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if the end of the world comes soon, what will you do? - Ed's journal
if the end of the world comes soon, what will you do?
I was pondering something the other day. There's starting to be 'signs' that as a race we're running dry on fossil fuels, and have majorly screwed up the climate.

How long before that reaches the crisis point?

Anyhow. I figure that one of the eminently possible scenarios, is that we all put our head in the sand, deny it all, and when the last drop of oil is pumped, economies around the world, that are so dependant on it, collapse entirely.

So. Let's just assume, for the sake of argument, that that's going to happen. That it's been proven beyond reasonable doubt, that we're run out of time. The time frame is 10-30 years. What would you, given that amount of time to prepare, do about it? I'm meaning 'you' in the specific sense - no hypotheticals, or 'if I had a lot of money' - with the stuff you have now, or could reasonably expect to have in 10 years time, what would you do with it?

How would you deal with the short term - suddenly the world has a whole lot of people who have skills that have just become useless. And they're all going to want food, shelter and warmth?

In the mid term, a lot of people are going to die, but gradually we'll hit a point of sustainability. Assuming you made it through the rioting, looting and ensuing panic, then there'll be a time when things settle down, and people actually get on with living, rather than bullying others.

And then there's the longer term. It doesn't actually take all that much worldwide economic damage to make cars, computers, telephones and the like non longer viable. Our world today is firmly build on foundations of fossilized hydrocarbons. We know there are alternatives, and we still haven't adopted them for economic reasons - wind power is just not cost effective for sustaining our current life style.

How would you prepare for the 'future', assuming a complete collapse of economy and society, at least in this part of the world. How do you prepare with being able to pass on knowledge of generations, without the current ability to mass produce text books, and distribute information by computer?
11 comments or Leave a comment
From: feanelwa Date: August 30th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would kill myself, because whenever there's a chance for anybody to get treated like shit, it happens to me.
phyrbyrd From: phyrbyrd Date: August 30th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I will probably find that my epilepsy meds are no longer available and become a twitching ball of neural unpredictability, really and truly unable to take care of myself.
How long I will live after that depends on how long it takes me to fall off a wall or something.
mcnazgul From: mcnazgul Date: August 30th, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

because forewarned is forearmed

You will never ditch the computer. Not until every circuitboard is fried out and on the fire.

Between then and now:
* Learn about...
* open-source computing
* electricity
* brewing grain alcohol
* solar panels
* some basic medical training
* ...and foraging in the manner of Ray Mears.

How I arm myself is between me and nobody else - let's just say that if society is going to go 'sup that I'll be experimenting with readily available goods before then because I'll have to.

Spend meagre earnings on windup computers and ruggedised systems and then make like some kind of post-apocalyptic hacker or information source giving away the secrets of self-powering goods.

Then I have a race against time to find a pharmacist - I figure my asthma/hayfever combination gives me about 5 years to develop some kind of moderating response before the drugs lose their shelf life.

After that? Assuming an angry mob or pro-industrialist soldier doesn't cack me I figure that windfarms will be brought in and we'll stutter along. Sure we won't have all those nifty gizmos but frankly I'll live without the iPod, Paris Hilton tape footage and Hello magazine; it's a sad sacrifice but someone's got to do it?
From: dr_wez Date: August 30th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
if the end of the world comes soon, what will you do?

Go home, most likely.
jorune From: jorune Date: August 30th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mutate and survive.
elrohana From: elrohana Date: August 30th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll need to stock up on spare specs before it happens, as without at least some moderating of my eyesight, I am toast.

Other than that....well, let's see. I am learning all the time about wild food, and contemplating going on one of these courses that teaches you how to gut and prepare animals and cure hides the old-fashioned way. I can hand sew and knit, I can make wine, I am a dab hand at cooking up a stew from veg, I have just started veg gardening, I know a fair bit about wild herbs and their medicinal and household uses, I'm fairly fit and strong and could probably survive without asthma medication these days (hay fever too probably if I had to)....I have I think therefore a number of useful skills and am learning new ones all the time, so I reckon if I survive the initial chaos, I will be a welcome addition to most 'tribes'. Beloved and I are already acquiring wind-up and solar-powered kit for simple things like lighting so we would have stuff liek that available by then.....I guess I'd manage, and Beloved would be even better as he doesn't have any physical defects like I do.
wolflady26 From: wolflady26 Date: August 30th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd buy backup generators, some extra refrigerators, and all of the insulin and related supplies I could get my hands on.

And prepare to die young.
From: dj_rws Date: August 30th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Set up a back alley lab making all sorts of wierd and wonderful chemicals and medicines in order to make myself indispensible to others with more martial might than myself. Probably wile away my spare time watching the world go to poo and getting high on my own supply. Wait a minute, this sounds like my SINergy character... if the impending apocalypse does indeed happen then you can call me Dr. Fred Greene or Dr. George Blew, I haven't decided yet.
From: sebbo Date: August 31st, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
We are talking definate here, so I would buy a farm... probably in Canada (cuz i can't afford it anywhere else) and work on building a small self sufficient community in the middle of nowhere whilst building up a stock of medical supplies and equipping myself with the skills required.

Getting out of densly populated country such as England would definately be a priority. Not what i would deem self sustainable without the farming equipment... or even with, which is available today.

oh... and don't forget the guns... after all we are talking mobbing and rioting :)

... well, thats the idealist view. In reality i'd probably be too lazy to get my butt moving in that direction and just get killed on d-day :)
hedya From: hedya Date: August 31st, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
so I would buy a farm... probably in Canada

do you really think the Canadians would let you in once the d-day was certain? They would know about it too.....
purp1e_magic From: purp1e_magic Date: September 3rd, 2007 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
As soon as I start having time on my hands for sorting out things like this, I will be switching to a power company that uses entirely renewable energy sources. I suspect as time draws on, more and more people will do the same, putting enough commercial impetus into non-fossil fuel household power supply.

It's not just fossil fuels, though. Our whole society is gradually heading back to nature as we discover problem afterr problem with other methods. We don't want gm foods. Organic produce is much tastier. We care about food miles for polution reasons, and are going back to eating local roduce. We care about not exploiting developing countries, and are gradually stopping sweat-shop work and child labour. We want hand-made goods because they look nicer and feel more personal than mass-produced items. We like to know the story behind something or someone. Pop music is all very well, but nothing beats a live gig. Cinema showings are becoming almost as expensive as theatre, and theatre is much more satisfying. Wind-up mobile phone chargers are more than just cute gizmos. Horse-riding is fun, even if not an efficient form of transport.

Overall, we're coming to value those things we once thought primitive, and we're also coming to value the technology we were taking for granted.

In my opinion, the next 30 years puts us on the verge of an equilibruim. Our society is based on fossil fuels, but with the ability and desire to morph. The renewable energy that the world is able to provide is enough for our most desireable luxuries and our necessities.

I have no desire to pay £3 for an African ale when I can buy a Lancashire aple for 25p. Whereas I will still want the occassional orange or pineapple, even if it costs a fair amount to get one. Likewise, I'm willing to pay quite a lot to keep my computer and internet. I'm not so worried about my washing machine, because clothes can be washed by hand.

Our society will have need of a lot of manual labour again, so many people who's jobs are displaced from one field wil be taken by other routes.

Not being able to use the car wouldn't bother me terribly. ublic tranport costs could go through the roof, though, which would make life difficult.

Although I'm not a keen gardener, growing produce would become a necessity, just so that there's enough food to go round. A crop of potatoes would definitely be a good thing to be able to fall back on in an emergency.

As for finding a niche, I think someone with my imagination, creativity and intelligence would find it very easy to find a helpful place in society.
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