Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:53 am

Greetings,
andrer9999 wrote:Even if you just look at this from a survival angle, having a gun is only going to protect you from other people. How do you plan to deal with finding drinking water, or making a fire without matches, etc.? Stockpiles of stuff and weapons are just a result of too much movie watching.
This fictional piece may be potentially more useful/accurate than what we see in modern movies...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Abides" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Even if not, it's a good read.

:reading:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by Hoo » Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:46 am

andrer9999 wrote:Even if you just look at this from a survival angle, having a gun is only going to protect you from other people. How do you plan to deal with finding drinking water, or making a fire without matches, etc.?
If you'll google terms like disaster preparedness, survival skills, etc., you'll find many hours of reading. Foremost among them, though, should be the awareness that everything you read will be based on some strategy for surviving, for some length of time. Not all things fit all strategies but there's way too much material to present here, especially since it's probably not very relevant to the OP or his later posts.

What may be relevant is that Buddhists may face decisions on what they encounter and the activities they'll need to consider. ??? :focus: ???

Hoo

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by alan » Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:57 am

You can Google all you want, and find whatever it is you are looking for.
The real question is: What is it that makes you feel the need to do it in the first place?

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:36 am

If you're over fifty, you probably already know about the energy crisis. I am well past my peak.

Ajahn Sumedho once admitted that his "Get up and go" had got up and left.

The real issue, for a Buddhist, is why are we anxious/fearful/pessimistic about any particular issue, whether that be peak oil, global warming, the war on terror, or whatever?

It is a fundamental mistake to look outside for the causes of suffering, or for the cessation of suffering. Buddhists should wage war on error.

The World
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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by kwanseum » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:06 am

To all the people in this thread who replied "there are other energy sources":

Saying we'll find another energy source is vastly missing the point. It is so much bigger than just a source of energy. Take food production for example (this is one example out of many) and the need for fertilizer. You will have learned in school how the Haber Process (fixing nitrogen from the air) transformed modern agriculture and allows us in the West to feed such big populations. What you might not have worked out that the Haber Process is only possible because of fossil fuels (natural gas and energy to run the process). The production of one kilogram of nitrogen for fertilizer requires the energy equivalent from 1.8 liters of fossil fuels and will be impossible without natural gas.

Currently, 10 kcal of exosomatic energy from fossil fuels are required to produce 1 kcal of food because world's food supply are heavily dependent on fossil fuels (in addition to fertilizer). Vast amounts of oil and gas are used as raw materials and energy in the manufacture of fertilizers and pesticides, and as cheap and readily available energy at all stages of food production: from planting, irrigation, feeding and harvesting, through to processing, distribution and packaging. In addition, fossil fuels are essential in the construction and the repair of equipment and infrastructure needed to facilitate this industry, including farm machinery, processing facilities, storage, ships, trucks and roads.

Conclusion: without natural gas millions will starve.

Furthermore, as well as being essential to producing our food that is needed for us to stay alive it is also involved in providing providing all the luxuries that we have come to take for granted (see the list below for some of the many items):
Computers
Phones
Solvents
Diesel fuel
Motor Oil
Bearing Grease
Ink
Floor Wax
Ballpoint Pens
Football Cleats
Upholstery
Sweaters
Boats
Insecticides
Bicycle Tires
Sports Car Bodies
Nail Polish
Fishing lures
Dresses
Tires
Golf Bags
Perfumes
Cassettes
Dishwasher parts
Tool Boxes
Shoe Polish
Motorcycle Helmet
Caulking
Petroleum Jelly
Transparent Tape
CD Player
Faucet Washers
Antiseptics
Clothesline
Curtains
Food Preservatives
Basketballs
Soap
Vitamin Capsules
Antihistamines
Purses
Shoes
Dashboards
Cortisone
Deodorant
Footballs
Putty
Dyes
Panty Hose
Refrigerant
Percolators
Life Jackets
Rubbing Alcohol
Linings
Skis
TV Cabinets
Shag Rugs
Electrician's Tape
Tool Racks
Car Battery Cases
Epoxy
Paint
Mops
Slacks
Insect Repellent
Oil Filters
Umbrellas
Yarn
Fertilizers
Hair Coloring
Roofing
Toilet Seats
Fishing Rods
Lipstick
Denture Adhesive
Linoleum
Ice Cube Trays
Synthetic Rubber
Speakers
Plastic Wood
Electric Blankets
Glycerin
Tennis Rackets
Rubber Cement
Fishing Boots
Dice
Nylon Rope
Candles
Trash Bags
House Paint
Water Pipes
Hand Lotion
Roller Skates
Surf Boards
Shampoo
Wheels
Paint Rollers
Shower Curtains
Guitar Strings
Luggage
Aspirin
Safety Glasses
Antifreeze
Football Helmets
Awnings
Eyeglasses
Clothes
Toothbrushes
Ice Chests
Footballs
Combs
CD's & DVD's
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Detergents
Vaporizers
Balloons
Sun Glasses
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Heart Valves
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Enamel
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Dishes
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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:22 am

Greetings,
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:It is a fundamental mistake to look outside for the causes of suffering, or for the cessation of suffering. Buddhists should wage war on error.

The World
:goodpost:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by cooran » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:35 am

Hello Blackbird, all,

As a quarter of the population own guns in New Zealand, I don’t think your doing so will bring any safety to you and your Mum in time of crisis ¬ perhaps quite the contrary.
Gun Politics in New Zealand
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politi ... ew_Zealand" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

What are the Buddha’s teachings relevant to your scenario?

With metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by Paññāsikhara » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:28 am

cooran wrote:Hello Blackbird, all,

As a quarter of the population own guns in New Zealand, I don’t think your doing so will bring any safety to you and your Mum in time of crisis ¬ perhaps quite the contrary.
Gun Politics in New Zealand
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politi ... ew_Zealand" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

What are the Buddha’s teachings relevant to your scenario?

With metta
Chris
Chris, that link itself says "About 230,000 licensed firearms owners own and use New Zealand's estimated 1.1 million firearms", which is approx. 5% of the population, not 25%. Don't know if you have a source for that. Sounds far too high to me. 5%-10% sounds about right.

But I still agree with "I don’t think your doing so will bring any safety to you and your Mum in time of crisis ¬ perhaps quite the contrary".
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by cooran » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:49 am

Hello Bhante,

Yes, you are correct.. :embarassed: What was I (not) thinking? :thinking:

with metta and respect,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by BlackBird » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:05 am

Hi Retro

You're right. The oil companies do know about peak oil and they've been researching the crap out of it. Unfortunately they must have arrived at the rational conclusion that there IS no alternative to fossil fuels in regards to net energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_energy_gain" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.eoearth.org/article/Ten_fund ... net_energy" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I have lost count of the hours I have pumped into researching this, I wouldn't be speaking so confidently if I didn't know that any argument you raise has already been raised and summarily refuted. This is the elephant in the room, and to remain oblivious to the impending problems it will cause is very dangerous. If you (still) think I have a even a degree of logical process then please give me the benefit of the doubt and read the paper I posted.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by Hanzze » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:27 am

Don't worry about oil, the bio fuel industry is much more effective in letting karma ripen :-)
I had seen, that the car industry is hardly working on full biological cars, maybe we can eat them if we start starving :-) amazing human brain


nati santi baram sokam
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by Hoo » Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:50 pm

alan wrote:You can Google all you want, and find whatever it is you are looking for.
The real question is: What is it that makes you feel the need to do it in the first place?
Be able to feed people if we're caught in another ice storm or big snowfall?

Alan, it's a decision you make for yourself. You need to educate yourself if you want an explanation. If you choose not to educate yourself, that's fine too.

When you have learned something about disaster prep and survival scenarios, you are free to make decisions on what is your preferred role, or to have no role at all. Otherwise, I believe one makes a de facto decision to become a burden (or a threat) to others.

I'm no expert in this topic, just experienced. So take my comments with a large grain of salt and remember that I don't advocate anything - except to educate yourself if you choose to.

That's the end of my contribution. (Hold the applause, please ;) ) This is moving into debate land, IMHO, and I won't go there. Either people have experience with threat to their safety, security or life, or they don't. That seems to strongly influence their views on these issues.

Hoo...who now, personally, thinks kindness, compassion and equinimity is a better choice for me than my old ways.

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by budo » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:27 pm

Nothing will prepare you for whatever is to come in the future. No material investment will keep you safe:

Save money? Your money will become worthless if the economy fails.

Buy guns? Your guns will run out out of ammo, and people will take them from you.

Buy real estate? You can't live off concrete, you still need to eat.

Buy education? Any field or profession may not exist, and there may be no jobs.

Run away? Nowhere to run to, eventually every place will have crisis.

Hoard survival material, food, etc..? It will eventually run out, or people will eventually gang up and steal it from you.


Everything is impermanent, everything will disappear as quickly as it appears.


There is only one investment, only one thing you can do and that's the Dhamma. The dhamma has no currency, no future valuations, no market speculations, doesn't require defending, doesn't require guns, or anything. The more you invest in the Dhamma right now, the more prepared and better off you will be when chaos comes to the planet. The dhamma will keep you satisfied in any situation, whether it is good or bad.

When all hell breaks loose, just sit down and observe. Until that happens, don't think about the future, don't think about the past, think right now, and live day by day, minute by minute, second by second, moment by moment, breath by breath.

There's nothing to prepare for, nothing you do will matter, death comes to all.

metta.

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by Hoo » Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:54 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:....The real issue, for a Buddhist, is why are we anxious/fearful/pessimistic about any particular issue, whether that be peak oil, global warming, the war on terror, or whatever? It is a fundamental mistake to look outside for the causes of suffering, or for the cessation of suffering. Buddhists should wage war on error.....
With respect, I'll both agree and disagree with the above. :) As a brand new Buddhist, I would have replied that even the Buddha acknowledged the need for warriors/armies in society. Back then, I'd have used that as a justification for use of force. That would have been my immediate response to the OP's comment about the value of weapons in time of crisis.

I came to Buddhism as a worldling with some 40 years of vows to family, friends, etc. that I would provide for them and keep them safe. It is not a vow I would simply forsake. So over a year's time, I began to establish with them that I need to let go of that vow, if that was acceptable. No one has a problem with that, so I am free to proceed with my Buddhist inspired plan for compassion instead of violence. (BTW, while my aged mother was alive and in in ill-health, I would not have forgone that vow).

But you seem to have made the above two statements and equated them without explaining them. So I will attempt to unequate them and you may feel free to correct me :) It is quite a privilege for me to speak with the ordained since I have no nearby Sangha. I welcome your observations.

I believe householders are aware/attached to a particular issue because we see a potential impact on "self" and others. The ordained are free to let go of that in the homeless life. The householder has taken on responsibilities and the burden of "I/Me/Mine." IMHO, he too is free to let go of the issue and of I/Me/Mine, as long as he doesn't harm others. (And this is a over-exaggeration), but what monk would say to a householder - "Stop doing things to provide for your family and friends, your shelter, your necessities, etc. Let go of it even if it kills someone." So I distinguish between the householder's need to be aware of what can harm self and others and the monastic's freedom to more fully live the teachings. IMO, threatening events and suffering are not a one-to-one correlation, just like pain and suffering are not the same.

So IMHO, the Buddha simply spoke the truth, for the warrior, the householder and the ordained. In spite of the differences between the groups, the message is the same, though its implementation may be different. And sometimes the ideal is not very useful to my householder decision needs. I need to hear how one might implement the teachings in less than ideal curcumstances.

Hoo....who probably won't live long enough to go from warrior, to householder, to stream entry in this life :guns: :buddha2: :shrug: :buddha2: :meditate:
Last edited by Hoo on Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply

Post by BlackBird » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:48 pm

Subject: Tipping Point: Collapse of economy and food supply
Khalil Bodhi wrote:Hi Jack,

I'd be interested in hearing what you plan do to to prepare and any hints or tips you might have for someone living in NYC. If you want you can PM me or just post here. Thanks.

Mettaya,

Mike
Hey Mike

Basically we have divided our preparations into three time periods.

Short term (1 - 4 weeks)
Mid term (First year)
Long term (Onwards)

Stockpiling is one of the easiest and best things you can do to prepare for any event that may cause a break down in the fragile system we live off. the Just-in-time mode of living from the supermarkets leaves most people in the western world only about 1 to 2 weeks out from starvation at any given time.

Here is a list of the 100 items that would disappear first in such an event:
http://www.thepowerhour.com/news/items_ ... rfirst.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Personally we have been building up a stockpile of the following:
- Toilet paper (I think we have about a 3 month supply + some room for barter)
- Rice (I've read estimates that you need about 20 - 30kg per person for a year's supply)
- Sugar and salt (never go bad, will be very good barter item and also have a range of uses such as food preservation)
- BIC lighters and matches (Lighters will be highly desirable in future)
- Baking soda (cleaning, home made toothpaste)
- Toothpaste
- Vitamins (especially C, to keep the immune system chugging and prevent scurvey in a situation where fruit and veges are not available)
- Tinned beans, fruit and other canned food.
- First aid gear

The perishables we rotate through as they arrive close to their use by date we use them and then replace.

Fortunately when my Grandfather died he left my Mum and her brother and sister equal shares in his house in a small town by the sea, which is also surrounded by vast undulating alluvial plains which are excellent for crop cultivation. My uncle owns a farm many miles from the town, so in situation where the proverbial hits the fan, he'll most likely bunker down on the farm with his live stock and arable land. My aunty on the other side living in the suburbs with her family would be unlikely to decide to pack up and move to our holiday house, but if they did we would find a way to accommodate them.

So we're keeping a very close watch on the state of the economy and if the obvious signs start to show we'll make plans to pack up our stockpiled food, transportable valuables, seeds, tools, books and anything else of value that we can take, then we'll abandon the house move up to the our bug out crib in the sea-side town - The decision will probably come when we both lose our jobs, or jobs are no longer worth working due to the eroded purchasing power.

That is the mid-term contingency, it gives us a place to go to that's away from the city, in a community that will probably avoid the worst case scenarios of starvation and violence. From there my Mother's excellent knowledge of gardening and crafting will come in handy as we cultivate veges and bamboo and work with others in the community to help them get set up to do the same.

However we are also planning for an optimistic long term situation where the worst effects of the collapse are still 5+ years down the track and that the New Zealand govt through a series of quick acting measures will be able to turn a fast collapse into a long and steady decline. For my part I am returning to University in the hopes of getting a science degree in geology, with a focus on gold mining. Gold is something that will remain valuable as long as you or I will live, especially so in a climate of perpetual economic recession. Even a fast collapse scenario (provided it still happens no earlier than 2014) an ability to find gold would still have value to society in what ever future may come.

Mum for her part has been doing a lot of research on bamboo farming, which she is quite sold on. Her plan is to be able to sell her current house and buy up a decent amount of land in the country side, which she would use to grow veges and bamboo. It's sort of similar to our mid-term plan, but has the added advantage of being even more isolated from the cities. We are also making an investment in silver (poor man's gold). Silver is an excellent investment for the long term, because it's cheap enough that anyone can get into it, and precious enough that it will hold it's value no matter what happens to the fiat currencies. In the short to mid term it won't be worth as much as it's weight in rice or toilet paper, but in the long run when eventually new currencies arise: Having some silver will put you among the wealthy.

Now, about living in NYC and preparing for these kinds of situations. My first question is: Can you get out? The survival of most of the citizens of New York is entirely dependent upon the trucks bringing the food in, you have to envisage a situation where the trucks simply don't come. If you can move your family to plot of land in or near the countryside where you can cultivate your own food, do so. If you can't do that then start talking contingency plans with anyone you know who does have land in the countryside, maybe that you could move to their place in the event of a disaster and help them cultivate the land? But if that's not an option (even long term) then that's not the end of the world, and you can turn your long term focus to recycling and living off NYC's vast internal resources, once the people are gone of course.

I guess the first thing is to get a wee stockpile going - Enough to survive 2 weeks, then 4 then progressively longer. You don't need to blow the budget on it, you can build it up gradually over a period of months. Basic things for survival and a bit extra to trade or give away, the list posted above has some great suggestions. In a worst case scenario you'd basically want to bunker down in your apartment for a long period and wait for the people to disappear, either by exodus or natural attrition. You'd need to ensure you have the means to fresh water, assuming that the tap water becomes contaminated, having a collection system set up and ready to be fitted out side your apartment window, will prove invaluable. It would be especially good if you had some form of balcony or roof you could climb onto. Sanitation is another one, if you've got ample finances right now the investment in a portable toilet may not go astray.

Eventually when the city quietens down, you'll be able to scavenge for most things you need, you could even look at getting a vege garden going on the roof of your apartment building (assuming most of your neighbors exit stage left). I dunno, I'm just chucking ideas around now, but hopefully it puts you on the right track.

That'll do for now.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks

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