Our Convenient Lifestyle Makes Us Vulnerable

If we learned anything about the pandemic, besides the seriousness of it, there was no toilet paper.  Aisle after aisle, there were empty shelves in the grocery store.  One day I stopped to buy potatoes, and there were none.  Our supply chain here in the US, and most likely around the world, was compromised, especially during the first three months of the lockdown.  Hopefully it was a wakeup call for people.  Call it a dry run for what is coming down the pike.

Just because you don’t know how to grow potatoes or garlic doesn’t necessarily make you vulnerable . . . or does it?  How does our convenient lifestyle make us vulnerable?  Everything we count on for survival, consisting of our heat, water, electricity, and food, not to mention transportation, are provided by some other entity.  We may not look at them as survival . . . just convenience.  Utility companies in our cities provide heat, electricity, and water.  Food comes from Big Box grocery stores.  Without any of them, we are not going to survive very long.  As we saw with the pandemic, things can go wrong.

Most of us don’t know much about growing food, let alone getting heat, water, and electricity when those supplies are gone.  That is a vulnerable situation to be in if you ask me.  Think you will just fire up the generator.  Think again.  And, when was the last time you discussed peak oil and resource depletion at the dinner table?

Peak oil is the half way point of oil reserves.  The US reached peak oil in the 70s but about the late 90s early 2000s, hydraulic fracking was invented, which allowed oil that was unreachable before to be extracted.  It made it possible to drill horizontally.  Hence, the Bakken oil play in North Dakota became an oil rich area.  It may still have oil to extract but it is important to remember that we can’t afford to burn whatever oil is left, too, and we have more people than at the start of oil so we will deplete it faster.  Most of the oil extracted today is from deep wells or from tar sands oil in Alberta, Canada.  It is costly to extract. 

It would be crucial to have some plan in place. 

Here are a few ideas that you may consider.  Growing food would be a great place to start.  Many cities and towns have garden plots to rent if you don’t have space where you live.  This is the time to learn how to grow those potatoes and garlic, as well as how to can.  Find out what crops are good to get you through the winter and preserve well.

Perhaps it is not easy to make a move where you have control over your heat and water but installing a mini split heater or a heat pump, as they are also called, and some solar panels would be a start to ensure there is heat in at least one main room in your house.  A wood stove would be something to also consider. 

The water issue may be a little more of a challenge.  Knowing where rivers, streams, lakes, etc. are and how to purify the water is essential.  Picking up a few gallons at the local grocery store may not be an option. 

We haven’t hit the brick wall with resource depletion or the end of oil yet but things are starting to happen.  For instance, by 2048, most ocean fish will be gone.  It is good to be well informed.

Get a plan.  Don’t be vulnerable.

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