06 April 2008

...Trapped in the City with Millions of Other People Needing Food, Power and Everything Else

You know that survivalism is in neverland when the New York Times posts a piece on it. Survivalism is not just for right wing crazies anymore. With the frenzy over "peak oil", "global warming", and "overpopulation", now left wing crazies can feel justified when indulging in the survival instinct.
...interest in the survivalist movement “is experiencing its largest growth since the late 1970s,” Mr. Rawles said in an e-mail, adding that traffic at his blog has more than doubled in the past 11 months, with more than 67,000 unique visitors per week. And its base is growing.

“Our core readership is still solidly conservative,” he said. “But in recent months I’ve noticed an increasing number of stridently green and left-of-center readers.”

...“The ‘where do we land when climate change gets crazy?’ question seems to be an increasingly common one,” said Mr. Steffen in an e-mail message, adding that such questions have “really gone mainstream.”

Many of the new, nontraditional preparedness converts are “Peakniks,” Mr. Rawles said, referring to adherents of the “Peak Oil” theory. This concept holds that the world will soon, or has already, reached a peak in oil production, and that coming supply shortages might threaten society. While the theory is still disputed by many industry analysts and executives, it has inched toward the mainstream in the last two years, as oil prices have nearly doubled, surpassing $100 a barrel.

...Some middle-class preparedness converts, like Val Vontourne, a musician and paralegal in Olympia, Wash., recoil at the term “survivalist,” even as they stock their homes with food, gasoline and water.

“I think of survivalists as being an extreme case of preparedness,” said Ms. Vontourne, 44, “people who stockpile guns and weapons, anticipating extreme aggression. Whereas what I’m doing, I think of as something responsible people do.

“I now think of storing extra food, water, medicine and gasoline in the same way I think of buying health insurance and putting money in my 401k,” she said. “It just makes sense.” __NYT

Think of it as "survivalist chic" or "survival lite." Once you wrap your mind around the idea that survival is now politically correct, it gets easier.

The harsher reality is that it will actually take a village--an enclave--to survive, if just half the things the catastrophists of global warming, peak oil, and overpopulation are predicting actually come to pass. If the nouveaux survivalists truly could organise in all seriousness, and in the numbers required for long term survival, it is unlikely the disasters that haunt their dreams would ever come to pass.

Of course, if "environmental" policies prevent nuclear power plants from being built, stop oil refineries from being constructed and operating, and obstruct large oil deposits from being tapped, you can actually create some of the very catastrophes you are pretending to prepare yourself for--if you really try hard enough.

The type of discipline and foresight needed to survive the type of devastation dreamed of by witless hacks like Kunstler and Al Gore, or by skilled writers like Cormac McCarthy, is exactly the type of disciplined foresight that would prevent most of these legislated and artificial disasters from occurring in the first place.

But let me be the last person to discourage anyone from stocking food, water, fuel, and power supplies in case of natural or man-made disaster. I do recommend taking care of who your neighbors are going to be, if such a situation actually crops up. Avoid most university professors, journalists, political activists, lawyers, faux environmentalists, and serial killers. Seek out surgeons and ER docs, former special forces and marines, farmers, ranchers, engineers, good cooks, mechanics, builders, and craftsmen of all kinds.

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Blogger Sentenza said...

Well, if Ms. Vontourne doesn't stockpile weapons, what's mine is mine, and what's hers is mine as well.

Sunday, 06 April, 2008  
Blogger SwampWoman said...

Yep. Not much use in stockpiling supplies if you don't have the means to defend them. If she's going to depend on the police, well, they'll come in time to collect the body. As a female, most males are going to be stronger. As a female of middle age, younger females will be stronger.

Sunday, 06 April, 2008  
Blogger The Gunslinger said...

Hahahaha! My first thought. "no GUNS?"

I just love these amateurs.

On the other hand, she doesn't know much about economics, either. The idea that it is a shortage of oil that is increasing the price in America, is a little hard to explalin when the price in other locales has not risen much.

She might want to take a short course in "inflation/collapse of the dollar" to understand the problem here.

Sunday, 06 April, 2008  
Blogger IConrad said...

She might want to take a short course in "inflation/collapse of the dollar" to understand the problem here. And Gunslinger, you might want to take a course or two in economics as well. Inflation isn't what's causing the rise in oil prices. The problem //there// is nigh unto purely political, with the mitigation that we're talking about the cost of surplus production by specific states.

Of course, those states are still only charging their fixed amounts within their own nation -- that's not a relevant comparison. The problem of the rising cost of oil is self-explanatory: the demand has outstripped the supply.

That doesn't mean the supply is going down; if anything it's been consistently raising .4% per year if we average out the last few decades. Problem is that we're in double-digits of growth in demand.

Monday, 07 April, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

Also, the US is too fastidious to build new oil refineries, so it imports more pre-refined fuels. Very expensive.

The current US Congress seems determined to precipitate some type of energy crisis, when a bit of intelligent planning could easily avoid it. Search as you might, there is no intelligence to be found under the rotunda.

If anything intelligent is to be done, it will be done outside the governments and intergovernments of the world.

Monday, 07 April, 2008  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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