Sunday, May 23, 2010


Where Should You Be When Collapse Arrives?

Michael Ruppert answered this question succinctly in this recent talk. Here I want to recommend watching or listening (there are both video and audio versions) to his talk, and expand on his prescription.

Basically he said you should be wherever you are comfortable. Sage advice, as many people are no doubt getting ready to run for the hills without knowing concretely what they’re going to do once they get there. And that, my friends, could well end in tragedy.

Take my situation. I've been in this mountain village for over 14 years now. I have a network, I know where to find what I need, I know who has what skills and what resources, I know how to grow rice (obviously), I have my own skills and resources, and — this is most important — I have built relationships of trust and interdependence with the people around me. We have a community.

Many of you probably live in cities. And you are (rightly) worried about how you’re going to get along when all hell breaks loose. Where will you get food? What about staying warm in winter? Suddenly these very mundane things, which until now have been taken care of by the fossil fuel-powered market economy, will become desperate concerns. If you have lived in your present location for a number of years, you know your neighbors. You know whom you can trust, whom to ask for help in getting something, and where to find things. You have something to go on and something to build on. That’s a lot better than nothing, which is what you might well have if you panic and bolt. Let’s say you find a house in the country and move there. Now what do you do? Do you know how to grow and preserve food? Do you know where to look for the resources you need? And most of all, do you have a community? Very likely the answer is no for all of these. You are helpless and alone, and you cannot ride out the storm on your own.

As such, just running for the hills may well put you in a worse situation than you’d have by staying put in familiar surroundings. Certainly the situation is going to get bad in the cities. But it won’t be peaches and cream here in the sticks, either. And we’ll also have to cope with hordes of desperate, starving city people who try to steal our food. Unless you are in a really remote location, expect hungry visitors.

If you have made preparations and have a rural community that you can join, then it’s likely a good idea to get out of the city and relocate. The more people we can get back on the land, the better. But if you have no clear idea of what to do when you leave the city, and no community to join, it is perhaps better to stay put in familiar surroundings, especially if you feel comfortable and have a community and network. Individuals and families should all carefully assess their situations and options, and then take decisive action based on their findings.

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