View Full Version : Planning Assumptions - Hopes and Fears

02-19-2009, 12:31 PM
I'm really enjoying this new forum - a big thanks to Kim for making it available for us.

I started this particular thread to give us a place to discuss our hopes and fears so we can better understand what we're planning for or working toward.

For instance, are our current economic troubles just part of a normal business cycle or are we as individuals and a nation undergoing a fundamental shift in the way we live and work? Will things ever get back to "normal" or will a new normal be defined?

How might life be different in 1 year, 5 years, 20 years? Is there a techno fix on the horizon in the area of energy resources that will allow us to continue on the path of exponential growth? Or, how would we deal with negative growth.

I've spent a lot of time learning about peak oil and energy resource depletion. Take a look at any chart of world population from around the mid-1800's to date we've had a doubling, tripling and quadrupling of the number of humans on the planet. I don't think this is bound to continue.

Your thoughts?

02-19-2009, 12:49 PM
Thanks also to Kim!
I unfortunately don't believe this is just a normal 'slump' of any sort. I think we are all going to have to extremely change our lifestyles or face harmful consequences.
Our hope here behind the Bluebird is to get back to the simple life our grandparents and great-grandparents lived. With a lot of hard work we hope to somewhat 'ease' into this lifestyle change as quickly as possible.
On a positive side, our family is researching together and adapting together and growing closer because of it. We are fortunate to live in a neighborhood with like-minded individuals and we have plenty of room for our gardens and animals,etc. though we do have a fear of housing issues because our home is not paid for.
So, in a nutshell, our hopes & fears. This forum is more than a place to chat, etc...it could very well be a lifeline for us.

02-19-2009, 01:18 PM
A 'lifeline' is a good description of this forum, Dat. I have noticed lately that there are a lot of folks on Geekfest that have strong interests in 'green' issues and self sufficiency. We've discussed these issues randomly. To be able to contain the information in one place will be quite beneficial for future reference. I appreciate your efforts in providing this, Kim. I also appreciate everyone that contributes.
For years now, I've had the sense of life changing as we know it. I've been wanting it to crash and burn on the hurry up so that we can get on with the alternatives.....which will be the normaltives. (ya, I just made that word up). I have a tendency to hoard water. I feel it's imperative that we all be able to locate fresh water springs/sources within walking distance from our homes. That is just one aspect of many that I feel we need to be conscious of.
I don't count on techo fixes at all......just like I put no stock in the financial bail-outs. Like Dat says, the more we look at going back to the basics like our grandparents lived, the better off we'll be.
I believe that our discussing the social/behavioral/psychological implications will help hold us together on that lifeline.

02-19-2009, 01:22 PM
I find it kind of amusing that things we learned 30/40 years ago that were considered so radical are now becoming "normal" and mainstream.

Another Texan
02-19-2009, 01:37 PM
Adding my thanks to those that brought this new forum to Geekfest land.

bikeguy, I was thinking about the same thing earlier. My thoughts are on the Mayan calendar and a date just a few years out. I'm actually looking forward 'to the end of the world as we know it' as I believe we as a species need it. We need to reconnect with our source, our mother if you will.

Michael Walsh
02-19-2009, 03:08 PM
I like to think of myself as a pragmatist, not a pessimist. But to be honest, the prospect of economic, social and political collapse (which is where I now believe we are headed) scares the shit out of me. Soup kitchens, food rationing, utility rationing, shortages--in short, Depression-era visions keep popping up. I think the country will experience convulsions. I'm trying to remind myself to think locally, to micro-tize the issues, to take inventory of my resources--financial, land, house, storage capacity, proximity to food sources, possible alternative energy sources and so on. In other words, what CAN I do, what DO I have, what CAN I get to survive the collapse?

I very much want to be wrong about what I think is going to happen. I want Spike, Bikeguy, Dat and Deb to be wrong, too. But with every passing day, I think we're right. So, I think we need to hope for the best and yet prepare (starting now) for the worst.

Personally, I know I have to learn new skills and form strong alliances with friends and neighbors. I need to change my attitudes about co-operative and, possibly, communal living. I need to start believing and behaving as if we are in an emergency situtation--because I think we are.

02-19-2009, 03:57 PM
I very much want to be wrong about what I think is going to happen. I want Spike, Bikeguy, Dat and Deb to be wrong, too. But with every passing day, I think we're right. So, I think we need to hope for the best and yet prepare (starting now) for the worst.

ID, I think you nailed it. Couldn't have said it better. Even if the worst doesn't happen we'll all be better off anyway. What is different than before is that we
recognize the seriousness of the possible outlook. That begets a more serious tone about which we go about the business of taking care of ourselves and those around us. It is time to get down to serious work on all fronts. I hope
to be able to share more plant and soil stuff as we move forward.


Kim Yonkee
02-19-2009, 11:14 PM
I think this is our generation's big one...a paradigm-shifting experience. This is much more than an ordinary recession. The only person I know who has lived through similar times is Ms. Margie...because we're not talking about an ordinary "market correction."

We've had recessions in the past. But the world was not as interconnected as it is today... nor as disconnected.

Back in the day when Ms. Margie did this one, we still had family farms, public squares full of local businesses and a viable, national rail system. If your shoes wore out, the local cobbler down the street fixed them.

Now we have agribusiness, abandoned rail beds, and fossil fuel guzzling cars to bump along over crumbling highways. You lose your job and you stop spending money on Chinese imports...including the food family farms used to grow and the shoes the local cobbler used to fix... neither of which has been necessary for a while because we can all get everything at Wal-Mart.

So the Chinese guy or gal who harvested your food or made your shoes loses his/her job when you lose yours. And then crazy politicians in the USA and China start running around with their hands in the air, doing stupid things to soothe their constituents.

Oh, I think this is gonna be a big one. But I've thought that for at least a year by now.

It was about this time last year when all the Fockers were sitting around saying, "Ooohh. I think this is going to be a big one. No matter what, people are going to need to eat." (Hence: Fockers. That's how it started.)

One to five years from now, I think we're going to be growing Victory Gardens and learning how to get along with/help each others in ways that we haven't been required to think about so far.

Twenty years from now I hope we will have realized the benefits of looking forward... and that the US will be the #1 global producer of green energy. Call me a tree-hugger. (It's fine. I am.) Sooner or later, old stuff runs out and you have to do new stuff. It's inevitable. And inevitability is here.

I get what you're saying MM12 about the irony of these times. It is ironic. Granted.

Then again....maybe this is the part where the folks who have been pointing out that this day has been coming for... what? 30 years? Kind of... fold their legs into the lotus position, put on the ol' Cheshire Cat smile, nod... and just kinda let the intrinsic, "Told you so! Did we tell you so? Yes we did...." kinda... hang in the air.

Or just saying it right out would be fine too. "Did we tell you so? Yes we did, dummies. Duh!?!" :)

I'm taking this one seriously... because I think it is serious. Planning and working accordingly.

02-19-2009, 11:31 PM
Or those of us who learned stuff 30 years ago can share our experience and wisdom with younger stronger folks and we can all be alright.

Kim Yonkee
02-19-2009, 11:40 PM
Absolutely. Yes. Thanks.

02-20-2009, 05:53 PM
I guess this new forum happened "while I was gone". I haven't read all of it yet but find it very interesting.

My hopes and fears? I just hope I'll make it through this year without having to infuse more of my savings into this store. I have no great fears at this time, just waiting to see what happens and then deal with it. I see no dire needs for the near future......a year or so out.......for long-time survival I'll re-assess and act accordingly. There is always my son's 200 acre farm with a garden spot and enough room to settle the whole extended family. And like MM said, I'll let the younguns take care of their matriarch :D....I'll supply what I've learned by gardening, cooking, baking and thrifty living...........and if money still counts for anything I got a bit of that, too :)

Will we have to get a horse and wagon to ride into town?

02-20-2009, 05:59 PM
I'm seriously considering a mule or burro, Lilli. It's a 12 mile jaunt, but I can take dirt roads most of the way. Think they'll let me tie up ol' Henry to the tree outside of the post office?

Michael Walsh
02-20-2009, 06:14 PM
Lilli, need a houseboy when you go to that 200-acre farm?

02-21-2009, 02:17 PM
Y'all crack me up:D

Seriously, neither I nor my son think it is going to come to this.....but should it we'll consider even houseboys ;) for extra garden help.......and ironing of course:D, even though I have four strappy grandsons, two grandsons-in-law and three sons-in-law not to mention two sons and a husband (who never, ever gardened or cut wood :( in his life but irons better than I do)......................just contemplating this motley crew makes me laugh!

02-21-2009, 02:24 PM
I've seen Sparky's pics of ironing houseboys.....I'll take one! Strictly for education purposes, donchaknow. He can teach me how to iron:).

02-21-2009, 05:04 PM
Yes Dabee, strictly for education as I am old and those houseboys don't do a thing for me................now if they also have half a brain...........hmm...........that's a different matter :D

02-21-2009, 09:10 PM
A year ago, I thought things would collapse fast and hard. Now...I think it's still going to happen, but maybe we have more time to adapt and adjust...(don't ask me why, I'm just going on gut instincts)...