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Friday, November 25, 2016

how's that olduvai theory working out for you? 2 of 2


HOW’S THAT OLDUVAI THEORY WORKING OUT FOR YOU? Part 2

Perhaps I should have stated that the first step in our question ( is it probable that we only have two or three years left to prep before industrial civilization implodes from lack of energy? ) is asking yourself if you are even worried about Peak Oil.  Obviously, from the number of times I’ve harped on it, from the very beginning of my blog posting ten years ago, you know that it concerns me greatly.  But I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am correct, and have lived my life accordingly, but that is my personal hang-up.  But, do we really need Peak Oil to be very, very frightened?  Donald Trump winning the election only stopped imminent attack by the Russians.  It will do nothing to change our trajectory into oblivion, because all The Donald can do is rearrange the pieces of the shrinking pie and I‘ll give you one guess if its going to us or the 1% ( it’s going to be nice to just call The Prez, “The Donald”, rather than constantly using needed and mandatory derogatory nicknames for the last AssClown.  O’Bummer, the First Kenyan,  First Muslim, Barry The Golfer,  House Negro, White House Negro, Half-Breed, etc. ).

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Oh, and hint, 90% of all the countries assets are owned by one tenth of one percent of the population.  Anyway, even if I claim to be positive that our economic collapse is caused by the plunge in net energy available globally, the only reason that the underlying cause is important to me is because it proves the trend is impossible to reverse.  To you, just look around at the last nine years and tell me anything but doctored statistics are improving?  Since the banker bailout, the derivatives markets have increased insanely.  The behavior that caused the housing bubble to pop was doubled down on.  How can that possibly end well?  Already since 2008, many other economic players have started using alternatives to the PetroDollar and once our control of the oils payment method ends, so too does our ability to do anything-such as buy overseas oil or bail out the global banking system like last time.  Hell, just look at Detroit.  Did their bail-out do anything, other than see auto prices double as their quality plunged?  And that was orders of magnitude less convoluted or expensive than the banker bail-out.  Look how quickly our 100 Year Fracking Miracle Of Energy Independence sucked on one crack pipe of delusion too many and responded to less than $100 oil by imploding quite nicely.

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Adjusted for inflation ( 1970‘s $12 oil was about 1/4 of an ounce of gold ), $100 a barrel oil is NOT all that insane.  The fact we can’t run our economy on it should be telling you something.  All these obvious clues are saying, HELLO!!!!, how much longer can you possibly have a job to go to?  Knowing full well that it is silly to time the collapse, I still can’t imagine why that three year figure doesn’t set off your alarm.  When I read it, my reaction was to agree that it just sounded right.  And it isn’t because I’m running scared right now.  I’m in no way panicking with preps.  No reloading supplies because of the election, no extra food supplies ( until they mark down sugar for the holidays ).  No more odds and ends I never got around to getting ( the last one of those I procured was a tooth extractor.  A single size, rather than a kit, wasn’t a great deal at $16, but I couldn’t spring for near $40 for the latter.  It is another Better Than Nothing item ).  Actually, once I started saving more cash my anxiety level decreased substantially.  That chaps my ass, being a religious Assets Only kind of guy, and cash is supposed to be an accident waiting to happen, but all the chicken entrails pointed towards job loss first.  And, you need to sooth what frightens you, even if intellectually you know it is a bum deal.

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Actually, I’m amazed that with every month that goes by, we haven’t already seen more widespread collapse.  It doesn’t have to be Mad Max, just the end of jobs and your local government massively cutting services.  And then, things just staying the same.  Mad Max will follow, but I’m more concerned with all of our thin hold on our lifestyle.  One major country not delivering oil would see the above.  The oil doesn’t even need to be running out.  Just our geopolitical fortunes.  I think three years ahead with business as usual is asking a whole hell of a lot, be it from our fellow humans or the deity of our choice.  And what do you have to lose?  What possible harm can come of getting out of debt, moving out of the city, getting solar panels and better food stores ( in this case, “better” being defined as “more calories” ) and all the rest?  Inflation will make all that harder in the future anyway, and wage and hourly cuts won’t help in the slightest. 

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Returning to the original decline in energy, I most certainly can see a mere three year grace period to the end.  New figures are constantly coming out giving us a newer, better picture of the true energy situation, and it looks a heck of a lot worse than it did just a year or two ago.  We still have plenty of gross energy available, but it has decreased so substantially in net energy that it has crushed our economies and will soon usher in an era of contraction so severe and rapid that even triage will be impaired.  Remember, it’s a waterfall collapse, not a stair step one ( with humble apologies to the Druid Dude, I think your history is wrong-don’t feel bad, so was that of the commies ).  Good gravy, it isn’t like any of this is a surprise, but neither should it be all that much of a burden.  Buried wheat and junk rifles on junk land with a junk trailer is just a Rednecks Vacation Home.   If you were spending a hundred forty grand on a second home in the country, I could sympathize with your trepidation.  Going with worse case scenario, however, if done frugally, is just cheap insurance.

END

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15 comments:

  1. Jesus Christ will you give it a rest! Oil Gas Oil!
    I came to view your site when you talked about setting up lights, the right bike to ride, how to store food, where to buy prepper products.
    Since you moved to town and living with the "new Betty Neff" you have become a real Debby downer!
    Get back to the Dr. James I liked to read 2 years Ago!!!

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    1. I understand what you are saying, but I think your memory is a bit selective. Even living off grid, after a time it became hard to find new material to cover on that. Also, as I said, things are becoming much more alarming now and I feel I need to cover that. And remember, my second or third book written ten years ago was on Peak Oil. I'd actually prefer Frugal Off Grid Living to survivalism, but there just isn't the broad scope to cover. Witness the lack of subject diversity with "Dwelling Portably". Or even for that matter, "Backwoods Home".

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  2. This is not your father's collapse. And when the hard collapse finally comes to pass, it's going to make 1929 look like a picnic. I'll often hear from the naysayers that since past predictions never came to fruition (Y2K being the most popular cited) that it can never be anything but roses and sunshine. But the basic economics of supply and demand, without the supply, can result in no other possibility.

    But with regards to the wheat stock, how does one go about burying tons of wheat James? Seems like an underground bunker is the only realistic way to go about it, but of course this is a very involved, not to mention a costly project. So I'd like to hear your thoughts on this?

    For an underground shelter I've been trying to come up with the easiest way to go about this. At the moment, I'm thinking that a small pickup camper buried 2/3 and the top 1/3 covered over with first straw flakes (As per the Storey's root cellar) then a light coat of dirt over, is the easiest way to go about it. I'd also reinforce the roof.

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    1. I've never been a big fan of centralized grain storage, preferring small and scattered so as to not put all your eggs in one basket. All I could figure out to do was store as many five gallon buckets as possible above ground in RV's and bury the rest. The snakes keep the rodents in line but I can't say that buried plastic is all that safe. I'm taking a big chance and I know it. But even ancients with mortar and stone still had some infestation. I think the only safe way is sheltered metal cans, and good luck finding those unused and cheap. A metal trash can is great and not insanely expensive, but you are looking at something like $200 a ton on the containers. So it is good for smaller rather than larger amounts. As for your shelter idea, I like the sound of it.

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    2. The camper shell is probably unnecessary for weatherproofing. If you're already digging, why not make it useful for many things? Without examining your site, I would lean towards digging a 6' wide trench (at whatever depth) and covering it with railroad ties or heavy landscaping timbers 12" on center. A trench would be a quick and relatively cheap backhoe job and you could finish the rest yourself by hand. I'm not an engineer, so you'd want to do your own research for the load that'll be over it for the timber size and spacing. I would then secure plywood over the timbers, use roofing tar on all wood touching the ground and at the seams over the 30# roofing felt. I would then mound about 30" of dirt over it, then put a layer of heavy duty plastic sheet over that, then another 6" of dirt. The plastic near the surface will still allow room for the roots of some natural grasses to take hold and also keep the weight of the roof from becoming too heavy when it rains. With 36" of dirt for a roof you would also have a shelter with a protection factor of 1000 in case you ever received fallout.
      Peace out

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    3. Ditto on the not putting all your eggs in one basket philosophy. Particularly true with preps such as guns and food. As of now I only have one metal trash can with a 50lb sack of wheat. Don't want to buy more wheat at the moment because I don't want to have to haul tons of grain to Elko in what I hope to be fairly soon. Tough call on the grain burial though. I can't imagine digging enough holes to hide tons of grain, and at the same time being able to effectively seal it well enough to stay dry for decades. There has to be an easier solution?

      For the shelter, I don't have all the details worked out yet. I only know that I cannot rely on my non-existent construction skills, so whatever it is, it has to be very simple. So far, the small camper seems the best.

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    4. Ferrocement burial might be a better solution, although while rodent proof I don't think it is a good enough moisture proof. How about : trench, lined with ferrocement, plastic buckets in, fold over and seal top?

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    5. 618: while the shelter you propose is great for affordability ( relatively ), it ignores the issue of lack of building experience. Nobody without it should be placing tons of dirt over their head.

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    6. "...6' wide trench (at whatever depth) and covering it with railroad ties..."

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      Oh dear.
      This is why they make people like me.
      Look up the term "angle of repose".
      This is the perfect description of how people get killed, or materials become destroyed.

      If you are intending to build underground and you are NOT using concrete you are doomed to fail, and the multitudes of reasons are more than obvious.

      Yes, in constructionese the word concrete means "reinforced" concrete.

      In construction and design there is the phrase, "You can have cheap, fast, good, pick any two".

      If you don't have extensive experience doing proper underground construction you'd be wise to keep it above ground.

      FWIW, the ties are 8' long and the trench is 6' wide, that leaves 1' of tie sitting on the ground on either side. Assuming the soil is very dense and compacted and the hole was excavated with vertical sides by a backhoe or trackhoe there will still be erosion and collapse.

      Due to the bituminous intrusion to the wood the ties have very little structural integrity. Ties are meant to have full and continuous bearing support from below.

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    7. Perhaps I should have either elaborated or kept my mouth shut. I agree with what you said, but I couldn't remember the length on the railroad ties, and I also know you can buy them in varying degrees of condition. Hence the idea for landscaping timbers, 4x6 pressure treated and larger. I would never design vertical sides, but I would put about a 3' wide walkway (with maybe only 12" of flat flooring to actually walk on) then shore the sides so no dirt is exposed with integral shelving going up the angled walls on one side. In order to support the shelving system going up the walls, there would be vertical 4x4 supports going up to the timbers and tied in to help support it. Of course the 4x4's/diagonal supports would be set in concrete. My post and shoring ideas are from the "$50 and up Underground House Book", except angled instead of vertical (like some of the WW2 trench photos). I'm considering doing this myself beyond just throwing out advice so I welcome your critique (hopefully I explained it adequately). I have the project worked out in my head but haven't researched the loads for the timbers yet.
      Peace out

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  3. You might have a job, but you won't get a warmed/cooled comfortable chair (in a wheeled cage) to ride to do that job. The lucky ones will ride a bicycle, more-free people will walk (u, and prisoners will get dorm bunks pretty close to the job. There will be a few people with infernal combustion (or all-electric) vehicles and drivers. The cars will be subject to much vandalism and need constant guarding. It's amazing how cheap caltrops are and how envy works them under the tires.

    Many formerly-desirable dwellings will be abandoned because they are too far from supplies. Huge empty mcmansions that are impossible to heat without a banned fireplace, located up impossible-without-car hills lacking sidewalks, will have swelling chipboard walls and black mold everywhere without coal-fired electricity and cheap natgas. When suburban land drops 99% in cost, farming will be practical again, after clearing the trash structures off, and making rubble-walls of the foundations.
    pdxr13

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    1. However far you can pull salvaged McMansion material, without a car, will determine where you will squat. Have fun, suckers!

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  4. 55 gallon stainless steel drums, used for food-things like syrup, so still food-safe after rinsing. Maybe a little to deluxe and multi-generational for the good-enough budget. Metal trash can with latching lid and Mylar bags of dry product inside will resist chewing rodents better than HDPE food grade bucket, esp. once the rodents learn (and share technique!) that chewing plastic gives an avalanche of grain.

    Expensive oil doesn't mean the end of supply. It means the end of cruising around in your birthright as an Anerican: 350 cubic inch V-8 engine in a 4000+ pound metal chariot. Wish for better shoes and stronger legs. There will be oil, just not for you. You might save-up and buy things made of oil that are highly effective like plastic tarps or 8-mil sheeting. Walk to town and use the Wi-Fi-by-the-hour Cafe to order it on Amazon, after selling the annual proceeds of desert hand gold mining. Delivery in a month to the townie Amazon Drop Box, unless you want next-week delivery for double the item price, or OMG-priced overnight drone service to your doorstep.

    pdxr13

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  5. I'm not so sure the danger of "imminent attack by the Russians" has passed. The current administration is still "poking the bear" and it's still 7+ weeks to see if there will be a peaceful transition of power. George Soros is hard at work to make sure that doesn't happen. Even if there is a peaceful transition of power, the attack that undoes us, from Russia or elsewhere, is probably inevitable.
    Peace out

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    1. Sorry, but I'm not so sure "the peaceful transfer of power" hasn't already happened. If we assume Deep State warring factions, it just means Soros has lost out this time, by others now more powerful than he. If energy supply is lower than we believe, it would be time for the factions to be fighting one another. I put conflict with Russia at the bottom of the list. Although, granted, that is just me. Not saying I have the final answer.

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