The Changes We Seek – What Can Be Done – Part I

I hope this blog entry is one of the most important entries I have ever written, because it is my hope that this will break through some of the gridlock and indecisions and most importantly, the daily time wasters that consume our lives.

This blog and many others sources have revealed that huge, cataclysmic changes are coming to our world of such great significance that we should, if we are entirely honest with ourselves, seriously doubt our ability to actually deal with them.

The evidence we’ve seen possess these future facts of cataclysmic change as being both irrefutable and immutable, and utterly indifferent to our to our inability to cope. They are irresolute events headed our way, which we cannot rightly hope to stop or even contain, not even if we have applied our very best efforts.

Several years of my own life have been spent on documenting these things and writing about them. I do not consider any of this effort wasted or a part of the ‘time-wasting’ exercises I mention above, because this still on-going effort of my own has helped my understanding and that of many others, and why the collapse of all human civilization has come to be.

Other more notable and well-known luminaries have done the same things, and they have both encouraged and helped me with my own understanding of our situation. Like them, I do not believe that despite our common and collective “doom” future, that we should simply give up since it’s irreversible. I believe that giving up is in fact the only guarantee of our extinction, and I believe that it is simply not in our nature to do so. We have struggled for a million years to achieve our present position and stature, it’s not like quitting now makes any sense.

I do however, very strongly believe that there some things that do make sense, even many things we should completely abandon as the only sensible thing we can possibly do now — and this is the main focus of this entry.

The collapse of our civilization is now underway. Although immutable and utterly indifferent to our reaction, our collapse does not mean we should simply quit trying. The collapse of our world is a process, not an event. It will be ongoing process for quite some time to come, at least one entire generation if not many. It began years ago in fact, when human civilization reached its peak potential. Since then, we have already begun the long decline.

Most of us probably haven’t noticed this, but a few did. I became aware of this decline in the 80’s for example. The things that I noticed back then were not issues such as peak oil or peak resources, but peak humanity. I was living in a world that was very different then the one I had grown up in — and I didn’t much care for it. I was witnessing a collapse of morality, decency, respect and compassion. Even then, apathy was rampant. It’s much worse now as our society continues to cater to our base nature of greed and gluttony.

Later, I learned about peak collapse, as resources were consumed, polluted or destroyed. Peak oil became a big focus for a time, but even this wasn’t the whole picture. Modern human civilization and cheap energy go hand in hand, but even more important then this is the planetary climate. We can live without energy, some of us anyway, but we cannot live without a habitable climate. Or clean water. Or non-toxic soils. These, plus solar energy are the basic elements that provide for all life on Earth. And we’ve done an absolutely terrible job of making sure we have any of these things left.

It’s called ecocide and it encompasses every living thing on Earth, and it is all our fault. We cannot blame this on anything other then ourselves, and our base nature. This has now led to our peak as a civilization and to our collapse. An assessment of all of the conditions now present throughout the globe presents this fact as being irrefutable. It is not popular view, but then how could it be? Popularity also relies upon the same two vices of greed and gluttony.

I spent years and years studying history, politics, religion, the US Constitution, the Federal Reserve and many other issues, trying to fit all of the pieces together into a cohesive pattern that made sense. I came away with the realization after quite some time that none of this really mattered anymore, we hadn’t change anything and even if we could have, they have all been blind sided by something much bigger and far more serious. We had in fact, been paying attention to all of the wrong things, failing to realize that we had undermined the very foundation that we were all living on.

The collapse of our civilization is here. We are now going through our death throes in a desperate and foolish bid to forestall this conclusion. It will not work. It stands absolutely no chance of working and every effort that is now being expended to extend our present form of lifestyle and living versus working towards our planetary survival is a complete and utter waste of time, money and effort.

Billions and billions of dollars are being spent to extend the status-quo and maintain the present paradigm as long as possible. This is foolishness beyond belief, for we are robbing all of future humanity so that we alone may have a few more years of greed and gluttony of the ‘good life’. We have already consumed the inheritance of a hundred generations of humanity — do we really need to add more crimes to this already extensive list?

It is now extremely doubtful that humanity will manage to survive our present and past excesses. We certainly know that our civilization will not survive, all the energy and natural resource inputs that it requires as its lifeblood are now in critical short supply. We have already long since pushed the entire planet past ecological tipping points decades ago, a process that some erroneously think we can magically reverse through even more human intervention.

I disagree, I do not think we can do it and think that even our efforts to engineer such a solution will lead to even worse conditions then we are already facing.

The planet does not need our help. Modern human civilization is the unnatural variable in the natural cycles and events of the Earth. Without our intervention and ongoing contribution the planet will heal itself according to it’s own cycles and rhythms. But therein lies the problem — we can’t stop doing what we are doing and simply leave it alone. We have totally forgotten how to live in harmony with the Earth instead of against it. In our greedy quest for ownership and control of every resource, nation and people, our gluttonous ways have caused such great wounds and scars upon this planet that we killed the host that supported us.

A few semi-recent comments have indicated that warning others of these world changing events now underway seems at times to be self-defeating, as this creates as many problems in the minds of the listeners and tellers as it proposes to solve.

There is indeed some truth to this view. We can easily get caught up in this theme, and even become very defensive about it, which then becomes yet another time draining exercise of wasted effort, leading nowhere and effectively accomplishing almost nothing. We can easily exhaust ourselves trying to do this and I believe this is now a complete waste of very valuable time.

There are many, many issues clamoring for our attention now, not one of which has anything to do with the collapse or how we are going to try and save ourselves. It is as if the world at large really wants to ignore this angry Godzilla standing outside our door as it tears the building apart. Those that do discuss these things in couched terms don’t offer any real solutions either. In fact, of all the solutions I’ve seen, they ALL keep contributing to the absolute likelihood of collapse since they propose to mess with natural processes that are now terribly out of balance.

This is the wrong approach and always will be. These are the first things we should completely abandon as time wasting exercises, dangerous to a degree that none of us can truly fathom. Anything that proposes to perpetuate our continued rape of this planet and it’s natural forms of life is simply wrong. This is the exact opposite direction in which we should be headed.

There are many other issues vying for our attention, such as the next (s)Election or who the current presidential candidate front runner is as promoted by our misinforming media. These are truly time wasters that are entirely meaningless to each and every one of us. The actual outcome of this fabricated delusion we call an ‘election year’ will not affect you personally in any particular way, nor have any affect whatsoever on the now certain outcome of our civilization.

This “distraction” as it were, because this is what it really is in reality, is true for just about everything going on today. Your input into issues that you would like to see changed are like your vote, which is also infinitely small and is going completely unheard. You can spend a lot of time and a lot of money, screaming to the top of your lungs for your issues to garner attention by someone, somewhere, but you are still going to be almost entirely unheard, unrecognized, underutilized and unable to effectively change anything on a scale outside of your direct control.

This concept is very important, because it represents the super-sized significance of our world today and the infinitely small grains of sand that we each actually are and that we are lost to the tidal waves of momentum. We are awash with change in our world today, but it is not change that we personally have any control over at all anymore. These are changes being done to us, but most often not by us.

The changes occurring in our world, whether this is the next (s)Election, the Iraq invasion or any other major event such as the destruction of the Amazon, are effectively lost to us individually as being anything we can even reasonably expect to have any effect on. They are what they are now, they are all well underway and our input or our withdrawal or our dissent is accomplishing almost nothing, even when we have combined our voices by the millions. Whether we like it or not and we are all being swept along with the tides and currents these events create despite our best efforts to stop them or prevent them from happening.

Should we try to change these things? Yes, in a normal world, we should. But we no longer live in a normal world and it is an absolute certainty that we will never have a normal world again. The normal processes that we’ve used in our so-called “democracy” (a complete lie) to instigate and incorporate changes simply no longer work anymore. At fault is the change processes themselves, which don’t represent the will of thinking people anymore (think “free speech zones” in cages surrounded by armed guards carrying automatic weapons for a quick example).

This is a critically important point for those who are still yet enamored with these processes for change and are still trying to utilize them, and the idea that they offer any hope for change. They don’t — and have not for a very long time now. They are broken so badly that they should simply be abandoned. We are wasting our time when the processes themselves are so inept and so poorly representative and badly effective that offer no hope of any change at all.

Therefore, whatever changes we might desire through such mechanisms are simply null and void before we’ve even started, and will remain so for as long as we cling to the false illusions that our voice, or our vote, or our desire is going to have any effect at all. We are only hearing ourselves and talking among ourselves, creating gatherings of people like ourselves, people like us who are sympathetic to our viewpoints and opinions, which is also true of the writings on this blog.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. We’re not changing the world and never will. Nobody is. A few will “wake up”, whatever that actually means (and it means a LOT less then most seem to think), but the numbers are tiny and few and will always remain tiny and few and they will not create a “groundswell” of opinion or change as some seem to profess. Changing our world has become an impossible task in reality, momentum and inertia and a still growing population are now so great that it IS now impossible for us to change effectively. We won’t change, cannot change until we after our collapse.

I’ve always known this from the very start of this blog and the old forum, because like others, I have tried to change the world in the past, spending my life and my entire fortune in the effort. I came to recognize that there were many, many things that could not be changed and never will be changed because of their sheer size and momentum and their deeply entrenched nature into the very fabric of our society and civilization.

I eventually learned to discard the illusions that widespread public support was needed or even worked, because it simply doesn’t. It just another lie we been told to believe and is a distraction in and of itself. Those that keep promoting this lie I generally just ignore, because what they claim simply isn’t true.

It does not take huge numbers to change the world — not at all and it never did. Just the opposite is actually true. That’s why the few today can still control the many very effectively. It’s why your boss can make or break your organization, but you can’t. It’s why corporations succeed or they fail. The people in powerful positions of influence and change are the ones controlling its direction and success, and are they are operating within entirely different parameters then we are, while we are ourselves are really in the position of absolutely nothing except our delusions.

We’ve been taught to think that boycotts, protests and letter writing campaigns actually work, when in reality, they don’t work and I can’t point to a single instance where they have. Even when the oft-claimed “highest form of democracy” is utilized (the vote), we re-discover again and again that nothing ever changes (voting is not the highest form of democracy, withdrawing your consent is, this is even better then dissent).

The ability for us to change things in our “positions of nothing” is a totally false hope that is leading nowhere. There is simply far too much momentum in the natural and political world today for this to possibly work. This isn’t 1776 for example, or 1681. We are dealing with extremely large and significant populations and the momentum they create and support, and all of the institutions, government and corporate direction this entails. Can we change any of this? No, we cannot. Even worldwide groups like Greenpeace are not experiencing any change, the best they can hope for and all they have achieved through many years of effort is raising public awareness.

But does public awareness work? This is a fair question, since it is the basic belief behind all these efforts to instigate change. Public awareness takes years to develop on any scale. As a quick example, there are still supporters for the Iraq war. Millions of people still believe that Saddam Hussein attacked the United States on 9/11, despite significant efforts to educate the public to the real facts behind the attacks.

Yet despite this, many remain entirely clueless as to the real reasons why America attacked and invaded Iraq. Public education in this case has not changed anything. We’re still there, and the genocide continues with over one million dead.

Nor did public education of the events surrounding 9/11 change anything. Nor did the thousands of documented cases of vote fraud change anything. That moron we have for a Presidential pretender is still in office and still committing crimes daily. All that these efforts have accomplished is to achieve a certain level of public awareness, but they have not stopped the momentum and the inertia that is now in place. In effect, it’s too late for that. The list is truly endless where “public awareness” does not work as a change mechanism because the public has no control over the events now set in motion and never has.

Do we have years and years left to develop huge public awareness? No, we do not. Even Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” seen by hundreds of millions hasn’t accomplished what it set out to do. If and when (very doubtful now) it ever did, it would be far too late to now matter anyway, something that has been mentioned often here before. We can’t change fast enough on a planetary scale to make a difference anyway.

Many, many efforts of change have been tried over the years, but they have not worked now for just as many years. The only thing they’ve accomplished is to make the participants feel better about their own selves and their level of awareness, but the momentum and they inertia they seek for change never materializes. Their “try” for change is their sole reward and their only accomplishment.

But now the time has come to stop doing even this on those issues which cannot be changed due to their size, complexity or momentum. Many people want to fight the Federal Reserve for example, or the two-party electoral system, or climate change or any number of deeply entrenched, very large and significant issues affecting us all. Their mantra is that if only enough people got involved, they could change these things and effect the outcome. This is simply not true anymore, sheer numbers of people cannot change something that is of a much greater size and force. The truth is, they are not even in the same category or classification. It’s like comparing your influence over General Motors, it’s absolutely meaningless.

Your buying power, like your vote, is infinitely small, even when combined with others of like persuasions. This is why boycotts never seem to work, and the companies they target can easily and swiftly redesign their business processes (or logos) and just keep right on doing what they’ve been doing all along. They have what we don’t — inertia, money and lest we forget, consumer products that people actually still want in huge numbers.

They also have something else at stake — their survival. We cannot say the same — yet. The issues we challenge are not so critical to us that our survival is at stake, and therefore, we respond accordingly, which in truth is a very weak response. We’ll just buy the same product from someplace else under a different brand name, effectively changing nothing in the end! What’s missing here? We didn’t change! This is the key.

There is also a very distinct different set of rules for the swift and mighty. They recognize any danger and will swiftly adapt to whatever they need to do to survive, including lie, cheat, steal, murder or rebrand if necessary. This is why the “business as usual” model always continues to survive, despite our many, many but terribly feeble attempts to make effective changes to these plantation owners that govern and control us all. We have no direct control over them and never, ever will under our present system. We are not even motivated by the same things as they are and we play by entirely different rules then they do. In essence, we are already defeated before we even start.

It’s a rigged “game”, it’s not an even playing field, but one that we believe we have been challenged into playing because that convinces us “we’re still in the game”. We didn’t realize that the score was already 100-0 and we stand absolutely NO CHANCE of winning anything. The key here is to stop playing the game!

We also believe that we must abide by the “rules”, not something which they have been found to do either. The double standards employed by our politicians, corporations, courts and the entire legal system is truly astounding, but we stupidly believe that we must still keep playing by the rules they’ve set out for us like a trap, but not for them, and they’re all too happy to ignore them when it comes to their own survival. Its a rare day in hell when they are actually held accountable for their crimes and actions. The key here is to break their damned rules!

There was a time when change by the people did work, but only sometimes and really, not all that often. It no longer works now because we no longer have any control over any of our institutions, we keep kidding ourselves that we still do, that we’re still in the game and we still have a “chance”, but in reality, we don’t. This last lame Congress should prove that in spades. Objectors and dissenters are simply booted out the door (fascism) and the “business as usual” model continues. The political processes at work in this country (which are most definitely not ours) have fallen into the hands of thieves who are having their agendas promoted by whatever means they find necessary and often do.

The main stream media is a perfect example of this. Presently controlled in America by just five families, the American news regurgitates pablum and nonsense and outright lies, over and over again which is widely inhaled as manna from heaven in this country by stupid sheep. I have no mercy for people that believe everything they hear and question nothing. Failing to use the brain cells between their ears is their fault and nobody else’s.

The real news about America and the world is still being found offshore, which might eventually get picked up in a few months by the American media who then twists it all around and waters it down to fit a politically correct agenda. Even the “truth in news reporting” movement in this country has failed miserably to get the American media to honestly, fairly and accurately report the news.

To most Americans, if the mainstream media doesn’t say it, then it cannot possibly be true. They are the entirely gullible ones. Therefore, such issues like climate change was not actually real or anything to be concerned about — not until the media finally broke it’s complicit silence on the issue and seemingly, all at once as if on cue (and it was).

The same thing is now happening right now with the global food situation. Suddenly, this is “big news”. This didn’t just happen overnight, it take time to run out of food (months), but where were the warnings then? They were found offshore by other news sources for the most part.

The sad fact is, absolutely nothing in this country is reported unless it is first vetted and approved. Think about that fact for a moment. Since the media holds such a huge percentage of public opinion and public knowledge, what they “say” goes. It’s the Gospel, regurgitated and spewed far and wide. They are in fact responsible for the brainwashing and belief systems and even many of the moral values held by Americans today. They have literally shaped the American way of life into their design — and to the destruction of everyone. They taught us we all needed to have the “good life”, the cost and the consequences to the planet didn’t matter and was never even mentioned. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all paid prostitutes whoring themselves out for profit to the highest bidder (and advertisers).

War was “necessary” and “good” and “right” and “proper” and “democratic” and downright “patriotic” — because the media said so. But dissent and disagreement was treason! The media was very guilty of regurgitating the same outrageous lies by the American government — very often without checking the facts first, that’s how this country was sold an outrageous bill of lies for the Iraq invasion. But this isn’t anything new, this is how it has always been done in this country, this is the “business as usual” in the American dream (the one you’d have to be asleep to actually believe).

But none of this can be changed one-iota by us. We’re ineffectual as ever, even in very large groups of millions of ‘treasonous bastards’, and damn it it all to hell, we need to admit it, because it is so important for us to realize that we need to move beyond these time killing exercises of complete futility that do not accomplish diddly squat or change anything. Our planet is dying and we’re going to die with it if we don’t pull our heads out of our collective asses and start doing what’s right. We do not need their “consent” or widespread pubic support or the approval of ANYONE.

This is why I now discard all these ‘agendas’ to create public awareness, even on this blog. It will not change the certain outcome and this is now my focus. How can I be better prepared personally for the outcome of what is now an absolute certainty? And what else CAN I do besides beat my hands in futility at the air?

(to be continued in Part II).


admin at survivalacres dot com

26 thoughts on “The Changes We Seek – What Can Be Done – Part I

  • March 23, 2008 at 5:43 am

    Spot on and difficult medicine. I have believed what you say for god, damn near 35 years. 35 years and this “awareness” and “action” shit has not budged off the dime.

    My main career was in community organizing and the belief that concerted efforts could engender change. I worked tirelessly on issues, but it became abundantly clear that if it meant “doing anything” by just about anyone, pretty much any effort was a waste of time.

    What I observed was that all institutions, regardless of scale, or hierarchy, were organized around the self-interest of the occupants, and not about the mission of the organization. I think this is why nothing works above very local scale. By very local, I mean very small groups of people, probably tribal scale, like small neighborhoods. When you move to a national scale, you are so far away from anything real and actionable that the belief in meaningful change is arguably madness. As you say, it won’t happen, and it can’t happen.

    Let me offer an example from my experience, one of many. In my old home town of 55,000, I ran a very large community organization concerned with housing rehabilitation and community organizing. Near one of the most vibrant neighborhoods were 5 crack houses. Children had to walk to school through these neighborhoods and they were dealt drugs, shot with pellet guns, and solicited into prostitution. I took a location map to the city government starting at the director of planning, who kicked me to the police chief. I presented the map to the chief of police and was told “he could not confirm one way or the other that these were crack houses, but he also assured me he the situation under complete control”. I asked when they planned to act, he said “he could not say because of the need for secrecy”. In essence he blew me off. I told him I would be back in 30 days for an update, I was, and got the same story. I came back 30 days later, same story. Next, I went to a city councilman and told him the whole story. I also told him that if he didn’t get action, I would go public and lay out the facts, and the inaction to the evening news and the newspaper. Two days later, the SWAT teams took down all the crack houses. Then through the rumor mill, I heard that I was full of myself, and needed to tend my own garden. That this police matter was none of my business and I should butt out in the future. The chief of police was pissed off.

    Sorry for this very long example, but it illustrates why institutions don’t work. I saw this theme repeated over and over again. At nearly 60, I continue to believe in people but only at small, human scale. I would agree that this is probably delusional, but I see no choice.

    Great post Admin. We are screwed, certainly by our institutions and consensus trance, and the state of the earth (that trumps it all), but just perhaps, we can get busy and be “a little less screwed” and “screwed a bit later”. It is way past time to imagine anyone or anything will save us but us, to any degree.

    “To achieve enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Maybe this is our path. As I have gotten older, I understand this better, and its wisdom.


  • March 23, 2008 at 8:21 am

    There is only one thing an individual can do:quit wasting time blogging and grow food. Our only hope as a species is small pockets of humanity that can live self sufficiently. (now Lonewolf will get on his soapbox here, but I am not suggesting a Biodome, so micronutrients will be able to be extracted from the environment, so more on that later if someone wants a debate). So, learn to grow all your own food. First, find some decent land with water you can get without power. Get all the seeds you can lay your hands on and learn how to grow everything, including saving and collecting seeds every year. And I don’t mean just common vegetable seeds but different stuff like amaranth and quinoa. Grow everything you can and learn to prepare it yourself as well as long term storage. Learn animal husbandry. Learn to raise chickens, goats and pigs including breeding and meat storage and preparation. Get Lehman’s non-electric catalog and learn the old ways without power (this will benefit short term as well.) Get solar systems, build greenhouses, plant fruit and nut trees, learn mushroom culture, learn wild food sources. Collect all the books you can on the old ways of living and learn how to do it. Learn medicines especially natural remedies. Get all the knowledge you can about living without anything from the outside and pass that knowledge on to someone. If you don’t have kids then find neighbors who want to learn. Form local communities and barter with your neighbors, share jobs and responsibilities. Get someone to watch your back. Learn weapons and defenses. But most of all, seeds, seeds, and more seeds. Open pollinated heirloom varieties. Stockpile storable foods and plant nutrients. Stockpile everything you can, and learn to live without what you can’t. It is the only thing you can do. No sense in pissing and moaning about all those things you can’t change. Change what you can, and what you can change is the simple fact that you can learn to live without anything from civilization.

    luck all, we’re going to need it…

    let me know if you have questions


  • March 23, 2008 at 8:48 am

    If there’s a slow collapse, you can kiss all of that goodbye; you can kiss the future of the planet goodbye.

    Small pockets of sustainable humans will be overrun by Civilisation. Your strategy will prolonge your life for a while, but the world destruction will continue. I think you should do those things, but….at some point you will be forced to make a choice.

    “Premise Six: Civilization is not redeemable. This culture will not undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living. If we do not put a halt to it, civilization will continue to immiserate the vast majority of humans and to degrade the planet until it (civilization, and probably the planet) collapses. The effects of this degradation will continue to harm humans and nonhumans for a very long time.”



  • March 23, 2008 at 8:59 am

    “The collapse of our world is a process, not an event. It will be ongoing process for quite some time to come, at least one entire generation if not many.”
    this is not the case at all,…the acceleration of the collapse will lead shortly to a time when the rate of distruction will be so huge that it will bring civilization to the ground in few months,…forget about a generation.

  • March 23, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Admin is right. I have spent the last three or four years trying to get my family to “see the light” and prepare for what is coming. Only my wife has changed her views and is on board 100% with my efforts. Even change on a tribal scale is almost impossible. I have got on my own personal soap box long enough and now I focus all my efforts on my own personal survival. I love my family deeply but I can no longer waste valuable time on them.

  • March 23, 2008 at 9:17 am

    growingfood – all good points which I definitely agree with, but I gently remind you that all of those things you suggest we “do”, all come from civilization, our dependency is still there (and I don’t think it’s going to go away no matter what we do).

    If we were to learn to live without civilization, we would in fact have none of these things, just our bare hands and sticks and stones. Torjus is the only person I know on the planet that is learning how to do this. I’m sure there are a few others like him, but they’re not online!

    magdy – the collapse of our civilization has been underway for a long time already, this is why it is a process, not an event, and it will continue to be underway for a long time, as evidenced by our long, slow decline already.

    Individual collapse is now happening, but this too is a process, not a singular event in most cases. Civilization is going to yet continue for a long time (years) I’m afraid, but it’s decline has already begun.

    Finally, the collapse will not be everywhere at once, just like it is now. There are countries in collapse in various stages all over the world right now, yet their civilization continues. There are cities in collapse, even neighborhoods. But it will a long while before they truly disintegrate. Tree is right — on all points.

  • March 23, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Of course now those things come from civilization, but once we have them they can be procreated continually. Like saving seeds. You don’t eat your seed corn every year. You plant enough to eat for the year plus enough to plant for next. Yes, of course, we must now get those things from somewhere, but simple fact is human societies have been living isolated from the rest of humanity forever, and it can be done again. With proper planning and education, we can learn to live off the land. And I refuse to give up simply because there may be problems. Problems can be surmounted. There is always an answer. And I, for one, refuse to give up because of group paranoia. Admin, with all due respect, you call this a sustainable living blog. Well let’s talk about sustainable living and quit pissing and moaning about how we’re all going to die. Humans are VERY adaptable. Those who cannot adapt to the new model will die. Some will live. I intend on being one of them. Never give up, and some of us just might make it through this. I have children. It is for them I refuse to give up. I have land, water, food, natural resources out the wazoo. Anyone want to join me either in principal, or physically, ask some questions and maybe we can work something out.

  • March 23, 2008 at 9:58 am

    This blog is NOT about sustainable living anymore because it is no longer possible. I quit doing that over a year ago. Go back and read its history. I have clearly refocused on the collapse and this is where it shall stay. The title has not been changed (and won’t) because of its past history. This blog, like no other that I know of, now focuses on the collapse from the perspective that it:

    a) cannot be stopped;
    b) should not be stopped;
    c) will devastate the majority of humanity;
    d) and is the only solution there is the problem of human intervention on this planet.

    Nothing but collapse will address the root problems within our civilization. Anything that perpetuates this, including sustainable living, will only make things worse in the end. Sustainable living might come after the collapse of our civilization, but certainly not before. It’s much too late for that.

  • March 23, 2008 at 10:56 am

    There is nothing we can do about the collapse so what is the point? Humankind’s only hope is to return to localize agrarian society. Humans lived that way for thousands of years and they can do it again. The collapse does not necessarily need to be an extinction event. I don’t believe it will be. So bottom line, there is nothing we can do about the collapse so there is no point in rehashing it over and over. There is nothing we can do about these root problems you suggest. THERE IS something we can do about sustainable living. It is possible, and it is our only hope. You’ve been listening to Lonewolf too much. There is hope and I refuse to give up. There are some of us who can grow food out of rocks. And I intent on keeping trying. If you want me to take my optimism and discussions of real solutions to real problems somewhere else I will. There is alt.survival and misc.survivalism and I post there periodically and there are people there who regularly discuss real solutions to real problems if anyone is interested.

    in the meantime, I’m just…


  • March 23, 2008 at 11:21 am

    7 billion humans cannot achieve sustainable living, this is a absolute pipe dream of yours that has absolutely no basis in reality at all. If it were possible, we would have done it already. But we can’t, which is why we are facing collapse.

    There is also the tiny little side issue that we’ve pretty well screwed the pooch with all the natural resources that made this all possible.

    We got here by exploiting cheap energy. Perpetuating this level of human existence at the price of all future generations is INSANE and it needs to STOP.

    A FEW humans (relatively speaking) can live in an agrarian society without cheap energy – that is the very reason the world population was so low back then, population is a direct result of food production. Can we do this now with our present population? Hell no, not even close — we are going to face severe shortages that will lead to starvation and you know it.

    Lonewolf has given up on you for the same reason I have — you absolutely REFUSE to listen to reason and fact. You will continue to do so now at your own peril. You’re being deliberately obtuse and difficult for reasons known only to you.

    Nobody is asking you to “give up”, there is nothing on this blog that indicates this and nothing any of us has ever written to you that states that.

    You have not once offered a single “real solution” as you say. Growing basil in a greenhouse? For what? The reality is – there is no solution, except dealing with the effects of the collapse headed our way.

    STOP trying to make this blog into your pet project. You’ve been told REPEATEDLY that your plans are FOOLISH by a world class expert in food production (Lonewolf) and now you have insisted on dragging your disagreement online. Big mistake.

    You are willing to risk your life and that of your family in your stubborn insistence that you’re right. So go do it then, nobody is stopping you – live and lead your own life as you best see fit.

    Yeah, it’s time you depart in peace.

    Updated: You should have read the link Tree provided, because every point Jensen brought up is true.

  • March 23, 2008 at 11:31 am

    “Youâ’ve been listening to Lonewolf too much.”

    Thanks, I needed that respiratory exercise, really! (drying eyes with sleeve)

    I agree with you ‘growguy’, manifest personal responsibility (comprehensive and effective action) IS the only ‘hope’ for potential adaptation to the pending milieu (mass culling).

    “Adaptation or perish is Nature’s inexorable imperative.” ~ HG Wells

  • March 23, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Growinfood is wrong. Agrarian society was selected because we had outgrown hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Our brains had made us too efficient and our population swelled to the point that we had the first population crisis, forcing us out of the idealistic lifestyle of hunter-gatherers – almost no disease, 60+ year lifespans, 4 hours average of hunting and gathering per day with the rest for leisure – a true “garden of Eden” existence.

    With too many mouths to feed we adopted the backbreaking labor of agriculture. Workdays soared to 10-12 hours daily. Ancient skeletons clearly show the smaller stature and poorer diet provided by the agrarian lifestyle versus the hunter-gatherer one.

    In short, agriculture is not sustainable either. Agriculture is what led to this mess and it will lead to this mess over and over until we destroy either ourselves or the planet.

    Furthermore, we cannot go back to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle because we will eventually hit the same population problem we hit before that drove us into agriculture.

    Saving this civilization is now impossible. I believe that it is still possible to save the species and I can see multiple ways to do that but all of them involve an intense awareness of ecological limits being foremost in the minds of the members of such a new society.

  • March 23, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t pretend to see the past or the future as well as some of the rest of y’all do. I see collapse coming, sooner rather than later. After that, after the bottle neck years – hell if I know what’s going to happen.

    And I won’t be around to see it, probably, since I see the bottle neck as taking place for more years than I’m likely to live. All I’m sure of is that it won’t be any ‘golden age of anything’, any more than there was any golden age in the past.

    Perhaps sustainability won’t be a watchword at all after the bottleneck – all that might count is survival unto the next generation. Or maybe the survivors will put in place a ‘migratory agricultural society’, where every few generations they’ll abandon their current village and build a new one on ‘fresher’ land. I dunno what shape anything will take.

    All I can do is try to get as many folks that 1) I like and 2) will listen thru’ the bottleneck. That’s it. I may – heck, I probably will – fail at that. The odds are against me. But any dreams of ‘building the future’ post bottleneck are fantasies I can’t afford, I need to focus on my main shorter term goal. Decisions about Agricultural vs nomadic vs ecovillage vs tribal vs democratic vs dictatorships vs ‘elite council of brilliant elders’ vs whatthefrakever will be made by anyone who survives.

  • March 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I’m with FernWise on this.

    Not all will agree- nor ‘should’ (can) they. Different strokes for different folks and in diversity some may ‘succeed’. ‘One way’ or the other may or may not ‘succeed’ (however one chooses to define success), But to ‘defeat the dragon-monster’ one must struggle for/in every moment. Then, suddenly ya don’t. Somewhere in between, one just doesn’t ‘give a bush’ – TMK.

  • March 23, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    selected excerpts from Derrick Jensen at

    ” … the only way to survive in the long run is to give back more than you take.”

    “I am more or less constantly amazed at the number of intelligent and well-meaning people who consistently conjure up magical means to maintain this current disconnected way of living.”

    ” [some assert]… weâ’ve already boarded the train to Treblinka, so we might as well stay on for the ride. Perhaps by chance or by choice (someone elseâ’s) weâ’ll somehow end up somewhere besides the gas chambers.”

    ” … [as] philosopher R. D. Laing put it, “From the moment of birth, when the Stone Age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subject to these forces of violence . . . as its mother and father, and their parents and their parents before them, have been. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities, and on the whole this enterprise is successful. By the time the new human being is fifteen or so, we are left with a being like ourselves, a half-crazed creatures more or less adjusted to a mad world. This is normality in our present age.”

  • March 23, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I agree that the collapse is a process,not an event,and that it was underway for years now,….but it is an accelerating process,..thats why I don’t agree that it will be underway for years,…the maximun speed of distruction will come very soon(its months away)..this is what Fernwise called the bottle neck,..but the bottle neck will not be years…its only months or weeks,….this maximum speed of distruction will be about the same time every where on earth.

  • March 23, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    “there is nothing we can do about the collapse so what’s the point?”

    While we have zero power at this point to stop the oncoming darkness, we each do have the power to create new light. Maybe it is best to hold our attention there for the time being?

    What is the smallest thing you could do to create something of value? Do that.

    Just because we can’t see the ripples in the system from our efforts, does not mean our work is wasted; it just means we can’t see the whole system. Chaos theory would tell us that big dramatic changes in a system have exactly the same power to change the overall system that the smallest changes do. It might not matter where we push.

    We will either adapt, or some of us won’t. Our human brains have not changed significantly since before there were cities. Can’t assume we ‘highly evolved’ with no physical evidence. In fact, we are still wired to live in small groups only for example; many aspects of post collapse will be much better suited to our biology.

  • March 23, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    “While we have zero power at this point to stop the oncoming darkness”

    Embrace it. Swim with the current.


  • March 23, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks admin, point well taken. I believe collapse will and has shown to have positive feedback loops (not positive as in good)and we are seeing it take place right before our eyes. IT has started long ago and is accelerating at a phenomenal rate. At this point, it doesn’t matter who is responsible or if anyone is. According to Dr. Lovelock, the human race is in for a major culling of biblical proportions. I think that our beloved leaders will try to stay on top as long as possible (sieg hiel!)but I hope that sooner rather then later, even the super elite with their armed forces will be overwhelmed by the starving masses. Let them eat cake will only take them so far. Also, the rest of the world will only stand by for so long watching the good ole USA steal what is left of the worlds resources before they launch. Either way, we as enlightened peace-loving “The Secret” believing gullible sheeple are truly and utterly screwed. The only hope for the Human Race is us, the ones that are preparing. Just be aware of your location, unless, of course, you have your old school desk handy. You know, the one we were told to hide under during a nuclear holocaust to protect us when we were kids, remember. We truly are living in interesting times.

  • March 23, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Excellent post, and some excellent comments.
    Like some others, I think collapse, although an ongoing phenomenon, will culminate quickly. Not many ideas about length of the so-called bottleneck, although a bottleneck in one place might not be identical to a bottleneck somewhere else–conditions will differ depending on how many hungry, mutant, biker zombies are on the prowl, and how accessible you are.

    William Kotke advises we should be learning as much about the local flora and fauna as possible, as quickly as possible–the type of knowledge held by ancient tribal cultures, knowledge that sustained them.
    Yeah, gather, collect, and replant seeds, but gardening and especially farming will eventually have to be abandoned, except for small plantings here and there. These raised beds my husband and I have worked and tended for many years are producing lots of nutrition now. However, for the present nobody wants to steal it, cuz it’s easier to buy everything neatly wrapped in plastic at the store. That might be about to change, in which case, a garden makes you a sittting duck.

    Since in our culture of empire we have no elders to teach us how to gather food from the wild, so the next best thing is to learn from books and from each other.

  • March 24, 2008 at 5:25 am

    One thing we all tend to do is try to find some imaginary crack in the collapse scenario to erect hope. We might “do this or that”. Ultimately though, we face a global scale environmental context shift that we cannot control. The facts are clear, and there are no levers for us to pull. The dominant western world fantasy of control over nature feeds imaginings of reversal and survival. If we are good at anything, it is greed, hubris, vanity, denial, and the magical thinking to support them.

    We can imagine that a competent hunter gatherer could make it in this new world, and that we might become one. Perhaps, but not in our denuded regions. A bushman might make it, because they have the skills and fitness, and so far as I can tell, their environment has been impacted somewhat less — but it will be. I don’t think Bushmen are exempt. It’s a damn shame, they did virtually nothing to deserve this.

    Are any of us remotely fit enough to be a hunter gatherer? Bushmen are fit, but we are flaccid brutes, looking like chubby aphids by comparison. They are lean, tough, and engaged with their instinct at a level we probably cannot understand. Perhaps they have a shot in the collapse. Honestly, I don’t think so. Not at all. Not close.

    Our collapsing ecosystem crushes all the strategies our civilization has concocted since we first fashioned stone tools. You cannot hunt and gather if there is not enough left to hunt and gather. Why don’t we get that? We are trying to negotiate with certain extinction. Can we see that?

    Our challenge is to come to terms with the certainty of our near term death, perhaps 5 to 10 years out. We can choose to sulk and die sooner, or we can choose to live more fully and embrace the gift of every moment. We can make the best of it in terms of our resourcefulness, our families, and our immediate communities. It is hard to watch the world fall we know fall away, but that is our lot. We can choose how to think about it.

    Our human experiment has proven not to be durable. Certainly we are at the end of it. The only real choices we have left are to do what we can, and choose our attitude for this final ride. Our cerebral cortex and opposable thumb are apparently, in the last analysis, an affront to planetary balance. We have sinned against the planet, and the wages of sin are death.

    Spring’s gifts in NW Arkansas are the first butterflies, hard running waterfalls, and the emergence of wildflowers. The sweet smell of moist detritus fills the air. These things are no less a source of joy than before we understood our destiny. I both accept these gifts and grieve their certain loss, much as I would love a child with terminal cancer until its death. Are the gifts of these moments to be rejected because we will surely lose them?

    Carpe diem.


  • March 24, 2008 at 5:50 am

    A garden of easily recognizable food may make you a target, Lynda, but consider those raised beds filled with root crops. Folks don’t recognize potatoes as plants, nor sweet potato vines. You might even get away with beets, carrots, turnips, swedes, parsnips. Certainly Jerusalem artichokes.

    You can hide a garden in plain sight sometimes.

  • March 24, 2008 at 7:47 am

    @FernWise re: hiding the garden. Most people are so far removed from scratch cooking that I am not sure they could make a meal if they found the garden. Don’t forget amaranth, greens and grain in one package. It’s an edible super food weed. They will never find that.


  • March 24, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    FernWise and Michael are right on.
    I’ve been planting small plots of Jerusalem Artichoke for years, as well as groundnut (Apios Americanum), and fortunately as you pointed out, most people, even hungry ones, wouldn’t know a vegetable plant from any other. In fact, most people cannot identify plants. Period. This is good.

    Just read the other day about the very high protein content of honey locust pods, and how easily they can be ground into flour.
    I’ve seen parsnips growing wild in ditches for miles in Iowa, and seen black salsify growing wild in Indiana ditches.

    Speaking of scratch cooking, I was buying a really neat stainless steel pan from a yard sale one day when I overheard s nearby woman saying, “gee, I didn’t know anyone cooked anymore!”

    So much to learn, so little time…

  • March 24, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    WOW, big changes afoot.
    Collapse is here now. No sense in trying to pinpoint it’s beginning, end or speed.
    It is best to quietly prepare, step by step. Priorities. Wrap up the details, rethink plans and look for holes.
    Switch thinking from it is coming to it is here. WE ARE NOW in a war within our own country, only most people don’t even know it.
    If there is a trigger event anyone who survives the following winter will find a new, unocupied world.
    Key to long term survival is short term survival.
    In a slow collapse the crashsteads, family farms etc. will be key.
    In a triggered collapse (ie., bushwacking), security and mobility might be key.
    i agree with Admin., time to stop wasting time. Unless you are now fully prepared and just waiting, then 100% of your time should be spent preparing.(earning the money to purchase supplies is part of preparing) We are about to witness the total, absolute, destruction of humanity.
    Like others above i believe I will survive and I believe i will help others survive long term. But, with so many going to perish i wonder if we will ever see humans again. (after the first winter).
    I don’t think anyone living today will need to manufacture stone tools in our lifetime because the flotsam and jetsom of our soon to expire civilization will provide tools and raw materials for a long, long time. Though, I am trying to find out how to make matches from nature.
    One should be buying the highest quality food and supplies.
    It would suck if your cheap tool, weapon broke. It will never be replaced. High quality, Durable tools and weapons and those-never-go-flat wheelbarrow tires.
    I almost forgot : probably should pick up a case of lifesavers.
    All this is MHO
    Good luck all.

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