Wednesday, August 7, 2013

3pc2v2no21


3PC2v2no21

THREE PHASES CIVILIZATION COLLAPSE

Prepping For Economic Collapse-Petroleum Dependency

 

Way back in the day when men were men and sheep were nervous and brides were as easy to order as a Sears catalog tool ( quality not guaranteed ), the US was the premier manufacture center.  Not because we were all that much smarter or hard working ( this was also the heyday of immigration, and those non-natives were some hard working schleps ) although our kind-sorta mainly laissse-faire society encouraged this kind of thing, but because we had oodles and gobs ( an oodle and gob are units of measurement comprising that of crap-loads ) of energy and other resources.  We had so much coal and wood and hydropower and crops and oil, it was a glut on the market.  We had to invent how to waste it, literally.  That was the prevailing business model.  How do I waste resources in such a delightful way that customers would buy my crap rather than the other guys.  Russia had a similar problem but since they don’t do business or profits ( other than for the czar/commissar ) they still have a lot of their resources ( their main business today is natural gas to Europe but it isn’t about profit but strategic positioning- the oil was squandered to an extent keeping the lid on things decades ago but since they waste little they still have plenty to see their military along nicely on the down slop of global Peak Oil ).

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This isn’t just ancient history like dudes in white wigs and funny socks.  This is fundamentally important for our future crystal ball ponderings.  This was and is our economy.  All our infrastructure, from eating and jobs to electric power to collapsing bridges to our laws and customs, is based on waste ( a bit catchy, Based On Waste ).  Oh, we’ve played at the edges of the system to minimize the amount we waste, but still at heart it is the same old thing ( and, no, to forestall any silly questions, we can’t change things to a whole other system.  You need surplus energy to build a system.  We are stuck with what we have ).  Now, the individual can certainly do things that aren’t centrally driven by waste.  It isn’t simple and you must buck the trend, but you can easily do this.  It is more attitude than intelligence, more discipline than investment.  In short, you must start down the road AWAY from petroleum dependence.  It will never be complete because our entire system is built around waste, around surplus energy very near “too cheap to meter” ( the battle cry of the nuclear power movement, which should have been “our meters glow in the dark” ).  You might be arguing that gasoline is expensive and the utility company pays us to insulate, but again, that is minimizing waste rather than eliminating it.  A house should need no heat, not just half what it used to.  Your commute from the suburbs should need a bike, not a car ( yes, both need kilocalorie consumption in one form or another, but a population on bikes would never overtake our resource base like motor vehicles has ).

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Again, you can’t do this perfectly.  You can strive towards a goal even if it is ever illusive.  A twenty acre homestead won’t do it.  You need a job, which ties into the resource wasteful economy to pay the bankers for the mortgage.  You are now food self-sufficient but still 100% dependent on the economy.  And the economy is now in zombie mode because our resources are in decline.  The economy is powered by consuming resources ( your home office job, seemingly petroleum free, involves solar cells shipped from China or more likely power from coal, but even solar needs batteries which are oil transportation imported ore and petroleum plastic.  Your computer and the computers at the Internet hub are imported, built and shipped with oil.  All your customers burn oil to get to their jobs which are burning oil to stay in business.  And etcetera ).  A growing population needs growing economies which need a growing resource base.  Our resource base is shrinking, and most efficiencies that could be wrung from the system have already been achieved decades ago.  Ergo, our economy based on grown and resource use MUST collapse.  Which means you must transition to far less petroleum dependency.  And in your personal life this means an actual savings since a lot less money will be needed to buy all the things Petroleum Age offered you as a consumer.

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Yes, you still need to invest in a petroleum sipping ( verses guzzling ) future.  And sometimes that investment seems huge with minimal savings ( it would take me twenty years to pay for my underground lair at current price propane savings ).  But you are not investing to save money.  You are investing so you need no petroleum in the future.  And it doesn’t require a lot of investment.  It requires minimizing your needs.  I don’t have a roof full of solar panels.  I minimize my watts used to a mere 50 a day and hence only need a few hundred dollars in panels.  I don’t need a mortgage to build an underground house, since I downgraded my needs to a hovel/shack ( where I can survive without heat-but you do need to wool-up inside ).  I certainly didn’t buy a three thousand dollar bicycle, but a $300 one ( do NOT buy China-Mart bikes unless you are prepared to start repairing all non-frame parts within several hundred miles ).  My job is certainly petroleum dependent, but I’ve eliminated all debt and most expenses so I can survive on part time.  I’m still eating on food from two thousand miles away, but I have my own stockpile to get me through transportation disruptions.  And I own no power tools.  Everything is manual, from digging holes to clearing brush.  It isn’t a huge change, just a lot of little ones.  It isn’t independence, but it isn’t total dependence either. 

END

10 comments:

  1. You're right on the money with adapting to less oil usage/needs. Whether individuals are doing it or not, as a whole less energy/oil usage has already been forced on us and the latest charts show we have been declining in use steadily and are now below 1998 levels. This trend will only continue and cause waves of joblessness like rain drops in a lake as it goes.

    No point in fighting it. Even if you can afford the SUV and the gas to go with it today, eventually in the near future you won't be able to and that SUV will be a waste of money.

    Best to get used to less energy usage now.

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    1. I think follks miss the good part about it saving you money. Price a hot water heater. Compare it to a solar heater ( passive, not roof mounted and plumbed in ). That is several hundred you just saved. More wheat and poodle shooting rounds!

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  2. Prepping is wise. Good advice.

    You need to prep your soul. Accept Jesus as your savior. Ask God for forgiveness of your sins and repent.

    It would be a shame if you survived the crash and ended up in the lake of fire for eternity.

    praying for you

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    1. You know me and Baby Jesus are tight. Nuff said.

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  3. Lord Bison of the Great Basin and King of Coiffure;

    I applaud your efforts to become post-petroleum able thus mastering the skills need to thrive in A World Made By Hand, to borrow a novel from Kunstler. I must ask though what would be the rough plan after said collapse of the petroleum society/system in Elko? I understand that the Humboldt River will continue to flow from the mountains thus providing a near constant flow of somewhat potable water for agriculture, but with only two persons, one of which would be considered medically dependent on the very petroleum-technologies you eschew, how would one continue to fund a constant source of calories? Not that you need reveal the master plan to a lowly minion such as myself, but as far as I able to surmise, your plan only gets as far as the end of the die-off period leaving one's imagination to run wild as to thoughts of the re-constitution phase. Keep keeping it real James!

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    1. My plans are only middlin realistic. One, the population here must reduce prior to collapse or I won't make it. Two, I'm hoping on the continuing drought to modify or I won't make it ( the river is on its second year of ceasing constant flow- there are just constant wide spaced puddles ). If I survive that, no ag. Sheep herding. If that fails, I will turn raider/bandit. Or, I immigrate and take over a farming village ( a poor choice, only if required- the odds are long ). I'm truthfuly hoping old age takes me first. As for the medical dependent wife or family if they make it up here, there isn't hope for them, plainly stated.

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    2. 1) Goats, not sheep, goats are far more self sufficent, lesser wool, but can also be beasts of burden, and provide more milk and even defend you as well. Get one NOW learn its tricks and utility. You will DIE without the ingrained practiced knowledge.

      2) Water- learn to use the minimal puddles of the river. Up here the drought of previous years has become near seattle style rain this year. The farmers and ranchers are happy, so are the bugs. Rain Catchment would provide enought for a plentiful garden and houshold use most years in many places- even elko. Get yourself a cistern. Ferrocement or a pondliner in a covered hole in the ground is all you need, and a way to keep out the bugs. Filter it for drinking of course, and limit its livestock use.

      3) Community, People form tribes. Find the people who are NOT going to leave even after the crash, start making friends- Help them out when they get into a jam, accept a little of their help also and be sure to thank them. Everyone should know you are poor, but helpful, and thus will think about raiding your place last. Eventually you will be part of their tribe. Dont worry if you cant identify those that will stay, just treat everyone that way, and the stay behinds will remember.


      -Grey

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    3. I hear you. I've moved in this direction, although not near enough. Once I get rain catchment then I can get some animals- I think. I need to do research on both plant and animal water consumption to see if its feasable. I'd love to be much more food independent, but I won't do it with a well or a car.

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  4. Nightshift here.....I have five larger hens. I would say they use maybe 1.5 to 2 gallons of water a day in this MS heat. They are no longer free ranging so the do not get moisture from bugs and what not. You would be safe at 2 gallons for 5 hens and adjust from there. Depending on how you water them you can conserve. I flush out the waterer cause the manage to poop in it wasting a portion of the water. Not a problem here but I just turn on a faucet. Your case would be different. They do like shade during peak sun and heat.

    I am toying with getting into pygmy goats for a meat source but it is on the list. I like the idea of pygmy goats cause a breeding pair takes less resources than one full size goat if you needed to minimize the herd. Easier to handle, ect. Plus if you butchered one it is easier to eat and store say 20# of meat (A guess) than meat from a larger goat. Some bucks get pretty big. Pygmies tend to have 2 kids instead of one. More barter potential.

    Have you looked into arid type food plants? IDK, research what they use in the middle east or Africa...I'm thinking about things like Figs or whatever might grow there with minimal inputs. Just something to think about. What did the Indians survive on when they were pushed into the desert?

    Consider container or raised bed gardening. You will have to provide some shade for most plants. Used grey water as much as possible and maybe make a sand filter to clean it up. Be careful of grey water on root crops though. High water plants like tomatoes, cukes, green peppers need not apply.

    OK, this next one is out on a limb. In regards to water, albeit minimum human drinking water, I seem to remember some sort of condensation collection tower of rocks that people built in the desert. The premise was stacking flatish rocks in a tower with all of them tapering towards the center, In the mornings, dew would settle and drip towards the center to collect in a cup. Not practical on the move but you are stationary for now. Perhaps other kinds of emergency water procurement on a permanent set up could keep you alive. FWIW

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    1. I've looked into the dew collectors. Not sure if it would work here, but I would have to buy the rocks as there are few big ones here naturally. I know, worth the investment-IF it worked. Remember my failed $200 earth pipe?

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