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    Should You Relocate To A More Resilient Area?

    What factors to look for when considering relocating
    by Adam Taggart

    Friday, November 8, 2019, 3:39 PM

Likely a symptom of growing social unease, we’re seeing a surge in interest amongst our readership in relocation.

Many are folks living in urban and suburban areas worried that local resources and/or rule of law will not hold up well during a serious economic crisis, civil disorder or natural disaster.

Others have watched Peak Prosperity readers successfully transition to more resilient destinations or even build their own self-sufficient homesteads.

Specifically, we’re seeing a hunger for guidance on the key factors to assess when asking:

  • How resilient is my current location?
  • Should I relocate?
  • If so, where to? And what criteria should I prioritize in making my decision?

Several years ago, we recorded an interview with SurvivalBlog founder and former US Army intelligence officer James Wesley Rawles addressing these exact questions.

It remains one of the best discussions we know of on the topic of relocation, and it’s this week’s recommended listening for anyone wondering if a fresh start in an area with better natural and community resources might be one of the single best ways to improve their future prospects:

(Full transcript available here)

For those motivated to action by this podcast, Peak Prosperity is now offering Consultations specifically-designed to help you think through & execute on the relocation process.

Given your specific situation, does it make sense? Given your unique goals and needs, what requirements matter most when targeting communities and properties? How should you be structuring your search efforts?

As an output of the planned cohousing project he’s leading, Chris is now exceptionally knowledgeable on both the strategic and tactical realities of intentionally relocating to an area richer in resilience.

If tapping this wisdom will be helpful to your decision-making and/or putting your plans into action, schedule a Consultation soon (PP premium subscribers receive a 10% refund).

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49 Comments

  • Sat, Nov 09, 2019 - 10:35am

    #1
    cicerone

    cicerone

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    Reality Based Relocation

    I’m a bit disappointed that you’ve posted a Rawles video. The isolated homestead is a fantasy that doesn’t hold up to reality, as evidenced by the Great Depression, South African farmers, the Bosnian War and many other tragedies throughout human history. Instead, I’m personally looking at mid-sized cities with good infrastructure, natural resources, etc, because you have to think about:

    • A diverse and localized economy that can withstand shock yet still connected to the outside world for trade
    • Less dependence on fossil fuels (walkability, inland waterways, good freight rail connections)
    • Low crime, poverty and inequality
    • Proximity to hospitals where care will be concentrated during a crisis
    • Proximity to family, friends and a network to help you

    And so on. I live in the SF Bay Area, which many think is (and will be) an absolute nightmare. It has a lot of well documented problems & disadvantages, but consider that that:

    • No need for either heating or air conditioning
    • A massive agricultural area (central valley) at our doorstep
    • One of the largest natural harbors in the world
    • No wildfire damage (too cool, close to sea level)
    • A history of resilience during difficult times

    I’m not saying it’s ideal (I’m considering Salem, Oregon myself) but use your critical thinking skills, common sense and read history. You might be surprised at what it teaches you. For example, even if the world goes medieval, consider that back then, walled cities surrounded by farmland were the best place to be, not the isolated homestead or rural village.

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  • Sat, Nov 09, 2019 - 12:40pm

    Reply to #1
    Nate

    Nate

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    SF Bay Area

    I live in the Central Valley and work in the Bay area.  As cicerone noted, “we” are surrounded by a massive ag area.  That being said, the required chemical inputs (NPK + minors) in addition to pesticides is staggering.  If the flow of chemicals is disrupted, by either earth’s hard limitations or societal issues, the output will drop significantly.  My best guess is a 90% drop by year 2.  Small towns will have the ability to feed themselves, but that’s it.

    Rawles assessment is, IMHO, correct regarding more rural areas.  In the event of any food shortage, the number of folks pouring in from the Bay area would be staggering.  Locals are extremely well armed, but in the end that may not be enough.

    Other than the Cascadia fault, the Willamette Valley (Salem) sounds like a much better choice.

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  • Sat, Nov 09, 2019 - 4:19pm

    Reply to #1
    MKI

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    The isolated homestead is a fantasy that doesn’t hold up to reality, as evidenced by the Great Depression, South African farmers, the Bosnian War and many other tragedies throughout human history. Instead, I’m personally looking at mid-sized cities with good infrastructure, resources, etc

    I fully agree (I’ve lived remote; most have no idea what living without electricity/running water is like). In reality: people/teamwork/knowledge are our greatest resources (especially in a crisis). This is why population density is usually a plus with local resources secondary (assuming the local people are of the have cultural unity). Example: Japan, one of the most dense and resource limited places on the globe, is also one of the wealthiest.

    Relocating to anticipate of economic/political collapse really puzzles me. Because knowledge/life skills are usually local. Every year one can get more efficient at growing/harvesting/preserving their own food in their local area. Over decades of fine-tuning, one can grow/trade food from local resources.. Not to mention the friends/family support one can build up over the years.

    Another problem with the relocate approach: nobody can predict a Black Swan, nor what resources will be in demand. Drought? Famine? Plague? War? One might be moving directly into the fire they are trying to flee and bring no experience to this new challenging environment.

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  • Sat, Nov 09, 2019 - 5:11pm

    Reply to #1
    cicerone

    cicerone

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    Central Valley Golden Horde

    @Nate, the problem I have with the Golden Horde thesis is that it has never played out that way. Look at Venezuela. Worst case scenario, right? Anyone trying to bum rush the countryside? No. Instead, people hunker down where they are (where they have shelter, friends, etc) and if things get really bad, they up and move to another city or country altogether.

    Depending on the nature of the crisis, being in a rural or exurban area could be a real disadvantage. Think of the 2008 financial crisis. The Central Valley got hammered. Stockton went bankrupt. Satellite offices shuttered and contractors were laid off. As gas prices soared and equity evaporated from the Central Valley, people sold their SUVs and migrated back to the nucleus of the Bay Area proper, which fared relatively well.

    The same dynamic happens time and again. My grandfather was a proud Okie. He told me tales of self sufficient life on the farm in 1930s. But eventually, it became too hard (not to mention miserable) and the whole family came to San Francisco to help with the war effort.

    I don’t mean to say it’s bad to become more self sufficient, or that the Bay Area is nirvana. It’s definitely not. I’m really sad about the state of the City, actually. But let’s be realistic and look at history. A rural homestead has historically been one of the most fragile living arrangements, because you’re literally on your own.

    Cities exist because it’s more efficient to pool resources and manage inputs (water, food, skills, goods) into a central location. It’s just a matter of choosing the right kind of city where you personally can ride out the coming storm. That could be anywhere from a small farming community to a larger city that you believe is more resilient, but personally I’m not putting my chips on the “Redoubt” as the place to be in 2050.

     

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  • Sat, Nov 09, 2019 - 8:23pm

    #2

    Oliveoilguy

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    Low population density for best survival chances.

    James Rawles is correct when he says that moving to a low population density area with some reliable, like minded neighbors, is the best strategy for prosperous survival, and high quality of life. Within a 3 mile radius we have 9 families that I can think of who are good stewards of their land.

    Also true is that you can’t live in the city and have a bug out cabin for your strategy. As James said ….gardens and orchards and sustainable infrastructure must be nurtured and there are necessary skills associated with rural living that develop over time.

    I have lived in or near large metropolitan areas ( NYC, Boston, and Austin) and now have 35 years of country living experience. There is nothing that draws me back toward city life.

     

     

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  • Sat, Nov 09, 2019 - 8:30pm

    #3

    herewego

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    Hmmmm.

    Cities exist because it’s more efficient to pool resources and manage inputs (water, food, skills, goods) into a central location. It’s just a matter of choosing the right kind of city where you personally can ride out the coming storm. That could be anywhere from a small farming community to a larger city that you believe is more resilient….

    This gave me pause but wait – not to pick on you, but seriously, what if the issue is that there are no longer resources coming into the city to pool and manage efficiently?  Isn’t that the crisis potential we are grappling with?

    My choices are made.  After decades in the big city, I’ve spent the past seven years learning to grow food on a tiny plot.  The village of 300 is surrounded by wilderness and has hundreds of acres of arable land all around, much fallow.  There are gardeners around every corner and a few farmers in the Valley.

    All this food production experience has changed how I see cities.  In the city, there isn’t land to feed millions within reach of the millions.  So they can’t produce their own food, even if they knew how.  Whoa!

    I find that alarming.  Food comes from the land, or sea, or rivers (once upon a time). Got land?

    And efficiencies can happen small scale too – sharing time, skills, gear, crops, plants, seed and even land for growing.

    Also, I just like it here, and so here I am.  That may be the case for city dwellers too.

     

     

     

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  • Sat, Nov 09, 2019 - 10:40pm

    Reply to #1

    sebastian

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    City Life

    Cities are very efficient at distributing goods and services compared to rural areas, of that I have no doubt. BUT, they require constant inputs far beyond their local horizon. Take them away and you get Venezuela. Last time I traveled in Argentina (2017) I met a ex Venezuelan police officer who worked in Argentina as a baker. He had left everything to flee with his wife and child. When the police are running away you know its bad. He told me people would kill you for your shoes. This was a country that was doing ok for south american standards 10 years ago. The pace of change will surprise people. It takes time to establish yourself rurally… years even with deep pockets. Peak everything is what 5 maybe 10 years away (hopefully/doubtfully) it will be a mess in a massive scale.

    GTFO folks.

    S.

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  • Sun, Nov 10, 2019 - 5:04am

    #4
    brushhog

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    There's really no comparing rural vs urban resiliency

    I lived the first half of my adult life in an urban/suburban environment and now live in a fairly secluded rural area. There is really no comparison. In any city you are by necessity dependent on the supply chain. As others have pointed out the supply chains in cities tend to be much more efficient than in the country. Thats true…because they HAVE to be. Everyone is dependent on them with no ability to produce or procure the necessities of life on their own.

    In the country I can’t make a phone call and have anything I want delivered to my door. Thats true. But its also true that I generally dont NEED much that I can’t produce for myself.

    I still have relatives in NYC. After the hurricane, when power was out for less than a week there were RIOTS. A sense of desperation was palpable. Without electricity, there is no water. Without water people die FAST. Luckily the system held up water and food were distributed and power was restored. If it hadnt been, many people would have died, and the riots would have accelerated.

    For historical perspective look at what happened to the people in Bosnia, or Leningrad when those cities were deprived of the constant inflow of resources and distribution needed to maintain civilization. It wasnt pretty….especially after the rats had all been eaten.

    During the power outage in NYC, I also lost power here at my homestead. In fact, just last week power was out for three days after a storm. I rate it as a mid-level inconvenience at worst. Since I heat with wood from my woods there was no problem on that front. In fact we also have a wood cookstove and we enjoy firing it up now and then. For water, we have our own well with very clean, cool mountain water. It was a pain to carry it into the house but not more than a slight inconvenience.

    Our pantry is stocked with canned veggies, and our freezers are packed with home raised chicken, lamb, and beef. Most country people own generators and if the meat began to defrost, I was ready to refreeze it( oh, I have several large fuel tanks for reserve ) That didnt happen, luckily. Even if worse came to worse I have the land, the resources and the know-how to construct a fast smoke-house to preserve meat.

    One of the greatest benefits of living in a rural area is the mentality of the people. People help each other in the country. People here know how to do things. In the city its a dog-eat-dog outlook. When the chips are down the city person see’s other people as competitors. With little or no idea how to provide themselves with the necessities, even if the resourced WERE available, the city person is mostly helpless. Here in the country, the few people around are people that I know very well. Most of them will bend over backwards to give you the shirt from their back. Every man is a half-ass mechanic/carpenter/tinkerer/handyman, etc

    We are all of us, everywhere, armed here. Thats a BIG deal when you are talking about resiliency and survival. We have know-how, we have tighter communities.

    With all due respect to Cicerone’s post, as a guy who experienced both city living and country living during crises, it’s not even CLOSE. The remote homestead is the most resilient homestead provided it is properly organized, managed, and peopled. City life is great when things are running smooth, it’s the “easy life” in many ways during the good times….but when TSHTF, people will suffer and die there. No question about it.

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  • Sun, Nov 10, 2019 - 6:15am

    #5

    sand_puppy

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    How much gasoline is available?

    I hear lots of good thoughts, above.  I grew up in San Jose.

    One axis of this discussion is the issue of the type, magnitude and rapidity of collapse we are each envisioning.  One big issue:

    How much fuel for transportation is available?

    If the answer is no fuel at all, then our worlds shrink down to a 5 mile radius circle–the distance we can comfortably walk, pull a small hand cart or carry a bucket of water.   A rich agricultural food producing area 60 or 100 miles away is just not accessible.

    Do we envision caravans of horse drawn carts full of food crossing a hundred miles between farm and city?  How much armed escort would be required?  Why would a farmer choose to make that trip?  For the city dwellers money?  How many horses and cart do modern farmers have on hand?  How many decades would a transition back to horse and buggy take?

    Water:  San Jose California is a near-desert.  Only 15 inches of rain per year fall in Santa Clara County, an area with no rivers or naturally occurring freshwater lakes.    The rich farmland of this area was productive in decades past only because irrigation water was delivered from the Sierra Nevada mountains via canal systems and pumped into the fields with electric pumps.  So if a collapse scenario includes competition for irrigation water from communities upstream along the canal, or an interruption of the electrical grid, pumping stations or vandalism of the infrastructure, then San Jose would return to its desert like nature.

    But, if we imagine more of a downturn, but not a full collapse, so that

    • the rule of law is maintained,
    • that the electrical grid remains intact,
    • that police or military enforce water rights laws along the canal system to prevent piracy from the water delivery canal system,
    • heavy equipment for maintenance and repair of dams, canals and pumping stations continues, and
    • that sufficient trucking continues to deliver food from the Central and Salinas Valleys,

    then San Jose might do OK.  At least for a little while.  Until the next ratchet downward.

     

     

     

     

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  • Sun, Nov 10, 2019 - 9:21am

    #6
    cicerone

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    There are cities and then there are cities

    I think my post was misconstrued a bit to mean “NYC is the best place to be in a crisis.” Rather I just want to point out that – historically – there’s a wide spectrum between city and country and a complicated relationship between them with regards to resilience.

    For example, the Amish are the prototype for pre-industrial living in North America, but even they live connected to the central village for trade and community.

    However, if society breaks down, a small community can be a dangerous place to be, as evidenced by the massacres in Bosnia and South Africa. And going way back in time, the Vikings. In other words, rural life is dependent on protection from the state for their way of life.

    The traditional solution to this problem was the walled city or city state which could then be organized into leagues of cities for protection and trade. These cities were not the mega cities of today, but rather sized according to the carrying capacity of the land. I believe this to be close to an ideal. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, North America followed this model with small cities along waterways.

    Now obviously we have some unique challenges with the predicament we’re in. But I don’t believe the solution is a “self sufficient” compound only reachable by a gas guzzling 4×4, with solar panels from China, playing Mad Max games that never work out that way in reality. I’m not saying this characterizes the Peak Prosperity community, but I think we have to ask ourselves how self sufficient we really are and whether that’s a better goal than a more resilient interdependence between city and country.

    In that vein, I think we should rebuild local food systems, local manufacturing, local militias and other traditions that made America great. There are some cities trying to put that into action, some brave architects bucking the trend and other glimpses of solutions that I think are realistic and viable long term.

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  • Sun, Nov 10, 2019 - 9:28am

    #7

    thc0655

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    NH rated most economically free state

    https://jbartlett.org/2019/11/n-h-ranks-first-in-usa-in-economic-freedom-fraser-institute-study-finds/

    The latest of many comparative studies of US states that lists NH at or near the top on a variety of measures.

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  • Sun, Nov 10, 2019 - 11:14am

    #8

    Mark_BC

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    I think cities will probably vary a lot. When the everything bubble pops, this will be the loss of the US dollar as reserve currency. The center of that system right now is New York. So I think NY will crash hard, as all of its previous benefits from Fed money printing will evaporate. There will be a lot of angry unemployed financial workers there. Combine this with the high population and density, and I would definitely not want to be there. It will probably get hit the worst.

    Similarly, San Jose is all about high tech and the internet. I see the relative importance of the internet waning after the bubble crashes, and all that Fed-originated money being firehosed over there right now comes to an end. So I dont think SJ will be a good place either.

    On the other hand, some of the larger midwest cities dependent on agriculture might fare much better.

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  • Sun, Nov 10, 2019 - 1:31pm

    #9

    David Huang

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    Efficiency does not equal resiliancy

    Some in this discussion have noted how cities are more efficient at distributing resources and the like.  I thought it might be pertinent to offer the reminder note that being efficient is not being resilient.  Resiliency is having redundant systems, back ups, and surpluses in the system, what would be waste in an efficient system.

    It is also probably worth noting that many of the older cities were located where they are for real reasons related to geography, such as deep water ports, or natural convergence areas of rivers/lakes, or proximity to rich farmland.  They aren’t necessarily bad places to live.  The challenge is whether or not, or perhaps really how much, the population living there now has exceeded the land’s natural carrying capacity.

    Something else that comes to mind for me in this discussion is that everyone is viewing life through the lens of an agricultural society.  I was recently listening to a presentation looking at the rise of agricultural society as opposed to horticultural societies (what today might be permaculture) where the presenter noted many of the things that had to come along with agriculture, such as some form of police state to protect the harvested surplus and help deal with distribution.  horticulture didn’t need this as people would just go gather what food they needed, while tending to the generally wild land in such a way as to support their food plants.  This made me think that one of the most resilient things I’m doing is learning how to recognize, harvest, and use what edibles grow wild around me, and live in a region that has an abundance of such food.  This could be a rural location, or small towns.  Would this approach scale to support our current population?  Probably not.  However, if I’m one of the few in the region who recognizes the abundance of food growing all around me it would seem to me I have a resource that can’t be stolen, not to mention skills and a knowledge base that would become highly marketable.  If you aren’t learning all the wonderful wild foods growing about you, I’d highly recommend it!

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 3:58am

    #10
    Abraham Palmer

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    All Good Questions

    I appreciate all the questions and comments so far – great food for thought. I live at the edge of a more populated region of several million (Triangle area of NC). My county has about 400 people/square mile, but that is heavily concentrated in a small area. I’d create a mutiny if I tried to uproot my family so I have to admit I’m not even considering moving. I have extended family in a much more rural Kentucky location, but the older generations that worked the land and mostly passed on and so it is really not an active agricultural community like it used to be. My area is really ahead of the game since we have a couple generations of younger farmers. I feel like I just have to be better prepared to move than most and leave it at that for now.

    I run a bakery and have active partnerships with farmers from 3-15 miles from my location and lots of different customer and other relationships in my community. Everything I make is sold locally with only bicycle transport when needed. There is lots of nearby land that is not being worked nearly active enough so room to absorb additional labor. We have lots of climate variability and coming killer heat for sure, but still reasonable water. Heavy clay soils need to be rejuvenated, but all the people I work with are already doing that. I certainly don’t have an answer for the nearby masses. I’m not going to flee from them, I know I can’t fight them, and can probably only convert a small percentage of them to my way of life. Maybe it will be enough.

     

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 6:44am

    #11
    Penguin Will

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    I’ve enjoyed reading all of the posts. A lot of food for thought. I’m sure there are a lot of different motivations for wishing to change the manner we live and how we interact with the natural world.

    But I have to admit that I feel like an outlier on this one. I mean we know what the last economic conflagration looked like, right? And we know what kind of hardships we entailed getting through that, right? I’m not sure anything I saw 10 years ago (and my eyes were wide open as I saw that coming a mile away) would suggest to me that I could toss off the reins of the modern economy and go full homestead/mountain man.

    I love watching Marty Raney or Eustace Conway on TV as much as the next man. BUT it just seems unrealistic, to me at least, to even countenance trying to go it alone on my farm and patch together a living on nothing more than what the land provides. The economic infrastructure isn’t there now. Everything is geared to make produce/food as cheap as possible.

    Even if I didn’t love my job, I would still have no choice but to keep one foot in the current economy while I pursue as much independence as possible from it.  Only in certain situations and conditions can one detach completely from the modern economy. And almost always those who manage to do so end up depending on trade with those who are connected in order to make ends meet.

    Can I lower my debt? Provide a goodly portion of my calories via my own resources? Achieve as much job security as possible? Live below my means to where my family could make it on one much lower income job? Invest in such a way as to lower my risk in case of another, maybe worse, economic debacle? Get the farm to the point where it pays for itself?

    These are the questions I think apply to me and my situation. Are people in my area going to be using draft horses and living much closer to the land? I’ve no doubt they will…. in a couple hundred years. In my lifetime the problems are much more dicey and much less romantic than that.

    Will

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 7:01am

    #12
    cicerone

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    Resilience in Action

    Adam Taggart is obviously a man I have a lot of respect for and he’s eons ahead of me in this game. But I think we saw, during the recent California wildfires, some assumptions uprooted.

    For one, it became clear how car dependence is a real Achilles Heel. He was stuck in a traffic jam fleeing towards San Francisco down the only freeway, congested Highway 101. Gas prices are almost $5 a gallon here. What happens when it’s $10/gallon?

    I grew up in suburban Sonoma County and while it’s a beautiful region with a perfect climate and a rich agricultural history, I wouldn’t consider it especially resilient. For one, unless you’re managing a vineyard (or related specialty agriculture), the economy is very weak; It’s mostly service jobs. Thus, it stays tethered to the Bay Area proper, creating massive traffic jams.

    The same weak economy produces economic inequality – there’s VPs from San Francisco playing farmer on the weekend and the majority trying to make do in a high COL area. There used to be a problem with Hispanic gangs. I myself got “jumped” a couple times in high school. I’m not sure if that’s still the case as it’s gentrified quite a bit, but at the same time the middle class has fled the region. For my part, as soon as I graduated I made a beeline to San Francisco and never came back. Anyone with an ounce of ambition did the same.

    My point is not to be scared of brown people of anything like that. But there are resilience factors that may not be apparent unless you’re a local such as car dependence (and traffic chokepoints), economy & social dynamics (dysfunctional), which areas always flood (Russian River, Sebastopol) and which burn (mountains and canyons).

    If I were still in Sonoma County, and had the means, I would buy a historic house in the walkable heart of Santa Rosa, pimp my backyard to become as self sufficient and off grid as possible and call it a day. Short of a complete breakdown, I think that would get you through more crises than a semi rural location on the outskirts of the county.

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 7:34am

    #13
    ezlxq1949

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    What future for NH?

    I’ve been hearing a lot about the advantages that New Hampshire offers its residents. Penguin Will wrote,

    Only in certain situations and conditions can one detach completely from the modern economy. And almost always those who manage to do so end up depending on trade with those who are connected in order to make ends meet.

    I gather that he was writing about some sub-state, non-NH area, but the principle remains. To what extent is NH the place it is by virtue of its connections to the rest of the US? I have never been anywhere near there, so I make do with published statistics and vicarious travel courtesy of maps and atlases.

    Sorry to be a wet blanket, but it seems to me that NH is terribly vulnerable to larger events in its region. It’s so little. How long would it survive even partially intact in the event of serious systemic disruptions and even a breakdown? How soon before it found itself over-run by refugees from far and wide?

    Is there any hiding place? I think not. Most of us can make only marginal improvements to our situations. This is why I choose to remain in Canberra. It’s a medium-sized city now with a bad case of growthitis, but for Australia it has a remarkably progressive and far-sighted government and population. I hope of course that we pull together in bad times, not pull apart. But in some respects it resembles NH. Look at the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) on the map. It’s so little. It imports most of its food and transport fuels and still too much of its electricity. We’d be quickly swamped by refugees if the substances really hit the fan.

    No hiding place.

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 8:28am

    Reply to #4
    FlaBoy

    FlaBoy

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    More an argument against modern cities, than against smaller, ag based communities

    the above is more an argument against cities (even moderately small ones, not to mention large ones) vs. rural. Perhaps the best answer is the old European village concept: village small enough for everyone to be familiar with everyone, yet large enough to support specialized craftsmen (blacksmiths, hoopers, etc), and surrounded by land farmed by the villagers, most of whom are involved in food production, perhaps with a multilayered defense perimeter, eg, the medieval, fortified village. Note the similarity to the village concepts around the world, from Native American villages before white settlers to those in pre-modern Siberia. This is the basic setup that occurred everywhere around the world once we transitioned from hunter-gatherer to early agriculture. We are all biased by what we are familiar with. Note the idea of a family living isolated on a piece of farmland is a relatively new one, which has been shown time and time again to be a non-defensable one, from the isolated farms in the American west during the Indian Wars to the white farms in Africa when anti-colonial unrest occurred. Also note the early, pre-nation agriculturist villages were not totally ag only…they still supplemented their food production by hunting and by supporting semi-wild animals, eg free ranging feral pigs, feral cattle, etc.. Today I would include all the grain and forage supplemented deer in our area. We have a farm and we just consider the deer another “crop” we are producing. Another interesting thing to note is how recent this phenomenon of the “helpless city person” is. It only became large scale after WW2. Prior to that, the majority of people where involved in agriculture. During the Great Depression, many people went “home to the farm”, where their relatives still lived, poor but not starving. If we have a crash today, most people have no family farm to go back to.

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 8:53am

    #14

    thc0655

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    Agreed: no GUARANTEED SAFE hiding places

    Except  that it’s going to be much worse than the present, what the future holds is unclear. Because it’s unclear and there are a breathtaking range of negative possibilities, it’s impossible to be sure where the best place will be in the future. (But that doesn’t negate the fact that some lucky people are currently living in some of those best places, even if they don’t know it or why.)

    Don’t forget that New Hampshire is only my Plan B to escape from my Plan A in Philadelphia. That much I’ve accomplished. I think we can survive here in NH for our predicted lifespans in retirement under a “conventional“ range of collapse scenarios. We can survive a Great Depression kind of thing. We can survive any level of crime coming to NH that I’ve seen in the US (Philadelphia, Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago, etc.). We can survive the gradually worsening effects of global warming OR global cooling, but not sudden, catastrophic change. There are other really bad things we could survive if they come to the US because we expect they wouldn’t touch NH: riots in the streets, big increases from today in political violence, regular terrorist attacks, state and local government bankruptcies, etc. We and NH make a resilient team under most conceivable collapse scenarios.

    I have a Plan C, which is still being developed and equipped, which is based on mobility. I have discarded the idea of establishing a bug out location where we can escape to and live indefinitely in an 18th century agrarian style. That may be what we are forced to do but I don’t think I’d be lucky enough to pick the place that would be survivable in advance. Most people will find their bug out farm location ends up in the middle of a civil war, or nationalized by the government to feed survivors or the military, or in the middle of an active combat zone, or poisoned by some nuclear plant melt down or nuclear weapon strike, or in an extended drought, etc. So our Plan C (which has now been promoted to Plan B) is to maintain our ability to travel almost at a moment’s notice almost anywhere in the country if unforeseen issues literally force us out of our carefully chosen spot here. Our plan is to be able to travel with most of our wealth, tools and vital equipment with us without having to rely on local infrastructure (like gas stations, restaurants, food stores, and hotels). This way we can go to the best location at that future moment, as long as we can reach it by land. That still leaves at least three big problems in that Mad Max scenario: 1) how will we know where the good places are in a really bad societal collapse? 2) can we make ourselves so valuable that we’ll be welcome when we get there? and 3) can we survive the journey if it takes us through places experiencing open combat, violent anarchy (think: armed groups setting up “checkpoints” on roads to rob and kill travelers) or other hazards to our lives? I’m still finalizing aspects of this Plan B and hoping never to have to implement it.

    ”Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 2:54pm

    #15
    borderpatrol

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    Collapse can happen at so many different levels

    I have the book “The Modern Survival Manual” and one of the problems of during the collapse in rural areas was safety.  Authors claim that people returning to rural areas were followed by criminals and when destination was reached, criminals would take over rural household.    Watch dogs would be posioned and there didn’t appear to be much in the way organized securtiy or check points.  The one percent that grows our food is very troubling, talk about dependency and loss of skill for our most basic needs.  This next downturn could happen at many different levels, it’s hard to predict. I believe we are at greater risk cause we haven’t had any bumps in the road without food, water or power and when it does happen so many panic and there will be a severe burden on all resources.  I think of how loss of power will affect our housing, like how many homes would have to be abandoned cause of flooding of basements due to loss of power to sump pumps. How about interruption of medications to millions of American’s?  How many people have never slept in a tent or cooked outdoors? The amount of soft westerners is way off the charts.

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 5:29pm

    Reply to #15
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    our community

    is close, not much occurs,

    naw, I will remain quiet

     

    settle your mare (should have been done decades ago) and enjoy the fruit of your community.

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 5:59pm

    #16
    Uncletommy

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    Robie's got it right

    On this Canadian Remembrance Day, we here in Canada realize the sacrifice thousands have made during WW1 and WW2 to defend the freedoms we all take for granted. It’s communities that make an area resilient and learning to live with each other that spawns the acknowledgement that “no man’s an island”.

    So, go ahead and hunker down in your bunker and when you come out, pray there others that have taken another approach. If conflict has taught us anything, it’s when stand together the greater good wins, despite the sacrifices.

    Lest we forget!

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  • Mon, Nov 11, 2019 - 8:28pm

    Reply to #6
    MKI

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    I think we have to ask ourselves how self sufficient we really are and whether that’s a better goal than a more resilient interdependence between city and country.

    Agreed again. We systematically became self-sufficient over the last two decades re: food/water/transport (mainly for health/lifestyle reasons) but it’s not something to learn in books nor to learn quickly, nor have done in a remote area. Plus it’s very area-specific, making moving a two-decade setback. Most importantly: these are easy times of peace and prosperity…it should never be easier than today, no matter where we live.

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  • Tue, Nov 12, 2019 - 9:35am

    #17

    LesPhelps

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    Learning From The Past

    There are soo many ways that what is coming is different from anything homo sapiens have experienced in the past.  You can, perhaps, delineate them as well as I.

    One of the differences is that there is, for the first time, the potential for refugee migrations in the billions.  Half of the world population lives in or near China and India.  Both countries have advanced sea faring capabilities.  The California coastline is 6 to 8 thousand miles from China and India, but, never the less, I’d be concerned over that potential, not to mention people walking North from Los Angeles, or Phoenix.

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  • Tue, Nov 12, 2019 - 5:14pm

    #18
    Jeffleonard90@gmail.com

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    Worth a watch

    Got this off the Survivalblog.com, more BS from government, in regards to property rights.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz4-fSSDoAU

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  • Tue, Nov 12, 2019 - 5:48pm

    Reply to #17
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Les Phelps

    a good read on the same vein…..”The Camp of The Saints”, Jean Raspail.

     

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  • Tue, Nov 12, 2019 - 8:42pm

    #19
    cicerone

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    Rorschach Test

    Reading these comments, it seems that preparing for the “worst” is kind of a Rorschach test for our fears, biases, and experiences. For example, I grew up in a blue collar California suburb. I moved to the Big City to get an education and escape the dead-end job, truck on credit, hang out at the strip mall lifestyle. So I have this inherent bias against exurban living as it represents the worst case scenario (meaningless, dumb, unsustainable) to me. Thus, I tend to worry more about ecological and financial fragility in my personal spreadsheet.

    Even as I understand the problems with the inputs required to sustain today’s mega-cities, I like urban living. I admire artists, musicians, engineers, and craftsmen who dedicate their lives to perfection in their field. I find the idea that everyone has to be an isolated subsistence farmer / half-ass carpenter/electrician/plumber depressing. Furthermore, I feel that large cities are where they are (harbors, waterways, railways, fertile land) for a reason and that in 100 years, the cities will remain in some form while the exurbs will vanish or become farms again. So I maintain hope that some level of urbanism is sustainable and I look to find a model that will work between urban people and rural farmers during the Long Emergency.

    So I have this big blind spot when it comes to concerns about cities, population density and immigration. When I see “Camp of Saints” referenced, can I look my Mexican-American and Filipino-American neighbors in the face (literally my next door neighbors), the same guys who watch my house when I’m on vacation and participate in our Neighborhood Watch… and say that I don’t want them here because… some vague ideas about the Anglo foundations of American values? I guess this is what Jean Raspail was worried about – empathy.

    I’m not trying to virtue signal but rather to examine my own biases. Am I being willfully ignorant to the threats we face? Possibly. Are mega cities, illegal immigration, and hyper globalization bad? Yes. Does that ergo mean that cities, racial diversity and international trade are always bad? No, quite the opposite. And so on. Resilience assessment is complicated, localized and personal, especially in the context of The Long Emergency.

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  • Tue, Nov 12, 2019 - 10:02pm

    Reply to #19

    sebastian

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    Cicerone: “I find the idea that everyone has to be an isolated subsistence farmer / half-ass carpenter/electrician/plumber depressing“.

    Hi Cicerone I feel the exact opposite, I like being able to do a lot of different things. I`ve done all of them while building my house. Some of the jobs are better than others of course but the resiliency in being a jack of all is nothing but a plus to me. I definitely agree that isolated anything is depressing and I like being alone 🙂 Its all about  fomenting  local community. Personally I`m not big on cities because they require vast amounts of resources to feed its populations. Its roughly a 1 to 1 ratio of productive acres per person and this is with all the mechanized, artificially fertilized processes. https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-can-be-fed-year-round-off-of-one-acre-of-crop-growing

    How it works out in specific areas is somewhat a guesstimate. But if we look at examples from history the ones to suffer first and most are the urban poor. My belief is that cities will slowly begin to wobble then suddenly fall over like a top at the end of its turn. Its tricky to make a change, we have our ups and downs. The whole social/community reset is tough, but when we go back into the burbs we know deep down we did the right thing. The city, its pace and convenience is addictive. I have friends that come for visits and ask me if I get bored :). I ask them if they are anxious to get back.

    Good luck with the rational response.

    S.

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  • Tue, Nov 12, 2019 - 10:39pm

    Reply to #19
    cicerone

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    History

    But if we look at examples from history the ones to suffer first and most are the urban poor

    Maybe, but are we forgetting our ancestors? I don’t know about you but I did  genealogy research and they were mostly rural poor exploited by elite interests (taxation, property rights) forced to flee to America during economic/political turmoil for some hope of a better life on the factory floor. Throughout history, this is what repeats. The rural people get pillaged. If you’re really a totally independent gentleman farmer with an army, more power to you, but try to view the dependencies in your life (got a car? got roads? got machined lumber, steel knives, a computer, the internet? Safe from foreign invasion, polio, malaria? Etc) with clear eyes.

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 2:05am

    Reply to #19

    sebastian

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    Dependencies

     

     

    “view the dependencies in your life (got a car? got roads? got machined lumber, steel knives, a computer, the internet? Safe from foreign invasion, polio, malaria? Etc) with clear eyes.“

    Fully agree with above statement, There are so many ways for one to work on resiliency. Many of these dependencies just wont make it through the long emergency. It depends on the pace of change, what can make it through. Personally my residence is 30 km from a town of 20 000 people. I have 9 acres of which  about 6  I am starting to put into a permaculture food forest. Is that better resiliency than my previous 1/4 acre urban lot? I think so….will I hold on to it and prosper from here on in? who knows. It sure seems like a better option than paying off a 250k mortgage for the next 25 years for a 1/4 acre plot with an old house. No matter what things are going to get harder on so many fronts. How is living in an urban setting where consumption in general is the norm better than a rural setting  with space that allows for more of a production based economy?

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 6:31am

    Reply to #19
    Penguin Will

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    Quote from cicerone: “Reading these comments, it seems that preparing for the “worst” is kind of a Rorschach test for our fears, biases, and experiences….”

    END QUOTE

    And hopes, I would add. One of the articles which has most affected me was one written by Eric Janzsen in the lead up to the Great Recession titled “Recession Without Romance”. In it he took on the assertions that a recession was needed and that it would help to clean out the system, strip the market of government interference, and lead to a stronger, healthier US economy. It was (and still is) a brutal beatdown of the romantic notion that hard times will result in a return to the good honest days of yore when a man could work hard and win big in the tough but just US system.

    I have come to believe that this is just one aspect of a type of escapism which allows one to honestly hope for disaster so that all your dreams come true…. as insane as that sounds.

    I don’t know when the economic reset we have managed to avoid for so long will come. I ~think~ a lot of this avoidance will have made it much harder than it needed to be. But I ~know~ that it will be anything but romantic. Poverty isn’t romantic.

    There ain’t going to be roaming hordes of city dwellers descending upon your garden to steal your carrots and snow peas. There will be neighbors children who cause you pain when you see their scrawny, malnourished builds and worn out shoes with holes in them. There won’t be armed bands of miscreants shooting you and stealing your farm. There will be the local sheriff overseeing the repossession of your home after you lost your job and could not afford the mortgage payment. No one is going to be rummaging around in the basement to make off with your stash of dried pinto beans. What there will be is a couple somebodies sneaking in while you and your family are grocery shopping, breaking off the lock on your tool shed and stealing your tiller, your chainsaw and most hand held tools in less time than it takes for the UPS guy to drop off a delivery… and you cannot afford to replace them.

    Country living is cool and I wouldn’t trade it for all the tea in China. And I think it the current environment it makes all the sense in the world for a lot of people. But it won’t save you from the apocalypse. But it won’t need to. We aren’t headed for an apocalypse. The reality will be much tougher and much less romantic than that. IMHO.

    Will

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 7:26am

    #20

    thc0655

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    Facts, wishful thinking or beliefs PenguinWill ?

    Will, it doesn’t seem to me that your opinions about how our future will NOT be apocalyptically violent can be supported by a look at history or a recitation of current facts.

    There ain’t going to be roaming hordes of city dwellers descending upon your garden to steal your carrots and snow peas. There will be neighbors children who cause you pain when you see their scrawny, malnourished builds and worn out shoes with holes in them. There won’t be armed bands of miscreants shooting you and stealing your farm. There will be the local sheriff overseeing the repossession of your home after you lost your job and could not afford the mortgage payment. No one is going to be rummaging around in the basement to make off with your stash of dried pinto beans. What there will be is a couple somebodies sneaking in while you and your family are grocery shopping, breaking off the lock on your tool shed and stealing your tiller, your chainsaw and most hand held tools in less time than it takes for the UPS guy to drop off a delivery.

    Country living is cool and I wouldn’t trade it for all the tea in China. And I think it the current environment it makes all the sense in the world for a lot of people. But it won’t save you from the apocalypse. But it won’t need to. We aren’t headed for an apocalypse. The reality will be much tougher and much less romantic than that. IMHO.

    I’m hoping for a non-violent collapse too, “just” poverty and making due with a lot less. I’ll come through that in good shape. However, I’ve seen too much violence during economic collapses in history and in current events in places like Venezuela and South Africa to hope that the economic collapse right around the corner for us won’t come with significant violence in many places. For that matter, I’ve seen too much violence in Philadelphia to naively hope for a low violence collapse. Maybe the most romantic notion is that the violence that regularly accompanies economic collapse nearly everywhere and is already evident in the most economically depressed US cities today is not going to be a significant aspect of our future. That would be appealingly romantic: a collapse with very little violence. We can always hope, but in this case we should hope while preparing for the violence anyway.

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 9:04am

    Reply to #20

    sebastian

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    pace of change

    I believe the  pace of change/descent  is what will manifest different levels of violence. Take Argentina, over the last 80 years it went from a country with a large, flourishing economy and a fairly well educated civil populace to a have and have not, go and don`t go to kind of place. For most of that time you would be fine to walk around just about anywhere and be ok. At certain times (2001 crisis) you would get mugged for your groceries. Larger cities of 50k+ were worse, where people didn’t know each other as well. The higher the density the more individuals in dire straights looking to survive. But this seems obvious no? I cant think of a good argument for staying in a city long term… but I`m open to hear the counter argument. I have some city friends that agree with my opinion on city vs country living but making the shift is super hard for a number of reasons.

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 9:16am

    Reply to #20

    Chris Martenson

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    My time in Argentina

    Take Argentina, over the last 80 years it went from a country with a large, flourishing economy and a fairly well educated civil populace to a have and have not, go and don`t go to kind of place.

    By no means am I an expert, but I did spend a month in Buenos Aries in 2016.  I stayed in the Recoletta district (very nice, but on the downslope like pretty much everywhere there) and took daily walks pressing myself farther and farther afield until it felt unsafe.

    Everybody I met was super nice but I got a similar safety download from everyone.  Don’t wear your backpack on your  back because zippers can be opened without you knowing.  Don’t place your phone on the dinner table no matter how nice the restaurant because snatch-and-bolt criminals often came dressed very well.  An approaching motorcycle, especially with two riders warranted your full attention.  And so on.

    I never had any trouble but I am a fully alert kind of guy.  I imagine that the more obviously clueless you are to your surroundings the more these warnings would need to apply.  Criminals are observant and tend to pick easy over hard.

    But I did not wander far from my good district.  Perhaps 10 blocks was the limit.  Then the vibe changed.  I could feel it.  I was being watched in a different way.  I was clearly an outsider, as was anybody not from that precise neighborhood, or ‘favella.’

    There were many favellas that even the police would not dare venture into.  Too dangerous.

    At the time I was there things were okay, but not great.  The Arg peso traded at 16:1 to the dollar officially, but 18:1 from a guy the doorman in my building knew down the street.

    Today that exchange rate is 60:1 officially, and I can only guess what unofficially.

    Things have gotten worse.  I would suspect the warnings I’d receive today would be more urgent than before.  Maybe the ten block safe radius is now 5 blocks.  Who knows?

    But the idea is that as things get more dire the safe zones shrink and the level of alertness you need to maintain increases.  Together they make for a smaller life.

     

     

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 10:09am

    Reply to #20

    sebastian

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    Argentina

    I was in BA,  Dec 2016, we stayed in the San Telmo region. Buenos Aires is like a run down Paris, for a city it does have its appeal but visiting Argentina is bittersweet for me. So much missed potential there. All the natural resources a country could need and such mismanagement. I`m very glad I told my young half-siblings to change all their saving over to dollars a few years back now.

    Smaller Life indeed, its quite sad. I have a small life these days but its safe here and meaningful. My hope is for my young children to find meaning in a simpler life. My youngest two are doing ok with the changes, and my daughter will get there with time, I hope.

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 12:30pm

    Reply to #19

    Mark_BC

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    “One of the articles which has most affected me was one written by Eric Janzsen in the lead up to the Great Recession titled “Recession Without Romance”. In it he took on the assertions that a recession was needed and that it would help to clean out the system, strip the market of government interference, and lead to a stronger, healthier US economy. It was (and still is) a brutal beatdown of the romantic notion that hard times will result in a return to the good honest days of yore when a man could work hard and win big in the tough but just US system.”

    At the risk of getting a little off topic, I agree with this. What the great depression did was realign the economy’s capital back towards true profitability and growth. This caused pain as those people who had previously gotten their income from the vacuous bubble preceeding it suddenly lost their apparent wealth.

    Fundamentally this is how free market capitalism is supposed to work. The private sector produces net profits and the efficiency brought on by competition creates growth and opportunity for everyone. Governnent is funded by taxing the private sector and is therefore deemed to be “unproductive”, and therefore the extent of the public sector should be minimized and only used to support the private sector and create a safety net for those who need help. This model certainly seemed to work and be validated by the bubble preceeding the great depression, during the depression and the many decades of subsequent growth afterwards.

    However, this model has critical flaws. Firstly, the growth in the US economy in the decades since the depression has been facilitated by the US dollar’s hegemony and manipulation of the currency post 1971. It might not have been so dependent on efficiencies and innovations by the private sector.

    Secondly, many equate the profit created by the private sector to be equivalent to the optimal allocation of society’s / the economy’s resources. But this is unnatural and unsustainable because it is not possible for the majority of the economy to enjoy net profit (with true inflation factored in), where profit denotes an increase in claims on wealth or ownership of the planet’s resources and everything we make from them, in a finite world. It’s simple math.

    Now that the world is reaching maximum resources and can no longer grow in real terms, the result is that the tertiary financial system that is supposed to represent those claims on wealth has been stretched like a rubber band and is now verging on collapse.

    Unlike the great depression, we are not going to emerge after the everything bubble on a new path to organizing, once the pain of this bubble subsides, because the world’s financial system is still essentially geared to equate wealth with profits and growth. What the new system will look like, who knows, but I can be sure that it wont be positive for the average person. This is unfortunate because we are currently able to comfortably feed everyone today, and there is no fundamental reason why that would change over the next 5 to 10 years. What will change is the distribution network for wealth when the current system ends. This will leave many out in the cold and cause massive social upheaval.

    I’m not trying to beat up on capitalism because some form if it is essential for price discovery, capital allocation, and rewarding innovation, good work and effort. But what we need to change is the widely accepted belief that the only capital allocation that is worthwhile and “productive” is one that creates net profit and growing income. That won’t work anymore.

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 12:53pm

    Reply to #19
    MKI

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    Enjoy your thoughts cicerone. Comments:

    …preparing is kind of a Rorschach test for our fears, biases.

    For us, living a resilient lifestyle is merely a rational choice for a healthier living, not a fear-based reaction. But then again, we don’t believe the evidence supports a “Long Emergency” either (as a technical guy I was wholly unimpressed with JHK’s 2005 book, correctly so as said predictions have been wildly off-base).

    I find the idea that everyone has to be an isolated subsistence farmer / half-ass carpenter/electrician/plumber depressing.

    Even if rural, why consider it “isolated” (all can have active family/extended family/friends/community ties)? Also, why be a “half-ass” anything (nearly anyone can become a decent or even gifted plumber/electrician/carpenter)? Urban or rural can both be a great life, and both have a focus on people.

    Throughout history rural people get pillaged.

    This is true. Cities are wealthier, more efficient, and control the rural areas. Always have, always will. Why? Wealth is generated by people, ideas, and things (Romer) and cities have more of all three. Romer’s 1990’s work put the fork in Malthus but it isn’t well known (Warsh did a good job of explaining this).

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 6:15pm

    Reply to #1
    Darwin Evolved

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    Bay Area

    You do realize that your water is piped in from the Sierras, right?

    It is an interesting part of the world, but very vulnerable to many different potential problems.

    Wish you luck.

     

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 6:31pm

    Reply to #14
    Darwin Evolved

    Darwin Evolved

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    Different Scenarios Point to Different Places.

    The climate is changing far faster than the worst-case projections of 10-20 years ago and how that plays out is anybody’s guess at this point, but it is apparent that our governments from national to local are NOT going to be prepared and most of our neighbors will not be either.

    Within the life span of your children, the climate of Cascadia will be more like the SF Bay Area and that only relates to the climate. What damage that will do to the natural world that cannot adapt very quickly is a wild card. The life forms native there may not be able to adapt or survive and the ones adapted to the Bay Area probably will not be able to migrate to the north that quickly.

    As to water, the cities that have good supplies under their feet will have a huge advantage over places like NYC, LA, and SF that have to import water over great distances through different jurisdictions. The list of cities with adequate water supplies within their jurisdiction is pretty short.

    I am about a decade from retirement. If I were a young adult, I would be looking at the Great Lakes region. By that I do not mean Chicago.

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  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019 - 6:58pm

    Reply to #1
    Nate

    Nate

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    correction

    Piped in from the Sierras?  Stolen from the Sierras is more accurate.

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  • Thu, Nov 14, 2019 - 6:23am

    #21
    Penguin Will

    Penguin Will

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    thc0655: Depends upon what one expects as to whether I am being unduly optimistic I’d guess. Chris and Sebastion mentioned Argentina. I don’t know if you have read FerFal’s blog on living through a couple of the economic crashes down there, but if you haven’t I recommend it highly. Very good first hand account of a man living through a REALLY difficult situation.

    Reason I mention him is that I recall him losing his patience with those who kept bringing up “what if” scenarios which led to wanton violence. Of course there was violence, and of course he had to go heeled, but it was still a country where the rule of law held a lot of sway. Getting Ole Reliable out and putting a hole in someone who was stealing your garden produce would get you the same result as in the time before the economy augered in at Mach 2. Namely you would be branded a lunatic, followed by a quick trial and long stay in the penitentiary.

    I consider the Mad Max scenario to be a very low percentage outcome. As in, not a prayer. So I don’t spend time planning for it. Others don’t feel the same way so they may spend a lot of time on it.

    But as to the OP about moving to the country? Maybe there is a grain of truth in what Balin the dwarf said: “Aye, the wild is no place for gentle folk…” But I’d also say that I sincerely doubt I’ll see roaming warbands laying waste to vast sections of my sovereign mother. Not in my lifetime.

    Will

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  • Thu, Nov 14, 2019 - 9:15am

    #22

    sebastian

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    Argentina

    Hey PW,

    I think the violence thing is really site dependent. Argentina vs Venezuela are stark contrasts. Third highest murder rates in Venezuela…. Argentina wasn’t ever even close to that. As long as the police is getting payed/fed there is a chance for civility. The main thing is calories, as soon as the general population isn’t getting enough grub people will start to lose it. Argentina is one of the worlds breadbaskets, its economy is diversified. Through the economic crisis food was still being produced and serious starvation was avoided, Venezuela not so much. They are a 1 trick pony, oil export dependent economy.

    Short term, baring a black swan landing, Countries that are net food exporters should maintain some order. You might end up with a socialist government (Argentina) or a totalitarian one(Venezuela). Either way short to long term we get a lower standard of living and higher crime. For me the choice is between living in a city that becomes Detroit or worse, or a depression era small farming community. Both have their benefits and drawback but for long term resiliency the choice seems easy (but with a bunch of hard labor).

    S.

     

     

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  • Mon, Nov 18, 2019 - 12:00pm

    #23

    CleanEnergyFan

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    Secession Option is Needed in US to really have freedom to innovate away from Status Quo

    I am reposting this here as its appropriate to the topic: “After letting the dust on that upheaval settle down, I find myself filled with energy to begin anew, this time on a much larger property that can support a much larger vision, and many more people besides my own nuclear family.”

    I am very interested in hearing how the new development progresses in R.I.  I would love to be a part of that but its too far North for me and my family.  Nevertheless it can serve as a model for others who might wish to create a similar intentional neighborhood in other locations which might be closer to their current friends and family.  As you know, I am interested in creating a similar neighborhood in the northern part of Costa Rica.  I picked that location due to some of its inherent sustainable advantages as well as its lack of a strong central government (and lack of an army)…it is the opposite of a police state.  One huge concern with starting an intentional community in the US is that regardless of what state that community is in, it still is under the thumb of the US Federal government and agencies.  All of the debt and the laws that Congress passes will get passed on to it’s subjects whether they agree with it or not.  Since the Federal Government does not abide by the limitations put on it by the Constitution (which had the individual States being far more Sovereign than they are today), it has reduced our freedom of choice as citizens dramatically.  Now if we really want to opt out of the status quo imposed upon us by these Federal bureaucrats, our only real option is to leave the country.  I am hopeful that the concept of Secession will become much more openly discussed.  Without the possibility of Secession, there is little to force the Federal Government to devolve some of the power it has coerced and giving this back to the States where it rightfully belongs.  This topic of Secession is important enough that I would like to see it become its own thread at PP.  For those interested in the historical precedent on why Secession was always envisioned as an option by the original founders and States, I highly recommend the book  Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century.  There are a number of interesting concepts in the book (besides the legal grounds for making secession possible), one of which has to do with the ideal size of population which can be governed effectively…the idea that bigger is better regarding government accountability is highly refuted.  Of the worlds 223 political entities, 50% are below 5.5 million people.  18 of the top 20 GDP per capital are in small sovereigns (under 5 million) and all but one of the top 10 are under 5 million.  All this to say that I believe long term its likely that the US will break apart and that some of the individual states might become sovereign entities which would allow true diversity of opinion and true options on where and how to live and be governed…some states might seek to have greater centralized control over its citizens while others might opt to be less involved and leave decision making to local towns and families.  California or New York might have a very different view of government vs where I live (Texas) or Florida or R.I.  Rather than force all parties to live by a centralized authority, each could pick their own government and citizens would be free to move to another state which might be a better fit with their beliefs.  Since none of us has any control over our current Federal Government and when we might really be allowed the freedom to make our own choices locally, our only option for now is to look for locations outside the jurisdiction of US government which means a different country. I wish it didn’t have to be that way but see no alternative until secession becomes a real option in the US.  Incidentally, I attended a Mises Institute meeting in Houston back in 2015 where the topic was Secession.  Two of the main speakers were Ron Paul and Ron’s ex-Chief of Staff, Jeff Diest who is now President of the Mises Institute.  Jeff gave a great introduction on the topic of Secession.  Basically his message was secession starts at home (ie in the family) and is unlikely to ever be adopted by the normal electoral process but that having the ability to secede is the embodiment of liberty and would have been embraced by our founders.  Some excerpts from this speech:  Mises wrote in 1927: “The situation of having to belong to a state to which one does not wish to belong is no less onerous if it is the result of an election than if one must endure it as the consequence of a military conquest.”  And from  novelist L.P. Hartley, “The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.” The America we thought we knew is a mirage; a memory, a foreign country.  Frankly it seems clear the federal government is hell-bent on Balkanizing America anyway. So why not seek out ways to split apart rationally and nonviolently? Why dismiss secession, the pragmatic alternative that’s staring us in the face?  Secession, properly understood, means withdrawing consent and walking away from DC — not trying to capture it politically and “converting the King.”

    Secession really begins at home, with the actions we all take in our everyday lives to distance and remove ourselves from state authority — quietly, nonviolently, inexorably. The state is crumbling all around us, under the weight of its own contradictions, its own fiscal mess, and its own monetary system. We don’t need to win control of DC. What we need to do, as people seeking more freedom and a better life for future generations, is to walk away from DC, and make sure we don’t go down with it.

    All of us, regardless of ideological bent and regardless of whether we know it or not, are married to a very violent, abusive spendthrift. It’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to get a divorce from DC.  Jeff concludes with specific recommendations on how we can all secede on a personal level.

    His speech can be read here:

    http://mises.org/library/secession-begins-home-0

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  • Mon, Nov 18, 2019 - 12:56pm

    #24
    ezlxq1949

    ezlxq1949

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    Peak Water

    Canberra has, at current rates of consumption, about 3 years of stored water remaining assuming no significant rain in that time. That’s about 50% of capacity. We used the first 50% in the last 3 years.

    The government continues to suffer badly from growthitis. A new suburb is being built near me even now, the bulldozers scraping all vegetation off the land, any good soil taken away for separate sale, the dust blowing in the endless winds we’ve been enduring for the past few weeks.

    If the city’s population grows without limit, then the city’s water supply grows without limit. I cannot see any way to break that nexus.

    Blind fool that I am: technology will always save us!

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  • Mon, Nov 18, 2019 - 9:26pm

    #25
    skipr

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    Past Peak Water

    Down here in Tucson, the local TV news actually came out of the closet and said that tap water may stop flowing in a couple of years, and that was a year ago.  It’s mostly due to Lake Mead running dry.  What’s left will be a big source of conflict between AZ, NV, and CA.  Guess who will win that one.  At the same time the latest news about a local golf course’s green fees gets more coverage.

    100 years ago the Santa Cruz river flowed through Tucson all year.  Not any more.  The river flowed from the Mexican border north through Tucson.  About 50 years ago a copper mine 50 miles to the south purchased all of the region’s water rights.  They are required by law to water down the tailings in order to minimize the dust blown into Tucson.  Those sun lovers better learn how to love the taste of dust in a couple of years.  The whole region is going to be a much hotter dust bowl.

    Meanwhile I’m getting close to finalizing my relocation plans.  I want to be around lots of water, clouds, rain, livable temperatures, fewer people, etc.  More on that later.

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  • Tue, Nov 19, 2019 - 3:02pm

    Reply to #23

    Mots

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    how to secede

    Thank you cleanenergyfan for the review of Jeff’s mises article.  In particular, you mentioned that “our only real option is to leave the country…. .we need to walk away from DC, and make sure we don’t go down with it…”

    The referenced article at https://mises.org/library/secession-begins-home-0 posits two most important points:

    One, “Some people will always support the state, ….. we make a fatal mistake when we dilute our message to seek approval from people who seemingly are hardwired to oppose us. And we waste precious time and energy.”  In my opinion it’s not “some” but instead MOST people (I estimate between 90-95%) are incurable Statists.  We cannot confront them but should instead avoid triggering them by revealing to them how insignificant we are so that they can safely ignore us stupid, poor and weak country/farm dwellers.

    We can have much freedom inside the collapsing State this way.  We can acquire/generate much real wealth hidden in plain view of Statist oppressors, by being stupid and poor in the countryside.  “Nothing to see here!”

    Two, we can take many steps to “secede right now” regardless of where we are (don’t have to leave the country).  Jeff advises (see the list at end of his article) avoiding the statists (I call them the “matrix dwellers” who can be identified by their behavior of constantly staring at a small screen held in front and quirkily stroking the surface thereof while walking around outdoors).  Jeff gives many specific suggestions including for example, taking small steps towards resiliency in energy, food, education etc.  These steps, taken by poor idiots who are too stupid to join the Matrix, are invisible to the Matrix dwellers.

    Clean energy fan, I agree with making your topic a focused discussion group and suggest detailing/prioritizing steps that we can all make regardless of where we are to secede.  By the way, isn’t the “secession” referred to here really the same as escaping the matrix?  The statists have acquire ownership or persuasive control (via rich-man’s club) of facebook, google, CNN, MSNBC, twitter etc. and a first step towards secession (I propose) is to cleanly understand this and to free one’s mind first.  John Prine clairvoyantly sang about how to do this years ago : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BofvfVPFbiM  regarding simply abandoning the media such as TV and newspapers.

    I suggest that we focus on “reality check” mechanisms (what are these, how can we use reality checking to help us escape?) as a first step.  In this vein consider that the “reality check” of empirical science was the analogous tool used in the middle ages to banish superstition control and help escape from that age’s feudalism.  The last Renaissance was driven by such independent thinkers who pulled themselves up by the tool of reality checking (science) to confront the fake news and opinion of that time.  What such tools are available to us now to escape the Matrix?  I don’t know the answer but it seems helpful to interact directly, face nature by making our own food and energy and follow John Prines advice in “Spanish Pipedream: (Blow up your T.V. , throw away your paper , go to the country, build you a home. Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches try and find Jesus on your own.)  Anyone else want to discuss this in a separate thread?

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  • Tue, Nov 19, 2019 - 4:52pm

    Reply to #25

    Chris Martenson

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    Re: Relocation - Water is Key

    Meanwhile I’m getting close to finalizing my relocation plans.  I want to be around lots of water, clouds, rain, livable temperatures, fewer people, etc.  More on that later.

    Every spot I am currently examining has water.  Lots of water.  Year-round surface streams here in a region where there aren’t any big fights over who owns it.

    CO is a different story.  AZ, NM, and other bits and parts of surrounding states are in dire straights.

    And yet, even with all of that looming, growth and building continues.   It’s such a sickness that it’s hard to understand.  Gluttony was the sin of eating oneself to an early death.  It was also the overindulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth, especially as status symbols.

    Pretty much describes every local growth-oriented government…

    Choose wisely.

    I am examining new properties each week.  Getting a pretty good feel for the pros and cons and overall market conditions.  Someday a magic place will appear and I will know it.  After all, chance favors the prepared.

     

     

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  • Tue, Nov 19, 2019 - 5:46pm

    Reply to #25
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    There is a 2A

    movement in the south.

    watch it. It may inform your decisions….just a bit

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  • Thu, Nov 21, 2019 - 8:10am

    Reply to #25
    phoenixl

    phoenixl

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    regions of fewer people and more than enough water, but...

    Hi Chris, I’d like to add a couple of details to the water issue.

    1) Another reason to choose a lightly populated region that has more than enough of water is that even if it is a Prior Appropriation state, it won’t have the degree of developer’s influence on the state legislature to wiggle around the groundwater laws (like Arizona did) so you still end up with lower water tables and lower streams from increased building. In Riparian states, there’s pretty much no law regarding water use so most people are able to use what they want as they want as long as they don’t live near densely populated areas that draw a lot of surface or groundwater for their domestic use. Even in Colorado, which has always had the most strict water laws (surface and ground) in the country, I don’t doubt that there will be more pressure to ease up on groundwater law to let developers put up more houses (even if one at a time, or 10 at a time) as the state becomes more popular to incomers and the Rockies get drier and produce less snow.

    2) Not only is there a history since the ’70s of increased frequency of heavy precipitation events across the upper Midwest and Northeast, but climate models all show those areas will have even more heavy precipitation events in the future. So choosing property regarding placement of buildings and farmland would mean making sure that heavy precip events won’t aim runoff right toward homes, and that fields are relatively flat but have good drainage or diversion structures so you don’t lose topsoil. Related to this is nearby small towns/cities whose stormwater infrastructure is already incapable of dealing with heavy rains or high rivers/lakes and so flood most years. The reason I mention this is that the better prepared the most local small town is to handle heavy precip, the better that town’s economy is to handle and survive it and not start eroding away and weakening the surrounding rural economy or otherwise pressuring the local rural resources more. My PhD is in hydrology and the earth science basics needed for watershed mgmt (e.g., soils, climate, pollution pathways, land use basics), so if you ever have a question, I could probably answer it or lead you to some good sources.

     

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