Tuesday, September 05, 2006

first principles of survival (repost)

We all know that the ultimate double whammy is coming - Climate Change coupled with Peak Oil are going to pack a punch most of us won’t survive. Judging by most people’s behaviour a lot of you are quite happy to be sitting ducks.

But for the non-hippy, non-lemming minority it’s time for us to start planning our own and our families’ survival. There is still time to secure yourself a sort of future, but remember every day wasted will reduce your chances of surviving.

I can’t guarantee anything of course, but if I were you I’d be taking the following action -

If your house is less than 50 feet above sea level sell it as quickly as you can. There are still a few suicidal divvies out there itching for a sea view. If you’re in a city - no matter how high up - make plans to get out ASAP. Again there are still mugs, mired in the past, who actually WANT to live in a city!

Find a small rural property, preferably detached. Ideally you’ll need about an acre of land per family member for food, plus another acre or so per family member for growing wood. A sunny position would be helpful if you plan to continue to use electrical goods. A wood burner is also essential. Remember that once the Gulf Stream fails, winters in the UK will be on average 10 degrees centigrade colder than they are now, although this should soften as global temperatures continue to rise inexorably. Plan for at least 50-100 years of cold winters. If on an exposed site small wind turbines may be useful. A good independent water supply is essential. And it’s no good having the perfect hideaway if it is not in a defensible position. It’s likely that most of us will need to compromise in any case, as few properties will meet all conditions for optimum survivability.

Try not to be too remote - a mile or so from a larger village or small market town would be useful. Some sort of trading is likely to survive PPO. A railway station would be a huge benefit, even a position near a route that is currently closed is better than being on a road! There will be a huge (if desperate) rebuilding of closed railways over the next few decades as roads fall into disuse.

Ease yourself into your new community as you don’t want to be seen as an outsider when things kick off. Communities are likely to close in on themselves as central government breaks down. Start doing favours for your new neighbours, get involved in local initiatives, don’t make enemies, learn and use skills that make you valuable rather than a useless mouth to feed.

Become a jack-of-all-trades. Learn how to work with wood and metal, cook, build, raise animals, grow food. These are all skills that will be useful to you, or to sell or trade with the less capable.

Liquidate your rubbish. Tread more lightly. Go for a minimalist approach to possessions. There are still mugs willing to pay silly prices for useless consumer items. Sell your life on eBay before moving. Buy useful items - axes, saws, woodland, instructional books.

Exchange your money for gold or silver. Paper money will be valueless as things break down. Close bank accounts and turn the cash into gold and silver or woodland.

Sell your car ASAP. Again there are mugs out there who will burden themselves with one of these valueless albatrosses. Petrol will soon be two, three, four, five pounds a litre, and driving will become a hobby for the very rich on an ever-shrinking and increasingly decrepit road network.

Work with nature rather than against it, and face the future rather than hide from it. Survivors need to be strong, sane and grounded, traits that our current lemming society detests and discourages. Look after yourself physically and mentally and respect and protect everything in nature around you in your new life.

And find time to chill out and enjoy yourself!

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