Before we start today, a short word on one of my latest book recommendations. “The Yellowstone Conundrum” by John Randall. I’m not guaranteeing that this is going to be a post-apocalypse book ( this is the first in a promised series ). All 500 pages only covered the first day, and to be honest the President character sounded so much like the head of HOG, Obammy The Mutant Kenyan I kind of got the feeling that the author would suck the man’s ass in public if given the opportunity. If this is the case then you can’t have the series be the end of civilization because then his hero would be slightly less than deity-like. So the thing might end up being nothing more than a Big Disaster Cozy. However, having said that, this book kicked ass. The writing style was very enjoyable, a slight twist of wry humor in most places. And I couldn’t put the thing down ( it consumed the majority of my weekend ). Highly recommended. Okay, on to the meat of today’s article, a case being made for living in the East as a survival location. This is me playing Devil’s Advocate. I’m not saying it is the best choice, or my personal choice. But it is an antidote to the mindless lemming movement to the West. I wish to thank Russell for planting the seed for the article. Why the East isn’t as bad as the “professional” Survival Guru’s suggest.
Yes, we’ve covered this before. But today I’m focusing on another aspect. The East is all ready to go for the Apocalypse. Don’t get confused with what I am saying. I don’t claim you want to be back East during the die-off. You don’t want to be ANYWHERE where there are other people during the die-off, including a town of 53 population in the middle of nowhere. So much effort is being put into focusing on the East and West die-off, not enough attention is being paid to AFTER the die-off. Afterwards, the east will be far superior in terms of infrastructure. It is true the East will have issues. The die-off is going to be brutal, with race wars, civil wars, territorial wars and what not. But once the ruckus dies down it will be a very nice place to hang your hat. The West, while much better off during the die-off because it is so easy to hide, is going to fare poorly post-transition and it certainly will be a bit more violent. The armed clashes will involve far fewer individuals, but the violence will be as intense and perhaps more frequent ( although, realistically, in the absence of nation-states we will all have to get used to a lot more local violence ). The West is going to see more water wars, constantly. Mainly because without large armies the combatants won’t exhaust themselves enough to have lulls between wars. Agricultural armies tend to be centralized and have large armies involved in large conflicts. Grazing areas have more constant low intensity fighting.
The East was built on pre-coal power. Yes, the place was lousy with railroads later on. But water transportation was predominant first. And if you look at European history it was a fight over waterways instead of roads because water doesn’t need fodder for animals ( you can have animals pulling alongside a canal. The point is water is much more energy efficient ). Just as we discussed last week on the deplorable roads of the Revolutionary War, water transportation can go a long way in both commerce and war. The East is also built up for easy day trade between villages. Look at how close everything is. You load up the wagon in the morning, go to town, sell your food and get back by evening. In the West, rather than being horse or buggy distance, most everything was railroad distance. Most of the West was settled after the railroads and is dependent on them or cars to be livable. Hell, most of the towns in Nevada never would have produced precious metals without water being shipped in. There are a very few places in the West where a local agricultural existence is possible. I sure as hell wouldn’t be living there as they will be a magnet for trouble ( there will be a lot of fighting at first in the East- the suburbs must be cleared for local agriculture. But in the end, as everyplace is great for growing ( except New England ), wars will probably be about things other than starvation. In the West, since farmland without wells is rare, those areas will invite conflict.
In the East, every town is situated with an agriculture in mind ( there are those situated for ore extraction, but I’d wager even those had local crops ). There is no rebuilding necessary. And, if lucky, during the die-off the suburbs are burned down to clear for future planting. The excess population must be removed, but there should be enough buildings left to shelter the survivors. And local growing can commence. Back West, if lucky you can ranch ( with wars over the meager water supplies for those animals ). Don’t forget, the buffalo are gone. In large areas, you can’t live like the Indians used to. In places like Nevada, there were very few of those as the place is a vast wasteland with little room at the top of the food chain. I still love it here, but I hold few illusions of the viability of survival here. People are too in love with extraction here, and they will strip the place to survive. They couldn’t live sustainably if you showed them. Now, this doesn’t make all the problems back East any less heinous. You will still be a poor serf on the king’s land. But you will eat. If you survive the tens of millions fighting over land meant to support tens of thousands. But don’t ignore the aftermath of the die-off where the East holds the advantage.
All of my links and information: http://jamesmdakin.blogspot.com/2013/05/info-page.html