, self-reliant, talented folks around here, we should survive all but the worst of things.

When we moved here 4 years ago, I just thought it was the most beautiful place to live, now I'm thanking my lucky stars I got out of the big cities when I did (again, more luck than planning). 

I fear for two of our daughters living in large cities. 

Roundhouse,

Sounds like you've got a great situation where you are. Better not get any more specific or you'll have us less prepared folk showing up at your door wanting to share space!  Wink

Seriously, it does sound great and I wish you luck as the uncertain future unfolds. Perhaps you'll be able to convince your daughters to rejoin you if things continue to get worse.

pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 456
Re: Reader Survey

Greg

Fortunately it will never happen and I need to thank Mike (damnthematrix) for the reason. Compost

I also gather that the notes printed would go a similar distance thanks to calculations from Chris.

Don

straight's picture
straight
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2008
Posts: 103
Re: Reader Survey

I am 47 yrs old, I live in Brisbane.

My undergrad quals are in physics and electronics, my post grad quals are in outdoor education.

I have had over 30 jobs for longer than an month. To list a few; Farm water advisor, welder in a factory, police officer, riding shotgun on gold shipments, outdoor education [i ran my own company supplying teachers to all manner of OE activities], franchise manager, and my last job was managing my own doctors surgery.

For now i am unemployed.  I sold up real estate assets and invested in gold and silver.  I sell the odd ounce to pay the rent.

I am divorced and i live with my children [i have them every second week]. 

I recently did a permaculture design course.  Once i get past being transfixed watching the slow-mo car wreck that is the global economic crisis, it is permaculture that i will work with.

 I was born in Malaysia, grew up in New Zealand, and have lived in Australia most of my life. I have visited over 30 countries in my life, south east asia, south america, north america and europe.  I have, as they say, used my share of the black stuff.

I have been watching CM since about chapter 10 was posted.  I came to CM from peak oil.  I have been through the five stages of grief over this mess, I still grapple with feeling depressed to the point of not doing anything. 

My prep has been easy, i had to sell up due to my separation, i simply invested in gold and silver.

How bad do i think it will get?  I dont believe that a smooth transition will happen.  I think it will get very very bad.  Think 'mad max'. Think WWIII. Think of the serf scene in Mony Pythons 'Holy Grail'. Some will survive. Most wont. The next 20 years will indeed be different to the last 20.

The best we can hope for is to live in relative calm, working day to day to feed and cloth ourselves, with a gnawing fear of strangers.  Ignorance and religion will again rise to hold ultimate power. 

We blew it. We had peak everything, we were sooooo close.  It is a tragedy befitting Shakespeare.

ps. Why 'Straight', I picked it as a username before Redtube, RSVP etc...  Straight was my nickname in the police.  Everyone has a nickname in the job... that's how it is.  I was a marksman and I was a 'straight shooter' as a cop.  As your peers pick your nickname I was pretty happy to end up with 'Straight', my mate 'Tripod' wasn't happy, neither was 'sheets'....tripod is self explanatory, or ask your kids, Sheets was caught ironing his sheets at the academy and it stay with him his entire career!

 

Roundhouse's picture
Roundhouse
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 14 2008
Posts: 36
Re: Reader Survey

Thanks, Sam. 

Re-reading my post, it almost appears I am boasting which is certainly not my nature.  I am indeed fortunate but owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Chris Martenson and his fantastic work to get me/us thinking/planning/preparing for what is sure to be 'interesting times'.  To be honest, I'm ashamed not to have connected the dots before now but I suppose ignorance <was> bliss.

I cannot imagine living in a big city if things seriously go south.

Dave 

drb's picture
drb
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 11 2008
Posts: 95
Re: Reader Survey

To put things in a completely different perspective: The same 7 billion people would fit in a cube that is less than a mile on each side ( a trillion people would fit in a cube less than 5 miles on each side)

caroline_culbert's picture
caroline_culbert
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 624
Re: Reader Survey

Hi;

I am 31 years old.  I am married and have one child of, age, 6.  My life is rather dull because I tend to read more about it (life) than live it since my time and money are limited.  My time is limited because I'm doing so much reading and my money is limited because I work at a book store making only $8/hr.- part time.  I graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy.  Yeah... I know... that's why I can't find better work.

I live in Pontiac, Michigan; a large city full of mostly low-income and undereducated people.  The city is composed of mostly white, African-American, with some Hispanic areas.  My guess is that the median household income is no more than $50,000.  My husband and I bought our house, new (brick ranch), in 2000 and have not had the desire to sell it.  We like our home and don't want to move every five years (as this has been the trend).  Sadly, after all of these years, we do not know our city and do not know our neighbors.  We take our child outside the city to a school not within our district as our school district is failing.  We live and see a lot of urban poverty.  We are fortunate, to have as much as we do, while surrounded by so many who face generations more of poverty because of their lack of education.

My husband, currently, has employment with an auto supplier.  He is almost the sole breadwinner.  He and I have already discussed the possibility of losing everything if he were to lose his job.  Thankfully we have family in Montana who will let us live with them (if the time is that dire).  I am less emotional than your avg. person but I would be very saddened at the thought of losing every(thing) we have.  But I also know that those are things (toys) we've accumulated over the years with our hard-earned money.  The loss of so much of our lives (working lives) would be lost with everything we lose here.  We are preparing, mentally, to lose everything esp. knowing our probability of that reality by living in Michigan.

I first discovered Chris' website through a friend from college.  He and I sat down and watched it.  Since the loading process was slow, at first, I went home to watch it myself.  That too was very painstaking since the video clips were not loading properly.  After viewing it, I made my husband and my brother-in-law watch it.  I watched it a few times since then.  I am still endeavoring to purchase the video.

My husband I and are planning on starting a garden in the spring.  I have some seeds and a small starter kit.  I would also like to acquire a hen and build her a house.  My situation, i.e. living in an urban area, is somewhat tough.  I have a medium sized lot that will be used mostly for a small garden.  My husband and I also want to start canning our foods. 

We (I) don't really know what I'm doing but I'm trying.  My friend is the one who has provided me with the direction I have steered into.  He is the one who knows hundreds of plant/flower species; their uses and etc.  He is the one who has geared me towards permaculture.  He is the only person I come in contact with, on a regular basis, who understands the economic and environmental showdown that is soon to happen.  My huband is trying to make it in the corporate world.  My struggle, now, is raising my son in, both, the advanced, technological world and one with nature. [I cherish the fat groundhog that lives underground adjacent to wall of our basement.  I also cherish the bunny that has mad a burrow under my purple bush in the front lawn; and the big maple I planted three years ago that has exceeded the height of my house].

My prediction of the future is this:

Let's just put it this way... I believe that there will be a lot of over-inflated egos deflated and more people will know what it feels like to "feel" again.  Since the larger population, of the country (US), is poor and undereducated and African-American, the civil unrest from them will be less than what it would've been had there been a white president.  A lot of people are willing to suffer more for someone or leader they desire.  The civil unrest will mainly be from the uneducated white population.  I think, mostly, we'll see a lot of people burying their heads in the sand until this "passes over" us.  Some think that as along as they get through this, it will be back to the same old consumerism/America.  I don't think we'll be the same.  I think the powers of the world will shift.  I think there are a lot of countries sitting on the back burner waiting for this country to fall to its knees.  We owe a lot of money to a lot of people right?  Won't they want their money back?  If I had to take a stab in the dark, I'd say that Russia has their eye on us.  This last sentence is just speculation with absolutely NOTHING to back it up.  I just find them to be too quiet right now.  And... first Georgia then Ukraine?  Maybe they're testing the waters?  I don't know; but if there's a change in power, I'd say that Russia is next in line.

 

 

 

Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 929
Re: Reader Survey

I'm 23 years old, perhaps making me one of the youngest members of this community. I recently graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Engineering Business. I have always been interested in finance and economics ever since I became aware of them. Although my degree is in EE, my projects in school focused very heavily in energy and sustainable design / architecture, and that is where my interest and experience lies. Through this great experience, I personally designed and then built 2 green homes on a fairly tight budget. Presently, I am consulting with a Professor at Virginia Tech and plan on delivering a presentation to a sustainability program there. I am hoping to link peak oil with our financial system. I have done my best to promote the Crash Course as "required viewing" for the students...

When I graduated I took a job with a major defense contractor in the Washington D.C. metro area, but left the job largely out of frustration with our government and the limited options available for my interests. I now work for a small energy company in the area that conducts energy audits and consults on efficiency and sutainability topics. I look forward to getting a Masters degree in Renewable Energy Engineering in the near future, though this goal is somewhat at odds with my instincts to transition even more.

I must admit, when I graduated from school in 2007, I thought the world lay at my feet. I've since been humbled to learn some of the more practical and real life implications of these crises...the kinds of things that are not taught in school and indeed even discouraged these days. I've taken all of the tier 1 actions and perhaps gone a few steps beyond those. I've done my best to meet and discuss these matters with like minded people, as I realize that this is and will be very important for both sides.

I am pretty responsible financially, but I've lived at home on and off to save more money and because I frequently take rotations for work that leave me away for months sometimes. My focus thus far has been to assist my mother and sister in making transitions themselves, particularly since my mother faces retirement and does have enough savings to make more significant changes than I myself can. I plan on staying in a metro area for job and education opportunities, but if things get really bad, I am hoping that by then we will have a family farm that I could fall back on in a worse case scenario.

Cheers!

Mike

pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 456
Re: Reader Survey

Hi Daniel

I am lazy at maths, so if we all stood as close together as we can how much area would we take up? I think the cube is cheating a bit because of it being a mile high - although the compression would be less Smile

Don

jerry_lee's picture
jerry_lee
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 24 2008
Posts: 126
Re: Reader Survey

Don. I don't do math. Here's how my mind works:

7 BILLION BODIES by JLM

7 billion bodies

Stacked up belly to back.

7 billion bodies

To the moon and back...

Two and one half times!

Can you hear the chimes

For the people of the earth?

What a way to limit birth! 

=====

I know it's a bit bizarre, but there's even a tune for it...always a tune.

Jerry of Lancaster PA  where all the Amish women are strong(and  their men are too)

 

drb's picture
drb
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 11 2008
Posts: 95
Re: Reader Survey

Hi Don,

If all 7 Billion people lay down side-by-side and head-to-toe: I make out to be a square under 60 miles on a side.  (Note I didn't give an 'exact' number - but simply an upper bound - to make visualization [and calculations] easier).

P.S. - I didn't worry about 'squishing' to simplify things (but thinking about it - if everyone was chained together then stacked vertically into space, and if the chain was extremely strong, squishing wouldn't be a problem because the the length of this chain of bodies would be so great that the rotation of the earth and the location of the center of mass of the bodies would be sufficient to cause the chain to be pulled (stretched) away from the earth rather than tend toward collapsing back to earth.

 

 

dcphx's picture
dcphx
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2008
Posts: 4
Re: Reader Survey

Hello everyone, I (53 years old) live in Phoenix Arizona with my husband (also 53) and my 15 year old daughter. My husband and I work in the film and TV industry. I do production sound mixing and my husband is a gaffer (lighting). We are freelancers. I have a BA in Radio and TV from NAU.

Any way I was in the process of finding gold and silver to buy when I came across a link to the CC at goldislver.com. Wow what an eye opener. All of this is new to me. It has taken a while to get through the grief part. When I really start to feel bad I go to You Tube and laugh at some Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy. Laughter helps to keep my perspective. I am happy to be alive. Now we are working on the first tier stuff. We have metals and am building up food stores. Will be putting in a garden soon. I want to get some chickens but I think the Home Owners Assoc. will not like that. May do it anyway. We have a small house and yard. We will be buying a 55 gallon water jug and some 15 g. jugs for emergency storage. Phoenix is no place to be when the SHTF. We have three acres of land north of here in Prescott. I have put in a well and we are looking to build a small house and large garage. Not sure how good the soil is for growing food but will find out. The neighbors have regular monthly meetings which we are planning on attending. Gardening is new to me so I plan on finding a permaculture course somewhere. I have been doing lots of reading. I think it is very possible that things could go very bad very quick. The major cities will have a rough time. The east and west coasts especially. And that of course will effect us all.  When the people get squeezed they fight back. Depending on how fast as a country we are able to change will determine how bad things get. I plan on getting as self reliant as I can. Survival will depend on the community.

I have been trying to spread the word and have handed out 20 crash course DVD’s but have not had a very good response. Are there any fellow Arizonians out there? Any where?

I am thankful that I found this website. Thank you all for writing. Cheers Diana

BonMot's picture
BonMot
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 13 2009
Posts: 4
Re: Reader Survey

 

Hello everyone...first time posting. I am 59&1/2 (LOL) for withdrawal of pension purposes.  I can't believe I'll hit 60 this year and bemoaning the fact that I'm too young for social security and with a ways to go. I'm kind of retired since I have not found a permanent job after having been downsized in '04. (MI)

My hubby will soon be 65, applying for Medicare and already drawing soc.sec. He, too, was downsized. We don't own our home and are now trying to pay down debt. Not too bad, just mortgage and utilities. Oh, yes, that dang health insurance payment which has increased again, sigh.

I have 2 kids, 2grand...he has 5 kids and last count, 15 grandkids. We fret and worry about their future, trying somehow to prepare them, but alas, they say not to be so negative...blah-blah. Guess they see us as getting funny in the head..huh?

I stumbled upon dear Chris M. while researching peak oil and scaring the bee-jeebies out of myself. My other half even tried to avoid me...didn't want to hear anything bad. It got so intense, me still in pj's while my fingers flew over the keyboard looking for info. on politics, economics, mass-consciousness, that it became an obsession.

How I remember that awful recession in the '70's and all the panic about running out of oil. What a shame that we didn't begin the march on for renewable resources seriously.

We have some pm's and have a few months supply of food stored. We'll be looking to buy some seeds online soon. I also purchased a water purifier that can be utilized anywhere.

So glad to have found this website, so many resourceful, intelligent, friendly people here. A heartfelt thanks to you Chris for all your hard work.

__________________

Bonnie

 

 

 

pir8don's picture
pir8don
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 456
Re: Reader Survey

Hi jerry_lee

love the poem - whats the tune? I expect that if the top two were not of the same sex you might find birth not quite so limited.

Hi Daniel

Thanks for the math. Why does 60 sq miles seem so small when to the moon and back 2.5 times seems so large? I guess thats a problem for my conceptio. Your PS is rather frightening and does even more to accentuate the number of us.

Hi BonMot

Let me welcome you here before someone else gets the chance. I find music reduced(s) my panic and recovering a sense of humour a real milestone. While the Kubler-Ross grief paradygm seems to fit well, I also find a couple of other effects from attention to these matters. One is paralysis where I spend time not doing what I should in the real world because I spend too much of it here or in thought (distracted) and the other is a loss of knowledge with more information

http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/17-02/st_thompson

Others

Have we discovered anything of interest about ourselves through this topic? I am surprised at our ages. Skewed up a bit. I know that local youth in academia are talking heaps about population and the 3E's but I guess they are mostly doing it elsewhere.

Have we a virtual retirement village in the making? Oops maybe retirement is an outmoded concept now.

Don

Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 929
Re: Reader Survey

pir8don: You say that local youth are getting the issues thrown at them in acadmia.

I'd like to comment, if I could. I recently graduated (see #19) and what I saw the most was global warming and then a little bit of energy / resource scarcity. In my experience, academia did not squarely confront population, political influence, or finance / economics as it pertains to sustainability. I'm not too surprised, because academia is highly influenced by the government and the business / political establishment. And as I look out to my own generation in this area, I am sadly disheartened thus far. From what I've seen, there is a good deal of entitlement and overconfidence in the future. My generation is generally too spoiled on iPods to even care about what sustainable agriculture might look like. There are niche exceptions, but for the most part, what I've seen are truly the children of the baby boom generation, who have been raised with all the excesses of their parents. But while the baby boomers paid for at least a good portion of their pleasures, my generation was younger and never had to pay because their parents just gave them handouts.

I do come from a fairly highly educated and high cost of living area and that probably skews my perception. And please don't take this in offense, but if there was a site similiar to this that had people my age on it, I would likely be spending a lot of time there. Those rare few in my age range that do care about politics or economics tend to care more at the surface level and still do not have the intellectual curiosity that most on this page do. I sincerely wish my generation would take ownership of the issues that will affect the rest of their lives. If anyone does know of any "pockets of hope" in this regard, please do let me know. IOUSA and the Ron Paul rEVOLution seem to be the closest thing to "hope" for my generation that I can think of.

As for "retirement" and my generation...I still save, but I don't call the light at the end of my tunnel 'retirement.' I save for many other things, but not that in the typical sense. Along with Peak Oil, Peak Population, etc. I think it's time we recognize that we are now hitting Peak Retirement, at least here in America.

Thanks,

Mike

drb's picture
drb
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 11 2008
Posts: 95
Re: Reader Survey

Okay - I wasted enough time on math...

Almost 52 years old, married (30 years this year) two adult children.

Graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, then obtained the equivalent of a Masters in Nuclear Engineering courtesy of the U.S. Navy.  Spent 5 years in the Navy in Crystal City, Virginia working in Naval Sea Systems Command (Admiral Rickover's organization - I actually met him a couple of times - first time was at my 'interview' - but he retired during my tenure there). This was followed by 4 years working in the 'weapon' industry (yeah 'that' one before having an epiphany that I did not want to devote my life to such things), 7 years in avionics testing, 2 years in the cell phone industry, 5 years in avionics development and testing.. ultimately ending up being part owner of a small company (~30 employees - built from the ground up with no business loans whatsoever) testing software for avionics, train control systems, and other such mission critical projects.

I live in fairly dense suburban area south of Kansas City and my office(s) are both within 5 miles (the closest is less than 2 miles). My home is nearly paid off, I have no credit card debt, and enough savings (if accessible (!)) to weather the loss of my company for probably 2 years.  Until this last 6 months I was feeling pretty cocky about that - but am now feeling woefully unprepared for the type of economic disasters that are looming on the horizon.   Given that I'm an 'employer', I don't feel I can make a significant change in my living situation until after the bottom falls out.

I have always been the business partner that acts as the sea-anchor (also known as the 'gloomy gus') to keep my company from getting too crazy about growth.  Given that we have never had to layoff an employee in the lten years of our existence I think we've made a lot of the right choices, but this next year (plus) is going to seriously test our staying power.  The other day I made the observation that when the small companies (like mine) start laying off people is when our economy is going to be officially in the tank.  Small companies hang on to their employees as long as they can (contrary to the big companies) because we (the employer) understand the degree to which our success is dependent upon the skills and knowledge of our employees.   For my company, the majority of our employees have been with us for more than half our existence (and I knew many of them much much longer than that).  Letting any one of them go would be like losing a family member.  If we must pull that trigger, then we will be that much more skittish about rehiring until we are confident that we have sufficient business to keep them employed.  Basically - from my perspective - companies like mine (who I think provide the majority of employment in this country) will be slow to let people go but slower yet to rehire.  The former has helped to minimize the impact on the economy (so far) but once it hits us - the latter will greatly slow the recovery.

 

{minor edit for wording}

pir8don's picture
pir8don
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 456
Re: Reader Survey

Hi Mike

pir8don wrote:

I know that local youth in academia are talking heaps about population and the 3E's but I guess they are mostly doing it elsewhere.

Mike Pilat wrote:

pir8don: You say that local youth are getting the issues thrown at them in acadmia.

What I said is they are talking about it. A bit confusing. Didn't mean to imply they were being lectured on it. As you rightly point out they aren't.

When I was going through my most panicked stage I went to see a friend my age for a reality check. Fortunately they had a young mutual friend living there at the time. My older friend said "look what they did in the war" and "don't worry it will all be OK". Even got mad at me for my concern when I pointed out we are eating oil and the issue of food security. Our younger friend engaged with me on the subject and revealed that he and his friends were all talking about collapse out of class and that they viewed it as an inevitability, just didn't know when it would happen. He had not previously discussed it with the friend of my age that he lived with and she was obviously very surprised to hear what he said. He said it was almost all they talked about. This was September last year.  He was/is studying economics.

I am in New Zealand. It may be different here.

Hope my tongue-in-cheek comments on retirement haven't alleniated you in any way. What I value most here is the diversity. 

Don

Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 929
Re: Reader Survey

no pir8don, no offense taken on the retirement. As angry as my generation might get on the issues, the baby boomers are our parents, who have largely shared the fruits with us. It is just upsetting when the government gets involved and hurts both sides.

It is encouraging to hear what you say, and I have found a few in my generation that do care, but they seem to be exceptions to the rule. My generation is younger so it is perhaps more willing to accept a non-status quo type future. There certainly are bright spots, but I still mostly see an entitlement and entertainment / consumption mentality that hopes the "government will fix things." And if I can vent for a second, the attention span and commitment to a cause seems fairly absent as well. Many people yunderstand we're in dire straits, but then don't go a step further to attempt to better understand the situation and then look for solutions. That is the opposite of the way I operate. My first instinct is usually to take stock of what I am able to do myself.

caroline_culbert's picture
caroline_culbert
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 2 2008
Posts: 624
Re: Reader Survey
Mike Pilat wrote:

no pir8don, no offense taken on the retirement. As angry as my generation might get on the issues, the baby boomers are our parents, who have largely shared the fruits with us. It is just upsetting when the government gets involved and hurts both sides.

I quite agree about the baby boomers (and the chaos they have enabled).  Most BB have no idea about the problems they caused.  For those that have an idea, they may deny that it was their fault.  Those that are coming out of the woodwork, and are aware of the problems, don't know (just like us) how this will fare.  I get angry at my mom, but the BB were, largely, following the footsteps of their gov. at the time.  I don't think I want to spend a lot of time trying to find out who to blame but I think we should spend the necessary time trying to find out the cause of the problem since it may lead us out of this mess and maybe we can avoid it in the future.  *End the Fed*

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