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Where to right now? - Peak Oil Preparedness
at the end of the world, will you feel fine?
Where to right now?
So what changes are people making right now/these next two weeks in their lives in light of the likelihood that Greece will leave the Euro, that the Euro might collapse, that BHP has today cancelled $80bn worth of projects etc... 

I heard yesterday (in a television report about the declining rate of cheque usage in Australia) that Australia only has about 12-16% of it's 'currency' in actual cash, the rest is electronic.  This is making me consider plans around having healthy access to cash - particularly in smaller bills (and the plans have to be about realistic security related to that too).  Not a lot of cash, but enough to get through a week or two if there is an electronic failure (we've seen a few big banks have total electronic banking failures of one kind or another in the last couple of years, largely due to the older IT programs they have built over and onto like a card house).  This is different to stock holding/cash hoarding though.

Also have made a decision to always keep the car fueled now with enough to go back and forth to our country location/nearest city.

Have noted that the large shipping companies have declined to return to Australia to resume the live cattle trade our PM so stupidlyspectacularly stopped.  Wonder what else might get similar treatment.

What else are others doing out there in light of current changes?  What am I missing?
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theheretic From: theheretic Date: May 17th, 2012 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is the Dreaded Multi-generational Collapse Scenario (DMGCS). I suspect it actually started in 1970 with the end of oil exportation in the USA, and has been proceeding under the radar without us noticing directly. A really long collapse is like that. We've had two instances of fuel rationing in that decade alone, lots of resource wars, various economic wars (the US vs USSR, then China vs USA), and large scale unemployment three times, to the point that in Japan is actually a full generation (22 years and counting) so people are having families there without ever knowing what a good economy is. So really, the above preps? They're too short term. In the DMGCS, you have to get through the rest of your life and your kids and grandkids must deal with it too. If you have a garden, make it bigger and figure out how to save more food for your own use. I think you said you're a long way from the city, so security isn't so much of a concern, but keeping up your spare parts for machinery and fuel to run them is. Figure that part out. Then I suppose it is a question of: can you keep selling your crops if there's no easy way to move them out to a buyer? If you can't, can you process them further into a lighter but higher value package you CAN get to market? For example: farmers raising wheat, corn, or barley in 1780 USA's Appalachia couldn't get the crop out without ruining it, so started making moonshine whiskey to sell. Another example are fruit farmers who dry the fruit and sell mixes with a big markup at farmers markets or roadside stands or both, for high markup. Can you do that, legally? What hurdles are required so you can make a profit and not get into trouble with your revenue service? Also, seriously do some medical training. In a low energy future, there is no ambulance. You and your hubby will both need to be able to save each other's life in the event of an accident. In the DMGCS, you still have to pay taxes and keep your jobs, it just gets much harder. And there's no "end" to the troubles. They just get worse. We are entering the worst collapse since the Dark Age in 439 AD. The good news is we still have decent weather to grow food and the mess is largely the banker's problem at this point. As longer as they don't start shooting after this bank run, and the violence doesn't take over Europe and the world, we'll be okay. Then again, I don't recommend Optimists become preppers. They never pack anything but a towel.
theheretic From: theheretic Date: May 17th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Further to what I am doing? I own a properly maintained bicycle. I have done extensive research on scooters, small displacement motorcycles, and how they are maintained and modified. I fully expect to see taxes rise so much that it is in my best interest to position myself to work as little as possible so I am not paying for every single mother and useless eater that Oakland demands be fed and kept in drugs on the public dole or they'll riot again. Which they do anyway. PRK politics are seriously F'd up.

I have been searching for a smarter place to live for over a decade now. I am not having much luck. The primary problem is as bad as the population is in the PRK, its worse for jobs elsewhere and Meth is the dominant threat. If you shoot a meth junkie, they put you in prison, doesn't matter that it is self defense. This puts the people shooting meth junkies in the position of having to be either discreet assassins or deputies. I am neither, so avoidance is the way to resolve things. If I move to the boonies, its mostly meth junkies and rich recluses who won't spend money locally, and complain about how the towns they aren't spending money in are dying. Note the cognitive failure? Yeah, that's the PRK.

I am still considering other states to live in, still here in the Western USA. I just have to decide if I can stand the Hippies in Portland because they're at least less dirtbaggy than those in Oakland/SF. And housing prices are FAR lower there. Downside is rain and allergies, which could end up being huge problems. Staying employed, since this IS a DMGCS, so I can keep a roof over my head and out of trouble with the law is crucial. We still have to buy our food and pay our taxes, forever. It is really a shame that Oakland has opted to die in the gutter, loudly. They could have been amazing if they restored all those metal-working jobs. Instead its all about the drugs, robberies, and gang warfare. So, to hell with the PRK.

Oh, and I'm debt free. That's key. No debts. All the people I know with student loans? Poverty, forever. Only one of them makes enough to avoid that, the younger ones are completely screwed. So education only makes it worse thanks to increased debt burden. If they want to know things, Wikipedia. Free education is online. No paperwork, no syllabus, but so what? Its still knowledge and still free. Better than any school today. Debt traps you by taking away your surplus income for your rainy day fund, for emergencies. No fund, that's poverty. That really destroys people. And then they lash out.
snuck From: snuck Date: May 18th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh we're already doing a lot of the longer term prep stuff - we have a hydroponics garden (although we do need to convert that from grid power to solar power), we have fuel tanks on the farm (standard farming practice) and all our vehicles use that fuel (diesel, not petrol), we do have transport issues with our grain - the government has just declared war/closing down on our 'tier 3' railway lines - incredibly short sighted and impractical - I think we'll win that battle in the long run because 250,000 tonnes of grain on dodgy narrow roads isn't going to help the road toll or the road maintenance costs. Right now it's cheaper to put in on the roads though than fix the old railway. UGH.

I'm fairly well trained in emergency first aid (I am a qualified trainer in the Australian State Emergency Services, and have held first aid certificates etc for more than 15yrs, been involved in road accident rescue, storm damage, flood operations, land search and rescue, large scale security incidents etc) and have much higher than average emergency preparedness training. Particularly in 'human services' aka evacuation shelters, large scale people movements and land search.

No debt here. Not even farm debt. Debt in Australia is not like debt in Amercia - there are very few loopholes - you are indebted for life if you get it wrong, so we're more cautious about taking it up (well WE are, not sure about all Aussies). THat's a HUGE thing out where we are - currently there's about 8 big farms under foreclosure. This is the start of the housing bubble collapse in Western Australia - we've been fairly protected for a very long time. We also have a healthy range of maintenance items and an equipped workshop. Unfortunately most large scale farm equipment these days is too complicated to work on, however we are major sponsors of our local Vintage Club (think retired farmers 'men's shed') and they restore and operate old farming equipment - to the point of putting crops in and taking them off - so we can utilise their knowledge (and several of their pieces are actually 'ours').

We're considering where to set up a final base still - we live in a low rainfall area (low for Australian standards even) and we're also not sure we'll stay with the current farm (which is on a closed/closing Tier 3 railway line, not near major transport routes, 25km from the nearest (very dodgy, technically bankrupt, frequently off food) local supplies store and down gravel roads etc that are barely maintained now. We'd like to be somewhere closer to doctors (because currently it's a really crappy access we have), and with a few more neighbours (because while I appreciated the finer points of security in living in isolation, I prefer the idea of a small community working together).

I agree this is the current 'blip on the radar' of the long term economic collapse - I'm just curious what differences and preparations see as immediate as a result, because short term changes and preparations change depending on the triggers, vs long term changes we are all making as time ticks on. Thankfully I live in the 'lucky country' and can have a little more time to prepare, unfortunately that means I'm surrounded by lobsters in the pot who haven't got a clue how bad it is out there in the rest of the world and bitch about not being able to go to Greece for holidays because it looks riotous. Ugh.
theheretic From: theheretic Date: May 18th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, that does sound like the govt just threw you into the fire. I can understand the cost of the rail maintenance isn't justified by the revenue, but you and your neighbors will have to sell out or stop operations and wait for them to fix it if they don't. Trucks are expensive. Especially now. Can you use the rails without them doing the maintenance, such as with home-made railcars to haul your grain and a regular engine? There's a class of light rail like this, Speeders, and Mules as they're known which could take advantage and still operate at lower maintenance standards provided you don't go so fast you derail, and hopefully it is not illegal. It isn't here in the PRK, oddly enough. Hobbyists use abandoned railroads to race each other in time trials on homebuilt speeders they trailer in, stuff they build in their garages with welders and such. There are Upsides to the PRK from time to time.

As for a wetter part of Oz, well, that's something you'd know better than I. From my geology studies I didn't pay close attention to that continent because it is quite boring compared to the others. Its been dry for 60,000 years or so, hasn't it? And its last ice age was 600mya (million years ago), pre-Cambrian, so that's a hell of a long time with not much going on. I can't really recommend New Zealand, as the cultural issues seem set to destroy the place, family by family, town by town. In the current economic situation I can't even suggest that China will survive, as they're so dependent on exports to keep their economy alive and the EU collapse isn't going to make that work well. They may delude themselves that they can make agreements with India over sharing the last of the oil, but it looks like a Last Man Standing scenario that could easily turn to war for the both of them. Ironically, it would end up probably fought in the straits of Malacca and afghanistan, so mountains and naval combat. None of my business with the USD$ falling apart thanks to hyperinflation and our stagnant economy.

Based on your needs, you may want to move to a suburb, somewhere like Perth, and focus on market gardening, growing veggies for the locals and sell in farmers markets, can for gift quality in Mason/Ball jars with a little ribbon on top and premium prices with handmade labels under a home-crafts license (do they have that loophole?), and maybe wool dyeing, as knitting has gotten popular for women in hard economic times. That keeps you near medical, people with money to buy your products, and the coast where the rain and food is. These are key. The boonies thing doesn't work when you're relying on a central govt to maintain the transport arterials and they can just ignore you. That's being a DIP (die in place), and not a survival strategy. Govts know that concentrating population is cheaper for resources and you'll stay in the right part of a collapse that way, even if there's local threats to your security. Also, the bicycle become relevant again in a suburb. Not so much out in the boonies. That sounds like the best solution based on your local problems. Hell, all the freight coming into Perth avoiding the war between China and India and the pirates in the Indian Ocean will also bring in more money to the local economy, another plus.
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