I have a love-hate relationship with prepping. I love the planning and preparation, playing the game of “What if?” for probable problems in my/our future; the ready access to supplies without running errands to pick up ‘stuff’ on a regular basis. I hate the prospect that preps are necessary due to possible life or death problems. It means things are not stable and therefore dangerous to me and mine. So let’s look at some of our instability that could lead to problems.
First of all, our government is being run, pretty much top to bottom, by political hacks who usually have never held down a real job. They may be good at political infighting, but forget about real planning and activities for the good of the republic. It appears they believe their own storylines or maybe they have been partaking of too much fairy dust. Their mantra seems to be: “Spend, spend, spend, and devil take the hindmost.” They also have no concept (or they don’t care) of unintended consequences. For all of that, they also look to be supporting the Mexican cartels by trying to ignore them while pumping a maximum number of illegal immigrants (future Democrats, they hope) into the US systems. I’m sure the Cartels love that, as it gives them greater control and access to and in the US.
Apparently, our disloyal leaders think that all immigrants are harmless souls needing a hand. The problem is, they don’t know. They don’t seem to care. Sexual predators, crooks, and people with totally unknown backgrounds come from multiple countries of the world to cross our border. Almost certainly there are people who have nothing good planned for the US that are using the southern border. Again, the problem is the current administration doesn’t know or care who comes into the country.
As long as we are talking about inadequate planning, could anyone have done worse with Afghanistan? Leaving all that undamaged material and information to be spread out to our enemies and used against us had to be on purpose. Throwing so many Afghani supporters under the bus because they were inconvenient? No accident. Apparently, some people in the administration put no value on loyalty or worse, thought that they could trust/deal with the Taliban and the Jihadis to be other than what they are. There are some terrifyingly ignorant and willful people in government.
Next, the stock market is like a dragster running too long on high supercharger boost pressure and excess nitrous. It’s going to blow. There is entirely too much money, unearned by anyone, being forced into the system. Looking at the five-year appreciation charts of many stocks looks like an outline of Everest. Once you hit the crest, the only way is down. Way down.
Economic Destruction Via Coronavirus
The economy as a whole is being destroyed by responses to Covid. Whole segments of the population are being financially destroyed: people that have invested in rentals, can’t pay the mortgage. Renters have been told they don’t have to pay, and by the way, just stay home and here is some extra money so you don’t have to work. Businesses can’t get workers so they close. Businesses closing means that suppliers have almost nobody to supply, they in turn cut back on supplies and workers. The ripple effect from just those items has not finished its deadly work. Clearly, the rule of “Never let a disaster go to waste” is in motion.
Speaking of the economy, we have become a consumer-based nation as opposed to a manufacturing nation. Example: All the small manufacturing shops, welder/blacksmiths/machinists that I grew up with are gone. The mom and pop shops that would custom build a widget for you…gone. Want a computer or car? Chips for those are mostly from the far east…China, Vietnam, Taiwan. At the rate our balance of trade has shifted and is still shifting, foreign countries can take all the bucks we’ve dropped on them and just buy the US of A one bit at a time: a ranch here, a business there, maybe a real estate holding co and suddenly we, the citizens of the US, are renters in our own country.
Looking at inflation (not the government’s version, but actual price increases on important stuff like food and gas) it looks like many products are up between 10 and 60 percent. This is just nine months of the year and more will follow like night after day. Example: Costco burger went from $2.99 to $3.99, Costco rice from $9.99 to $16.99, gasoline from $2.18 to $3.28 There’s more if you look.
Then there is the social aspects of our society. Left hates the right. Right looks at the Left like they are nuts and no one wants to talk to the other. Suggest to anyone that they ought to look at opposite viewpoints and they look at you like you are nuts. We have BLM/Antifa/Proudboys and more. Throw in the homeless, many with mental illness, and the druggies with their set of problems, illegal immigrants and all of them with their hands out for ‘support.’ The pot is starting to boil. The boilover will come when some group or groups say, “If you won’t give, we’ll take it.” Evidence of that is in the ‘violence free’ demonstrations where stores were ransacked and later when the educated idiots mandated that shoplifting wasn’t a crime unless it went above $950. All it takes now is someone to say “No more.” And start shooting.
At the very beginning, I mentioned fairy dust…Doesn’t it strike you as extreme wishful thinking or fairy dust that we are magically going to convert our electrical grid(in itself a miracle) to green energy? The use of wind is a sometimes thing. No wind, no power. The use of solar panels; night, cloud cover or snowfall and no power. The only real green energy is hydroelectric and we are in a drought. Then the idiots want to tear out the west coast dams to save the fish. The coal plants which have been used to fill the slack between demand and availability are being leveraged out of existence. With all of that, our electric grid is staggering along and then they want to totally electrify the cars and trucks to add a humungous amount of load on a system already under strain. Can you say rolling blackouts and outright failures in your future, without shuddering at the thought?
Just think of the joy in knowing everything has gone green as you freeze to death in the dark during the long night of winter with no power for warmth or cook in a high rise as the outside temperature hits 100 degrees with 90% humidity in the summer with no power for air conditioning.
While we’re talking about the grid and electric runabouts, can you imagine the results of even a mini Carrington event or an EMP of the artificial kind? Especially since the earth’s magnetic field is growing weaker and its protection is critical to protection from the sun’s CMEs. Destroyed microcircuit everywhere are likely. Just think how beautiful the fireworks will be from exploding power transformers, since our electric grid has little to no protection against an EMP or Carrington CME. See Ted Koppel’s book: “Lights Out.”
The drought I mentioned earlier? Fresh potable water is getting scarce in many areas. This directly affects people, animals and the farmers growing our foods. There is water rationing in areas it’s never occurred before. A lot of the farmers are baling their wheat crops (instead of harvesting the nearly nonexistent heads of wheat) in Montana because of the drought. If they don’t, the grasshoppers or wildfires will get it. Other areas like California’s Central Valley have empty fields due to no water. Ranchers are culling their herds because they have little to no forage for the animals. Those are just examples of the widespread problem with food production in the US of A. Other countries are also having rough agricultural years. This will cause food insecurity, not just for the US, but for multiple countries. Hungry people are desperate people and not too reasonable. Throw in some politics (like a Hitler), a dab of religion, and starving people certain that others are withholding food and you have the foundation for riots or war. Once the fuse is lit, perhaps a world war.
Things are Different, in 2021
There are several things that are different about our current situation:
First: We appear to be in a classical case of The Fourth Turning as described in an insightful book by Strauss and Howe that describes repetitive generational cycles in history. In case you haven’t guessed, the phase we are in right now can be pretty bumpy or as others have said, “spicy.” Keep in mind that this book is an attempt to find organization in history, to chart the historical currents that continue to shift in repeatable patterns. It was written over twenty years ago and makes enough sense that a look at our past through this book’s “lens” makes the future a scary place.
A brief excerpt from the book:
“In Parsons’ terms, a Fourth Turning is an era in which the availability of social order is low, but the demand for such order is high. Examples of earlier Fourth Turnings include the Civil War in the 1860s and the American Revolution in the 1770s—both periods of momentous crisis, when the identity of the nation hung in the balance.”
The book is definitely worth reading; however, it does not offer a specific blueprint of our future, more like a general direction with some extreme possibilities. The excerpt is the mildest description of possible disasters I have seen in a long time.
Second: The world’s magnetic field strength which provides protection against solar events is dropping rapidly, at least in geological terms. Associated with this, the north and south poles are shifting positions, enough so that adjustments to magnetic compasses have been needed more often than ‘normal.’ This is of concern because many solar events of the past were reduced in impact by that field, and the shifts in the poles and the field say that weather changes and other random effects on the earth are going to increase. This is especially so, since the sun’s activity is on a scheduled eleven year increase. What does that mean? A relatively weak EMP can have a much greater effect on the power grids;. It also means that the wildly shifting weather patterns will probably continue, maybe get worse and will have an additional negative effect on food production.
Third: The North Atlantic current appears to be slowing rapidly. This was part of the sensationalist movie “The Day After Tomorrow” in which a winter catastrophe descended on the world overnight. That probably won’t happen overnight, but it does mean that there will be further changes in the weather we experience, that we may not like. It isn’t just the Atlantic; the ocean currents around the world are interconnected to a degree and the change in one can affect others. My expectation is that some areas will get hotter when it is supposed to be hot and colder when it is supposed to be cold but the patterns and timing for these events will be much more random and hard to predict. Right now it’s drought, grasshoppers and wildfires in the West and hurricanes, tornados and deluges in the East. Expect more bad weather in all the wrong places at all the wrong times.
Fourth: Yes, we have global weather changes. No, I don’t for an instant believe we are doing it to ourselves. The weather scientists cannot use their models, using last year’s information, to show accurately what today’s weather is. They cannot use today’s weather in their models to show what yesterday’s weather was. Blaming it all on CO2 is comfortable for many, because we might be able to control that. Just think of all the money to be made selling this boondoggle to the credulous natives. Weather, good or bad, comes back to the sun, and all the energy it pumps out, not just visible light, but all the nonvisible radiated energy. That is what is causing variations in the weather we experience today. The world we live in is as comfortable as a warm blanket and as scary as the monster under the bed.
Take a Breath, and Plan
All of this makes a person want to run about like a mad man, buying, saving, and storing for a future that seems very troubling and immediate. We need to slow down. Take a breath and plan your actions. Get informed and stay informed about the world around you. There have always been problems galore and some new disaster in the making. We need to make our preps durable, reasonable/appropriate and deep for us as individuals. The preps for an 80 year old with arthritic joints (like me) is totally different from a 35 year old with a couple of kids, which is totally different from a 20 year old with his parents to think about, which is totally different from the 55 year old who is looking forward to retirement. The future is coming at us like a wave, for some of us it may be a gentle bobble, for others a tsunami. Critical assessment of our specific needs based on age, location and family is needed as one size does not fit all.
All that has been covered in many areas to the limit of ad nauseam. You can buy kits that are one size fits all but work for very few. It seems there are ‘experts’ around every corner saying do this or do that. Don’t be satisfied by “A solution”. Make a set of plans with overlapping resources that can cover several different problems for you. Look for the most immediate problems first. Be inventive. Be realistic about yourself and your capabilities. If you are in the city, is there someplace you can use as a secondary refuge? We have keys and access to a deep basement that is mostly ignored and forgotten (it has a lot of junk in it, but is dry) in an old building with very thick walls. Got a buddy that has a ranch/farm and needs help from time to time? Trade your support or sweat equity for access. Plan for the probable problems, not the popular end of the world problems that are possible, but not probable.
Bottom line: If The Schumer Hits The Fan (SHTF) there are not enough bugout locations/ranches in the hills for everyone, even if you have the cash to buy one. You will probably run out of stored foods long before bullets. Elders like myself (mostly) can’t throw a 100-pound pack on our backs and walk any distance. We’re stuck; so it’s a case of make the most of where we’re at. Insulin and other specialized medications are another stumbling block to longevity. Plan for it! Yeah, this bottom line is a downer…until you realize that nobody gets out of this life alive. Which translates to make the most of what you have. Now. Spend time with your family. If beautiful sunsets/sunrises turn you on, then look for them. Take a camera. I spent three hours beside a river in the shade of a tree watching the trout rise, the fly fishermen casting repeatedly, and the sound of the water rolling by. A friend melts when he is around little kids, so he assists at a daycare. Go to a High school basketball game. The enthusiasm and youthful energy are worth the slight investment in time. Maximize the good parts of your life now.
Religion: This is extremely personal, as again, one size does not fit all. There are as many variations as there are people. People need the “something extra” that religion provides. Find your own personal religious foundation. I have seen and heard too many so-called religious leaders that became basically a cult of personality or they would rant and rave and when you left the church, you were depressed and sad. Usually, they also had their hand out. Read the bible, listen to people that uplift, not put down. One of my favorite pastors would often say “Isn’t this a glorious day the Lord hath made?” Sometimes it was close to a blizzard outside, but he still meant it, and I came to his viewpoint: we were inside, warm, with people we cared about and it was very good. Frankly, the biggest part is the ability to have faith in something outside yourself. Something you can talk to in your lowest hour, or your highest…asking for help, or saying thank you. It’s something people need.
In spite of the doom and gloom I just wrote, Isn’t this a glorious world the Lord hath made?