Letter Re: Keeping Preparedness in Perspective

I often have discussions with my friends and business associates concerning world events and how they will affect our future and I have also read countless statements from others with similar opinions. I have noticed that many people seem to be narrowly focused on only one aspect of possible future events and are not putting the whole picture into perspective. Many are unable to take the actions that are necessary to deal with the probable coming changes. I would like to offer some of my observations and hopefully contribute something that would help others to move in the right direction.
In the first place no one can predict the future but through analytical thought a person can come up with the most likely outcome of probable events and proceed in the appropriate direction. To do this a person should search out the most accurate information available, make a list of probable events, prioritize them as to the impact on their life, and decide how to best prepare for each event. During this process, answers to questions regarding your location, necessary supplies, personal protection, shelter, etc. will become very apparent. This is how most successful business, governments, military campaigns, et cetera are accomplished.
The following are generally accepted as the most likely problems that will cause immediate risk and substantially affect our lives:
1. Overpopulation
2. Peak Oil
3. Dollar Devaluation/Economic Breakdown
4. Large scale terrorist attack such as a nuclear weapon detonation
5. Potable water
6. Global warming
I’ve listed overpopulation first because it has compounded the severity of all the other problems. Anyone living in the fairy tale that we can continue to support and increase this world population is extremely naive. Look around us at resource depletion, pollution of our environment, deforestation, et cetera.
There have been many theories on how large of a human population the earth can support but most agree that we have exceeded that number by many times. We are now living in locations, at a huge cost to our resources, which could barely support human life just a century ago. Las Vegas, Nevada is a perfect example. The availability of cheap oil has been the main contributor to this tremendous increase in world population in the last century. We have the ability to produce an abundance of food through the use of oil burning farm implements and oil related chemicals and then transport that food all over the world, again using oil as the main source of fuel. This supply of this magical substance has given us the ability to support a far greater population on Earth than its natural boundaries would allow. That container is now half empty and there are a lot more people drinking from it.
Peak Oil is the most understated problem we face today and it is extremely important that everyone educate themselves about this issue. There are many books available and good articles on the internet. I truly believe that there is no viable solution to this problem and as a result a substantial portion of the population of the earth will suffer greatly in the not too distant future. The cost of maintaining our oil-based economy is increasing daily and this is promoting inflation and devaluing the dollar. Americans have become totally dependent on the abundance of products resulting from the availability of Cheap Oil. We find it hard to comprehend how life will change as the cost of oil related goods goes through the roof. Most of us think of oil only as the fuel that propels our automobiles but the cost and availability of oil will affect everything including food, water, shelter, and every item we use each day. Because of the complacency of the general public and dependence on the news media as the main source of information, this crisis will sneak up on most people before they realize the Schumer has hit the fan. They will complain about the continuing escalation of the cost of living but in most cases will not make attempts to prepare themselves for the coming hard times believing the government will handle the problem. These are the sheeple that will become wolves when times get tough. We cannot simply go back to the way we lived fifty to one hundred years ago. Those less oil-dependent technologies and ways of farming and producing products worked when the population was much smaller. In the early 1900s most of the population of the U.S. lived and worked on farms and in small rural communities with localized industries. There were large uninhabited and unpolluted areas of the country with and abundance of wild game and natural resources. A family could realistically live off the land. In order for our civilization to move back to a similar lifestyle today, without the assistance of oil related products, will require a substantial reduction in the human population. The worst scenarios of the oil crisis would bring unimaginable hardship to large populations. The pressure on natural ecosystems will be devastating. In many areas the wild game population will be completely wiped out, small lakes fished out and forests cut down for firewood. This is why your location and preparations will be paramount to your well being.
The devaluation of the US Dollar followed by an economic breakdown is probable. U. S. Government debt is the worst it’s been in history and the weakening dollar is losing international support. We are a debt based society which purchases more foreign goods that it produces. In the 1950s the U.S. was a major world producer, exporting goods to the world and injecting the capital gained into our economy. When money runs low we simply print more paper which is backed only by the faith of other nations in our economy. That faith is rapidly coming to an end and we are seeing signs of foreign governments dumping the U.S. Dollar.
Another terrorist attack on the United States is inevitable.It’s not if, but when. Knowledgeable government agencies accept this and so should we all. There is no doubt that if nuclear weapons become available to terrorist they will use them. It would be very naive to believe that this is not being planned by someone, somewhere at this time. Our country’s economy and the lifestyle of its people have become so vulnerable that it could be easily disrupted by a few strategically placed highly destructive devices. I believe that at this time the chance of a major military nuclear strike from another country is very unlikely. The old military regime is again gaining strength in Russia again and this could become a threat sometime in the future but it is not immediate. Maintaining awareness of world events is important and this should be part of your ongoing research.
One of the major threats to the future of a quality life is the availability of good water. The shortage of potable water has become a major problem all over the world. A third of the people in China do not have enough water to drink and this same situation is repeated [in localized areas] worldwide. Here in the U.S. we are polluting our drinking water at an alarming rate. Many Southwestern cities are approaching emergency supply situations in the next few years. Most of the aquifers in the Midwest have been polluted with farm chemicals and rural residences are now dependent on centralized rural water systems for drinking water.
Global Warming is a given, no matter who or what caused it or how much it has been politicized. In itself it could be dealt with, but in combination with any of these other risks, the problems it creates will be substantially exaggerated. Barring any unpredictable “trigger effects”, global warming will come as a gradual change in climate that will affect food production around the world. Combine this with the Oil Crisis and the variables become unpredictable. There is much good research material to be found on the Internet along with some computer models. It’s still too early to completely understand as to how this will affect each of us in the near future, but it must be taken into consideration.
Everything I’ve talked about is already happening or is very likely going to happen in the predictable future. The wild card is number four; Large-scale terrorist attack such as a nuclear weapon detonation, and this is the one that could catch us off guard. If you prepare for the other events then you will have taken the right steps to survive civil breakdown after any disaster. There is a very good chance that we are facing a breakdown of civilization as we know it. To what degree is yet to be seen. It will depend very much on how our governments react and if they take the correct path. I personally don’t have much faith in that. Each of us should research as much information on these issues as we are able. Knowledge is power and to simply “be aware” is the first step in preparedness. Overreacting can led to dissatisfaction and negative attitudes about the future which will become counterproductive. This can alienate friends and family as well. Incorporate your preparation plans into your daily life in a manner that does not dominate everything you do. Become a “quiet expert” and you will find that those who are interested in this subject will seek your advice or at least initiate communication. Keep in mind that the general public’s knowledge that you have prepared yourself and your family for a major economic crisis can make you a target when necessities become scarce. Those that are aware of your preparations should be of the same mindset and pursuing a similar path to preparation.
Understand the timelines for likely changes. It’s unlikely that a major devastating event will happen tomorrow but the chances increase each day. As I said before, we cannot predict the future, but we can prepare for it and this can be done in small steps. Each and every thing that you do in the name of preparation will put you in a better position than you were the day before. Just the peace of mind and self confidence that is gained is of great value. Not all of us can move to the best locations and set ourselves up with the ideal survival retreat but with a little imagination, a lot of research and the initiative to move forward with your plan, you will learn how to “outrun the bear.”. A very smart man once said, “Chance favors the prepared mind”. Good hunting, – JR