Saturday, June 16, 2012

Is that a shambler down the block?

If the recent news that face-eating virus has, like HIV and Ebola, made the interspecies jump from pan troglodytes to homo troglodytes isn't enough cause to go downstairs and count your MREs, John Galt has an even scarier set of dots connected.

It's probably just nothing... And then again we may be huddled in the ruins this winter, cooking rats over fires made of Econ 101 textbooks.


CBTT2Lazy2Login said...

I'm already distributing baronies in my grubby post apocalyptic kingdom.

We almost came to blows over who has to take Gary, though.

armedlaughing said...

Rats? Are you inviting G. Gordon Liddy for din-din?

Bubblehead Les. said...

I try to keep it simple. In 1960, the World's Population stood at about 3 Billion. In 2012, we are up to 7 Billion.

To feed this amount of people, we have to use massive amounts of Big Machines, like Combines, Tractors, Fishing Ships, Trains, Refrigerated Containers and Fresh Water. Just ask Farmer Frank. That takes Oil, processed into Fuel and Lubrication.

Good Farmland really hasn't grown much, and the Oil is getting Harder to extract, or the various political entities keep playing games, while other political entities set up their rigs just across the border and start pumping. Look to the Chinese drilling for Oil off Cuba, while the Obama Admin refuses to allow Drilling Permits one mile away as an example.

Without Oil, Coal and Natural Gas, History tells us that this planet can keep about 1 Billion people alive, using Human and Animal Labor, provided the resources are still there. Think of the lifestyle of Revolutionary America.

One day, there will be some incident, and the System will collapse.

When, I don't know. And to stop it, it would take a lot of Common Sense by the various Gooberments to make things work.

But Governmental Common Sense is an Oxymoron, so there's no hope there.

Moral of the Story: Civilization will Collapse, there's nothing the Ordinary Person can do to stop it, and one should do what one can to be ready for the coming Dark Ages.

Robin said...

".. And then again we may be huddled in the ruins this winter, cooking rats over fires made of Econ 101 textbooks."

Hmmmm, the only way to make those stored MRE's look palatable is to upgrade them with some nice rat.

deadcenter said...

I wonder what a year supply of hot sauce looks like assuming a diet high in rat...

rickn8or said...

Well, if it does go all pear-shaped, you can blame me.

I shifted all my 401k investments to foreign stocks just before Teh Won was immaculated.

June 19th marks the day I can cash it out without penalty. (Not that I would necessarily, I just have this thing about giving the gooberment more money than I think is necessary.)

Never mind the rats, the squirrels around here look nervous. I know, I know; one has a furry tail and the other doesn't.

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

A quote from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"...

"It said: "The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases.

For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question How can we eat? the second by the question Why do we eat? and the third by the question Where shall we have lunch?"

I think all phases are ultimately repeatable.

Dann in Ohio

TerriLiGunn said...

Honestly I think most of use are already prepping for this kinda stuff already.

I know my water supply is measured in 10's of Gallons.

Kristopher said...

The chair is against the wall.

The chair is against the wall.

Noah D said...

I wantd to play an updated Twilight 2000, not live it.

But then again, like most apocalyptic predictions, the truth is most likely less spectacular, more banal, and least at first.

Matthew said...

When talking about global economic collapse and planetary carrying capacity, it's important to remember geography. We still have our moats of the Pacific and Atlantic and the bulk of the clamoring hordes are on the other side with no way to get here.

There are only so many ocean crossing planes and ships out there, and once they get here, filled with the mere thousands of people with the resources and skills to become passengers and/or the trained people to make or operate them, there won't be anymore coming, even if we decided to allow them to land.

The Western Hemisphere will be muddling through on its own and we've only got, what, a billion or so to manage with pretty good domestic resources and know-how still present.

Old NFO said...

Hopefully, not going to be reality, but I'm not betting 'against' him either... sigh

Brad K. said...

@ Bubblehead Les,

About resources. Potash, I think it is, is a mineral used extensively in agribusiness to maintain soil fertility (to keep harvest bountiful). Only the mines are nearing played out.

Ammonia and urea are common fertilizers to provide nitrogen for agribusiness-style farmland exploitation. These take a *lot* of energy to process, transport, and supply.

My copy of "Ten Acres Enough" begins with the note "No man need farm more ground than he can adequately manure." That was sustainable, local agriculture back in the early 1800s.

When worrying about the globe and meltdowns and going broke, consider the Chinese.

It seems that high communist party officials indulge in some high powered skimming of the capital, as a common practice. What looks scary is the scheme doesn't work if the economy stops growing . . and exports are dropping, and growth is lower than it has been for years. The housing and building bubbles over there might be the tip of the iceberg.

I like the part of the story where the Chinese don't have social services or retirement benefits, and with the one-child policy, many are facing the four-grandparent problem -- one worker supporting four aged seniors, and it won't work. So the Chinese people are saving as much as they can for their aged years, nearly 50% of GDP. Oh, and the communist party runs the banks and sets the savings account returns at about 1% -- not real attractive with inflation held over 4%. And all the savings money? Lent to communist party officials in various state owned companies. "Sweetheart deal" doesn't begin to cover it.

Note Australia and New Zealand have weathered the storms pretty well so far. But that may change if China experiences a hiccup or three.

As Gilda Radner put it, "If it isn't one thing, it's something else."

Joseph said...

An increase of population from 3 billion to 7 billion means 4 billion more minds to think of ways to solve problems.

Spud said...

Screw the rats...lots of long pork will be available, yum...

wolfwalker said...

Unfortunately, Joseph, most people are not trained in problem-solving in any but their own small area of expertise. Perhaps one human in ten thousand could fulfill Lazarus Long's definition of what a human should be.

Tam: "And then again we may be huddled in the ruins this winter, cooking rats over fires made of Econ 101 textbooks."

If things go down as far and as fast as that guy thinks they will, most of those reading this comment won't live to see winter. Neither, probably, will the one writing it. I have a lot of abstract survival skills and a lot of knowledge that smart people would want to preserve, but as for actually hunting/fishing/farming my own food with my own two hands? Couldn't do it.

Zendo Deb said...

i still don't know why everyone says that Greece leaving the Euro=the end of civilization as we know it. Would be the best thing for Greece in the long run, and better for everyone else in Europe (or maybe just everyone else) in the short term.

The immediate consequence would be that Germans no longer have to pay for Greek retirement benefits. Which would make the vast majority of Germans very happy.

The Freeholder said...

Sorry, I've been on too many forums with JGFla. The guy hyperbolizes his points, usually fails to provide supporting evidence and insists on putting dates on the predictions. I've developed a marked tendency to discount him. He reminds me of a street preacher.

It's a pity, because he often makes good points. He's correct in saying that the Greek vote may lead to some drastic outcomes that we can't foresee. I've already told those I care about to be watching things carefully the next couple of weeks. We're in yet another period where the danger is increased, but there is simply no way of saying "This one! This one is the day it all falls down! Do these things or die!" We all need to be paying attention and we should all have whatever preparations made we feel moved to make, but his constant falling sky is just too much. I hope it's a shtick, because living like that is too depressing to contemplate.

Better to read John Mauldin, Whiskey and Gunpowder, Things That Make You Go Hm-m-m and The Daily Reckoning. Leaving out the adverts, it's the same information, better presentation and usually comes with with footnotes.

As for me, I've checked the morning news this fine Sunday morning. Europe isn't dissolving just yet. So I'm going to shower, eat and take some guns to the range to test out before a training session in a couple of weeks. I'll fill the car up on the way home, because the extra danger tells me that "3/4 = Empty", as opposed to my usual "1/2 = Empty". Being Father's Day, after that I'm going to chill until we decide where to go for a nice supper.

I will not be filling sandbags, loading magazines or making a last stocking run to the grocery store. Living your life in fear is no way to live. I don't mind Code Yellow, but I refuse to live in Code PSH.

Tam said...

Do I sound like I'm filling sandbags? :s

Kristopher said...


Here is a correction:

An increase of population from 3 billion to 7 billion means 4 billion more Zombie Happy meals.

These extra people are not only a resource ... they can also be thought of as rations.

sobriant74 said...

Does make me think that the western reliance on antibiotics is becoming a real issue. The former Soviets have almost 90 years of research into bacteriphages, although only Georgia still uses them. Phage therapy uses virus like treatments that attack bacteria. Maybe I need to make a trip to Tblisi before the face eating bacteria plague hits.