Normalcy Bias

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Normalcy Bias)

AAmerica Has Fallen Victim To The Normalcy Bias, Do You Suffer From Normalcy Bias?
25 Jan 2013, BeforeItsNews.com
Excerpt pasted from: http://beforeitsnews.com/education/2013/01/america-has-fallen-victim-to-the-normalcy-bias-do-you-suffer-from-normalcy-bias-video-2442598.html

AENThe Normalcy Bias condition is well known to psychologists and sociologists. It refers to a mental state of denial in which individuals enter into when facing a disaster or pending danger. Normalcy Bias leads people to underestimate and minimize both the possibility of a catastrophe actually happening, as well as its possible consequences to their health and safety.

The Normalcy Bias often results in situations where people fail to prepare for a likely and impending disaster. The Normalcy Bias leads people believe that since something has never happened before, that it never will happen. Therefore, like an infant with a security blanket we cling to our habitual, repetitive, and normal way of life, despite overwhelming proof that serious danger lies ahead.

The Normalcy Bias is part of human nature and, to some extent, we are all guilty of participating in it. Unfortunately, the Normalcy Bias inhibits our ability to cope with a disaster once it is underway. People with Normalcy Bias have difficulty reacting to something they have not experienced before. The Normalcy Bias also leads people to interpret warnings and to inaccurately reframe information in order to project an optimistic outcome which leads to the person to infer a less serious situation. In short, it is kind of a pain-killing drug which numbs a person to an impending danger.
.

B.  50 Signs That Human Civilization Is In BIG Trouble: “Times Have Become Strange, Disturbing and Frightening”
4 Aug 2014, SHTFplan.com, by Be Informed
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/50-signs-that-human-civilization-is-in-big-trouble-times-have-become-strange-disturbing-and-frightening_08042014

 Editor’s Note: The signs of collapse are all around us. From naturally occurring phenomenon to man-made influence, one can’t help but notice that something just isn’t right with the world. Most people ignore the possibilities, often making up excuses for why they shouldn’t be preparing for a significant change to our way of life. But the evidence, as outlined in the following analysis by long-time SHTFplan Community contributor Be Informed, suggests that failing to prepare for it could have a horrific outcome

normalcy bias1It is not just you that has seen that life has begun to stink for the human population around the globe.  Like a sick person there are symptoms of a much more aggressive underlying condition that can become or IS terminal.  Life is not just like it was a generation or two ago.  This is not just some sort of nostalgic longing for people’s youth.

Times have become strange, disturbing and frightening for most.  Even the most elderly and long lived of the people can tell you that during their lifetimes there has not been such a disconnect with the dreams of people and their futures looking bright.

A negative cloud hangs over human civilization and the following 50 examples show why we all should be quite unsettled.

  1. Fukushima. This is a catastrophe that is poisoning the regional western Pacific Ocean that will become worldwide sooner than later unless repaired or contained. [You do understand that the problem at Fucushima is NOT contained and is threatening a much worse disaster to humanity than the tidal wave did to Japan. Mr Larry]
  2. Bee and butterfly die off. Butterflies are the canary in the coal mine warning of a toxic environment.  Bees are the difference between food and about 1/2 less the needed amount we all depend on if bees are not around to pollinate flowers.  Bees help fuel the agriculture industry.
  3. Genetically modified foods and poor unhealthy livestock.  We are not meant to eat frankenstein food that our bodies don’t recognize or don’t properly assimilate.  Eating animals that are shot full of chemicals or that eat GMO foods or other substandard feed is a human health problem starting with all forms of cancer.
  4. Lack of arable land.  At a certain point people won’t be able to grow enough food to feed the world.  This is normally reached at between 1500-2000 people per square mile of arable land.  Right now the world stands at about 1400 people per square mile of arable land.
  5. Antibiotic resistant diseases. This is very serious for humans as a very contagious and highly fatal bacteria could wipe out massive numbers.  It is also an issue with animals on the farm and plant life people depend on to consume.  An agricultural blight would be just as devastating as centuries ago if uncontrollable.  People go hungry.
  6. Chemical poisoning of the water ways.  This is from the creeks to the streams to rivers and lakes to the ocean.  Clean water is necessary for health.  Food sources are being contaminated at a very alarming rates from toxins all around the world.
  7. Fresh water scarcity.  One only has to look to the American Southwest to see just how important fresh water is and what any drought can do.  Famine becomes more and more likely when someone cannot give crops enough water.  Cities can cease to function without enough water.
  8. Toxic processed foods being the normal staple people eat.  Junk food by any name, people become extremely malnourished which causes an overwhelmed health care system.  People simple don’t function well when they live on bad food.
  9. Super germs, both human, animal, and plant. There are life forms in the plant and animal kingdom that go extinct all the time.  Recently Ebola has become more virulent, new diseases such as MERS shows an increase of the chance of a super pathogen killing off large percentages.
  10. Human beings becoming more frail. Lack of good food, proper exercise, clean safe water and food has helped create a creme puff type of people.  These people lack hardiness and will wither in the face of any real hardship.
  11. Invasive introduction of species not meant to be part of certain ecosystems. People continue to accidentally or on purpose bring in plants, animals, and germs into places that just can’t handle them.  Look at the Burmese Python snake in Florida that has decimated the animal life there.  Asian fish and mollusk species into American waters have caused horrible damage.
  12. Pharmacentical poisoning of humans. MEDS, as people call them, have caused side effect after side effect and left exploding health care costs that have bankrupted individuals all over the place.  On top of this it has left the population in a state of being almost half dead.
  13. Over vaccinations. There is still much debate over Autism and vaccinations being the cause, but why is it necessary to overtax our immune systems with every practical inoculation against every disease ever thought of?  Especially something someone has extremely little chance of ever catching?
  14. Difficulty in maintaining proper crop production. In many areas the ground is no longer able to sustain itself because of over fertilizing creating a brine of salt and other minerals.  More and more already scarce water to help water down the soil becomes necessary.  Plants suffer disease and need even more fertilizer treatments to give out a decent crop.  These plants also need more pesticides.
  15. Expansions of human settlements into known disaster areas. Much of these terrible calamities such as intense flooding can be avoided by proper planning and never putting buildings into known danger areas such as flood plains.  This expansion continues at an alarming rate each year.
  16. Little or no protection given to people’s businesses and homes from catastrophes.  Flood walls, buildings constructed to better withstand earthquakes, pre-established fire breaks, etc.  The whole country and other countries are mostly still at the mercy of Mother Nature because of lack of insight to safeguard property.  See #1 Fukushima.
  17. Crumbling infrastructure. Someone can drive around and see all the bridges and roads in desperate need of repair or replacement.  The power grids and nuclear plants are at the top of the lists in need of help, and would cripple the country if and when they fail.
  18. Over populating urban areas worldwide. This is a problem that is waiting to become a cataclysm should the economy collapse or other widespread disaster occur.  Large cities depend entirely on outside aid to continue to operate.  Without this, large cities die and with them most of the people that live there.  Congestion is adding much to the stress level of hundreds of millions from these concentrated number of people living like matchsticks on top of each other.
  19. Almost total inability of most people to adapt to harsh change. A sudden drop off of “necessary” reliances have put most people on the brink of individual collapse when what they need is not there for them for days, weeks, months or longer.
  20.  Failure of solutions and problems. Like Fukushima, other big problems are lost for concern as there is a near universal acceptance of just living with it no matter how terrible it is.
  21. People depending on safety nets to bail them out of ALL circumstances. So many now just know that no matter what happens, the government, FEMA, or other agency will save them.  People have become reliant on others that might or might not be there.  Setting up for failure.
  22. No monetary accountability. As people care less and less, future financial disasters build up steam and are allowed to get worse.  New 2008-09 type economic collapses become more likely as phantom money and fudged numbers go by without much thought about what is really happening.
  23. Exploding debt.  The U.S. debt is following E to the X expansion in which inflation not only becomes hyper, but infinite and limitless.  This is the way expontential E to X works as the line of increase starts out gentle and almost flat and grows to almost 90 degree vertical increase.
  24. More percentage of world’s money in less percentage of the people’s hands. Money simply means power, and less people have this power.  This means fewer people with more control over more people, a lot more control.
  25. Main stream media and government deception. Most people are naive and even more so want to think everything is rosy and wonderful.  We are being fed a constant stream of information that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface just how awful things are and how close to everything falling apart life as we know it is.
  26. Lack of privacy and government intrusion into our lives. Besides the drone problem, you just have to ask how much NSA and others pries into our private lives and makes honest good citizens into suspects of everything and anything.
  27. People wanting to be linked up to everything. While people complain about the government looking in like peeping Toms at others’ lives, the public wants to be connected with everything.  This is opening all sorts of windows to everyone’s lives that they’d rather not have others observing.
  28. Credit cards and taking physical money from society. Cashless societies means that every single thing someone purchases is monitored.  One thing bought could send your friendly neighborhood Gestapo to your door to see why you purchased what you did.  People depend more on plastic cards than anytime in history.  This also of course leads to bankrupt type debt from so many that are irresponsible with credit.
  29. Allowing a machine or government to do someone’s thinking for them.  People will not even act on anything anymore without asking their SMART phone to do everything for them.  They rather have those in authority tell them how to think and behave, it is far easier.
  30. Total dependence on technology and gadgets.  People cannot function the most rudimentry tasks or problems anymore.  Mental laziness is gripping this world.
  31. Lack of concern for anyone but oneself.  Self indulgence and living for the moment at other people’s expense.  Just look at the most popular word now filtering around the world, SELFIE.
  32. Worship and practice of weirdness and perversion. There is a loss of wholesomeness that was once praised and admired.  The following of these music idols shows this all too well.
  33. Human self mutilations. You look at some of the face jewelry that pierces their lips and cheeks that looks like some has been blasted by shrapnel and you wonder how anyone would want to look like they were hit by some suicide bomber.  A trendy look that is a frightening example of how much certain people dislike or hate their bodies and lives.
  34. Listlessness and stagnation of humans. There is a strong lack of any drive in people anymore.  Like a sloth people just exist and wander around like zombies oblivious to much around them.
  35. Political correctness and conformity. This is a plague, as people are losing their rights to say anything that might be offensive to anyone.  The First Amendment is dying slowly in front of our eyes.  It doesn’t matter how well thought out or true something is, only that NO ONE has hurt feelings from what is said.
  36. Taking people out of the decision making processes. As technology grows so does the elimination of people.  This is not only job losses, but allows fewer and fewer to make important decisions in business, military, and everyday life.  It sets up for failure that is not easily correctable when the status quo does flop.
  37. Destruction of people’s rights as humans and as life forms to defend themselves.  Those that would attempt to control everyone by forcing their idealism of what means to be civilized is the taking away of people’s self defense all over the world.  Some areas even prohibit the use of your own personal body to save yourself from being brutally attacked.
  38. Numbness of other people suffering. Even to the point of enjoyment of seeing others in pain, sadism is becoming more intense each day.  Music songs talk about this barbarism all the time.  Pain for everyone is the new norm that individuals are gravitating towards like a moth towards fire.
  39. People’s lack of convictions.  Just look at the 90% disapproval ratings given to the U.S. congress.  Each election cycle however the same politicians that get so much hate and flank are re-elected over and over again.  Most people talk and that is it.
  40. Indifference and falling apart of the family unit. There has been, over the course of humanity, much strength and security in families.  This is dying off as families have grown so far apart that they interact only for short amounts of time each day with each other.  A common response to this is a cop out – we have to let others live their own lives.
  41. Escapism. Human beings are so miserable with the horrors of the world that they take drugs, create fake worlds of fantasies in video games, and do anything they can to get away from it.
  42. Death of the human conscience.  This is one of the most distressing of human problems that there is.  People have lost that special side of them that defines wrong and right.  Morality is way more than what others tell you what is correct, it is knowing what is fair and just towards others.
  43. Widespread unhappiness, depression, despair, fear, anger, and hopelessness. Those that choose not to escape from this, deal with this ugliness each day.  The stress level of so many is higher than anytime in history.
  44. Increase of rampant insanity. Whether it is from brain chemistry toxins or just human beings losing it, lunacy is becoming commonplace everywhere.  Then 2nd Amendment rights are vilified and blamed on firearms rather than the person that needs mental help and would have used some other tool to murder others anyway.
  45. Loopholing of long established laws and freedoms. All over the world peoples’ rights are being attacked by their government to gain more control.  This is fueled further by the majority of the population accepting and supporting this power grab.   Many in the U.S. actually want to rewrite the Constitution, something that has worked remarkably well for more than 200 years.
  46. Terrorism and other mass attacks becoming easier and easier.  With technological advancement comes the ability to manufacture very deadly weapons of mass destruction.  The worst of any of these are biological weapons that can kill millions or billions, not just directed at humans, but possibly at livestock and crops.
  47. Willingness of countries to fight over less and less. Natural resource depletion, especially fresh clean water, has always been a war starter.  Now with so much less to go around it has become an even larger issue.
  48. Many so called leaders now feel that nuclear war is winnable or the ONLY option. Nuclear weapons are now on more of a hair trigger than they have been for decades.  Countries are itching for a fight like North Korea and China against Japan and South Korea. Those that are overmatched in conventional weapons feel they can make this up with nuclear warheads.  Human civilization is almost living on borrowed time with this one.
  49. Intensification of religious hatred. In the past few years peoples’ disgust towards each other based on their religious belief has grown to the most dangerous level in decades and is continuing to get worse.  Look at all the examples of savage attacks based solely on someone’s faith every week.
  50. Lack of preparation by 99%+ of the population. This is something that should be of grave concern to everyone.  People are simply not ready for the next human catastrophe, which will eventually come violently.

Number 50 is the most essential.  It is a simple choice by an individual if they want to have a chance to live for themselves and their families and see through a SHTF disaster, or die a hard ugly death.

There are countless more than 50 abominations that humans are rotting through now.  It is the choice of the individual to either attempt to do something about the storm that will come, or live in self denial that this could ever happen.

Do you live in a world where your government will come to the rescue like the cavalry? A world where you need not self prepare for anything because 9-1-1 calls will link help within minutes?
Or have you come to terms with the fact that, as we saw during Hurricane Katrina, you will be totally on your own and failure to prepare will leave you without food, water, or anything else necessary to survive?
A lot of problems with human civilization add up in the future to a collapse of most of everything we depend on.
The choice is up to each individual, as the signs of impending big problems in the future cannot be dismissed no matter how far in ground someone wants to bury the truth.

C.  The Reality of Survival: “Forget Good Guys and Bad Guys… The Prepared Guys Win”
21 July 2014, SHTFplan.com, by Selco
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/the-reality-of-survival-forget-good-guys-and-bad-guys-the-prepared-guys-win_07212014

The following article has been generously contributed by Selco of the SHTF School web site. For those who have never seen Selco’s work, he’s the real deal. He was there in the 1990′s when his city in the Balkans was surrounded by a hostile army. From one day to the next life as he and those around him knew it had changed drastically. The media, of course, told people that everything would be fine. But As Selco highlighted in a previous article, the reality of collapse was brutal. Peace and stability very quickly turned to war and madness. He details his experience in his One Year in Hell survival course. In the article below, Selco shares his views on what it means to survive when your entire way of life has been cut off from the rest of the world. 

Do you want to know what it’s really like when it hits the fan? Then keep reading.

normalcy bias2

 Survival Among Humans By Selco
TV news and internet are covered with headlines like “shocking, captured Iraqis beheaded” or “they are killing everyone on their way” and “prisoners executed” and similar.
And folks who watch and comment on the news and videos who still live in a “normal” world without this kind of craziness going on, are shocked of course.

First comments are that those people and groups who are doing that are animals and they need to be “bombed to stone age”, or “they are not deserving better anyway” and then goes “they are all same there, let them kill each other” and similar.

While I would definitely like to see that fanatics getting “eradicated” there, there are more things that should be considered.
Most of the folks are not going to watch video of that violence, because it is too much for them they will change channel, or simply open the page with news from the “celebrity world.”
People do not want to watch or think about bad things, people want to forget that, and yes, at the end there comes again that famous “it cannot happen to us” idea.

  • Do you really think that when (not if) SHTF events would be much different in your part of the world?
  • Do you think that when collapse happens, you and people around you in your town will be somehow able to organize food distribution, security and safety for residents, and all those criminals and sick bastards will somehow disappear, and there is going to be new better society?
  • Are you under the influence of movies and you think that good guys win almost always and that there is justice and sense in everything?

I hope you do not because I highly doubt anything like this is going to happen anywhere.
Forget good guys and bad guys. Prepared guys win, they can be good or bad, or both.
Problem is in the fact that simply too many people are waiting for S. to hit the fan so they can go out and play their own version of God. Just ask yourself this question: Who is more experienced living in place without any law, criminals or regular folks?

 Criminals, sick folks, small Napoleons, guys who suddenly think that they have solution for building new society without including morale in story…
There are guys who wait for SHTF to go out and rule, to take your food, enslave you, recruit your older kids, or to take your wife maybe for fun.

Maybe how and when everything happens in your neighborhood would be different when SHTF then in those news articles that we talking about, but lot of things gonna be the same, lot of people, not enough resources, and fight for power.

 It is often hard to imagine for regular people how nasty other humans can become. If you have been to prison, war or deal a lot with criminals you know better.
And again, I am taking this from my own experience. Again.

 One day I had job, family, car, restaurants, cinema, girlfriends, I was listening Guns n Roses and was angry about last album of Metallica. Life was nice and good to me, I had problems but they were in the range of am I lazy to go and rent video tape, or just spent afternoon reading something.
Then BAM!
I suddenly realized that I am living among guys who are finding amusement in taking women and teenage girls to “rape prisons”, or kill for fun and not for survival. I suddenly realized that I was living all the time among whole bunch of weird sick folks who when SHTF just went out to have fun.

And yes, I heard and read many times “they are just different down there, they are all the same, let them kill each other, they are different.”
And I am sure that if tomorrow SHTF in Sweden, there s gonna be folks who gonna write “oh, leave them, they are animals anyway, not like we here, they are different.“
It is the easy answer. It feels good to think like that.

But forget that, forget about image of “we are nice and decent folks here, and it is impossible to happen to us, these kind of atrocities.”

 Be prepared.

Whenever someone I know tells me about bad situation here something like “OH, it is gonna be OK, it is not gonna happen to us, situation will be better,” in that same moment I get a strong urge to go out and buy more ammo.
Or whenever someone says to me “do not worry, we have system here, they gonna take care of everything,” I feel like I am gonna throw up.

Screw the system, you need to build your own system.
It is like people live in their own little pretty house. Outside you have monsters knocking on windows looking at the people inside but they look away. Facing reality is uncomfortable and most believe monsters never come in. Bad news is that closing your eyes does not make you invincible. You are just blind and more vulnerable.

 Lesson here is, do not discount what you can learn from ongoing crisis half way around the world. I never expected people could turn into monsters all around me so fast, I adapted and survived, but you have chance today to understand this and be prepared for this.

Leave a comment

Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Baroabunga volcano, Iceland

(News & Editorial/ Baroabunga volcano, Iceland)

A major eruption of Baroabunga volcano and Scotland seceding (declaring independence) from the United Kingdom could combine into black swan events for Europe, with the global derivatives market; food prices and energy costs rising to drain consumer pocketbooks; and the second leg down of the “Greater Recession” to follow.

 

A.  Worries Over Bárðarbunga Eruption Rise
10 Sep 2014, Grapevine.is, by Nanna Arnadottir and Oddur Sigurðsson/Veðurstofan
Pasted from: http://grapevine.is/news/2014/09/10/worries-over-bardarbunga-eruption-rise/

Fears of an eruption at Bárðarbunga continue to rise as the volcano’s caldera sinks further and more seismic activity is recorded in the area, reports RÚV.

According to geologists and Civil Protection and Emergency Management (CPEM) the developments at Bárðarbunga are raising concerns. Representatives of the CPEM will meet with Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson to discuss the matter today.

volcanic alertThree scenarios are likely going forward. The first, that seismic activity around Holuhraun will cease and the eruption there end. Secondly, that the Bárðarbunga caldera will continue to sink but that an eruption will happen elsewhere.

“The third scenario,” said geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson. “Is the sinking caldera could signal that Bárðarbunga will erupt, which would melt a lot of ice and produce a lot of ash. It’s possible that the melted water might not make it out of the caldera right away but eventually it would also cause a great deal of glacial flooding.”

This is the scenario which the representatives of the Civil Protection and Emergency Management fear the most.

“If we look back at history, then we can see that this is a big and active volcano and we should take it seriously,” Víðir Reynisson department manager at CPEM told RÚV. “Historically there have been very big eruptions in and around Bárðarbunga and it would be naive of us not to be concerned about, and prepare ourselves for, an eruption event.”

Meanwhile, [1400 miles to the east] Norway’s NRK reports that the smell of brimstone has been plaguing North Norwegian beaches. It is believed that the smell derives from the massive plumes of sulfur dioxide that have emanated from Holuhraun since its eruption. Although sulfur dioxide is toxic, it does not pose any danger to the Norwegians as it is already  thoroughly diluted by the time it reaches their shores.

 

B.  Holuhraun Largest Lava Eruption in Iceland since 19th Century
9 September 2014, Iceland On Review, By Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir
Pasted from: http://icelandreview.com/news/2014/09/09/holuhraun-largest-lava-eruption-iceland-19th-century

barabun1 lava

The ongoing volcanic eruption in Holuhraun has already become the largest lava eruption in Iceland since the 19th century, according to volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson. More lava has been emitted than in the largest lava eruption of the 20th century, Krafla in 1984.

Ármann also pointed out that there is more gas in the magma than in the Krafla eruption, ruv.is reports.
The lava emitted in the 1973 Eldfell eruption in Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, covered a smaller area than the lava already emitted in the Holuhraun eruption, but caused significant damage as it occurred near a town, whereas Holuhraun is in a remote area.

The largest lava eruption in Iceland before Holuhraun was in Askja in 1875.

As reported yesterday, the lava at Holuhraun covers almost 19 square km (7 square miles), which is an area larger than Hafnarfjörður, a town of more than 27,000 inhabitants outside Reykjavík.

Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson stated that the lava flow is not slowing down, progressing at a speed of 100 meters (328 feet) per hour. He predicts that it won’t progress further than 20 km but spread out after that.


C.  Bardarbunga eruption could trigger Britain’s coldest winter ever this year
24 Aug 2014, Sott.net, by Nathan Rao Express.co.uk
Pasted from: http://www.sott.net/article/284368-Bardarbunga-eruption-could-trigger-Britains-coldest-winter-ever-this-year

barabun1 gas

 

Britain could freeze in years of super-cold winters and miserable summers if the Bardarbunga volcano erupts, experts have warned.

A fissure on mighty Bardarbunga volcano smoking and about to erupt. Photo taken from a a weather observer plane. Note the glacial field collapsing along the  currently active fissure. Another observer aircraft is seen in much closer to the smoke plume.

Depending on the force of the explosion, minute particles thrust beyond the earth’s atmosphere can trigger decades of chaotic weather patterns.
Tiny pieces of debris act as billions of shields reflecting the sun’s light away from earth meaning winter temperatures could plunge lower than ever before while summer will be devoid of sunshine. The first effect could be a bitterly cold winter to arrive in weeks with thermometers plunging into minus figures and not rising long before next summer.

The Icelandic Met Office has this week warned of “strong indications of ongoing magma movement” around the volcano prompting them to raise the aviation warning to orange, the second highest and sparking fears the crater could blow at any moment. The region has also this week been hit by a magnitude-four earthquake – the strongest for almost 20 years, officials said. The British Met Office said the effects of an explosion on Britain’s weather depends on the wind direction in the upper atmosphere. Spokeswoman Laura Young said: “If the upper winds are north-westerly it will have an effect on our weather.”If the upper winds are westerly then it won’t.”

Historic volcanic eruptions have had devastating effects on the weather in surrounding areas which have lasted for years. In 1783 eastern regions of the United States recorded the lowest ever temperature after Iceland’s Laki volcano erupted that year. As well as huge volumes of ash, the furious mountain also spat out large volumes of sulphur dioxide gas which added to the cooling effect.

In Indonesia, the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 led to an unusually cold spring and summer the following year. The bizarre effect on the weather also ruined corn crops devastating farmers and leading to a food crisis. Parts of Europe and America saw snow in June due to the eruption which also led to a shifting of the Atlantic sea ice. After Krakatau erupted in Indonesia in 1883 the world was hit by colder than average conditions for months although it is reported airborne particulate matter led to brilliant sunsets which were the subject of several late 19th-century paintings.

Experts put the phenomenon down to suspended dust and ash in the upper atmosphere and stratosphere blocking out the sunlight – the so called ‘haze effect’. They also say sulphur released from the volcano mix with water vapour in the stratosphere to form clouds of sulphuric acid droplets, which take years to dissipate, lead to a reduction in global temperatures.

The 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens in Skamania County, Washington, United States, led to global temperatures dropping by 0.1C. Two years later the El Chichon volcano in Mexico spat much less debris into the sky but a greater amount of sulphurous gasses is thought to have triggered a global temperature drop of up to five times the St Helens effect.

Weathermen say the effect in the UK could be nothing short of catastrophic if an explosion is strong enough. Jonathan Powell, of Vantage Weather Services, said: “There is a definite potential knock-on effect and with an eruption looking imminent, this is fairly worrying. “Particles can also be picked up by the jet stream and spread globally, a large amount can have a significant effect on the weather, the first could be an exceptionally cold winter this year.”But the effects can last for many years, even decades.”

However David Rothery, professor of planetary geosciences at the Open University, sought to allay fears over the threat posed by Bardarbunga. He said: “We would need to see a very big explosion to get enough ash to affect the temperature on the ground, we are talking about climate more than anything, what happens is it gets cooler because the sunlight doesn’t get through.”We don’t even know if the eruption will be explosive, it might just be lava and a little bit of ash thrown into the sky.”You can also see gasses like sulphur dioxide which can cause respiratory problems, but it is almost certain we are not looking at anything of that magnitude.”

Dr Dave McGarvie, senior lecturer in volcanology at the Open University, added: “We’ve known for some time that Bardarbunga was going to do something – we just didn’t know what. “Now she has stirred, she is giving us clues about what she is going to do.”The clues from the pattern of earthquakes show that seismic energy is being expended in two main clusters – one to the North East on the glacier margin, and one to the East under the ice. Adding in the clues from the pattern of earth movements indicates that magma is moving towards the surface, and if it gets there it will erupt.”Current indications are that if an eruption happens it will produce modest amounts of denser ash and only cause local disruption to air travel. “But we know so little about this volcano that she could surprise us.”

Dr Nicolas Bellouin, an expert on atmospheric dust clouds at the University of Reading, said: “The current cold snap many of us are experiencing in the UK is due to the fact that at the moment the wind is coming from the north – putting Britain directly in the firing line of any volcanic eruption from Iceland, if it happens in the next few days. “Volcanic ash is made of tiny pieces of sand and minerals, blasted out from an erupting volcano, which are then suspended in the atmosphere and transported by winds. “Where the ash goes is dependent on the direction of the wind. If winds continue to blow from Iceland to the UK, as they are at the moment, ash from an eruption will be transported to the UK and northern Europe.”

 

D.  Craters have appeared on two glaciers in Iceland
9 Sep 2014 EarthSky.org, by Ben Orlove
This article is republished from a brand new and cool website GlacierHub,  check and follow them at: http://glacierhub.org/
Pasted from: http://earthsky.org/earth/craters-have-appeared-on-two-glaciers-in-iceland?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+earthskyenespanol+(EarthSky+en+Espa%C3%B1ol)

barabun1 ice collapse2

Glacier subsidence in Iceland. (source: Marco Nescher/volcanoheli.is)

The recent volcano eruptions in Iceland have created enormous circular depressions in two of the country’s glaciers. These dramatic features, which differ from each other in their origins and shape, are visible from the air.

A reconnaissance flight over Bárðar­bunga, the volcano where the first earthquakes were detected last month, shows that the ice over the caldera has fallen nearly 20 meters across an area about 7 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide. This is a change in volume of 250 million cubic meters. The scientists at the University of Iceland attribute this shift to a movement of the base of the glacier rather than to melting. Magma has drained from a chamber under the glacier as it moves to the northeast and erupts onto the surface. As the chamber has emptied, the rock above it has shifted downward, carrying the glacier ice downward as well. This is the largest subsidence that has been observed in Iceland since measurements of the surface were begun over fifty years ago. This movement does not seem to be associated with geothermal activity at Bárðar­bunga, or of a higher likelihood of an eruption there. A recent photo from a helicopter flight shows the large extent and relative shallowness of this cauldron (the technical term for these craters).

barabun1 ice collapse

Photo credit: Almannavarnir

Another flight travelled over Dyngjujokull Glacier, to the northeast of Bárðar­bunga. It showed two separate depressions, somewhat smaller in extent, but almost twice as deep, reaching down 35 meters. These are probably associated with small eruptions of lava below the surface of the ice. Such eruptions can cause the formation of cauldrons like these, without unleashing outburst floods. There is some risk of continued eruptions, including larger ones, at this site.

barabun1 glacier depression graphic

Bardarbunga glacier crater. Image credit: University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences

In recent days, the lava eruptions from the main fissure have been moving in two directions. The main flow from the eruptions is traveling to the northeast. It has recently reached the Jökulsá á Fjöl­lum River, releasing large quantities of steam. As this intrusion of lava into the river continues, explosive releases of gasses could occur, or a dam could be formed by the cooled lava, creating a lake and subsequent floods. A smaller branch of the fissure has opened close to Dyngjujokull. Should another branch open up a few kilometers to the south, under the glacier itself, there might be a flood or an explosive release of large quantities of ash. For the time being, though, the threat level remains at orange.

barabun1 lava field

The eruption and steam have created hazy skies over the area. The Icelandic Civil Protection Authority has issued alerts to people downwind of the eruption with respiratory conditions, since there are elevated concentrations of sulfur dioxide. They continue to monitor the entire region carefully.

 

Additional posts regarding the effects of major volcanic eruptions on human activity:
1)  http://4dtraveler.net/2013/06/24/disaster-volcanic-winter/
2) http://4dtraveler.net/2014/06/09/volcano-perspectives/
3)  http://4dtraveler.net/2011/09/22/how-volcanoes-like-tambora-and-laki-can-affect-our-ecology/
4) http://4dtraveler.net/2014/06/30/food-during-a-nuclear-or-volcanic-winter/

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

Ebola update for early September 2014

(News & Editorial/Ebola update for early September 2014)

 A.  25 Critical Facts About This Ebola Outbreak That Every American Needs To Know
3 Aug 2014, TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com, By Michael Snyder
Pasted from; http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/25-critical-facts-about-this-ebola-outbreak-that-every-american-needs-to-know

What would a global pandemic look like for a disease that has no cure and that kills more than half of the people that it infects?  Let’s hope that we don’t get to find out, but what we do know is that more than 100 health workers that were on the front lines of fighting this disease have ended up getting it themselves.  The top health officials in the entire world are sounding the alarm and the phrase “out of control” is constantly being thrown around by professionals with decades of experience.  So should average Americans be concerned about Ebola?  If so, how bad could an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. potentially become?
The following are 25 critical facts about this Ebola outbreak that every American needs to know…

#1 As the chart below demonstrates, the spread of Ebola is starting to become exponential…

ebola1 rate

#2 This is already the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded history by far.

#3 The head of the World Health Organization says that this outbreak “is moving faster than our efforts to control it”.

#4 The head of Doctors Without Borders says that this outbreak is “out of control”.

#5 So far, more than 100 health workers that were on the front lines fighting the virus have ended up contracting Ebola themselves.  This is happening despite the fact that they go to extraordinary lengths to keep from getting the disease.

#6 There is no cure for Ebola.

#7 The death rate for this current Ebola outbreak is over 50 percent, and experts say that it can kill “up to 90% of those infected”.

#8 The incubation rate for Ebola ranges from two days to 21 days.  Therefore, someone can be carrying it around for up to three weeks without even knowing it.

#9 For the first time ever, human Ebola patients are being brought to the United States.  And as Paul Craig Roberts so aptly put it the other day, all it would take is “one cough, one sneeze, one drop of saliva, and the virus is loose”.

#10 This has already potentially happened in the United Kingdom.  A woman reportedly collapsed and later died on Saturday after she got off of a flight from Sierra Leone at Gatwick Airport.

#11 A study conducted in 2012 proved that Ebola could be transmitted between pigs and monkeys that were in separate cages and that never made physical contact.

#12 This is a new strain of Ebola, so what we know about other strains of Ebola may not necessarily apply to this strain of Ebola.

#13 Barack Obama has just signed an executive order that gives the federal government the power to apprehend and detain Americans that show symptoms of “diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled.”

#14 And as I noted the other day, federal law already permits “the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease”.

#15 According to the CDC, there are 20 quarantine centers around the country that are prepared to potentially receive Ebola patients…

ebola1 quarantine stations

#16 The CDC has set up an Ebola “quarantine station” at LAX in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.

#17 The largest health emergency drill in New York City history was conducted on Friday. See article at: http://themostimportantnews.com/archives/the-largest-health-emergency-drill-in-new-york-city-history-is-happening-right-now

#18 The federal government will begin testing an “experimental Ebola vaccine” on humans in September.

#19 We are being told that the reason why we don’t have an Ebola vaccine already is due to the hesitation of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in a disease that has “only affected people in Africa”.

#20 Researchers from Tulane University have been active for several years in the very same areas where this Ebola outbreak began.  One of the stated purposes of this research was to study “the future use of fever-viruses as bioweapons”. See article at: http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/what-are-us-biowar-researchers-doing-in-the-ebola-zone/

#21 According to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone, researchers from Tulane University have been asked “to stop Ebola testing during the current Ebola outbreak”.  What in the world does that mean?

#22 The Navy Times says that the U.S. military has been interested in studying Ebola “as a potential biological weapon” since the 1970s…

Filoviruses like Ebola have been of interest to the Pentagon since the late 1970s, mainly because Ebola and its fellow viruses have high mortality rates — in the current outbreak, roughly 60 percent to 72 percent of those who have contracted the disease have died — and its stable nature in aerosol make it attractive as a potential biological weapon.

#23 The CDC actually owns a patent on one particular strain of the Ebola virus… See article at: http://www.naturalnews.com/046290_Ebola_patent_vaccines_profit_motive.html

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control owns a patent on a particular strain of Ebola known as “EboBun.” It’s patent No. CA2741523A1 and it was awarded in 2010. You can view it here.

It is being reported that this is not the same strain that is currently being transmitted in Africa, but it is interesting to note nonetheless.  And why would the CDC want “ownership” of a strain of the Ebola virus in the first place?

#24 The CDC has just put up a brand new webpage entitled “Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Hospitalized Patients with Known or Suspected Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in U.S. Hospitals”.

#25 The World Health Organization has launched a 100 million dollar response plan to fight this Ebola outbreak.  Others don’t seem so alarmed.  For example, Barack Obama is getting ready to take a “16 day Martha’s Vineyard vacation”.

Many are attempting to play down the threat from this virus by stating that unless you “exchange bodily fluids” with someone that you don’t have anything to worry about.

If that was truly the case, then how in the world have more than 100 health workers contracted the virus so far?
Health professionals that deal with Ebola take extreme precautions to keep from being exposed to the disease.
But despite those extreme measures, they are catching it too.
So if this virus does start spreading all over the globe, what chance is the general population going to have?

 .

B.  Map Shows Every Country’s Likely Casualty Rate In The Event Of A Global Pandemic
4 Aug.  2014, Business Insider, Science, by Rob White
Pasted from: http://www.businessinsider.com/global-pandemic-map-2014-8?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider+(Business+Insider)

ebola1 possible death rate

AIR
If you want to know what the human and financial losses of a global pandemic for something like Ebola would look like, someone’s already figured it out.
In a post last year, risk modeling gurus AIR calculated that the 1918 Spanish Flu killed between 20 and 100 million people (out of a global population of 1.8 billion) and caused the equivalent of $20 billion in global losses.

AIR then plugged the 1918 pandemic data into 21st century population density and development parameters to come up with a model for what a new Spanish Flu or other serious global pandemic would look like today

It ain’t pretty.

First, there’s the map above, showing the casualty ratio by country. As might unfortunately be imagined, developing nations fare the worst, while Western nations see the fewest casualties.

But fewest is a relative term. Here’s their table breaking down casualties for a modified G-7 (replacing Italy with Australia):

ebola possible no deaths

It seems safe to conclude from this that whatever it costs to minimize the risk of a global pandemic will pale in comparison to trying to control it once it arrives.

C.  16 Apocalyptic Quotes From Global Health Officials About This Horrific Ebola Epidemic
4 Sept 2014, The Economic Collapse, by Michael Snyder
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/16-apocalyptic-quotes-from-global-health-officials-about-this-horrific-ebola-epidemic_092014

ebola1 horsemanEbola continues to spread an an exponential rate.  According to the World Health Organization, 40 percent of all Ebola cases have happened in just the last three weeks.  At this point, the official numbers tell us that approximately 3,500 people have gotten the virus in Africa and more than 1,900 people have died.  That is quite alarming, but the real problem will arise if this disease continues to spread at an exponential pace.  One team of researchers has used computer modeling to project that the number of Ebola cases will reach 10,000 by September 24th if current trends continue.  And if the spread of Ebola does not slow down, we could be dealing with 100,000 cases by December.  Even the WHO is admitting that the number of cases is likely to grow to 20,000 before too much longer, and global health officials are now starting to use apocalyptic language to describe this outbreak.

For people in the western world that have never seen anything like this other than in the movies, it can be difficult to grasp just how horrible this epidemic truly is.  In the areas of west Africa where Ebola is spreading, fear and panic are everywhere, food shortages are becoming a serious problem and there have been reports of dead bodies rotting in the streets.  People are avoiding hospitals and clinics because of paranoia about the fact that so many health workers have contracted the disease.  According to the World Health Organization, more than 240 health workers have gotten the virus so far and more than 120 of them have perished.

We have never seen anything like this in any of our lifetimes, and the scary part is that this might only be just the beginning.

The following are 16 apocalyptic quotes from global health officials about this horrific Ebola epidemic…

#1  Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “It is the world’s first Ebola epidemic, and it’s spiraling out of control. It’s bad now, and it’s going to get worse in the very near future. There is still a window of opportunity to tamp it down, but that window is closing. We really have to act now.”

#2  Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders: “Riots are breaking out. Isolation centres are overwhelmed. Health workers on the frontline are becoming infected and are dying in shocking numbers.”

#3  David Nabarro, senior United Nations system coordinator for Ebola disease: “This outbreak is moving ahead of efforts to control it.”

#4  Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO’s assistant director-general for emergency operations: “This far outstrips any historic Ebola outbreak in numbers. The largest outbreak in the past was about 400 cases.”

#5  Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization: “…we hope to stop the transmission in six to nine months”.

#6  Dr. Daniel Bausch, associate professor in the department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University: “You have a very dangerous virus in three of the countries in the world that are least equipped to deal with it. The scale of this outbreak has just outstripped the resources. That’s why it’s become so big.”

#7  Gayle Smith, senior director at the National Security Council: “This is not an African disease. This is a virus that is a threat to all humanity.”

#8  Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “The level of outbreak is beyond anything we’ve seen—or even imagined.”

#9  Vincent Martin, head of an FAO unit in Dakar:  “This is different than every other Ebola situation we’ve ever had. It’s spreading widely, throughout entire countries, through multiple countries, in cities and very fast.”

#10  Dr. Richard Besser, health and medical editor for ABC News: “Emergency rooms are closed, many hospital wards are as well leaving people who are sick with heart disease, trauma, pregnancy complications, pneumonia, malaria and all the everyday health emergencies with nowhere to go.”

#11  Bukar Tijani, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization regional representative for Africa: “Access to food has become a pressing concern for many people in the three affected countries and their neighbours.”

#12  Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security: “People are hungry in these communities. They don’t know how they are going to get food.”

#13  Dr. Daniel Bausch, associate professor in the department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University: “This is for sure the worst situation I’ve ever seen.”

#14  Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “I could not possibly overstate the need for an urgent response.”

#15  Official WHO statement: “Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.”

#16  Dr. Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders: “It is impossible to keep up with the sheer number of infected people pouring into facilities. In Sierra Leone, infectious bodies are rotting in the streets.”

Despite all of these warnings, a lot of people in the western world are not too concerned about this epidemic because they have faith that our advanced technology will prevent a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States and Europe. But I wouldn’t be so certain about that.

So far, the most promising experimental Ebola drug seems to be ZMapp.  In clinical trials, it has been doing very well on monkeys.

However, it hasn’t turned out to be a silver bullet for humans so far.  Two out of the seven people that have received ZMapp have died, and as CBS News recently explained, current supplies are exhausted and it takes a really long time to make more of this stuff…

ZMapp’s maker, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., of San Diego, has said the small supply of the drug is now exhausted and that it will take several months to make more. The drug is grown in tobacco plants and was developed with U.S. government support.

Kobinger said it takes about a month to make 20 to 40 doses at a Kentucky plant where the drug is being produced. Officials have said they are looking at other facilities and other ways to ramp up production, and Kobinger said there were plans for a clinical trial to test ZMapp in people early next year.

The cold, hard truth is that Ebola is a brutally efficient killer for which we do not have a cure at the moment.

And what makes things even more complicated is that a different strain of Ebola is now spreading in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  A treatment that works for one strain of Ebola may not work on another strain.
So let us hope and pray that Ebola does not reach the United States. If it does, it could potentially spread like wildfire.
 .

D.  Want to Know What Martial Law over Ebola Will Look Like? Check Out What’s Happening Right Now in Africa 
7 Aug 2014, The Daily Sheeple.com, by Melissa Melton Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/want-to-know-what-martial-law-over-ebola-will-look-like-check-out-whats-happening-right-now-in-africa_082014

ebola1 gov reaction

This is how the war of the words is fought on the Internet. A simple battle of semantics.
Take the most notorious search engine’s news aggregate, Google News, for example. Go there and type in “martial law” right now, maybe in conjunction with “Africa” or “Ebola” and see what comes up.

Not a whole lot. Barely more than a digital whisper, really.
Now type in, oh, any combination of those words, but substitute “martial law” with “troops” or “soldiers”. Now see what you get.

It’s everywhere. Troops have now been deployed in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The country is in a martial law lockdown. It’s just…no one in the mainstream media is calling it what it is.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has officially declared a 90-day state of emergency, and she told Associated Press that, “some civil liberties will be suspended”. The article went on to say, “In neighboring Sierra Leone, military forces also deployed as part of ‘Operation Octopus’ which officials said was aimed at preventing ‘the unauthorized movement of Ebola-infected persons.’”

This is martial law and in the case of Sierra Leone, martial law with a really creepy code name.

While the media seems hell-bent on scaring the crap out of everyone by mentioning the word Ebola every other five seconds, there is actual useful information eking out that we might want to glean here, in case anything like this should happen in our neighborhoods. You just have to wade through all the fear porn to get to it.

Let’s stick with this AP article for a second.
So, civil liberties will be suspended with military force. What else?
AP continues, “National Health Workers Association president Joseph Tamba said the state of emergency is necessary. But he says people should have been given advance notice to buy food ahead of the movement restrictions.”

So, civil liberties were suspended and they didn’t give the average person who isn’t prepper-minded adequate time to get prepared?
Very good to know. What else?
“Relatives are hiding feverish patients at home for fear if they are brought to isolation centers and don’t have Ebola they will end up contracting it anyway.”

Okay. Considering that there is the belief floating around Sierra Leone that this outbreak is a “government conspiracy,” that makes sense.  The article also mentioned that, out of this same sense of fear, people are just dumping their dead in the streets and taking off, likely because they don’t want to be whisked away and quarantined themselves.

What else.
“Experts warned that extreme measures risk driving patients and their families further underground out of fear. The best way to track possible exposures is through community leaders who are known and respected, they say.” The government uses trusted community leaders as the best way to flesh out people who don’t want to willingly turn themselves in to quarantine centers. Got it.

Putting the totally irrational fear aside that a disease which has only ever afflicted 6,000 people in the history of humanity will suddenly show up on your doorstep, what’s going on right now in Africa is a very real on-the-ground glimpse into how governments implement martial law and how they respond to people in these kinds of situations.

(And that’s not even getting into the fact that the African people have been told they will not be receiving the experimental treatment given to the two Americans and it could be months before anything is developed. No one has said it would be offered to them if it is, either, and that’s regardless of whether or not anyone would even trust such a treatment…I’m here, and there are several reasons I don’t trust it at all, including the fact that the guy behind the treatment makes jokes about culling 25% of the world with a genetically engineered virus like that’s just hilarious.) See article at: http://truthstreammedia.com/scientist-working-on-govt-ebola-drug-joked-about-culling-population-with-gmo-virus/

Consider the statements I’ve pulled out here. My colleague Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper just got done writing a story the other day, Here’s Why I Won’t Be Lining Up for the Ebola Vaccine, in which she makes a very compelling argument backed by decades of historical information on vaccine production gone wrong and military-medical-media industrial complex corruption and scaremongering in this country as to why she will not be rolling up her sleeve for any Ebola vaccinations or “treatments”, not now or ever. See article at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/heres-why-i-wont-be-lining-up-for-the-ebola-vaccine_082014

People in West Africa are staying the hell away from the government “isolation” centers and hospitals. People there believe it’s a government conspiracy. How many Americans would (and do) feel the same way about what’s going on right now, knowing our very own Fort Detrick biowarfare scientists who just so happen to have been over in the Ebola hot zone in the main three Ebola-ravaged countries testing lab-grown monoclonal antibody cocktails on healthy human adults for several years now are staying pretty mum on the current situation?

In an outbreak scenario even as small as neighborhood-wide, would Daisy Luther be considered a “hold out” who refuses to go to a treatment center should vaccinations or isolation for this deadly disease become mandatory?

By executive order, our government currently has a laundry list of infectious diseases for which the CDC states it “has the legal authority to detain any person” who “may” be afflicted — including cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers (like Ebola), SARS, and “new types of flu (influenza) that could cause a pandemic” — according to the CDC’s quarantine stations fact sheet dated August 2103.

Again, I want to stress the CDC says it can legally detain anyone if the person “may” have the disease, not if the person has officially, definitely been diagnosed with the disease in question. The fact sheet also says, “CDC also can have them admitted to a hospital or confined to a home for a certain amount of time to prevent the spread of disease.” It does not say this any of this will be voluntary or optional.

On top of that, the Pentagon is all over this experimental Ebola treatment being grown in tobacco cells that has just been approved for human testing.

As Jon Rappoport recently reported,

This “Blue Angel” project, as it’s called, suddenly puts the Pentagon in the forefront of the vaccine business. The big question is: why is the Army involved in vaccines at all? And the answer is no surprise. According to DARPA, it’s all about readiness in containing bio-threats. Translated, that means terrorist attacks that could use flu viruses.

This is a sinister development. It creates a potential scenario in which the military can invent the “bio-threat” and then step in and provide the solution. It doesn’t really matter whether the bio-threat is real or imaginary.

The threat would offer the chance to initiate a martial-law scenario, after which the military vaccine would be made mandatory, destroying the right of each state in the union to permit, as is now the case, people to opt out of vaccination on religious, medical, or ethical grounds.

The Pentagon is famous for developing weapons and then lobbying for battlefield opportunities to use them. This is part and parcel of their “war is forever” mentality. Well, in this case, the vaccine becomes the defensive weapon, and you can be sure the Pentagon will strive to deploy it in a situation that “demands it”—a chilling prospect…

The CDC and WHO relentlessly promoted Swine Flu as a monster menace that could invade and decimate the planet. Therefore, everyone needed to step up and take the vaccine. These civilian agencies are mere pikers compared to the Pentagon. Can you imagine what the Dept. of Defense would promote and launch to guarantee their vaccine finds a place in your bloodstream? The DOD regularly makes conflict of interest into an art form.

Martial law? No problem. [emphasis added]

A “defensive weapon” like a vaccine that it’s in national security interest that everyone who is even under suspicion of having Ebola takes?

Ebola cases have now shown up in five African countries, and now that America and Spain are flying in Ebola patients on purpose, a disease that was once only found in Africa has been able to travel to four continents.

Calm down and take a deep breath, but don’t ignore what’s going on here.
•   Modern America is a country that has been bred to thrive off fear. People are already swarming the CDC with phone calls because they have a slight fever or a cough throwing rational thinking out the window because they might have Ebola.
•   Homeland Security has also injected the nation with a “See Something, Say Something” mentality since 9/11.
•   The mainstream media and their mind-controlling 24/7 news cycle is whipping the average person into a total state of panic as we speak with this.
•  On top of that, the government made sure to fly two people with Ebola here, just in case the idea of Ebola coming home didn’t actually hit home hard enough.

If the $@!% hits the fan here, we’re going to have to invent a new phrase, because “lose it” isn’t even going to be adequate enough to describe how the majority of society will respond.

The CDC has just issued a Level 1 response — the agency’s highest alert response to the Ebola outbreak, something that hasn’t happened since the bird flu outbreak in 2009 or the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (another instance where martial law was declared).

Losing one’s mind with irrational fear is different from looking critically and logically at a situation and gleaning what’s important from it.

Back when hundreds of people were dying from this, the governments said they were overwhelmed, but they didn’t quarantine people or stop flights or even shut off cross-country border travel. The World Health Organization took what it claimed were drastic measures by “calling a meeting”. While they were having that meeting Ebola continued to spread rapidly and now it is totally out of control there, and it is martial law in the streets.

Look to Africa now. Look at how the governments have responded to their people throughout this Ebola crisis and how the people are now responding to the situation they find themselves in. Stay vigilant, everyone. False flags are not a conspiracy theory.

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

Bartering your supplies

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Bartering your supplies)

A.  When the supply line is broken
Bartering is an effective way to get goods and services and basically cut out the middle man. In really hard times, we would be looking to increase these exchanges and find ways to get things done, to feed, clothe and whatever else would be needed- without spending cash.
In a “worst case” economic situation or extreme hyperinflation, bartering goods and services could become an essential family survival strategy.  Having pre-stocked  raw material and manufactured goods that would become scarce will put you in a position to barter for those things you need and don’t have.

•  Crisis Duration
During a short-term crisis that isolates people from goods & services, bartering will probably be done with cash for goods or by simple exchanges of food items.  If you are sure the crisis will be short-lived you can consider providing goods at very low barter cost to assist those in great need.  This will create a tremendous amount of local good will for you during and after the crisis.
Long duration crisis will be evident by a collapse of the national economy that affects production, storage and transportation of goods.  Consider the various natural phases of a long-term crisis when deciding what skills to learn and what goods to pre-stock in preparation.  What will become scarce?
What will people need during each phase?  What goods should be held back for the next phases? What essential material can be refurbished and repaired using low-tech methods and tools?  What geographic specific goods and services will be needed?  As an evaluation example: there will not be much survival demand for a wood stove fabrication capability in Southern Florida.

•  Value of Goods
The value of your trade goods will be determined by essential need and perceived scarcity.  The value of goods will also change over the duration of the crisis as needs, conditions and availability change.
•  Early Phases
Early on there will be some goods that disappear quickly, some will be essential while others will soon become the new luxury items.  When was the last time you considered a bar of soap a luxury or even a necessity that you had to ration?  As bartering becomes more prevalent after the big crunch, you will have to be able to decide, what to barter and when.

•  Alternate Options
When some goods will become scarce or not available, there may be viable alternatives to replace them.  When toilet paper disappears, newspaper will be in demand.  Homemade soap will soon replace dwindling stock of mass-produced soap – homemade disinfectant soap will be the most valuable.  With no electrical power, being able to make candles and candle lanterns can be a money-making skill. As time passes, there will be less and less pre-crisis manufactured consumable goods. Tools and other non-consumables will break and wear out.
.

B.  Top 12 Barter Goods for WTSHTF
1.  Water Purification Supplies – Does this really need an explanation?
2.  Prescription Medications – Yes, this is a difficult one to stock up on, but if you come across them in the post-apocalyptic world – SNAG ‘EM. What do you think you could trade a bottle of nitro pills for with someone who has a heart condition? If you require prescription medications I would strongly advise you consult with your physician about obtaining a few month’s extra supplies.
3.  Fuel – We’re talking all types: gas, diesel, propane, firewood, etc. Can you have too much? No, so you’ll likely keep it for yourself, but if you DID need something that you hadn’t already acquired, fuel will be a great commodity for bartering.
4.  Guns –Yes, they’re expensive, but there are MANY people out there who are averse to owning a gun, but once TEOTWAWKI hits, their minds will quickly change. They’re expensive, yes, but to someone that’s unarmed, a single-shot shotgun and a box of shells will be worth its weight in gold.
5.  Ammo– America is the most heavily armed nation in the world, but I seriously question how many people actually maintain an adequate supply of ammunition for those guns. Think about it, how many people do you know that go out and buy a few boxes of shells before hunting season starts?  They don’t have an adequate supply should SHTF. You can have all the guns in the world, but if you can’t load them with bullets – they’re useless. Stock up on common calibers (.22, 9mm, .45, .223, 12 gauge and .308) and you’ll find yourself in high demand with people who need rounds. Now, the flip side of this is do you really want to give away ammunition that might be used against you? You’ll have to decide this depending on the exact SHTF circumstances.
6.  Survival Books – Books with good information will be huge. They’re EMP-proof and don’t require electricity to run (unlike the pc you’re using). I advise you to at least print and save the pages of this Survival Manual.
7.  Batteries – Stock as many as you can use while rotating stock and staying within the recommended life span. A better idea is to stock a few crank radios and flashlights.
8.  Soap, Bleach and Cleaning Agents – Your local grocery store won’t be open. These items are critical for maintaining health and hygiene.
9.  Cast Iron Cookware – People that run out of fuel will be cooking over an open fire – situations that call for cast iron. Settlers used it for a reason.
10.  Survival Seeds – This would be for the pro-longed SHTF situation. Their value will be infinite.
11.  Garden and Hand Tools – Those left alive will suddenly become gardeners and carpenters, whether they like it or not.
12.  Canning Supplies – How will people survive the non-growing season without these?

Some items I’d like to cover that are not included above:
•   Silver and Gold Coins – A lot of people advocate purchasing these for bartering purposes, but their value is entirely dependent on the situation. If you’re lost in the desert for 14 days, would you rather have a gallon of water or 4 bars of gold? Precisely my point. When the cataclysm hits people WILL NOT look for silver and gold coins, they’ll be looking for the items mentioned above.
•   Booze – Yes, alcoholics will do flips and twists for it when they run dry, but what will your typical alcoholic have to offer in trade? Think about it. While I would appreciate a stiff shot of Jack Daniels post-Doomsday, I wouldn’t waste my time stocking up on it for bartering purposes. That being said, if you do drink, and you have a pantry stocked with food, it’d certainly be worthwhile to add the booze of your choice to the shelves and rotate stock. Remember: Shop in your pantry for dinner, shop at the store for your pantry.
•   Toilet Paper –Don’t waste valuable storage space to stock amounts much beyond your typical household needs.
.

C.  Internet Blog respondents list what they feel would be important barter items.
Blogger 1:  My wife and I have been talking about things you can not go a day without. 1. toilet paper, 2. hand and bath soap, 3. tooth paste and brush. That is just a beginning. I think the next time we go to the BOL [bug out location] We will have to stock up on these items. I’m thinking a case or half case of each.

Blogger 2:  -Ammo  -Pedialyte  -Canned Goats Milk of Baby Formula -Dried Beans and Rice. This is a big no brainer, because you can have so many portions in such a small area of storage. But it could also be a form of currency if neighbors or others are starving. Start a little black market with dried goods. Only carry small amounts so if your life is threatened -Pain Relievers, and other medicines. I think a small stockpile of medicines is a MUST have if not just for personal use, but for the ability to make amazing personal benefit from it -Fire wood  -Shoes or Boots.

Blogger 3:  I was thinking of the following items: Sweeteners (sugar, honey, molasses, etc…), BIC lighters, vegetable  seeds, OTC medicines, duct tape.

Blogger 4:  In a crisis of months duration, with supply disruptions many people would probably desire the simple things that remind them of being human and civil that currently take for granted.
– I believe toiletries, especially soap, will be highly desirable. When I go shopping, I especially like buying extra tooth-brushes/paste, mineral oil, alcohol (isopropyl), hydrogen-peroxide.
– Coffee. Bean or ground.

Blogger 5:  I like batteries as a barter item. A few common types, but mostly the expensive lithium-ion variety. NiCd, NiMH, Alkaline and old-style carbon-Zn batteries all only have a shelf life of a few years. Lithium batteries last 10 yrs or more. Solar battery chargers are another interesting item, although they’re a little big (charging batteries could be an interesting service to provide). Flashlights, too, esp. the modern compact extra-bright variety. – it wouldn’t hurt to have a few hundred to a thousand candles stashed away, if there is an EMP candles will be in great demand. Matches might also be good.

Blogger 6:  Bathroom products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant would be good for trade. Toilet paper will be high up there too. All cheap stuff to get today and last a long time. I can’t help but think that keeping an extra bicycle or two around would be worth their weight in gold.

Blogger 7:  90% silver is popular with the SHTF crowd. Makes good barter material. Can’t trade a K’rand for a bag of apples. But a 90% dime will be worth about $7.25 if silver goes to $100.  So make sure your PM is in small denominations if you intend to barter with it. My ‘survival mentor’ says…”to prepare for the unthinkable one must first think the unthinkable”.

Blogger 8: I would have to go with salt, that’s right plain old salt. I’ve spent a decent amount of time in areas with no/or sporadic electrical services, and have witnessed people getting around this by using salt to preserve extra food, and it takes A LOT of salt. Sugar would be a hot item as well.

Blogger 9: Here is a list of worthy additions to a “barter list”:
Seeds: general garden  Bottled water  Food of any kind – especially those in cans and jars, in small quantities
Alcohol  Matches  Candles
Batteries: primarily AA, AAA, 9 volt  Flashlights  Blankets
Radio  Condoms  First aid kits
Soap Tooth brush  Toothpaste
Water containers  Water filters or any kind  Propane
Mess kits/cookware  Tools of any kind – especially those most common (hammers, saws, hand drills, screwdrivers, etc.)  Nails and screws
Toilet paper  Aluminum foil  Rope/cord/string
Small notebooks, wooden pencils/ink pens Clothes pins
Fishing line and hooks/lures  Bug spray/insect repellent  Duct tape
Tarps  Bleach  First aid kits & supplies
Knives & sharpening stones/supplies  Ammunition (be careful with this one)  Razors for shaving
Clothing of  any kind – especially socks/underwear  Work gloves  Coffee/Tea/Flavored drink mixes
SPAM – I know its in the food category– great barter  item  Cigarettes/Cigars  Gardening tools
Canning jars and supplies  Fire starting supplies – including fire-steels, magnesium, etc.  Spices
Something else to consider – bartering does not always have to involve some-”thing”. In many cases skills can be bartered as well. If you know how to get a garden going and another person can repair a roof – just do a swap and work things out. Maybe someone has some fuel that they will give you if you can fix their vehicle. After TSHTF the bartering of materials and skills may very well become the only method of commerce – as money may be worthless.
.

D.  Top Post-Collapse Barter Items And Trade Skills
June 10th, 2011, Alt Market, Brandon Smith
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/top-post-collapse-barter-items-and-trade-skills_06102011

The concept of private barter and alternative economies has been so far removed from our daily existence here in America that the very idea of participating in commerce without the use of dollars or without the inclusion of corporate chains seems almost outlandish to many people. However, the fact remains that up until very recently (perhaps the last three to four decades) barter and independent trade was commonplace in this country. Without it, many families could not have survived.
Whether we like it or not, such economic methods will be making a return very soon, especially in the face of a plunging dollar, inflating wholesale prices, erratic investment markets, and unsustainable national debts. It is inevitable; financial collapse of the mainstream system ALWAYS leads to secondary markets and individual barter. We can wait until we are already in the midst of collapse and weighted with desperation before we take action to better our circumstances, or, we can prepare now for what we already know is coming.

 In today’s “modern” globalist economy, we have relied upon centralized and highly manipulated trade, forced interdependency, senseless and undisciplined consumption, endless debt creation, welfare addiction, and the erosion of quality, as a means to sustain a system that ultimately is DESIGNED to erode our freedoms not to mention our ability to effectively take care of ourselves. We have been infantized by our financial environment. In the near future, those who wish to live beyond a meager staple of government handouts (if any are even given) will be required to make a 180 degree reversal from their current lifestyle of dependency and immediate gratification towards one of self-sufficiency, personal entrepreneurship, quality trade, and a mindset of necessity, rather than unfounded excess.
This means that each and every one of us will not only be driven to form barter networks outside the designated confines of the mainstream, we will have to become active producers within those networks. Each and every one of us will need to discover practical goods and skills that will be in high demand regardless of economic conditions. Being that our society has all but forgotten how this kind of trade works, let’s examine a short list of items as well as proficiencies that are sure to be highly sought after as the collapse progresses…

Top Priority Goods
To be sure, this list is a summary of items that will have high value during and after a breakdown scenario. I welcome readers to post their own ideas for trade goods below this article. The following is merely a framework which you can use to get started, and was compiled using actual accounts of post collapse trade from the Great Depression, to Bosnia, to Argentina, to Greece, etc. These are items and skills that people were literally begging for after financial catastrophe occurred in numerous separate events.
Water Filtration: Stock up on water filters. Learn how water filtration works. Even make your own water filters using cloth, activated charcoal, and colloidal silver. Everyone will want to trade with you if you have extra filtration on hand. During economic breakdowns, especially in countries like Argentina, and Bosnia, which had more modern, city based populations, the first thing to disappear was clean water. Always. In some cases, the tap water still runs, but is filled with impurities, and needs to be boiled. Boiling does not remove bad tastes or smells, however, and clean filtered water will be in demand.

Seeds: Non-GMO seeds are a currency unto themselves. They can last for years if stored properly, and everyone will want them, even if they don’t have land to plant them. Get enough for yourself, and then purchase twice as much for trade.

Fresh Produce: Ever heard of scurvy? Probably. Ever had scurvy? Probably not. Believe me, you don’t want to have it. Your body essentially begins to fall apart slowly, and the result is an ugly boil and sore filled complexion, the loss of teeth and hair, and the eventual failure of internal organs. Don’t think you can live on beef jerky and canned beans for months on end. You need fresh vegetables and fruits, and the vitamins they supply. Anyone with a well-managed garden and a few fruit trees is going to do very well in barter. Vitamin supplements would also be a practical investment.

Long Shelf Life Foods: This one should be obvious, but you may be surprised how many preppers, even though aware of the danger in the economy, do not have ample stored foods.The rationalizations abound, but usually, you are dealing with a person who has a heavy hunting background, and believes he will be able to procure whatever food he wants whenever he wants with his trusty bolt-action rifle and a few hours in the woods. Don’t fall into this foolish trap. Thousands if not millions of other hungry, destitute people will likely have the same idea, combing the forest for deer, only running into (and perhaps shooting at) each other. In every single account of modern economic collapse I have read, the people involved kick themselves brutally for not stocking more food that didn’t require refrigeration. Even those that were moderately prepared stated that they wished they had stored twice as much as they did.
Sealed food kits would be highly valued trade items, as long as they contained necessities like grains (wheat or rice store well), salt (the human body will not function without salt), honey or maple syrup (the body needs sugars), and powdered milk, peanut butter, or any other foods with fat content (the body needs fats). Prepackaged freeze-dried foods are more expensive to stock, but they are, of course, easy to trade.

Food Producing Animals: Chickens are great for eating, but they also produce eggs. Cows and Goats can be slaughtered, but they also produce milk. Sheep can be easily herded towards your dinner plate, but they also produce wool. Rabbits make a good stew, but they also produce lots of other rabbits. In terms of barter, these animals will be life savers, as well as a solid source of trade income. Dual purpose livestock are really where it’s at for those who have even an acre of land, and many of them (except cattle) tend to feed themselves easily if left to wander your property. You can trade eggs, milk, wool, etc, that they produce. Not to mention, fetch serious value for trading the animal itself.

Solar Power: Solar power is so overlooked by most barter organizations and survivalists in general that it’s astonishing. If every home in America had at least two large solar panels on the roof, I would not be half as worried about collapse as I am today. My suspicion is that many ‘preppers’ believe that after a breakdown, we will all return to some kind of Agrarian pre-electric age where everything is lit with oil lamps. This is silly. If I have my LED lamp with rechargeable batteries, I’m certainly not going to rely on less effective burning lamps that depend on a finite fuel supply. And, I’m certainly not going to give up the advantages of night vision, radio communications, or refrigeration if I can help it. The key is to ensure that you have a continuous means of diverting electricity to these goods. This already exists in the form of solar power.
Depending on your budget, you can purchase solar panels that can be folded and carried with you for charging batteries, or, you can purchase entire arrays and battery banks that run your whole house. Those without electricity WILL want electricity, and solar is an excellent barter item. Wind generators, as well as water driven generators (as used often in Bosnia) are also a consideration. People that have the knowledge to set up these systems for others will not have trouble finding trading partners.

Firewood: Even with solar power, home heating will become a major concern for every household during and after a breakdown. If you can avoid running your battery bank out on inefficient space heaters, you will. The best way to do this is with a wood stove, or a fireplace. Those without any electricity will scour their immediate areas for loose wood, then move on to chopping down random trees for fuel. This is one of the few instances, ironically, that those in urban environments would have an advantage, being that dry wood for burning is literally everywhere in the city. During the Great Depression, families would often sneak into abandoned homes and apartment buildings to dismantle sticks of furniture, or even the walls, to use as firewood.
A small, well insulated home can be heated with as little as two cords of wood every winter. Larger drafty homes require as much as twenty cords per winter. A “cord’ of wood is a stack of split timber around four feet wide, four feet high, and eight feet long. This wood is “aged”, or dried for at least a year after being cut, so that it burns cleaner, and creates much more heat than freshly felled timber. When the general public begins to rediscover the need for aged cord wood, those with timberland will have a prized commodity on their hands for barter.
A disciplined cutting routine would be essential. Only cutting enough timber (of the right maturity) to create a decent supply while not erasing the whole forest for a single year of profit. Those traders with the correct knowledge will do very well in a barter economy.

Gasoline And Oil: This is a tough one, because its hard to predict how much petroleum the U.S. will be able to import or produce on its own during a collapse, and its very difficult to store for long periods of time. If you hear news that the wars in the Middle East have expanded even further, or that OPEC is decoupling from the dollar, you might want to run to the nearest station and fill as many storage cans as possible, along with a little bit of added ‘gas saver’ which helps keep it stable longer. Initially, people will be dueling to the death for gas and oil. I have little doubt. After the price hits $15, $30, $60 a gallon due to hyperinflation, and a little time passes, I think people will begin finding ways to live without it, or they will reduce its use to emergency tasks.
Desire for gas will always be there, especially in agricultural areas where one tractor could help sow the seeds that feed an entire town. But beyond storage, I would suggest learning ways to distill your own corn ethanol and alcohol based fuels. This is where the real barter potential is.

Silver And Gold: I placed precious metals in the middle of this list for a reason. Concerns in a collapse situation will be varied, and the manner in which a derailment progresses will also determine the order of needs in a barter community. In a Mad Max scenario where there is little to no community, or the construction of any semblance of economy is impossible; sure, gold and silver will not be very high on most people’s lists. Has this ever happened in recorded history? No. Gold and silver have remained common currencies for thousands of years despite any catastrophe. This is why I have to laugh at those people who undercut precious metals or claim that because you “can’t eat them” they will not be important. In Argentina, in the midst of complete meltdown and monetary chaos, when people were shooting each other in the streets for food on a daily basis, gold and silver became king, and still are.
Barter networks that have formed in Argentina love to trade for anything made out of gold or silver, because precious metals are the only tangible form of currency in existence there. Being able to trade goods is fantastic, but sometimes, you may not have what another person wants.Do you go out to find someone who does, trade with them, then, try to find the guy who turned you down? No. If you have any meaningful localized commerce in place, then you should also have a common medium of exchange, and precious metals are the only thing that safely fits the mold, because they cannot be artificially reproduced or fabricated. Their rarity and their longevity make them the perfect method of common trade. Even if the worst of the worst occurs, rebuilding will result in the immediate resurgence of trade, and the immediate need of a new currency. Gold and silver will come back, as it always has, and always will. Every potential barter network should be including gold, silver, and maybe copper, on its list of accepted alternative currencies, and the values of said metals should be weighed by the inherent supply and demand of the community. The “official” market value ( which is very manipulated) should only be used as a loose guide.

Firearms And Ammo: Another obvious one. The problem is, the selection of calibers is so varied within the U.S. that stocking anything that will be needed by everyone is very difficult. The only recourse is to stick with common military calibers, such as 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, .223, 7.62 by 39, 7.62 by 51 (.308), 12 gauge, .410, and 20 gauge shotgun shells, and the ever pervasive .22. Stocking these calibers will result in a much greater chance of trade.
I can think of no instance of societal disintegration that did not lead to horrible violence. In places where firearms are outlawed, the carnage is always much worse. Criminals easily get their hands on weapons, while law-abiding citizens are left defenseless. Governments take liberties with the people, while the populace cowers. Accounts of torture, rape, murder, and genocide, are abundant in the face of hard economic times. EVERYONE should be armed, and as reality sets in, even those who clamored to outlaw guns will be clamoring to get one.
Of course, laws today very strictly regulate our ability to barter firearms, but post collapse, no one will care much.
Ammo reloading will be a useful skill in light of the fact that homemade manufacture of ammo is very difficult. The nationwide ammo supply will dwindle very quickly, except for those pockets of people who smartly stockpile for trade.

Body Armor: That’s right. Any kind of body armor is as good as gold in a collapse environment.People in countries across the world wish they had it, and would trade almost anything for it.When you live in a place where a random gun shot (a minute by minute occurrence in many countries), from a criminal’s weapon, or more likely a police or military weapon, could bounce off the curb or through your car windshield, and into your chest, you begin to respect the necessity of Kevlar. The fact that body armor is relatively cheap and is easily obtained in the U.S. should be taken advantage of by barter networks. This advantage may not exist in a couple of years.

Tazers And Pepper Spray: Easy to purchase and stockpile here in America. Better than nothing when facing armed attackers. Disables without death (in most cases), and easier on the conscience. Trades well.

Various Tools: A garden hoe may be a novelty item to most suburbanites and city dwellers now, but soon, it will be a mainstay tool. If you have extra, they will come to you for barter. I’m not going to list every tool in existence here, but I suggest using common sense. What tools do you see being required for daily use? What would YOU need post collapse?

Pesticides: I’m big on organic food and healthy eating, but if my life is on the line, I’m spraying my crops down with whatever poison I can find. Unless you have years of experience with natural pest deterrence methods, then I suggest you do the same, especially in that first year of calamity. A hoard of locusts could annihilate your crop within a day given the chance, and should be dealt with using the most powerful means available.
Cockroach and rat poisons will also be huge sellers, guaranteed. Vermin thrive in unkempt human environments, whether in the country or the city, and with them comes disease.Diseases you thought had disappeared off the face of the Earth, like bubonic plague or small pox, will make a comeback in cities, where streets of death and sewage act like enormous Petri dishes (remember New Orleans after Katrina? Imagine if that had never been cleaned up).
Stock pesticides, even if they offend your environmental sensibilities. You’ll use them, trust me.And, people will trade whatever they can for them.

Warm Clothing: The world is awash in textiles and clothing. Using clothes as your primary means of trade is not necessarily the best plan. However, most of the clothes made around the world are very poor quality, and are not designed for harsh environments. Clothes made specifically for harsh cold or rough wear are harder to some by, and are often very expensive.This is where you would want to focus your investments.
Gortex, for instance, could give you incredible bartering potential. Wool socks are a rarity (how many people do you know with more than two pairs of wool socks?). Water resistant and water proof jackets and overcoats, boots, well made hiking shoes, and waterproofing chemicals and sprays will be needed within trade networks. The ability to make these items, or repair them, will also be valued.

Medicines: This is another difficult item to procure, mainly because doing so often gets you flagged as a possible drug dealer. Certain items aren’t too hard to come by and store, though, and could be life saving barter material in the future. Antibiotics are handed out like candy by doctors today, so storing any extra you have away for trade may be a good strategy. Painkillers are another medical miracle that doctors seem to sprinkle out of helicopters without a second thought. With the risk of injury increasing one hundred fold after a financial tsunami, I suspect even mere aspirin would put a smile on the face of any barter networker.
Eventually, natural medicines and herbs are going to have to move to the forefront, as industry medicines begin to disappear, or become so expensive they are unobtainable. Stocking such herbs and vitamins would be smart, for protecting oneself, not to mention, its savvy business sense.

Toiletries: Yes, yes, we all hear about how great toilet paper will be as a barter item, and how preppers plan to demand cows, trucks, and beach-front property, in return for packages of the silken quilty-soft huggable rolls of goodness. I don’t disagree that it will be highly desired at first. People don’t change their habits that quickly. But let’s face it; toilet paper is a luxury item in a post collapse environment, not a necessity. People are going to eventually go back to older methods of hygiene, like using strips of washable cloth. It might sound gross to us now, but hey, did you think we were going to start using poison ivy and pinecones?
Stock toilet paper, but don’t treat it as a priority. Focus more on cleaning items like soap, toothpaste, and bleach, as well as chemicals that cause human waste to quickly biodegrade.Staying clean is VERY important, because the alternative is catching a nasty bacterial infection that may kill you, when in more peaceful and comfortable times, it may have just given you slightly irritating intestinal distress. The rest of the country will come around to this way of thinking in short order, and many people will come to you for the cleaning goods you stockpiled.

Specialty Items: There are many circumstances that are hard to predict, circumstances that could severely affect barter markets and what items come into demand. For example; a nuclear event, as is in progress in Japan, could just as easily strike the U.S. There are 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S., not to mention the threat of a small nuclear attack (or false flag). The market for goods such as potassium iodide pills and Geiger counters would explode (potassium iodide suppliers were inundated with orders from around the world after Fukushima). How many people do you know with a Geiger counter? I’m one of the few I know with one, and I know preppers across the country! In the wake of a fallout situation, knowing what is contaminated with radiation and what isn’t, knowing if it’s even safe to go outside, is imperative. Having an extra Geiger counter could help you barter your way into any number of goods.
A biological event might bring medical grade particulate masks to the top of people’s lists, as well as disinfectants and even hazmat suits. It’s an ugly thing to imagine, but for those who plan to engage in independent trade, it’s a likelihood that must be considered.

Top Priority Skills
Provided below is a brief list of skills which have served people well in various economic downturns, and will do the same for you in this country. Keep in mind that almost any skill that other people cannot do well has potential for trade, but some skills are more sought after than others. In my research, it is those people who are able to produce their own goods as well as effectively repair existing goods that have the greatest potential for survival in a barter market. Next, are those people who have specific abilities that are difficult to learn and who have the knack for teaching those abilities to others. If you do not have any of these skills, or perhaps only one, then it would be wise to begin learning at least one more now. Keep in mind that competition will very much exist in a barter economy, so knowing as many skills as possible increases your chances of success:
Mechanic, Engine Repair
Welding
Blacksmithing
Firearms Repair, Ammo Reloading
Construction
Architect, Home Reinforcement
Agriculture, Farming Expertise, Seed Saving, Animal Care
Bee Keeping
Doctor, Medical Assistant
Veterinarian
Well Construction, Water Table Expertise
Engineer, Community Planning, Manufacturing, Electrical
Firearms Proficiency, Security, Self Defense Planning
Martial Arts Training
Wild Foods Expert
Hunting
Chemist
Sewing, Textiles
Soap Making, Candle Making, Hygiene Products
Small Appliance Repair
Electronics Repair
HAM Radio Expert
Homeschooling, Tutoring
Again, there are definitely many more trades of value that could be learned. This list is only to help you on your way to self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship in an Alternative Market. Unfortunately, too many Americans have absolutely no skills worth bartering in a post collapse world.

Bringing Back The American Tradesman
Barter networking is a powerful tool for countering the effects of depression, hyperinflation, stagflation, globalization, and beyond. But, networks require that participants actually have necessary goods and services to trade. In only half a century or less, American culture has been sterilized of nearly all its private trade skills. We have lost our desire to produce, and have been relegated to the dregs of a retail nightmare society dependent entirely on consumption and debt. This is going to change, one way, or another.
We can change on our own, or we can wait until fear and desperation force us to make hard choices. I would rather forgo the desperation and the painful fall into the gutter. It makes little sense.
The bottom line is, if you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long, you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill. A limited few have the capital required to stockpile enough barter goods or gold and silver to live indefinitely. The American Tradesman must return in full force, not only for the sake of self-preservation, but also for the sake of our heritage at large. Without strong, independent, and self-sufficient people, this country will cease to be.

E.  Trading during an emergency
Know what you need and what’s available: During a “trade-day” gathering, take time to walk around to see what goods others are offering and their relative abundance.  Never make an impulsive buy.  Have a list of what you need for your group and what you may want for future barter as essential goods become more and more scarce.  The longer a crisis lasts, the more people will be bartering for the essentials of life, like food, replacement clothing, salt and sugar, etc.  Consider looking for worn-out items for low-cost that you can restore by repairing (a specific skill) and then resell at a higher price later.
•  On-Display: Don’t keep more than one or two items of a particular kind in view.  Let people make the assumption that there is a very limited quantity.  After selling a “rare” item, you can evaluate whether or not to let the buyer know you have “a few more” for sale.  Having just a few of a kind items for barter may make your “store” look bare, so be prepared to display other things even if you don’t think they will sell.  People are psychologically drawn to seller areas that seem well stocked with all types of goods.
•  Buying: Absent a controlling government for a means of correcting fraud or redressing a trade that was misrepresented the phrase “buyer beware” is even more important. Be very sure you have evaluated and examined all the goods before you accept the trade.  The top layer of a barrel of apples may be fine, but what is the condition of the bottom layer?
•  Contracts:  For high value or large volume exchanges or for situations where goods are to be delivered or picked up, be sure to prepare a short contract that spells out exactly what each party will receive and for what and when. As a minimum, describe the goods, their amount and condition and delivery or pickup date. Never throw way these contracts as they will be the only evidence of ownership you have. Try to ensure buyer-seller goods are exchanged at the same time. Don’t pay for goods and receive only a promise to deliver later unless you know and fully trust the person with who you are doing business.
•  3rd Party Exchanges:  Be on the lookout to buy goods that you know someone else wants. Keep note of what others are looking for that they can’t find.  Being able to acquire these goods and then bartering them for more than you bought them will increase your “goods-wealth”.
•  Beware Bait & Switch:  Don’t assume the goods you receive from behind the curtain or from under the table will be the same quality of the goods you see on display.  Provide payment only after you have examined the exact specific goods you will receive. Check expiration dates on canned and other packaged perishable goods.  Check for wear and damage on all goods.
•  Selling: Consider giving a good initial deal. Give good initial barter value to a new trader and he will return.  It’s also a means to start a good will word of mouth campaign as well as build a positive reputation.
•  First & Last  Offer:  Let the buyer be first to set a price.  They may be willing to give more than you expected.  If you don’t like the price, tell them how scarce and necessary the item is.  This will psychologically reinforce the buyers initial interest in the item.  A poker face is helpful.  If you have to make a first offer, make it higher than what you expect you can get but not unreasonable higher.  A counter-offer will probably be made by the potential buyer.  Options:
Add more goods for a sweetener or remove some to meet the needs of the buyer.  When a potential buyer exhibits an “I can do without it” attitude, you need to decide if you can live with a lower offer or just need to let them walk away.  Never leave a bartering situation with less than you arrived.
o Evaluation of goods by buyers:  Be sure to mention any major faults with your trade goods.  Allow potential buyers to evaluate the minor obvious deficiencies on their own.  If a piece of equipment does not work, say so.  Of course there is no need to tell a buyer about all the rust that they can see for themselves.  A non-functional piece of equipment might be very valuable to someone who needs replacement parts.

F.  Security
Make sure you leave adequate security back home when your group goes to trade days or you may find it stripped to the bone when you get back.
•  Assess trade day area threats: Remember, this is a time of crisis and there are bad and desperate people about. If trade day organizers do not provide perimeter and walk-about security, you need to evaluate how many of your group needs to be at your trade area and how many should move about together during shopping tasks.
•  There may be a need for everyone in your group to be carrying a visible sidearm in a holster to discourage theft and assault. But don’t act as a perceived threat to others.  Be hyper-aware of activities and people around you.  Do not go off with someone alone so they can “show you something”.
•  After making a deal: Once a bargain is made, be sure to quickly close the deal by making the actual exchange.  Take your new purchases back to your group’s area and keep them undercover and under guard.  Trade days will attract thieves.
•  Prevent post-trade day theft: Be on guard for people loitering around your barter area.  They may be “casing the joint”.  Keep all your trade goods inside your roped off trade area and establish a “no goods” zone of more than an arm’s length inside your rope barrier. Don’t be chatty about where you live or the number of people or conditions at your living area. Don’t wear your best clothes to trade days.  Be clean and neat and polite. Strike a balance between appearing not too needy and not to well-off.
•  Make your defense visible: During travel to and from trade days is the time to let your firearms be seen.  Thieves and “highwaymen” will prey upon the least aware and least defended.
•  Beware “Security” services: There may emerge in your area, groups that have only muscle and weapons who offer security services for “guarding” homes and travelers to and from trade days.  These same people may also be engaged in shake-downs, extortion and other scheme of intimidation.

G.  Price gouging
Congress Tells FTC to Define Price Gouging
May 6, 2006,  Washington Post Staff Writer, By Steven Mufson
“In a recent blog entry, Edward Lotterman, an economist who writes a column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, wrote that anyone trying to define price gouging should consider the following examples: “Paying $12 for two thin slices of cold greasy pizza and two small Cokes in an airport departure concourse; my neighbors selling a house for eight times what they had paid for it years ago; Twin Cities apartments renting for $150 more per month than a year ago; me charging $200 per hour as a consulting expert in a legal case when I get less than $50 per hour teaching at Metro State University.”
Traditionally, the FTC has played a key role in investigating price-fixing or manipulation, offenses that usually involve collusion between two or more players in a market who conspire to reduce competition so they can increase prices. There are many people who allege that major oil companies have engaged in such a plot by limiting output by oil refineries. Schmidt said the FTC was conducting “a very serious substantial investigation that is examining whether there has been unlawful gasoline price manipulation.”
But price gouging is something that usually involves one company or outlet taking advantage of temporary market conditions to charge an exorbitant price. As gasoline prices are going up by the day, many people think that’s what’s going on now.
In a competitive market, that wouldn’t be possible — at least not for long. Consumers would go to some other seller, demand for the price gouger would dry up and he would cut his prices.
Though the FTC has in the past avoided coming up with a definition for price gouging, many state governments and attorneys general have defined it. Usually the definitions are limited to pricing actions taken during emergencies or catastrophes, such as hurricanes. In Florida, the attorney general’s Web site explains that Florida law “compares the price of the commodity or service to the average price charged over the 30-day period prior to the declared state of emergency. If there is a ‘gross disparity’ between the prior price and the current charge then it is price gouging.”
But what’s a “gross disparity”? “Gross disparity would be determined by a jury of Floridians,” said Charlie Crist, Florida attorney general and a Republican candidate for governor. “I don’t think it would be too hard to give it some significant definition in the mind of a juror who would probably be very upset with someone trying to take advantage of a catastrophe.”

Exactly, what is price gouging?
Price gouging statutes seek to stem opportunistic behavior, which is designed to take advantage of an unforeseen opportunity to charge a monopoly price by threatening to withhold output. It is often defined as a 10 to 25 percent increase over prices during the month before an emergency. One state defines “unconscionable price” as an amount charged, which either represents a “gross disparity” or “grossly exceeds” the average price available for these items and services in the same area 30 days immediately before a declaration of a state of emergency.
The term is similar to profiteering but can be distinguished by being short-term and localized, and by a restriction to essentials such as food, clothing, shelter, medicine and equipment needed to preserve life, limb and property. In jurisdictions where there is no such crime, the term may still be used to pressure firms to refrain from such behavior.
The term is not in widespread use in mainstream economic theory, but is sometimes used to refer to practices of a coercive monopoly which raises prices above the market rate that would otherwise prevail in a competitive environment. Alternatively, it may refer to suppliers’ benefiting to excess from a short-term change in the demand curve.
In the United States, laws against price gouging have been held constitutional as a valid exercise of the police power to preserve order during an emergency, and may be combined with anti-hoarding measures. Exceptions are prescribed for price increases that can be justified in terms of increased cost of supply, transportation or storage.
As a criminal offense, Florida’s law is reasonably typical. Price gouging may be charged when a supplier of essential goods or services sharply raises the prices asked in anticipation of or during a civil emergency, or when it cancels or dishonors contracts in order to take advantage of an increase in prices related to such an emergency. The model case is a retailer who increases the price of existing stocks of milk and bread when a hurricane is imminent. It is a defense to show that the price increase mostly reflects increased costs, such as running an emergency generator, or hazard pay for workers.

The true value of higher prices during an emergency
•  A thought experiment: A massive pipe ruptures, tap water grows undrinkable, and consumers rush to buy bottled water from the only two vendors who sell it. Vendor A, not wanting to annoy the governor and attorney general, leaves the price of his water unchanged at 69 cents a bottle. Vendor B, who is more interested in doing business than truckling to politicians, more than quadruples his price to $2.99.
•  You don’t need an economics textbook to know what happens next.
•  Customers descend on Vendor A in droves, loading up on his 69-cent water. Within hours his entire stock has been cleaned out, and subsequent customers are turned away empty-handed. At Vendor B’s, on the other hand, sales of water are slower and there is a lot of grumbling about the high price. But even late-arriving customers are able to buy the water they need — and almost no one buys more than he truly needs.
•  When demand intensifies, prices rise. And as prices rise, suppliers work harder to meet demand. The same Globe story that reported yesterday on Coakley’s “price-gouging’’ statement reported as well on the lengths to which bottlers and retailers were going to get more water into customers’ hands. From <http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/05/04/whats_wrong_with_price_gouging/>

Signal value of rising prices during an emergency
•  Water 60c/bottle rises to 2.99/bottle. (400%)
•  Typical 10-30KW Generator rent rises for $45/day to $85/day in winter power outage. (88%)
•  Generators sales price climb from $500 to $900 in wake of Hurricane. (80%)
•  Sheets of plywood rise from $18 to $60 with the approach of a hurricane. (233%)

Rising prices don’t just serve as a rationing mechanism, they also serve as a signaling mechanism.  Rising prices for generators in Dade County send a signal that Dade County needs generators – and that there’s a hefty profit to be made in getting them there.  The $900 price tag thus serves as a signal for people to buy generators for $500 in North Carolina and bring them to where they’re needed.  As more people do this, the supply of generators in Florida moves closer to demand, the price of those generators moves down, and a new equilibrium is approximated.  The lesson: price gouging is not just a static event, it’s part of a larger dynamic market process.
When a hurricane is coming, all the plywood will still be sold, but for more. It isn’t really “above the market” however, because markets change, and the “market price” is naturally higher when demand increases, as it does before a storm. But all that plywood will still be sold in any case, and will be covering windows and protecting houses somewhere.
What the higher price does, though, is more than just put more money in the retailer’s account. It does something else that benefits us all. Higher prices allocate the plywood to better uses.

.
F.   Stockpiling vs hoarding
Hoarding vs. Stocking Up, by Deborah in the UP,
Pasted from: http://survivalweekly.com/?page_id=784
When the pioneers began their trek west, they took with them, supplies, food, clothing, animals.. All the things they felt they would need to make the journey. When they got where they felt was far enough, they stopped and set up shop. This was likely somewhere near a town, but not like we know it today. If they were 30 miles from town, (a trip that would take us 30 minutes) it would take them 2-3 days to get there, and the same getting back. Obviously, that trip wasn’t made very often, and certainly not for a loaf of bread or a quart of milk. That milk was gotten from the cow or goat, and bread was baked, from scratch, most often from a sourdough starter.
A food source was THE most important item on the schedule. Land needed to be cleared for a family garden and pasture fenced for the animals. That garden was all important, and meant life or death to the family. The woman’s role was very important for the homestead. While the man/husband/father toiled with the land, kept track of the animals and kept the family safe, a difficult job to say the least, the woman/wife/mother was expected to provide meals, the life sustaining essence. Where did those meals come from? The garden of course! And while the summer may have been bountiful, the winter could be very lean.. if the family/woman didn’t PREPARE. It was expected of the female to can (a different and difficult process back then), preserve, dry, smoke, salt, whatever process fit the food, just so it could be eaten during the time of lean. There needed to be a winter food source for the farm animals too.. or they would die.. The husband/father was the hunter, and the sons as they grew, but the kill needed to be extended as long as possible, by preserving the meat for later consumption. All of this needed to be done to get the family from one growing season to the next. A year. This was standard! This was normal! This is the way things were!
Granted, those trips to town were rare, but they were necessary for certain items: sugar, salt, bolts of cloth for clothing, maybe even new shoes for a growing child. Necessary too to bring barter items in, for exchange. Many times families did without, that was the way of life… but they made do! As long as they were fed, their world would go on. Having a good, healthy pantry full of food, was normal, desired, strived for, admired.
What has changed?

Today, if someone had a year’s worth of food, to get them from one growing season to the next, … they would be called crazy, hoarders, fringe… looked down upon, feared, ridiculed. … survivalists!! Today, those 30 mile trips to town are often made daily!
What has changed? Society perception.

Today, it isn’t the family garden that provides a secure food source, it’s the local grocery store! How dare we question the availability of the next shipment! Therefore we should all have only a week of food on hand… why? Otherwise we would be Hoarders!
From Wikipedia: Hoarding as a human behavior falls in to two main categories. One type of hoarding is triggered as a response to perceived or predicted shortages of specific goods. Hoarding behavior may be a common response to fear, whether fear of imminent society-wide danger or simple fear of a shortage of some good. Civil unrest or natural disaster may lead people to collect foodstuffs, water, gasoline, and other essentials which they believe, rightly or wrongly, will soon be in short supply.
Unlike hoarding immediately before or in the wake of a crisis, hoarding a resource while its supply is abundant can actually alleviate future shortages because those who stockpile in this manner will not contribute to future demand when supplies are reduced.
.

G.  Anti hoarding laws are vague and simple to implement
Pasted from: http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=122032.0
•  State Legislation’s Role in Anti-Hoarding
Most states have chosen to enact their own anti-hoarding laws. That means some states may not have such laws, others do and not all are uniform. However, uniformity of state law is something governors are striving for under the Interstate Compact Agreement. The Compact Agreements, much like Executive Orders for the president, really don’t require voters’ input. They are law if the legislature doesn’t object, much like Congress that has 30 days to object to an EO before it becomes law.
At times of “declared emergencies”, each governor cedes (gives over) authority of his/her state to the federal government. When a governor declares it for his state, he becomes the delegated representative of the federal government according to an Interstate Compact Agreement.
Bottom line, even though federal legislation does not directly address anti-hoarding, goods can be seized if national circumstances are felt to warrant it whether or not amounts stored are deemed excessive in your state’s eyes.

•  Hawaii As A Specific Example of Anti-Hoarding
For Hawaii, this information will be found in Title 10 under “Public Safety”. It is located after legislation on militias, state guard troops, etc. Then you find the jewel… In Hawaii you are considered a “hoarder” if you have more than one week’s provisions on hand BUT you have to dig to uncover this information. Here is a specific example:

“HAWAII REVISED STATUTES REVISED 1997, Title 10:
(1) Prevention of *hoarding, waste, etc. To the extent necessary to prevent hoarding, waste, or destruction of materials, supplies, commodities, accommodations, facilities, and services, to effectuate equitable distribution thereof, or to establish priorities therein as the public welfare may require, to investigate, and any other law to the contrary notwithstanding, to regulate or prohibit, by means of licensing, rationing, or otherwise, the storage, transportation, use, possession, maintenance, furnishing, sale, or distribution thereof, and any business or any transaction related thereto.”
In the actual Title document for Hawaii, you will not find the specifics for what length of time constitutes “hoarding” nor an amount. Instead, you must look at the committee notes which describes it as the opinion that one week’s supplies per person is considered adequate food provisions. It is not spelled out what those provisions shall consist of or how much is considered “adequate” until you get to the committee notes.
You will probably have to “dig” for the committee notes as well. Lynn Shaffer, our legislative interpreter, explains committee notes this way. “When the legislature agrees that a law or statute is needed to effect certain governmental goals to prohibit or encourage civilians to respond in a particular way, that statute has attached to it (you will see it printed in the law books) what is called “committee notes.” The courts, when making a determination of how the statute is to be interpreted and applied to the case before it, looks to “legislative intent” or what was recorded in the committee’s notes when the bill was meandering its way through the legislative process.”

•  OK, so If I ‘hoard’, then what?
Again using Hawaii’s Titles as an example, any items in excess of what legislation has deemed appropriate to store (in Hawaii’s case any amount over 1 week) is subject to forfeiture and may be confiscated, ordered destroyed or may be redistributed for public use. See exact text below:
“128-28 Forfeitures. The forfeiture of any property unlawfully possessed, pursuant to paragraph (2) of section 128-8, may be adjudged upon conviction of the offender found to be unlawfully in possession of the same, where no person other than the offender is entitled to notice and hearing with respect to the forfeiture, or the forfeiture may be enforced by an appropriate civil proceeding brought in the name of the State. The district courts and circuit courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction of the civil proceedings. Any property forfeited as provided in this section may be ordered destroyed, or may be ordered delivered for public use to such agency as shall be designated by the governor or the governor’s representative, or may be ordered sold, wholly or partially, for the account of the State. [L 1951, c 268, pt of 2; RL 1955, 359-25; HRS 128- 28; am imp L 1984, c 90, 1]“
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=122032.0

•  Where do Anti-Hoarding Laws come in?
These ideas of anti-hoarding legislation may have stemmed from two areas of confusion:
First is from Executive Orders in place dating back to 1939 which Clinton has grouped together under one order, EO #12919 released on June 6, 1994. The following EOs all fall under EO#12919:
10995–Federal seizure of all communications media in the US;
10997–Federal seizure of all-electric power, fuels, minerals, public and private;
10998–Federal seizure of all food supplies and resources, public and private and all farms and equipment;
10999–Federal seizure of all means of transportation, including cars, trucks, or vehicles of any kind and total control over all highways, seaports and water ways;
11000–Federal seizure of American people for work forces under federal supervision, including the splitting up of families if the government so desires;
11001–Federal seizure of all health, education and welfare facilities, both public and private;
11002–Empowers the Postmaster General to register every single person in the US
11003–Federal seizure of all airports and aircraft;
11004–Federal seizure of all housing and finances and authority to establish forced relocation. Authority to designate areas to be abandoned as “unsafe,” establish new locations for populations, relocate communities, build new housing with public funds;
11005–Seizure of all railroads, inland waterways and storage facilities, both public and private;
11051–Provides FEMA complete authorization to put above orders into effect in times of increased international tension of economic or financial crisis (FEMA will be in control in case of “National Emergency”).
(http://www.millennium-ark.net/News_Files/Exec.Orders/EOs.html)

What has changed? The world has changed. Where once it was expected for a family to provide for itself, now, if they do, it could be taken from them, legally…to provide for those who did not.

Public attitude regarding stockpiling vs hoarding
•  It’s not hoarding! Hoarding is taking more than your share when resources are scarce. In times of plenty, we STOCKPILE to minimize our need for resources when they ARE scarce… Remember – stockpile good, hoarding bad!
•  I agree with the term “stockpile” not hoarding.
•  We survivalists aren’t hoarding, we’re just food collectors. Myself I collect hard red winter wheat……… and a little bit of cocoa powder as well LOL
•  Hoarding is a word with big time negative connotations. Purchasing all the wheat in town during SHTF and charging 3x what you paid (if selling at all) would be hoarding but going to the local big box tomorrow and getting a hundred points of rice would not be hoarding.
•  Stockpiling the basics for your own use is “hoarding”, stockpiling so you can make absurd profits is known as “price gouging”, which is illegal in some states after the TSHTF has happened. In a TEOTWAWKI, price gouging could very well be punishable by facing a firing squad.
•  If I save all my money and put it in the bank is that hoarding or being frugal with my resources? If I invest in things that turn a profit down the road i.e. food stuffs, or commodities, wouldn’t that be considered a wise investment? Perception is always the determining factor.

1 Comment

Filed under __2. Social Issues

Your minimal emergency electric needs

(Survival Manual/Prepper articles / Your minimal emergency electric needs)

10 Things You Will Miss Most Without Electricity At Home
17 Jul 2013, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/preps/10-things-you-will-miss-most-without-electricity-at-home/#more-28882

electric light

 To go without electricity for a couple of hours is a bad enough experience for most. But imagine the horror if the power were to stay out for days, or weeks…

The resulting shock to today’s modern man (and woman) would not only be an emotional jolt, but could quickly turn into a life threatening reality for those who have not prepared for such an occurrence.

These ten things will be high on the list for most people; the things that will be missed the most based on the modern lifestyle of today’s generation…   In no particular order, food for thought, People will be forced to deal with the loss of use very quickly…

LIGHTS The most basic of luxury that electricity provides is our light at night, and even during the day. How long will your batteries last in your flashlights? Then what?

CELL PHONES Most of today’s communications revolve around our cell phones / smart phones. They are the lifeblood of our social networks and the primary means of communicating with our family and friends. How will you cope without that ability?

INTERNET AND COMPUTER This category should almost go without saying… it is probably the most relied upon resource in our modern lives today. It is crucial to our communications, our finances, and our entertainment. Many people won’t know what to do without it.

TELEVISION The typical adult watches 4 hours of television per day while the typical child watches 6 hours of television per day including their video-games. It will be a shock to the system without this distraction.

iPODS, STEREO, MUSIC I mention this category due to the observation of so many people walking around with ear-buds attached to their iPod devices while listening to their music. There will be no recharging these little entertainment devices. Like television, music is a major part of the background (and foreground) entertainment for many people.

AIR CONDITIONING, FANS, AND HEAT Many modern buildings will be uninhabitable without it, due to their HVAC design and necessity. We have lived for many decades with the convenience of air-conditioning, and being without it will be a shock. If electricity were to fail in the winter, there will be even more grave consequences.

REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER This sole appliance is in its own category due to the important role it serves in keeping your food fresh longer and keeping you supplied with food for a time. Your frozen foods will be thawed within 24 hours and will need to be consumed immediately or tossed out. Then what?

KITCHEN APPLIANCES How will you handle first thing in the morning without a cup of coffee brewed in your electric coffee pot? Think about ALL of your kitchen appliances that run on electricity and how you would manage without them. No dishwasher?

STOVE, OVEN AND MICROWAVE The majority of people rely on an electric stove, oven or microwave for cooking their food. Let that sink in a moment…

CLOTHES WASHER AND DRYER Keeping our clothes clean is something that we completely take for granted. It would not take long for this situation to become unhealthy.

 Observations and considerations… Some of the categories listed above are really subsets of “Entertainment”. Although entertainment is not part of the survival basics (water, food, shelter, etc.,) it WILL be a major emotional factor for many people. It is a category that most people rely on for daily distraction. When things go “quiet”, it will be jarring for most who have become accustomed to the constant noise of this distraction. They will be forced to deal with the reality of their own life, and may not know what to do. It could result in a rapid escalation of chaos, particularly in densely populated areas as tempers flare while people are forced to deal not only with the loss of the distraction, but they will be forced to deal with survival itself.

Communications. My observations of the world we live in today reveal that many people, if not most, always seem to be on a cell phone talking with someone else… everywhere they go. In the car, in the store, at home, on the street, at work… It seems to reflect an insecurity of sorts. The need to be in constant contact with their circle of friends. Without this emotional outlet or constant communication, these people will have a very difficult time coping. Even if cell towers are up for awhile during a power outage, once your cell phone battery drains, that’s it… Silence.

Kitchen. You better start thinking about how you’ll manage without these electrical appliances. Do you have the ability to prepare food? Do you have food that doesn’t require much or any preparation? Think of a power outage in various time periods. While it’s pretty easy to survive a few hours or even a day or two, use your noggin and consider being without electricity for longer. Seriously… how will you survive without it?

I haven’t’ mentioned WATER until now… While this resource is number one for survival, during short term power outages you will not lose your water pressure. This will only become a critical issue if electricity is lost for a significant period of time. All water municipalities have power generators for their pumps, and so long as they can get fuel, they can keep the pumps running. A severe enough disaster however could throw a wrench in the works… use your imagination. This is similar for sewage treatment.

Hopefully these thoughts have given you something to think about. If you are inclined to become better prepared for such things, spend a day keeping track of everything that you do and see how many of those activities involve the requirement of electricity. Then imagine life without it. Figure out how you would survive without it.

.

B.  Batteries: How to store them, Myths and Facts
22 July 2013, by Great Northern Prepper.com
Pasted from: http://www.greatnorthernprepper.com/batterry-storage-battery-myths-facts-nicad-vs-nimh-vs-lithium-ion/

Today I want to talk about some myths and facts about storing batteries, how to do it properly so that the batteries you have in your preps will last as long as possible.
First thing is first, before we talk about myths, facts and storage you need to treat your batteries just like your food preps, rotation is the key.  Just like food you need to continually use these batteries in the FIFO (First In First Out) Method, that is use the older batteries first and replace them with newer batteries etc., etc.

What are differences in Batteries?
 Alkaline:  These are the “standard” batteries that we are familiar with, the one time use disposables, however some can be recharged (however this can be chaotic in its results).

NiCad:  Using nickel oxide hydroxide and cadmium, these are rechargeable but newer technologies have made this battery nearly obsolete, however some devices cannot use newer batteries

Nominal Cell Voltage: 1.2v
Cycle durability: 2000 cycles
Charge/Discharge efficiency: 70-90%
Self Discharge rate: 10% per month

 NiMH:  Using Nickel metal Hydride, this battery is similar to the NiCad batter however it offers higher energy density than NiCad, which gives it roughly twice the capacity of the NiCad.  NiCad’s also suffer from what is called “memory” that is the battery will lose capacity when the batteries are recharged after only being partially discharged.  NiMH can also suffer from this but not as sever as NiCad.

  electric eneloopLithium Ion: these batteries produce the same power as NiMH but weigh 20-35% less, they also do NOT suffer from the Memory effect at all.

Nominal Cell Voltage: 3.6/3.7v
Cycle durability: 400-1200 cycles
Charge/Discharge efficiency: 80-90%
Self Discharge rate: 8% @ 69.8 degrees, 15% @ 104 degrees,  31% @ 140 degrees

 Personally I prefer the Sanyo Eneloop NiMH since they seem to have proven to me and through other reviews and studies to be one of the best rechargeables out there.  They are a Low discharge battery that means they lose their charge at a extremely low rate (holding roughly 90% of their power if stored properly).  The Eneloops also charge close to their rate capacities (around 1970mAh – 2000mAh).  Although they are more expensive upfront they last longer and overall are cheaper

electric chargerHowever I would recommend the Power Ex MH-C9000 Wizard One charger which is a “Smart Charger” which analyzes the batteries discharge rate and charges them accordingly to make sure the battery doesn’t suffer from the “memory effect”  these can easily be used with a small solar charger and inverter.

Regardless of what battery charger you get, make sure its a “smart” charger and the maximum charge rate shouldn’t exceed 1/3 the rated capacity of the battery, in the case of the Eneloop (2000mAh) this rate should be 700mAh.  If you can set the chargers discharge rate set it at 100mAh.

STORING BATTERIES:
MYTH: Storing batteries on concrete will “suck” the energy out of it, i.e. it will discharge its stored energy and die.
In the past car batteries were glass jars stored in a wooden case, the moisture on the floor would swell the wood and fracture the glass, so this was true.  Later as plastic cases were used the plastic was still porous and allowed electrical current to conduct through the container to the moist concrete, so thus this was still true.  Today car batteries use a polypropylene which is highly isolative and are not subject to this.  In the end, todays batteries are fine to be stored on concrete, but will still discharge regard of where they are stored, so rotation and use is still the rule of today.

FACT: Storing them in a Freezer/Fridge will make them last longer.
Well this is a mixed message, while energizer and other manufacturers say “not to”, reviews and test show this to be untrue.  Colder temps slow the discharge rate but with Alkaline batteries it is a slightly reduced rate, not really worth the time and space used.  NIMH batteries can see a useful bump in their capacity retention, but with the advent of Low Discharge NIMH batteries it is unneeded.  If YOU DO freeze them make sure you allow them to warm to room temperature before you use it.

electric battery storage

Whats the best way to Store them?
Store your batteries around 59 degrees in a dry area, guess what else you store in a cool dry place– your food preps, so just store your batteries in the same area as them.  It is recommended that every 6 months you discharge them fully and recharge them fully (for NIMH low discharge batteries).

For Lithium Ion Batteries store at room temperature in a dry place and charge to about 20-50%, and charge them about once a year to prevent overdischarge.

Store NiCad at room temperature in a dry location and charge at least once per year to prevent leakage and deterioration of performance.

I keep around 50 NIMH Eneloop AA and around 15 Eneloop AAA batteries, which I rotate through, all year as needed.  I also have some rechargeable D, C and 9 volt batteries as well for batteries and other applications, however I have yet to purchase any solar panels, it is high on my list, but the budget is the budget.  I also keep about 3-4 of those Costco packs of Batteries in the house for use as well.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Whur ma EBT?

(News & Editorial/ Whur ma EBT?)

A.  The coming EBT riots: What will happen when government entitlements stop?
18 Nov 2012, Natural News, by Mike Adams
Pasted from: http://www.infowars.com/the-coming-ebt-riots-what-will-happen-when-government-entitlements-stop/

ebt1(NaturalNews) EBT cards are modern-day food stamps, except they’re electronic. In essence, they are government-issued debit cards that allow recipients to spend taxpayer money for their own groceries. But EBT cards aren’t merely good on food staples like beans and rice, they can be spent on processed junk food that promotes diabetes and obesity. That’s the “dirty little secret” of the EBT scheme: It encourages low-income Americans to become high-profit customers of the pharmaceutical industry by eating their way to obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

That’s why the food industry loves EBT cards, too: Most EBT users are low-education consumers who understand virtually nothing about nutrition. They tend to buy the most nutritionally-depleted processed foods available, and that equates to high-profit foods for the processed food industry. (The highest-profit foods are the ones with the least nutrition, it turns out.)

EBT stands for “Electronic Benefit Transfer,” and it means transferring money from the pockets of working taxpayers into the hands of those who, for one reason or another, are either not working at all or are living below the poverty requirements set by the government. This transference is done at gunpoint, essentially, through the enforcement of federal tax collection. EBT benefits have more than doubled during the Obama administration’s last four years, creating tens of millions of new dependents who now vote based almost entirely on who gives them the most handouts.

The purchase of vitamins is specifically prohibited by the EBT program. This is done as a way to keep EBT recipients sick and diseased while suffering from nutritional deficiencies, which is precisely what the federal government wants.

EBT cards are also a form of corporate welfare.

EBT cards create high-profit handouts to corporations, too: Pharmaceutical companies and the sick-care industry; Big Government which gets re-elected based on entitlement handouts; global banks which earn a percentage off every swipe; and even the processed junk food industry which preys upon nutritional ignorance of the poor.

In fact, for every dollar’s worth of food handed out to EBT recipients under the program, at least 50 cents is driven right into the profit coffers of wealthy corporations. That’s why EBT programs are allowed to exist: Not because they benefit the poor, but because they benefit the rich! Do you have any idea how much profit there is in a package of Oreo cookies?

The “EBT culture” of dependence, poverty and ignorance is perhaps best shown in the now-famous YouTube music video “My EBT”. There, a rapper brags about how he’s using taxpayer money to buy Oreos, chips, sandwiches, breakfast cereals, McDonald’s food and more. He sings about how he wishes he could use it to buy weed.

YouTubeMy EBT YouTube video

This article, however, isn’t about how welfare creates long-term dependence and poverty while destroying the dignity of many who come to depend on it. Rather, it’s about what’s going to happen when the EBT card system goes down and stays down.

EBT food stamp systems goes down for hours across multiple states
Yesterday [18 Nov 2012], the EBT card system, which is managed by JP Morgan Chase, suffered a six-hour outage across ten states.

Wal-Mart, one of the favorite destinations of EBT card users, proceeded to run transactions manually and then batched them into the JP Morgan Chase processing system once the system came back online. But elsewhere, stores were met with growing frustration from EBT card holders who were angry that their government money cards suddenly stopped working.
In this case, the EBT outage only lasted less than one day. But given that they are tied into a globalist bank which looks almost certain to fail once the global debt collapse unfolds, the question of the day is this: What’s going to happen when the bank running all the EBT transactions goes belly up?

What happens when the free EBT money stops?
Remember how Obama supporters threatened to riot in the streets if Romney won the recent presidential election? There’s a huge class of Americans who have become so dependent on the system of government handouts that they have no ability to survive any other way. These people will riot when the free money is cut off.

As Ron Paul explained in his recent farewell speech, the entitlements must sooner or later come to an end:
The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.
Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.

ebt2

EBT card users are almost universally incapable of understanding the complex economics Ron Paul is describing. All they understand is that their next meal comes from a piece of plastic that “counts as money” at the local corner store. They do not grasp the long-term vulnerability of that system and how it is tied into a global debt scheme whose days are numbered. Furthermore, EBT card users almost universally have no backup plan. They live meal by meal, with no financial safety net, no financial planning, and absolutely zero savings. In fact, having any real savings disqualifies you from receiving an EBT card, which is another way that Big Government actually encourages financial dependence among EBT card recipients.

The EBT false flag riots
Why is all this important to understand? Because on the day the EBT cards are shut off, there will be mass riots of EBT card recipients who are suddenly thrust into an emergency.

In fact, shutting off the EBT cards is actually one way to initiate a false flag event in America. It works like this:
1)  Purposely shut off all EBT cards. (Takes just two seconds at JP Morgan.)
2)  Blame it on a cyber terrorist attack and use the crisis to institute harsh new police state controls over the Internet. (“Never let a good crisis go to waste…”)
3)  Allow the “EBT riots” to unfold. Keep the National Guard away for long enough to let things get out of control and have scary footage broadcast on the evening news.
4)  Once things are bad enough, announce Martial Law and bring in the troops to turn America’s streets into a Nazi-style police state surveillance and enforcement system, complete with TSA-run checkpoints on all major roads.

What’s required to make this happen? Nothing more than turning off the EBT cards for 72 hours. That’s it! It’s just a single change to a single line of code at JP Morgan Chase, and it’s mission accomplished for the globalists.

Yesterday’s EBT outage, in fact, may have been a practice run for the real thing. When the globalists want riots to unfold, they now have the tool to make it happen.

Long term: All entitlements will be cut off or made worthless through currency debasement
The question of disappearing entitlements isn’t just an EBT card issue, by the way. The coming financial collapse of the U.S. government will end all entitlements, including social security, Medicare and federal workers’ retirement pension payments.

That’s the real kicker in all this: In a society where 50% or so are now largely dependent on the federal government for their very survival, the fact that the government is headed into a multi-trillion-dollar debt blowout should raise red alerts everywhere.
Obama has put the USA on a collision course with a debt implosion, adding more to the U.S. debt in the last four years than all the Presidents in the history of America — combined! And with government spending continuing to expand beyond all sanity, there is no stopping the coming debt blowout.

Consider the following U.S. national debt chart: ebt natl debt

As you can see from the chart, we are now in a hyperbolic final blowout of debt that can only lead to a total economic implosion. Over the next four years, this chart will get even more insane as Obama spends trillions of dollars of money we don’t have, further accelerating America’s head-on collision with the financial apocalypse.

When that happens, all federal benefits immediately cease. If you thought the idea of tens of millions of angry EBT debt card users was bad, just consider what happens when all the former federal employees don’t get their pension funds anymore. Or if social security checks are eroded down to the point where they are essentially worthless. That’s when you’re going to see real social unrest across America, and that day is a finite number of weeks away. It will arrive as sure as the sun comes up, and when it does arrive, there’s going to be unprecedented chaos in the streets as all the suckers who lived their lives dependent on the federal government suddenly come to find out the whole thing was a Ponzi scheme.

Yep: A Ponzi scheme. The U.S. government is running the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of the world, and just like every Ponzi scheme that has ever existed, it will sooner or later collapse. When that day comes, you will want to make sure you have stored food, water, silver coins, ammo, emergency medicine and all the usual preparedness supplies.

And be prepared to defend your supplies from those who refused to prepare. Because if there’s one thing that EBT cards have taught tens of millions of America, it’s that “YOUR stuff belongs to THEM!”

ebt cost

[As long as the food stamp subsidies continue, be sure to flaunt the fact that you are living off the back of other's labor, taking money from their pockets via government taxation and redistribution. Flaunt your largess loudly and proudly, because when the presses cease to function, either from an EMP or collapse of the currency, there will occur a great rebalance; come that day, a lots of folks might just smile at you and turn away. Until then however, you might find examples from the following article, beneficial to promoting your social style.       :-)      Mr. Larry]

.

.B.  How to Make People Hate You When You Use Food Stamps (EBT Card)
2012, by Sunnyglitter
Pasted from: http://sunnyglitter.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Make-People-Hate-You-When-You-Use-Food-Stamps-EBT-Card

There’s Nothing Wrong With Receiving Public Assistance. Are you embarrassed about having an EBT card in your wallet? You shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, even in this rough economy, there is still a bit of a stigma attached to receiving food stamps. How do I know this? I spent 2 years as a cashier at a local supermarket, and I have been (gasp!) a food stamp recipient myself. I’m notorious for being passive-aggressive, so I’m going to help you score a few extra dirty looks the next time you’re grocery shopping with your EBT card.

Ignore the haters, and enjoy shopping with your EBT Card.

  • Dress for the occasion. Who says you have to look like a bum just because you’re receiving government assistance? Dress classy, dress trashy…dress however you want, as long as it looks like it didn’t come from Goodwill. Don’t forget to accessorize, preferably with some REAL bling-gold, silver (or better yet, platinum), and diamonds are where its at, baby
  • It’s a common stereotype that people have a bunch of babies for the sole purpose of continuing to receive benefits. Don’t let the judgmental folks down; bring as many kids as you can with you! If you don’t have children, borrow some. Feel free to bribe them; candy bars are EBT-approved!
  • Ramen Noodles are for poor people, so don’t even think about putting that crap in your cart! Load up on shrimp, lobster, steak, fancy-looking birthday cakes, and organic items. Also, it’s okay to purchase large amounts of junk food; the cashiers (and the nosy customers in line behind you) want to know that their tax dollars are being well spent. Grab a few bags of Spicy Hot Cheetos and a case or two of Pepsi. Don’t forget the Oreos
  • After you’ve selected everything that you want/need, it’s time to have a little fun. Start selecting items that are not eligible to be purchased with food stamps; “hot” foods such as the roasted chicken from the deli or a cup of cappuccino (which you should be drinking when you reach the register to pay) from the coffee bar. Make your way towards the household items, and load up on paper towels, toilet paper, and feminine products. Bonus points for selecting your favorite wine and a pack of cigarettes!
  • Walk slowly towards the checkout; you don’t want to overexert yourself by pushing such a heavy cart! Set a few items on the conveyor belt, and then stop to answer your cell phone (it better be a Blackberry, iPhone, or Sidekick). Ignore the dirty looks from the cashier and other customers. Who do they think they are, the Line Police? They can wait.
  • Ask the cashier what they are doing this weekend. If they say they will be working (and 99% of the time, that’s the response you will get; cashiers are rarely lucky enough to score a Monday through Friday, 8a.m.-5p.m. schedule), act horrified. Announce that you are having THE party of the year, and were hoping they could make it. Sigh loudly and exclaim that you are soooooo happy that you don’t have a job.
  • Act completely shocked when the cashier informs you that toilet paper and alcohol are not eligible for food stamp purchases. Stomp your feet, throw a hissy fit, and scream that you’re sick of people disrespecting you just because you’re on EBT. Insist that the LAST time you went grocery shopping, your items were all approved. Demand to see a manager. When the manager arrives, ignore him while you answer your phone again.
  • When the cashier asks if you have any coupons, laugh loudly and say, “Girl, please! I’m on EBT…everything in my basket is already free!”. Make sure she notices your Coach bag.
  • Encourage the cashier to hurry up and finish your transaction. Inform her that you are getting your hair and nails done, and CANNOT be late. Moan that your French tips are looking all raggedy, even though you just got them done last week
  • Ask if a bagger can help you carry your groceries to the car. Explain that you’ve had a busy day of lounging by the pool and watching Maury. Be sure to whine that your new Jimmy Choos are KILLING your feet.
  • When the cashier attempts to hand you your receipt and thank you for your purchase, make sure you’re too busy yapping on your phone to notice. Loudly scream to all of the children you brought that it’s time to go. Breathe a sigh of relief when you remember that you bought plenty of frozen dinners; the grocery store wears you out. You are WAY too tired to cook tonight.

ebt free for all

 

ebt aftermath

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

What the ongoing economic crisis means vs. the little we’re told

(News & Editorial/ What the ongoing economic crisis  means vs. the little we’re told)

What the Economic Crisis Really Means (animation)
2 September 2012, The Automatic Earth
Pasted from: http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/what-the-economic-crisis-really-means-animation.html

We’re proud to present a great little [12 minute] animation video by our Theo Kitchener from Australia.

YouTube.

Text from the video:

“We were told that the global financial crisis of 2008 happened because irresponsible borrowers couldn’t afford to pay back their loans. This is true, but it was also part of a much deeper problem. The issue is that our economic system is based on the need for continuous, perpetual growth. It’s highly likely that we’re already in the beginnings of something much worse than a depression, even if bankers and governments won’t admit it yet.

Fortunately, we don’t need to hear it from them. We can tell that something is going on, we have the internet and we can share information amongst ourselves. And thankfully, if we try hard enough, we could just end up with something much, much better than what we have now. I’m no expert, however I am someone who’s done several years of reading on these topics and I really want everyone else to know what’s going on, and understand the risks and the opportunities. It’s only fair.

bankruptsy gaugeSo let’s look at how our banking system really works. It’s commonly believed that banks lend out money that they already have from invested savings. That would’ve encouraged a fairly stable system of banking. Instead, we have what’s called a fractional reserve banking system. This means that banks can loan out almost all the money that gets deposited with them. For example, when you put $100 in one bank, they lend $90 of it to someone else, who then puts that $90 in their bank.

Now there’s $190 where there used to be $100. That $90 lent out will also be deposited and $81 lent again. In this way, money ends up being multiplied between ten and a hundred times. Sounds crazy right? Less than 1% of the money in the economy is actual notes and coins, the rest are just numbers on computers, created as debt. This system rapidly increases the amount of money in the economy, which fuels economic growth, allowing most of us the ability to pay back our debts with interest. But only so long as the economy keeps on growing.

One reason it won’t is that ever since the Industrial Revolution, economic growth has been largely dependent on cheap fossil fuel supplies, which are now dwindling. When we first started drilling for oil, it was easy to find. It just spurted up out of the ground. We’ve only been drilling intensively for about 150 years, and oil is no longer easy to find. Now, we drill down crazy deep through earth and ocean using expensive and risky technology. It used to cost one barrel of oil to get about 100 barrels of oil out of the ground. These days one barrel only gets us 10 barrels back, and declining. And that means it’s not cheap anymore.

The truth is, we’re living on a planet that has finite resources. We’ve always opted to extract the easiest resources first, while using more and more each year. Eventually the use of these finite resources has to peak and then decline as their extraction gets harder and more expensive. And according to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, the global peak happened in 2008. Now, this doesn’t mean we’re running out of oil, it just means we’re running out of cheap oil.

When I first heard about this I thought, at least oil is mainly just used to drive around. But no, beyond personal transportation, there’s transportation of the food supply and all our other consumer goods, we run all our farm machinery on oil and make our pesticides out of oil. Oil is also a critical ingredient in plastics, pharmaceuticals, asphalt, paints, tyres and even toothpaste. In fact, oil is involved in pretty much all of the goods that we use in our everyday life.

Plus it’s not only oil that’s peaked. Natural gas, high grade uranium, many rare earth minerals, phosphorus and many other important resources have peaked as well. We’re trying to grow beyond the planet’s resource limits. So not only have we damaged the environment so much that we now get hit more frequently by more intense natural disasters, we’ve also used up most of the non-renewable resources that have been allowing us to live in this high-tech world. It’s as if we’re burning the walls of our house to keep ourselves warm. It can’t continue forever.

Anyway, quite apart from peak oil, we seem to be due for a global depression just because of the debt buildup. If you add up all the debts in the world it’s roughly a hundred and fifty trillion dollars. You’d think it has to balance out somehow, that surely some countries are lending to other countries. But no, it’s money everyone owes to the banks and their investors. The problem is, this is the world, we’re not about to get bailed out by aliens.

Up until now the way banks have been lending more and more money has pushed up prices of assets like houses and stocks. This was possible because in a growing economy, debts could be paid back. But when debts finally build to an unmanageable point, as they did before the great depression, asset prices can and do go down. Because banks are overextended, they lend less, and because individuals, businesses and countries are also overextended, defaults become more frequent. Both defaults and reduced lending decrease the amount of money in the economy, which means less money chasing the same goods and assets. This leads to a fall in asset prices, called deflation and means that house prices will eventually go back down to what’s reasonable and affordable. So if you have a mortgage, beware that you could end up with more debt than your house is worth.

  This deflationary spiral also means high unemployment, high prices for necessities and hard times. That’s what happened during the great depression, and it’s what’s going on now. Only this time round the depression will be even more severe because we’ve never lived in such a globalized world before, and it will be a permanent decline because of peak oil. The global financial crisis was only the beginning. Since then much of the world’s middle class have been struggling just to keep up with their food, fuel, bills and mortgage or rent payments and things can only get worse.

So what can we do? In a deflationary scenario, the money from bailouts and money printing mostly goes straight into paying down debts, which is why our economies have only barely recovered since 2008. Mostly governments, big business and the media are avoiding these issues and trying to keep the status quo alive a little bit longer. Which will only end up making the crunch harder in the long run. As things get worse, governments are likely to prioritize saving themselves, for example by raising taxes and cutting spending rather than helping us out. There isn’t actually any positive strategy they could use to save us that’s also in keeping with their own interests and systems, otherwise they would have done it by now. This complex system has grown to its limit, and it’s now in decline, slowly dismantling itself, piece by piece, delayed only slightly along the way by government intervention.

Fortunately, I’ve learnt, it’s going to be somewhat ok that our systems just dismantle themselves, because there are millions of people around the world busy at work on much better systems we can replace them with. The modern industrial world hasn’t really given us happiness. It hasn’t even eliminated poverty. Most of us have been working way too hard, and for what? To finally exhaust the planet and suffer for it? Why not try having energy security through lower energy use, feeling proud of feeding ourselves and making the things we need, switching our priorities from independence to interdependence. These are changes we can make regardless of whether our governments want to help or not. A grassroots movement has already gotten started, and being a part of this has already made me way happier and better off than I ever was engaging with the system.

There are other alternatives beyond capitalism, and I’m not talking about communism either. Both presume an industrial system, which is no longer feasible or desirable. In a world with less resources and less money, year after year, if we do nothing we’ll end up with terrible living conditions, constant conflict and potentially a new wave of fascism and no one wants that. The positive option is that we just learn to get along with each other and look after the earth again. We can work together to build new infrastructures that can support meaningful work and dignified lives. We can choose to work much shorter hours, eat much healthier food, growing most of it ourselves and spend a lot more of our time with our families and friends.

I’m not talking about going back to the stone age. People have been working on cool new ways to live without an industrial economy for well over 40 years now. For example, permaculture is a system of doing much more with much less energy, and in particular intensively and organically growing food. Appropriate technologies have been developed to meet human needs like heating and cooling in highly energy efficient ways. Local currencies that are more equitable and stable are being designed and tested around the world.

Transition Town groups are building community and leading preparatory efforts to relocalize. Distributed manufacturing is about producing what we need, close to home with nifty technologies like 3d printers. There are even groups working on peer to peer versions of the internet that we can get up quickly if the internet happens to go down. I just wanted to point out this small set of examples because every time I worry about some particular challenge, I look it up and there’s a group of people who’ve set themselves to figuring out a positive and feasible way through it. Working together/ we can create a better world, here and now.

instabilityReally, my hope is that as the system continues to fall apart, those of us who find out what’s going on, prepare ourselves and start whatever local projects and enterprises to prepare our communities that we can. So that as conditions worsen, we can build community and share ways of growing food and simple sustainable technologies and plenty more that people will be very interested in during a time of great financial hardship.

Major economic downturns throughout history have not been happy times, and this one is set to be bigger than ever before. There are real possibilities of austerity leading to exploitation, a rise of fascism, and world war three. The fact that this time round some of us are aware of what’s going on and are preparing for the crash, as well as the degree of free communication the internet affords us are the main things we have going for us. Mostly I feel scared to death about it all. We all have basic human needs for security and safety, and if we’re lucky for happiness and fulfillment as well.

This is happening to all of us, and we all have the ability to make choices as to how we handle the future. So I’m asking you, please, even if this seems outside the realm of possibility, at least do some research, check it out for yourself. You can decide what kind of future you want and start taking steps to make it happen. The more of us who start now, the more likely this transition is to be peaceful and just, and perhaps even exciting and promising. In the meantime, if you appreciate what you’ve seen and heard here, please send this animation on to your family and friends. The more people who know about this, the better off we will all be.”

For more, see the web site:  doingitourselves.org

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial