note: he has other stuff, but I was drawn to his video's on the Lee-Enfield, from which I learned new and exciting things. "Bloke On The Range" at YouTube.
I’m not sure if there has ever been much of anything I’ve ever agreed with Yuppie Scum Survivalist on. Their mindset is so totally different than mine it is like an alien abduction anal probe. I mean, why would an alien be sticking a medical instrument up someone’s ass? If you are capable of faster than light travel ( which you would have to be unless you all either came from a close planet like Mars or you lived for thousands of years ), wouldn’t you have one of those Star Trek doohickeys that you wave at someone and it does a complete diagnostic? And if you were that advanced technologically, you could totally fabricate the best sex doll in the universe and wouldn’t need to violate some dudes questionable hygiene rectum for jollies, right? So anal probes by aliens are completely incomprehensible. Also, when I get done reading most of these yahoos web pages I’m feeling like I just got probed up the old pooper.
If you delve deep into their Alice In Wonderland dystopian analysis, they are fundamentally taking the Fracking Fag position that ‘Murica is super deluxe wonderful and can never NOT be the Imperial Death Star capable of blasting rebellious planets into cosmic dust, and so because we are so bitchen bob we will never run out of energy. Just look at Detroit as an example of our greatness. And New Orleans. And the designed in American melted down nuclear reactors over in Japan. Love it or leave it, bitches! America, home of Political Correctness! Anyway, Peak Oil is not usually allowed to be on anyone’s radar, despite now having a ten year plus track record. A steady 6-8% drop in production yearly, globally in the majority of conventional oil areas, the lack of recovery economically, and etcetera. Yuppie Scum Survivalism was born in the 1970’s with Mel Tappon and his Rich Bitch Arsenal ( why are you even thinking about dropping $20-$30 on his book when it is so outdated? Just buy any of its recent clones, all telling you the same thing. Ammo is an industrial oil product and can never run out since we were the worlds biggest oil producer in 1970, or close enough for horseshoes ). And then it got worse after Yuppies really did squirt into existence in the ‘80’s.
And most survivalist or prepper thinking never progressed beyond that point of time. Even Kurt Saxon, the only other writer who ever in the history of recorded time thought that perhaps the working poor also deserved to survive the collapse, not just rich whores, was colored in his perceptions by the time which was that recovery was easy, only a matter of education and will. Which it was. Now, no, we have used up all the resources in our own back yard and are busy eyeballing the puny leftovers in the worlds worst locations such as the Congo or Mongolia. I don’t care that an insane level of hubris allows you to think ‘Murican know-how, Yankee ingenuity, rugged individualism or “leading universities” will allow our empire to continue, but without resources none of that crap matters at all. If the fracking industry lasts a total of fifteen years as a major producer I’ll be very surprised ( and they’ve already been at it about ten ). The two foundations of Yuppie Scum Survivalists are surplus wealth and surplus energy and both are in big trouble and have been for some time ( please note that Peak Oil as in running out is not the issue as conventionally envisioned, but rather a fast drop in Net Energy, or EROI ).
Even today as a third of our conventional domestic oil is fracking oil ( Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico crashing in production along with the Lower 48 ), an EROI much lower than regular conventional crude, and forty to fifty percent of our corn is pissed away for 10% of our gasoline, the belief that all is well and we can never run out and that the Arab Spring and both world wars and Iraq were ALL about democracy ( don’t get me started on that old crock ‘o crap ), all is the unshakable religious fervor of Yuppie Scum. If they thought instead of believed, their comfortable world would come crashing down and we can’t have that, now can we? So oil and propane and propane accessories ( King Of The Hill reference-if you remember they had a heck of a good Y2K episode ) are still the Go-To prepper supply. Why, if you don’t have a underground tank of both gasoline and diesel, three of the biggest retail propane tanks available, drums of kerosene, mountains of coal and industrial size containers of petroleum lubricants ( not to mention all the toys that come with them, such as a Forest Service crew amount of top grade chainsaws for felling the forests, which is so much better than actually insulating the house, and never mind the sound carries over the mountain ), you will NOT be allowed to call yourself a survivalist AND you are required to turn in your double top secret Prepper Decoder Ring which allows you entry into the American Redoubt.
This stockpiling of hydrocarbons is beyond retarded and I can’t think of a nicer way to say it. It assumes and presumes the collapse will be mild and recoverable. Wow, care to share in that dope, bro? We are looking at the resource depletion collapse of western civilization and the end of the Oil Age, there are at least six billion people who are eating strictly on petroleum, and there will be a soft collapse? Heresy! Off with your head! Okay, assume I’m wrong. I assume that every day and always have a back-up plan ( whether it is viable or not is a different matter ). Assume the BEST happens. That is mass unemployment, which is already at 33% ( see recent previous article ). How are you planning on either stockpiling those petroleum products, paying for them, or replacing them once used up? For the price of one large filled propane tank, you could construct an earthship tire wall house that through passive solar gain retains a yearly average temperature of like 70 degrees. Minus thirty Fahrenheit outside? Still 70. At the most you have a small fire to go from wearing a sweater back to shirtsleeves.
And right there is the main point of this article. Invest in petroleum products that allow you to use far less petroleum products in the future, rather than stockpiling more petroleum products that you just consume. And the three best products you can buy, at least as far as the Saving On Petroleum Tomorrow issue ( other great petroleum age investments such as industrialized farming grains, ammunition and certain plastic products are a separate matter ), are metal roofing for rain catchment ( replacing a well and pump ), earth sheltered homes to reduce heating to almost zero as well as cooling having no needed inputs, and solar panels to replace the electrical grid. All these are far cheaper than even a fraction of a hydrocarbon stockpile, are close to multi-generational forever and actually deliver better performance. Now, before you get all butt hurt and complain about your age and claim that there is no way in Hades that you are going to pound dirt into hundreds of tires with a sledge hammer and a tamper, you need to relax. I wouldn’t either.
If you spend half the remainder of your life watching YouTube videos on earthships, you’ll notice that they are not really following the original concept too closely. Why are they even filling tires if there is no need to use them for either horizontal force retaining walls or support for an earthen roof? If you own the mandatory book $50 & Up Underground House book, and watch a few Earthship videos, as well as looking through the original Earthship books in your local library, you can see how easy it is to modify the concept to fit your circumstances. If you are just using insulation on the roof, and building in the desert where the clay soil walls won’t collapse, you don’t even need tires at all. They are there just to save money, but to save on labor you could substitute packed dirt with mud, adobe or something similar. If posts hold up the roof, then the tire walls primary mission is to keep the dirt wall behind it stable. If you mill your own logs you don’t need tires to have a cheap shelter, and either way the primary insulation comes from the rigid board insulation set away from the structure and the overhead plastic sheeting that stretches out further than that.
You are setting up a earth bank which stores and draws heat, and not necessarily just trying to support the weight of tons of dirt. You don’t need concrete or steel, just a center shelter with trapped heating and cooling from insulation. If you look at the videos the hole dug is much larger than the shelter. The outer ring of that hole is rigid board sheets, a space and then the tire wall. The wall is constructed and then the space between the tire wall and the insulation is filled with dirt ( don’t forget the floor insulation ), the tires plastered over. The roof is lots of insulation with a large sheet of plastic over that which stretches over the entire area beyond the tire wall and rigid board, and a metal roof for rain catchment is installed, or a plastered roof if the maintenance isn’t an issue but saving money is. Note of course that most of these shelters are in the desert with the extreme hot and cold and constructing one of these in a rainy climate is probably not a good idea.
Your main cost here is a concrete floor for a heat sink, glass, and the wood for the roof. Building small, none of this is beyond used travel trailer cost. The point is not that earthships are superior, as they are a niche system, but that they are earth sheltered and require almost no fuel inputs. You don’t need fuel, a well, or the grid hookup, nor expensive land as while desert real estate is more expensive that it should be in relation to most other land it is po’ boy affordable. And yes, I understand the issue of not being able to grow crops. If you move to a better rainfall area where only cooling is a factor, you just incorporate one single feature from the earthship and that is the cooling tube. Cooling tubes are as simple as fifty feet of buried pipe, a downhill intake and an uphill outlet in the structure to naturally draw air through sewer pipe buried ten foot down. If you lack space, you can use flat ground and a coiling pipe, and draw air with a solar panel and an automobile 12v tiny fan. And obviously, some amount of insulation in your conventional structure to keep some heat out and the cool air in.
Solar can even work without batteries, although that is a major lifestyle alteration. If you have more panels than the appliances use after surges are factored in, you just do what you can during the day off direct power. Mainly that is just a plan for after your batteries die, which they will, but you could also do this during the construction phase. Buy your solar now, with panels at $1 a watt, while that lasts. It really doesn’t take all that much to live comfortably off grid without power, although that is a discussion for another day. The point is a whole lot of panels are cheaper than just hooking to the grid, assuming it is available and close ( in my area, it is $3,000 just for the pole with transformer ). Without a well or central heat and air, with a few specialized appliances, your use can be minor. These three easy items, earth heating and cooling with rain catchment and solar power, almost completely replace petroleum stockpiles, far cheaper.
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2hCWgqh )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
Have you heard of the newest Harbor freight solar panel kit?ReplyDelete
100 watts everything needed for $149 ,like their old "supposed" 45 watt set up that went for $129 on sale (which was pretty much all the time)
Harbor Freight uses amorphous panels, thin film, rather than monocrystalyn which is a purer silicon. This is good for them with far lower manufacturing cost, but bad for you in that longevity is far less than the mono's. This is a great kit to introduce you to panels as it comes with all the wires and doo-dads, but not great for power thirty years down the road. At MOST, you pay 15% more buying mono and the separate components, controller and wires, and get a unit that lasts much longer. Plus the panels are lighter weight. The amor. panels are fine, but you are getting less for your money.Delete
Here is a comparison:Delete
I'll take your word for it. If you don't mind providing Amazon links for all the components you think are necessary I'll purchase them asap and you will reap whatever percentage you get from it.Delete
Just looked up that HF rig and it's $189. and you still need to get batteries.Delete
Actually, mono panels with all the included bells and whistles are about the same, $169 or so.Delete
You can get the clips to connect the panel wires to the wires running to the batteries, as they probably won't be long enough, but you don't need them if you can waterproof a normal wire splice. But here they are just in case:
The HF kit provides little else of use. Buy your wire locally. Here is the Mono kit, with little added but a controller, the wire, the clips and the brackets:
Just buy the brackets, galvanized, at Home Despot. Kits are for suckers who still think solar is difficult, although I can't throw stones in a glass house. I would have done a kit at first if they were available, being totally unskilled, but I was forced to research and compile.
Wasn't planning on purchasing one, just thought I'd mention the change in what they are offering.Delete
Dunno bout elsewhere but here they are $149.
I assumed, or at least thought I remembered, you were good on alt energy. All my comments were really for the benefit of other readers.Delete
I blame that commi puke Roddenberry, for these “Star Trek is a blueprint for the future; technology will save us” idiots.ReplyDelete
I was going to add additional comments on earth sheltered techniques, Earth tubes, and a mention of Mike Oehler’s book, but you already covered all that, so today’s article was pretty well rounded; good job.
I’ll add that if you use the proper composition of earth, clay, or whatever, that the earth bag structures will stand long after the polybags decompose, because they are in essence, bricks. But the earth bags shouldn't decompose, because you’re supposed to spackle the exterior with a type of mud/mortar mix.
I liked that Mike Oehler’s homes were practically invisible unless you happened to stumble directly on to one, so shoot for that if at all possible.
Btw, I had no idea that the dude died 1.5 years back. That’s too bad. He was kind of a leftist hippy, but he was from the old school where they still had some common sense, and were largely opposed to big government, and anti-nature movements like feminism. May he rest in peace.
Oehler didn't bring any profit to anyone. He self-printed and pimped no products. Rawles will probably get a ticker tape parade at the wake.Delete
Tech could save us. If we'd get off this rock and stop fighting wars for resources.Delete
There is virtually an endless supply of everything imaginable out there just waiting to be used.
Odds are though, we'll not make it to that stage.
I completely disagree. We have seen the end of high tech, roughly after we sent men into space. No new advances, just tweaking and improving designs already here. Can we colonize space with 1960's tech? We can't even complete nuclear power plants now, our energy contraction is so severe ( and financial, and peak ore ), so how do we loft supplies up into orbit? Be careful, I can tell your age from your optimism!Delete
9:43 here. I believe it’s possible that tech might have saved us at one time, as Spud mentions. But we needed to continue our pursuit of the space race following the moon landing. From there we could have formed moon bases, and mined that valuable and clean energy source, the Helium 3 (Very little of it on earth, lots of it on the moon). And the moon bases could have served as a platform to further launch missions from within our own solar system, and eventually to distant star systems. But we only had a short window of opportunity, and we blew it. Even then, few guarantees, only far more of a hope for a brighter future than the one that we have now.Delete
If you’re interested, The Fermi Paradox explains “The Great Filter” effect. This is the theory that explains why advanced civilizations (at least according to our present knowledge of the universe) are at best, extremely rare or highly unlikely (i.e. You won’t have to worry about any aliens probing your anus any time soon Jim. The likelihood of one of the lefts emboldened sacred cows targeting your bum for a probing is far greater, so stay away from those cities :D ).
I think the issue was we went to the moon AFTER our economic collapse, then came along Peak Oil. Was there even a window? Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.Delete
“I think the issue was we went to the moon AFTER our economic collapse, then came along Peak Oil. Was there even a window?”Delete
That’s more your area of expertise than mine Jim, so I’ll take your word for it. So in other words, we really needed to get a head start on the space race at an earlier date. We certainly could have given it our best. We had all of that wonderful Nazi technology following WW2, and Robert Goddard had been experimenting with rocket technology since the teens, so we had a good head start in that area.
But I suppose it’s all hindsight now.
It always seemed to me that we never did all that great with rockets. Fifty years from prototype to moon rocket? Twenty five years from V2 to moon rocket? Almost like they were waiting for a special invitation. Bi-plane to jet was only thirty years. Isn't rocketry pretty much just propellants? I could be wrong, it just seems bizarre.Delete
I thought you meant cooking oil :) I opened an olive oil bottle that expired in 2005, I can't tell the difference with a new one. I am very slow at rotating stock, which makes for good experience accumuation.ReplyDelete
I completely agree with accumulating energy in form of goods and services now, while it's still here. That said, I believe it's all kinds of energy (tin roof was made with coal and not with oil). Where oil comes into the equation is that it is petroleum that brought that item from the factory to your place.
People are complacent with the cost of moving weight around, but indeed the true difference between an oil economy and a coal economy is the vastly cheaper transportation cost.
So "getting oil while you can" would mean "get all the stuff you want (or think you will need) to your place while you can".
Most folks think Amazon will deliver their prepper items by drone. Few factor in the true issue of transportation.Delete
I like earth ships, but do not want to build one here. Hard cement-like soil full of huge boulders. Frost line that drops 6 - 8 feet underground. Poor solar gain. Nope.ReplyDelete
The house has an air tight wood cook stove. I can heat the house, year after year, with wood gathered within walking distance. There's a huge maple stand uphill from me that provides a steady supply of dead branches and whole trees. Never have to cut any live wood.
Good water here, and low population density, so there is that. My lovely wife and I are just not desert people. We could only stand it for a few weeks.
Luckily for me, few folks like the desert. The ones here complain about it, only here for the job. I don't think an earth tube would work for you. Not sure, haven't read up on that kind of frost line. There was mention of a Rocky mountain commercial greenhouse that pre-heated with a 200 foot long tube, but I can't recall the depth, or a mention of frost line. Your situation sounds all set, the only improvement would seem to be one of those Europe mass rock heaters the flume winds around on the way up, the rock a thermal mass. Not as efficient, I don't think, would be a 55 gal rocket stove with the horizontal chimney that heats a cob slab for thermal mass. Those require the weight be supported but would seem less of an issue than the big pile of rocks. The only reason to consider that would be future competition of your wood supply.Delete
Correction? Flume? Flue? How about just "chimney", as I seem to be pulling words out of my butt.Delete
At least cooling is rarely a problem here. Some years there's a couple days when AC would be nice. On those days I crack a cold beer and wander into the lake until the temp feels right.Delete
Looking into rocket mass heaters. Even tried to figure out how to build one in my basement. A lot of work for something that may or may not work for me.
In a serious collapse the plan is to shut most of the house down and live in the kitchen during the winter. There's even insulation between the floors. Once the vents and stairway is closed, the upstairs can be shut off. The plumbing is set up so that I could easily drain the upstairs bathroom. Heck, might shut it all down and use my bucket toilet.
Sounds similar to my plan other than the fact my house plan is one story, and earth bermed covered patio to the north and a little bermed against the walls to the west and east.Delete
Jim while I agree with tin roofing and solar panels I would recommend sand bags. With a good solar set up an electric chainsaw and other tools could be possible.:)ReplyDelete
The issue I see is they are pretty much like oil products. Use once, need more.Delete