Long/Short Term Prep (MS)

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

I have a major burr under my saddle. Have been participating in y2k prep lists for over a year, ran my own for a while, have done the local interviews with local CIO's, attended conferences - I see a problem re prep.

Almost all people or communities who are prep'ng end up talking about water filters, propane, generators, lighting, fuel storage, food storage, cash, etc. The litany is varied only when guns, martial law, or intentional communities get thrown into the conversation. Once in a while, non-hybrid seeds makes an obligatory appearance.

The burr I refer to is simple. People, all too often, are making contingency plans for y2k outages. But contingency plans have an inherent problem, that is: one. they are assuming a prep'd position which attempts to create or hold onto, what is now the status quo. two. contingency plans assume that the status quo or something similar will re-emerge.

Re y2k, can we safely assume (I'm an Infomagic 10 [minus nuke war]) that a well thought out CP will carry us until techno-society rights itself? Why are we assuming that techno-society can right itself? Because that is the easy way?

I began doing serious prep in Sept. Even including a windmill for the well, I found that standard 2 year prep is relatively cheap, easy, and fast to accomplish if done simple, 5 year is only marginally more difficult or costly. I started thinking about what I was doing and realized that my prep funds would actually be better used to create a different lifestyle between now and y2k. A lifestyle which has no dependance upon generators (wear out), propane (runs out), an enormous amount of grain and the like.

It is important to secure a fresh water source or means to create fresh water, it is important to deal with personal sewage. It is important to have food stashed. These being what I would call standard y2k prep, and of course the list is a bit longer than that, but not much. ;-)

Stop and think, if 6 months or a year's worth of prep proves, at 2001, to have been absolutely necessary, what is the chance that society is going to restructure, at all, in _anything resembling its present form? My estimation is near zero to that question.

So I adjusted my prep accordingly. Rather than 5 years of grain, or tanks of propane, kerosene refrigerators, in other words, the stuff of y2k prep, why not just go with the flow and prep for a non-tech society? Prep that will allow you a life, while not cushy and comfortable as we now define them, but will be cushy and comfortable in comparasion to the neighbors who are relying upon generators, for example, and have their fuel run out mid-course or the generator brushes wear out.

Simple stuff really. Changing diet, how to cook, what to cook, amounts to cook, what to cook on and in, setting up big subsistance gardens and storing your yearly seed, setting up the means to have and use a draft animal, pigeons, chickens, turkeys, geese. Making a root cellar. Learning how to can now, and getting the very cheap glass jars and lots of lids. Anticipating now, that the entertainment industry will be gone, so get that old piano tuned, buy several cases of guitar strings, buy as many music books, of all kinds, as you can find. Deal with the water and sewage problem, long term. Accumulate a good library, lots of reference books, how to by-hand books - used books are very inexpensive. I'm just scratching the surface here, but perhaps this will give you an idea of how I'm thinking about this.

Now is the time to not only prepare for y2k, but the time to prepare so when your y2k stash runs out you won't be thrust into a position where you either die or start sliding back to the stone age because of lack of prep. Or worse, you must become beholden to those who have thought ahead and did get the means to live ok, if not well, without techno-society. In other words, preparation enabling you to stop your slide-back at the 1850's rather than the stone age.

While I personally don't believe it is at all _possible that y2k effects will be over with in one year, let alone deJager's SciAmerican Jan00 "bumpmonth", what if you _do prepare for the 1850's and y2k is a squib.? What have you actually lost? Anything? I think not. You have just taken yourself off of the techno-tit, something that all of us should think about doing anyway, both for ourselves and the planet.

I remember that Pink Floyd lyric: do you "want a walk-on part in the war, or a leading role in a cage?"

Yours, breaking out of the cage, mitch

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), December 30, 1998


Dear Mitch, At last, someone out there shares my vision. Or I share yours. Let me paste this latest squib of mine and you will see. How bout making this list idea a more major focus? In 3-6 months, many, many people will be aware of the dangerous potential of y2k. It might almost be appropriate for panic. I don't see anything that will be in place by then that will be a real contingency for the worst-case scenerio. However, if this list of cheap, simple, funky ways and ideas for self-sustainability both for the indiv. and the neighborhood were developed by then, there would probably be many, many people willing to make the effort to implement them in the short time remaining and panic would be alleviated. I am not a tehnical person, I can't learn all the ways in time, the ideas must come from the handy people, not me. So. . . . . Do you think this plan is worthy to mobilize around? Gentle people, I hope you find these ideas worthy of supporting: First of all, I would like to assume that you are up on y2k. But, if you are like many progressives, you may be asleep at the wheel on this one, I hope not. In any case, please be so kind as to indulge me for a moment, for I have found much on the web which supports the premise that can be found on the state of California y2k web site, that there is the possibility for infrastructure breakdown (i.e. no electricity, etc. for an indefinite period) and hence contingency should be implemented with this in mind. With this possibility in mind I would like to assert that the best, the most comfortable contingency that I can imagine would be self-sustainable, self-reliant, neighborhoods globally and locally before 2000. This is the funky, cheap, simple type of self-sustainability, not the deep ecology or the bio-regionalism, or anything that would take years to implement. This is a comprehensive self sustainability that would be more fitting for contingency for infrastructure rupture such as y2k presents. Something that could be done before 2000. It is a daunting challenge, but who is to say its impossible. The stakes are so high, with the possibility of martial law/chaos on one side, and the other possibility. . . Imagine, if you would, the worst-case scenario does occur and we in our wisdom had the foresight and the diligence and the creativity to implement self-sustainable neighborhoods comprehensively and globally in time. The safety net would be available for everyone and everyone would experience the liberating and healing effect of community based on mutual co-operation and after a month or who knows how long of living this way, without money, the people of the world would see the absurdity of ever returning to the former way of injustice, waste, destruction, exploitation, and corruption that we have all had to endure and which has so degraded and compromised everyone's existence. Thus the world would be transformed in one fell swoop, possibly. Its just a possibility, of course. But is it not worth mobilizing all those who could help in creating an ever-improving list of ideas that are cheap and simple for sustainability? Would your organization be interested in playing an instrumental role in getting this ball rolling? This once in a millennium opportunity is very fleeting, there is only 13 months left. There is a certain urgency, if we are not to miss this and head into y2k with little but an ever deepening sense of panic. If for some reason you don't agree, please let me know why. Yours in hopeful collaboration, Tom 415-824-4214 bagelhole1@aol.com websites: www.y2knet.com www.artrans.com/msg/toc.htm www.co-intelligence.org www.year2000.com www.milesresearch.com/ywk/ywk-links.htm Vertical gardening: Make a column out of chickenwire and tarpaper or cardboard about 3 1/2 feet high, 142diameter. Hold a 42 diameter pipe in center and fill with sand and stones (for watering), fill the rest of the area with good soil. Remove the pipe. Cut 32 slits around the outside thru the wire and paper in a spiral pattern. Insert seedlings in slits (40-60). Can be used on sidewalks, balconies, roofs. Sizes are arbitrary. 4 or 5 should feed a family plenty of vegetables, plant about 2 weeks apart to keep a steady harvest. Local gov9ts. should be asked to bring grains from the silos across America where they often rot every year and store them in accessible places for neighborhoods in your city. Now the food produce problem is solved.12/21/98

-- Tom Osher (bagelhole1@aol.com), December 30, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ