Home

Goto the Home Page

Machinery for a Post Collapse World: Charcoal Tractor

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of NearingsFault

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 17, 2018

Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner

Welcome to my kick off post. I find it the height of arrogance to blog as I claim no mastery in the subjects that interest me most. I’m a greenie, a builder, a single dad, an alternative energy enthusiast, a gardener, and deeply concerned about the sustainability of the world we have created. I probably won’t write all that often but look in from time to time as I muddle my way through building a better life. For today the topic will be My charcoal powered tractor.

Years ago I launched a search for a fossil fuel free way to charge my batteries in my off grid home. The amount of useable sun in the winter on my solar array would drop to 1.5 hours from a summer high of 5. Most off grid homes resort to propane generators to make up the difference. Propane was not cheap and like any good doomer I understood how precious it was. Steam, thermo electrics, stirling engines, Hydrogen brown gas, you name it I researched and tinkered. The search for an alternative led me to Gasification, specifically charcoal gasification, as a possible locally appropriate solution. Hidden in history I discovered hundred of thousands tractors, buses and cars ran on the stuff during the second world war. Some were jury rigged but there was also also factory made kits, standardization of fuel, Fuelling stations, government pamphlets, standards of construction, government regulations and guidelines, it was all there and vanished as soon as gasoline became available again. Don’t buy it? Just another conspiracy theory?  here is a great photo montage done by another woodgas nut like me. What strikes me here is just how normal this fuel was:

Imagine my surprise that a fuel that could run all my machinery with minor modification could be made at home while I heated my house…

This article is too short to go into the ins and outs of gasification, charcoal versus wood and how it works so take a look here for a primer on the subject:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_gas

If you want a glimpse into the modern masters of the technology check here:

www.driveonwood.com

As often happens in life priorities change. For me it was kids, a busier work schedule and correspondingly higher electrical usage which had me choose to grid connect my home to replace the generator. For a while projects around resilience took a back seat to all that make families work. It was always there though. I’ve decided to revisit these themes over the next few years as I attempt to refocus my life towards greatly increased food production, renewed energy independence, and fossil fuel replacements. Right now food comes first.

Fossil fuels have come to be critical to food production. I won’t debate the effectiveness of permaculture, lasagna garden bed making, french intensive methods, organic farming, or the joys of draft animals here. I can tell you that in times of crisis we will need millions of new large gardens seemingly overnight and one thing all those above methods are not is fast. Tractors are able to convert a manicured lawn into a plowed field in a matter of hours. With all that in mind my contribution is my 1953 Ferguson TEA20 tractor converted to run on charcoal. It was cheap and available but appropriately its from an era of simpler machines designed to run forever and be repaired by an owner in the field with minimal tools. On a sunny october afternoon it turned my weed filled 2250 sq ft garden back into the food plot it had once been. One hour of charcoal powered cultivation replaced what would have been 3 days of back breaking work for one person. Total fuel consumed 10 gallons of charcoal ,just shy of 14 Lbs., roughly equivalent to 1 US gallon of gasoline. I make my charcoal in my wood stove over the winter. This would have represented the coals from 24 hours of mid winter fires but honestly it probably took me 2 evenings of shovelling coals to accumulate this much as I’m not a fanatic or desperate. This is not a solution for a thriving society basking in economic prosperity and cheap energy. It works best if you have access to wood and are used to processing it so probably rural dwellers, who are land rich but money poor and heat with wood. It will not power an economy of commuting suburbanites but it might be enough for my northern tree covered slice of the world.

I’ve committed to plowing up 2 garden plots for friends this fall if time allows. I will be running on charcoal and will record the process. For now just some stills and some background videos will have to do. As a teaser that same 14 lbs of charcoal would have produced between 6 and 8 kW Hr of electricity for battery charging… That is another post though.

Cheers,

It all starts with making charcoal:

A walk around in the tractor’s early days:

All nice and shiny running on charcoal gas at an agricultural fair. It’s never been that clean since!

This Week in Doom Oct. 14: Getting Away with Murder


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Like us on Facebook

 

 

 

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on October 14, 2018

“I have left my home, my family and my job, and am raising my voice. To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak when so many cannot… Saudi Arabia has not always been as it is now. We Saudis deserve better.”

 ― Jamal Khashoggi  


This was a week in which Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Cat 4 in the Florida Panhandle, and flattened Panama City and erased Mexico Beach. As of this writing, the crack SWAT teams of the Trump Administration had mustered a post-Maria Puerto Rican-style recovery effort, meaning that aside from the Red Cross, residents are on their own. We learned that Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, is closing hundreds of stores under the guidance of designated looter Fast Eddie Lampert. As Sears stores fail, Fast Eddie's real estate company buys out their leases and re-rents the space to flea markets and crack dealers, thus improving the American suburb. The Trump administration is weighing new family separation efforts at the borders.

A West Virginia politician who told liberals to “get you’re [sic] coathangers [sic] ready” in preparation for the overturning of abortion rights by the Supreme Court is now being sued for calling a psychologist a pedophile for defending LGBTQ kids. A newly discovered long and craggy rift is splintering across West Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier, ready to split off. Illinois and Georgia are actively engaged in voter suppression. A five-year-old was detained at the border and persuaded to sign away her rights, as the Trump administration actively considers new family separation measures. New reports indicate that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is now being investigated for possible perjury charges by Chief Justice John Roberts. But the most compelling story of the week is that a journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, entered a Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey and never emerged.


Who is Jamal Khashoggi and Why Should We Care?

The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2 and allegations of foul play have inspired outrage. According to Wikipedia, Jamal Khashoggi was most recently a Washington Post columnist, and had a long career as a Saudi journalist,  author, and progressive voice in the Arab world. Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in 2017 after the government banned him from Twitter, and afterwards wrote newspaper articles critical of the Saudi government, the crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, and the country's king, Salman of Saudi Arabia. He also opposed the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.

Anonymous Turkish police sources have alleged that he was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate.[8][9] The Saudi government claims that Khashoggi left the consulate alive, through a rear entrance,[10] but Turkish police say that no CCTV recorded him exiting the consulate.[11]

Turkish government officials allege that Saudi government officials lured Khashoggi to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul with the intention of harming him—and that there are video and audio recordings proving that after he was beaten, tortured and killed inside the Consulate, the body was dismembered. Some reports have it that Khashoggi recorded his own death via his Apple watch, connected to a mobile phone left outside. Whether this is true, or is Turkish disinfo to prevent disclosure of their own spying methods is unclear. 

So the Saudi regime had motive for Khashoggi's disappearance, as detailed in this article:  What You Should Know About Khashoggi: 5 Key Facts. It suggests reasons that the Saudis– and the Trumps who love them– may have the journalist's blood on their hands.

None of this is yet confirmed. But increasingly it seems that the Saudi crown prince, better known as M.B.S., condoned the torture, assassination and dismemberment of an American-based journalist using diplomatic premises in a NATO country. As a New York Times article has it,

Trump has expressed “great confidence” in M.B.S. and said that he and King Salman “know exactly what they are doing.” Jared Kushner wooed M.B.S. and built a close relationship with him — communicating privately without involving State Department experts — in ways that certainly assisted M.B.S. in his bid to consolidate power for himself.

The bipartisan cheers from Washington, Silicon Valley and Wall Street fed his recklessness. If he could be feted after kidnapping a Lebanese prime minister and slaughtering Yemeni children, why expect a fuss for murdering a mere journalist?

For their part, the Saudis are blaming the western press and the Qataris. Saudi Media Casts Khashoggi Disappearance as a Conspiracy, Claims Qatar Owns Washington Post. Saudi Arabia’s interior minister has condemned the accusations as  “lies and baseless allegations,”  according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Predictably, Trump's first thought was about money: "I know [Senators] are talking about different kinds of sanctions, but [the Saudis] are spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs for this country." Trump also declared the US will uncover the truth about what happened to Khashoggi, inspiring the same faith as did O.J. Simpson when he pledged to devote the rest of his life to tracking down "the real killers."

Meanwhile, we are all supposed to forget how the Saudi royals are said to have Pampered Princeling Jared Kushner's balls on a keychain. Who should be surprised they act with such impunity?


This week marks the continuation of open season on journalists with no bag limit. In a little noticed trend, it’s been a deadly year for journalists, even in democratic countries where press freedom is nominally an essential part of civil society.

Journalist Victoria Marinova brutally murdered in Bulgaria

Victoria Marinova, a 30-year-old Bulgarian journalist working for regional TV channel TVN, was brutally killed last week in the city of Ruse, located in the north of the country. She is the fourth journalist killed in the EU since 2017 after Kim Wall in Denmark, Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta and Jan Kuciak in Slovakia. 

According to local media reports, her body was found in an area of ​​difficult access, near the Danube river bank. The victim was allegedly raped, beaten and then strangled. She was beaten with such violence that her face was unrecognizable, so she was not identified until last night.

She had recently interviewed two other journalists were arrested last month by Bulgarian police while investigating destruction of documents allegedly revealing corrupt practices by a private road construction company. Dead men (and women) tell no tales.

Khashoggi and Marinova are just this week's casualties in a worrisome trend. At least 43 journalists have been killed around the world thus far in 2018 as a result of their work, according to the Committee to Project Journalists. That number is outpacing last year, and does not include 17 other deaths where motive has not been confirmed. 

Part of the authoritarian playbook has been to discredit journalists and others who shine light on deeds best perpetrated in darkness. Thus, Khashoggi’s Blood Is On Donald Trump’s Hands.

In July, met with A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times, the paper most often called out by the  Orange Fraud’s years-long effort to delegitimize the U.S. press. In a statement memorializing the White House meeting, Sulzberger said he had gone to the White House to warn Trump: His vicious criticisms of the American press, especially the description of journalists as the “enemy of the people,” would likely result in  deadly results for reporters.

“I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the president’s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press.”

And here we are. Memory being the liberal superpower, we can remember a few months ago when a crazed gunman shot up the Capital Gazette. With Khashoggi, Sulzberger’s warning has shown that Trump's authoritarian act has traveled overseas, such that a journalist who lives in the U.S. and writes for a major American newspaper can be executed with impunity.

The National Memo article cited above puts it exact:

It’s difficult to overstate the brazenness of the Saudis’ alleged actions in targeting a U.S. resident who writes for an American paper while he was in a NATO country.

It seems unlikely that the Saudi regime — dependent as it is on the U.S., and on the Trump administration specifically — would have tried to kidnap or kill Khashoggi if its rulers thought it would upset Trump. But as Sulzberger warned, Trump’s derision toward reporters gave every indication that he didn’t care. And since Khashoggi’s disappearance, Trump has signaled his ongoing apathy. The message the president is sending to dictators around the world is that it is open season on dissident journalists.

Past presidents, aware of the danger of signaling such indifference, might have reacted with outraged statements and a promise of dire consequences for the regime that dared to commit such a crime. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has tried to lay down such a marker, threatening sanctions against the highest levels of the Saudi government if it turns out to be implicated in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

But Trump’s vision of U.S. foreign policy is fundamentally transactional, looking with favor on despots like Crown Prince Mohammed who cater to his whims and sign hefty contracts for U.S. arms, while scorning our democratic allies for not paying “their fair share of common defense costs.”

There is a direct and unmistakable link between Trump’s anti-press rhetoric against journalists and Saudi actions. Since Trump hates journalists, the Saudis may have bet that he wouldn't mind they killed one. Unless Trump and his administration change course and make it clear selective murder of reporters is unacceptable, expect the trend to continue. With authoritarianism ascendant, who is truly safe?


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

Michael – The Path of Total Destruction

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on October 14, 2018

 

Discuss this article at the Environment Table Inside the Diner

We've been tracking the progress of Michael Inside the Diner in our Strafing Run of Mother Nature thread since before he ever made it to Cuba, as we do with most cyclones that are either exceptionally huge and potentially destructive or which look like they have the potential to impact the FSoA in some location.  We also watch the storms in the Pacific that generally hit the Asian continent also, but since most of the Diners live in the FSoA, these storms get more attention.

At the beginning, Michael didn't look like much, a Cat 1 bound for Cuba, but the track projected by the Supercomputer Models took it through the gap betwen Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico.  The projected track made a beeline for the Panhandle of Florida, and thus it became a Hurricane worth watching, despite the fact it was only Cat 1 at the time.

Once into the "abnormally" warm waters of the Gulf, Michael went through not one, but 3 cycles of rapid intensification, or "Bombogenesis". In the matter of 3 days, he went from a pipsqueak Cat 1 Hurricane to a devastating Cat 4 on the Landfall between Panama City and Mexico Beach in the Panhandle of Florida, getting stronger all the time, even through two eyewall replacement cycles.  On landfall where the eyewall hit, the devastation is so complete it looks like a Nuclear Bomb was detonated.

PHOTO: Storm damage is seen after Hurricane Michael in Panama City, Fla., Oct. 10, 2018.

Image result for panama city michael

PHOTO: A woman inspects damage to her family property in the Panama City, Fla., after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Floridas Panhandle, Oct. 10, 2018.

Image result for Haley Nelson stands in front of what is left of one of her father's trailer homes after Hurricane Michael passed through the area on Oct. 10, 2018 in Panama City, Fla. The hurricane hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

You can Google many more pics or find Slideshows of the aftermath on other websites to see a zillion like the above, I'm not going to drop a whole bunch more of those here.  Suffice it to say that these Beachfront Resort Communities are going to be quite some time in returning to BAU, if they ever do.  Also similarly devastated was Mexico Beach, Apalachicola and Tyndall Air Force Base.  On the latter, all to the good there.

What we will look at in this article is the development and Path of Total Destruction that Michael took from the time he passed Cuba and entered the Gulf of Mexico until he exited the shores of the FSoA into the Atlantic, now predicted to make a beeline as a post tropical storm across the pond and headed for Europe.  The images you will see here come from the marvels of modern technology courtesy of the NOAA, the NHC and the NWS.  The satellites shoot in various wavelengths, Visible, Infrared, and Short Wave Infrared.  Also a new color composite with simulated day/night layers.  Also, Doppler Radar which gives a Techs-on-the-Ground look at the ground level precipitation coming down.  This technology, along with the supercomputers and weather models that have been developed has totally revolutionized the prediction of Hurricane landfalls.  The accuracy of this technology is really only about 5-10 years old.  The track for Michael was right on, basically from the moment it became a named storm right up until it left the FSoA.  It remains to be seen if the track prediction holds true for a projected journey across the Atlantic as a post-tropical storm to possibly also threaten Europe.

Image result for monolithic dome This technology dramatically reduces the loss of life, giving people the time to prepare or to GTFO of Dodge.  The 2nd choice there for Michael if you lived along the Panhandle coastline being the only intelligent choice.  Further inland, you might try to ride it out if you live in a well built structure like a Monolithic Dome, but on the Coast a Cat 4 (nearly a Cat 5) positively FLATTENS everything.

Anyhow, that's enough words for today on Michael, now the story will be the aftermath and the cleanup which will take a while to play out.  Michael cut such a huge swath over such a long distance  in a highly populated zone that it's going to be a very long and difficult cleanup, along with the restoration of power.  About the only thing you can be sure of is it will get done faster than the cleanup got done (it still isn't) in Puerto Rico.  For now, lets just follow Michael as he makes his way in to do a Strafing Run on the Southeast Coast of the FSoA, starting with when he grazed Cuba to make it into the GoM.

 

Michael runs the gap between Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula as a Cat 1

 

Michael crosses the Gulf of Mexico rapidly intensifying from a Cat 1 to a Cat 4 in the matter of 3 days.

Michael makes his approach on the Panhandle of Florida to begin his Strafing Run

Michael makes First Contact betwen Panama City and Mexico Beach, dropping the equivalent of a Nuclear Bomb across the Beachfront resort communities of the Florida Panhandle.

Michael traverses Florida to move into Georgia, still at Hurricane  Strength

Michael strafes Georgia and moves on for a Strafing Run on South Carolina and North Carolina, recently innundated and devastated by Hurricane Florence.

Michael finishes with the Carolinas to bring misery to Virginia and Maryland

Michael makes his final Strafing Run on the FSoA East Coast exiting out of New York to head back into the open waters of the Atlantic, traveling at a high rate of speed.

…and now for his next act, Michael is predicted to make a Trans-Atlantic crossing of the Pond as a Post-Tropical storm, headed for Europe for another Strafing Run before he is done.

By the time Michael makes it over to Europe, he won't be packing anywhere near the power he had on arrival in Florida in terms of wind speeds and destructive capacity, but still probably will be carrying with him a prodigious amount of rainfall which can also be quite devastating.  We will see what effect Michael has on the European continent.

For next week here in the FSoA, the cleanup and recovery operations begin, but typically the MSM is already leaving this story for the other ongoing disasters endemic to the Collapse of Industrial Civilization, that they are also blissfully unaware is underway.  How many will still be without power in week from now, will we ever know or hear about it?  Probably not.  Attantion spans are very short on these things, particularly when you have so many of them come in such a short interval of time.

The Geopolitics of Petroleum

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Geoffrey Chia

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on The Doomstead Diner on October 12, 2018

Discuss this article at the Energy Table inside the Diner

 

This was a presentation to the members of ReNew/ATA (renewable energy advocates) at the Peace Centre in Brisbane in late September. Even though it is almost 90 minutes long, it is just a basic introduction. It is a much abridged version of topics already covered in articles previously written (see weblinks in text description beneath video)

Link to full talk:

https://youtu.be/K9wCbNHlMsU

 

 

 

This Week in Doom, October 7: It’s Ovah


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Like us on Facebook

 

 

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on October 6, 2018

“Unimpaired prosperity cannot withstand a single blow; but he who has struggled constantly with his ills becomes hardened through suffering; and yields to no misfortune; nay, even if he falls, he still fights upon his knees.”
― Seneca, "On Providence" (II, 6-10)


So Bart O'Kavanaugh has been steamrolled onto the Supreme Court, the crowning achievement of Mitch McConnell and the cult of vicious, old, white bigots now known as the Republican Party. The lying racist traitor in the White House nominated a lying, movement-conservative hit-man to the Supreme Court, whose nomination was a sham orchestrated by a smirking reptile willing to break the Senate. McConnell was willing to go to any lengths to tip the Supreme Court for a generation and secure Karl Rove's "permanent Republican majority" against any reform laws that might be passed by some future Democrat Congress.

Orange Jesus enjoys 85 per cent approval among Republicans, even as those who identify as Republicans shrinks to 26 per cent of the electorate. What that will mean in the coming midterms is anybody's guess..

Give mad props to Trump: he understands his marks, a base of pimple-backed mouth breathers certain that no matter how low their circumstances, they are still better than women. The GOP has constructed an entire political party out of such swamp creatures, and nourished it by feeding their rage and paranoia.

They love Trump's utter shamelessness about sex, money, and basic human decency. When the Kav nomination seemed to be wavering, he stood up a rally in Mississippi where he went against the advice of counselors and openly mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.  As a creature of television, Trump knows audiences. And that where he goes, the cameras must follow, and that his most outrageous pronouncements will be excerpted and repeated, repeated, repeated on the cable news programs that exist as filler to hold aloft pods of commercials for reverse mortgages, dick pills and psoriasis meds.

Give Trump credit for dragging this nomination over the finish line by putting steel in the spines of a handful of wavering senators out of step with the GOP's geriatric junta. Loathsome homunculus Mitch McConnell (R-Tartarus) gave full credit to "the mob:"

“We refused to be intimidated by the mob of people that were coming after Republican members at their homes, in the halls. I couldn't be prouder of the Senate Republican Conference."

McConnell had the audacity to thank the grassroots activists who spoke out against Brett Kavanaugh's sham confirmation as part of a "mob" who has finally energized the GOP's base for 2018, "the one thing (the R's were) having trouble doing." Whether or not he remains grateful on November 7 remains to be seen.


Sens. Susan Collins and Jeff Flake Are Frauds, Plain and Simple. Their Kavanaugh Votes Show It.

The demand for the FBI to investigate, as Splinter’s Rafi Schwartz observed last week, was “a classic Jeff Flake move to cover his ass.” It was a fig leaf and a nod to process to get Flake, Collins and Murkowski in line. The investigation spoke only to nine witnesses, Ramirez and a phalanx of Kavanaugh frat boy friends, who observed the code of Georgetown Prep omertà and said nothing. They did not speak to Blasey Ford, Julie Swetnick, or to the dozens of others who desperately called offering corroborating information.

Anyone who expected anything other than a "yes" vote from Jeff Flake (R-Handwringing) or Susan Collins (R-Hypocrisy)  was kidding themselves. Flake received enough phone calls threatening his prospect of post-Senate guaranteed lobbyist employment to bringhim to his knees. And Collins raised a brief murmur of self-importance on Friday to make the most of selling out her female constituents. Her vote has already raised $2.5 million for her as yet-unnamed Democrat challenger. 

Topher Spiro observed that

"To Flake” is now a political verb: “to make speeches, tweets and gestures only to be a coward when it truly matters”

Medhi Hasan of The Intercept put it best

Never again believe Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, or Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., when they claim to be critics of Donald Trump or posture as “moderate” Republicans.

Never again let the media call them the “swing” voters in the Senate or “our best hope for profiles in courage in Congress…”

The debate is over: Collins and Flake are frauds, fakes, pretenders. Their high-minded claim to bipartisanship was always an act; a (melo)dramatic performance. Unlike their fellow so-called swing voter Sen. Lisa Murkowski — who will vote against Kavanaugh thanks, in part, to “Alaska’s complicated politics” — Collins and Flake were never going to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Perspective: remember that Collins has voted with Trump 79 percent of the time — or 4 out of every 5 votes. Flake has voted with Trump 84 percent of the time.  Alligator mouth, hummingbird ass.

The votes of Flake and Collins flatly assert they didn't believe Blasey Ford. But men never believe the women. Ask any victim of sexual assault who has reported the crime. This simple fact has fueled the #MeToo movement, and has enraged men. Trump and his idiot son, Donnie Half-Scoop, were on the trail last week procliming that American men are under attack. Just running the tried-and-true right wing playbook: reflexive snap into the victim pose when caught out, then attack-attack-attack. This invariable follows lie-and-deny-deny-deny. As for the aftermath of pent-up "rage" of female voters as November approaches, who can say? 

Jessica Valenti observes the disconnect across the gender divide in Kavanaugh is the Face of American Male Rage. One in six women is sexually assaulted in the US. The assault marks a woman's life, and often expresses itself in addictions of various kinds, sexual promiscuity, trust issues, difficulties in future relationships, and occasional blasts of volcanic anger. 

 Even as women calmly and expertly explain the ways in which men have hurt us, our pain is immediately drowned out and glossed over by men’s belief that they should not have to answer to us, of all people.

One of the cruel ironies of sexual assault and harassment is that the traumas which frequently inform the trajectory of women’s lives are often not even worth remembering to the men who have inflicted them. And are certainly worth denying, when a job is on the line.


Great Leaps in American Collapse

Umair Hague is quickly becoming one of the more dependable writers documenting American collapse, joining emigre Morris Berman in his assessment that we Americans are on the collapse clock. He traces the escalating sense of unease, lack of faith in institutions, and the falling dominoes of ruinous decisions that have led us to the current era of "smash-and-grab" looting beloved of fascists and their apologists.

Umair notes that in a the same week we have installed an "accused rapist as a Supreme Court justice for life, the Nobel Peace Prize goes to a man and a woman who’ve fought to define mass rape as a war crime. It’s vivid evidence: the world’s richest country is a ruinously failed state, plunging into an authoritarian abyss."

As Americans, we are so relentlessly propagandized and bought into our founding myths, we can no longer discern reality.

"One of the greatest ironies of American collapse is that American leaders thought that it was defeating the terrorists which would give Americans a sense of safety. But predatory capitalism was producing a greater feeling of unsafety, threat, danger, the sense of living in a hostile, unsurvivable world, among Americans than cave-dwelling terrorists ever really could. America beat the terrorists — but it never beat the capitalists." 

Before Haque came along,.Morris Berman had traced the Great American Unwind across a series of books. Decline started with Reaganomics, when we learned that "government was the problem," and we stopped investing in ourselves . As a result, by the 90s we lived shorter, poorer, uglier lives than Europeans, And then 9/11 happened, resulting in another decade of underinvestment while sieving off small fortunes for war profiteers and fortunate sons. Few societies survive such cannibalization of resources for long. At its height, Rome had 33 foreign bases;  today the US maintains over 1,000.

When the history of American collapse is written, I think it will be seen as a series of great leaps, which punctuated slow, steady erosions, corrosions, and crumblings. In norms and values, among institutions and expectations, of rules and responsibilities — until at last democracy itself was a smoking, belching wreck, and in its place arose every kind of backwardness, from authoritarianism and kleptocracy to theocracy and fascism.

American hegemony has resulted in a world where people no longer feel safe. Infrastructure and systems crumble around us, the chance to live a better life fades, and no past promise is guaranteed to be negotiable in the future. Even those able to put aside some crumbs for the future have no guarantee they won't outlive their savings, or that their small sums will be safe from inflation or currency debasement. American society has becomes a kind of jungle, a war of all-against-all, where it’s every man and woman for themselves, and the big fish eat the smaller.  

Smash-and-grab late stage capitalism has resulted in heavier burdens borne by the productive class while social mobility has eroded. My wife has observed that time was when a well-turned out young women with confidence and a gift of gab could talk her way into most any party. Today such a woman would never get past the bodyguards. With commoners divested from a financial stake in the system, and political power concentrated in an oligarchy shaking them down for pocket change and waiting to steal the coins from the eyes of their corpses, one wonders who will be eager to fight the next war.

Another recent post from Umair, Why America’s a More Violent Society Than You Think. is also on point.

"Americans aren’t just at the risk of being shot, or their kids shooting each other — they’re forever at the brink of of losing their livelihoods, homes, belongings, incomes, families, health, and even their lives. Bang! Gone. The spectre of ruin, just one step away, is relentless, and it never ends, tires, or changes. Hence, the average American lives his whole life under an ever-present billy-club of threat and intimidation — of genuine and very real violence befalling them, if they’re not 'productive' or 'useful' or 'employable' (or even 'healthy' or 'strong' or 'young') enough."

And he sounds very Berman-like when he says

… the U.S. is first & foremost a business and the vast majority of its citizens are brainwashed to believe hustling, opportunism, hyper-individualism, and climbing the ladder are exemplary "qualities."

For those interested in Morris Berman and what he is up to, he has released a new book, "Are We There Yet," which consists of a collection of lectures, unpublished essays and reflections on the continued decline of American Empire. Berman has been living in Mexico since 2006, and writes and speaks at length about the sense of community found in Mexico and so missing in the US with its culture of "hustling."

In a recent podcast interview   Berman said 

Sociologists who've written about how in America the religion is America itself… it doesn't matter how good your empirical data are, people caught in the mythology of the "American dream” will  not change their mind based on any factual material. In the industrialized or industrialized world in terms of health care quality, America's number thirty-seven. Most Americans believe it's number one! It's a debacle, a tragedy.

These kinds of facts don't matter and that's when their faces get red they start to spit and wave their arms because they understand that some level that you've got the fact all they've got is the myth and the myth is thin by now.

America will have tried everything to salvage the Empire to no avail and its foreign interventions will continue to fail. Like Alfred McCoy and others, Berman sees the next 2008-style event coming in 2020-21, then the Crash From Which There is No Recovery in 2026. Interestingly, a number of those interested in the question of civilizational decline have all come to the same conclusion independently and almost precisely to the same years.

When asked what he would tell young people asking about their futures, Berman replied

I would say that leaving the country is a sign of great intelligence.

I give lectures and young people come up to me and they say, "what should I do, what should I do," and I say, "Look you're not going to take my advice but I'll give it to you straight.  One of the best things an American can do is emigrate.

What do you think is waiting for you forty years down the line? 40 years in the future:, we will be at war with a country on the other side of the planet that poses no military threat to us whatsoever and will have spent ten trillion dollars. Doing it, we're going to loot the Treasury for no good reason at all. There will be no social safety net, no social security, no Medicare, no Medicaid, none of that will be available to you. And if you're lucky enough to get a job (which will probably be flipping burgers at McDonald's), you're not going to be able to retire because you're not going to be paid enough to be able to afford private health insurance, food, a car, a house.

Whatever you think, you will not be able to retire and you'll die like a dog. Now it's up to you whether you want to stick around. But… forty years from now you're going to say, "You know some guy came to our college when I was an undergraduate and we thought he was a nut case, and he told us all of us that we should emigrate, and now I'd give my left arm to have taken his advice."

Of course the question that remains is, "Go where?"


Surly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

Windapult: The Hurricane Resistant Wind Tower

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Category5

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on Dark Green Mountain Project & Doomstead Diner on October 7, 2018

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table Inside the Diner

C5 Builds A Category-5 Hurricane Resistant Wind Tower-The Windapult

a storm 2

With your host, Category5.

 

” For most people, adapting to climate change isn’t the result of a long-term plan. It’s done in rush: a buzzing text message, an evacuation warning as the rain starts to fall, the National Guard humvee rolling up to your door, and the realization that you must leave home, if you can. “
 
Eric Holthaus

 

This is a long and epic read today. Sit down and pore yourself a glass. It should make up for and explain my lack of presence lately.

I’m starting to write this today, just as the remnants of Hurricane Florence finally rambled its way all the way to Dark Green Mountain in Nova Scotia. It’s the Fall equinox this eve but will be much later before you read this. Nothing dramatic to report here as the storm has already shot its load, and like a selfish lover, once it has caught it’s breath, will put on it’s pants and leave without much fanfare. (Hold on, This is the ghostly apparition of C5 coming to you from the future. The storm remnants came back less than a week later to dump a bunch more water and if I read the signs right, we should get more of it later in the week. Ah, The returning 2AM booty call)

I had been pushing hard to get to this moment, worried that a deluge and winds would topple all my work before I could get it all held up and strapped down. Its been a mentally and physically exhausting experience. More mentally exhausting. Every step of the job confronted me with an unforeseen problem, usually impossible to fix and requiring me to pull off a C5 miracle, every single fucking day.  I generally say, I can only perform one miracle or impossible task a month. But no rest between miracles for C5 this round. This is the nature of building, stream of consciousness, with salvaged materials and limited resources… at the end of the Empire, in early stage Economic, Environmental and Energy collapse. Hold that thought.

 

I noticed by the stats that people kept coming to check in with this blog, assuming that the latest disaster would force my pen and that I would have something to say about the matter. I felt, at this point, it was sort of redundant. Plus, I was rather busy. Instead, I decided to Show instead of just Talk.

That, and people saw the start of the tower in the previous article and wanted to know more. Woe there, folks. I could write or I could build. I chose to build.

windapult

Maybe, some of you have heard the colloquialism, “Women and cats rule the world… and Men and dogs should just get used to it”. That is far too uncomfortably true for any of us manly men to admit publicly. MrsC5 hit me with a lefty uppercut this year that I didn’t see coming. As Mike Tyson explained, “Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face”. I had a hearty plan for how this year was going to work out… but it didn’t include this.

Now. I am pretty good at looking her straight in the eye, with my best Han Solo smirk and saying, “O.K. Princess. Did your daddy not spank you enough?”. But when she said she wanted the wind tower put up this year….

I dont remember who said, “War is rarely fighting. It’s moving troops around to convince the other guy that any fight would be too costly”. I realized that if I did not do this, I would probably end up doing dishes, vacuuming and laundry.

I’m still good. She doesn’t realize I out maneuvered her (until she reads this). Any time she complains about the slovenly nature of maleness, I will simply point to the monstrosity on the front lawn that I wrestled from  the gods, with a good amount of being punched in the face, to be wrenched from non existence out of the tentacles of Cthulhu, like an anarchist Prometheus.

If I was going to be conscripted into this job, I had a few requirements of what the end result would be. #1- It needed to be able to be raised by one person alone, without a tractor or mechanical assistance. #2- It needed to be able to survive a Hurricane or Bomb Cyclone. #3- It needed to be able to be taken down for maintenance or repair and most importantly, It needed to be able to be taken down right in the middle of a storm if things get too much and it had to be able to be done by one person without mechanical assistance.  No biggy. I can pull that off….. cough.

I decided the materials I already had on hand would allow me to base this on a Medieval Trebuchet.  When telling people what I was up to, I would say trebuchet and they would blank. That glazed over stare and nod that says, I am listening to you but have no idea what that nut bar C5 is talking about. So I dummed it down a bit and said catapult. I was, basically,  building a “Wind-apult”. Catchy name… but technically, it is not a catapult. Not anything like it. Oh well. I’m stuck with it cause I cant come up with a catchy name that has trebuchet in it.

I will save my thoughts on wind power, till further down the article, some of which you have heard me say before in previous articles. But a word to the wise…

C5 Rule Of Survival- Any essential project will cost twice as much and take three times as long

wind 1

When I got to this next point, after weeks of misfitted parts, cursing, swearing and several periods of complete despair, I called Mrs C5 outside to be there when the hinge point either succeeded or crumbled into bent metal and broken concrete.

After several years of just staring at materials, last minute modifications, and completely Micky Moused materials, the moment that hinge worked, and I felt the strength, realizing it was three times as strong as I had hoped, I said to MrsC5, “Just so you know, there will be absolutely no living with me tonight”. I was so fucking awesome that even I would hate me and not want to be in the same room with me.

That high was good because their was a world of fuck ups to come.

wind 2

Now, finding an appropriate counterweight was really working my nads.  After a week of trying to fit several heavy objects in from my scrap collection, I finally realized  I could reshape some old duct pipe in there and fill it with concrete. By complete and utter fluke… it turned out to be close to the right weight. No, really. It surprised the hell out of me. But none of this went smoothly. I pored the counterweight then let it set for a week in its upright position

wind 3

Notice the ominous clouds building in the back ground. I had made my goal to get this far before the hurricane…stared at it and then said, “Ah, Hell. Fuck, No. Those cables wont do if a meter of rains fall, turning the earth to slurry and winds rocking cement back and forth to be ripped out of the ground. Cables wont do. I want any sway to be met, not just by pull, but also push. That brought me here. I’m not too humble to say, once the storm passed, that looks way too cool in a Transformer, Star Wars Imperial Walker, Mechano Set, sort of way

wind 4

As we got to the final cable anchors, I tweaked the balance weight and saw it go up and down with ease…..

…Well, a photo just wouldn’t do.

It was time to re invent my YouTube image.

Now to wire it all in. That is turning out to be the priciest part. Costs! Now, THAT is the part I really want to talk about. There is no getting around that. All of this is pricey…. Even with me doing all the fabrication work  and using recycled, repurposed metal.

A good percentage of our culture and growing, can not come up with 1000$ to to meet an emergency car repair or medical expense. I have been one of you. Most are so far in debt that any further debt into “Adaptations” is not just a pipe dream but is possibly an existential threat. So I try to keep in mind at all times, here at DGM, that just because I can do this doesn’t mean everyone can… if they just try harder. That window has closed. We know live in the Age Of Consequence. Collapse is not a theoretical future event. Its here and will simply play out as it will in accordance with the laws of physics, math and biology. Throw in some Chaos Theory and at least you can say it is going to be the most interesting period of human history.

The metal was CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP. I have truly learned to LOVE our couple of metal recycling yards within an hour of where we live. It was just labor and travel intensive, not always finding what we needed, figuring out work arounds, and being surprised by incredible random finds. I recall an online prepper friend once saying, “If you control a scrap yard and a Value Village (a large second hand store), you are a king during the apocalypse”. How true. All for metal cost alone. Any aluminum is really expensive though. If this is outside your social world, I recommend you do a visit to a metal recycling yard and consider it “Survival Training”. Its far more valuable “Training” than something ridiculous like “Bug Out Training”.

But concrete got very expensive, fast. Where it also got really expensive fast was all the little fasteners, nuts and bolts , tension wires, U-bolts, tension adjusters and of course all the trips back into town each time I figured out what I didn’t have but needed before I could move on to the next part of the job. I kept looking down at the little bag of hardware doohickeys and realizing we were a hundred plus dollars poorer with each trip to town.

Considering this, I’m glad I let MrsC5 pressure me into doing this job now instead of after the theoretical collapse, where it no longer would have been possible.

Perhaps, that could be a defining principal of what I am coming to call “The Adapters Movement” as opposed to the Survivalist or Preppers movement. An Adapter accepts the future and adapts there life NOW to flow through it. It’s a full time gig. There is no last minute running away while continuing to live BAU or Business As Usual. If you do have to Bug Out, that means “YOU FAILED”.

Welding would have cut down on some of these costs but that was not in my skillset or tool collection.

But, lets get to the wind generator itself. Now, this article is all about the tower. Not the generator…. but it is part of the story.

One day, MrsC5 showed up with with a wind generator. I could not fault her in that she had got a once in a lifetime deal. It was about a three thousand dollar model, that she had got used for Six hundred dollars. I have lived in vehicles cheaper than that. As a prepper, you would think I would be happy… but no. I saw an expensive and time consuming chore to be added to my list of “Honey Do… before the apocalypse” chores that was way beyond my skillset. We had already just spent a good chunk of our retirement saving putting in solar.

Now, for those drooling and fantasizing about our set up, it’s time for a big reality check.

That is what, Yours Truly, The Warrior of The Wasteland, God of Prepping and all round spiffy dresser, is here for.

C5 Rule of Survival- There is a big difference between KNOWING in the biblical sense and KNOWING in the porn sense.

There is this general idea in our group consciousness, that if you can simply come up with the money for solar and wind power, that it is free power forever. That it is sustainable, clean energy. We have the technology. We can rebuild it.

Now, picture the 6 million dollar man, 20 years later.

He is in a wheel chair. Electronic systems have worn and shorted. Medicare doesn’t cover being rewired. He is riddled with cancer from leaking batteries and heavy metals. All the joints have worn and need complete replacement. His spine and other organic parts are just fucked because the two technologies were never meant to work together. He is addicted to opiates, in constant pain and anger at how he was used by corrupt, corporate governments that used him to stay in power. The government considers him a disposable asset that they might have to make disappear  and they have unplayable dept obligations. The energy and replacement parts are now much more expensive and harder to get due to declining EROEI and all their credit is tied up in huge armies to steal that stuff from others. And with inflation due to a monetary system designed to steal financial wealth from the masses… 6 million dollar man?…PFFFT! Try 6 Billion adjusted to inflation, paying share holders of military contractor industries and graft for elected officials to look the other way while calling this scam, contributions to the next election and healthy democracy.

Or, a simpler way to put it would just be to think about it like your last car. It seemed like a good idea at the time… but how long did you really think that car was going to last you.

Moving parts ware out. Plastics break down. Solar radiation cooks and rust never sleeps.

Not to mention storms. All of this, hopefully wont be burned… or blown away.

All we have really done is take the retirement funds associated for future electric use and put it into our own hands. We are taking all the risks… and we are stuck with it now. We will also not make our money back. This is very expensive electricity.

But it is ours. And it is a temporary buffer against interruptions. So, I am of two minds on this. I’ll get to that in a bit

So! Lets say it now, just encase no one has ever explained this to you. Solar, Wind and BATTERIES is NOT a replacement for fossil Fuels. It is simply a store of Oil, or the excess energy left over and then either financialised or manufactured into product.

Solar panels are quite cheap at the moment. When people are considering this, they miss that it is the cheapest part of the system. Wind and solar have two Achilles Heels. Batteries… and everything else. Remember what I said about The Six Million Dollar Man. It’s two systems that were never made to go together. To solve our problems of pollution associated  with Too Much Complexity, we are trying to solve it by adding even more complexity. What can possibly go wrong.

Lets start with the batteries. Turns out, you don’t just wire it in and walk away to business as usual land. We have found it to be like caring for a child. Its not as simple as checking the water occasionally. There is regular equalization, as well as testing the acid in each cell of each battery and heat control. Its also constantly monitoring your system and  learning a completely new knowledge base. If you don’t get that all right, very expensive batteries stop functioning and need to be replaced far sooner than advertised. We have been waiting for affordable Lithium Batteries. Here is the problem though. Remember what I said about trying to solve problems associated with complexity by adding even more complexity. The is no shortage of Lithium at the moment. Getting it is becoming a major environmental disaster though. Go figure.

So, here is your first bonus read today. The Spiraling Environmental Cost Of Our Lithium Addiction-  https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lithium-batteries-environment-impact

The next problem I mentioned was… everything else.

The panels produce DC current. The turbine produces DC current. The batteries, you got it, DC current. Our entire electrical infrastructure, house wiring,  and appliances… AC current.  To add insult to injury, most of the electrical products we use actually run on DC but have converters built in to accept the AC. Now, the powers that be decided a long time ago to build their entire infrastructure on AC because it pushed electricity long distances.

To run your house on on DC, it requires huge inverters to turn it into AC. That processes waists a good chunk of your electricity. Its very expensive and inefficient… and this was the system, god luv her, that MrsC5 wanted. Women and Cats….

Well, She paid for it so what can I really say in the Matter. She was smart enough to realize banks were not a trustworthy store of wealth and she may never see the majority  of the pension she had paid into for life and wanted to divest a percentage into tangible assets… so she gets mondo brownie points for that. I, on the other hand, barely had a pot to piss in. Living on rage and Adaptive survival skills.

I guess I am one of the Haves now. I have electric, pumped,  fresh drinking well water to flush with. I can communicate via the internet with all you fine, sketchy folks, watch Netflix and have all the porn I can possibly watch. Good times.

And this is a great moment for DJ-C5 to share a local Atlantic cana’duh, punk roots band with something to say worth listening to. I had been saving this one for my New Years predictions but it seems to fit here. Feel free to hit pause often and read what is said in the background.

Some of you have heard me say before…

“C5 Rule of Survival- If you want to know how to prepare for the dark future I see coming, it all starts by coming to grips with that Refrigeration is a privilege and not a right. If you can fully wrap your head around and accept that, all else follows.”

This is another inspirational quote from Chris Martenson that we both like-

“So I guess I could be an optimist….. by telling them that I have 99% confidence that humans will someday be powering 100% of their energy needs from the sun. I’ll just leave out that what I mean is that, in 100 or 200 years, humans will have painfully reverted back to a 1600’s-style subsistence farming lifestyle.”

I find that overly optimistic. I give us a 20 percent chance of not going extinct as a species in the next 100 years. I’m working for that. Cheers to optimism.

Where I can get behind solar and wind power is as a psychological buffer to help people not blow their heads off while they get used to the idea of those two quotes. Something to help them Transition mentally while they come to grips with that we will not be able to fully keep our lifestyle by simply changing technology. We will eventually come to realize that we wont be able to live, work, farm, heat, get water or find a spouse from anywhere further than we can walk… and that is a big mental shift.

It does seem that technological solutions will rest in Do It Yourself guys hands. If you really want to create Environmentally Responsible technologies,  beyond the worn out cliches, here are some of my suggestions to save the planet, making use of technologies we already have and don’t need to wish into existence.

That fridge thing. A complete redesign of refrigeration units. I have wanted to build one of these but it is beyond my skillset. No more stand up fridges. It would take up much more floor space and it would be wise not to keep it anywhere that you actually heat like a kitchen. Inconvenience. Get used to it, suburb rats. It would load from the top like a chest freezer so cold air doesn’t flow out of it each time the door is opened. It would be hyper insulated (at least a foot and a half of high density insulation and reflective material)… and it would work on the principle of an Ice Chest buy freezing a chunk of ice then turning off. It would use a DC or Direct Current Motor, hooked into your solar of wind power, and only need to work during sun or wind while storing that cold. No need for batteries to be used up getting you through the night or interruptions. It could work just the same with grid tied AC current, only using power when it is available. Yes, get used to interrupted power, either from super storms or brown outs or black outs in our over taxed, vulnerable and aging grid… or simply, poverty, no longer being able to afford unlimited electricity. This is already what it is like in less “developed” countries I have been to. The power goes off all the time. Its no big deal. People stop what they were doing and socialize for a while or go for a walk. Or they learn to store energy for when they need it.

How about old school DC motors and power tools converted to work as such (like an electric chainsaw or woodmill that only works when when your panels give you enough juice and don’t work when they don’t. Or how about putting a DC motor in an already existing Generator to convert DC to AC for tools on demand as solar is available.  Ill get to that in a moment.

As pointed out by others, solar heating water is a technology we already understand and have since the 1800s. Water can be heated to steam for energy generation. Simple tech. No need for batteries, solar panels or complex wind turbines. Speaking of which, physical wind power. We have been doing that A Very Long time. Go Dutch. There is a finger in the dyke joke in here somewhere but I am getting nothing.

I am going to point out something obvious. Key Survival Products that you should purchase Now while they are cheap and available. This is called, “Prepping”. Its also where Me and the prepping/ survivalist world started to go our separate ways. Faced with some of the short sighted lunacy of the survivalist world, I decided to point out my top 5 prepper items, non of which you carry in a Bug Out Bag or strap to your combat harness. (Sigh****. And you guys are consider experts for what reason?)    #3 and #4 are below.

a tool

The reason I made this proclamation  was because I knew from first hand experience what products actually got used. These were Real Force Multipliers and indispensable. A reason to store oil in the form of a solar system. If there is any doubt, the vast majority of that tower was built with these two tools. The greenhouse in the backdrop was screwed together with a drill. I wouldn’t want to pull off that job with a screw driver. I can just hear experienced construction guys in my head, helping me to confirm to memory, “Nail the ones you love. Screw the ones you don’t”… but that was a loving screw job that nailing would not do. Well, that unsavory construction principle is now stuck in your head as well. I believe in sharing.

Look, I had to shoot a skunk a couple of days ago that had moved in under our house and was making our lives and pets miserable. I was conflicted about this because I consider the skunk my spiritual power animal. Even a grisly bear does not fuck with a skunk. You might try it once or twice but then you learn. But for every round I have needed to fire to actually kill something, I have had to use these two tools HUNDREDS of times. And that should give you your perspective of priority change. Don’t say I never taught you anything.

When I first pointed this out, MrsC5 recalled an experience when she was doing volunteer work in Costa Rica. A fix it job came up that required a drill. There was no drill in this town so a runner was sent to the next town where there was one. When it came back, the drill bit was a nail. Put that story to memory. Internalize it. I broke or wore out 6 drill bits on this job. One killer 22 caliber bullet was fired. 6 drill bits.

The grinder was also used to cut this recycled water tank. This is what we  mixed the large amount of concrete in for the windmill base, with a common hoe. Hot water tanks are common, free and handy. My friends Mythos and Logos have an advanced version of this they mix all their Cob in.

a cement

This was another chore I used these two tools for this year. Getting those windows in.The metal I cut out will go back over the windows as storm shutters. This is our fireproof, storm shelter (at least once I get it anchored to the ground like the tower). One of the reasons for the window on the end is if a storm blows it on its side, we can break our way out.

a shed

While you are looking at that photo, I want to point out two subtle things that tie into things I mentioned earlier in this post. I also had to lift the rear end of this container this year. The ground had settled it on a minor slant. I had to rent a couple of two ton bottle jacks for the job. I kicked myself because I always saw them in garage sales, but thought to myself, why would I need a large bottle jack. Since we are getting two more of these containers soon (divesting  more retirement saving into tangible assets. One for a goat barn. One for a rental cabin) a bottle jack will become an essential part of my life. A true Force Multiplier that is indispensable. Here is the tie in. I saw a rack of them at the scrap yard… to be purchased for metal cost alone. Now if you look even closer, you will notice a once in a lifetime find, leaning up against that container, that we found at the scrap yard. Its a Sulky horse racing buggy. Believe it or not, such an item had been on MrsC5’s and myself’s list of must find items. But never in my wildest imaginings did I think I would find one that is stainless steel, in newish condition, light enough, I could pick it up over my head and carry it home by roping it onto the roof of our Honda Civic. And never could I imagine I could get it for metal cost. 60$. By the way, we don’t have a horse. I think I will save my reasons for this build for a future post.

Here is your next bonus read of the day- 12 reasons people refuse to address near term societal collapse-  https://www.lowimpact.org/12-reasons-people-refuse-idea-societal-collapse/

I noticed, the term he came up with, independently, of what was necessary to survive all this, was something he has called “Deep Adaptation”. Hundredth Monkey thing going on here.

One final Bonus read is this. If you are all readed out at this point, scroll down to his personal photos near the end and  his explanation of them for an eye opener as to where we are right now in collapse. https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/114404/our-delusional-economy-poised-slam-brick-wall-reality

Ah, heck. I’ll through in one last C5 practical survival adaptation as a, Thanks for playing the Adaptation game, parting gift. This upgrade mod made me very happy each time I walk past it.

a tub

Unlike that other build, this one was so quick and practical. There is a zen like simplicity to it. Even considering the near drought conditions and heat this year, we were able to catch enough rain water to keep the greenhouses watered. Next year I may add window screens to keep mosquitos out. Unlike rain barrels,  I have never had one of these crack when the water froze. And C5 likes free. This one goes out to all the poor men that have heard, “Honey. We should renovate the bathroom”. My heart goes out to you.

And with that, Lets end this with a song. A rather unusual remake I stumbled upon of one of my favorite “Angry” songs. How, oh how did my dirty, tiny,  underground music scene become GenX classic rock?

“And that is why I wont do two shows a night, any more.”

If you would like to give a Tip for writing services rendered or to support the cause, go to the top of the page and hit, “Giving just the Tip”.  All “Tips” go towards material costs for future experiments.

(FYI- No donations were used in this project)      (And thank you, R.T.  and S.R. for the donations. I was truly honored and touched to get a donation from all the way over in Germany. It gave me a moment of remembering we all share this ball floating in space and face the same future)

Batteries

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of K-Dog

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on The Doomstead Diner on September 30, 2018

Image result for batteries

Discuss this article at the Science & Technology Table inside the Diner

A star if it is big enough, upon using up its hydrogen fuel will begin burning helium and other heavier elements to maintain nuclear reactions and keep from going dark. As we use up our fossil fuels we should be replacing them with alternatives. Alternatives which like the heavier elements in a star won't yield as much energy as the hydrogen in a star did or as fossil fuels on earth did, but that's better than dead. There will be less energy and civilization must make drastic changes but survival could be possible. Civilization does not have to go dark.

Most likely however we will go dark and die. This will be like a star burning up all its hydrogen fuel and then going supernova without burning heavier elements between hydrogen and iron first. Iron takes more energy to fuse than it yields and when the core of a star becomes all iron the star goes supernova as it collapses onto itself. Mankind will go straight to supernova. We are not as smart as stars and a permanent dark age looms. Collapse will happen by a failure to transition to alternative energy sources and by not dedicating ourselves to not using any more energy than we actually need.

To be as smart as a star, civilization would be transitioning to alternative energies as quickly as it can, right now without delay. That is not happening.

Batteries should be part of the transition because they store energy. They can't generate energy. Energy to charge them must come form other sources but batteries are a big part of the solution. To that end I introduce you to John Goodenough.

Thanks to John I'm building a battery pack for this electric bicycle right now. All the batteries use the cathode originally developed in John's lab.

I'm using recycled laptop batteries that I get at a computer recycling center. Here is a laptop pack I just opened. I get the packs at a buck each. When finished I may spend $100 getting enough batteries. I want about 1000 watt-hours of capacity. This pack has nine batteries, most have six. If they are good it is a great deal. If they all test bad that's not good!

These batteries are Japanese batteries made in Fukushima before the tsunami. I knew that from the color right away and Fukushima is printed on them. They are connected to a small circuit board that will be removed and thrown away. The board is a charge management controller and I will replace that functionality later but for now I separate the batteries and test them. I keep only those that are worthy. My batteries will mount on the sides of the bike rack shown in the photo over the front wheel. Both sides of the rack will hold a pack and there is another rack over the back wheel which will hold two more packs. I may have as many a 224 batteries spread over four packs, or only 168. I am not sure yet. The battery cell size is called 18650. Eighteen millimeters wide by about 65 millimeters long.

Here is a picture of my battery tester and a wheel I can test motors on in the background. I'm actually more interested in testing motor control circuits with it.

I built up the bike myself and it was working using three lead acid batteries of seven amp-hours each on the back rack until they gave out. That was a few years ago and I could go about five miles using those batteries. Lithium batteries are expensive so the bike has been hanging unused in the garage but now reclaimed laptop batteries make a lithium battery project affordable. It turns out using laptop batteries for E-bikes is a kind of 'thing' and there are many You Tube videos about doing this. You can figure out what to Google if you are interested. I was not the first to think of using reclaimed laptop batteries, though I did think of it on my own.

Electric vehicles will not replace the ease and convenience of fossil fuel powered vehicles. Making electric cars has been practical since the auto age began but electrics can't compete against fossil fuel economically. Electric cars have been impractical from economics but technically they have always been feasible. Even using older battery technology electrics have been good, but never 'good enough'.

Society will only tolerate a drop in replacement for fossil fuel cars and such inflexibility dooms us. Only by embracing alternatives now can we hope to survive even if they don't work quite as well as fossil fuels did. I realize the blasphemy of this statement but after the fracked oil is all fracked up it is also all fricking gone. If we have not prepared we will then go medieval. Waiting until then to prepare will be too late. The new medieval will be far more miserable than the first and it will also last forever. We need to make other arrangements even if new solutions can't work quite as well. Failure to do so will be fatal.

Here are a few batteries with good capacities which will be used on the bike.

 

 

 

 

This Week in Doom Sept. 30: “He Said, She Said”


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Like us on Facebook

 

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on October 1, 2018

“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts.  If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell”
― Carl Sandburg


Nothing brings out the bluster and tear-stained outrage of the monied elites in this country more than the cold water shock of the realization that their birthright privileges are under challenge. The kabuki staged in Congress for hearing the allegation brought by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh this week put that on full display.

Frat boys and the Republiconfederates everywhere decried political correctness, unsubstantiated allegations, Democrat skullduggery and  "no proof" (after the day's hearing met that designed standard.) Right wingers like Bill O'Reilly decreed that the hearing was a byproduct of “a gender war” in America that had been set in motion by “the far-left.” The entitled classes call it "political correctness" when the oppressed finally get tired of eating their shit and push back. More on that later.

So it was this week as the one in six women in the US  who have been sexually assaulted by their fathers, brothers, brothers' friends, priests, teachers and counselors joined in full-throated assent for hearing the plaint of Dr. Blasey Ford, who gave voice to their own pain with credible, detailed testimony informed by personal therapy notes from years ago.

By now the events leading to Thursday and Friday are well known. In the previous hearings, bum-rushed through Judiciary with eleventh-hour partial-document releases and virtually no time to examine them, the process put paid to the notion that the fix was in. Repubs held back and obfuscated; Trump himself tweeted that all Senate Democrats were “mean, angry, and despicable.”

Jeff Flake described “concern” about Donald Trump’s daily assaults on the rule of law. Ben Sasse deplored a do-nothing Congress. And Chuck Grassley bemoaned the fact that Senate Democrats were taking advantage of his “decency and integrity.” But everyone on the Republican side of the aisle, who had overturned most Senate precedents and procedural norms in a rush to politicize the federal judiciary for a generation, insisted that Democrats were breaking the Senate with last minute documents and allegations.

It fell to protesters in heretofore-unseen numbers and unprecedented ferocity, to voice their disgust and dismay and offer themselves for arrest. The more furious the calls for “decorum,”"civility," and “rules,” the louder and more insistent the protesters became.

It was clear from jump that the hearing of Dr. Blasey Ford was a scheduled exercise in box-checking to get Trump's favored nominee out of the Judiciary Committee and rushed to a floor vote for a final vote.  Trump would need legal cover for the expansion of executive power hinted at in Kavanaugh's writings, as well as for the spate of ass-saving pardons Trump is expected to hurl like Jovian thunderbolts after the midterms. Each day the Kavanaugh nomination stuck around, the riper it got.

Kavanaugh obliged his sponsors and Congressional sherpas with a rip-roaring set of accusations of political savagery and conspiracy on the part of Dems, not forgetting to indict the Clintons. The only name missing in the blamestorming was Vince Foster's. Kavanaugh ran the Clarence Thomas playbook of angry, righteous indignation. If they are angry, YOU get angrier. 

(Imagine the reaction had a woman shown up for a Senate hearing, cried, whined and shouted about her feels of persecution and how unfair the process was. Imagine had she lost her temper during her opening statement, or refused to answer yes or no questions. Or evaded follow-ups or turned those questions back on her interlocutors with seething contempt. She'd have been crucified in the public square by nightfall.)

There was a stark contrast between Dr. Blasey Ford’s calm recitation of fact and Kavanaugh’s recital of white-male privilege in A Minor, redolent with twitchy sniffs, sneers, scowls, pursed lips, adolescent sarcasm and self-righteous rage.

A more fit jurist might have demonstrated a demeanor consistent that of a Supreme Court Justice. Instead, an aging, aggrieved frat boy trembled, raged, and hid behind his family’s alleged "suffering" with carefully-coached sanctimony and lawyerly evasion. He offered admission to Yale Law School somehow as evidence that he wasn't capable of sexual assault. Only the best people, you know… As if correlation were causation. (And it turns out that Brett Kavanaugh lied about ‘busting tail’ to get into Yale with ‘no connections’ — he was a legacy.) Bill Clinton was impeached for less.

The lies began to stack like cordwood.

The American Bar Association, whose "well qualified" rating Kavanaugh apologist Lindsay Graham waved aloft as the so-called "gold standard," urged delay until the FBI investigates pending assault allegations. Yet Kavanaugh's performance was full-throated and bristling enough to afford sufficient cover for Senatorial Rs to vote "yes" in move the nomination out of committee. 


As the scheduled vote approached at 9:30 on Thursday, confusion reigned supreme. Jeff Flake, who had revealed misgivings with the Grassley steamroller and grievance about the lack of comity in the Senate, was assailed by two sexual assault survivors in a Capitol elevator who Told Him Exactly What He'd Done. They made it clear what message he signaled he'd be voting "yes" on the nomination.

Despite past tough talk on Team Trump, Flake could be counted upon to take the knee at the votes and do the will of his Orange Master.  So it was on Friday, when he toed the line and announced his plan to vote "yes" on Kavanaugh. Implicitly saying Ford's allegations aren't true—or don't matter.

Judiciary didn't care enough to have the FBI look into the allegations, or to subpoena the key witness—they just scheduled a vote. "Plowed through," as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Hypocrisy) said.

The women's elevator confrontation showed their hearts burned with a searing injustice, and their moral outrage made a sitting United States Senator shrink before our eyes. Staring at the floor in a cramped elevator, we got a closeup of the moral content of Jeff Flake's character.

Once in the committee room, and after conferring with Chris Coons, Joe Manchin, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski, Flake made it clear that the votes would not be there in the Senate unless his demand for an FBI investigation were met. Murkowski and Joe Manchin both immediately signed onto the deal. Grassley had little choice but to accede.

 

And now we have a week for an FBI investigation to proceed. It is not likely to enhance his candidacy.


The Hour of White Male Rage

Charlie Pierce noted how Brett Kavanaugh's prep-school swagger devolved into an exhibition of furious contempt for those who would keep him from what he's entitled.

The Hour of Angry White Male Rage is far from passing out of our politics. This was manifested not only in Kavanaugh's angry truculence with Democratic members of the committee but also by the mid-session defenestration of Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor who handled all the questioning for the Republicans when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was on the stand…

What emerged on Thursday was a stunning outburst of wounded privilege and raging contempt for people who would deny him that to which he was entitled. (When Clarence Thomas ran his rap about a "high-tech lynching," he was firm, but he didn't raise his voice.) If Kavanaugh really is entirely innocent, then his anger is somewhat justified. But, I don't think he is, and, therefore, I think he looked like the guy you move to the other end of the bar to avoid.

Kavanaugh embodied the dying myth, furiously defended by the scions of privilege, that they have earned their place at the top of the heap and deserve all the perquisites "earned" by fortunate birth and family connections.

This presumption, that elites are elite because they deserve to be, is something more pernicious that the self-mythology of the successful. It is an alternate reality — a high-walled fortress that preserves and protects the false correlation between status and good character — and worse, establishes an authority intolerant of dissent. No one who doesn’t live inside is allowed to criticize those who do, and all who do live there are bound, by a kind of frat-boy omertà, not to.

What seems to have triggered Kavanaugh most of all… is that a woman dared to challenge his vision of himself. 

How dare she break the code of omerta?? White privilege is still the problem.

People are uncomfortable with the term “privileged,” and I understand that. Some think it's just a veiled form of reverse discrimination and/or racism.

Yet the fact remains that if you were born a white male in America, you were born privileged. It's a simple fact. No shame, no guilt, just fact. We benefit from an entire suite of favorable assumptions before a word is spoken. It's not even a point of argument; Just acknowledge it.

It doesn’t mean anybody gave you anything special, or that you didn't have a hard life or work to make yourself what you are today. It doesn't confer a pass to be lazy and shiftless or guarantee success. It just means that you have a head start over others. In running the race of life, we leave the starting gate quicker and run the race with fewer obstacles. 

The insular pre-school, Ivy League world of Brett Kavanaugh is just another circle of privilege within whiteness where the well-born and well connected enjoy perks not available to the hoi polloi. 

This week's events exposed the viciousness of this country's partisan divide for all to see, and the R's response is to double down on anger and the crazy, in imitation of their Orange Patron. Trump said to Bob Woodward, "You've got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women… If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you're dead. That was a big mistake you made."

If the Kavanaugh nomination moves to the floor, it will be a double middle finger to the women of this country and their allies to justice, to process, to the expectation of fairness under rule of law (whatever that is anymore), and a big lift to the moneyed elites who have always run this country as if by divine right.


Short takes:

Trump’s Speech at the U.N. Triggers Laughter—and Disbelief

‘People actually laughed at a president’: At U.N. speech, Trump suffers the fate he always feared

Trump opens his speech at the United Nations, "In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country…"

And the ENTIRE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY BREAKS UP, LITERALLY LAUGHING OUT LOUD AT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

“I didn’t expect that reaction," Trump says, sounding dazed.


He'll handle it as well as he handled Stormy's description of his little mushroom dick. But no problem: he'll fix them all. He'll start WWIII. Don't think he won't. 


Wealth Of Top 1% Surpasses $100 Trillion: More Than Global GDP And All Central Bank Balance Sheets

 

Deutsche Bank warned that the "liberal world order" is in jeopardy with the rise in support for right wing populist parties increasing fourfold over the past few years. High double-digit youth unemployment has become a hotbed for anti-establishment sentiment, which has everything to do with the economy, and lack of opportunities. What, me worry?


Behold, Another Signal of the Coming Climate Apocalypse That Will Go Ignored by Half Our Political System

There are methane lakes in the Arctic spouting carbon-trapping gas into the atmosphere. Nobody cares.


In Plain Terms, Judge Brett Kavanaugh Lies About Everything

In one way, Brett Kavanaugh is the perfect nominee for a "President" who has uttered over 5000 lies in 600 days in office. Kavanaugh lied about his days as a Republican operative, about the drinking age in Maryland, about the "Devil's Triangle," about Yale. All of it.

One of the things that men blithely dismiss is the sheer ubiquity of sexual assault. And I'm not talking about bullshit "microaggressions" or talking shit while drunk. I'm taking rape and attempted rape. There are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States. Many more women are assaulted than ever report it, because our first response is to blame the victim. Ask the women who have reported.As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.

If one of the outcomes from this exercise in sordidness and privilege is that young men learn that how you treat women will follow you throughout your life, and if parents learn that they should raise their sons to not be serial gropers, that would be a good thing. It's garden variety empathy, in short supply these days. 


Surly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

Preparing for Collapse, A Few Rants

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Irvine Mills

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on The Easiest Person to Fool July 25, 2018

Discuss this article at the Kitchen Sink inside the Diner

Beans and Squash in My Front Yard Garden

For a while now I been promising that when I got some other things out of the way, I'd actually talk about preparing for collapse. And that is just what I'm going to be doing in this and the next few posts.

Unfortunately, my crystal ball isn't any better than anybody else's, probably worse than some. What I'll be recommending will reflect my own biases and weaknesses. But even so, I think I do have some insights that will be of value to many people.

Among these insights are a few things that I feel the need to rant about. Let's get that out of the way first.

Rant 1: A Fast and Hard Collapse, NOT

I should admit that by using the phrase "preparing for collapse" I am really being somewhat misleading. As I see it, collapse is not a single event that will occur at some point in the future, but a process that has already been going on for several decades, since the oil shocks of the 70s. Progress has been coasting slowly to a stop while collapse gains momentum. This will continue.

I certainly don't buy into the whole idea of a hard, fast, apocalyptic collapse. That is a fantasy that allows us to imagine getting rid of many of the less pleasant aspects of modern life all at once. Get it over with and start fresh, so to speak. In particular, I think many people see the complete and final collapse of the financial system as freeing them from oppressive debts and jobs they hate. A pretty drastic way to solve those problems….

And of course many of us have been influenced by apocalyptic fiction. A sudden and cataclysmic event certainly sets the stage for a dramatic story. But let's try to keep reality and fiction clearly separated in our thinking here.

At any rate, what I want to talk about is how to survive the slow and unsteady collapse that I believe we are experiencing, so that is what I'm going to do. There is much less to be said about surviving hard, fast, widespread collapse because it is much harder to do and there are fewer strategies that are likely to succeed. Still, much of what I have to say would apply to some extent, should I turn out to be wrong and things all fall apart all at once.

As I have said before this that collapse has been and will continue to be uneven geographical, unsteady chronologically, and unequal socially. Certainly there will occasionally be sudden downward bumps, but in some locations more than others and effecting various social strata differently. And then there will be a partial recovery and things will carry on for a while, somewhat worse than they were before.

This will continue on for quite a few more decades before we finally reach the bottom and the dust begins to settle. At that point, in a few lucky locations, there will still be people arguing that nothing much has really changed. For most of us, though, it will be clear that a great deal has changed and not for the better. Already the world is significantly different than it was when I was young and the strategies that served well in those days are not something I would recommend now.

Perhaps most importantly, we'll need to recognize that collapse is happening and act appropriately rather than carrying on doing the same old thing, trying to fine tune a system that is fundamentally broken and wondering why things don't improve.

Rant 2: Lifeboats and Eco-Villages, NOT

For quite a while yet it will not be feasible for most of us to completely sever our ties with BAU (Business as Usual). We'll find ourselves going in two directions at once, trying to prepare for collapse while still being dependent for many of the necessities of life on the very system that is collapsing. Of course, part of our preparation will consist of reducing key dependencies. But it is challenging to reduce those dependencies when BAU can supply our needs for less than they can be produced locally. This makes it hard to earn much of living as a local, sustainable producer—the prices you have to charge mean that only those who are well off can afford to indulge themselves with your products.

Many have suggested setting up a lifeboat community or an eco-village in a remote location and waving BAU goodbye. Some days it is tempting, but there's a long list of problems with that approach. It's hard to find a group of people who are both interested, willing to sever their ties with BAU and competent. It costs a lot of money to set up such a project. There are getting to be fewer and fewer remote areas that BAU has not claimed and/or spoiled, and where the locals would welcome you. Those that are left are less than ideal (to cold, too hot, too dry, too wet, poor soil, etc.). In any area where farming is feasible, there are likely to be property taxes and building codes. So you can't completely withdraw from the money based economy if you are going to pay your taxes, and it may be difficult to build the way you'd like to without running afoul of the building code.

Better to reconcile ourselves to having a foot in both worlds for now, and whole heartedly become a part of the communities in which we find ourselves living. We can quietly prepare for the day when BAU is more obviously faltering and local production can compete successfully. Of course some communities are more suitable for this than others.

Rant 3: Renewable Energy and Eco-Modernism, NOT

There are some people who recognize problems like peak oil and climate change but think they can be solved by switching over to high tech, low-carbon renewables (mainly wind and solar) and re-organizing things to be more efficient, allowing us to go right on with a green washed version of BAU, and keep the economy growing. These folks don't understand the economic problems with the low EROEI of renewable energy sources, or the degree to which those energy sources are dependent on fossil fuels for their manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance.

Eco-modernism is a particularly egregious example of a plan to fix our problems using technology. It relies on the idea of absolute decoupling. That is, being able to reduce our impact on the resource base and environment while still improving our standard of living and allowing the economy and our population to grow. So far, our best efforts have only achieved a small amount of relative decoupling. That is, at best, increases in population and standard of living have led to slightly less than proportional increases in impact, but nothing approaching decreases in impact.

Looking realistically at what technology can do, I find it hard to see how it could be otherwise and expect that collapse will force us to reduce both our population and level of consumption. At such lower levels of consumption, energy use and technology, renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind, moving water and passive solar will no doubt supply essentially all of the energy we use. But nowhere near enough to support the sort of high tech industrial civilization we have today.

Rant 4: Violence, NOT

Violence is another area where ideas based on apocalyptic fiction are likely to lead you astray. Conflict is necessary to make a story move along, and a long tradition of collapse porn saturated with interpersonal and inter-group violence has lead many people to see that as the only way things can unfold. Food becomes short, the "have-nots" go after the "haves" and mayhem ensures. This may make good reading, but it's not so much fun in reality, and certainly not something I'm interested in.

So, I am not a survivalist, and you won't find me talking much here about security and defense. There are lots of other sources of that sort of information, if it interests you. I'm more interested in not being where the fighting is likely to break out and setting things up in the community where I am so that co-operation is a more likely outcome than serious conflict. Like giving people better alternatives than violence, meeting them with food rather than guns. The trick is being able to do so.

Rant 5: Back to the Good Old Days, NOT

A number of well known voices in the "collapse sphere" have claimed that recent advances in social justice such as feminism and equal rights for LGBTQ people are likely to be rolled back during collapse. The argument is that these freedoms are possible only in a society with lots of surplus resources. These guys are men who are obviously uncomfortable with what they see as disadvantageous changes to the power structure of our society. They have a socially conservative fantasy of collapse putting them back in charge. But really, that is not the way it works.

First of all, while we will be returning to levels of energy use and material consumption that were common one or two or even more centuries in the past, it isn't really possible to go back to the way things were then. We are starting from a different place, we know a lot of things now that we didn't back then, and formerly oppressed people who have been given a chance at equality aren't going to give it up so easily.

Second, if you look across the world and throughout history, the patriarchy is far from universal and many societies working at very much lower levels of consumption than ours have functioned quite well as matriarchies or anarchies. A patriarchy is neither the most natural way to organize human societies nor the most efficient.

I am an old white guy too, if I can accept social changes, so can you.

Rant 6: Saving the World, NOT

Some have accused me of being out to save the world. It's pretty clear that by the world, they mean "Business As Usual" and in my opinion that world needs not to be saved, but to be shut down as quickly as possible. Sadly, this isn't going to happen voluntarily. Too many powerful people and institutions have a vested interest in keeping things going as they are. Heading straight toward collapse, in other words. A collapse that will see a drastic reduction in human population and consumption of resources per capita. This isn't going to be much fun to live through and many of us won't. The only good thing about it is that it will be the undoing of the very system that caused it. And when it is over it may be possible to continue on in a more modest, less destructive way.

Rant 7: Crunchies and Woo

I've noticed lately that posts on this blog often draw positive comments from people who go on to make it clear that they are "Crunchies" who believe in one sort or another of idea that isn't supported by the evidence, that isn't reality based—what I call "woo". After they've said such nice things to me, I always feel bad having to break it to them that I don't agree. Most of these folks are organic farmers or gardeners, who have bought into the "naturalistic fallacy" and think that everything that's natural must be good for you. In fact the products of organic farming and conventional farming about equal in terms of safety these days. That's good news for the many people who can't afford pricey organic food and don't have a garden to grow their own. The bad news is that both conventional and organic farming are also about equally unsustainable, mainly due to their reliance on energy from fossil fuels. We need to develop a "sustainable farming" that's based on science, not woo.

The tagline for this blog is "A reality based approach to life in the age of scarcity." When I use the terms "evidence based" or "reality based", I mean ideas that are supported by the scientific consensus. Many people today unfortunately believe that the scientific consensus supports BAU, and that's no wonder since BAU does its best to encourage that view. Fortunately, it's not true. The scientific consensus support some things on the Crunchy side and some things on the BAU side, because those things happen to be true. The scientific method is an excellent tool for filtering out biases, political or otherwise. There really isn't any good reason for ignoring its results.

But to be clear, comments from Crunchies of every sort are welcome here, just be aware of what the project of this blog really is and, that if you are pedlling woo, you'll get a gentle but firmly negative response.


But enough ranting for now. Time to talk about what we can do to prepare for the continuing process of collapse. We need to anticipate where current trends are taking us, and harder still, when things as likely to reach a tipping point and changing more drastically.

First off, I'd say that if you are new to this, give it a year or so to sink in before making any big decisions, and don't do anything rash in the meantime. Then you may want to consider some changes in the way you are living. What those changes might be will be the subject of my next few posts.

We'll be considering the following subjects, and probably a few more:

  • where you want to be—where bad things are less likely to happen
  • who you want to be with—people you know, trust and can work with
  • what you are doing—something that can support you, and allow you to develop the skills and accumulate the resources you will need

While waiting for my next post (these things often take a while), here are a few links to articles which may be of help:

On this blog:

Sharon Astyk hasn't been very active as a writer lately, but her earlier writings are a great source of practical advice on "Adapting in Place", which is exactly the sort of preparation I'd advise you to do.

Seeking a Signature Steak 🥩 Sandwich

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 23, 2018

Discuss this article at The Pantry Inside the Diner

OK, I was WRONG!  This doesn't happen often, once a decade or so maybe, but ocassionally I am wrong.  In the aftermath of the failed Last Great Alaska Bucket List Adventure, I came home with a ton of STEAK🥩 that didn't get cooked up while cruising trapped in the Bugout Machine Jump Seat to see Denali one more time and do some Whale Watching down on the Kenai Peninsula.  So for about a solid week afterward I was eating some form of STEAK🥩 every day for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner and on some days all 3 meals, plus some snacks.  I overdosed on STEAK🥩 so bad I was sure it would be at least 2 weeks before I could eat STEAK🥩 again.  But I was wrong, it was only about 3 days before I once again craved some RED MEAT!  My addiction to cow flesh is so intense I decided that The Diner needed a Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich as a regular Featured Menu Item. 🙂

Before I get into my 2 week long search for the perfect Steak🥩 Sandwich though, I do want to respond to some criticisms I have been getting lately in my email from some of the long time readers and lurkers on the Diner Blog.

The main critique is that I don't write all the Economics blogs I used to or the History blogs.  People who came to read the Diner to get my take on why Collapse was ongoing are disappointed I don't do much of that anymore. 🙁  They aren't terrifically interested in my health problems or my obsession with food either.  For me though, I feel as though I said what I have to say on the main issues of Collapse (read the archives!) and I don't have a lot of motivation to repeat myself.  Of course there are still Collapse Newz items which crop up periodically and give my muse inspiration to write, such as the latest Strafing Run by another Hurricane, this time Florence which innundated the Carolinas and in fact is still causing plenty of havoc down there as I begin this article.

However, even this Collapse Newz Reporting gets a bit tiresome, and there are plenty of other websites concerned with Weather and Climate that cover this stuff, often in excruciatingly long detail and with a ton of Hyperbole attached as well.  The images are great though if you are a Kollaps-aholic, not to mention the videos which get better all the time with the Drone footage.

Regardless of the grumpy Kollapsniks who are unhappy with my current focus though, I write mainly for myself on whatever is occupying my mind in a given week, and these days that tends to be either my health problems or my obsession with food.  My health issues you can file under "Personal Collapse" or "Health Care Collapse", so they are at least tangentially a valid collapse topic.  Similarly, Food is a Valid collapse topic Kollapsniks concerned with life after SHTF Day worry about where their meals will come from.  Besides that, the methods of food production we currently rely on (Industrial Agriculture for the most part) and the food choices which dominate the menus in the Industrialized Nations (a lot of MEAT) are the subject of much debate.  Then there is the Methane from all the Cow Farts, not to mention the pollution from all the Pig Farms with their open air manure ponds, which are causing an environmental disaster in North Carolina in the aftermath of Florence.

Image result for florence pig farm flooding

Image result for florence pig farm flooding

Given all the problems we have as meat consumers, many environmentally concerned Kollapsniks have gone Vegan, and make a good case for why EVERYBODY should go Vegan if we want to try and save the general ecosystem of the Earth, which as the population of Homo Saps and their Domesticated Food Animals increases becomes increasingly overtaxed.  So I take a lot of heat for my diet which is basically full-on Paleo consisting of a lot of meat and cheese and FAT.  However, my quitting eating meat won't save the planet, the STEAK🥩 I don't eat somebody else will.  I also probably won't live all that much longer anyhow, so I figure to go to the Great Beyond eating the foods that I like.  Maybe that is selfish of me, but that's the way it is.

This brings us back around to the ostensible topic for this article, which is my search for the Perfect Steak🥩 Sandwich.  Searching for this over the last couple of weeks required me to eat a LOT of STEAK🥩. 🙂

Image result for philly cheese steak To begin with, one thing I definitely did NOT want was for the Diner Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich to be confused with a "Philly Cheese Steak🥩" sandwich, which generally speaking are absolutely gross, especially if you buy one from Subway.  Not sure what the meat actually IS on those heros, it is so over-cooked it's beyond recognition.  Then they load on so much cheap cheese its impossible to actually taste the beef (if it is beef and not rat or a stray cat).  I have had a few good Philly Cheese Steak🥩 Sandwiches, but not from the chain restaurants that serve them up or the street vendors.  There was a good one served up at a little hole-in-the-wall lunch place in Springfield when I lived there.  But mostly they are Puke on a Bun and don't order one.  I wanted the Diner Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich to taste like STEAK🥩!

The first main decision was on the cut of meat to use for this Signature Sandwich, and my two Leading Contenders were Filet Mignon🥩 and Ribeye🥩, but both have some issues.  For the Filet🥩, it comes in pretty pricey often topping $20/lb unless you find it ON SALE.  Ribeye🥩 comes in a bit cheaper, but has the problem of having a lot of FAT on it.  I like this on my Steak🥩 Sandwich, but most people don't like big hunks of animal fat in their sandwich and like a leaner cut of meat.  So I experimented also with other cuts of meat, including Top Sirloin🥩 and Bottom Round for London Broil🥩.  The London Broil🥩 came in the cheapest at $3.59/lb, cheaper than Hamburger!  However the downside there is this cut requires a lot of preparation and a long time marinating to get it tender enough to effectively use in a Steak🥩 Sandwich.  The marinade you use also imparts its own flavor to the meat, so you're not tasting the beef so much as you are whatever you used to marinate it with.  In my case I am partial to a modified Teriyaki-Cabernet-Balsamic Vinegar marinade which is very tasty but even after 2 days of marinating in the fridge it was still a little tough for me to eat given my lack of decent teeth.

So, in the end I decided that despite the price, the Diner Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich should be made with Filet Mignon.  To keep the price within reason for the sandwich, I keep the total weight of the filet down to about 1/4 lb, but then add some fixin's to make it more filling without losing the great STEAK🥩 flavor.

Image result for hellmann's real mayonnaise The next decision was on what to baste the bread with?  I experimented with Caesar Dressing and Blue Cheese dressing and even Grey Poupon Mustard, but in the end decided to go with straight "Real" Mayonaise.  Is there "Fake" Mayonnaise? Adds some fat and moisture to the sandwich but doesn't interfere much with the great STEAK🥩 flavor.  It also comes in cheap as dressings go, which was an important consideration considering I went with Filet Mignon as the cut of beef to use.

Next, what veggies to add?  Mushrooms were a must, I am a big MUSHROOM fan.  Sauteed up they have a nice meaty texture which goes well with beef, and I use plenty of chopped Garlic doing the sautee which enhances the total flavor of the sandwich without losing the flavor of the meat.  I added a slice of Tomato and then some Avocado as well, and it was pretty close to perfect as far as I was concerned, so this is the basics of the Diner Signature Steak🥩 Sandwich.

However, I have tried any number of variations, including adding BACON to the sandwich which makes it meatier and adds more FAT.  I used different types of fresh baked rolls and flatbread wraps and even bagels.  I tried different types of breads, Ciabatta and Foccacia and also grilled the sandwich in my Panini Press.  I tried different cheeses with it, Cheddar, Mozarella, Colby-Jack and Parmesan and Pecorina Roman cheeses.  Each different addition gives a different overall flavor to the sandwich, and you just have to decide precisely what you are in the mood for when you make it.

So while the Diner Signature Steak 🥩Sandwich has a basic form, the menu also offers choices of additions to put on it to Customize it for your lunch meal.  You can vary it endlessly, which means you don't get bored eating a STEAK🥩 Sandwich for lunch every day for 2 straight weeks!  This week I am trying out a Basil Pesto and Hearts of Palm as additions.

Moving forward into the post-SHTF Day world of the future, many of the ingredients you might drop on your STEAK🥩 Sandwich might not be available in your neighborhood, for instance I sincerely doubt I will be able to get Avocados up here in Alaska, and even right now the price on them is skyrocketing.  Beef will eventually become mostly unavailable, but I could substitute Moose or Caribou.  That would of course change the flavor quite a bit.  So before SHTF Day arrives, this is a good time to enjoy the wide variety of STEAK🥩 Sandwiches you can put together with a trip to your local Food Superstore.

Diners are welcome to add their favorite ingredients to drop on a STEAK🥩 Sandwich Inside the Diner in the Pantry thread.

London Broil on the Grill over Hickory Chips

London Broil Hot off the Grill ready to carve

London Broil carved for Sandwiches

I LOVE STEAK!

This Week in Doom Sept. 16: Florence


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Like us on Facebook

 

 

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on September 15, 2018

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

 ― Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 5 


Hurricane Florence stormed the East Coast this week inducing dread that roiled millions and left seventeen dead as of Sunday. When they tot up the final losses, what they'll miss are the people who died from stress induced by weather reporting hysteria.

The Weather Channel stands alone. They started weather reporting hysteria as a cynical marketing strategy. They have put their reporters front and right in the middle of the storm. They stand in knee-deep water, windbreakers flapping and report the fact that it is raining to people who can already see that it is wet.

The above pic comes from a video report offered up by TWC's Mike Seidel making the rounds on social media. Seidel appeared to be waging a valiant struggle against the elements, swaying back and forth with mighty effort against the vicissitudes of Florence as he filed his ever-so-essential report. And then… just watch the vid. 

As someone who stared down the barrel of a catastrophic loss on as recently as Wednesday, I find this "hurricane porn" emotionally manipulative. Seidel should resurface as a Starbucks barista, after hurricane survivors throw him a blanket party. 

TWC had an explanation of sorts for Seidel's weather kabuki

“It’s important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete, and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1:00 a.m. ET this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted.”

One might ask why they didn't put Seidel on concrete if the "footing was so soft." Or one might just roll their eyes. Such is TWC's credibility.

TWC's cred was flushed when they started naming winter storms. The hyper marketing of the weather stems from the fact that TWC knows that during extreme weather events, a captive audience is locked in on their channel 24/7.and the more fear they stimulate, the longer they can sell into captive eyeballs. What's next, naming thunderstorms? Droughts? 

Marketing-all-the-time is just part of the total commodification of everything in American life.  It's been said that the only original American art form is advertising. Everything is marketing, and ABC stands for, "always be closing" in a land where the only value is in the rightmost cell of the spreadsheet.

On Monday night, Florence was elevated to a category four.and dialing up an catastrophic threat to the East Coast.  I was staring starkly at the prospect of losing my house and everything in it. The National Weather Service called Florence a “storm of a lifetime.” Hyperbole in storm-related jargon is just part odf the skill set, but seemed apt this week.

Cat 1s have previously blown through Norfolk.  In 2005, Hurricane Isabel uprooted enough trees that we were without power for ten days. During several storms and nor'easters, water reached the front steps. The prospect of a direct hit by a Cat 4 on my home left little to the imagination. I contacted my flood insurance company to learn the steps for filing a claim and what to do in the aftermath, just to be prepared. In 30 years of living here, I had never taken this step.

After checking the evacuation zone maps, I made room reservations near my work located out of evacuation zones. I had previously waited out Isabel there with my daughter, and knew it was flood resistant. My workplace is a seriously hardened facility, with 24-7 security, redundant generators and layers of technology. As I told my wife, she'd have ice, filtered water, wi-fi and cable TV, with a couch to watch it on. Thus elevating the chances for a couple of broken down feebs to weather the storm.

At that we were better off than prisoners in South Carolina, where officials announced that they would not be evacuating inmates at least two prisons inside the evacuation zone. During Katrina, Louisiana's legal slaves were abandoned to the elements for four days.

So, after the intervention of both a high-pressure system and Pat Robertson to bend Florence to the south and west, I drew a deep lungful of relief. Even on Friday, the prospect of serious flooding and tornadoes remained high, but abated as the storm wended west. The governor lifted the mandatory evacuation order, and we returned home on Saturday.

Riding that much cortisol for so long exacts costs: both my neighbor and my wife's friend's brother had heart attacks yesterday. The stress induced by TWC's disaster porn assigns costs not counted in flood casualty statistics. While coincidence is not causation, we do know that stress is a killer.

A report from the local paper tells our story: Braced for disaster, Hampton Roads dodges Florence's destructionThe difference in our prospects from Tuesday to today cannot be overstated. For all this, and for the many good wishes we received, we are grateful. With no thanks to The Weather Channel. Meanwhile, our neighbors to the south continue to endure Florence.


Speaking of Hurricanes

Inured to denying facts and devoted to inventing alternatives worlds with the aplomb of a Tolkien, the Lout-In-Chief tweeted this on Wednesday as Florence approached:

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…

8:37 AM – Sep 13, 2018

followed by…

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

…..This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age,  just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!

8:49 AM – Sep 13, 2018

Contrast Trump's self-serving asserions with this heartfelt cry of pain.

They died in pain, at home, of kidney failure unable to access the dialysis clinic for weeks.
They died, gasping for hours near the end, when the oxygen tank they needed to breathe gave out.
They died in the dark and the heat of unsanitary ICU units, of burns or gunshot wounds received before the hurricane that they almost certainly would have survived otherwise.
They died, burning up with fever, of leptospirosis from being in touch with flood waters during the effort to save their neighbors.
They died in fear and confusion after being forced to go off their regular medication.
They died of heat stroke.

They died of diseases of antiquity, in a crisis of neglect unworthy the greatest, wealthiest and most powerful nation in human history.

They died. But we lived. And we remember.

–Eleazar David Melendez


Short takes:

Paul Manafort’s flip is a major turning point in the Mueller investigation

The biggest news this week involves a blowhard of a different sort. Paul Manafort strick a deal with the Special Counsel and pled guilty to a number of charges, limiting his financial exposure from legal fees while committing him to cooperate with Mueller's office for all items great and small. Mueller has been seeking Manafort for nearly a year. Now he’s got the deal he wanted and unparalleled access to information that will put away the next set of tools of the Russian Mafia.

READ IT HERE: Paul Manafort's entire plea agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller


#Flint: County Officials Accused of Faking Children’s Blood Lead Test Results

We are now 1,605 days into the ongoing crisis with the water in Flint, Mich. The residents are being told that their tap water is below the federal threshold for lead contamination.


Two Russian men charged in nerve agent poisoning of former spy in Britain say they were just tourists

Two men accused by Britain of poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter with a nerve agent claim they had traveled to England as tourists and were not Russian military intelligence agents. They were identified by security cameras.


Mysterious Evacuation Of Solar Observatory Overlooking White Sands Smells Like Espionage

The National Solar Observatory was host to some serious woo-woo stuff, as it was evacuated for a week and the FBI is investigating. No one is talking. Shrouded in mystery in a state known for secretive military testing and UFOs, the lengthy evacuation has spawned a wealth of speculation. The official story is that the closing is "a security issue." Rumor had it that the Chinese were using the antenna array for spying.


Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever

Population levels at federally contracted shelters for migrant children have quietly shot up more than fivefold since last summer. According to The New York Times, the population has reached 12,800, contrasted with 2,400 in May 2017. On the eve of Florence's landfall it was revealed that the administration had transferred $10 million from FEMA and DHS had transferred $169 million from other programs to ICE for detention and removal of migrants.

Your tax dollars at work.


Surly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

It’s not the Wind, it’s the Water

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 16, 2018

Discuss this article at the Environment Table inside the Diner

It's now a litle over 24 hours since the "landfall" of Florence, which hit Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina as a Cat 1 Hurricane, substantially below the earlier predicted landfall as a Cat 4.  PHEW! We dodged a bullet there!  Well, except for one problem…all that WATER!

When it comes to Weather Disiaster reporting with Hurricanes, the focus is almost entirely on where the cyclone comes in on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which strictly measures the wind speed around the eyewall.  It doesn't measure the overall SIZE of the cyclone or the amount of water it drags along with it to wherever it decides on going, which is also not all that predictable,  A Cat 4 which makes landfall in a low population zone is a major YAWN, but a Cat 2 which hits a major population zone like NOLA (Katrina) or NYC (Sandy) or Harvey (Houston) is newsworthy material!

So the critical point here is in terms of being "newz worthy" is "How many Homo Saps were affected by this event?"  When you look at it from this POV, what Category the cyclone rolled in with isn't very important.  Even with a really BIG ONE, the wind field of 100+ MPH winds is quite small, maybe 100 miles in diameter.  That neighborhood of course provides the best video for the Storm Chasers and "Meteorologists" (Weathermen) who go out to report on these things.  So in terms of newz reporting, this is what gets the coverage.  It's not a whole lot different than political or economic newz reporting, where you only really hear about the biggest and most disasterous occurence on any given day in the newz cycle.  A couple of days later, there is a new disaster to report on, and the prior one gets forgotten, at least by the media.  The people stuck in the location haven't forgotten about it though.

So in the current case of Florence, we have an ongoing disaster which is just going to get worse over the next week or so.  While she didn't come ashore packing the kind of winds predicted by the Meteorologists Weathermen, she DID bring with her an epic amount of rainfall, now approaching Biblical Proportions in quite a few neighborhoods around North Carolina, and it appears true for some neighborhoods in South Carolina too.

Florence already has set rainfall records and left tens of thousands of people in shelters and more than 1 million homes without power. Officials confirmed at least 11 deaths, including one Saturday in South Carolina.

While this is clearly a big problem for the locals, much like Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Maria, it's not likely to get a whole lot of coverage past next week.  If Flo had made landfall around Norfolk, a different story of course, because we have a big fucking Naval Base in Norfolk and a lot of Homo Saps live there!  Relatively speaking however, not a whole lot of people live in North or South Carolina, and as FSoA states go they are Piss Poor with a lot of Black People living there.  So if they go without electricity for a few weeks,it's no big fucking deal!  Does anyone here in the FSoA CARE that the Ricans are still without power in many neighborhoods a year after the landfall?  Of course not!  Much different story of course if Maria made landfall on Wall Street, as Sandy did.  WEEKS of Newz coverage there at the top of the Google Newz Search Engine!

In the grand scheme of things globally though as far as climate disasters go, does it really matter whether one of these cyclones hits a high population density neighborhood or a low one?  Not really, other than the obvious impact on Homo Saps living in the local neighborhood for such a landfall.  Not a place you want to be when it occurs.  Thing is though, numerous effects occur in the aftermath of a hurricane landfall and many of those effects impact on people whether they live near where it hit or not.

As with Harvey in Texas last year, Florence isn't a big wind event so focusing on the Saffir-Simpson scale to determine the severity of the storm is very misleading.  Florence is a RAIN even, not a WIND event, and the rain is dispersed over a much wider area.  Because like Harvey Florence has essentially "stalled", she's bringing wave after wave of rain bands into North Carolina, any many of the many rivers in that state will be cresting multiple feet over flood stage over the next week, perhaps even longer than that.

Unlike Puerto Rico though, despite being poor and well stocked with the descendants of slaves, North & South Carolina WILL be the beneficiaries of the largesse of The Donald, because they are states who elect CONgress Critters, and the Repugnants NEED the votes of the White Supremacists residing in those locations to have any hope of retaining control over the House and staving off an Impeachment after the mid-term elections.  So you can be sure copious new Dollars will be printed to assist in their recovery efforts.  The amount of money they will spend there likely triples the entire debt of Puerto Rico, but they won't have any trouble finding money for that, any more than they have trouble finding money to bomb Syria when they can't find money to fund Medicare.

So despite the ongoing innundation, I don't expect the lights to be off for all that long down in the Tar Heel state, certainly not as long as they have been off for in Puerto Rico.  They have slightly over a month before people will be going to the Polls in Wilmington, so I figure they'll get the lights switched back on in a couple of weeks there.  What will the real price tag on this disaster be though, and just how many more times can we restring those wires?  How many times can people in Wilmington afford to replace their drywall?

You basically have an entire STATE which is under water RIGHT NOW, and you don't need to wait for the sea level to rise by another foot for this to occur, repeatedly.  This because the weather systems do the job of lifting up the water from the ocean and then dropping it back down when they get over land.  Pretty much every state along the East Coast is vulnerable to this sort of innundation now, as are the states which line the Gulf of Mexico.  We're pretty certain to get a couple of these multi-billion dollar disasters occuring every year now as we move into the future.

It's not just Lights Out that is the problem here either, this same pile of water is innundating Pig Farms and Coal Mining plants all through the state, and do you really believe they can clean up that mess, no matter how much money they print here?  Of course they can't, all they can do is put Lipstick on the Pig and make it look a little better in time for the elections, but the pig will still be a pig after that and North Carolina will stink like a mouldy sewer into the forseeable future,  NC is just one of the Canaries in the Coal Mine here though, as Harvey was for Houston and Katrina was for New Orleans.

This is not a good time to be living in one of these coastal locations, frankly it's not even a good time to be lving on a sailboat in such a location either.  Many a Yachtie in Corpus Christie watched from the Marina Bar as his prized Seastead went to the bottom of Davey Jones Locker when Harvey made landfall, and many more will face the same problem this year from Cape Hatteras to Myrtle Beach.  The Yachties didn't do too good down in St. John's last year either.  There is nowhere safe left to run to anymore, nowhere to hide.  It's coming soon to a beach near you too.

Related image

Image result for harvey marina wrecked boats

The Doom Loop

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Category5

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on Dark Green Mountain Project on August 26, 2018

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table inside the Diner

 

Just a time sensitive quicky today  A few articles showed up that were worth reading… if only to show how far we have gotten into The Doom Loop.

Its chilly out there this morning. Sort of a premature fall. Its sort of nice after that blistering heat wave. There lies the problem. The sigh of relief and subconscious desire for things to return to normal. A time to forget. A return to slumber. To apathy.

Its chilly because smoke from the west coast made it all the way to the east coast, a rather large continent away.

… But before I get there. A special hello and welcome to anyone trickling in from Peak Oil News  https://peakoil.com/. They posted my last article. People seem to like my rants more than my survival advice. I noticed my article was shoe horned in between Ugo Bardi at Cassandra’s Legacy and John Michael Greer. That was flattering. I guess I am now sitting at the grown ups table.

The real reason for this article was just to re-post another article which was definitely the best read of the month. -When I woke up this week, the sun was blocked out by smoke.

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2018-08-22/when-i-woke-up-this-week-the-sun-was-blocked-out-by-smoke/

Now, both MrsC5 and myself have been much more depressed than usual, this summer. I realize it had a lot to do with the heat. A weakened body leads to a weakened mind. Less resilience. No used getting into that here. But alot of where our minds were going to, is just how awful humans are. The shear, Evily Evil Evilness of 7.65 billion people and growing, being evil. The planet used to be able to absorb our evil. Not any more. Ugo Bardi pointed out a quote by Gandhi,

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Ugo then points out the problem with this thinking is that, back when Gandhi said this, the world only had 2.5 billion people in it. That was before we entered the doom loop.

Its not the super villain, Jeffrey Dahmer, Trump, type of evil that gets to me. Its the banality of human evil. The mom and pop, middle class, soccer mom evil. The little compromises and purchases and shortcuts and genocides happening somewhere else and intentional blindness. Little evils… with 2% compounding interest.  That is the real evil. We don’t see it because we don’t want to see it, and we tell ourselves little narratives to justify why we are not really evil. Its other people. Where the story really picks up though is when supper villain meets soccer mom.

Which leads to the number two read. -Why is it so easy to deceive people?

https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2018/08/why-is-it-so-easy-to-deceive-people.html

( My answer. Because they want to be deceived to avoid all that uncomfortable introspection. He shows you the how. I tell you the why )

The good news is that all that heat and now smoke has been shaking more of the soccer mom evil types of people. The subject of hothouse earth, feedback doom loops, finally went mainstream media news over the last few months.

Soooo. Lets do a subject jump. Another banality of evil… with two percent compounding interest…

Preppers have been getting on my nerves lately. Don’t get me wrong. People have been calling me “Super Prepper” lately. Its the weird obsessive compulsive fantasies that they secretly hope for to justify their banal evilyness… like “Martial Law is coming” or “Collapse is coming”. Like man made climate chaos, they have trouble seeing that it is already here and they just got used to it. Its just not nearly as exiting as the movies.

The more paranoia inclined, less mentally stable, drone on and on about secret FEMA camps.   FEMA camps are actually real. They are called “PRISONS”. And they are generally filled with poor people. Cough…

So, here is your next very insightful read. -Battle Field America

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/battlefield_america_the_ongoing_war_on_the_american_people

Now, I live in cana’duh. I wont even visit the States anymore. Won’t even do a plane change there. I’m done with them. Far too Sketch.

But it has been on my mind since seeing the Mounties got their assault rifles. Now they have high capacity magazines proudly on display on their ever increasing tactical vests. Disgusting. I recognize an occupational army/ organized crime group, when I see one. I don’t want to hear about the dangerous job they do. Statistically, its a far safer job than any of the jobs I have done. You are far more likely to die in any labor related job. Most cop deaths are from driving accidents, health or suicides. But its the cult like brainwashing and the shear banality of evil that makes this particularly dangerous. As I age, its the groomed, fresh, pimply faces behind all that tactical gear that spires my mind towards hitler youth posters.

Soooo…. if you really want to be scared about something, mix that last article with this article…

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/americas/2018/08/17/fascist-activists-spent-last-year-trying-win-police/

The depressing thing is that I have always known that was coming since my pre teen years. I’m not surprised. Its matching my timeline. Sucks to be right all the time. There is no mystery to life anymore.

On a personal note, I saw this future in a fever dream. In it, I was an old man, beyond warrior years to resist. I was forced to serve these fuckers. It stuck with me. With that said, Metalica comes to DJ-C5s mind.

 

For everyone’s information, if you ever wonder what I was going to do with the donations from this page and how I would use it for future experiments, You Readers gave enough to purchase this small motor.

donation

And this small upgrade that comes from Australia. Pull the pins and it works like a regular bike again, albeit a much heavier bike.

donation 2

1 liter should get 100 kms. That is the point. It gives new meaning to the idea of being a 1% motorcycle club

Here is the reasoning. Our nearest grocery store is about 50Km away. That means a liter should get us there and back. Gas is about 1.25$ a liter at the moment. So we can do a supply run for 1.25. As the economy breaks down and people can no longer afford the costs associated with a vehicle, we are trying to figure out if this will be helpful. And if gas supplies are promptly shut off, a 20ltr gas can from my fuel storage, might provide 20 supply trips into town…. or 20 commutes to a low paying job.

I will do a full article once it has had some hard work under its belt to judge whether it is practical for actual work. I have to work it hard for months before giving my thoughts on it. I set the rest of the bike up for grocery\cargo hauling. I call this rear set up “The poor mans long tail”. That is part of what this is about. The engine and upgraded parts cost less than 300$ canadian. This will be a Part Two of this article from South America.

https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/c5-survival-advice-part-4-on-motorised-bicycles-from-south-america/

Now, this is MrsC5’s experiment of the year. She got her HEMP growing license this year.

hemp

I was not impressed with this idea. See the article on militarized police. My experience with cops… is incompetence (I am being very generous there. I see the world bottom up) . To avoid me or my dog getting shot because “I was resisting” or they “Felt their life was in danger”, first job of the year had me dangerously climbing on the roof of the barn and painting the permit number in REALLY BIG FUCKING LETTERS and then hanging a copy on the door. By the way, you would have to smoke a telephone pole of that to get high.

Speaking of which, Canada has now ended pot prohibition. You can now buy it at the government liquor store. Thank gods that evily evil clusterfuck is finally over. Its one of the only reasons that could get me to stand to sing Oh Canada. Still, don’t be fooled. As I predicted, It was not legalized. It was corporatized. This does nothing to help poor, small, mom and pop farmers in rural communities. The profits go to the 1% instead of 1% motorcycle gangs. That”s all.

So, that was a small test plot for MrsC5 to experiment with fiber. I lost my reticence once I saw the chickens go parahna over those fat filled seeds. I may have finally found an easy to grow source of chicken feed. Now I just have to figure out a how to harvest it.

You can also see we screwed up the test plot. It grew so successfully that it was choking itself out. We have to hand cast much  lighter so they have less competition. We now have to harvest this week because the chickens, in feeding frenzy mode, are getting over the fence to pull down the stalks to get to the seeds. Its all part of getting over the learning curve.

Speaking of which, we finally had some corn success… using the Three Sisters method. Corn, beans and squash together. (Beans grow up the corn. Corn moderates temperature by providing shade. Squash shades out weeds and slows soil moisture evaporation)

3 sis

We put it where the pigs used to be. It needed the fertilizer. What that means is, SHTF, if you don’t have animals for fertilizer, forget all about corn. Its a heavy feeder.

Further thoughts on the disaster of this years weather. All plants, wild or planted, are looking rough this year. New diseases have swept through that we haven’t had to deal with before. Stressed plants are more susceptible to disease. Healthy plant would be able to fight those infections off. That is the short form. There were secondary knock off, unanticipated problems as well. We got very few sour cherries this year and lost them all. The birds took them because they were starving. The wild service berry trees didn’t produce and that is the heavier fruit they would prefer. I also cant believe I would ever complain about the lack of bugs here. But less bugs means less pollination and less birds. There was alot of strange birds I hadn’t seen before, here in the spring. They aint here now.

One last photo. We finally got the windmill base cemented in a couple of days ago. Not much to see but I will fill in the blanks.

windapult

Its for the base of what I am calling a Windapult until I come up with a better name. From the mind of C5. The future tower should go up into place like a catapult. There will be a counter weight. I want me to be able to take the entire windmill down in a storm, by hand, without a tractor or mechanical assistance. We have wicked winds here. I have a Friend that lost his during a hurricane.  Another, where this blades just shattered when it spun apart. An ice storm is also a destroyer of wind engines because the blades go off balance and destroy internal parts. Plus, I want to be able to easily take the turbine down  for maintenance or repair. I’l ad a second base to act as a catchers mit so if the tower lines break in a storm and it comes down, that the turbine wont smash on the ground. As a bonus, the tower parts are from recycled material since we cant afford a commercial made tower. I was given an impossible task… but that is what I do. It’s all I do.

Mythos, and someone new to the crew, I will just call Jesus, came over to help me mix concrete by hand for the first time. It was quality boy time… with beer. Practical social male bonding. We work well as a team and I have sort of finally founds a group of equals. I’ll continue the man party next week, over at Mythos place because he needs help with mixing large quantities of Cob mix (Article to follow) and the week after that over at Jesus’s  Mini home build.(He looks nothing like jesus)

I bring this up because Jesus recounted a story of him talking with the boys at work in the warehouse where he lifts heavy objects. When asked what he was doing this weekend, he said he was exited about helping on a wind tower build because he had no experience in that and wanted to learn. On Que, the corn poned  worker of the group ranted, “What. Why are you doing that hippy shit”.

And those words stuck in both myself and MrsC5. It keeps rolling around in our heads. A psychic assault. A reminder of those 4 article I re-posted above.

The shear banality of evil.

I don’t talk about it on this blog, but there is a reason MrsC5 and myself are armed to the fucking tits. It’s because we know, when we do the right actions and adaptations, others that have not will project their weakness outward and that banal, shear Evily Evil Evilness will , instinctively, want… Need…. to stomp it out.

Lets end this with one last practical prepping update. My living fence is doing very well. https://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/c5-says-build-me-a-wall-permaculture-style/     Root taking is at least a 95% success rate. I did learn some stuff though. I had some failures in other parts of the property. The big mistake was the smaller cuttings I put in. They grew just fine. Then the deer said, “Thanks for the fresh browsing greens”. Deer keep forests at bay by eating fresh shoots more than grass. We have plenty of self seeded fruit trees around the property that may be decades old but never get past knee high. Some day I will put fences around them so they can get past browsing height. Same goes with the willow. We learned that when we do season two of willow planting, all willow spikes must be taller than deer head browsing height. Lesson learned for next springs continuation of the job to surround the house and get old watching my palisade grow.

willow growth

So much for this being a quick article. I’ve been at this all day. I better get out there and do something. I think I will begin harvesting the hemp seeds before the chickens get it all.

If all of this gets you down, tomorrow we have to do this with one of our hens that we noticed was on the edge of death and needed rescue. BTW, 12 chicks born this year. Culling to follow.

If you would like to give a Tip for writing services rendered or to support the cause, go to the top of the page and hit, “Giving just the Tip”.  All “Tips” go towards material costs for future experiments.

This Week In Doom, Sept.9: Crazytown


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Like us on Facebook

 

 

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on September 9, 2018

“Real power is, I don't even want to use the word, fear.”

 ― Donald Trump, interview with Bob Woodward, 2016  


This was a week in which the pace of bizarre and unsettling news swirling through the White House could only be described as "epic," a thesaurus full of superlatives thus drained. Excerpts from Bob Woodward's book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” dropped, with the usual eruptions of "Lies!" and "Fake News!" uttered by the usual suspects. The book, which will be officially released on 9/11, promises to be a devastating, meticulously researched account of the Trump Presidency. This is Woodward's eighth book on a President; over 40 years, few have challenged his veracity. The book will be consulted as a first draft of the history of these dark times.

Major takeaways are that the work culture of Trump's White House is so toxic and volatile that many of 45’s top staffers are in the habit of working around a scattered, unstable and uninformed boss.

Trump has been floundering and reacting out of stress as a result of the Russia investigation and related probes. "Fear" was the first of a one-two punch, followed up by the "Anonymous" op ed published in the NYT.

 5 Takeaways From Bob Woodward’s Book on the Trump White House outlines key points, with few surprises:

  • The Russia investigation is a constant source of anxiety for Mr. Trump, and his lawyers.
  • Mueller engaged in lively conversations for months with Mr. Trump’s lawyers.
  • He's as ill-informed as you think: Trump’s advisers are repeatedly stunned by his lack of interest in and knowledge of major issues. 
  • Trump himself was not a primary source for the book.
  • John F. Kelly, the chief of staff, quickly soured on Mr. Trump

White House press secretary perpetual-motion-lie-machine Sarah Huckabee Sanders channeled her best Tammi Wynette with the usual dispatch:

“This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the president look bad… Democrats and their allies in the media understand the President’s policies are working and with success like this, no one can beat him in 2020 – not even close.”

At least she's consistent. Trump was in rare form:

“The book means nothing, it’s a work of fiction…If you look back at Woodward’s past, he had the same problem with other presidents, he likes to get publicity, he sells some books."

Doubling down, he later tweeted:

Isn’t it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost. Don’t know why Washington politicians don’t change libel laws?

Those quoted rushed to declaim their innocence and to deny that they had said any such thing. Mattis was quoted as saying Trump had the "understanding of a fifth-or-sixth grader." Kelly is quoted as saying of Orange Jesus, “He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in Crazytown.” His former attorney, John Dowd, gets credit for “Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit.” Gary Cohn removed papers from the Resolute desk. Trump is quoted as having called his attorney general "mentally retarded,” and a "traitor." Just a taste: the first ones are free.

Woodward's usual technique is to exhaustingly interview many people people close to or in the White House on "deep background," meaning their anonymity is assured. His books are based on hundreds of hours of firsthand reporting. 

Woodward's reputation is pretty bulletproof. Not every detail is assured, but the gist is that his accounts are remarkably reliable. All 18 of his nonfiction books in the past 35 years have been national bestsellers and 12  have been No. 1 national nonfiction bestsellers. He also takes to the lecture circuit, where my wife and I saw him, and formed a minority-view opinion of his act. Yet for all that, he retains more credibility than the White House's current occupant.



Top appointees are ‘thwarting’ Trump, says ‘senior official’ in administration in New York Times opinion piece

The number two punch is the memo by "Anonymous" published in the NY Times. This really has our boy spun up, inviting him to instruct house hobbit Jeffy Bo to search for the guilty author, even though such an investigation would be patently illegal.

The unnamed author wrote:

“We believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic. That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”

The Times column — headlined “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration”, described a curious flavor of resistance is is indeed:

Ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous…

There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.

This ain't a "resistance" I recognize. We're supposed to be somehow grateful?  Charlie Pierce said it best when he called out

… the careerist bleatings of anonymous sources who would like you to know that, by enabling El Caudillo Del Mar-a-Lago and his long, slow slide into howling madness,they are really keeping him from doing some real damage to the country, and shouldn't we all be grateful for their noble, selfless work. 

What the writer wants are Trumpian policies with less baggage, like fewer tweets or porn star payoffs. Trump later tweeted a one-word, all-caps reaction: “TREASON?” The search for the author began almost immediately and continues.

What this op-ed represents is and attempt to build lifeboats for those inside-the-Beltway conservatives who find themselves part of the Trump administration, but who envision the coming endgame, and imagine a life after Trump as part of a ruling Coalition of winners who will inherit power after the Great Man is gone. This is the same technique employed by conservatives after Bush the lesser, in which they shunned Bush, donned tricorn hats, and branded themselves "Tea Party independents." This only works because Americans, as a rule, remember nothing. Not for nothing did Gore Vidal once referred to this country as the "United States of Amnesia."Thus we will we skate on the frozen lakes of hell before Trump offers testimony to the Special Counsel. 


​Short takes

Some other things happened this week, but you may already be familiar with them. The confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh occurred this week featuring a great deal of contention over hidden papers, demonstrations, and debate about whether or not the nominee had lied to Congress under oath..

Senate concludes Kavanaugh hearing

Harris puts Kavanaugh on edge with Mueller question

Sen. Kamala Harris put Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on edge with a surprise question at his confirmation hearing on whether he spoke with anyone about the investigation into Russian election meddling. This after a week of scorched-earth procedures and tactics to prevent Trump from appointing his own judge in a possible future impeachment trial. This includes the Republicans hiding documents proving that Kavanaugh may have committed perjury. Whether any of this will be enough to derail his confirmation is not known.


The Collapse Of Society Is Coming

Michael Snyder sees harbingers in the fact that the rich have their own plans to survive the coming economic collapse (caused by out-of-control algorithms and flash trading) in survival bunkers being shipped from a Texas warehouse to the shores of New Zealand, where they’re buried 11 feet underground. The rich are planning their bolt-holes. Their plans don't include us.

Obama delivers full-throated rebuke of Trump's presidency

BHO returned to the campaign trail ahead of the midterms to rally the troops for the midterms, calling out Trump by name: "He is a symptom, not the cause." Obama is absolutely right, but he's decades too late. 

The loutish, bigoted and aggressively ignorant nature of the Republican base has never been a mystery to anyone… since Lee Atwater unleashed "Willie Horton" nigh on to 40 years ago….except, apparently, to Republican analysts, pollsters, ad-men, every Never Trump Republican now out pimping a book, every conservative think tank, media outlet and the entire Beltway political press. And any right wing troll who wanders into these hallowed grounds.

As noted above, Republicans rebranded themselves as a mighty army of Imaginary "Independents" who always arrive on the verge of saving us all from the Extremes on Both Sides. They are trying to escape the righteous judgment of history by rebranding themselves as some sort of faux resistance.

The "Tea Party" was always an astroturfed fraud. Nothing less than a heavily funded, carefully coordinated political playtoy designed to herd the rubes — the latest layer of Koch-funded, Fox News-promoted bilge splashed over the same goddamn box full of bigots and Bible-thumpers who have comprised the backbone of the Republican Party for most of my adult life.

After they led Poppy away by his drool-cup, there were four kinds of people in the GOP: traitors (e.g. the Kochs), messianic dominionist nut jobs (e.g. Pence), useful idiots (e.g. Tea Tarty), and geriatric bigots on holiday from the John Birch Society. They have always been with us, but we made them wear shoes and leave the room when company came. These people are less conservatives than dangerous, bomb-throwing, vehicular-manslaughter-committing white nationalists and nazis.

In Conservatives Without Conscience, John Dean had it exact:

“Probably about 20 to 25 percent of the adult American population is so right-wing authoritarian, so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds… They would march American into a dictatorship and probably feel that things had improved as a result. They have the mentality of ‘old-time religion’ on a crusade and they generously give money, time and effort to the cause. They proselytize; they lick stamps; they put pressure on loved ones; and they revel in being loyal to a cohesive group of like thinkers. And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going to go away.”


They remain a minority, which is why they have to ease into control, one child-kidnapping, sanctuary-denying, flag-worshipping, pro-torture, Nike-burning, intolerant, anti-choice, anti-science, Republiconfederate skirmish at a time. No faux-sincere op-ed can disguise the cornpone, “Aw Shucks” Christopathy that, seen over the course of decades, has bumrushed this country relentlessly towards the coming authoritarian nightmare.


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because, by making every mistake in the book, he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

 

By Candlelight

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on September 9, 2018

Discuss this article at the Doomsteading Table Inside the Diner

One good thing came out of the failed Last Great Alaska Bucket List Adventure for me, and that was a new passion for fires.  Well, it's really an old passion, but I got reinspired to pursue it in the aftermath of the LGABLA.

Image result for quest for fire The control and mastery of fire is probably the main thing which led Homo Saps down the path to an inevitable Civilization Collapse, and possibly his own Extinction and the extinction of many other large life forms currently inhabiting Planet Earth.  Along with Agriculture it is highly resource intensive and as population size increases the tendency is to burn too much and to take away habitat from other animals sharing the same space.  Over the Millenia since both Ag and Fire have been a part of the human existence on Earth we have desertified and deforested many locations, changed the local climate and precipitated the decline and fall of numerous Civilizations prior to this one.  None of those prior events of course was nearly so pervasive and global as the current one we are undergoing, but the unsustainable use of natural resources has been a perpetual feature of human existence since the Dawn of Agriculture.

Ag and Fire go together hand in hand, fire was necessary for the metallurgy which made Ag implements for farming technologically possible and the Ceramics which made pottery made it possible to store grain over several growing seasons in warehouses.  Without both those things, the type of civilizations which developed with large armies and big political systems never would have been possible.  Hunter-Gatherers did have some control of fire and they did practice some forms of horticuture utilizing mostly wood and bone implements, but ony metallurgy made the really large scale Ag civilization possible.  This major shift occured for the most part somewhere between 15,000-12,000 years ago, which corresponds to the time we have written records of Biblical Texts and Chinese scrolls for the most part there.  Go back further thn 15K years, you just look at history through the eyes of the Archaeologist with Cave Paintings, Clay Statues and worn teeth.  The extrapolations made on these observations may or may not be entirely correct, it's a pretty limited view of what went on in that time period.

Image result for oil lamp Despite the fact we gained control over Fire so long ago in our Pre-History, it's really only very recently we have been in so much control of it to use it inside our homes safely for light, warmth and the cooking of food.  Even the relatively "primitive" oil lamps I am using in the video header for this article are of fairly recent invention, they are 19th Century technology.  Such lamps provided most of the light in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, before electricity got wired in to most homes and biznesses in 1st World Nations.  These oil lamps are in fact still used in many 3rd World Nations, one of the reasons I can still go out and buy one and why they come in at a relatively cheap price.  They are still mass produced for people who live in rural areas of places like India and Amazonia.  In the FSoA, about nobody actually uses one of these things for light or heat (except if they are a Prepper who has one for emergencies), they are decorative items like Candles but they still do work and the fire they burn is a big part of the decorative charm.

Speaking of Candles, they predate the Oil Lamps as a source of heat and light for many people, although some forms of Oil Lamps have been around since Babylonian times.  You can burn almost any Oil at all in an Oil Lamp, Olive Oil was once a regular source of fuel for these lamps.  Whale Oil was very popular in the 19th Century, and in fact if electricity hadn't been discovered and disseminated, whales probably would have been hunted to extinction long ago.  Whale Oil is particularly good as a fuel for an Oil Lamp, it burns very clean and doesn't smell bad.  Today if you burn an Oil Lamp, you can use Kerosene or even Peanut Oil, but much better is to burn pure liquid paraffin, which is a petroleum based distillate.  It is completely odorless and pretty much smokeless as long as you adjust the wick properly.  It comes in fairly expensive, but a gallon of the stuff will last you a LONG time in most situations.  Will you be able to get this product after SHTF Day arrives?  Maybe not, but when that day comes to your neighborhood you can switch over to Sunflower Oil, Pig Fat and Beeswax.  I have made candles using these ingredients and they are somewhat smokey, but not too bad.  I have to adjust the percentages of each ingredient to get a real good candle, that takes practice and is an art form, there is no fixed recipe for it.  The waxes, oils and fat vary too much in their own chemical composition to be able to have a fixed recipe.

Image result for monastery candles Far as candles are concerned, you can make them with paraffin, or you can use stuff like "tallow" which is basically rendered animal fat and beeswax to stiffen up the whole mixture.  Making good even-burning candles is a real art form, one I have been experimenting with lately as a collapse hobby.  While for the most part they only perform a decorative function now, once the grid goes down having sources of light like candles and oil lamps will become a very valuable item.  Even if you don't make them yourself,they are cheap to stock up on.  You can buy a bag of 100 Tea Light candles which will give you about 4 hours each of light for around $7 ON SALE.  That works out to 7 cents a candle for 4 hours worth of light, which when its all dark in your McMansion is quite nice to have around!  Tea Lights aren't large, and will be an excellent Barter Item.  You can even boil water over them though it does take a long time and you have to set up properly to do it.

I am of course aware of many of the more modern techno solutions to the lighting problem, namely Diode Lights which consume very little in the way of electricity, and if you have some sort of Solar or Wind generation system you can probably keep your diode lights functioning for quite some time after SHTF Day arrives in your neighborhood.  I have many of these devices as well, and in a SHTF scenario, these are what I would go to first to keep the lights on in my digs, not the candles and oil lamps.  However, I really like the candles and oil lamps for their technological simplicity, as long as you can get hold of some type of burnable oil they will work.  You will of course need to learn how to make good Wicks for them to operate correctly, but that is not a very hard skill to learn.  Besides that, if you lay in a supply of a couple of 100' rolls of nylon wick material, it will last into your grandchildren's generation.  They don't burn up that fast.

Image result for diode lights The other thing Candles and Oil Lamps provide which Diode Lights do not is a source of HEAT.  Now granted this is not a huge heat source and if you tried to heat even just one room in a typical size McMansion you would need dozens of candles burning.  They output around 100 Watts/hour each, so even just to get up to the output of a small room space heater of 1500W, that means you need to burn 15 Candles, continuously.  You'll do better with the Oil Lamps which output around 500W each, but if you burn them contnuously you'll go through your supply of Lamp Oil pretty quick.  In this situation, best to switch over to Kerosene even though it has a somewhat unpleasant smell (for most people).  Comes in a LOT cheaper than Lamp Oil.

Related image The next thing to do is to partition off a section of the room to heat, don't try to heat the whole room this way.  You can use blankets and cardboard for this purpose.  A single Oil Lamp burning by your feet while you have a Space Blanket over your legs will do a pretty good job of cooking you if you're not careful there.  You can't emphasize SAFETY too much when you are talking open fires inside your dwelling.  It's not just the potential for a fire spreading either, if the space is confined and you have too many fires burning or they are too big, you have the potential for Carbon Monoxide buildup, and that can be deadly.  It's the main reason the Franklin Stove was so revolutionary and made life a LOT more comfortable for a lot more people in the 18th Century.  Again, not that long ago in the grand scheme of things and the control of fire for many millenia by Homo Saps before it was invented.  Prior to the Franklin stove,a dwelling generally had an open fireplace made of stone, which really ony provided heat and light for one Great Room.  The Castles and Monasteries that sported such things were usually built from stone themselves, so fires weren't a huge problem there, but they were a huge problem for the general population of peasants living in wood buildings.  Even if they didn't catch fire though, they were drafty and cold in winter and not the most comfortable places to live.  During this period, the only people who lived in the Far North were those who had adapted, lived in small dwellings, insulated themselves well with clothing and didn't use much fuel, which generally was not available in quantity in these locations anyhow.  They are people like the Inuit and the Athabaskans and T'lingit, you probably know all of them as a group by the term "Eskimo".  Eskimo is really a bastardization of a French word meaning "Raw Meat Eater".  Eskimos ate most of their meat raw because they didn't have a whole heck of a lot of fuel to cook with.

Image result for fire bow drill Beyond the issue of having the equipment around for making safe indoor fires for heating and cooking, you have the issue of getting the fire STARTED, which a lot of Doomers and Survival Websites focus on, often demonstrating Primitive Methods such as a Fire Drill, Flint & Steel and Fire Piston.   However, in reality in the near future we're not going to run out of matches anytime too soon, and you can stock up on gobs of these things which as long as you store them in  dry place last practically forever.  A little more expensive but also long lasting are Bic Lighters, you can buy a carton of 100 of them on Amazon for $50.  Those also will last the rest of your lifetime, although the ignition system on them sometimes gives out long before they run out of propane.  There are also some more modern techno-gimmicks which use electricity for fire starting, Plasma Lighers, which you charge up off a USB cord and create a high voltage electric arc which will light up most compbustible materials quite well.  Open question on how long these will last, although my oldest one is over 2 years old now and still going strong.  I bought it when they first came out, and I don't want to admit how much I paid for it then.  lol.  Now you can pick them up on Amazon in many configurations for $15.  The long ones are particularly good for lighting candles in long glass tubes which you can't reach with a normal lighter.  Also good for lighting propane fired BBQ grills safely.

Image result for fatwood What is more important for the Doomer prepping up for SHTF Day is having good Tinder & Kindling for building your fire, particularly if you are dealing with wet weather.  One thing you will note about just about all the Survivalists who make Utoob videos on getting a fire going do it in dry weather with plenty of dry wood available.  None of these methods work too well if you have had a long run of damp, rainy weather and your entire wood supply is soaked to the core.  To get a self-sustaining fire going in this kind of weather either your fire needs to be sheltered or it has to be big enough so that it is evaporating the water that falls on it faster than the water can douse the fire.  By far the best way to do this is to simply douse your wood pile with a good supply of an accelerant, like Lighter Fluid or even Gasoline.  You may not have too much of either of those avaialable to use after SHTF Day arrives in your neighborhood though, so it's good to practice making a fire in less than perfect conditions.

For Tinder, a good and commonly used starter is Charcloth, which you can make yourself by heating some old rags in the oven or over a fire, contained in some type of can to keep the oxygen out and keep it from burning up completely on you.  Commonly used for this purpose are the Tin Cans that Altoids are still sold in, but you can use a Tuna can also if you pull the lid off with a peeling style can opener rather than the cutting style.  Then you can recover the can after you put your rags inside it.  Also real good for tinder is the lint from your dryer, mixed with a little candle wax, or cotton balls with a little vaseline spread on them.  These will all light easily with a single match and burn long enough and hot enough to get some larger Kindling sticks going.  In the natural world, you can use things like bird's nests and birch bark for tinder.

For Kindling, there are numerous commercial Fire Starter sticks made by Coleman and Coughlan, but they come in fairly expensive.  What I like most for Kindling is Fatwood, which is made from the stumps of pine trees and has about 80% Pine Oil embedded in them.  You can buy a 5-10 lb package of this stuff off of Amazon and it will last you a long time and make many fires, as long as you don't waste it by using too many of them to get your fire going.  Usually one or two sticks will do fine, except in the worst of conditions.  What you need after that is a good supply of reasonably dry regular kindling wood to build into a decent size fire that will self-sustain, at least in moderate drizzle.  If it is raining hard, you're going to need to find some way to shelter your fire.

Image result for the little match girl When I think of the importance of fire for both Heat and Light, I can't help but think of the short story by Hans Christian Andersen, "The Little Match Girl".  It chronicles the last moments of life for a very poor little girl living in Victorian Era Denmark who struggles to find enough heat to stay warm on a cold Copenhagen night, burning up the last of the matches she was on the street to sell.  This was also the time of Dickens, and it was a tough time indeed to be alive for the poor person.  There are stories from the period and legends of kids who got a Lump of Coal in their Christmas Stocking, reminding children lucky enough to receive toys this way that there are many other children less fortunate than themselves.  For those children, a lump of coal was probably a treasured and welcome gift.

The Little Match Girl

It was so terribly cold. Snow was falling, and it was almost dark. Evening came on, the last evening of the year. In the cold and gloom a poor little girl, bareheaded and barefoot, was walking through the streets. Of course when she had left her house she'd had slippers on, but what good had they been? They were very big slippers, way too big for her, for they belonged to her mother. The little girl had lost them running across the road, where two carriages had rattled by terribly fast. One slipper she'd not been able to find again, and a boy had run off with the other, saying he could use it very well as a cradle some day when he had children of his own. And so the little girl walked on her naked feet, which were quite red and blue with the cold. In an old apron she carried several packages of matches, and she held a box of them in her hand. No one had bought any from her all day long, and no one had given her a cent.

Shivering with cold and hunger, she crept along, a picture of misery, poor little girl! The snowflakes fell on her long fair hair, which hung in pretty curls over her neck. In all the windows lights were shining, and there was a wonderful smell of roast goose, for it was New Year's eve. Yes, she thought of that!

In a corner formed by two houses, one of which projected farther out into the street than the other, she sat down and drew up her little feet under her. She was getting colder and colder, but did not dare to go home, for she had sold no matches, nor earned a single cent, and her father would surely beat her. Besides, it was cold at home, for they had nothing over them but a roof through which the wind whistled even though the biggest cracks had been stuffed with straw and rags.

Her hands were almost dead with cold. Oh, how much one little match might warm her! If she could only take one from the box and rub it against the wall and warm her hands. She drew one out. R-r-ratch! How it sputtered and burned! It made a warm, bright flame, like a little candle, as she held her hands over it; but it gave a strange light! It really seemed to the little girl as if she were sitting before a great iron stove with shining brass knobs and a brass cover. How wonderfully the fire burned! How comfortable it was! The youngster stretched out her feet to warm them too; then the little flame went out, the stove vanished, and she had only the remains of the burnt match in her hand.

She struck another match against the wall. It burned brightly, and when the light fell upon the wall it became transparent like a thin veil, and she could see through it into a room. On the table a snow-white cloth was spread, and on it stood a shining dinner service. The roast goose steamed gloriously, stuffed with apples and prunes. And what was still better, the goose jumped down from the dish and waddled along the floor with a knife and fork in its breast, right over to the little girl. Then the match went out, and she could see only the thick, cold wall. She lighted another match. Then she was sitting under the most beautiful Christmas tree. It was much larger and much more beautiful than the one she had seen last Christmas through the glass door at the rich merchant's home. Thousands of candles burned on the green branches, and colored pictures like those in the printshops looked down at her. The little girl reached both her hands toward them. Then the match went out. But the Christmas lights mounted higher. She saw them now as bright stars in the sky. One of them fell down, forming a long line of fire.

"Now someone is dying," thought the little girl, for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now dead, had told her that when a star fell down a soul went up to God.

She rubbed another match against the wall. It became bright again, and in the glow the old grandmother stood clear and shining, kind and lovely.

"Grandmother!" cried the child. "Oh, take me with you! I know you will disappear when the match is burned out. You will vanish like the warm stove, the wonderful roast goose and the beautiful big Christmas tree!"

And she quickly struck the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother with her. And the matches burned with such a glow that it became brighter than daylight. Grandmother had never been so grand and beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and both of them flew in brightness and joy above the earth, very, very high, and up there was neither cold, nor hunger, nor fear-they were with God.

But in the corner, leaning against the wall, sat the little girl with red cheeks and smiling mouth, frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. The New Year's sun rose upon a little pathetic figure. The child sat there, stiff and cold, holding the matches, of which one bundle was almost burned.

"She wanted to warm herself," the people said. No one imagined what beautiful things she had seen, and how happily she had gone with her old grandmother into the bright New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, in all likelihood those cold, dark nights of the early years of the Industrial Revolution will be coming to many people again, and having a source of heat and light is probably the most valuable thing you could possess, with the possible exception of food.  On a real cold night though, you'll freeze to death before the hunger gets you.  It's one of the things you may not think about as you prepare for collapse, having lived through the last century when both heat and light came so easily and so cheaply to people living in 1st World countries.  The Fossil Fuels which powered that easy form  of living are disappearing now, and while this disappearance will hit the peripheral countries and the economically deprived first, eventually they will hit everyone.  Now is the time you can prep up for this, and hopefully transition yourself into an existence which is less energy intensive and less consumptive of our natural resources.  Unless we can do that, the species Homo Sap is DOOMED.  Technologically, the simpler the better,  Candles, Oil Lamps and Franklin Stoves are the way to go here.  Learn to conserve your fuel sources and to use insulation both through clothing and your dwelling to reduce the need for adding external heat to your environment.  You don't want to end up freezing to death like the Little Match Girl, or a Homeless Cripple Freezing to Death on the Streets of Palmer, Alaska..

As we head toward this cold Christmas Season, stay safe, stay lit, stay warm.  By Candlelight.

This Week in Doom September 2: The McCain Edition


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1
Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Like us on Facebook

 

 

Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 26, 2018

"America has no need to be made great again because America was always great."

–Meghan McCain 


The world's most prominent Resistance meeting took place Saturday as the Washington establishment memorialized the life of John McCain. McCain's body lay in state at the Capitol Rotunda, then was moved to the National Cathedral for the final obsequies that would mark his career. Although the service was ostensibly religious, the liturgy advanced was decidedly civic, full of stories of McCain exemplifying those virtues Americans like to believe about themselves told by career politicians,. The real purpose behind the speeches was a recertification of the idealized American civil religion to which John McCain had dedicated his life, in contrast to the self-serving values of the White House's current occupant.

If you watched the service, it didn't take long for the swipes at the Singularly Uninvited Guest to begin. Meghan McCain led off with a tear-strained address in which she said,  “we gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly.” At the time she said this, Cadet Bone Spurs was teeing off at Trump National Golf Club in Loudoun County, Virginia, amid a flurry of tweets criticizing the Department of Justice and the FBI and threatening Canada.

"There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal. If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out," Trump tweeted earlier Saturday.

Not a mention of McCain.

Trump did set a record of a sort this week when his disapproval rating has hit an all-time high. 

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Friday, 60% of those surveyed disapprove of Trump’s performance in office—the highest of his presidency. Just 36% approve, which is on par with his all-time low.

This comes on the heels of last week's set of calamities, when Paul Manafort — who made his fortune carrying water for foreign governments in Washington — was convicted on eight charges, followed quickly by Michael Cohen pleading guilty on eight counts of his own in which he implicated the president in campaign finance violations. Cohen told a federal court that Trump committed a felony, making Trump an "unindicted co-conspirator, " as Americans over 50 had a deja vu moment. Then other dominoes fell, with National Enquirer Chairman David Pecker and Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg granted immunity.  


Uninvited Man-Child has a hissy

Controversy about the McCain funeral and Trump's exclusion began when McCain pointedly disinvited him, and asked two political opponents to eulogize him. The flames were fanned further when he raised flags at half-staff above the White House just two days after McCain died. After public outcry, the flags were lowered again.

Apparently the serial disses took a toll at home. Meanwhile, Melania feels “humiliated and embarrassed by the multiple Donald insults at the Aretha funeral” and “feel horrible that Donald is not welcome or invited to Aretha’s funeral as well as McCain’s funeral,” according to a Hollywood Life article. It is unclear whether these statements reflect Melania's thinking or are an arch way to troll her porn-star-savoring husband while he’s down, while trying to humanize herself in the process.

Let's review the bidding: Donald was not invited to Barbara Bush’s funeral. He was not invited to the Royal Wedding. He was dissed at Aretha Franklin’s funeral. And of course he’s been banned from John McCain’s funeral, even as Obama and Bush were invited to speak.

When Meghan McCain delivered the line “We don’t need to make America great again, because America was always great,” the reference was clearly to Donald Trump’s political slogan “Make American Great Again,”  unmistakably a rebuke of Donald Trump and everything he stands for.

MAGAts came unglued, on cue. Former Trump adviser Katrina Pierson tweeted that unlike John McCain, "@realDonaldTrump ran for @POTUS ONE time and WON. Some people will never recover from that." Meanwhile, over at the New Yorker, Susan B. Glasser called the funeral not "just another funeral of an elder statesman whose passing would be marked by flowery words about the end of an era. It was a meeting of the Resistance, under vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows."

Overall, the overall mood of the memorial serice was not one of division, but of a tribute to McCain, as appropriate.Not that the man was universally beleoved, but he was respected as sopmeone with the courge of his convictions and the caracter to act on them. McCain’s memorial ultimately served as a reminder of our differences, but also of how it’s possible to overcome them. At least for those who attened and watched. For others, there's Twitter.


Poll: 60 percent disapprove of Trump, while clear majorities back Mueller and Sessions

Karma. In the wake of last week's news about Manafort, Cohen, Pecker and Weisselberg, the news just gets worse for all people named Trump. In a recent poll, sixty percent disapprove of President Donald Trump's job performance, a new all time high for a president per Fortune magazine. Support for Mueller’s investigation is also high: 63% back it, with just 29% opposed.

The poll, released Friday and conducted just days after special counsel Robert Mueller delivered a one-two punch to the Trump administration in federal court, found a little more than one-third of Americans approve of Trump's job performance. The poll was conducted last week…

Trump's approval rating, according to the poll, was 36 percent. In the previous Washington Post-ABC News poll, conducted in April, Trump's approval rating was 40 percent and his disapproval rating was 56 percent.

The poll found most Americans would oppose Trump granting a pardon to former associate Manafort — 66 percent of respondents said they were against a pardon. Only 18 percent said they would support a pardon.



Paul Manafort: Guilty

Mueller's office survives its first courtroom test.This occurred last week, but we just enjoy saying it. Even now that Manafort has lost one case, he can always look forward to the promise of the Trump card: The President retains the ultimate, sole authority to pardon him unconditionally. At least on Federal charges. 

Michael Cohen:  Guilty

Cohen pled for reasons that are not entirely clear, but which may include legal culpability for his wife. He

was accused of violating laws that involved his taxi businesshis financial dealings with at least three banks and — it was the headline allegation — his secretive efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. He admitted joining forces with the nation’s best-known supermarket tabloid to buy the silence of at least two women who claimed they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

It remains to be seen whether Cohen will cooperate with other pending investigations. But it also does not preclude him in telling what he knows to investigators working with Mueller.


Short Takes:


What the Political Revolution Is All About': Historic Upset by Progressive Andrew Gillum in Florida

Despite being massively outspent by centrist millionaire opponents and lacking support from the Democratic establishment, progressive Andrew Gillum surprised with a shocking and historic upset victory Tuesday night in Florida's gubernatorial primary. Gillum rode grassroots enthusiasm and old-fashioned get-out-the-vote effort for an unabashedly left-wing agenda of Medicare for All and bold criminal justice reform to a victory.


As Midterms Loom, GOP Reportedly Circulating 'Hell List' of Trump Probes Democrats Could Launch If They Retake House

Horrified by the possibility that Democrats will retake control of the House of Representatives in November, Republican lawmakers are reportedly circulating a private spreadsheet that has been dubbed the "hell list," which consists of investigations the GOP fears Democrats will launch if they are successful in the upcoming midterms. No mention of how afraid they are about Ds investigating the rubles sloshing around in many Republicans' campaign coffers.

 


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere, and got off the porch long enough to be active in the Occupy movement. Where he met the woman who now shares his old Virginia home and who, like him, is grateful to not be taking a dirt nap.

Some Inconvenient Truths About Collapse Economics

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Eddie

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on The Doomstead Diner on September 2, 2018

Discuss this article at the Economics Table inside the Diner

One of the first collapse pundits I ever read was Chris Martenson, way back before he turned his site into pay-for-view. I read The Crash Course, and took it to heart, like a lot of doomers. I know there are people who check in here who hold Chris in high regard. I do too, but my continued experience with collapse since 2010 when I started prepping has led me to some conclusions about typical collapse planning advice that I want to write about.

And I'm not just singling out Chris, who is a sincere, smart guy who gets it right about a whole lot of things. What I want to get to has to do, not with what happens AFTER the SHTF and BAU ends, but to WHAT happens between NOW, today, and THEN, whenever THEN turns out to be. It applies to each and every one of several collapse pundits whom I've read who all agree on one or two or three important issues.

One issue is the automatic knee-jerk assumption that everyone is better off if they're debt free.

Another other issue is that the best hedge against an uncertain future is to buy and hold gold (and/or silver), to the exclusion of any other wealth preservation strategy.

A third issue is that you need to sell your house and move to some "redoubt" or doomstead.

All of these ideas make enough sense that they tend to be accepted as gospel in the doomer community. But like most things in life, the truth is complicated, and and this kind of approach, which I'll call Collapse Financial Planning for Dummies, is an oversimplification, and it contains some seriously bad thinking.

The prevailing paradigm in the collapse community is that all debt is bad (assumably because debt-based money is evil) and that those who carry much of any debt will somehow all be swept away when BAU ends and nobody has income anymore to pay their bills, etc, etc.

Houses will be worthless because they'll be abandoned when the die-off comes and JIT delivery ends and the only people left standing will be people living on rural doomsteads.

And the only assets worth holding are preps, gold, silver, and farmland.

Over and over, I've read well-meaning and supposedly well informed people who claim expertise, say these things. If you read the collapse blogosphere, it's everywhere, and the people who were saying it 8 years ago are still saying it.

I have some real problems with this. People who traded in their 401K's and bought gold and/or silver in order to save their bacon about the time I started prepping, at the beginning of 2011, should look carefully at their feet to look for bullet holes.

Gold was about 1400 bucks an oz at the end of 2010. Now it's about $1200. The S&P on the other hand, has tripled. Are stocks in a bubble? Hell, yeah. But they still tripled in dollar value. That's money you could have used to buy a lot of fucking preps, folks.

Preps are important, and I believe in preps and tools and solar panels, and having a plot of land for food gardens and maybe subsistence farming (which is not easy if you aren't born into it, unfortunately). But all that costs money. I don't apologize for making money. People who claim not to care about money are either naive or lying, or they should enter the monastery, because they belong there.

Hell, it's not easy for people who were born into farming to subsistence farm, but it's doable. For most people it's a total fantasy. It takes skillz, baby. Mad skillz.

This last year I started to see stories about people who took this good advice several years back and went off-grid. Now they're coming back. Maybe not to suburbia, but closer to work and stores and civilization. Off-grid living is HARD and it has it's own problem set….and so far, working people are mostly still working, even if their standard of living isn't great.

I'm not knocking gold.

I own some gold and more silver. It's a nice insurance policy, if you can afford it.

It insures you against one thing…..total currency collapse. It's done, over the last eight years, exactly what it's supposed to do, which is hold some value. Over historical time, it has a good track record for holding value when many things lose their value, particularly fiat currency, stocks, bonds and ETF's and other "paper" financial instruments. But over the short term, it's value against fiat currencies varies quite a lot. Ouch!

And I'm not knocking freedom from debt. But freedom from debt is more valuable when debt is expensive than when debt is dirt cheap. We've been through eight years of crazy cheap debt. In 2015 I got two new mortgages for 4.5%. it sounded high, until I looked at the historical record. Pre-2008 crash, the last time mortgage interest was that low was 1949.

And there is debt and there is debt.

Debt incurred for cheap consumer shit that ends up in the trash is always bad, no matter how cheap it is. But debt that helps you acquire a tangible asset, especially one that might be an inflation hedge or (gasp) a good investment, doesn't rate the same scorn.

Debt incurred to make a cash flow investment is "just bizness". If the numbers work, and the deal makes money, and the risk is not high, WTF not?

If you had grown up somewhere like Mexico, where you can't even get a mortgage to build your own house, you might have more appreciation for the benefits of carrying a little debt. The median home price here is lower than Portland or Seattle or anywhere in California, but but it's still $300K. Try saving 300K to buy a house. You might live long enough to move in when you're 60, unless of course, prices keep going up with inflation.

And not a single pundit ever mentions that if you are somebody with a high income, that being debt free has enormous negative tax consequences in this country. Probably this is because most of the respected pundits never had any real money in the first place to have to pay taxes on.

You don't write about things that are completely outside your sphere of knowledge. We have a system that was set up to favor debtors. It's not a stable system, that's true….and if you have a mountain of debt when the music stops on this little game of musical chairs, you'll get wiped out. That's the true part. But it  is NOT the ONLY part you need to understand.

Sorry. That's the real truth.

We have a system set up to FORCE people into stocks and bonds. Because that's what the government wants (because Wall street tells them to want it). What I mean is that the tax consequences of NOT doing it are not insignificant. It costs you money, and the more money you make, the more money it costs you to go against the flow.

All 401K'S and IRA's and various other pensions are designed to steer you into stocks and bonds. There is some leeway, you can hold gold in an IRA. But forget the minutiae. Basically the government gives you tax breaks to make financial decisions that they want you to make. They have a carrot and a stick, and they use both to get what they want.

You literally have to decide if fighting them is worth it. Sometimes it is. Sometimes, though, it makes sense to understand where you can get ahead by participating, to some degree, in the "sanctioned" investments that have been set up primarily to benefit the rich.

I got out of the stock market in 2010 or so, because I believed all the doomer hype. I could have bought the five or six most stupid, popular stocks at that time and made BANK over the last 8 years, but I didn't. Instead I sold my Whole Foods in 2010, and then watched it split again and then watched it get bought out by Amazon. Yeah. Great move there.

I made some money trading last year, which I wrote about here. But I've mostly stayed out of stocks all these years  because I viewed stocks as an unstable bubble that would pop, and I still do. That much is 100% right. But when I see a short term opportunity, I'm willing to take it. I made 90K last year trading pot stocks. I paid my taxes, paid some debts, and finally, last month, I bought another rent house. I roll the profits back in.

I'm not saying the world is economically stable, that collapse isn't coming, or that you should be bullish on stocks now, which is madness. But while gold was drifting around and ending up slightly lower, clueless idiots made a lot of money in equities. Just dumb luck, to some degree. But more so because the markets are manipulated, and they went with the flow instead of going contrarian.

The point IS that my risk averseness cost me money. I did not come out ahead by taking the advice of Chris Martenson and the other collapse gurus…or by taking the advice of any of the dozens of well-respected goldbugs out there. To the degree I followed their advice, I lost money, and I missed opportunities to make money.

I also lost some money through my own stupidity. But I learned from that. People should learn from their mistakes, and I learned a few things the hard way, especially about leverage, which almost nobody understands…..outside of the world of professional trading. You can read about using leverage, but losing your ass teaches you the most. Trust me on that.

But I digress. Back to the subjects at hand.

The most important thing to understand about saving and investing is to get WHY it is necessary in the first place. Do you know? Think about it for a minute and pick an answer now…don't read ahead until you do. (Don't peek.)

Okay.

If you had to think about it….that's a problem. You should know. The reason is simple. One day you will be old and unable to work and you will likely still want to eat, have a bed and a roof over your head, and a few amenities to make your life comfortable.

If you don't think you need that, or you know you don't, then save yourself a lot of effort, because saving money and investing the right way is HARD. It requires discipline and a willingness to delay gratification. It requires making good decisions and then staying the course over a long, long time. It requires the ability to change course, but more times than not it takes the confidence to NOT change course at every bend in the road.

I save and invest, not so much for me, but for my beloved. Women often outlive their husbands now by decades, and the moment I croak, my dear wife will be out of a job, since she works for me. She will have to retire at that moment, or at least within weeks or months.

That's responsibility. I have a responsibility to take care of another person besides me. And I take that seriously. So I have damn good reasons to save and invest, other than adding zeroes to my fat-ass bank account. I do what I do because I don't want my old age or that of my wife to really suck. For me, that's reason enough. You have to figure that part out for yourself.

Younger people look ahead and see collapse and tend to think none of this matters for them. Because….why bother, if the end of the world is a few months or a few years away? All I can say is that I was young, not that long ago. And now I'm on the verge of old age. Are you so sure that collapse is going to wipe the slate clean that you want to risk being wrong? Do your feel lucky…er..or is it do you feel unlucky?

I don't know the future, but I know everyone who was writing about collapse in 2010 got it wrong in the short run. EVERYONE.

This is NOT intended to make anybody do what I'm doing. I won't write about what I do in depth, because that isn't my purpose.I just think people need to have a PLAN.

I'd say that I have Plan A which is aimed at my belief that I might possibly be old enough not to be able to work before TSHTF. My plan is aimed at making my day job optional by 7 years from now. That isn't young. It's 70 years old. I might work longer. There is nothing particularly magic about retiring.

But ….just for example…….I mostly buy a certain class of real estate now. I do that for several reasons.

1. It's tax advantaged.

One year (I think it was four years ago now)  I paid 240K in income tax. It was nearly double what I had planned for…. I had to struggle to pay it. I wasn't planning on that. I had to use up almost all of my cash savings I had at the time. My problem was that I had paid off a lot of debt, owed very little, and had put my home and my lake cottage on a 15 year mortgage and thereby lost a couple of big mortgage interest deductions. Also, my kids were no longer dependents. I never intend to do that again. I now have lots of mortgage interest and expense items related to investments. My taxes have come way down. Taxes matter, if you make a lot of money.

2. My houses (modest single family homes only) flow cash. Positive cash flow is essential to make the kind of deals I like work.

That means I get monthly  income. Rent. Enough to pay the debt and the maintenance and the insurance and a little more. Cash flow is absolutely FAR superior to any kind of "flipping" or buying anything on the premise that price will automatically go up. Prices often go down, not just up. Cash flow buys your dinner whether prices are up or down.

Rents can go down, sure. That's why you have to either pay a huge down payment (well advised) or have enough savings to cover shortfalls (or both). You do have to plan these days for deflationary events. I expect one within two years, and perhaps as soon as next month. Life is uncertain. Don't get over-leveraged. That's what makes people go broke. Borrow a little money…what you need, not as much as you possibly can. Pick one mortgage at a time and pay it off. I own two properties outright now, and the rest have 40-50% equity.

3. I borrowed all the money I owe at or below the current real inflation rate (which I expect to go higher). And (this is important) I locked in some stupid low rate loans for 30 years. And houses are still a reasonable inflation hedge at this time, meaning that they appreciate faster than the inflation rate over the long haul. That can change. But it's been true and it still is true, in my market area, since 1990. 

I know all the doom and gloom scenarios. I read Harry Dent. I read Jim Kunstler. But by the time TSHTF, my loans are likely to be paid. If you own it, you only HAVE to pay the taxes. I started a long time ago. But…if the Fed crashes the markets and they drop interest rates AGAIN down to the 3 to 4% level, I'm probably a buyer again. That could easily happen. It's at least as likely over the short term as is a sudden end to western civilization.

I could pay most of my debt off in full now if I needed to, but I don't…because I don't want to, and I don't need to do that. If you borrow below the real inflation rate (which has been possible for the last several years, until very recently) and the property appreciation keeps up with inflation, then the interest ultimately costs you NOTHING.

I don't go by the inflation rate the government quotes. It's higher, believe it. I expect to pay my loan off with dollars far cheaper than today's dollars. Dollar dropping? Good! Let the son-of-a-bitch fall.

I fear a precipitously RISING dollar, because it's a signal of a deflationary event on the horizon. Anybody who wants deflation must not own any inflated assets. And almost ALL assets are inflated these days. Bubbles do pop. Be prepared for that. But it's a thing to plan for, not a thing to keep you from making any plan at all..

If you have nothing, you have nothing to lose. But most people are HURT by deflation, no matter what level they're at. But I am well hedged for inflation and deflation. I can weather most any financial storm now.

Don't drink the Collapse Kool-Aid. Nobody knows the future with certainty. Plan A, I retire comfortably. Plan B, I subsistence farm as best I can. I can't control collapse, but I can, at least to some degree, control my own destiny.

The collapse pundits only ever see a need for Plan B. the older you are, the more you need a Plan A, in my book.

It's been almost 8 years since I started prepping, and BAU is still happening. I don't know how long it will last…but I don't have to pray for collapse to feel good about my own future.

 

61

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 31, 2018

Discuss this article at the Frostbite Falls Table Inside the Diner

It's my 61st Birthday today!  Happy Birthday RE!

Longtime readers of the Diner may have read two prior Birthday Celebration articles I wrote on "BIG" Birthdays numerologically speaking, my 55th and 60th Birthdays.  I didn't think 61 had much numerological significance other than being a Prime Number, but according to the Numerology Experts it is very meaningful.

Number 61 Meaning

Image for numerology 'Number 61 Meaning' article
61 is a number of introspection and family.

Pinterest Pin Button

 

 

 

 

 

The numerology number 61 is a number of introspection and family. It is studious, mentally sharp, and resonates with balance and harmony.

The energy the number 61 represents tends to be nurturing of family and close friends. It also tends to be somewhat protective. And tends to have an idealistic vision.

61 analyzes what it does and observes the effects it creates and notices effects that weren't created as they were expected to. It determines reasons why and changes its approach accordingly.

61 constantly acquires knowledge of and about itself and its experiences.

The energy represented by the number 61 is perpetually accumulating wisdom about itself and it's family and friends.

Social gatherings are seen as opportunities to interact with others and observe the social dynamics — people's actions and reactions in groups and the ambiance of the gathering.

61 can discuss anything. It generally prefers subjects about learning, family, health, harmony, and spiritual or scientific philosophies.

The energy the number 61 represents tends to be introspective, yet with an inquisitiveness that brings it out to experience the world.

It prefers free conversation rather than confrontation, and openness rather than self-centeredness.

There's a lot more about 61 if you go to the website, but in synopsis here, it's a pretty good analysis of RE at age 61.  Not that I am a big believer in Numerology but it's interesting to make the comparisons between what such things say and your own life.  Also true of stuff like Astrology and Enneagrams.

More prosaically on the physical end, 61 sees my Meat Package descending further into decrepitude, making even simple tasks most people do on a daily basis a constant battle for me.  I have managed to find work-arounds for most things, and my latest project is to get my own Cripple Lift for my Bugout Machine SaVANnah, a full size raised roof V-8 conversion van.  I found a used one at a good price on CL, now I just gotta find somebody who will mount it for me.  I think I can gety this whole job done for $1500.

I also need to get my teeth (what is left of them) further fixed up in some manner, and the same old problem of Dental Criminal Racketeers here in the FSoA still plagues our society.  So it looks like I will need to arrange yet another trip down to Old Mejico to get some more work done there.  I'm looking at Winter for that, a Vacation in Mejico at a Resort Hotel in mid-winter Alaska would be a nice break, and fully paid for by not handing over the money to Amerikan Dental Criminal Racketeers.  However, that means I gotta make it through a few more months with a HUGE hole in what is left of my teeth in the front of my mouth, which makes me look even more like a stinky homeless person.  Oh Well.

Bottom line here though, I am on Bonus Time and have been for quite some time.  I never expected to live as long as I have, if I did I might have taken better care of the Meat Package. lol.  How many more Birthdays will I get past 61?  I have no idea, but for now, anytime the Grim Reaper knocks on my door, I don't surrender easily.  I will leave this world the same way I came into it: kicking and screaming.

See you all on the Other Side.

Requiem for a Failed Bucket List Adventure

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 26, 2018

RE enjoys a fun vacation trapped in the jump seat of an RV

Discuss this article at the Spirituality & Mysticism Table inside the Diner

The photo in the header here should tell you everything you need to know about my long anticipated Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure.  Does that look like a Happy Camper to you?  For 4 days I rotted in the Jump Seat of an RV in the damp cold, while my Healthy friends went off galavanting around the various campgrounds we stayed at to go see Glaciers and observe the incredible amount of water we have flowing everywhere around here these days.  Right now, drought in Alaska is about the last Natural Disaster we have to worry about.  Here's what Happy, Healthy people look like when they are on a camping vacation, even if it is raining all the time:

Image result for hikers playing in the rain

Image result for hikers playing in the rain

You can read a lot more about the failed Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure Inside the Diner, where I did some chronicling of the tripwhile it was ongoing, plus a few more articles since covering the failed aspect of the Cooking part of the Adventure I had hoped to undertake on this trip.  One thing about cooking though as a hobby, it takes both a Cook or Chef and people to EAT the food.  If the people you are travelling with reject your food as Unworthy, then you have a real problem if you invested a lot of emotional energy in cooking up food, which I did.  I can't help that, first off I am a life-long Foodie, and second off there isn't much left for me anymore besides Cooking.  I mean Good Grief, just LOOK at that rotting Meat Package up at the top of the page here?  Do YOU think this guy has many Happy Daze in his life?

Sadly, Healthy People don't generally realize just how unhappy and uncomfortable Cripples are, nro do they really give a shit about it as long as their own needs are being met.  I don't think my Guests on this "vacation" even grasped I was having an awful time until after we got back and I explicitly TOLD Eddy I had a terrible time.  His reaction?  Basicaly that he was sorry I did not enjoy the trip but, hey, he had a GREAT time checking out those Glaciers!  lol.  I have formulated new Rules for Cripples based on this experience, which in a nutshell say that Cripples should not take Vacations with Healthy People.  The only Healthy People a Cripple should go on Vacations with is one the Cripple pays to help him/her, known in the Cripple Community as PCAs or "Personal Caare Assistants".  These folks will drive you around, wash your dishes and wipe your ass if necessary all for the Bargain Low, Low Price every day of around $28/hr.  They don't resent you for this the way friends and relatives who are volunteers resent it because they get paid for the task, and paid decently well considering you need little to no training for this job and most of the time it isn't too hard.  Not like Coal Mining or getting behind a horse-rawn plow anyhow.  Just a little gross periodically if your Cripple has bowel issues.

Anyhowm unless you are a very RICH Cripple like David Rockefeller, having a PCA around 24/7 for a vacation is a huge drain on your savings, and not one I am inclined to spend at the moment.  I'll hire a PCA to come in an help me for a couple of hours a couple of times a week in my digs as I need it, but I am not going to pay for somebody to spend 24/7 with me for the duration of a camping trip.  Which leaves me with 3 basic options now.

1- The most obvious, quit camping!  You're about as unfit now to do that as you are to run a marathon!

2- Find other Cripples who enjoy Camping and organize Cripple Camping Trips with them where you visit campsites that have good Cripple Facilities like those great rails you need to get off the commode and back on your Cripple Cart after taking adump at the outhose at the campsite.

3- Camp Out in Luxury Hotel Suites with Room Service, Wireless Internet and big comfortable King Sized beds to sleep in.  The hotel room should also have a nice Balcony you are allowed to smoke on and an Ice Machine you can get to quickly on your Cripple Cart to fix a drink.  Do not invite any Healthy People on these vacations, let them frolick in the rain somewhere else.

Follow these rules, and you may avoid a fate where your friends and relatives feed you Dog Food and use you as Target Practice for a game of Darts.

Related image

The Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure 1: Of Talismans and Shrines

youtube-Logo-4gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of RE

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666
Friend us on Facebook

Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 12, 2018

Discuss this article at the Spirituality & Mysticism Table inside the Diner

From Google
 
tal·is·man
ˈtaləsmən,ˈtalizmən/
noun
noun: talisman; plural noun: talismans

    an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.
    synonyms:     lucky charm, charm, fetish, amulet, mascot, totem, juju  

     
    "this talisman has been in our family for more than twelve generations

 

From Merriam Webster

Definition of talisman
plural talismans

 
1 : an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune

 
2 : something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects
 

 
talismanic

play \ˌta-ləs-ˈma-nik, -ləz-\ adjective
 
talismanically

play \ˌta-ləs-ˈma-ni-k(ə-)lē, -ləz-\ adverb

_____________________________________________________________________________________

From Google


shrine
SHrīn/
noun
noun: shrine; plural noun: shrines

    1.
    a place regarded as holy because of its associations with a divinity or a sacred person or relic, typically marked by a building or other construction.
    synonyms:     holy place, temple, church, chapel, tabernacle, sanctuary, sanctum

     
    "the shrine of St. James"


        a place associated with or containing memorabilia of a particular revered person or thing.
        "her grave has become a shrine for fans from all over the world"
         

        a casket containing sacred relics; a reliquary.
         

        a niche or enclosure containing a religious statue or other object.
        synonyms:     memorial, monumen
         
        "a shrine to the Beatles

     

verb

 
literary
 

verb: shrine; 3rd person present: shrines; past tense: shrined; past participle: shrined; gerund or present participle: shrining

    1.
    enshrine    
    
     

From Merriam-Webster
 
Definition of shrine

a : a case, box, or receptacle; especially : one in which sacred relics (such as the bones of a saint) are deposited

b : a place in which devotion is paid to a saint or deity : sanctuary

c : a niche containing a religious image

 

2 : a receptacle (such as a tomb) for the dead

 

3 : a place or object hallowed by its associations

 


 

As regular readers of the Diner (do we still have any?) know, the time has arrived for myself and my Cohort in Collapse Eddie to embark on the Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure.  Now, there is no guarantee this will be the LAST "Last Adventure" I take, if you remember back a year ago at around this same time I took my first Last Adventure, down to Rexburg,ID to see the Total Eclipse of the SUN camped out in the Path of Totality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting down to that one was touch-and-go right up to the last minute, and the only way I made it down there was with thehelp of my friend Brian, who flew up to accompany me and help me get my crippled ass in and out of chairs and into the planez and carz we needed to burn oil in in order to get there.  At the time I didn't think I could feel worse and still be above ground level, but I was wrong.  I am worse off now.  But still alive.  Like a Broken Clock that is right Twice a Day though, one of these "Last Adventures" will in fact be my last.  So I try to make each one special in some way, to help with the recollections as the memories grow dim and the energy level fades.

So what's with the "Talismans & Shrines" RE?  Have you gone full Matt Savinar into Astrology as a refuge from writing about and pondering on the problems of Collapse?  It might seem that way, but the reality is a little more palatable, I think.  I have always been a pretty Spiritual person, even going back to my youth as an Atheist.  In those days the Spirituality was based on beliefs in Science and Progress I no longer hold, but it was a form of Spirituality nonetheless.  None of it was provable, which is your main criteria of deciding if something is Spiritual or not. lol.

Anyhow, on metamorphosing into a Panentheist here in my later years, I found there were no modern Religions that really reflected my Spiritual philosophy, and Ancient Religions I read up on didn't appeal to me that much either.  So independent sort of guy that I am, I started to organize my own"Religion" for myself.  It's not a religion I proseletize or think anyone else should believe in, but I will answer questions about it if you ask me.  To my way of thinking, the world woud be a much nicer place if everybody had their own religion.  If you are interested, you can go back and read "On the Existence of God", an essay I wrote in response to an ongoing discussion on The Burning Platform, where I used to contribute as an Author and Commenter.

A couple of things my religion has not had to this point are any Talismans or Shrines.  You have these things in about all religions, the Christians have their Cross and the Shroud of Turin and other objects and places they worship as Holy, the Muslims have Mecca and the Buddhists have shrines all over the place. lol.

So, part of this latest Last Great Adventure was to find a Talisman and build a Shrine where I can worship the Existence of Life and the Force or Forces that direct it through the passage of Time.  I wanted it to reflect the values imbued in the SUN☼ Project as well, and visually remind you of that.  There was a lot of serendipity in terms of how I came across the objects in the Shrine, it was almost as if this was all being directed by the Finger of God.  The Shrine (or part of it) is pictured in the Header Photo at the top of this page.

Also in that pic is my Primary Talisman, but not visible as it is contained in the Black Box inside the Glass Receptacle.  This Talisman has Magical Powers, as all Talisman's do, but they are not visible to other people and don't work for other people under normal states of consciousness.  During the Last Great Alaskan Bucket List Adventure, I will hold Ceremonies to attempt to make these powers visible to my friends coming on this adventure with me.  It may or may not work, but even if it doesn't it sets this trip apart from a typical camping trip! lol.

I hope to have more on the upcoming Adventure here on these pages, though it becomes harder all the time to motivate myself to write.  I'll try to shoot pics and vids also, but the energy for editing those things is not in large supply either.  Meanwhile, don't stop following Collapse here on the Diner, though most of the good discussion is taking place Inside the Diner, so you have to go there for it not out here on the Blog.  Collapse hasn't gone away.  It's here, it's now for many already, and it's Coming Soon to a Theater Near You soon as well.

 

Image result for coming soon to a theater near you

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

https://image.freepik.com/free-icon/musical-notes-symbols_318-29778.jpg

Support the Diner

Search the Diner

Surveys & Podcasts

NEW SURVEY

Renewable Energy

VISIT AND FOLLOW US ON DINER SOUNDCLOUD

" As a daily reader of all of the doomsday blogs, e.g. the Diner, Nature Bats Last, Zerohedge, Scribbler, etc… I must say that I most look forward to your “off the microphone” rants. Your analysis, insights, and conclusions are always logical, well supported, and clearly articulated – a trifecta not frequently achieved."- Joe D

Archives

Global Diners

View Full Diner Stats

Global Population Stats

Enter a Country Name for full Population & Demographic Statistics

Lake Mead Watch

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BX686_LakeMe_G_20130816175615.jpg

loading

Inside the Diner

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!maybe not so much.... but my next one is up.Make Canada Great Briton Againhttps://darkgreenmountainsurvivalresearchcentre.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/make-canada-great-briton-again/Does this count as cana'duh election i...

Nice toy. They didn't have this stuff when I was a preppie .....Engineers in the U.K. unveil the world’s first graphene-skinned airplane Graphene, the versatile miracle material that can be used for everything from creating better speakers for heari...

Quote from: Eddie on Today at 01:14:36 PMMy dog is in his second day of shooting, in an indie movie here. It's a long story. And no, I am not making any money on the deal, but he seems to like acting, from the feedback...

With its incredible strength and potentially miraculous applications, there is a lot to be enthusiastic about when it comes to graphene. But it’s one thing to show off these possibilities in a lab; another entirely to turn it into something that’s usa...

My dog is in his second day of shooting, in an indie movie here. It's a long story. And no, I am not making any money on the deal, but he seems to like acting, from the feedback I'm getting. If he gets famous, maybe he can pay me back for all that dog...

Diner Twitter feed

Knarf’s Knewz

Quote from: Eddie on March 13, 2018, 05:21:10 PMAl [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:33:01 PMAU [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:25:04 PM [...]

A new study found that the Great Recession correla [...]

From 2003 to 2005, Gina Haspel was a senior offici [...]

Diner Newz Feeds

  • Surly
  • Agelbert
  • Knarf
  • Golden Oxen
  • Frostbite Falls

Quote from: Eddie on Today at 10:32:32 AMWTF, bro? [...]

Quote from: K-Dog on Today at 10:25:47 AMI own an [...]

I own an insolation detector.  A Li-Cor.  Specific [...]

Quote from: Eddie on March 13, 2018, 05:21:10 PMAl [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:33:01 PMAU [...]

Quote from: knarf on March 13, 2018, 03:25:04 PM [...]

A new study found that the Great Recession correla [...]

From 2003 to 2005, Gina Haspel was a senior offici [...]

We got an early start this morning for the drive t [...]

If I ever start a religion, my followers are going [...]

Excellent! Looks like one to put on my list, if I [...]

The first restaurant on the Great Tombstone Advent [...]

I just boil 'em in a vat of Drano. Poof. Noth [...]

Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • Error

The Honor Box By Cognitive Dissonance   It is commonly said the fish rots from the head down, meanin [...]

Animal Spirits and Over Extended Markets By Cognitive Dissonance     Animal spirits is the term John [...]

  (Edit: I've tried to write on this subject for a while now and failed, realizing I would not, [...]

Mother Nature Shows Off Her Stuff By Cognitive Dissonance     Mrs. Cog and I live on the edge of the [...]

Control the Narrative and You Control the People By Cognitive Dissonance   It is extremely difficult [...]

Event Update For 2018-10-19http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2018-10-18http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2018-10-17http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2018-10-16http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

Event Update For 2018-10-15http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.htmlThe [...]

RSS Error: This XML document is invalid, likely due to invalid characters. XML error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 9109

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

"Call it the Third Middle East Oil Shock." The controversy swirling around murdered Saudi [...]

"“It has been a disappointment to me that so many people, including all too many environmentali [...]

Twelve More Years To Do Nothing"The future is changing, with or without us."When the latest IPCC report landed with a thu [...]

How Joe Hill came to coin Pie in the Sky"When Christine Blasey Ford spoke of sound-memories embedded in the hippocampus she was attempt [...]

Ponzinomics"Tolerable parasites are those that have minimum pain and cost to the host."DONALD TRUMP, [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

To fight climate change, you need to get the world off of fossil fuels. And to do that, you need to [...]

Americans are good on the "thoughts and prayers" thing. Also not so bad about digging in f [...]

In the echo-sphere of political punditry consensus forms rapidly, gels, and then, in short order…cal [...]

Discussions with figures from Noam Chomsky and Peter Senge to Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama off [...]

Lefty Greenies have some laudable ideas. Why is it then that they don't bother to really build [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

This is different ... this is eternal hell... well not quite.... the radiation ... when it rolls in [...]

It is all fine to stockpile food and supplies for a disaster scenario, but in a real SHTF situation, [...]

It's actually Natural Gas, because I couldn't find good video of oil well burning :) NG is [...]

Peak Oil is far more important than Peak Coal, because oil is more dense source of energy. Because o [...]

If the costs of those measures could be brought down, maybe the industry would be affordable. For in [...]

The author's gist seems to be that we should keep investing in shale because - all other condit [...]

Thanks for the article Steve. As usual, perfect - almost eldritch - timing. One question, what do yo [...]

What do you think of the author's reasoning? So the initial production rates from a well in the [...]

Here"s one: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4210065-shale-oil-ponzi-scheme-evidence-decline-cu [...]

@Dolf Can't disagree with your solution for many people. But f you are involved in producing an [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Simplifying the Final Countdown

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

Off the Keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

Off the microphone of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Merry Doomy Christmas

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

Off the keyboard of RE Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666...

Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

Forest management based on sustainability and multifunctionality requires reliable and user-friendly [...]

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG). Although it comprises only 0.03% of total GHGs [...]

This study presents a method to investigate meteorological drought characteristics using multiple cl [...]

El Niño–Southern Oscillation strongly influences rainfall and temperature patterns in Eastern Austra [...]