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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PODA weapons devolution 10


PODA WEAPONS DEVOLUTION 10

FUTURE METAL

As in the past, future metal will be limited, of poor quality and used only where critical.  It isn’t about the ores, per se, but about the smelting.  And even then, it is also about the ores.  We no longer have near surface high quality ore or coal or oil.  And natural gas will no longer be transported- it’s infrastructure more energy intensive and higher tech.  Even if our landscape was littered with scrap- no longer the case as invaluable irreplaceable huge hunks or iron and steel and aluminum have been shipped over to China- you still have the energy limitations smelting it.  Water power is not so much the answer, either.  The Western hydropower is higher tech/higher maintenance, more centralized in an increasingly drought blighted area, and the Eastern hydropower lacks machinery in locks and dams neglected of upkeep for generations.  Not that it is impossible, just that it is far below “historical”( last 150 years ) norms.  We won’t be building continent wide empires on what is left- perhaps smaller regional, if at all.  As was already stated, the most likely outcome is just 500 years of Dark Ages and NO expansion or governmental centralization.  The soil needs to recover, and you only do that unnaturally with a food surplus already in place.  Left to her own devices, Mother Natures soil build up will take many generations.

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But you can forget about ores or fuels ever being “unlimited” and universal.  It will never disappear, but they will once again be very dear, limited and pricey.  Metal should be one of those new compact materials ideal for shipping.  As in the middle ages where spice was small and compact and valuable enough to pay for a ship and crew and compensate for failure, I foresee steel being the same.  Perhaps not the lower smelt temperature items such as copper ( although that depends on how our telephone lines fair prior to collapse ), but certainly higher quality metals.  You can forget about precious metals- those are NOT needed in an environment of zero trade which is the area without soil fertility giving crop surplus.  Metal, so ambiguous prior to 2005 Global Peak Oil you could throw it away and buy all new, is even now far more dear, both for smelting costs and the end of global ore supply surpluses.  In the future, anything metal of acceptable quality will be very expensive, if available at all.  If you are at all concerned, now is the time to acquire things such as ax heads, shovels and picks, black powder rifle kits, bicycle replacement parts and etc.  Or, auto leaf springs for future metal projects such as crossbows or edged weapons.  All that will soon be replaced with far less efficient items, if any.  They might just disappear completely.  It also highlights your future military capacities.  Far less metal, if any.

END

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21 comments:

  1. so now we need to stock up on coal and scrap metal too?

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    Replies
    1. A few junk cars will be nice. Full of coal?

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    2. got my collection of beer cans and whiskey bottles save up,I'm ready!

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  2. Quality wood is also going to be at a premium, as all the old growth forests have been mostly logged out. Wood will be more prevalent than metal perhaps but will also be expensive. So don't expect a return of the log cabin, or wooden wagons and ships of yore.
    In fact the only materials that will continue to be in dirt cheap supply will be dirt. And not the fertile stuff either.
    Expect houses built post collapse to be mud hovels or at best pioneer style 'soddies'. Straw, clay, and grass- and maybe limited amounts of leather, will be the most commonly available materials for household use. Trash from our industrial era will be used as well but much of it is perishable (cardboard and plastic especially, but most metal will rust and most glass will be broken into unusually small pieces in only a couple hundred years.)
    Bury your scrap plastic now and your great grandkids will be selling it in a couple hundred years - competing with who ever owns the landfills.

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    Replies
    1. Surely we can keep producing glass? I haven't looked into the logistics of that. Seems to be the least resource intense way to heat and cook.

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    2. Glass is fragile, and takes a lot of heat to melt. To produce the beautiful pure panes of glass we have today will be well beyond the financial means of any but the richest of the rich. And one good hail storm (thanks global weather wierding!) and you glass is damaged or broken. Most modern glasses that are shatter resistant are that way due to polymers- given enough UV light over long enough time they will loose their transparency and shatter resistance- It might take a generation or two but glass will go the way of metal and plastics to the common man.

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    3. Hmmm. Holding a farmers greenhouse glass for ransom. I like it!

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  3. I may be wrong, but it appears to me that your extrapolations don't adequately take into account a vastly reduced population during PODA. If the population is greatly reduced, and the amount of surplus/scrap material (like junk cars and telephone wires, for example) remains fairly constant, that would seem to me to infer that the amount of remaining material might still be rather good on a "per-survivor" basis.

    Your thoughts?

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    Replies
    1. The lack of population is going to be offset by the increased rush to use up ALL the resources left by the increased population prior to the collapse. We have to be careful not to fall for the "instant wipeout of humanity so I get all the supplies" device fiction writers have used ( which is why I LOATH AND DESPISE with every molecule of my being stories like Earth Abides as it is the poster child for that level of cop-out thinking.

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    2. I agree with Jim. If there is that sort of 'instant die off' it will likely have been deliberately engineered by those who will have plans to seize power and wealth post die off. The fact we haven't seen such an instant die off is why I don't think there can be a single global NWO type conspiracy.

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    3. Your analysis makes sense, thanks. (Nice hair, too.) I had not adequately factored in the rate of population decline with regard to the remaining resource pool depletion rate. An engineered bio-event may still be in the cards (like that line in the Jackson Browne song "Don't think it won't happen just because it hasn't happened yet") but until then a slow draw-down makes more sense to plan for.


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  4. I used to work in a glass factory. May as well produce metal with a blast furnace. Lots and lots of heat needed.

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    Replies
    1. well, that REALLY sucks. Okay, now I understand the lack of glass even considering its very real benefits.

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    2. You can always 'repair' a glass pane with a chunk of clay (though if it is double paned its going to fog up. You can also use a clay matrix and use pieces of scrap glass for a stained glass window effect. I plan on using such when I build my house for daylight into the bathingroom.

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  5. pennies and beer cans are easy to melt in a wood fire.Make a mold out of mud and cast parts.

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    Replies
    1. Aluminum & copper for ammo, sure. But heavy weapons parts?

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    2. cannons were made of bronze,why not copper?

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    3. I am not a metalurgist but yes, I believe just copper would be too soft. However, it occurs to me that you could take an existing field howitzer and modify it as an old fashioned front stuffer when the regular ammo runs out.

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    4. Try typing these key words into your browser: " beer can mortar plans". I recall Delta Press, and Loompanics before them sold the plans? But it looks like you can view videos, and possibly free PDF,s online? Might be worth investigating?

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