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Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« on: January 17, 2017, 11:08:14 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner on January 17, 2017






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I pondered many of the following issues in previous articles and provided the scientific references for the assertions made. This three part essay refines some concepts and includes updates based on developments over the past couple of years. Some repetition was necessary to provide a holistic overview for the first time reader.



Dr David Suzuki delivered an inspirational talk in Adelaide in March 2016. He said we must not give up the fight to save our planet from climate devastation. Unfortunately he gave no details as to exactly how this can be realistically achieved. He offered only general advice that we should elect governments which must transform our societies to use 100% renewable energy. He praised the South Australians for reaching a 40% renewable energy level. Unfortunately, even if we can muster the political will and even if we can scrounge up enough remaining high net energy petroleum to undertake such a belated widespread transformation (both prospects being highly doubtful), it will still fail to address the underlying problem of our excessive human population (with accompanying excessive resource depletion and waste production), which is the "big fat elephant" of the apocalypse.



 



It is now well established that IPCC projections have been watered down rubbish which only took into account the greenhouse effect of CO2 and a few short term feedback loops (but ignored other GHGs and many other feedback loops). Real world events such as the Greenland ice melt and severe weather events have proved far worse than the IPCC worst case scenarios. We have NO “carbon budget” remaining, within which we can prevent a 2 degree C rise.



Consider the path we are now on: With ongoing emissions, ongoing large human footprint and unchecked positive feedback loops, we are probably looking at a long term global average temperature rise of 8 to 10 degrees C or more. "Geo-engineering" such as injecting sulphates into the upper atmosphere may temporarily reduce temperatures in localised areas, but will almost certainly create even worse unintended consequences e.g. acid rain, disruption of monsoons. In the long term these ideas are insane. Nevertheless insanity has never stopped homo stupidus from pursuing bad ideas. Let us consider more optimistic scenarios which require the application of wisdom and restraint (and hence will not occur):



Consider this carbon neutral scenario: Imagine if we could magically transform all societies to 100% renewable energy and magically cease all fossil fuel emissions tomorrow. However if the human global footprint remains otherwise unchanged, planetary re-vegetation and CO2 draw down cannot and will not occur. The current atmospheric GHG concentrations today of more than 480ppm CO2 equivalent, combined with loss of global dimming effect when emissions cease, combined with the unavoidable (albeit limited) positive feedbacks associated with this capped GHG level, will still commit us to around 4 degrees C global average temperature rise and around 25 metres sea level rise in the long term (perhaps 80 years). Those are determined by physics and chemistry and are cast in stone. Magical immediate transformation to 100% renewable energy will not stabilise global temperature at our current level. However four degrees, although devastating, is still far better than 8 or 10 degrees long term and is therefore a lesser evil compared with existing coal mining, gas fracking and unconventional oil debacles (harvesting all the tar sands in Alberta alone has the potential to raise the global temperature by 2 degrees C.)



Consider this even less likely carbon reduction scenario: Imagine if 99% of all human beings were to magically vanish tomorrow and the remaining humans (and associated crops and livestock) were to occupy only 1% of our current planetary footprint. Will it be possible for rapid re-vegetation of the remaining planet to sequester enough CO2 to halt, possibly even reverse, global warming by 2100? Climate scientist Professor Jason Box has done the sums and says we will need re-vegetation areas equivalent to seven planet Earths to draw down atmospheric CO2 from 400 to 350ppm. http://jasonbox.net/area-needed-plant/ Hence the only conceivable scenario in which a CO2 reduction to 350ppm by, say, the end of this century can possibly occur will require not only the sudden disappearance of virtually all humans and rapid re-vegetation of the entire remaining planet, it will also require additional urgent artificial carbon sequestration on a huge scale, the proposals for which are unproven and purely hypothetical1.



Nevertheless, let us continue with this thought experiment. Just how may a sudden massive reduction of the human population take place? Ignoring the unlikely immediate prospects of an asteroid impact or a mega volcanic eruption e.g. from the Yellowstone caldera, the only other credible scenarios are:





  • global thermonuclear war. This will ignite all the cities and burn the remaining forests, producing black smoke, initially causing nuclear winter, but ultimately liberating vast quantities of CO2, which will horrendously exacerbate global warming… or





  • a global human pandemic. A naturally mutated bird flu virus or haemorrhagic virus may kill several hundred million people, however that will still be woefully insufficient to significantly diminish our human planetary footprint (especially if it mainly affects Third World countries, which have a minuscule carbon footprint compared with the Industrialised World). Only a highly contagious, universally lethal, genetically engineered microbe (namely, weaponised smallpox), mainly targeting the industrialised countries, may reduce the human footprint by sufficient magnitude to make a meaningful environmental difference. The survivors of such an engineered pandemic will be those who have vaccinated themselves in advance i.e. the very architects of this vile genocide i.e. the psychopaths who run the USA2. However they are the worst specimens imaginable for further human propagation. Indeed, due to the megalomaniacal, narcissistic, deceitful, manipulative, toxic and homicidal nature of such people, the inevitable chronic infighting and backstabbing amongst them will lead to their demise in the long term. If the parasites of society have killed the hosts from whom they leeched sustenance, the parasites themselves are doomed to perish.





The outcomes above are horrific from the human point of view, although the pandemic scenario would undoubtedly be highly desirable from the non-human point of view, if our planetary co-inhabitants had any say.



Given our present circumstances, there is NO possible outcome which will be pleasant for humanity. If, as we expect, human numbers (and associated resource depletion and waste production) increase over the next few years while we pursue business as usual, the inevitable resource constraints (especially of centrally distributed water and food, which both rely on "high net energy" petroleum, which is scheduled to decline precipitously) will be the main mechanism causing widespread human die-off in the short term (less than 20 years, possibly only 10 years). This is what "overshoot" means: that a population has exceeded the carrying capacity of its environment and will inevitably exhaust its resource base. This is an indisputable mathematical fact of Nature and is no more open to debate than the fact that 2+2=4. It highlights the fact that it is impossible to have infinite growth on a finite planet. Malthus was not wrong, he was merely ahead of his time. Our existing World Order, a covert neocolonial system enforced by propaganda, politico-economic skulduggery and military brutality, is designed to funnel resources from poor to rich countries. Therefore the poorer and politically weaker nations of the world will be the first to be starved of resources and implode. This concept has been expressed in another way: that collapse will destroy the “periphery” first, before decimating the “core” nations. Ultimately all organised large scale societies will collapse (including NZ, unless Kiwis are able to wean themselves off fossil fuel addiction ASAP). Population decline will be relatively sudden, although not nearly as abrupt as with a thermonuclear war or a global pandemic. Regional conflicts, pollution, climate chaos (heat waves, droughts, floods, storms) and tropical epidemics will also play significant roles in the die-off. This is the path we are now taking, mathematically validated by repeated updated computer runs of the Limits to Growth models, which however may be over optimistic according to analysis by the Stockholm Resilience Centre http://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2015-01-15-planetary-boundaries—an-update.html



Contrary to the fake news expectorated by the mainstream media, the real world economy has stagnated and indeed contracted over the past decade, generally as a result of the Limits to Growth but specifically as a result of resource constraints, principally Peak Oil. Whereas impending precipitous curtailment of “high net energy” petroleum ensures that global industrial collapse will be complete within 20, or even 10 years, it is probable that financial and economic collapse will occur much sooner because of the massive fraud pervading the entire financial framework. “Price discovery” brings about the “Minsky moment”. Economy paralysis can cause abrupt curtailment of centrally provided services every bit as devastating as resource depletion can.



This message of a dire future, despite being supported by irrefutable evidence and logic (and mathematical modelling), tends to be universally rejected by "normal" people in conventional society. Some like to believe that space travel to Mars can save us. Or the "Singularity" can save us. Or the "Rapture" will save us. Some even deny that there are any problems whatsoever. If such insanity is considered "normal" then I am thankful to be abnormal.



I explored every avenue available to alert the public to these issues starting with two talks on ABC Radio National, broadcast in 2005, regarding the need to develop an emissions neutral liquid hydrocarbon fuel to replace petroleum. I subsequently made representations to politicians and had personal meetings with State MPs who later became the State Ministers for Transport and the Environment. I also wrote letters of petition to those Ministers. I corresponded with my local Federal MP, Kevin Rudd (who later became Prime Minister) about Peak Oil concerns. I conducted mass mailouts of data discs containing copious information (audio, video and text) about Peak Oil to approximately 800 GPs around Brisbane at my own expense. I organised monthly free meetings for doctors, scientists and the general public on environmental and social topics from 2006 to 2013 which merely ended up as talk fests among the converted. I had a meeting with the medical staff of the Public Health Department of the Royal Brisbane hospital (with the support of Dr Jane O'Sullivan, agricultural scientist and Dr Michael Harrison, physician and chemical pathologist) to present these issues, which ended up a complete waste of time. I organised education sessions on Cardiology for medical students, on the understanding that they also had to learn about sustainability issues during the second half of each meeting. They lost interest after three sessions.



Over the years our planetary problems have only worsened. It is estimated that 50% of all animals in the wilderness have perished over the past 40 years, a sure indicator that our ecosystems are collapsing, that the 6th great global mass extinction is well under way. If anything, public denial of reality has become more entrenched, thanks to propaganda from the mainstream media, the primary source of "fake news" in this world. Crass buffoonery, racism and a strident sense of entitlement have intensified among the general population of many rich countries, as evidenced by the rise of the "One Nation" party in Australia, many right wing factions in Europe and the election of Drumpf in the USA.



The only conclusion possible now is that the general population cannot be saved from their own stupidity. It is impossible to prevent mass human die-off. It is pointless expending any more time and energy trying to "save society". As per capita resources diminish and people experience more hardship and deprivation, the inevitable consequence is escalation of domestic and international conflicts around the world. This is happening right now. Sapient people who grasp these concepts must also realise they can do nothing about this. The best they can do at this late stage is to get themselves, their family and their friends out of harms way (provided family and friends are willing to listen, which is often not the case).



Complacency will guarantee the die-off of those people who place all their faith in centrally controlled services (water, food, waste disposal, energy), which are certain to eventually collapse. Exactly when the lights will go out in each particular location is unknowable. Most likely they will flicker on and off for a while before going dark for good.



After years of futile effort, I finally concluded in 2012 that the establishment of numerous off-grid permaculture homesteads in climate resilient locations is the only feasible strategy which may offer a reasonable quality of life to a tiny proportion of people when the crunch comes. The sapient must seize control of their own future and must not foolishly look to governments or corporations for solutions. Those self serving edifices are the source of our problems. The non-sapient population will simply have to be written off and are not worth mourning. Certainly not the people in the rich countries who created this mess in the first place, yet deny its existence. And yes, I too am an egregious contributor to this mess, having been born into a high consumption capitalist society and being a major beneficiary of this monumental fossil fuel mediated clusterfuck. So I don't deserve to be mourned either. Those we should mourn are the poor of the world, especially in India, Africa and Latin America who bear tiny individual environmental footprints. They are the least culpable people but will suffer the most.



G. Chia Jan 2017



PS: footnotes to the red reference numbers will appear as part 3 of this essay triptych



 



Note from RE:  By request from GC, comments will be suspended on this series until chapter 3 is published.



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Why you need to set up an off-grid Rural Homestead: Part 2
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2017, 02:21:19 AM »


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Published on The Doomstead Diner on January 21, 2017






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Erratum from “Why you need to set up an off-grid Rural Homestead” part 1:



"Consider this carbon neutral scenario…The current atmospheric GHG concentrations today of more than 480ppm CO2 equivalent…will still commit us to around 4 degrees C global average temperature rise and around 25 metres sea level rise in the long term (perhaps 80 years)" should be corrected towill still commit us to around 4 degrees C global average temperature rise in the medium term (perhaps 80 years) and around 25 metres sea level rise in the longer term (the "locked in" ice melt which eventually raises sea level by 25 metres will take much longer than 80 years to complete).



 



Why you need to set up an off-grid Rural Homestead part 2






 



by Geoffrey Chia, January 2017



A minority of people in the rich countries, the semisapients, accept that we urgently need to radically transform our unsustainable profligate lifestyles, but still avoid taking any meaningful action. They prefer Dr Suzuki's message: if only we vote Green, get our country to transform to 100% renewable energy, then things (hopefully) may turn out fine. This will almost certainly not happen because the semisapient voters are a tiny minority nowhere near the critical mass needed to vote in transformative governments. The semisapients are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the clueless sheeple and the knuckle dragging rednecks with the “drill baby drill” mantra. More progressive nations such as Germany and France are far more conscious of environmental issues, but are now faced with huge, destabilising, unwelcome distractions, viz: the influx of hundreds of thousands of desperate MENA refugees who have fled their homelands which were destroyed by the failed attempts of the USA to bring about "regime change" and control the MENA fossil fuel resources3. The destruction of those MENA states has provoked hatred from many of that heritage and thus hugely aggravated blowback terrorism, for which there is no end in sight.



If, despite using irrefutable evidence-based arguments that our planetary future will be dire, we are still unable to persuade the semisapients to establish rural homesteads for themselves, how else can we encourage them to embark on this undeniably difficult task? Especially since their city lives may be quite comfortable at the moment? People will certainly resort to desperate and futile measures when their urban neighbourhoods collapse, but by then it will be too late for them. How else can we motivate the semisapients to act now so that they will be well prepared when the crunch comes?



Some thoughts:



The pursuit of a more satisfying lifestyle and of happiness



I confess I am addicted to one particular genre of reality television i.e. shows about people building or choosing a tiny house so they can embark on a new, more satisfying low consumption lifestyle. There are many good ideas about tiny house design to glean from those programs, but more than that, I always feel a warm glow when I watch the exuberant joy those folks radiate when they inspect their new tiny house for the first time. Some may be downsizing from McMansions, yet all seem genuinely happy to live according to their basic needs and not according to contrived desires borne of envy, fabricated by the mainstream media.



What are the ingredients of happiness? Let us exclude the views of psychopaths, who enjoy killing and bullying people, from this consideration. Sociologists tell us that for most ordinary people, these are the ingredients which comprise happiness:





  • Basic material needs and comfort (clean water, food, shelter, good sanitation, physical security) must be met, beyond which there is no evidence that greater wealth leads to more happiness. Living in a McMansion does not offer happiness, only larger spaces to clean.





  • Good health, for which good nutrition and regular physical activity are necessary.





  • Good relationships, not just with family and friends, but within a harmonious community, and making meaningful contributions to that community. The person who volunteers in a soup kitchen for the homeless invariably gains more happiness than the billionaire who makes yet another million from his newest corporate acquisition. In general we gain more happiness from giving (to appreciative and deserving people) than receiving. This explains why Bill Gates quit his role in Microsoft to spend all his time on philanthropy.





  • Interaction with Nature. We are biophilic creatures. This explains why urban families feel the need to bring their kids to the park or beach at least once per week. Children need to learn that food and water come from the land and from Nature, otherwise they will grow up to be delusional fantasists whose eyes are always glued to computer screens and thoughts are completely divorced from the real, natural world (and hence do not care about the destruction of the real, natural world – which is leading to their own destruction)





  • A sense of meaning or purpose, which varies among individuals according to their inclinations. This may take the form of social, intellectual, musical, artistic or other creative endeavour e.g. fine cooking. Unfortunately one type of person who may not be able to pursue their passion in life on a permaculture homestead is the elite sportsperson. They need urban facilities and services to attain and maintain such elite levels. Having said that, when all the urban facilities collapse, the city based elite sportsperson will die. Being an elite sportsperson will not help them die any later than the average person, although they will certainly die fitter than the average person.





  • I believe a carefully planned rural permaculture community can offer the above and thereby provide happiness for its inhabitants. A good internet connection (for as long as the system allows) means that even folks in the most remote areas need not be deprived of the best intellectual, musical or artistic resources in the world, including the ability to visit virtual museums and virtual zoos. They can also interact with people on the other side of the world who may have similar rare esoteric tastes e.g. ancient Sanskrit poetry. Networking by teleconference or skype is far, far preferable to burning jetfuel to attend meetings. Homesteaders will need to preserve their own archive of hard copy reference documents so that when the internet and their computers eventually go down, there will continue to exist disseminated repositories of valuable printed legacy information around the world. Important knowledge and skills can still be passed on.





Financial and Economic reasons



We were born into this growth dependent financial-economic system and it is all we know. We were told we must work within the system to earn fiat currency to purchase the goods and services we need to live well. We were brainwashed into believing that more is better and we should sign up to 30 year mortgages for capacious McMansions. We were bombarded with advertising telling us to "use money we don't have, to buy things we don't need, to impress people we don't like". When terror strikes, go shopping. This system appeared to function satisfactorily in decades gone by, when the world was on the upslope of the Hubbert curve. Now we are on the Hubbert downslope, real economic growth has stopped and contraction has started. With zero or negative interest on savings, but ongoing compound interest payable on loans, with flat or declining wages, it is now impossible for many people to pay off their debts. They are lifetime debt slaves4. This economy is a Ponzi scheme and like any Ponzi scheme, those canny enough to exit at the peak will benefit, the rest will lose their shirts. These are powerful arguments for the semisapients to sell their assets, get rid of debt, buy rural land with a good fresh water supply and establish their off-grid homestead where they can provide for themselves and participate in the local exchange economy. Those who lack sufficient individual financial resources can join with their peers to purchase or lease land-in-common. They can then park their mobile tiny houses or RVs on their jointly owned land and live in their own off-grid community. Those who lack the money to invest in a land owning partnership can acquire the skills to make themselves indispensable to such a community (horticulture, plumbing, electrical, welding, building, carpentry skills etc). They need to make themselves known to the landowners and land cooperatives now. How much does a good second hand RV fitted with composting toilet and 12V electrical system using solar panels cost? A damn sight less than a McMansion. Not to mention ongoing McMansion maintenance, utilities and fees. After TSHTF, life on the homesteads will be egalitarian. All residents in theory should be considered equal in dignity, but not everyone in practice will be equal in value. Even if you are not a partner in the land ownership, if you can offer the community skills to grow food or deliver good drinking water sustainably, you will be considered more valuable than the land owning rocket scientist or brain surgeon or cardiologist who no longer has the high tech infrastructure to practice their skills. Well before we reach that stage however, there are tremendous psychological benefits to getting rid of debt now: a sense of freedom, less mental stress and improved interpersonal relationships.



The Moral Imperative



Living on an off-grid permaculture homestead can reduce your resource consumption and waste production by more than 90% compared with the average fossil fuel addict in the industrial world. More people going off-grid will ease demand on an already overstressed central grid. Gandhi put it most succinctly, "be the change you want to see in the World". Nuff said.



Timing is everything



Some people claim that positive, inspirational arguments are more effective than negative, fear based arguments to motivate people. That opinion is not based on any evidence whatsoever, only a warm fuzzy mindset. Humans evolved to react towards real or perceived immediate threats with "fight or flight" responses. That trait promoted survival in our hunter-gatherer past. Apart from immediate threats, most humans tend to be lazy, complacent, passive and inert. We tend to choose the easy options for short term gratification. Few choose to expend blood, sweat and tears pursuing lofty long term goals. Negative messages about real or perceived threats can and do work to galvanise the public. They are the most effective propaganda tool of governments. Like any tool, negative messages can be used ethically (when based on truth to save lives e.g. public health anti-tobacco campaigns) or criminally (when based on deceit to rob and kill innocent people e.g. Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda). The chickenshit warmongering US Neoconartists were very effective in promoting the invasion of Iraq by brandishing the fearsome bogeyman of WMDs, even though it was utterly bogus. However, that unjustifiable invasion could not have been sold to the US public if 9/11 had not occurred beforehand. Hence timing is everything. The Neoconartists used the psychological trauma of 9/11 to promote the invasion of Iraq, even though the two were completely unrelated.



I suspect the events that will eventually motivate the semisapients to act will indeed be negative factors. When adverse events start to affect them personally, they will realise that the limits to growth have come knocking at their door. Some people need a short, sharp, shock to get them off their butts. Different people have different "road to Damascus" moments. For some it is when they see a piano above their head suspended by a fraying cable. For others it is when the piano falls on their head5.



Survival of the species



Many Extinction pundits, including Guy McPherson himself, frequently conflate the question "will humans go extinct?" with the question "should humans go extinct?" despite the two being very different questions, the latter being heavily value laden. The fanatical NBL hangers-on in particular, the “true believers”, are so infused with their loathing of humanity and so fixated with their rabidly held view that humans should go extinct, that they vehemently insist that humans will go extinct in the near term, in order to spread dismay and hopelessness far and wide (hence they troll every “collapsitarian” blog). If they can demoralise and demotivate others from attempting to save themselves, such failure to prepare for the coming collapse will indeed cause those dismayed to perish, thus creating a self fulfilling prophecy. Those toxic NBL ideologues are so hell bent on perpetrating their agenda of schadenfreude, because that is the only way they can feel any sense of power or influence in the world, being useless no-hopers themselves. I strongly oppose such malevolent nihilism, which I consider downright mischievous, even evil. Whereas I have a dim view of humanity in general, I know some people who are strongly ethical, honest, honourable, reliable, hardworking, kind, generous and decent and who must be saved and must be encouraged. Readers of this article will know similar people. They are the best seed for future human survival. Sentience is rare in this Universe, wisdom even rarer and in my view must be preserved. That is my value judgement. Humanity's only hope is that a small number of sapients may emerge on the other side of this near-extinction bottleneck to create truly sustainable and wise human societies that live in harmony with the environment. I agree it is possible there may be no survivors in the Northern hemisphere before the end of this century. None. Complete human extinction is also possible and I have no problem with someone expressing a personal view that NTHE may be 99.9% likely based on the environmental devastation facing this planet. But nobody is entitled to promote a message that human extinction is guaranteed unless they can prove they are clairvoyant. Our extinction is not a forgone conclusion, it is not a certainty, so long as you can demonstrate there is just one feasible scenario in which human survival may be possible. Just because McPherson could not imagine such a feasible scenario, does not mean that human extinction is guaranteed. It just means that McPherson has a limited imagination. I previously described such a feasible scenario, which does not require complex technology, in which humans may migrate to a thawing Antarctica and survive an 8 or even 10 degree C global average temperature rise, a scenario which McPherson could not logically flaw, and hence chose to disregard. He then portrayed me as a nasty villain who had upset the delicate sensibilities of his emotionally fragile Extinctionist disciples on NBL by contradicting and ridiculing their stupid ideology of utter nihilism. If human beings are forced to migrate to the Southern tip of South America as global warming spirals out of control, they will. If human beings are forced to make the sea crossing to a thawing Antarctica, bringing along the necessary seeds, saplings and livestock required to settle there, they will. The survival imperative is strong.



Two Metaphors:



Some say that setting up a remote homestead and giving up on mainstream society is a selfish act. However, if you have been sounding the alarm for ages that our house is on fire, but have utterly failed to persuade the Establishment to quell the flames which now rage out of control, surely the only remaining option is to advise people to leave the collapsing house and for yourself to do the same? What conceivable purpose does it serve for you to burn to death in "solidarity" with the clueless sheeple who scorn you, especially if you are fortunate enough to be near an exit? Furthermore, action speaks louder than words and your action may encourage a few semisapients to follow you out to safety.



Here is another metaphor. You can sound the alert about the sinking Titanic, but you cannot force other passengers onto the lifeboats. The evidence that our ship is sinking is irrefutable: it is listing at an alarming angle, the meatballs have rolled off the dinner plates and water is lapping at our ankles. The people at the high, dry, end of the ship remain comfortable and reject the idea of moving onto a small, cold, dark, bouncy lifeboat which lacks a live orchestra (the orchestra continues to play on the high end of the main deck). They believe the denialists, who confidently declare there is no hole in the hull and insist that present troubles are only a temporary phenomenon ("economists say that current difficulties are just part of a normal cycle and it is merely a matter of time before global growth is restored"). The optimists say a huge hole in the hull does indeed exist but it can be repaired if we just vote for leaders who will fix it with sticky tape and chewing gum ("elect a government that will transform your society to 100% renewable energy"). The fantasists say that aliens will descend from outer space and teleport us to a techno-utopia just before the Titanic goes under ("science fictiony technology will save us"). The supernaturalists say that Jesus will descend from outer space and teleport us to heaven just before the Titanic goes under ("the second coming is nigh"). The nihilists assert with clairvoyant certainty that all the lifeboats, every single one, will sink or fail to reach any shore, therefore it is futile to board any lifeboat and everyone must passively wait to drown or perhaps kill themselves beforehand (but nevertheless should "live lives of excellence" – whatever that means).



Very few passengers are boarding the lifeboats, hence you will not be depriving anyone of a space if you are lucky enough to have access to one.



So review your options and make your choice. Not every rural homestead will succeed in the long term, but some will. Not trying will guarantee failure.



G. Chia, January 2017



PS: If you live in South Eastern Australia (or plan to move here soon), have similar views and values, are physically fit with a cooperative personality and have practical skills to offer, please send your details to RE who can forward them to me.



PPS: footnotes to the red reference numbers will appear as part 3 of this essay triptych






 



 



 



Offline John of Wallan

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2017, 02:00:29 PM »
Geoff,
I live in South Eastern Australia.
I am experimenting setting up a homestead at the moment. Trees, gardens, water tanks, gen set etc...
This will probably be my first attempt, where I will learn the basics, before I  sell up, go off grid completely and set up homestead #2 in  5 years or so in a more remote, mountain location; we are starting to become semi urban 60km North of Melbourne, and I will need more land for firewood growing, or at least better access to forested areas. Somewhere around Healesville way or further down around Walhalla/ Toongabbie way. (Mountains for rain, near the coast to keep temperatures moderate, forested area for fuel, remote enough away from large populations).

I am a big NBL "fan", but am not nihilist. I plan to plan for the worst but hope for something better....
The NBL message may or may not be correct. For 90% plus of the world population I think it is. I, like you, cant see more than a small percentage getting through this bottleneck. As I have said before, extinction and death look the same to the individuals involved. Survival is the only thing that looks different.

The ship is going down, I am building a lifeboat. I will die sometime in the next 50 years, its just a matter of how. I am really building a lifeboat for the next generation. The boat may or may not be big enough, or in the right area, or even seaworthy, but to quote NBL: "Action is the antidote to despair."

It is a huge source of bewilderment how few people see the issues confronting humanity. The water is indeed lapping at their ankles and yet they either dent the problem or dismiss it as someone or something will save them individually or as a group. I no longer get upset with these people. I just smile, be pleasant and walk away from them. Time is running out to build lifeboats. Those not helping now will need to be kept out when they are getting deployed, or they will be swamped. This is the problem. This is what may cause extinction. Lifeboats built for 100 being swamped by 1000. Ironically that is what is causing the ship to sink in the first place.

Death does not scare me. I was dead a long time before I was born, and it did not hurt. ;)
It is how I will die that scares me, and how my children may die terrifies me.

JOW

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 02:13:31 PM »
Geoff,
I live in South Eastern Australia.
I am experimenting setting up a homestead at the moment. Trees, gardens, water tanks, gen set etc...
This will probably be my first attempt, where I will learn the basics, before I  sell up, go off grid completely and set up homestead #2 in  5 years or so in a more remote, mountain location; we are starting to become semi urban 60km North of Melbourne, and I will need more land for firewood growing, or at least better access to forested areas. Somewhere around Healesville way or further down around Walhalla/ Toongabbie way. (Mountains for rain, near the coast to keep temperatures moderate, forested area for fuel, remote enough away from large populations).

I am a big NBL "fan", but am not nihilist. I plan to plan for the worst but hope for something better....
The NBL message may or may not be correct. For 90% plus of the world population I think it is. I, like you, cant see more than a small percentage getting through this bottleneck. As I have said before, extinction and death look the same to the individuals involved. Survival is the only thing that looks different.

The ship is going down, I am building a lifeboat. I will die sometime in the next 50 years, its just a matter of how. I am really building a lifeboat for the next generation. The boat may or may not be big enough, or in the right area, or even seaworthy, but to quote NBL: "Action is the antidote to despair."

It is a huge source of bewilderment how few people see the issues confronting humanity. The water is indeed lapping at their ankles and yet they either dent the problem or dismiss it as someone or something will save them individually or as a group. I no longer get upset with these people. I just smile, be pleasant and walk away from them. Time is running out to build lifeboats. Those not helping now will need to be kept out when they are getting deployed, or they will be swamped. This is the problem. This is what may cause extinction. Lifeboats built for 100 being swamped by 1000. Ironically that is what is causing the ship to sink in the first place.

Death does not scare me. I was dead a long time before I was born, and it did not hurt. ;)
It is how I will die that scares me, and how my children may die terrifies me.

JOW

I forwarded your comment to Geoff JoW.

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Offline John of Wallan

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 04:30:38 PM »
Thanks RE.
If he wants to contact me by all means send him my email address. Happy to talk with and/ or help like minded people.

JOW

Offline RE

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2017, 04:36:33 PM »
Thanks RE.
If he wants to contact me by all means send him my email address. Happy to talk with and/ or help like minded people.

JOW

I try to get the bloggers I post up inside the Diner to discuss these things themselves, but for many it is too confusing.  So I work as a conduit occassionally.

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Offline Palloy2

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2017, 04:46:38 PM »
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It is now well established that IPCC projections have been watered down rubbish which only took into account the greenhouse effect of CO2 and a few short term feedback loops (but ignored other GHGs and many other feedback loops).

The part about GHGs is absolute bullshit, and the part about feedback loops requires an intimate knowledge of the various (31) models being used, which do not  form part of IPCC's Assessment Reports, but are available as background material.

This is from IPCC's AR4, showing the importance of various factors:



Note that CH4 (Methane), Halocarbons (primarily Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons), and N2O (Nitrous oxide) ARE clearly recognised by IPCC. 

Anyone (in theory) can forecast a set of conditions, have them assessed by an IPCC panel for consistency, and then have them run through the 31 models.  To do this you have to forecast a set of values for 40 different GHG concentrations taken into account by the models, for each decade out to 2100.  As well as the above GHGs, SO2 SF6 (an inert gas used in the electrical industry), CO (Carbon monoxide), NH4 (Ammonia), O3 (Ozone) and NO2 are among the 40 factors.  You can find out more, and download the data sets for RCP-8.5, RCP-6.0, RCP-4.5 and RCP-2.6 at http://tntcat.iiasa.ac.at:8787/RcpDb/dsd?Action=htmlpage&page=about

Geoffrey obviously hasn't done his homework on IPCC modeling, yet seems to think he knows better than they do, even to the extent of predicting temperatures without the benefit of modeling at all.

And you can send him this as well.
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Offline RE

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2017, 05:00:41 PM »
Geoffrey obviously hasn't done his homework on IPCC modeling, yet seems to think he knows better than they do, even to the extent of predicting temperatures without the benefit of modeling at all.

And you can send him this as well.

LOL.  No, I think I will demure on sending him this comment, although I will let him know that some critical commentary has been dropped on Inside the Diner.  If he can figure out the Forum system, maybe he will show up to respond.  I certainly will not get in the middle of this one!

IMHO, IPCC modeling is a crock of shit.  There are so many parameters that either nobody knows about or which are not measurable in any concrete fashion, what spits out of the model is pretty much whatever the assumptions were of the modeler.  Garbage in, Garbage out.

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Offline Palloy2

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2017, 05:59:48 PM »
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RE: IMHO, IPCC modeling is a crock of shit.  There are so many parameters that either nobody knows about or which are not measurable in any concrete fashion, what spits out of the model is pretty much whatever the assumptions were of the modeler.  Garbage in, Garbage out.

"Garbage in, Garbage out" refers to the data that the models use, not the models themselves.

The 31 IPCC models have all been tested using REAL data up to 1970, and predict correctly what we know happened from 1971 - 2014.  This is called Calibration.

When we use forecast data for 2015 - 2035, the models have a very small range of answers, indicating good confidence in the models.

When we forecast further into the future, the models tend to disagree more (wider platter around the mean):



You CAN'T criticise IPCC for not knowing something which no else knows either.  If YOU know something that IPCC doesn't, tell us what it is, and how to model it, and IPCC will gladly take it on board.

The only thing that politicians had a hand in was rewriting the Executive Summary, to make things sound not as bad as the climate scientists think it is.  No climate scientist would allow their data and modelling to be changed.

The thing that is wrong with IPCC's AR5 (and all predecessors) are the forecasts of how much fossil fuels will be burned in future, because they don't take account of Peak Oil, Coal and Gas.  As a result, all their temperature forecasts are on the VERY HIGH side.

Due to Peak Fossils, Global Warming cannot be as bad as suggested by IPCC.  It cannot be as bad as RCP-2.6 ( +1.7C  0.4 ) which peaks in 2045 and falls very slowly after that.  If someone were to submit an RCP for a Peak Fossil scenario, we would get a lower outcome than RCP-2.6.

And if the Peak Fossils scenario causes a Collapse (as it certainly will), then the outcome would be lower still.  So Global Warming is not going to get out of hand - it will get a bit worse than now, and for some (like polar bears) that is already bad enough, but for most not very bad.

The serious problem is Collapse caused by Peak Fossils, and there is NO SOLUTION to that, (other than to start practicing Third World conditions NOW, while the going is good, which no First Worlder wants to do).
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2017, 06:09:52 PM »
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RE:  I will let him know that some critical commentary has been dropped on Inside the Diner.  If he can figure out the Forum system, maybe he will show up to respond.

You could also tell him that if he isn't prepared to defend his writings (or admit he is wrong) then we won't publish his stuff on the Diner.  :evil4:  All he needs is a link to the thread and login credentials - it's pretty easy.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2017, 06:10:46 PM »
The thing that is wrong with IPCC's AR5 (and all predecessors) are the forecasts of how much fossil fuels will be burned in future, because they don't take account of Peak Oil, Coal and Gas.  As a result, all their temperature forecasts are on the VERY HIGH side.

The thing WRONG with the IPCC MODELS themselves is they don't account for DEAD PEOPLE!  They are working on a mathematical model that EXPECTS continuity of the function, not a DISCONTINUITY.

If even just 3B net Homo Saps DIE over the next 20 years, these models are completely WORTHLESS.   GARBAGE!

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Offline RE

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2017, 06:15:46 PM »
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RE:  I will let him know that some critical commentary has been dropped on Inside the Diner.  If he can figure out the Forum system, maybe he will show up to respond.

You could also tell him that if he isn't prepared to defend his writings (or admit he is wrong) then we won't publish his stuff on the Diner.  :evil4:  All he needs is a link to the thread and login credentials - it's pretty easy.

I have few enough Native Diner Bloggers as it is.  I am NOT going to force someone into chatting Inside the Diner if they are not the chatty and argumentative type of person and just write expository prose.

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Offline Palloy2

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2017, 06:41:10 PM »
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RE: I have few enough Native Diner Bloggers as it is.  I am NOT going to force someone into chatting Inside the Diner if they are not the chatty and argumentative type of person and just write expository prose.

I get your point, but there is no point in publishing stuff that is just plain wrong, only for Diners to know about it but not him.  Your helping him to spread his crap far and wide, and the more people that hear that "IPCC only forecasts temperatures based on CO2 and not the GHGs", the more they'll tend to believe it.  It is WRONG, and he should be told so.

The point he was trying to get to, doing doomsteading, is OK, good even, but for the wrong reasons.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2017, 06:58:24 PM »
Quote
RE: I have few enough Native Diner Bloggers as it is.  I am NOT going to force someone into chatting Inside the Diner if they are not the chatty and argumentative type of person and just write expository prose.

I get your point, but there is no point in publishing stuff that is just plain wrong, only for Diners to know about it but not him.  Your helping him to spread his crap far and wide, and the more people that hear that "IPCC only forecasts temperatures based on CO2 and not the GHGs", the more they'll tend to believe it.  It is WRONG, and he should be told so.

The point he was trying to get to, doing doomsteading, is OK, good even, but for the wrong reasons.

Not everyone is right about everything (except ME!  :icon_mrgreen:)  The fundamental point of Geoff's blog series here is to get people off their asses and GTFO Dodge, just as you have done.  If he is not precisely correct on the IPCC numbers, it is quite irrelevant to anyone except somebody like you who is a stickler for this type of detail.

Anyhow, I did drop him a note about your complaint, perhaps he will address it.

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Offline Palloy2

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Re: Why you need to set up a Rural Doomstead: Part 1
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2017, 10:16:40 PM »
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RE: Not everyone is right about everything (except ME!  :icon_mrgreen:)

I'm afraid I have to correct you, again.  The only person round here who is ALWAYS right is me.

Yes, I know, I'm a stickler for minor details like that.

"The State is a body of armed men."

 

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