There 'coming collapse' is already here - why I prepare.

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by The Heretic, Aug 13, 2017 at 10:49 AM.

  1. The Heretic

    The Heretic
    Oregon
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    There is no 'probability' of collapse - it is a certainty because the 'collapse' is happening right now. It is just gradual enough that many preppers do not see it.

    It isn't about economics - although that surely will be severely impacted, but economics will be a side effect.

    It isn't about an invasion or war - although those will increasingly happen around the world.

    It isn't about civil war between the left and right, the city folk and rural folk, although there will be conflicts.

    It is about human nature. Our proclivity towards ignoring what is staring us in the face because we do not think rationally - we instead react emotionally and we are easily manipulated. And by 'we', I mean all of us, not the left, not the right, not city or rural - everybody.

    But mostly it is about the fact that we reproduce faster than our environment can support. This is the nature of almost all life on earth; explosive exponential growth until we reach peak carrying capacity for our environment, and then a sharp decline in our population. Almost all life follows this pattern, from microbes to humans. The thing about humans is that we are extremely adaptable so we have become the dominant form of life on earth with regards to our impact on it.

    Even so, humans have gone through growth and decline cycles in our history. If you look into it, we have grown beyond the carrying capacity of a region and had die offs, but mostly we migrated. We still migrate and adapt. But we have grown to the point where there are fewer and fewer places to migrate to, and we have become a global population instead of a regional one. In short, there is no place to go now - we either learn to stop growing and consuming, or we will have a huge massive die off.

    I prepare, because I think that in general, human are stupid and stubborn and unwilling to learn something so hard to do as to stop growing.

    There is little question or doubt as to where we are going and what will happen.

    It is a certainty that the human population will grow by more than 200K people today, tomorrow and each day thereafter, and each year the number of people increases exponentially.

    Each day, there is less land (both arable and habitable) and less water (both potable and otherwise) and less food per person. The oceans are increasingly polluted and over-fished (it is estimated that over 90% of the worlds fisheries are over-fished). Over one billion people depend on the oceans for their primary source of protein.

    Right now, the USA seems to do okay, especially because we seem to have a surplus of resources, especially natural resources. But every day those resources per person decrease because our population increases.

    It is simple math - there is a finite amount of land, a finite amount of potable water, a finite amount of air and a finite amount of oceans. Each day, the amount of these vital resources per person, decreases.

    At some point the global amount per person will decrease to such a point that people will start dying because they won't have enough food or water, and because increasingly wars will be fought over land, energy, food and water - wars have been and currently are being fought over these resources.

    People are dying today due to over-population and the resulting climate change. In some parts of the world - like Africa - a LOT of people are dying due to climate change impacting their local climate to the point that they have such severe drought and temperatures that they cannot grow food enough to live on, and they do not have enough water.

    In the USA, we have had severe droughts (until this year, most of Oregon was under drought conditions - most of the west, especially the southwest, still has drought conditions), but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Droughts are on the surface, but the real problem is the aquifers which are being drained. The Pacific NorthWest is know for its rainfall.

    I have lived here for over 60 years and I have noticed the changes. The drier and hotter summers, the more severe winters with floods and windstorms. We had a record amount of rain this spring, and almost tied a record for days without rain this summer (it rained a little this morning and was sorely needed as the woods were very dry and the underbrush was dying - high fire danger).

    But what few people notice (unless they have a well themselves) is that the aquifers that most of our water actually comes from those aquifers via wells - especially irrigation for agriculture (which accounts for about 70% of water consumption).

    Aquifers take thousands of years to recharge, but they are getting lower and lower every year because we withdraw much more than is being put into them. My neighbor had to lower his well because it had drawn down to where he could not get any water from it.

    I live in the small part of Oregon that was not under drought conditions (the NW corner), on a mountain that gets twice the rainfall that the valley gets but that rainfall drains down the mountain into the gullies then the creeks then the rivers - some of it eventually gets into the aquifers, but it takes a long time, and even just the small number of people who live on this mountain (and the vineyards and small farms) have drawn down the aquifer. Most of our rainfall gets sucked up into the trees or drains off into the valley.

    When it dumps rain on us and we get floods in the valleys, eventually most of that rainfall goes into the ocean, not kept in our aquifers or reservoirs, because it is too much. Once a reservoir is filled the overflow is let go, it washes through the valleys removing valuable top soil and causing erosion and does not help us at all. What we need every year is snowfall that will slowly melt (we got almost normal snowfall this last winter, but before, for years, we did not) and rain spread out over the year, not dumped on us in a short amount of time.

    It used to be we joked that we had two seasons - cold rain in the winter, and warm rain in the summer. Lots of rain jokes in the Pacific NorthWet (even our regional name was turned into a joke). We used to take bets on whether it would rain on July 4th, but I have not seen a 4th in years where it rained, or had rained for over a month, or rained a month later. Farmers are increasingly turning to irrigation to keep their crops from dying.

    We are a net exporter of agriculture, but the amount of farm acreage for food has decreased. The amount of acreage for landscaping has increased, converted from food to growing landscaping plants that produce no food (my father's farm, which produced grains and then strawberries, sold 15 years ago, is now a landscaping nursery). The amount of vineyards for wine and other alcoholic beverages has significantly increased. The 50 acres my dad cleared on this mountain for strawberries and later walnuts, then filberts, is now owned by one of the largest Oregon wine producers and is a vineyard. That same wine producer just put in a vineyard below and adjacent to my property.

    While efficiency of farms has increased, so has the number of people each farmer feeds while their acreage decreases. Most people (at least those who have not lived here long enough to explor east of the Cascades) do not realize that two thirds of Oregon is actually desert, very little of that desert is farmable, and most of that can't be farmed without irrigation.

    Washington state is a bit better - about half of it (or less) is desert, but that part usually needs irrigation too. The Cascade mountains divide the western part ('wetside') from the east ('dryside') and most of the population is in the west of the Cascades, where most of the high producing agriculture exists - so that land is decreasing because our population is growing.

    There is a reason the USA has large areas of land that are sparsely populated; because most of the arable/habitable land is where people congregate and people tend to not like to live in dry deserts where it is hot and dry and difficult to grow food without irrigation.

    When someone says "oh we have plenty of land - look at all of that land that we can expand into", I just roll my eyes because they are so clueless and obviously have never tried to live off that land on their own. I can't really even live off the land I occupy now - too steep to farm, northern exposure so difficult to garden.

    I am seeing it now because I grew up on a farm, my dad was both a farmer and worked for the state in their water resources dept. and knew about aquifers, drainages and wells inside and out.

    I live near the farm my family operated for three generations growing food for others. I have seen the metro area of Portland and suburban communities expand out into the agricultural areas around it, consuming farms, impacting others (e.g., switching to landscaping plants and grass seed for lawns, from food production).

    I have seen the weather change over the long term, and consistently, from year to year now, get hotter and drier in the summers during the growing season.

    I see that, and the overall global numbers. When I was growing up, the world population was less than 3 billion. Today it is over 7 billion - over twice the number and growing exponentially faster:

    Population, year, and number of years to add one billion people.
    3 billion 1960 33 years
    4 billion 1974 14 years
    5 billion 1987 13 years
    6 billion 1999 12 years

    The carrying capacity of the earth is currently estimated to be about 10 billion people. Some areas are already falling short. The USA does better because we started off with an abundance of resources, and our population growth is less than others (as is many first world countries).

    It is population and the consumption by that population that drives us inexorably towards a collapse.

    At 63, with a life expectancy of 85 if I am lucky, I probably won't live long enough to see the day that there is a net die off - where the world population stops its net growth and millions to billions of people die faster than they are replaced, but I predict it won't be pretty.

    My kids may see it - they are who I prep for. When I retire, I will move off this mountain and move further out away from the PDX metro area to the coastal range where there is more rainfall and few people. I will buy a property with a southern exposure (I am currently on the north side of this mountain) and more gently sloping land which can be farmed. I will put in an small orchard of fruit trees, a greenhouse and solar panels. The goal is to be self-sufficient with regards to water and energy, and to produce at least some of the food we consume.

    Before the collapse, it will become increasingly expensive and hard to live, and those who produce at least some of their own food, and have their own water, and have their own production of electricity, will be at a distinct advantage over those who live in urban areas (currently 80+% and increasing - it wasn't that long ago that it was 50%).

    In short, it won't be about surviving a "coming collapse"; the world is slowly collapsing now. Most people just are not aware, much less accept it when they are told or see it and almost nobody prepares for it.

    I probably won't see the die off, but I do not primarily prepare for myself - I prepare for my daughter and her husband. I hope that when I can no longer live on my land, that they will see what is coming and move onto the land and live there.
     
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  2. IronMonster

    IronMonster
    Free Idaho!
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    While I don't fundamentally disagree with anything you say I do think "Collapse" in this case is a bit of a misnomer. Decline is more accurate and its purely about resources. (cheap energy being the primary driver of the human boom of the last 150 years)

    The only guaranteed bet is that change is coming. What that change is we can't know. There could be a technological breakthrough that changes the paradigm or we could be far fewer of us and what's left living like our ancestors of 300 years ago

    I don't dwell on it. I for years was doom and gloom and sure the economy was on the edge of collapse. Well after 7 year or so of preaching that I gave up. I don't think anything has changed but I accept that I have no idea of what tomorrow will bring and preparing for a societal shift can only be done if you are taking care of your everyday needs and also making plans for if everything goes great.

    I for one don't dread the future. I will suit up and show up no matter what transpires.
     
  3. JRuby

    JRuby
    St. Helens Oregon
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    I feel many things are changing. I feel it to the point where my personal goal is to become more self sufficient
    I am preparing in many ways today. I see how my dollar buys less. I see the weather patterns changing. I see how the government is trying to control more and more of my life.

    Having said that I am simply a person that is trying to make life better for my wife and myself by being better prepared.
     
  4. HB of CJ

    HB of CJ
    42N, 123W Kinda
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    Yep! Die back.
     
  5. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    I think it seems to gradual to most people who even accept that it is happening, to call it a collapse, but regardless of the pace, it is a collapse, albeit currently one that seems slow enough to not be one. When it gets to the die off, there will be no doubt that it was a collapse, just a long time coming.

    I think we can look at what happens with other animals when they have done the same thing and see some part of the general nature of the collapse in so far as there will be a significant die off. The rest is informed speculation based on human nature and history. I think it is safe to say that there will be violence (we are seeing it now overseas and have seen it in past centuries), and that there will be migrations which we are seeing now, just on a somewhat smaller scale.

    I've been prepping for over 40 years and I have worried about every scenario some doom and gloom prophet has predicted since before I was born (Heinlein was very worried about nuclear war, the Soviets and other issues), many of them dead now, others just in it to sell books and survival goodies by scaring people.

    But over-population and its effects have been on my radar for decades, and just looking around at the general changes taking place, and having observed human behavior (especially the tendency to be in denial and to be manipulated by short term greed), I have no doubt that this is happening.

    I have heard the 'technology has helped before, it will help again' along with waving of hands response. I consider that to be wishful thinking. At best, technology will just delay the inevitable and make it even worse because there will be even more people.

    The sad thing to me is that despite all that, this could be prevented - except for human nature. Except for our proclivities and nature, there is no technical reason we could not stop what is happening - we just won't because we (the human population) simply do not want to work together to do what is necessary to stop it. No one wants to give up anything to prevent it.
     
  6. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    Becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent is most of the answer and probably the only thing we can do beyond advocating for change - IMO.

    That probably won't prevent the eventual outcome, but it will at least help some people survive longer. No one lives forever - we just do the best we can. The upside is that such preps are pretty much the same as the preps for any other long term SHTF event, so we are covered either way - as much as we can be.

    I would just advise people to keep an eye on the trends, and what they mean. Migration from regions that are more severely impacted to those that are less impacted is one quite probable effect. E.G., people moving from dense population centers in the SW to the PNW.

    The die off does not necessarily mean everyone will die, just many - although if there is nuclear war then all bets are off on whether there will be survivors (limited nuclear war is probably survivable by some, not so sure about total nuclear war).
     
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  7. 41mag

    41mag
    sunny Orygun
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    Nice essay.
    What you describe is the exact life cycle of such as 'eColi' and all other bacterial life forms. The model extends throughout the animal AND botanical realm.

    E. coli colonies grow exponentially in a predictable pattern. In a petri dish the small micro colony expands on the outer surface of the coin-shaped form. The outer cells multiply and eat their way to ever greater exposure to larger energy sources. As they multiply rapidly the inner core is gradually deprived of nutrients and susceptible to increasing toxins of the outer colony.

    The inner city of E. coli dies off from lack of fuel and crapping itself to death. Eventually the outer colony runs into the boundary of the petri dish or the end margin of the substrate. Any resemblance to Current Events is purely intended.

    They have no way of fracking into other petri dishes. Yet.
    Still, the question of 'silicon life forms'/'electricity' have generated increasing intrigue on the metaphysical front.

    It was a shock to me in the 80s when flying over the Eastern Oregon desert, to see the incredible proliferation of Jack Simplot's center pivot watering system for his extensive spud farms. That strangely correlated with the Big News (closely followed by this Son of the Spud) of his long term historic contract with McD & their then-novel & still pretty good 'french fries'. And recent drive thru that same area I was met with hundreds if not thousands, of giant wind turbines.

    It's pretty much a historical reality, that whatever problems our parent's generation solved for us, our grand kids will have a Whole New Thrill Ride.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 12:27 PM
  8. mrblond

    mrblond
    Salem OR
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    IMHO, Humans are up there with rats and roaches as far as survivalability. Its going to take alot to wipe us out. We are highly adaptable and can eat about anything that wont kill us. If its to hot, we shed or wear light clothing, to cold, we kill somnething and wear its clothing :)
     
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  9. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    I didn't say we would all die, just many of us - especially those who do not prepare - among whom, are those who lack the ability to see the issue or those who see it and deny there is a problem. YMMV

    Can individuals survive? Sure. Will it be a rough ride? Almost certainly. Whether you yourself will have to deal with it depends on your age, life expectancy and whether something else kills you first. But if you have descendants, they will probably see it. My concern is less for me, than for my children.
     
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  10. Howard1955

    Howard1955
    Dallas, Oregon
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    Our farm is on the lower slope of a small ridge of hills, and in the 28 years we've been here, it does seem that the water table has dropped. The orchard trees seem to suffer in the summers now.

    Another large vineyard was put in a few years ago, just uphill of us. A few days ago, I noticed a well-drilling rig up there. Wondering just how much water they're planning to pump.

    As a Christian, I understand that the world is nearing a time the Bible calls "the great tribulation". If any of you want to talk about that, PM me.

    Howard
     
  11. The Heretic

    The Heretic
    Oregon
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    Wells can tap into different small aquifers in different areas, especially in rocky areas and especially on mountains. My well is 120 feet deep, water found at 60 feet, pump at 80, and it is doing okay (although, I probably would not notice since I am just a single guy and I don't pull much water from it).

    My neighbors, including the one having to drop his pump, have their wells much deeper - 400 to 600 feet.

    The sheets of rock/etc. on hills and mountains - there are voids in them that are where the water is held. So I am not tapping into the exact same water source my neighbors are. If they are running out of water at 500 feet, and I am not at 100 feet, we obviously are not on the same water level.

    But yeah, in general, agriculture draws down the aquifers - that is why the state of Orygun pretty much gives a permit for a well to any house not in a city water district by default, but farmers they pretty much are on a waiting list, behind those who already have permits.
     
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  12. Rickenbacher39

    Rickenbacher39
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    Whew..........
    After reading that I guess I'm going to cancel Christmas this year..........:(
     
  13. 308

    308
    ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
    ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Silver Supporter

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    Yes, and what is even more interesting is when non-followers of the teachings of Jeshua openly discuss and recognize the signs He foretold.

    Mark 13:7-8....for example
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 4:31 PM
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
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    Since "it's" already here, I can safely say TLDR, too long didn't read. true
     
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  15. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs
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    2022 is only Five Years away ..........

    016-soylent-green-theredlist.jpg
     
  16. 308

    308
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    Delicious!
     
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  17. Lance Jacobs

    Lance Jacobs
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    You did forget to mention disease. As the world becomes more overpopulated, the risk of serious infections diseases will skyrocket.

    Here is a link to an article from the US National Library of Medicine's National Center for Biotechnology Information:

    The consequences of human actions on risks for infectious diseases: a review

    It will no doubt be best to isolate yourself somewhat, away from large population centers.

    .
     
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  18. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
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    I'm "prepared".. dry humor rubbed and darngerous! ready steady
     
  19. The Heretic

    The Heretic
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    Disease, famine, violence - it will all happen.
     
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  20. Krinkov

    Krinkov
    NE PDX
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    This sounds like a wonderful offer but I'm going to have to decline :D
     
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