TEOTWAWKI

Van Dweller Gypsy Prepper Community ©

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Published on The Doomstead Diner on April 24, 2016

SUN-Van-Community

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One of the most common debates amongs people who are collapse aware is determining when it is actually time to GTFO of Dodge, aka move away from the big shities and out to a less populated area to begin the process of trying to live off the land once again.

There are numerous obstacles to doing this for many if not most people.  First off is the up front expense of buying your own "Doomstead", a patch of land somewhere out in the boonies with a livable domicile of some type on it.  If you are just able to afford your regular rent in the apartemnt near your job, where are you going to get the money to buy a doomstead?  This option is generally only open to the 1% of the population earning $250K and up.

The second financial problem is that any area that is remote enough to be considered viable as a doomstead also has near zero in the way of job possibilities, so if you give up your job inside industrial culture,  you're likely to be without income entirely.  How then do you pay your taxes on the land, assuming you could afford to buy some?

http://i.imgur.com/Un8idyh.jpg For as long as money is still functioning, you need it.  To outfit your doomstead well with good preps like your own renewable energy supply (solar or wind usually), that costs money.  To buy Pigs & Chickens and build fences and barns costs still more money.  Having your domicile up to the local building codes, still more money.  It gets EXPENSIVE pretty quick!

Even if you do have the wads of cash necessary to buy such a doomstead and outfit it while you are still working in the big shity, there are still problems.  If nobody is occupying the place most of the time, you can have problems with vandals, thieves and squatters.  There are regular maintenance chores to be done.  Unless the doomstead is pretty close, you're not going to be able to get to it that often.  If it is close to the big shity, then you have the issue of what occurs when people come streaming out of that city because the taps have run dry and the shelves at Walmart have gone empty?

RE-BackpackBecause of all these problems, many preppers have dispensed with the idea of having a permanent doomstead and focus more on "Bugout" scenarios and equipment to have ready for the day TSHTF in your neighborhood.  I spent the last couple of months on what is currently a 6 part series on Bugout Bags, that topic is almost endless.  One of the main hypotheses with the pedestrian based bugout is that there won't be gas around to buy, so your SUV will be worthless.  However, as long as you keep the tank full all the time and have a couple of extra 10 gallon Jerry Cans of gas, you always should have enough for one final run for safety on SHTF day in your neighborhood.  The new Van Dweller Gypsy Prepper Community© system is based on this.

RE-BM-Front2The first decision is what is the best vehicle to have for your Bugout Machine?  Although I currently own a Tioga RV which I bought for the purpose of a Bugout back in 2009, my conversations with Van Dweller who spent the last 50 years living out of his van since the 1960s convinced me that Stealth Vans were the way to go.  A Stealth Van looks like a normal passenger or cargo van from the outside, but on the inside has all the basics you need for living. 

Although many folks like Van Dweller make do with just the Van, a significant number of others add to this a Cargo Trailer, which also fits th Stealth category.  From the outside it doesn't look like a typical RV trailer used as a domicile.  For Stealth Van dwellers, sometimes it serves as a domicile, but more often is used to store supplies and tools you just don't have room for when using the van as a living space.

For myself, although I have lived in some very small spaces including a Closet sized Dorm Room around 8' x 15' and studio apartments in NY Shity measuring around 15' x 20', I'm not a big fan of living in such a confined space, at least not long term anyhow.  So I pondered on how to increase living space but still be able to carry it all along in the trailer or on the roof racks.  What I came up with was using Geodesic Domes for this purpose.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e8/61/6b/e8616b7bc8f90bf2687919fdf65b48d8.jpg The Geodesic structure is relatively easy to assemble if you have your Connectors and your struts cut to the right size.  Once the structure is up, you can surface with just about anything, going real cheap and temporary you can do it with roll plastic sheeting.  Making it leakproof is something of a chore, but I have some proprietary methods of doing that so this is not a worry.  Other surfacing materials you can use are cardboard, foam insulation panels and plywood, moving up the ladder here in commercially produced materials.  You could even cover with sheet metal from abandoned carz! 🙂  You'll need some good cutting tools for that though.  You can't carry all the panels you would need precut in a small van-trailer arrangement, but hopefully you can acquire these once you set up your bugout location.

If things have devolved to the point such materials can't even be scavenged, you can go with natural materials, such as tree bark for instance.  You can weave grasses on the panels and then cover with leaves or make an adobe mixture to spread over thin saplings lashed to the struts.  There's always some means to cover the dome.

Every year many people gather together at the Burning Man expo putting up temporary domes of varying levels of professionalism and quality.

https://graphics.stanford.edu/~munzner/dome/gallery/brc.domenear.jpg

http://www.zenzibar.com/CosmicSteel/photos/COSMdome.jpg

Because Geodesics are entirely self-supporting, all the interior space is useable, nothing is taken up for walls and structural support, so they have a much "bigger" feel when inside them than the footprint they take up on the ground.

http://www.shelter-systems.com/images/playa5.jpgA geodesic with just a 14' radius will give you all the living space you need, particularly if you have your cooking and sleeping facilities in your Stealth Van.

So in the final arrangement for the Van Dweller Gypsy Prepper Community © , the members of the community have their own vans, cargo trailers and geodesic parts to set up on site when they reach their Bugout Destination, and eventual Doomstead once everything is all set up.

The configuration of the Dome is set up so it has "ports" to dock both the Van and the Trailer, and a 3rd port which serves either as a Front Door or for connection to other domes, as illustrated at the top of the page.

Below here is the set-up for the individual Van/Dome Dweller:

SUN-Van-Garage-2  SUN-Van-Garage-1

I made the dome semi-transparent so you can see inside, although all I have it currently populated with is a Wood Burning Stove, to give some idea of the interior scale.  In reality, most of the dome would not be transparent, although you can make some transparent panels either from plastic or glass, assuming you either have them with you or can acquire them.

I began this article inside the Diner Forum on our Bugout Plans board, below here is my description of parts and setup from that thread.  There I included a prefab Greenhouse to attach to the dome, not included in the 3D community drawing, there I substituted Greenhouse "tunnels" between the large dome and the smaller ones.  Entry to this structure besides goin in through the Van or Trailer is a door on the side of the Greenhouse.

Components of the Design are:

1- Stealth Van
2- Cargo Trailer
3- 28' Geodesic Dome
4- 2 Carports to attach to the dome
5- 1 Lean to style prefab Greenhouse

The dome has 3 "ports" for docking the van, trailer and greenhouse modules. All are identical in size @ 8' wide X 10' high.  The dome itself is made from Bamboo Poles and connectors.  Surfacing material for the dome is purchased or scrounged and scavenged on location, only the poles and connectors are transported.  Carports may be either commercially available Carport Tents, or built on location out of available materials.  Greenhouse either a commercial one that will disassemble or one made out of bamboo poles that can disassemble also.

Van and Trailer carry most of the hardware, cooking equipment, toilet bucket, office equipment (laptop) and bed.  Dome space is Roaming space to stretch out mostly, but also has a Wood Burning Stove for a more permanent arrangement.  In a more permanent arrangement it also would have other furniture in it. Solar Panels for electrics are installed on top of the carports.

Estimated set-up time, 1 week to get the dome fully configured with panels to fill it out.  Surfacing can be done with almost anything, foam insulation panels, cardboard, plywood; super cheap and temporary would be to just staple plastic sheeting to the structure.  I have proprietary methods for sealing seams so it doesn't leak like many geodesics do.  Dome structure itself goes up in 2-3 days depending on who does the setup and how many people to help.

If/When the Housing Gestapo stop by and tell me my home is not "up to code", I say, "OK, I'll take it down and move on and I won't pay property tax in this neighborhood anymore." I am packed up and on the road again in under a week.  Prior to that I will sell them that this is just a temporary thing and show them my Building Plans for a full scale "up to code" domicile.  I can probably sell that line for a while.

Total living space here is about 60 sq feet for the van, 50 sq feet for the trailer, 50 sq feet for the greenhouse extension, and about 600 sq feet for the dome, without a loft built in which you could do also with a 14' center height.  So you probably get upwards of 1000 sq feet of living space from this, which is plenty for me.

Obviously, you can scale up this system quite a bit if you have a group of people and several vans and trailers.  The big advantage here is you do not need to build on your Bugout location BEFORE TSHTF, so there is nothing on the property to be trashed while you are not around or to pay taxes on either. You just buy raw land suitable for setup.  You use prior methods suggested here on the Diner for Caching Food supplies and tool supplies on these locations, so when TSHTF, you can Bugout, set up shop, and have enough food and materials to get you through the first year of post-industrial society collapse.  If you can make it through the 1st year, you will have upped your survival chances by several orders of magnitude IMHO.

After that, I went into specific scenarios of how you organize your Van Dweller Gypsy Prepper Community© , and how to set up when TSHTF in your neighborhood:

OK! I have expanded my Mobie Van Dweller Base Camp for a small tribe of like minded Preppers with limited funds and still needing to stay inside industrial  civilization to keep working and utilizing the earnings to buy more preps.

As we have noted before, moving out NOW while you still have a job to try going and living a subsistence lifestyle, be it H-G style or Permaculture Farm style has its own downsides and risks.  The new Van Dweller Gypsy Prepper Community (VDGPC) resolves these problems!   :icon_sunny:

Each member of a tribe has a Van, a Cargo Trailer and hardware to set up a small Geodesic Dome.  The tribe above has 5 Preppers, which may be individuals, couples or families.  Figure for this group there is one Individual, 2 couples and two families with 2 kids, for a total tribe size of 13 people.

Your Basic Requirements to be part of the Tribe are a Stealth Van, a Cargo Trailer and your own set of Personal Dome Geodesic Connectors.  These are not absolutely essential, but make setting up a dome much faster.  They can be purchased commercially or you can make them yourself by various methods.

Estimated Basic Cost:

Used Van in Good Condition: $5000
Used Cargo Trailer in Good Condition: $2000
Connectors and Tools: $1000

You will want to accumulate more preps as well, such as Solar PV panels, long lasting foods, Heirloom Seeds and of course Gunz & Ammo which will run your total costs up more, but you can start out with $8K or maybe less if you can find good deals on a Van and Trailer on Craig's list.

Strategy

Each community member is responsible for his/her own set of preps, and also contributes to a general fund for the Bugout Destination Promised Land  The BDPL is 5 acres of Hunting Land within a 500 mile radius of your current location.  Each member contributes 1/5th to this purchase, somewhere between $2-5K per acre.  Nothing is built on this land prior to TSHTF, and it should be reasonably remote.  You should be able to get there on 1 tank of gas &  a few extra 10 Gallon containers.

Prior to TSHTF, regular assemblies at the BDPL of community members on weekends are held to do planning and also to bring up supplies to be cached on location, buried in spots marked by GPS coordinates and also triangulating off natural landmarks in case an EMP knocks out the GPS system.  Cached supplies may include more of such things as long lasting foods, heirloom seeds, tools, building materials like nails, screws, bolts etc.  Whether you wan to store some weapons this way also is up to you.  I wouldn't do it with gunz and ammo, but perhaps crossbows and slingbows might be stored this way.

ACTION PLAN

TSHTF IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD! A Bank Holiday has been declared, the Walmart Shelves are going Empty and the National Guard has been called up to enforce Martial Law in 24 hours.  You have to GTFO of Dodge NOW before the Roadblocks are set up.  You send the BRAZOS TXT message to all the members of your Tribe of the VDGPC that it is time to form up in a PreDetermined Meeting Spot (PDMS) to travel together as a Convoy to the BDPL.  Traveling together will add to your security and be helpful if anyone has a breakdown.

I'm an ex-Big Rig Driver.  I HAD to use this music vid! lol

Continuing with the description of the Bugout (this is done tongue-in-cheek for people who don't recognize my humor. lol)

If some members of the VDGPC don't make it to the PDMS for the designated departure time, they are on their own to make it to the BDPL.

BDPL Setup

On arrival at the BDPL the first thing is to secure the perimeter.  Motion detectors are set up on the logging road that gets you in to the BDPL.  Sentries are posted, FRS radios are used to identify latecomers with specified channel and call sign code.

Vans are circled and trailers detached, leaving room in the center for the large Comunity Dome to be built later, if this turns out to be the BIG ONE and you have to stay at the BDPL permanently.  Hopefully, it's a False Alarm  TPTB get the ATMs working again in a week or two, the National Guard mows down the rioters and we go back to BAU for another few months until the next crisis.

During this initial waiting period to see how it works out, none of the stored caches of Preps are dug up yet.  Everybody should have at least 1 month of food supplies aboard their Stealth Vans and Trailers.  A few Solar PV panels are deployed to keep everybody charged up, monitoring what is going on in the world at large via the net if it is still up, or with Shortwave Radio if it has gone down.

It's PERMANENT

Newz comes in across the Shortwave that New York, London, Washington, Beijing & Moscow have all been Nuked.  Hordes of Zombies are rampaging through Seattle, Austin, Norfolk, and Pittsburgh. A 200 meter high Tsunami has washed both Honshu & Hokkaido Islands into the South China Sea.  Yellowstone has erupted and buried the entire Midwest under 3 feet of volcanic ash. A huge methane bubble has popped under the Arctic Ice cap blowing the whole thing into the stratosphere. No going back now.  :o

You should be relatively safe now as it is unlikely anyone will be showing up at your doorstep too soon.  So now you begin assembly of your community dome, plant your heirloom seeds and see if you can make it through the Zero Point.  Odds are not in your favor, but The Finger of God may step in for you.  It has for me, many times.

3912-Finger-of-God-0

French Onion Soup

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 15, 2015

French-Onion-Soup

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If you go into any fine French Restaurant that serves the Upper Class like Lutece in Manhattan, about always you will find French Onion Soup on the Menu in the Appetizers or Soups & Salad category, depending how the Menu is organized.  Well, except you can’t get an overpriced bowl of FOS at Lutece anymore because Lutece is Outta Biz since 2004.

http://images.nymag.com/images/2/daily/2011/01/14_delmonico_560x375.jpghttp://www.coffeedrome.com/images/walk2005/50lutece.jpg

Lutece, once the top 5 Star French Restaurant in NY Shity closed in 2004.  Back in the Wall Street years, we ate there regularly, and dropping $1000 on Dinner for 6-8 people was no problem at all, if you bought a few bottles of Wine anyhow.  1980s Dollars too!  I guess the .01% got tired of the food there after 9/11

AFTER serving one last Valentine’s Day dinner Saturday night, Lutèce, the renowned landmark French restaurant on the East Side, will close its doors, ending a 43-year run as a pillar of French dining in the United States.

”Since 9/11 we have not had enough business to meet expenses,” said Michael Weinstein, president of Ark Restaurants, which has owned Lutèce since 1994. ”This is probably a decision that should have been made a year ago.”

My old employer Capsuto Freres in Tribeca is also now Outta Biz, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy.  The Fine Dining Space there has been taken over by the Chinese.  Apparently Chinese Food is more popular now amongst the .01% than Nouvelle Cuisine French food.  Who Cooda Node?

http://www.nycgo.com/images/uploadedimages/devnycvisitcom/venue/capsouto_v3_460x285.jpg

That’s where I parked my motorcycle when going to work at the bottom left.  I can’t tell if one of the ones behind the first one is mine.

China Blue, the new sister restaurant to Midtown’s Michelin-starred Café China, is now open in Tribeca. It takes up the space that once housed Capsouto Freres, the 33-year-old neighborhood mainstay that was shuttered in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The new restaurant still has white tablecloths, but now the space, like Café China, takes its cues from 1930s Shanghai, with a menu of Shanghai cuisine to match. That means more seafood and “delicate flavors” than the intense Sichuan style of the original.

A really Classy FOS will have gobs of Melted Swiss Cheese over the top of a huge ceramic bowl, with a nice large hunk of a French Bread slice beneath it, all floating on top of a beef broth that has copious quantities of sliced up Onions nicely sauteed and caramelised in butter or oil in a skillet before adding to the soup.  It’s quite a scrumptious concoction when presented this way, and you’ll likely have to cough up $10-15 for such a bowl in this type of restaurant these days to chow down on it.

In reality though, French Onion Soup is a PEASANT dish that comes from the era before Refrigeration, and all the ingredients are in there because they are conservative of the food the French Peasants had available before refrigeration became ubiquitous in Industrial culture.

Your base of the Beef Broth comes from simmering all the bones and scraps of meat that get leftover after the cow cets slaughtered and carved up into Steaks, Ribs, Roasts, Filets and finally Ground Beef for the least tender cuts, although you will find more expensive Ground Beef from the same cuts that the other beef products are carved from, just because it’s useful in many things like meatballs, hamburgers etc that are common in the western diet.

http://www.eurofoodimports.com/v/vspfiles/photos/AZ00001202-2T.jpgStill, you get a lot more nutrition from your dead cow by simmering up all these leftover parts, and by further boiling down and adding salt to it you can make Boullion which will last quite a while unrefrigerated.  Drop the Boullion Cube into some boiling water, and you reconstitute your Broth for a nutritious soup the next week.  Of course, this is Energy Intensive in the sense you need to use quite a bit of burnables usually to reduce the liquid to a semi-solid.

Onions, your Fresh Veggie in this dish are roots which keep well in a cool Root Cellar, you don’t need refrigeration for them.  The French Bread slice you add ups the calorie content of your bowl of soup with carbohydrates, and you use Stale Bread that can be a few days old and no longer real moist and chewable , but soaked in the broth it becomes very edible again.

Final ingredient, the Cheese you melt over the top is a way to preserve Milk by fermentation, and when waxed over  and kept cool, it also lasts a long while without refrigeration.  It also adds additional calorie count to your soup dish, so by the time you are done here you have a single meal full of Protein, Carbs, Fat, Vitamins, all from stuff which can be grown or raised on a small subsistence style farm, the traditional type of farm back in France before the industrial age.

http://ropcorn.com/a/europe-interrail.jpgWhen I Backpacked and Inter-railed around Europe back in the 70s, I did it on a shoestring budget, as I recall I had $800 in American Express Travelers Checks to last me for 2 months the first time I participated in this Right of Passage common for many European teens at the time, but not that many Amerikans.  No credit card in those years, and debit cards didn’t exist yet either.  The roughly $100/week I had with me had to buy all my food, and hostels on nights I stayed in them.  At the time, a bed in one of the hostels was usually about $10/night in the northern European countries, as cheap as $5/night in Southern Europe.  If you stayed in a Hostel every night, you weren’t left with much to buy food.  The way around that was to take night trains or sleep in train stations, on beaches, wherever.

So for obvious reasons, most interrailers cruised around Spain, Portugal and Greece because it was cheaper.  However, I wanted to see France and Switzerland and Sweden, but in those places I ate on the cheap.  I would buy a Baguette and wedge of Brie and a Salami and that would last in my backpack for 2-3 days while checking out these neighborhoods.  All old fashioned foods that keep for a while with no refrigeration.

I almost actually made it to the end of the two months with enough money to still eat, although for the last week or so the first time there I was sleeping by the Thames River in the “Big Queue”, waiting for a cheap ticket home on Freddie Laker’s “Better Laker than Never”, “Sooner or Laker” discount airline of the era.  Interestingly, it is impossible to find any pics on the web from the Big Queue.  It was quite a hilarious scene overall.

http://freddieawards.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/sir_freddie_laker_crop.jpghttp://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/tm/2007/05/laker2_428x269_to_468x312.jpg

http://www.virgin.com/sites/default/files/legacy/Richard_Branson_and_Freddie_Laker-17612-530x330.jpg

There’s Freddie with the young Richard Branson.  These guys got Knighted for their contributions to Aviation.  Laker went bust in 1982.  Branson is still flying Virgin Atlantic.  He has better access to more debt.

Why did Skytrain suddenly fail? Laker had received an $86 million mortgage on his aircraft from the U.S. government’s Export-Import Bank. As airlines like Pan Am and TWA were floundering in the face of Laker’s competition, they pressured the Reagan administration to have Ex-Im call in Laker’s debt. In addition, the Thatcher government in Britain was worried that Laker might eventually eclipse the parastatal British Airways. Taking away Laker’s capital, paradoxically enough, was a way of saving the airline industry in both the U.S. and Britain.

Laker Doesn’t Leave

Freddie Laker was understandably more than a tad pissed off at the majors, and in January 1985, he filed suit against twelve major airlines from around the world, who had allegedly conspired to drive Skytrain into the ground. At first, they offered him a $50 million settlement, but as Laker dug his heels in, the value of the settlement grew progressively smaller. By August, Laker finally gave up and accepted a $20 million settlement from British Airways.

Bear_Creek_SoupSince I am obsessed with eating cheaply and with food that last a long time, I recently started experimenting with recipes for the many bags of Bear Creek Soups I have in my Prep Arsenal, ready for TEOTWAWKI.  They are fine just by themselves, and one bag will get you through the day by itself if necessary, but as long as there are other ingredients to pitch into said soup, you can make much heartier meals that will last for 2 or 3 days.  This weeks concoction was a Broccoli-Cheese-Beef soup I wrote about Inside the Diner

NEW BEAR CREEK SOUP CONCOCTION!

This one is just SCRUMPTIOUS!  Currently still brewing in the Slow Cooker but I have been Taste Testing over the last couple of hours and it is AWESOME!

Base was some leftover Rib Bones I BBQed, then stewed in beef broth, soy sauce and water to get all the remaining meat to fall off the bones.  Then I added half a package of Bear Creek Broccoli Cheese soup, Fresh Broccoli (actually in the fridge for over a week already) and some shaved parmesan romano cheese, a couple of tablespoons of this.

This is a fucking AWESOME soup!

I think I could improve on it still more with the addition of some fresh Garlic and Onions and some Parsley for garnish, with some crusty day old bread to dip in as well.  Maybe a little Paprika also to make it more tart and lip smacking good.

I’ll be writing up a new Recipe post for the Sunday brunch article this week.  I’ll include this in that article. At least I am still eating like a King here as the world spins down!  This soup would have sold for $10/bowl in 1980s Dollars at my old job at Capsuto Freres!  About $4 in ingredients excluding the leftover rib bones previously chewed on, and would fill about 4 bowls for $40!

RE

http://www.alaska-in-pictures.com/data/media/9/organic-potatoes_2796.jpgAt some point in the future, getting hold of many of the other ingredients to add to one of these soups probably will become difficult, depending on where you are of course.  Certainly, being in a location where Cheese is produced locally is helpful, along with being in locations where there is some kind of Meat available to pitch into the soup to make your Broth, even if it is just Squirrels or even Worms.  This will up the nutritional value of the soup considerably.

Far as the carbs go, even stale bread is fine, but most small farms don’t grow their own Wheat, at least not in my neighborhood, so Bread probably won’t be very available.  Similar with Rice, it doesn’t grow up here in Alaska, although perhaps it could be done in Grow Domes.  Rice though keeps very well once dried and vacuum sealed, so your supply of this can last a while.  Main carb though likely to remain available locally is Alaska Potatoes.

Potatoes are fabulous food which go fine in soups, but there are lots of other good ways to prepare them and spruce them up, which will be the subject of the next SNAP Card Gourmet Sunday Brunch article on the Diner.

http://cdn.spellbrand.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/alaska-grow.gif

Where Have All the Doomers Gone?

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 24, 2014

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I’ve been chronicling Collapsing Economics on the Internet since 2008, after the collapse of the Investment banking firm Bear Stearns.  I knew nothing of Peak Oil at the time, and I had not really concerned myself with the monetary system, Stocks, Bonds, Investing etc since the 1980s.

I spent about the first month just trying to figure out why Bear Stearns went south, and why there was a run on the bank.  Eventually this led me to the PeakOil.com website, which at the time was very active in the commentary.  I learned a lot over there from folks who had been tracking this since even before the site was founded in 2004, and over time I got hold of the relationship between the Energy Depletion issues and the Monetary Problems going on at the time.  What would inevitably occur became quite clear, and I wrote this line in 2008:

“It will all Burn Up in the Greatest Bonfire of Paper Wealth in all of Recorded History”

A “Quote of the Month” on Peak Oil, and the Bonfire is well underway now, country after country falls into economic collapse, more Amerikans are on SNAP Card food assistance every year, and the geopolitical consequences become ever more dangerous by the day here.

Despite the fact the consequences become ever more obvious every day, it appears that there is ever less discussion about this on the internet.  Besides the economic issues, the climate problems become more apparent every day as well, drought in California, record snowfall in Buffalo, Super Typhoons hitting SE Asia on a weekly basis, you name it evidence of vast climate change is in evidence everywhere, but still the Deniers just return with “of course the climate changes, it always changes”.  True enough, but what it it changes so much it’s impossible to live in your local environment anymore because the floods come so often or because there is no water to drink?

On top of all that, you have the Ebola virus spreading in Africa, and ever escalating geopolitical conflicts between Russia and NATO, the Chinese and Japanese, and then of course ISIS Radical Muslims Beheading anyone they can get their hands on to strike TERROR into the heart of the average Oil Konsumer.

By EVERY measure in EVERY area of Collapse, there is way more in evidence today than when I started chronicling it on Peak Oil in 2008.  Conversely though, the worse it gets, the LESS people engage to discuss it, both in the commentary of Collapse blogs as well as the main Collapse Bloggers themselves.

The main folks who have been chronicling this the longest, people like Jim Kunstler and Dmitry Orlov rehash material they have been using for a decade, with the only real update to this whatever the latest manifestation is out in the real world in Current Events.  For people who have been following the collapse this long, there are no real NEW observations to make.

Far as the commentary goes anywhere, it’s all ideological bullshit and stupidity, from the commentary of Zero Hedge to The Burning Platform and back to Peak Oil too.  Anyone online in the collapse blogosphere has heard it all before, and basically anyone with any intelligence has STOPPED talking about it.  Folks like George Mobus, Paul Chefurka, David Korowicz, Nicole Foss and others have simply dropped off the map for the most part, nothing left to say, the die is cast and the Show will go on no matter what kind of Jawboning goes down on the net, or in Congress or at the European Parliament too for that matter.

This seems to have led to a kind of malaise, as folks just tun inward and pursue their own lives in the face of how collapse is affecting them.  Why talk about it on the Internet now?  We all know what is coming down the pipe here.

For me, I have come to realize that it really is not that important if people are talking or not, if there is discussion or not, I’m just observing it now.  I also will not change my opinion on where it is all going in any debate, and I am certainly not going to waste my time with Ideologues who will pitch their spin no matter how much evidence to the contrary show that it’s wrong headed.

So nowadays, I don’t look for or expect conversation on the topics, I just observe it and write down the observations as it occurs, a kind of contemporary history file overall.

EVERYBODY KNOWS what is coming down the pipe now.  As Leonard Cohen wrote so long ago now:

“Take one last look at this Sacred Heart before it BLOWS”

because anybody with any Common Fucking Sense now KNOWS IT WILL BLOW, and we won’t have to wait another 50 years for it to blow either.  In fact it is blowing as we speak, but if the implosion hasn’t yet hit your neighborhood or your job, you can still delude yourself into believing it all will work out OK in the end.

We have a little time left here, how much is anybody’s guess these days, so for everyone I suggest you try to find a little bit of Happiness and enjoy your life as it is, if you have not yet fallen off the Cliff and Collapse has not yet reached your doorstep.  Enjoy cooking and eating good food if it is available, drive the countryside while there is still gas at the pump, even go Shop On Black Friday at Walmart if finding Bargains is what floats your boat.

If you are very fortunate, you will find some others to join with as the Flowers Wilt.  For me, the Great Gift of the Diner was to find a few other people to observe this with, and it is the Gift that Keeps on Giving.

A Spaceship called Eschatology

Off the keyboard of Ugo Bardi

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Published on Resource Crisis on September 29, 2014

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This article appeared on “Virgin.com” on Aug 12, 2014.

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“Eschatology” is a Greek word meaning “the science of the end.” In ancient times, it used to be popular with theologians, but today it seems to have picked up interest to describe various kinds of catastrophes which could happen in the future. Things like giant asteroids falling on the Earth or, in the far future, the sun becoming so bright that it will cause the oceans to evaporate and wipe out all life.
Now, if eschatology means big, rapid and irreversible changes, you could argue that we’re going through a full-fledged eschatological event right now. It is a mineral eschatology caused by humans. Gigantic amounts of minerals have been extracted, processed, and dispersed in the atmosphere, in the oceans, and in the ground. It took hundreds of millions of years to create the ores we have destroyed in a few centuries. Hundreds of millions of years will be needed to recreate them – if indeed that will ever happen. The Earth is not any more what it used to be when humans first appeared on it, and it will never be the same again.It looks like we’ve built a spaceship called eschatology that’s transporting us to an alien planet on a one-way trip. A planet hotter than the one we are used to living on because of the greenhouse gases generated by the mining and the burning of fossil carbon. A planet with many characteristics we might find very unpleasant: from the flooding caused by the melting of land glaciers, to the persistent pollution caused by the heavy metals and radioactive minerals we’ve dispersed everywhere. But perhaps the greatest difference is that in this new planet we won’t find any more of the rich mineral ores which have provided us with energy and resources we used to build our industrial civilization.We may be able to adapt to a hotter planet, although that could mean enormous suffering for humankind. Within limits, we can also clean up the pollution we have generated. But how to live in a planet without cheap mineral resources?

It is true that minerals are never destroyed – so they will still be there and, in part, could be recovered from industrial waste. But, in the long run, in order to keep mining we would need to mine the undifferentiated crust, and that would be unthinkably expensive in term of the energy required. To say nothing of the disaster it would be in terms of pollution. The essence of the eschatological event we are living in is that the time of mining is almost over, at least in the form we have known it for centuries. That is, from miners with their picks and helmets in deep underground tunnels.But if eschatology means the end of something, it may also mean the beginning of something else. If mining is heading to an end, we can still have minerals if we are willing to change the wasteful and inefficient ways we’ve been using to get them. We must close the exploitation cycle, and completely recycle what we use. It is possible, but it needs energy – much more than we needed to mine pristine ores. This energy cannot come from fossil carbon: that would simply accelerate depletion and worsen the climate problem. We need clean and inexhaustible energy: mainly sun and wind.It is unlikely that this energy will ever be so cheap and abundant as the energy that was provided by fossil fuels at the beginning of their exploitation cycle; so, we’ll need to use it wisely. We’ll need to be much more efficient than we are today: we’ll need to create more durable industrial products, use energy carefully and substitute rare minerals with ones more common in the Earth’s crust.

Clean energy, recycling, and efficiency. This set of strategies is our ticket for survival in this interplanetary trip. In the end, spaceship Eschatology could give us a chance to abandon the ever-growing and never happy civilization of today and create a new civilization which could have enough wisdom to live and prosper on what is available and no more.
– Ugo Bardi is Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Florence and author of Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2014). 

Prophesying 2013/2014

Off the Keyboard of William Hunter Duncan

Originally published Dec 31, 2013 @ Off the Grid in Minneapolis

Discuss this post in the Diner Forum

End of the year predictions? Of course, I said recently I think of the Winter Solstice as the true New Year – Dec 31/Jan 01, entirely arbitrary. But then, most of West Civ. is still mired in the Gregorian, and I am a supposed natural mystic, in the, um, bizness of prophesying, So I suppose I could comment on 2013 becoming 2014.
What was 2013? The year we got our reprieve from the world ending, apparently. Depending on your perspective. I guess when I think about this video, I sort of have my doubts about that.

 

What is that, the CIA? Anyone remember Mockingbird? What sort of pathology is this, this consumer script, to save the economy? To keep the world as we know it from ending? Is this what people are good for, buying stuff they don’t need, to support the debt to support things like – bankers and nuclear facilities? – until we can’t buy things anymore? I’m not sure which is more deadly, potentially, bankers or nuclear faclities, whether we keep buying shit we don’t need or not, which of course humanity cannot think about putting that reckoning off forever. Don’t be shocked if Fukushima blows again in 2014.

 

 

I was watching old Sandy Hook “hoax” videos last night, until 3am. God knows why. Talk about pathology; It is hard to tell who loves guns more, the Left or the Right in America. Of course the Left only wants Law Enforcement, the CIA alpha ETC, Imperial war machine to be armed to the teeth, whereas the Right wants everybody to be so stockpiled and willing. Watching the various videos of the immediate aftermath of that very sordid event, it is very much as if half the Sandy Hook parents cared more about pacifying and disarming average Americans than they did their own dead children, which is very strange, but then who can account for the pathology of consumers, in the land of more guns than people? I know that event happened in 2012, but it was the effects of that spectacular failure in every respect, that we felt in 2013. I don’t think we can leave that to TPTB to decide what is what, any more than we can 9/11 or the Boston Bombing. But we probably will. Speaking of Mockingbird, we tend to remember history how we are told.

 

I much prefer watching this sort of thing. The proper use of a vehicle.
These folks did well in 2013. I wish more people would act more like them, in 2014.

 

Otherwise, there does seem a growing fringe consensus, despite that we survived Dec 21, 2012, that 2014 is the year global debt meets it’s reckoning. The Chinese are playing pin the tail on that dragon, while the Rising Sun islanders nextdoor are feeding homeless to it. The Europeans thought they slayed it; we Americans thought we could ride it.

Smaug makes trillions for somebody, which trillions somebody’s aren’t inclined to give up; Hobbits may be about all that’s left, by the time that fire stops burning. Whenever it starts. (Would we even have a 2014 election if that dragon started blowing more than smoke? More like WWIII.)

 

For awhile I thought 2014 might be the year we initiated the first SUNstead. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear there are any more people involved, than when we started talking about it in 2013. It hardly seems we have time left, but then maybe I am conflating my own life with that of civilization, and I am just thinking I would like to see the fruit and nut trees mature, the second generation to grow into adulthood.
While I work on building that, I expect the stock market to continue to give Damocles a migraine. Why does he need the sword to fall on his head, if he’s just going to levitate until it splits him in half? Idiot might have the sense to get out from under that sword, but kings aren’t made to abdicate the throne. I wish I could say the age of petty emperors would end in 2014, but best case scenario in my cosmology is, 200 years at least. Which is about how long I expect it will take, before Industrialism plays itself out. Of course, I’m an optimist compared to some, who think we won’t get out of this century without a mass extinction and a zero point, or the former but not the latter; I’m like a shining sun compared, lol.   
Where was I? Oh right, stock market. See debt smaug.
I met a woman at the end of 2013 :). We talked for like 15 hours total, on three occasions. I suspect my reality would ruin the bliss of her shopping, though. I can’t let shopping happen without thinking about reality. Which made it a little too like pretending for the both of us, I think. No woman no cry.

 

I’ve been watching more of Bob lately. Which reminds me I’m almost out of cannabis. Oh right, fascist state. Funny, I was thinking recently how curious it is, that Colorado is now king of cannabis, Confined Animal Feed Lots (CAFO) and Fracking. I wonder if cannabis will make them come to their senses? Probably you’ll see a fascist backlash, if too many Coloradans start questioning the latter. I would expect my own state to expand CAFO and mining before they authorize cannabis. Here in Minnesota it will possibly be decided in 2014, whether or not we are going to pollute the waters with sulphuric acid and heavy metals, for the next 10-25 generations, with a single generation of mining. Cannabis prohibition OMG! If TPP and TAP trade pacts become law, it won’t even matter what the people of Minnesota or any other state think about mining or pollution or cannabis, no matter how high they are or not. The most vocal of them will get the Bob treatment.

 

As for 2014 in America, and a definitive metaphor, this New Year’s Eve? It’s so cold, ravens
are roosting in the middle of the day, in the tree outside my window; I
shot a rabbit, I was going to eat it, but I think I’ll feed the ravens instead;
I’m going to go buy some alcohol, and then eat the left-over Chinese
I bought last night. I threw the rabbit outside; the ravens flew away.
I got drunk and high and forgot the Chinese.
(maybe it will make sense this time next year.)

 

Anyway, if anyone want’s to talk about SUNstead prospects, or anything else, check in. I’m on gmail. The Doomstead Diner. SUN. I don’t
often check Facebook or my website.

 

Merry New Year – Happy 2014

 

WHD

Happy Mayan TEOTWAWKI Collapse Day!

Off the keyboard of RE

Discuss this article at the Geological & Cosmological Events  Table  inside the Diner

In about an hour from now Alaska Standard Time, the 24 Hour Clock starts on the BIG DAY Kollapsniks havebeen waiting for, 12/21/2012. The next 24 hours will see if we make it through without a big game changing Black Swan, and I suspect we will.

I started using the 2012 prophesies back in 2008 on Peak Oil, and basically at the time my main goal was to make it through to this date still walking the Earth, as my own health issues made it dicey as to whether I would last so long.  I did, and now everything that comes afterward is BONUS TIME for RE!

I’ve never really been convinced of this prophesy, but the graphics for it that came out of Roland “Master of Disaster” Emmerich’s 2012 film have long been a staple metaphor for me to use on the graphical end here.  It doesn’t look likely though right now that Los Angeles will go sliding into the Pacific Ocean or Yellowstone will go Ballistic today.

Of course, I can still use these graphics, and I still will, because even if the date wasn’t precisely nailed down here correctly, a major quake WILL hit LA here eventually, and Yellowstone WILL eventually blow its Supervolcanic top.  Inevitabilities, just the real timeline isn’t known on them.

AsteroidImpactAlso still avoided as of yet is a Super Carrington Event of a major Solar Flare hitting the Magnetosphere, an Asteroid Collision with a Planet Killer size Rock or the Man Made TEOTWAWKI Event, a Nuclear Winter resultant from Global Thermonuclear War.  “Shall we play a GAME?””

What we do have instead here is a succession of smaller collapses on varying levels of our social structure, from the “Fiscal Cliff” in CONgress to the Postal of Adam Lanza.  The ever upward creep of FSofA citizens being issued SNAP Cards for their Daily Bread.  The ever widening War in MENA and the ever creeping collapse of Nation-States into Failed States.

As of right now, the Pundits who prophesy a Long Emergency and gradual decay of our Civilization have been correct. so for the moment Mr. Wizard Arch Druid John Michael Greer and Effete Nascar Napalm Artist Jimmy Kunstler can pat themselves on the back for painting an accurate scenario.  No amazing Tipping Point has yet hit, and despite all the weak links in the chain that David Korowicz identified which could lead to a Fast Collapse, so far none of those links has so irretreivably  failed that we are plunged instantly into anarchy or “Mad Max”.

I still tend to gravitate toward the idea that at some point one of the main Conduits will fail, and there will be an identifiable rapid collapse of systems resultant from that.  If it doesn’t hit today on 12/21/2012, perhaps it was just that one of the Mayan Astronomers was a tad dyslexic, and the REAL Date here to look for is 12/21/2021?  LOL.

In the meantime, I am suggesting a new National Holiday, 12/21 to be Celebrated Each Year we haven’t had a complete collapse of systems as Mayan TEOTWAWKI Day!  Everybody who still has a Job gets the day off from work, and everybody who does NOT  have a Job gets to go to Work for a Day!

Although the world at large does not appear at this moment to be on the verge of complete Collapse, for many INDIVIDUALS, 12/21/2012 will be Collapse Day.  It’s the day they get their Pink Slip from the Job, or the day they get the Visit from the Sherriff Evicting them from their McMansion or the day their Significant Other or one of their Children commits Suicide.  We won’t hear about most of these stories of course, they aren’t Tabloid Enough to make the Grand MSM like Adam Lanza, but there are of course many more of them.  In aggregate, they devastate the lives of many more than Adam Lanza did, but nobody really notices it.  Well, at least the general public doesn’t notice, but I think the Diners do.

That is why we are here on the Diner of course, to chronicle what really IS occurring now, not the Hopium Spin of “Recovery” pitched out by the MSM and our Faux Leaders.  Facing REALITY is Step 1 in dealing with the collapse as it unfolds, and preparing yourself for the eventualities bound to come, even if they do not arrive on your Doorstep TODAY, on 12/21/2012.  For Come THEY WILL, there is no stopping this one now, the End of Industrial Civilization is Written on the Subway Walls, and Tenement Halls.  It is OVAH.

I was there at that Concert in Central Park in 1981.  I won’t ever forget it. Please, “Hear My Words that I might REACH YOU”

SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

You can do no more now.

RE

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