fruitkakechevy: (Default)
[personal profile] fruitkakechevy
If I actually thought about all the stuff that's happening in the world right now, I'd be selling the house and moving to good farmland in the interior or up the coast. Maybe on Vancouver Island. I try not to think about the magnitude of what's happening; it induces a certain paralysis, and a need to dive deep into pulpy novels.

Here's a short doom list:

- The west antarctic ice sheet is widely expected to collapse, raising sea levels by 6-7 m in parts of North America. (a href="">see here). No idea when, but current news says that it may be starting to disintigrate. James Hansen, a senior NASA scientist who is a leading climate adviser to the US government, said, "Once a sheet starts to disintegrate, it can reach a tipping point beyond which break-up is explosively rapid." To see how that will affect your home, click here. There's also the Greenland ice sheet; same deal. Older projections state that melting will take a millennium, but James Hansen argues that taking positive feedback loops and erratic progress (as seen in geological records of past shifts) into account, it might be a matter of decades before I've got waterfront property.

- Much of the world is in the midst of extreme drought. Potential Dust Bowl Dirty 30's kind of drought, if it keeps up. Since it's almost certainly driven by climate change, which has yet to be addressed in any significant way, it's unlikely that we'll be experiencing an end to drought anytime soon. See here. Another engine for drought is the lack of trees, which capture and hold moisture to release it slowly through their leaves as well as holding soil (which holds water) with their roots. This smooths out the highs and lows of the atmospheric water supply; less trees leads to thunderous floods followed by dry, dry, dry. Much of North America's produce is grown in California, one of the drought-stricken areas.. This isn't only the probable end of strawberries in December; if we don't get our local food supply up and running (beyond high-end elite boutiquery) this is probably the end of all fresh produce that isn't kale, leeks, potatoes, and cabbage for about a third of the year (assuming greenhouses are still feasible).

- The Bees. Oh, the BEES. Did you know that they pollinate many of our food crops, never mind the non-food crops that keep the birds and other animals alive? The bees are dying, due to what is now thought to be a complex web of environmental causes (collectively called Colony Collapse Disorder). Hopefully we'll sort out what the problems are before everything stops reproducing.

- Peak oil. It may have already happened, and we're being sheltered from the effects by the global slowdown.

- The totally predictable collapse of the US economy, and related collapse of much of the world economy. People that were looking saw this coming, and were dismissed as doomsayers. (Sound familiar?) This economic crisis takes centre stage in world news, and all efforts are focused towards reviving a way of being that will ultimately be our doom. The environment takes a back seat with only token reforms put forward, and there is no real money/effort to get us moving on a more sustainable path. This will make our inevitable crash (global warming plus peak oil) that much more painful; instead of the the more manageable long emergency I've been hoping for, I fear we're headed for doom, doom, doom. There will be little money or collective effort to prepare a snoozing population for the major shift in our standard of living that's barreling towards us at top speed. Though honestly, the magnitude of the shift that's coming is so large that it's no wonder the US is building what look like internment camps. I wonder if we are, too?

Have I been a downer? Perhaps deflated your Sunny Day Cheer? Don't worry. There's always the chance that humankind will pull together and sort this mess out, that all the scientists (aside from a few contrarians, mostly paid by the oil industry) that study climate science are wrong, or that the Care Bears will save us. Failing that, TV and pop culture will soothe us with their lullaby of "Everything's normal, everything's fine, buy more junk!". Hey, this stuff keeps bubbling in the back of my mind, but I'm not out back-to-the-land-ing like I would be if I thought this was going to happen next year. I'm supporting local, sustainably produced food, as much as I'm able, but local food is still a boutique item that requires forethought and effort (and costs more than our artificially cheap industrial food). I'm not sure if it's because I'm in denial, because I don't think it'll happen in the next 10 years (though who really knows until it's too late?), or because I think that when it does happen almost all the people I care about will be screwed anyways so I might as well be comfortable until then, but I'm not really getting ready for this mess (memorably labled "Clusterfuck Nation", and a "circle-jerk of mutual denial" by the delightful James Howard Kunstler) at all.

This post is brought to you by the letter J, as in Josh has the 'flu, and is spending the morning sleeping and/or puking on my lap so I'm stuck in Google University.

Date: 2009-02-20 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Greg and I have talked about all of this for a few years now. This is all why we've started researching and experimenting with urban foraging, front yard gardening, buying in thrift stores/craigslist, reducing our costs on everything, and learning how to live without TP, shampoo, excessive amounts of soap etc. All BIG changes in lifestyle have to start with baby steps. That's what we're trying to do now. Baby steps at first, bigger steps as time passes. Eventually, changing our lifestyle to fit the huge global changes (mostly increases in cost of fuel, energy, gas, food etc) will be easy because we'll be mostly there already. I hope anyways. ;-)

Date: 2009-02-20 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wish it wasn't such a production getting out to your side of town! I'd like to see your garden, and maybe have some tea/chattery (while we still HAVE tea!! DOOOOM!!) :P

Hey, did you hear about this? <>

Date: 2009-02-20 05:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the link! Transit isn't that bad once you get on the skytrain/99-b-line. It's a pretty straight shoot once you're on the skytrain. ;-)

Greg and I will be working on the garden (ie. expanding it to include the entire front yard) the first few days of March. We'll be buying a lot of manure/soil and covering the leaves that we put down on the grass in the fall. We also have salvaged urbanite and rocks that we will place around the yard to act as stepping stones around our new garden.

You should totally come visit! After we've made the garden beautiful, we can have tea and chat about the end of the world! ;-)

Do you have my email? (catansey at geemale etc)

Date: 2009-02-20 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmmm.. I'm a long walk (or a short bus) from the skytrain. If you have a Tuesday or Wednesday that's lacking for company, let me know!

Date: 2009-02-20 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry to hear your wee man-cub isnunwell, I hope he is feeling better soon and both ceases and desists the pukapalooza.
I share your worry about the bees, I have been getting more and more concerned the more mead I make, I had no idea how central to agriculture bees were until I started researching Hive Collapse Disorder. Scary stuff indeed. While I am not waiting for the Care Bear Solution I am putting my money on us pulling trough eventually, I have to say this is based more on blind faith than a reasoned appraisal of the data..but it the best I can do right this second.

Date: 2009-02-20 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The puking is no longer every hour! We even slept for several contiguous hours with No Puking!!

I'm always so happy whenever I see a honey bee. I read that bees use wintergreen and lemongrass essential oils to counter mites and boost hive immune system levels.. It makes the honey a little strange, but I'm going to put some out. I had mason bees a few years ago and they got mites. The poor bees were crawling with small seseme-seed sized bloodsuckers. I hope the lemongrass helps the wild populations, because EEEW (nevermind OW!).

Due to our huge population levels, not everyone will get through ok. We'd need to get back down to pre-oil numbers, at the very least.. that's under 2 billion, where we're currently over 6. It'll be messy, and won't likely be due to people just not having babies. I think that this is the most horrible aspect of it all; we've hugely increased our population using oil.. now what do we do when we can't feed ourselves anymore? Blue-green algae? The only thing I think we can hope for here is that we can put the problem off for a little while longer.

Date: 2009-02-20 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm placing my odds on continuing to learn to grow food, and soon hopefully learning to keep sick/injured people from dying, and oh yes, how to use guns. Am I missing anything?

Joking aside, although getting farmland would be a lot of fun, I don't know if we're necesarrily better off in smaller towns in terms of surviving Clusterfuck Nation. Some rural areas, despite having huge amounts of arable land, are surprisingly extraordinarily dependent on non-local food, sometimes more so than cities. Depends on the town, really. And even if you get nicely set up with your own food-producing patch of land, ready to ride it all out, you'd just need one asshole neighbour with weapons to come and take all your stuff. So, I think we have to all get together and fix the system enough for most of us to get through it in some fashion, or we're all going down together.

Date: 2009-02-20 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The guns is the main reason that I'd want to leave the city. It's all well and good if I think ahead, and grow and store my own food, but if my neighbor has three kids to feed he's not likely to respect my efforts and starve. I think that's only a problem if we have a huge collapse all at once, something I'm betting against. I'm hoping that we can remain a cohesive civilization through this mess, otherwise it'll be all about who can take from those that have, until we settle out into Lords and Serfs or somesuch.

If we have Kunstler's Long Emergency, like I'm hoping, we'll all have some time to adapt. Those of us with houses in the city will probably have to move out to work in productive areas in the surrounding countryside. People with productive land in suburbia will hopefully be able to consolidate and expand their operations slowly, selling produce and teaching others in order to fund amassing enough land for a small farmstead.

The reason I'd want to move away from the city is that, if we have a quick collapse, that way I'm less likely to be near thousands of desperate people. I've worked on a farm that supported a family, and it was small and diverse. Having a farm like that is a matter of a few years prep and starting to plant different things. I'm sure that if people are finding that their previous cash crops are not selling, they'll start keeping a bigger kitchen garden.

Will this be necessary in our lifetimes? I have no idea! I think that we can all get together and work to fix the system, and during a long emergency where it's obvious to everyone what has to be done that would probably work, but if we're in for a quick collapse then we're probably all going down together (see aforementioned circle jerk of mutual denial).

Date: 2009-02-22 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
fyi, i've been thinking of you a lot lately as b and i are making "the plans" to go now that he's been laid off. i keep thinking about how you and i talked about things like that!

we're looking at: the island, the sunshine coast, the interior, maybe lytton.

funny how we're on the same page.

can you email the bday email you sent to my home email?

Date: 2009-02-22 04:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We're looking at an overall drying trend, so keep your water supply in mind, especially if you're looking at Lytton. Also, this, though you're probably safe enough planning for 3-4m this century as a worst-case.

(You can't go!! We need to raise babies together!!)


fruitkakechevy: (Default)

January 2011

234 5678

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 23rd, 2017 01:32 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios