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Long term power outage

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Long term power outage)

(The power’s out! At minimum, the regional grid is down.
Now what? What chain of events could happen?

 Engineers used to talk about guarding against the “single point of failure” when designing critical systems like aircraft control systems or nuclear power plants. But rarely does a single mistake or event result in a catastrophe. As we’ve seen from the March 2011 Japanese earthquake-tsunami-nuclear power plant events, disaster is usually a function of multiple mistakes and a string of bad luck, often called an ‘event cascade [1]’.
Many of the scenarios discussed in the DISASTER section of Survival Manual could result in a power outage of indeterminate length. In a disaster situation, watch for an event cascade to rapidly envelope regions–the effects would be initially seen in food and/or water shortages, there will be broad public
fear, regions of inhospitable climatic exposure, hardship and disease might follow in the mid-term.

The following paragraphs describe the impact of a major long-term electrical power outage:

A.  Main Street Infrastructure
1.  Homes
_
Water: Individuals can only survive for three or four days without access to clean drinking water.

  • Without electricity to power the city water pumps and water purification plants, many individuals may lose access to clean drinking water. Lack of clean drinking water may become a critical issue during an  extended power blackout lasting weeks and months.
  • Some large cities use lakes and reservoirs to hold drinking water supplies at elevated heights.  These systems will be fairly resistant to extended power outages. (In New York City, approximately 95% of the total water supply is delivered to the consumer by gravity. Only about  5% of the water is regularly pumped to maintain the desired pressure.)
  • Cities that use large water pumps, water treatment plants, elevated water tanks or reservoirs located below the city’s elevation may be vulnerable to extended power outages. During an electrical blackout, the pump stations that pull, move and elevate water and the water treatment plants that filter and purify the water may become inoperative due to loss of electricity. But some water plants have standby engine-generators installed to provide emergency power.
  • Many rural homes use well water or spring water. They may be severely affected unless they have portable electrical generators to power their well pumps.
  • The Northeast Blackout of 14 August 2003 (not triggered by a solar storm) affected 50 million people in Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Ontario, Canada. Many areas lost water pressure causing potential contamination of city water supplies. Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan issued boil water orders affecting approximately 8 million people during this crisis.

_ Sewage: City waste treatment facilities depend upon electricity for operations.

  • If waste treatment facilities become inoperative due to a loss of electricity, then the untreated waste stream can either flow into rivers, streams or lakes or back up into homes and businesses. If raw sewage is allowed to overflow, it can contaminate important potential drinking water supplies.
  • Newer communities have mandated installation of check valves in sewer lines to prevent sewage from backing up into homes. But in older communities before these standards were adopted, the waste can back up into homes turning basements into cesspool.
  • Some waste treatment plants may overcome the loss of electricity and stay in operation during an extended power outage. For example, the waste treatment plant serving Akron, Ohio in the 1960’s was designed to capture and store the methane released as a byproduct of the treatment process. This methane was then used to fuel electrical power generators that powered the treatment plant and large furnaces that were used to burn the solid waste during the final phase of waste processing.
    The methane capture process provided approximately 60% of the plants fuel needs. These systems are more robust and may provide continuous operations during this type of crisis. Other waste treatment plants may have standby engine-generators installed to provide emergency power.
  • Without water, human waste cannot be flushed down the toilet. The stench from unflushed toilets may become overpowering and force people from their homes.
  • In rural communities, many individuals have septic tank systems. These are natural self-contained waste treatment systems that require no electricity for operation. These units should operate normally during a power blackout provided individuals haul water and manually flush toilets using buckets of water.
  • During the Northeast Blackout of 14 August 2003, Cleveland, Ohio; Kingston, Ontario and New York experienced major sewage spills into waterways.

_ Refrigeration: Without electricity most freezers and refrigerators will no longer operate. Food in freezers will begin to thaw out after a day or two and this food will quickly spoil. For an average family, this can be a fairly significant monetary loss.

_ Lighting: Rooms without natural lighting (windows and skylights) will be dark during the day. At night the entire house will be as dark as a cave. This will limit functionality of several rooms within the home.

_ Heating: Most furnaces (electric, gas and fuel oil) will be inoperative during an electrical power outage. Gas and fuel oil furnaces will not work because electronic ignition systems, thermostats and blower motors all require electricity for operations. In the winter, the lack of heat can make it difficult to stay warm and to keep sufficient heat within the house to prevent water pipes from freezing.

_ Cooling: Most air conditioners require electrical power to operate. In the hot humid summer, the lack of air conditioning and fans can make it difficult to stay cool and to exhaust the humidity from the house.

_ Cooking: Most ranges and ovens will be inoperative during an electrical power outage. This includes many gas ranges. Most new gas ranges currently available employ one of 3 basic gas ignition systems; pilot ignition, hot surface ignition system, or a spark ignition system. All three systems require electricity for operations. Without ranges and ovens, cooking meals and boiling water due to boil water orders and advisories will be difficult.

2.  Transportation

  • Automobiles, buses and trucking will be significantly affected by an extended electrical power outage. Stop lights will stop functioning. At major intersections the loss of stop lights will lead to major gridlock. Lack of street lights will produce darkened roadways and intersections.
    Gasoline pumps in service stations are driven by electricity.
  • Without electrical power, gasoline and diesel fuel will not be available to motorist and truckers. Generally the majority of service stations do not have emergency generators.
  • Airlines can be significantly affected by an extended major electrical power outage compounded by other solar storm effects. Without their navigational radars, no flights could land or takeoff until electrical power is restored. A blackout will disrupt the airline ticketing system. It can
    affect crash alarm/sirens and rescue and firefighting emergency response. Lack of electrical power can also affect Navaid, visual aids, runway lighting, ARFF station door operation, TSA screening equipment, lighting, baggage loading, loading bridge operation, airport air-conditioning, and refueling operations. A powerful solar storm can also jam air control radio frequencies between the aircraft and ground control. Most airports are equipped with large emergency generator systems that can provide functionality to some of their most critical systems.
  • Railway train and subway systems can be affected by inducted current from the solar storm. The tracks are long metal conductors that can pick up large inducted currents. The inducted currents can bleed over into control systems and signaling systems damaging equipment. In the past, induced currents were sufficient to turn the railroad signals red and to ignite fires in railroad control stations. Metro and subway systems are driven directly from electrical power. They will become inoperative during an electrical blackout stranding passengers.
  • Traffic signals and public transit are only part of the transportation facilities that depend on electricity. Other systems include tunnel lights and ventilation; intelligent transportation systems (ITS) equipment such as cameras, loop detectors, variable message signs, and electronic toll collection equipment; and pumps to control flooding in depressed roadways.

3.  Banking
A major electrical blackout will produce a loss of access to funds. Credit card processing, bank transactions, ATM withdrawals, check validation, payroll disbursement and even cash registers are dependent on the availability of electrical power. This problem can be compounded by the loss of key
satellites that form part of the conduit for transmitting financial data.

4.  Commerce and Industry
Commerce and industry will be plagued by the same problems impacting homes during a major electrical power blackout including potential interruption of water, sewage, lighting, heating and air conditioning. Add to this list other problems associated with electrical outages such as banking, computers and networks, transportation, shipping and receiving, payroll, and employee absenteeism.

  • I (article author) experienced the great San Fernando Valley earthquake of 9 February 1971 first hand. The earthquake knocked out power in several areas. At one major intersection, it took over an hour to travel through it because the stoplight was dead. At the time, thousand of stop lights were dead and the police were spread very thin. The only way the logjam was cleared from that intersection was when private individuals went out into the street and began directing traffic. Many emergency vehicles were tied up in these traffic jams unable to respond to true emergencies.
  • Beginning in the 1960s, engineers and architects began sealing off building from the outdoors, constructing mechanical environments solely controlled by electric power. An electrical blackout will affect many modern buildings due to poor natural ventilation and lighting. Our commerce today is also very reliance on computers and telecommunications. Loss of this infrastructure will take a heavy toll.

5. Other Impacts

  • At the onset of an electrical blackout, people will be trapped in elevators, in underground mines, on roller coasters (some dangling  from rides in midair), and inside commuter trains. (Some of these commuters  will need to be evacuated from trains stopped in tunnels and between stations.
    It can take more than 2 hours for transit workers and emergency personnel to
    reach some of these trains. Those stranded in tunnels may be in pitch blackness
    and very frightened.)
  • At the onset of an electrical blackout, most individuals  will want to return home before nightfall. In general, commuter trains and subways will be down. Automobile traffic in cities will be gridlocked due to inoperative traffic lights. Ferries, buses and taxis will continue to run but expect erratic service, very long lines, crowds and chaos. In large cities, many commuters will simply walk home with some traveling over 160 city blocks.
  • In some large cities at the onset of the blackout, tunnel managers will make several key  decisions. One decision is to close down some traffic lanes within tunnels. Generally, facilities’ ventilation systems require an excessive amount of electrical power and as a result many are not
    connected to electrical backup system. Therefore, tunnel operators will have to reduce the number of cars allowed through at any given time in order to minimize the carbon monoxide threat. Some bridge and tunnel operators will reverse one lane of traffic. This will create three lanes for traffic leaving the downtown area and one lane for vehicles returning downtown.
  • Most individuals will be keenly interested in the extent of the outage, the cause of the outage (natural or terrorist) and a prognosis of when power will be restored. At the onset of the blackout, almost all of the FM radio stations will be initially knocked off the air. Many of these stations will return over the next hour as emergency backup generators kick in. Portable radios and car radios are key in communicating an early assessment of the blackout.
  • Laptop computers with dial-up connections will generally continue to operate in an electrical blackout at least until their computer batteries drain down. Amateur radio will play a critical role in transmitting emergency communications.
  • At the onset of the blackout, many home improvement stores (e.g. Home-Depot and Lowe’s) will continue to remain open because they have some flexibility in powering limited store operations using portable emergency generators. These stores can provide much-needed supplies such as flashlights, batteries, portable power generators, etc. Some restaurants will
    remain open because gas-powered brick ovens, gas ranges and fryers will not be affected by the outage.
  • At clogged intersections, private individuals will step forward and direct traffic in order to relieve traffic congestion. In some cases, passing police officers will distribute fluorescent jackets to these noble individuals. Drivers and pedestrians will generally follow the instructions from them even though they are not traffic police officers.
  • Even if cell phone service is not physically disrupted, the heavy increase in traffic can quickly overload circuits. Text messaging appears to continue to work on overloaded cell phone networks during the onset of a power outage. In many cases, mobile cell phone towers only have emergency backup power for a few hours. Cell phones will also die as their batteries
    drain down.
  • Landline telephones run off of the small DC current that the phone company sends through the lines. But modern phones have so many gadgets that most need a separate AC adapter to run them. Unfortunately many modern phones are so poorly designed that they cannot operate at all when there is no AC current. For example, most household portable phones are useless without power to their base set.
  • Tall buildings will be particularly vulnerable to the effects of an electrical blackout. Elevators will not work. The lack of natural lighting in hallways and stairwells will make them pitch black. Even stairwells equipped with emergency lighting will go dark after about an hour as the batteries drain down. Climbing stairs in the dark can be very risky and dangerous. The water tank on the roof will quickly empty and not be refilled because the buildings water pumps will shut down. As a result, individuals will be unable to flush toilets. The air conditioner will be inoperative. Climbing long flights of stairs will be strenuous and hauling supplies of food and water back to rooms or apartments will be hard work. The buildings will be more susceptible to fire hazards because automatic fire suppression sprinklers will no longer have available water.
  • An electrical blackout will produce many displaced individuals. Individuals will be stranded in airports, train and subway systems (relatives may drive into clogged cities in an attempt to pick up their loved ones). Many stranded travelers will be forced to sleep in hotel lobbies, airport terminals or out in the streets in parks or at the steps of public buildings turning them into bivouac areas.
  • Elderly community members and those requiring electrical medical equipment (life support systems) are more severely impacted by a power blackout than the younger population. Hospitals will have limited emergency power, often not providing air conditioning.
  • Electronic security may lock up due to loss of electricity. This can affect electronic gates in parking garages, card keyed doors, turnpike and toll bridge gates and for most individuals their garage door openers. These devices will need to be manually operated.
  • As the days pass, many workers will find it difficult to go to work because power will be out in their homes, gasoline stations will be closed, and schools and child care centers will be shut.

B. Oil and Gas Pipelines
Geomagnetic induced currents affect oil and gas pipelines. In pipelines, GIC and the associated pipe-to-soil voltages can increase the rate of corrosion in pipelines especially in high latitude regions. Damage resulting from corrosion is cumulative in nature and can eventually lead to pipeline integrity failures and major fuel leaks. As an example, GICs reaching 57 amps were measured in a Finnish natural gas pipeline in November 1998. Solar storms may have had a hand in the gas pipeline rupture and explosion on 4 June 1989 that demolished part of the Trans-Siberian Railway, engulfing two passenger trains in flames and killing 500 people, many of these were school children heading off on a vacation in the Urals.
The induce currents can also affect the flowmeters that transmit the flow rate of oil/gas in the pipeline producing false readings.
Pipelines that incorporate insulating flanges can be more vulnerable to damaging GIC currents. The flanges are meant to interrupt current flow; however, it was discovered that the flanges create an additional site where the electric potential can build up and force the current flow to ground. As a result these flanges lead to increased risk for corrosion. The length of the pipeline also adds to its vulnerability due to the increased potential for corrosion.

C. Long Distant Communication Line
Geomagnetic storms can induce current on long conductive wires used as communication cables. These cables include telegraph lines, telephone land lines and undersea cables. The induced current can damage transmission lines and produce large electrical arcs and thermal heating in equipment tied to those lines. In the past, this induced current has resulted in damaged equipment, equipment fires and individuals receiving severe electrical shock.
In the geomagnetic storm of March 25, 1940, telephone landlines designed for 48 volts were subjected to 600 volt surges and many transmission lines were destroyed. The undersea Atlantic cable between Newfoundland and Scotland saw voltages up to 2,600 volts.[The New York Times & The Washington Post]
New forms of cables (e.g. coaxial cables, fiber optic cables) have replaced many earlier forms of communication cables. This has allowed the bandwidth of communication systems to increase but many long cables now require repeater  amplifiers along their length. These amplifiers compensate for the loss of signal strength over distance and are connected in series with the center conductor of the cable. Amplifiers are powered by a direct current supplied from terminal stations at either ends of the cable. The varying magnetic field that occurs during a geomagnetic storm induces a voltage into the center of the coaxial cable increasing or decreasing the voltage coming from the cable power supply. The induced voltage experienced during a geomagnetic storm can produce an overload of electricity on the cable system, and in turn, cause power supply failure knocking the repeaters off-line. For example, the solar storm that occurred on 2 August 1972 produced a voltage surge of 60 volts on AT&T’s coaxial telephone cables between Chicago and Nebraska.
Submarine cables now use fiber optic cables to carry communication signals; however, there is still a long metallic conductor along the length of the cable that carries power to the repeaters and as a result is susceptible to induced currents.
Geomagnetic storm induced electrical currents in long wires have caused damage to transmission lines, caused electrical arcing on telegraph equipment, caused thermal heating that resulted in electrical equipment fires, caused several  telegraph operators to receive a very severe electrical shock, caused
switchboards in telegraph offices to be set on fire and sending keys to melt, caused telegraph bells to automatically go off, caused very strange sounds on telephones like several sirens slowly increasing in pitch until it produced a loud  screech, and caused incandescent resistance lamps” in telegraph circuits to light.

See also the 4dtraveler posts:
Survival manual/1. Disasters/War, EMP
Survival manual/1. Disasters/EMP–Solar Flare
Survival manual/3. Food and Water/Develop A Survival Food List
Mr. Larry


[1]  Beginning on 11 March 2011 with a massive 9.0 earthquake as the triggering event and spreading outward in the weeks that followed: There occurred the strongest earthquake NE Japan experienced in 1200 years, followed by a massive tsunami that washed  inland along the coast destroying cities and completely washing away villages; a nuclear power plant was knocked off line and partially destroyed, cutting electric power to the region; radioactive outgassing forced evacuation; many thousands of dead corpses were intermingled amongst the tsunami debris piles; survivors in northern parts of island cleaned out supermarket shelves, while road damage limited shelf restocking; water service for many areas was damaged by the earthquake while the widespread power outages cut service to others; rolling ‘brown outs’ spread across the nation as power companies tried to ration electric use; multiple international corporations in the affected region closed for weeks threatening future supply bottlenecks; many thousands of foreign workers and students returned to their countries; snow fell on the region- while a million people were without electric power; a volcano in the southern part of the country became active; Japanese investors began selling equities, bonds and other investments in order to raise cash, thus depressing prices and reducing demand; the Japanese reduced purchases of US Treasury bonds, causing US treasury to incestuously sell more bonds to our own Federal Reserve.

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Filed under __1. Disaster

El Nino – La Nina and Megadrought

(Survival manual/ 1. Disaster/El Nino – La Nina and Megadrought)

The El Nino – La Nina Southern Oscillations (ENSO) alternate quasi-periodically across the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every five years, but over a period which varies from three to seven years. ENSO causes extreme weather such as floods, droughts and other weather disturbances in many regions of the world.

Periodicity
Between 1950 and 1997, El Ninos were present 31%, La Ninas 23% of the time, and about 46% of the period was in a neutral state. El Nino and La Nina occur on average every 3 to 5 years. Based on the historical record, the interval between events has varied from 2 to 7 years. Since 1975, La Ninas have been only half as frequent as El Ninos, therefore, a La Nina episode may, but does not always
follow an El Nino. La Nina conditions typically last approximately 9-12 months, but some episodes may persist for as long as two years.

 1.  EL Nino
El Niño’s Are Growing Stronger, NASA/NOAA Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2010) — A relatively new type of El Niño, which has its warmest waters in the central-equatorial Pacific Ocean, rather than in the eastern-equatorial Pacific, is becoming more common and progressively stronger, according to a new study by NASA and NOAA.

El Niño, Spanish for “the little boy,” is the oceanic component of a climate pattern called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, which appears in the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every three to five years. The most dominant year-to-year fluctuating pattern in Earth’s climate system, El Niños have a powerful impact on the ocean and atmosphere, as well as important socioeconomic consequences.
They can influence global weather patterns and the occurrence and frequency of hurricanes, droughts and floods; and can even raise or lower global temperatures by as much as 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

During a “classic” El Niño episode, the normally strong easterly trade winds in the tropical eastern Pacific weaken. That weakening suppresses the normal upward movement of cold subsurface waters and allows warm surface water from the central Pacific to shift toward the Americas. In these situations, unusually warm surface water occupies much of the tropical Pacific, with the maximum ocean warming remaining in the eastern-equatorial Pacific.

Since the early 1990s, however, scientists have noted a new type of El Niño that has been occurring with greater frequency. Known variously as “central-Pacific El Niño,” “warm-pool El Niño,” “dateline El Niño” or “El Niño Modoki” (Japanese for “similar but different”), the maximum ocean warming from such El Niño’s is found in the central-equatorial, rather than eastern, Pacific. Such central Pacific El Niño events were observed in 1991-92, 1994-95, 2002-03, 2004-05 and 2009-10. A recent study found many climate models predict such events will become much more frequent under projected global warming scenarios.

Graphic above pasted from <http://www.eoearth.org/article/El_Ni%C3%B1o,_La_Ni%C3% B1a_and_the_southern_oscillation>

Our understanding of the processes responsible for the development of El Niño is still incomplete. Scientists are able to predict the future development of an event by noting the occurrence of particular weather precursors. Researchers also now have a pretty complete understanding of the global weather effects caused by the formation of an El Niño (see Figure 5).

2.   La Nina
La Niña is essentially the opposite of an El Niño. During a La Niña, trade winds in the western equatorial Pacific are stronger than normal, and the cold water that normally exists along the coast of South America extends to the central equatorial Pacific. La Niñas change global weather patterns and are associated with less moisture in the air, resulting in less rain along the coasts of North and South America. They also tend to increase the formation of tropical storms in the Atlantic.

“For the American Southwest, La Niñas usually bring a dry winter, not good news for a region that has experienced normal rain and snowpack only once in the past five winters,” said Patzert.

 La Niña causes mostly the opposite effects of El Niño. La Niña causes above average precipitation across the North Midwest, the Northern Rockies, Northern California, and in the Pacific Northwest’s southern and eastern regions. Meanwhile there is below average precipitation in the southwestern and outheastern states.

La Niñas occurred in 1904, 1908, 1910, 1916, 1924, 1928, 1938, 1950, 1955, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1988, 1995, 1998-99, 2008, 2010-11.

Recent occurrences
The strength of the La Niña made the 2008 hurricane season one of the most active since 1944; there were 16 named storms of at least 39 mph (63 kph), eight of which became 74 mph or greater hurricanes. The Gulf of Mexico holds about 27 percent of the U.S.’s oil and 15 percent of its natural gas, the U.S. Department of Energy reports. This makes La Niña and hurricanes serious business.

According to NOAA, El Niño conditions have been in place in the equatorial Pacific Ocean since June 2009, peaking in January-February. Positive SST anomalies are expected to last at least through the North American Spring as this El Niño slowly weakens.

3.  Megadrought Ancient megadroughts preview warmer climate -study
By Deborah  Zabarenko, 2/24/2011, WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters Life!) –
“Ancient mega droughts that lasted thousands of years in what is now the American Southwest could offer a preview of a climate changed by modern greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported on Wednesday.

The scientists found these persistent dry periods were different from even the most severe decades-long modern droughts, including the 1930s “Dust Bowl.” And they determined that these millennial droughts occurred at times when Earth’s mean annual temperature was similar to or slightly higher than what it is now. These findings tally with projections by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others, according to study author Peter Fawcett of the University of New
Mexico. The results were published in the current edition of Nature.

“The IPCC model suggests that when you warm the climate, you’ll see extended droughts in this part of the world and this is what the paleo record seems to be telling us,” Fawcett said in a telephone interview. “When you’ve got past temperatures that were at or above today’s conditions, conditions got drier.”

The U.S. Southwest has seen steep population growth over the last century, with population increasing by 1,500 percent from 1900 to 1990, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The total U.S. population grew 225 percent over the same period.

The settlement of this area depended, as all human settlements do, on access to water. There would clearly be less water available in a megadrought.

Earth’s orbit and greenhouse emissions
Megadroughts in the past were caused by subtle changes in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, which were also responsible for periodic ice ages. If these orbital changes were the only influence on the
planet’s climate, Earth should be heading into a cool period, Fawcett said in a telephone interview.

However, recent temperature statistics indicate that is not the case. The decade that ended last year was the hottest since modern record-keeping began in 1880. The previous decade, 1991-2000, was next-warmest and 1981-1990 was third-warmest.

Emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide help trap heat near Earth’s surface and could be influencing the natural orbital cycle that would dictate a cooling period.

To figure out just how long these megadroughts lasted, and what happened during them, scientists took samples from a dried lake bed in northern New Mexico called the Valles Caldera. They analyzed these sediments for biochemical signs of drought, ranging from which trees and shrubs grew and how much calcium was in the cracked mud in the dried lake bottom.

Looking at records going back more than a half-million years, they also developed a technique to determine temperature in the ancient past by looking at signs left by soil bacteria, Fawcett said.

The fats in the walls of these bacteria change their structure in response to temperature changes, he said, and act like a “tape recorder” for antique temperatures. (Editing by Eric Walsh)
Pasted from <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41739225/ns/business->

4.  Mega-drought threat to US Southwest
Quirin Schiermeier
The Dust Bowl — the seven-year drought that devastated large swathes of US prairie land in the 1930s — was the worst prolonged environmental disaster recorded for the country. But a study of the American Southwest’s more distant climatic past reveals that the catastrophic drought was a mere dry spell compared to the ‘mega-droughts’ that were recurring long before humans began to settle the continent.

The findings, reported in a paper in Nature this week, add to concerns that the already arid region might face quasi-permanent drought conditions as climate continues to warm.

The team, led by Peter Fawcett, a climate scientist at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, reconstructed the region’s climate history using geochemical indicators from an 82-metre-long lake sediment core from the Valles Caldera in northern New Mexico. Analysis of climate and vegetation proxies, such as pollen and carbon-isotope ratios, suggests that the Southwest experienced abrupt and surprisingly pronounced climate shifts during warm periods of the Pleistocee, including transitions to extended dry periods that lasted for hundreds or even thousands of years.

 5.  Reliving the past
If today’s climate repeated past patterns, the southwestern United States might move into a wetter and cooler phase. Such a transition happened at one point during the so-called Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11, an interglacial period around 400,000 years ago that shows some striking parallels with the Holocene, our current warm period. This seems to have roughly advanced to the point at which the climate in MIS 11 began to switch to a less arid one.

Earth’s orbit and axial tilt during the unusually long MIS 11 stage was similar to orbital conditions during the Holocene, which scientists think will last longer than most Pleistocene warm periods.

But for all the similarities, the climate during MIS 11 was unperturbed by human activity. This time around, rising greenhouse-gas concentrations driven by human activity will very likely override any natural cooling trend. Scientists fear that the Southwestern climate may in fact switch to an extended dry mode such as the ones that occurred during particularly warm Pleistocene periods.

“We won’t know for sure if it happens again until we get there,” says Fawcett. “But we are certainly increasing the possibility of crossing a critical threshold to severe and lasting drought conditions.”

Sudden shifts in carbon isotopes and lowered total organic carbon in the sediment record suggest that grasses and shrubs that depend mostly on summer rain died out during extended Pleistocene droughts. This is surprising, says Fawcett, because summer monsoon rainfall was thought to become more intense in a warmer climate. That summer rain was in fact strongly reduced, or had almost stopped, suggests that regional climate patterns must have shifted radically when Pleistocene temperatures crossed a threshold.

“The scary thing is that we seem to be very close to this point again,” he says.

 6.  A dry future
The Southwest has experienced significant reductions in rainfall during the last decade, causing freshwater reservoirs and groundwater to fall to unusually low levels. Colorado River flows recorded at Lees Ferry, Arizona, from 2000 to 2009 are the lowest on record.

Climate models suggest that the region will in future become even drier as atmospheric circulation patterns change and subtropical dry zones expand towards the poles2.
“The drying we expect for the twenty-first century is entirely the result of increased greenhouse forcing,” says Richard Seager, a climate researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. “Any natural variations in orbital forcing and incoming sunlight will hardly have a noticeable role in the near future.”

A 10–15% reduction in rainfall is enough to cause severe drought in the region, he says. Meanwhile, debate continues among scientists whether a transition to quasi-permanent dry conditions is imminent or already underway, and to what extent global warming has increased the risk of drought.

“A signal of anthropogenic drying is emerging, but it is still small,” says Seager. “I’d expect that by mid-century the human signal will exceed the amplitude of natural climate variability. Then we can safely say that the Southwest has entered a new climate stage.”
[Chart: Drought in American west]

“The climate system clearly has the capacity to get ‘stuck’ in drought-inducing modes over North America that can last several decades to a century or more,” Seager and colleagues wrote in an article published in 2009.

The researchers also point out that the megadroughts occurred without any intervention from human beings. So they could well happen again. It’s also very possible that human-caused warming could bring a return to megadroughts by inducing the same climatic conditions that appear to have been associated with them in the past.

Given projected increases in demand for water on the river, and a 20 percent reduction in its annual flow by 2057 due to climate change, there would be a nearly 10-fold increase in the chances that lakes Mead and Powell would become depleted.
Pasted from <http://www.cejournal.net/?p=4924&gt;

7.  Higher Water Shortage Risks in One Third of US Counties Due to Climate Change: NRDC Report
21 July 2010, Tree Hugger.com, by Matthew McDermott,  http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/07/higher-water-shortage-risks-one-third-u-s-counties-climate-change.php#ch02

A new report from the National Resources Defense Council paints a really dry and thirsty picture in a world warmed by climate change: More than 1100 counties in the United States face higher risks of water shortages by 2050, with more than 400 of these placed at extremely high risk.

14 States At Extreme Risk
Tetra Tech, which did the report for NRDC, used publicly available water use data and climate change models to examine water withdrawals versus renewable water supply. The result was that 14 states face extreme to high risk to water sustainability, or are likely to experience limitations in the water
supply. This is a 14-fold increase from previous estimates.

Parts of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas all are in this latter category–with the Great Plains and Southwest states singled out as places where “water sustainability is at extreme risk.”

Arid Western States’ Water Use Already Unsustainable
Stats on water use as a percentage of available precipitation clearly illustrate the problem: In the eastern US generally less than 5% of precipitation is withdrawn; in the majority of the western US water withdrawals are under 30% of precipitation. But in the arid areas of the states mentioned in the report (particularly in California, Texas and the desert Southwest), withdrawals top 100% of available precipitation.

In the Ogallala Aquifer, stretching from Nebraska to Texas and supplying about 30% of all the water used for farmland irrigation in the country, unsustainable water withdrawals have led to the aquifer dropping by more than 100 feet in many places. In fact The Nature Conservancy, whose scientists contributed research for the report, points out that some studies show the aquifer drying up in as little as 25 years.

As previous studies have indicated, the effect of these water shortages and patently unsustainable water use trend on agricultural production is pronounced. NRDC cites 2007 data to show that the value of crops raised in the 1100 counties at risk exceeded $105 billion.

Strong Climate Action by Congress Can Help
Dan Lashof, director of NRDC’s Climate Center:This analysis shows climate change will take a serious toll on water supplies throughout the country in the coming decades, with over one out of three U.S. counties facing greater risks of water shortages. Water shortages can strangle economic development and agricultural production and affected communities.

As a result, cities and states will bear real and significant costs if Congress fails to take the steps necessary to slow down and reverse the warming trend. Water management and climate change adaptation plans will be essential to lessen the impacts, but they cannot be expected to counter the effects of a warming climate. The only way to truly manage the risks exposed by this report is for Congress to pass meaningful legislation that cuts global warming pollution and allows the U.S. to exercise global leadership on the issue.

[The jury has delivered its verdict: Look for increasing drought during the next few decades. The drought is not a temporary climatic anomaly, but a global change in climatic conditions that will persist  for several centuries. -Mr Larry]

8.  Understanding Your Risk and Impacts: Economic Impacts
2006-2011, The National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
http://www.drought.unl.edu/risk/economic.htm
http://www.drought.unl.edu/index.htm
Costs and losses to agricultural producers:

  • Costs and losses to agricultural producers Annual and perennial crop losses [wheat and other grains]
  • Damage to crop quality [reduced yield]
  • Income loss for farmers due to reduced crop yields
  • Reduced productivity of cropland (wind erosion, long-term loss of organic matter, etc.) {late in oil decline making fertilizer very expensive]
  • Insect infestation [late in the oil decline]
  • Plant disease
  • Wildlife damage to crops
  • Increased irrigation costs [during a spreading and  increasingly severe  megadrought]
  • Cost of new or supplemental water resource development (wells, dams, pipelines)
  • Costs and losses to livestock producers
  • Reduced productivity of rangeland
  • Reduced milk production
  • Forced reduction of foundation stock
  • Closure/limitation of public lands to grazing
  • High cost/unavailability of water for livestock
  • Cost of new or supplemental water resource development (wells, dams, pipelines)
  • High cost/unavailability of feed for livestock
  • Increased feed transportation costs
  • High livestock mortality rates
  • Disruption of reproduction cycles (delayed breeding, more miscarriages)
  • Decreased stock weights
  • Increased predation
  • Range fires
  • Loss from timber production
  • Wildland fires
  • Tree disease
  • Insect infestation
  • Impaired productivity of forest land
  • Direct loss of trees, especially young ones
  • Loss from fishery production
  • Damage to fish habitat
  • Loss of fish and other aquatic organisms due to decreased flows
  • General economic effects
  • Decreased land prices
  • Loss to industries directly dependent on agricultural production (e.g., machinery and fertilizer manufacturers, food processors, dairies, etc.)
  • Unemployment from drought-related declines in production
  • Strain on financial institutions (foreclosures, more credit risk, capital shortfalls)
  • Revenue losses to federal, state, and local governments (from reduced tax base)
  • Reduction of economic development
  • Fewer agricultural producers (due to bankruptcies, new occupations)
  • Rural population loss
  • Loss to recreation and tourism industry
  • Loss to manufacturers and sellers of recreational equipment
  • Losses related to curtailed activities: hunting and fishing, bird watching, boating, etc.
  • Energy-related effects
  • Increased energy demand and reduced supply because of drought-related power curtailments
  • Costs to energy industry and consumers associated with substituting more expensive fuels (oil) for hydroelectric power
  • Water Suppliers
  • Revenue shortfalls and/or windfall profits
  • Cost of water transport or transfer
  • Cost of new or supplemental
    water resource development
  • Transportation Industry
  • Loss from impaired navigability of streams, rivers, and canals
  • Declinein food production/disrupted food supply
  • Increase in food prices
  • Increased importation of food (higher costs)

[The lists above speak of reduced agricultural production, rapidly accelerating input costs due to the decline in world petroleum production, stress on agricultural producers--fewer farmers, less land, less product—and much higher U.S. food prices, as a percentage of net income, hence much less discretionary income, less ability to develop a finacial cushion, and a lower quality of life. Add to this the hunger/ socially driven measures some foreign countries may be willing to undertake in these circumstances and we will likely see regional wars; one theater of broad damage might be on American soil. The lists also  speaks quietly about a global and US overpopulation on a diminishing resource base. As every ecologist knows, when  a population has exceeded its resources, its numbers must adjust to a level that is sustainable. Mr Larry]

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Filed under Survival Manual, __1. Disaster

Hubbert’s Peak Oil and the Hirsch Report

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/ Hubbert’s Peak Oil and The Hirsch report)

(The Hubbert peak theory posits that for any given geographical area, from an individual oil-producing region to the planet as a whole, the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell-shaped curve. It is one of the primary theories on peak oil.)

I.  BACK IN THE 1950s
they saw it coming, we knew what it meant, it was ignored.

A.   M. King Hubbert – the first to predict an oil peak
In the 1950s the well known U.S. geologist M. King Hubbert was working for Shell Oil. He noted that oil discoveries, graphed over time, tended to follow a bell shape curve. He supposed that the rate of oil production would follow a similar curve, now known as the Hubbert Curve. In 1956 Hubbert predicted that production from the US lower 48 states would peak between 1965 and 1970.
Despite efforts from his employer to pressure him into not making his projections public, the notoriously stubborn Hubbert did so anyway. In any case, most people inside and outside the industry quickly dismissed the predictions. As it happens, the US lower 48 oil production did peak in 1970/1.
In that year, by definition, US oil producers had never produced as much oil, and Hubbert’s predictions were a fading memory. The peak was only acknowledged with the benefit of several years of hindsight.
No oil producing region fits the bell shaped curve exactly because production is dependent on various geological, economic and political factors, but the Hubbert Curve remains a powerful predictive tool.

In retrospect, the U.S. oil peak might be seen as the most significant geopolitical event of the mid to late 20th Century, creating the conditions for the energy crises of the 1970s, leading to far greater U.S. strategic emphasis on controlling foreign sources of oil, and spelling the beginning of the end of the status of the U.S. as the world’s major creditor nation. The U.S. of course, was able to import oil from elsewhere. Mounting debt has allowed life to continue in the U.S. with only minimal interruption so far. When global oil production peaks, the implications will be felt far more widely, and with much more force.

What does peak oil mean for our societies?
Our industrial societies and our financial systems were built on the assumption of continual growth growth based on ever more readily available cheap fossil fuels. Oil in particular is the most convenient and multi-purposed of these fossil fuels. Oil currently accounts for about 41% of the world’s total fossil fuel consumption, 33% of all global fuel consumption, and 95% of global energy used for transportation.
Oil and gas are feed stocks for plastics, paints, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, electronic components, tires and much more.
Oil is so important that the peak will have vast implications across the realms of war and geopolitics, medicine, culture, transport and trade, economic stability and food production. Significantly, for every one joule of food consumed in the United States, around 10 joules of fossil fuel energy have been used to produce it.

B.  The ‘Hirsch Report’
A U.S. Dept. of Energy commissioned study “Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management” [PDF] was released in early 2005. Prepared by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), it is known commonly as the Hirsch Report after its primary author Robert L. Hirsch. For many months the report, although available on the website of a Californian High School, remained unacknowledged by the DOE.
The executive summary of the report warns that: as peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking.
A later paper by Hirsch recommends the world urgently begin spending $1 trillion per year in crash programs for at least a decade, preferably two, before peaking. Obviously, nothing like the kind of efforts envisaged have yet begun. Hirsch was not asked to speculate on when the peak was likely to occur.
[In retrospect, the peak ocurred between 2000-2005; by 2011 we have quietly entered the decline phase. Although the West is in a double dip recession, gas prices have only slightly declined. Asian markets are absorbing production. Western commercial petroleum bulk storage is the lowest in years, while production cannot rebuild stocks to capacity. Its slow, its quiet. Who’s upset, yet? -Mr Larry]

C.  The Olduvai Theory
The theory is a proposed way of measuring industrial civilization by a single ratio – world annual energy use to population. The important idea is that, unlike previous civilizations which have risen and fallen to be replaced by others, industrial civilization would be the last because we would have used up all the easily obtainable resources (oil, coal, minerals) which are necessary for a civilization to form.
The theory is defined by the ratio of world energy production (use) and world population. The details are worked out. The theory is easy. It states that the life expectancy of Industrial Civilization is less than or equal to 100 years: 1930–2030.
World energy production per capita from 1945 to 1973 grew at a breakneck speed of 3.45%/year. Next from 1973 to the all-time peak in 1979, it slowed to a sluggish 0.64%/year. Then suddenly – and for the first time in history – energy production per capita took a long-term decline of 0.33%/year from 1979 to 1999. The Olduvai theory explains the 1979 peak and the subsequent decline. More to the point, it says that energy production per capita will fall to its 1930 value by 2030, thus giving Industrial Civilization a lifetime of less than or equal to 100 years.

The chart above is a graphic showing energy usage/population as a curve with various key points defined. These are:
Note 1: (1930) the beginning of Industrial Civilization
Note 2: (1979) all time peak of world energy production per capita
Note 3: (1999) the end of cheap oil
Note 4: (2000) eruption of violence in the Middle East
Note 5: (2006) all-time peak in world oil production
Note 6: (2008) OPEC crossover when more than 50% of oil comes from the OPEC nations
Note 7: (2012) permanent blackouts spread worldwide
Note 8: (2030) world energy production falls to 1930 level
The future dates may vary but it is easy to see how, with the knowledge we have of peak oil, the world could slip into a Medieval or even Stone Age scenario. Even a Dark Ages world would be difficult to sustain with no coal and little wood to burn. We are so dependent on energy that, unless we find some alternatives to hydrocarbon energy generation pretty quickly, we will find ourselves without the time or energy to switch.
.

II.  Predictions

Four Stages of Oil Depletion Through 2020
http://peakoilquestionoftheday.blogspot.com/p/life-after-crash.html
A.  World Oil and Natural Gas Liquids Production & Changes in each stage
Stage 1 (Now to end of 2011): World conventional crude oil and NGL production (CO&NGL) which is currently at 82 mbpd will remain stable with slight decline to 81 mbpd.
Continued economic stagnation with possible weak recovery, continued high unemployment will put little pressure on oil prices; gas prices will be generally stable. Non-OPEC production will begin to all off. Oil at $75 to $90 bbl; Gas at the pump in Dobbs Ferry $2.90 to $3.20.
Stage 2 (2012): Decline will accelerate in 2012 to 80 mbpd. Prices rises will become more pronounced, but still not seen as an emergency.
Global production fall off by end of year gets attention, markets respond with higher prices. Oil at $100 to $120 bbl; Gas at the pump in Dobbs Ferry $3.30 to $3.70. Economy continues to bump along in recession mode.
Stage 3 (2013 to 2015): Decline will be rapid in 2013 – 2015 with world production at 75 mbpd for CO&NGL by end of 2015.
Increasing fall off in production gets serious, news reports start talking about various causes — bad government policy, global conspiracy, return of “Drill, Baby, Drill”. Airlines cut back drastically as air travel becomes expensive. Demand for fuel-efficient cars soars. Government establishes crash programs to conserve, develop alternatives. Economy in terrible shape. By 2015 oil at $150 bbl; Gas at the pump at $6.00 to $10.00.
Stage 4 (2016 to 2020): by 2020 production will be 62 mbpd. Impossible to really estimate what prices will be. Life as we know it will be a memory.
Economy in shambles, oil prices continue higher.
By 2020 oil at $250+ bbl; Gas at the pump, when available, $15+.

B.  What will life be like once oil goes into decline. Here are a few things to expect.
1. Near Term Impact
__a) Continued economic decline with high unemployment. Without oil to fuel manufacturing, transportation, and food production, the only possible result is economic decline. Unemployment will continue to be high until people realize that they have no choice but to work for far less than they ever expected. Many of the unemployed will find work in agriculture as reliance on oil fueled machinery declines.
__b) Stagnant or declining stock market. Economic decline will inevitably impact the stock market and, as a result, the retirement savings of millions of Americans.
__c) Population move to urban areas/decline of suburbs. Who will want to (or be able to) live in a 4,000 square foot home 40 miles or more from work? The value of suburban housing (especially big houses) will decline as people try to get closer to urban centers and mass transit. Expect housing abandonment of the type already seen in California.
__d) Decline in construction, more people living together. As real income declines and construction costs increase, people will not be able to afford the square footage of living space they have become accustomed to. The migration from suburb to urban area, without additional construction, will mean more roommates, boarders, and houses cut up for rental.
__e) Air travel only for the rich. This is a no brainer. The airline industry is already in contraction. It won’t take much higher oil prices to push it over the edge.
__f) International trade declines.
__g) Deterioration of infrastructure as government revenues dry up.
__h) Increases in all prices — especially food and fuel.
__i) International conflict over remaining oil resources.
__j) Attempts by government to retain current lifestyle will fail and cause huge deficits, decline of currency.
__k) Solid waste disposal
2. Longer Term Impact
__a) more long distance transportation.
__b) Life becomes entirely local.
__c) Government breakdown.
__d) Social unrest.
__e) Population decline.
__f) Land becomes the main source of wealth.


 III. 
Preparing for Life in a Peak Oil World

23 January 2011, Oil Price.com, by Gail Tverberg
http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Preparing-for-Life-in-a-Peak-Oil-World.html
“We know that peak oil will be here soon, and we feel like we should be doing something. But what? It is frustrating to know where to start. In this chapter, we will discuss a few ideas about what we as individuals can do.
1.  What will the first few years after peak oil be like? It is hard to know for certain, but a reasonable guess is that the impact will be like a major recession or depression. Many people will be laid off from work.
•  Gasoline is likely to be very expensive ($10 a gallon or more) and may not be available, except in limited quantities after waiting in line for a long time. Fewer goods of all types will be available in stores. Imports from third-world countries are likely to be especially unavailable, because of the impact of the oil shortage on their economies.
[Internet image right: Sanyo Enloop AA rechargeable batteries]
•  Gasoline prices may not rise as high as $10 gallon; the problem may be that at lower prices than $10 gallon, oil prices send the economy into recession. There may actually be a glut of oil supply because of recession or depression, because many cannot afford the high priced oil. For example, state highway departments cannot afford high priced asphalt. This is related to low “energy return on energy invested”. If the goods and services made with oil aren’t great enough to justify its high price, high oil price can be expected to send the economy into recession. Countries that use a lot of oil for purposes other than creating new goods and services are likely to be especially vulnerable to recession.
•  Money may not have the same value as previously–opinion is divided as to whether deflation or rampant inflation will be a problem. Investments, even those previously considered safe, are likely to lose value. Things we take for granted–like bottled water, fast food restaurants, and dry cleaners–may disappear fairly quickly. Electricity may become less reliable, with more frequent outages. Airplane tickets are likely to be extremely expensive, or only available with a special permit based on need.

2.  If a scenario like this is coming, what can a person do now? Here are a few ideas:
• Visit family and friends now, especially those at a distance. This may be more difficult to do in the future.
•  Learn to know your neighbors. It is likely that you will need each other’s help more in the future.
•  If you live by yourself, consider moving in with friends or relatives. In tough times, it is better to have others to rely on. It is also likely to be a lot cheaper.
•  Buy a bicycle that you can use as alternate transportation, if the need arises.
•  Start walking or jogging for exercise. Get yourself in good enough physical condition that you could walk a few miles if you needed to.
•  Take care of your physical health. If you need dental work or new glasses, get them. Don’t put off immunizations and other preventive medicine. These may be more difficult to get, or more expensive, later.
•  Move to a walkable neighborhood. If it seems likely that you will be able to keep your job, move closer to your job.
•  Trade in your car for one with better mileage. If you have a SUV, you can probably sell it at a better price now than in the future. [Internet image right: Mitsubishi or another make of small electric car.]
•  If you have two cars powered by gasoline, consider trading one for a diesel-powered vehicle. That way, if gasoline (or diesel) is not available, you will still have one car you can drive.
•  Make sure that you have at least a two-week supply of food and water, if there is some sort of supply disruption. It is always good to have some extra for an emergency–the likelihood of one arising is greater now.
•  Keep reasonable supplies of things you may need in an emergency–good walking shoes, boots, coats, rain wear, blankets, flashlights and batteries (or wind-up flashlights).
•  Take up hobbies that you will be able to continue in a low energy world, such as gardening, knitting, playing a musical instrument, bird watching, or playing cards with neighbors.
•  Join a local sustainability group or “permaculture” group and start learning about sustainable gardening methods.

3.  Do I need to do more than these things? It really depends on how much worse things get, and how quickly. If major services like electricity and water remain in place for many years, and if gasoline and diesel remain reasonably available, then relatively simple steps will go a long way.
Some steps that might be helpful to add once the crunch comes include:
•  Join a carpool for work, or make arrangements to work at home. If public transportation is available, use it.
•  Cut out unnecessary trips. Eat meals at home. Take your lunch to work. Walk or jog in your neighborhood rather than driving to the gym. Order from the internet or buy from stores you can walk to, rather than driving alone to stores.
•  If you live a distance from shopping, consider forming a neighborhood carpool for grocery and other shopping. Do this for other trips as well, such as attending church. If closer alternatives are available, consider them instead.
•  Plant a garden in your yard. Put in fruit or nut trees. Make a compost pile, and use it in your garden. Put to use what you learned in sustainability or permaculture groups.
•  Meat, particularly beef, is likely to be very expensive. Learn to prepare meals using less meat. Make casseroles like your grandmother’s, making a small amount of meat go a long way. Or make soup using a little meat plus vegetables or beans.
•  Use hand-me-down clothing for younger children. Or have a neighborhood garage sale, and trade clothing with others near you.

4.  Should families continue to have two, three, or four children, as they often do today? With the uncertainties ahead, it would be much better if families were very small–one child, or none at all. The world’s population has grown rapidly in the last 100 years. Part of the reason for growth is the fact that with oil and natural gas, it was possible to grow much more food than in the past. As we lose the use of these fossil fuels, it is likely that we will not be able to produce as much food as in the past, because of reduced ability to irrigate crops, and reduced availability of fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides. In addition, manufactured goods of all types, including clothing and toys, are likely to be less available, with declining fossil fuel supply. Having smaller families will help fit the population to the available resources.
If couples have completed their families, it would probably be worthwhile for them to consider a permanent method of contraception, since birth control may be less available or more expensive.

5.  Are there any reasons why steps such as those outlined in Question 3 might be too little to handle the problem? Besides the decline in oil production, there are a number of other areas of concern. Hopefully, most of these will never happen, or if they do happen, will not occur for several years. If they do happen, greater measures than those outlined in Question 3 are likely to be needed.
•  Collapse of the financial system. Our financial system needs growth to sustain it, so that loans can be paid back with interest. Once peak oil hits, growth will be gone. Economic growth may even be replaced with economic decline. It is not clear our financial system can handle this.
•  Collapse of foreign trade. Many factors may come into play: The cost of transportation will be higher. Airline transport may not be available at all. Fewer goods are likely to be produced by the poorer countries of the world, because of power outages related to high oil prices. Rapid inflation/deflation may make monetary transactions more difficult.
•  Rapid climate change. Recently, scientists have discovered that climate change can take place over a very short period of time–as little as a decade or two. Temperature and precipitation changes may cause crop failures, and may make some areas no longer arable. Sea levels may also rise.
[Image right: Hot water and photovoltiac collectors on the roof of a private residence.]
•  Failure of the electrical grid. The grid tends to be vulnerable to many kinds of problems–including deterioration due to poor maintenance, damage during storms, and attacks in times of civil unrest. Maintenance is currently very poor (grade of D) according to the “Report Card on America’s Infrastructure” by the American Society of Civil Engineers. If we cannot maintain the grid, and upgrade it for the new wind and solar capacity being added, we will all be in the dark.
•  Water shortages. There are several issues–We are drawing down some aquifers at unsustainable rates, and these may be depleted. Climate change may reduce the amount of water available, by melting ice caps and changing storm patterns. City water and sewer systems require considerable energy inputs to continue functioning. If these are not provided, the systems will stop. Finally, systems must also be adequately maintained–something that is neglected currently.
•  Road deterioration. If we don’t have roads, it doesn’t matter whether we have cars. In the future, asphalt (a petroleum product) is expected to become more and more expensive and less available. It is not clear whether recycling asphalt from lesser-used roads will overcome this difficulty.
•  Decline in North American natural gas production. Natural gas is especially used for home heating, making plastics and making fertilizer. It is also used in electrical generation, particularly for extra load capacity when demand is high. Conventional natural gas is declining, and it is not clear that supply from other sources can make up the gap.
We now have shale gas and other unconventional making up the gap, but there are uncertainties how long it will stay with us.
•  Inadequate mineral supplies. A number of minerals are becoming less available, including copper (used in electric wiring), platinum (used in catalytic converters), phosphorous (used in fertilizer).
•  Fighting over available supplies. This could happen at any level. Individuals with inadequate food or gasoline may begin using violence. Or there may be fighting among groups within a nation, or between nations.

6. Are there any reasons for optimism? Yes. We know that people throughout the ages have gotten along successfully with far fewer resources than we have now, and with much less foreign trade. Financial systems have gotten into trouble in the past, and eventually new systems have replaced them. If nothing else, barter works.
We know that among the countries of the world, the United States, Canada, and Russia have reasonably good resource endowments in relation to their populations. They have fairly large amounts of land for crops, moderate rainfall, reasonable amounts of fossil fuels remaining, and populations that are not excessively large.
We also know that Cuba successfully made a transition from high oil usage to much lower oil usage, through the development of local gardens, increased public transit, and bicycles. A movie has been made about the Cuban experience.

7. What should we do, if we want to do more than described in Question 3? Some web sites (such as Life After the Oil Crash and wtdwtshtf.com) advocate moving to a farming area, buying land and hand tools, and learning to farm without fossil fuels. Typically, an individual purchases an existing farmhouse and adds solar panels or a windmill. The web sites generally recommend storing up large supplies of food, clothing, medicine, tools, guns, and ammunition, and learning a wide range of skills. These sites also suggest storing some things (liquor, razor blades, aspirin, etc.) for purposes of barter.
This approach may work for a few people, but it has its drawbacks. Making such a big move is likely to be expensive, and will most likely involve leaving one’s job. The individual will be alone, so security may be a problem. The individual may be dependent on his or her own resources for most things, especially if the farm is in a remote location. If the weather is bad, crops may fail. Living on the edge of a small town may prevent some problems, but such a move would still be a major undertaking.

8. How about Ecovillages? What are they? These are communities dedicated to the idea of sustainable living. These communities were set up in response to many issues facing the world, including global warming, resource depletion, and lifestyles that are not fulfilling. They were generally not formed with peak oil in mind.
Each ecovillage is different. Organizers often buy a large plot of land and lay out a plan for it. Individuals buy into the organization. Homes may be made from sustainable materials, such as bales of straw. Gardening is generally done using “permaculture”- a sustainable organic approach. Individuals may have assigned roles in the community.
The few ecovillages I investigated did not seem to truly be sustainable–they bought much of their food and clothing from outside, and made money by selling tours of their facilities. The ecovilliage approach could theoretically be expanded to provide self-sustaining post-peak oil communities, but would require some work. Some adventuresome readers may want to try this approach.

9. Is there a middle ground? What should people be doing now, if they want to do more than outlined in Questions 2 and 3, but aren’t ready to immerse themselves in a new lifestyle?
As a middle ground, people need to start thinking seriously about how to maintain their own food and water security, and start taking steps in that direction.

a) Food security. We certainly hope our current system of agriculture will continue without interruption, but there is no guarantee of this. Our current method is very productive, but uses huge amounts of energy. If we can keep our current system going, its productivity would likely be higher than that of a large number of individual gardens. The concern is that eventually the current system may break down due to reduced oil supply and need to be supplemented. Vulnerabilities include:
•  Making hybrid seed, and transporting it to farmers
•  Getting diesel fuel to the farmers who need it
•  Transporting food to processing centers by truck
•  Creating processed food in energy-intensive factories
•  Making boxes and other containers for food
•  Transporting processed food to market
[Internet image: Example of a way to grocery shop: Topeak trolley tote folding basket with groceries…also indicating that your home is located nearby a shopping district.]

If diesel fuel is allocated by high price alone, farmers may not be able to afford fuel, and may drop out. Or truck drivers may not be able to get what they need.
It is in our best interest to have a back-up plan. The one most often suggested is growing gardens in our yards–even front yards. Another choice is encouraging local farms, so that transportation is less of an issue. It takes several years to get everything working well (new skills learned, fruit trees to reach maturity), so we need to start early.
One type of crop that is particularly important is grain, since grain provides a lot of calories and stores well. In some parts of the country, potatoes might be a good substitute. It would be good if people started planting grain in gardens in their yards. There is a lot to learn in order to do this, including learning which grains grow well, how much moisture and nutrients the grains need, and how to process them. If the grain that grows well is unfamiliar, like amaranth, there is also a need to learn how to use it in cooking.
Individuals (or local farms) should also begin growing other foods that grow well in their areas, including fruits and nuts, greens of various types, and other more traditional garden crops, including beans. For all types of gardening, non-hybrids seeds (sometimes called heirloom seeds) are probably best for several reasons:
•  It makes storing seeds after harvest possible, and reduces dependence on hybrid seeds.
•  There is less uniformity, so the harvest is spread over a longer period.
•  The reduced uniformity also helps prevent crop failure in years with drought or excessive rain. Some seeds will not grow, but others will. (Hybrids are all or nothing.)
Imported foods are likely to shrink in supply more quickly than other foods. If you live in a country that is dependent on imported foods, you may want to consider moving elsewhere. [Farmers Market sales as seen in the picture above will not feed a community much less a city. Such sales seems to provide some sort of fuzzy safety net. The veggies look  so clean and healthy, but they are not an arithmatic solution (in lbs/person/year), but things could change, as they did in Cuba and North Korea, when the people got hungry. The problem is, following a crisis you have to ‘make do’ throught the next planting season to it harvest before the hopeful crop increase is realized.]

b) Water Security. Here, the largest issue is whether there is likely to be sufficient supply in your area. Another issue is whether there will be sufficient water for your garden, at appropriate times. A third issue is whether there will be disruptions in general, because of poor maintenance or because the process of treating fresh water (and sewage) is energy-intensive.
With respect to sufficient water in your area, if it looks like there is a problem (desert Southwest, for example), relocating now rather than later is probably a good idea. Transporting water is energy intensive, and new efforts at developing energy (like shale oil or more ethanol) are likely to make the water supply situation even worse.
With respect to water for gardening, consider a rainwater catchment system for your roof. Runoff water is saved in barrels, and can be used for irrigation in dry periods.
General disruptions of water supply are more difficult. Keep some bottled water on hand. You may also want to consider a tank for greater storage supply. Rainwater catchment can be used for drinking water, with the correct type of roofing (not asphalt shingles!) and proper treatment, but this is not generally legal in the United States.

10. What kind of investments should I be making? A person’s first priority should be buying at least a little protection for a rainy day – some extra food and water, comfortable clothing, blankets and flashlights. I suggested two weeks’ worth in Question 2. If you have money and space, you may want to buy more.
Paying down debt is probably a good idea, if only for the peace of mind it brings. There are some possible scenarios where debt is not a problem (hyper-inflation but you keep your existing job and get a raise). In many other scenarios (deflation; job lay-offs; rising food and energy prices) debt is likely to be even harder to pay off than it is now.
Land for a garden is probably a good investment, as well as garden tools. You will want to invest in gardening equipment, some books on permaculture, and perhaps some heirloom seeds. You may also want to consider a rainwater catchment system, to collect water from your roof.
You may also want to invest in solar panels for your home. If you want round-the-clock solar energy, you will also need back-up batteries. Buying these is questionable–they tend to be very expensive, require lots of maintenance, and need to be replaced often.
There is a possibility that the financial system will run into difficulty in the not-too-distant future. Some ideas for investments that may protect against this are
• Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS). [At 69 years of age I recieve Social Security, its suppose to ‘inflation protected’. With the price of every thng going up at the store, doctor’s office and gas station, we haven’t received a COLA raise in two years. I’m afraid TIPS investors will  conveniently
encounter the same non inflationary ‘protection.-Mr. Larry]
• Bank accounts protected by the FDIC  [Where FDIC means– some of the same folks that brought us here today.]
Gold coins
• Silver coins

If you want to invest in the stock market, we know that there will be more and more drilling done for oil and gas done in the next few years, so companies making drilling equipment are likely to do well. Small independent oil and gas companies may also do well, doing “work-over” business. We know that there are likely to be shortages in some metals in the years ahead (copper, platinum, uranium), so shares in companies mining these types of metals may do well.
Investments in biofuels should be considered with caution. Most ethanol from corn appears to be heavily dependent on subsidies. If it should ever have to compete with other fuels on a level playing ground, it is likely to do poorly.
I would be cautious about buying insurance policies, except for short-term needs such as automobile coverage, homeowners coverage, and term life insurance. If we encounter a period of significant deflation, insurance companies are likely to fail, because bondholders cannot pay their debt. If we run into a period of rapid inflation, the life insurance or long term care coverage you buy may have very little real value when you come to use it.

11.  Should I move to a different location? There are many reasons you might want to consider moving to a different location:
• To find something less expensive. If times are going to be difficult, you do not want to be paying most of your income on a mortgage or rent.
• To be closer to friends or family, in the difficult times ahead.
• To share a house or apartment with friends or family.
• To be closer to work or public transportation.
• To be closer to a type of employment that you believe will have a better chance of continuing in the future.
• To have better fresh water supplies.
• To join a community with similar interests in sustainability.
• To leave a community that you feel may be prone to violence, in time of shortage.

There are disadvantages as well as advantages to moving to a new location. If many others are trying to move at the same time, you may not be welcome in the new community. You will likely not have friends and the support group you would have had in your prior location. Because of these issues, it is probably better to move sooner, rather than later, if you are going to move. If you balance the pluses and the minuses, it may be better to stay where you are.

12.  We hear a lot about various things we can do to be “green”, like buying fluorescent light bulbs. Do these save oil? Most of the “green” ideas you read about save energy of some kind, but not necessarily oil. Even so, they are still a good idea. If there is a shortage of one type of energy, it tends to affect other types of energy as well. Doing “green” things is also helpful from a global warming perspective. Here are some green ideas besides using fluorescent light bulbs:
•  Move to a smaller house or apartment.
•  Insulate your house, and have it professionally sealed to keep out drafts.
•  If any rooms are unused, do not heat and cool them.
•  Keep your house warmer in summer, and cooler in winter.
•  If you no longer need a big refrigerator, buy a smaller one. Be sure it is an “Energy Star” refrigerator.
•  If you have more than one refrigerator, get rid of the extra(s). Refrigerators are a big source of energy use. For parties, use ice in a tub.
•  Separate freezers are also big energy users. Consider doing without.
•  Eat less meat. Also avoid highly processed foods and bottled water. All of these require large amounts of energy for production.
•  Get power strips and turn off appliances that drain energy when not in use.
•  Turn off lights that are not needed.
•  Rewire lights into smaller “banks”, so you do not need to light up the whole basement when all you want is light in a small corner.
•  Get a clothes line, so you do not need to use your clothes dryer.
•  When cooking, use the microwave whenever possible.
•  Reduce air travel to a minimum. Air travel results in a huge number of miles of travel with corresponding fuel use.
•  Recycle whenever you can.
•  Eliminate disposables as much as possible (coffee cups, napkins, plastic bags, etc.)

13. Should we be talking to our local government officials about these problems? Yes! At the local level, there are many changes that would be helpful:
•  Laws permitting people to put up clothes lines in their yards.
•  Laws encouraging gardens to be grown, even in the front yards of homes.
•  Laws permitting multiple occupancy of houses by unrelated individuals.
•  New local public transportation plans, particularly ones that do not require large outlay of funds. For example, a plan that is more like a glorified car pool might work.
•  Allocation of funds to study the best crops to be grown in the area, and the best cultivation methods, if energy supplies are much lower in the future.
•  It would also be helpful to make changes at higher levels of government, but these are beyond the scope of the discussion in this chapter.”
“The phrase, ‘consent of the governed’ has been turned into a cruel joke. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs. Civil disobedience is the only tool we have left.” —Chris Hedges
.

IV. Where we’ve been, where we are

Peak Oil
The world is rapidly approaching Peak Oil production and will be at an inflection point soon, if not already, after which, real prices will begin a long rise. Price inflection is possible before the next economic recovery, but will certainly come with a recovery, which will then be short lived, because rising energy prices will channel money away from other discretionary expenditures. For the last two years (2009-2010), the USA and Europe have been in recession with lower oil requirements, which have skewered the following 2007 chart by extending the plateau top and pushing the ‘decline in production slope’ (with subsequent increase in prices) into the future another couple years past the original 2007 projection.
Whether we are out of the recession or not by 2015 (within 4 years from now), production declines and the resultant rise in petroleum prices will probably have become an unpleasant factor in our national and personal, financial lives. On Saturday, 4 Sep 2010, FinancialSense.com weekly, ‘News Hour’ podcast, gave leads to the Peak Oil reports listed below. These articles seem to be telling a story, a story which has not yet been shared to any degree with the American people by either the US Government or the news media. Furthermore, there are almost monthly reports being issued by responsible, main stream institutions in Europe, the USA and the Middle East.
As I write, northern Europe is advancing on a program to greatly reduce their fossil fuel dependence; its estimated that in 10 years, by 2020, 20% of Europe’s energy, not just its electricity, will be derived from renewables.
What is happening in the United States? Nothing significant that I’ve heard, seen or read about. Maybe the government is waiting for a Peak Oil–Pearl Harbor type crisis to create a popular mandate for action, as opposed to making plans and choosing an intelligent path while there is time and opportunity to implement and mass test renewable systems.
The energy transition from one type energy to an alternative, historically, only happens about once per century and does so with momentous consequences. We will begin to move away from fossil fuels quite rapidly from here on forward. Business, families and individuals who can adapt to the charge and manage risk will gain an advantage with the shrinking energy pie. [Mr. Larry]

1)  February 2010: UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security (ITPOES) study on peak oil was released: “Business calls for urgent action on ‘oil crunch’ threat to UK economy
London, 10 February, 2010: A group of leading business people today call for urgent action to prepare the UK for Peak Oil. The second report of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security (ITPOES) finds that oil shortages, insecurity of supply and price volatility will destabilize economic, political and social activity, potentially by 2015. This means an end to the era of cheap oil.
•  Taskforce warns Britain is unprepared for significant risk to companies and consumers
•  Poorest to be hit hardest by price rises for travel, food, heating and consumer goods
•  New policies must be priority for whoever wins the General Election
•  Recommended packages include legislation, new technologies and behavior-change incentives
•  Fundamental change in demand patterns triggered by emerging economy countries

2)  March 2010: Telegraph.Co.UK, “Oil reserves ‘exaggerated by one third’
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7500669/Oil-reserves-exaggerated-by-one-third.html>
The world’s oil reserves have been exaggerated by up to a third, according to Sir David King, the Government’s former chief scientist, who has warned of shortages and price spikes within years.
Published: 9:51PM GMT 22 Mar 2010, by Rowena Mason, City Reporter (Energy)
“The scientists and researchers from Oxford University argue that official figures are inflated because member countries of the oil cartel, OPEC, over-reported reserves in the 1980s when competing for global market share.
Their new research argues that estimates of conventional reserves should be downgraded from 1,150bn to 1,350bn barrels to between 850bn and 900bn barrels and claims that demand may outstrip supply as early as 2014. The researchers claim it is an open secret that OPEC is likely to have inflated its reserves, but that the International Energy Agency (IEA), BP, the Energy Information Administration and World Oil do not take this into account in their statistics.
It’s critically important that reserves have been overstated, and if you take this into account, we’re talking supply not meeting demand in 2014-2015.”
Dr Oliver Inderwildi, who co-wrote the paper with Sir David and Nick Owen for Oxford University’s Smith School, believes radical measures such as switching freight transport to airships could become common in future.
“The belief that alternative fuels such as biofuels could mitigate oil supply shortages and eventually replace fossil fuels is a pie in the sky. Instead of relying on those silver bullet solutions, we have to make better use of the remaining resources by improving efficiency.”

3)  March 2010: A heatingoil.com, Kuwait University and Kuwait Oil Company– Peak Oil report
Kuwaiti Researchers Predict Peak Oil Production in 2014
March 10, 2010,  by Josh Garrett
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7500669/Oil-reserves-exaggerated-by-one-third.html>
“A new study published in the journal, Energy & Fuels, predicts that world conventional oil production will hit its peak in the year 2014. The study, undertaken by researchers at Kuwait University and Kuwait Oil Company (their chart shown above), looked at oil production in the top 47 oil-producing nations and found that humanity has extracted about 54 percent of total world oil reserves and that conventional oil production will reach its peak of 79 million stock tank barrels per day (an industry term, abbreviated as STB, that refers to the number of barrels of crude oil successfully extracted and “treated”) in about four years.
The study began with the Hubbert forecast model, named for peak oil pioneer M. King Hubbert, who successfully predicted that crude oil production in the US would peak in 1970. Though proven to be a useful tool in predicting peak oil, the Hubbert model has limitations when applied to more complex and diverse oil production methods and measures of the 21st century. The Kuwaiti researchers accounted for those limitations in the study, and also allowed for updates of their findings as new oil production data becomes available.
It should be noted that the study, no matter how sound its methods, reports exclusively on conventional oil (liquid crude that can be extracted from the ground relatively cheaply), and in doing so paints an incomplete picture of world oil supplies and the expected arrival of peak oil production.
(Note: If the study were to include data on unconventional sources such as Canada’s tar sands and oil shale deposits of the American West, the supply figures would grow substantially and the date of peak production would likely be pushed forward by at least a decade or two. However, because the technology and costs associated with extraction of unconventional oil vary widely and face an extremely uncertain future, it is logical that the study excludes unconventional oil figures.)
The more prepared governments and citizens are for any supply declines that could lead to rapid price increases in consumer fuels like heating oil, diesel, and gasoline, the less disruptive those increases will be to our daily lives.”
“Very few metro regions, cities or businesses are prepared for the impact of the global peak oil issue on their economies, or finances, operating budgets and mobility.
Cities, households and the economy will be impacted, as will industries. Some industries will be hurt (agriculture, retail, petrochemicals) and some sectors could be positively impacted (smart growth planners, alternative transportation providers, “smart city” technology providers, alternative fuel producers, mixed-use and infill developers)
Whether it’s bonafide peaking of global oil supplies, or a short- to medium-term “oil crunch,” the initial result will be the same. Rapidly rising gas prices and price instability should become evident by 2013, or even earlier if there are any supply shocks because of natural disasters (hurricanes in Gulf), political events, war and terrorists acts.
The most obvious area of impact of rising oil prices is transportation and mobility. During the gas price rises of 2006-2008, U.S. citizens turned to public transportation in record numbers. Light rail ridership was the biggest winner, as was an old and reliable form of gas-free transportation, the bicycle.
The biggest losers: SUVs (RIP Hummer) and personal automotive use. Across the nation, people substantially reduced their driving for the first time in decades, particularly in metro areas that had other mobility options.”

4)  April 2010: guardian.co.uk, “US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015″ by Terry Macalister
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/11/peak-oil-production-supply>
“The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.
The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel.
“By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day,” says the report, which has a foreword by a senior commander, General James N. Mattis. It adds: “While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions, push fragile and failing states further down the path toward collapse, and perhaps have serious economic impact on both China and India.”
•  Shortfall could reach 10 million barrels a day, report says
•  Cost of crude oil is predicted to top $100 a barrel

The US military says ‘its views cannot be taken as US government policy’, but admits they are meant to provide the Joint Forces with “an intellectual foundation upon which we will construct the concept to guide out future force developments.”
The warning is the latest in a series from around the world that has turned peak oil – the moment when demand exceeds supply – from a distant threat to a more immediate risk.

Future fuel supplies are of acute importance to the US Army because it is believed to be the biggest single user of petrol in the world. BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, said recently that there was little chance of crude from the carbon-heavy Canadian tar sands being banned in America because the US military like to have local supplies rather than rely on the politically unstable Middle East.
But there are signs that the US Department of Energy might also be changing its stance on peak oil. In a recent interview with French newspaper, Le Monde, Glen Sweetnam, main oil adviser to the Obama administration, admitted that “a chance exists that we may experience a decline” of world liquid fuels production between 2011 and 2015 if the investment was not forthcoming.

“It’s surprising to see that the US Army, unlike the US Department of Energy, publicly warns of major oil shortages in the near-term. “The Energy Information Administration (of the Department Of Energy) has been saying for years that Peak Oil was “decades away”. In light of the report from the US Joint Forces Command, is the EIA still confident of its previous highly optimistic conclusions?”
The Joint Operating Environment report paints a bleak picture of what can happen on occasions when there is serious economic upheaval. “One should not forget that the Great Depression spawned a number of totalitarian regimes that sought economic prosperity for their nations by ruthless conquest,” it points out. From

5)  June 2010: Guardian.co.uk, news article posted 11 July 2010, “Lloyd’s adds its voice to dire ‘peak oil’ warnings”, by Terry Macalister
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jul/11/peak-oil-energy-disruption>
“Business underestimating catastrophic consequences of declining oil, says Lloyd’s of London/Chatham House report. One of the City’s most respected institutions has warned of “catastrophic consequences” for businesses that fail to prepare for a world of increasing oil scarcity and a lower carbon economy.
The Lloyd’s insurance market and the highly regarded Royal Institute of International Affairs, known as Chatham House, says Britain needs to be ready for “peak oil” and disrupted energy supplies at a time of soaring fuel demand in China and India, constraints on production caused by the BP oil spill and political moves to cut CO2 to halt global warming.
“Companies which are able to take advantage of this new energy reality will increase both their resilience and competitiveness. Failure to do so could lead to expensive and potentially catastrophic consequences,” says the Lloyd’s and Chatham House report “Sustainable energy security: strategic risks and opportunities for business”.
The insurance market has a major interest in preparedness to counter climate change because of the fear of rising insurance claims related to property damage and business disruption. The review is groundbreaking because it comes from the heart of the City and contains the kind of dire warnings that are more associated with environmental groups or others accused by critics of resorting to hype. It takes a pot shot at the International Energy Agency which has been under fire for apparently under-estimating the threats, noting: “IEA expectations [on crude output] over the last decade have generally gone unmet.”
The report the world is heading for a global oil supply crunch and high prices owing to insufficient investment in oil production plus a rebound in global demand following recession. It repeats warning from Professor Paul Stevens, a former economist from Dundee University, at an earlier Chatham House conference that lack of oil by 2013 could force the price of crude above $200 (£130) a barrel.
It also quotes from a US department of energy report highlighting the economic chaos that would result from declining oil production as global demand continued to rise, recommending a crash programme to overhaul the transport system. “Even before we reach peak oil,” says the Lloyd’s report, “we could witness an oil supply crunch because of increased Asian demand. Major new investment in energy takes 10-15 years from the initial investment to first production, and to date we have not seen the amount of new projects that would supply the projected increase in demand.”
And while the world is gradually moving to new kinds of clean energy technologies the insurance market warns that there could be shortages of earth metals and other raw materials needed to help them thrive. From

6)  August 2010: Spiegal Online International, posted 4 September 2010, “German Military Study Warns of a Potentially Drastic Oil Crisis“, by Stefan Schultz
“A study by a German military think tank has analyzed how “peak oil” might change the global economy. The internal draft document — leaked on the Internet — shows for the first time how carefully the German government has considered a potential energy crisis.
The study is a product of the Future Analysis department of the Bundeswehr Transformation Center, a think tank tasked with fixing a direction for the German military. The team of authors, led by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Will, uses sometimes-dramatic language to depict the consequences of an irreversible depletion of raw materials. It warns of shifts in the global balance of power, of the formation of new relationships based on interdependency, of a decline in importance of the western industrial nations, of the “total collapse of the markets” and of serious political and economic crises.

The news report from Spiegal Online was specific about their study’s socio-economic findings, pointing out that:
1.  “Shortages in the supply of vital goods could arise as a result, for example in food supplies.
2.  Oil is used directly or indirectly in the production of 95% of all industrial goods.
3.  Price shocks could therefore be seen in almost any industry and throughout all stages of the industrial supply chain.
4.  In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse.…
5.  (Relapse into planned economy) Since virtually all economic sectors rely heavily on oil, peak oil could lead to a partial or complete failure of markets. A conceivable alternative would be government rationing and the allocation of important goods or the setting of production schedules and other short-term coercive measures to replace market-based mechanisms in times of crisis….
6.  (Global chain reaction) A restructuring of oil supplies will not be equally possible in all regions before the onset of peak oil. It is likely that a large number of states will not be in a position to make the necessary investments in time, or with sufficient magnitude.
7.  If there were economic crashes in some regions of the world, Germany could be affected. Germany would not escape the crises of other countries, because it’s so tightly integrated into the global economy….”
8.  The Bundeswehr study also raises fears for the survival of democracy itself. Parts of the population could perceive the upheaval triggered by peak oil “as a general systemic crisis.” This would create “room for ideological and extremist alternatives to existing forms of government….”
.

V.   The economy of extracting the last half of the oil

6th June 2010, MI2G, “Beyond Oil: Beginning of A New Era?”, London, UK
As the marginal cost of extracting oil has risen ever higher, it has been a red rag to the investment bulls seeking a return. Given that the risk profile of extracting that extra barrel of oil has now grown exponentially, this is likely to act as a new deterrent. The risks are rising much faster than previously anticipated as we approach peak oil.
The inertia which has set in amongst governments, businesses and the investment community in regard to preserving the status quo is going to be knocked sideways by the Gulf oil spill and as the costs of the cleanup mount, it will become imperative to invest in cleaner and safer forms of energy. The change in direction will ultimately be driven by a forced change in our collective value system. The end of oil-dependency is likely to mark the end of an era for the globalised western civilization’s model of oil-centric capitalism. If we survive, the age of oil will be followed by an age of recovery, restoration and a return to local generation of power through alternative means. What does the future look like without oil-dependency? Cleaner forms of energy are likely to proliferate. The possibility of a world in balance with natural resources, clean air, clean water, and with the natural environment, is like a shining light at the end of a dark tunnel.
If the problems were only the current recession, we’d muddle through and eventually it would end; if it were a matter of too much personal and national debt, we’d still muddle through, after increasing taxes and fees on everything and decade or so of unusually high inflation; if the problem were only Peak Oil, we’d muddle through, but with a sense of nervous urgency. However, combining, the recession, massive multi levels of debt and Peak oil is going to be taxing (pun intended), economically and socially exhausting.
It appears that global socio-economic systems are working their way deeper into a period of increasing stress. If there were no other major exogenous events to hit humanity over the next 5-10 years, we could probably pull off a global Manhattan type project of converting to renewable resources. An expansion of the ‘renewable energy’ paradigm would fuel manufacturing employment and consumer spending, banks would loan money, and for a short while there would be an economic boom, until the fallout from Peak Oil caught up. Our conversion from Oil to ‘renewables’ will not be fast enough to make up for the coming price hike in petroleum products. Look for the race from oil to renewables to be a ‘diminishing returns’ scenario, the more renewables we adopt, the higher energy prices go. Why? Because the problem is time related, we are starting too late to mitigate the coming Peak Oil price hikes.
So, even with the recession, massive debt and a late start at converting to renewable, we could with higher taxes and prices, come through with the current system intact, but jarred. Under these conditions the global economic system will be tight, there is little if any economic slack as we move forward through the recession toward Peak Oil. If an unexpected calamity arises, that could very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, resulting in serious, wide ranging population ‘hardships’.
[The term ‘hardships’ can cover a lot of unpleasant ground! Think about it. Name 10 inconveniences that could arise in your life from a national calamity, then throw in 10 unknowns you didn’t expect. Mr. Larry]
 .

VI. Energy: Shell’s future scenarios – Staring into energy’s black hole


6 Jul 2008, Author: Tobias Webb
http://www.climatechangecorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=5937
Shell’s “energy scenarios” see fossil fuels remaining a huge part of the energy mix to 2050. And if Shell is right, what does it mean for the planet’s future?

1.   Scramble scenerio
Under the Scramble scenario, the current and future “flight to coal” as a relatively cheap energy source cannot last forever. According to Bentham, in this scenario, around the mid part of the decade (ca 2014-2016) comes “a triple squeeze” in energy. This is made up of the logistical difficulties of having to move growing volumes of coal around the world. At the same time, conventional oil and gas supplies are likely to plateau because of a lack of investment and for “political issues” (shorthand for oil nationalism or a lack of big oil company interests in major projects).
These two factors could lead to the “demand levers being pulled rapidly”, Bentham said, and knee-jerk reactions by governments, such as reducing car speed limits to save on fuel use, decommissioning inefficient power plants quickly, and changing building regulations. All this, needless to say, is set to make the world a volatile place.
In Shell’s Scramble scenario, second generation (non-food sourced) biofuels will grow rapidly from 2020 onwards. Meanwhile, renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, will see local growth but will not yet be able to compete with conventional energy in size and scale. The economic conditions of the 2020s will encourage further renewables growth, Shell says, and renewable energy will “rebound” by the end of that decade. The flip side will be that only by then will serious action be likely on global carbon prices as climate change related weather events begin to be blamed on a lack of action during the world’s previous dash to coal sources for energy. This rather paints a bleak picture for the future for environmentalists and, indeed, anyone else.

2.  Blueprints scenerio
Shell believes that its Blueprints scenario presents a much more positive picture. While the company does not believe that achieving a global balance of 450ppm of CO2 by 2050 or earlier is remotely feasible, Shell says that global energy demand can be met by less-polluting sources than fossil fuels, and can be reduced significantly by technology, driven by both regulation and collaboration between governments.
Bentham spoke of the “political reality” of climate change as a key driver for this scenario of collaboration on energy use. He cited two key examples: the law passed in California in 2006 which mandated a cap-and-trade carbon emissions trading system by 2012; and the recent attempts by politicians in Australia to distance themselves from their nation’s past recalcitrant attitude to the Kyoto Protocol and carbon dioxide emissions regulation.
The Californian approach has influenced other US states, Bentham said, noting that in the US, climate change is now “a Federal issue”, with both US presidential candidates saying that they take the threat seriously. Bentham said that the C40 group of cities around the world, which is sharing best practices on transport management and infrastructure development across borders, in both developed and developing economies, is another example of an emerging consensus around the need for collaboration to tackle energy and climate concerns.
Developing countries such as China, and their citizens, are also increasingly concerned about environmental issues and this may drive change towards cleaner economies much faster than in the past, Bentham claimed. China has far more UN-approved clean development mechanism greenhouse gas reduction projects than any other nation.

By 2012 to 2015, under the Blueprints scenario, Bentham thinks that we might see “a critical mass of carbon pricing being applied to a critical mass of sectors in a critical mass of countries”. While this rollout is not global, it begins to influence the choices that people are making in investments. This encourages technological progress such as carbon capture and storage by 2020, and vehicle electrification – by 2050 around 40 per cent of all ‘vehicle miles’ are electric under this scenario. National approaches begin to be harmonized, such as around carbon pricing. This encourages energy efficiency and wind power, while helping electric vehicles come to mass market in the 2020s.
CO2 emissions rise, plateau and then fall by around 2050, under Blueprints. Shell believes that there is no one solution to the global energy and climate conundrum, and that, according to Bentham: “Any technology that is going to be deployed at global scale in the next 50 years is already out of the laboratory.” It’s all about policy and incentive choices, he concluded, “the next five years are crucial”.

3. A third scenario: no fossil fuels
So what do others make of Shell’s predictions and dire warnings about the future of climate change and energy? Opinions are mixed.
“Shell is living in la la land,” says Mark Lynas, author of climate disaster bestseller Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. “They are constructing scenarios where they continue to be relevant as a fossil fuel company.” Lynas points out that the climate crisis is so serious that what he calls the “real world” will not tolerate such a high carbon vision of energy for 2050. “The whole scenario process should be about figuring out realistic outcomes and planning for them, whereas what Shell seems to be doing is deciding what they would most like to happen, and writing it down,” he says, calling Shell’s scenarios a “political exercise”.
Shell’s view that stabilizing global carbon emissions at 450 ppm is unrealistic is “totally irresponsible”, says Lynas. “If we don’t stabilize at way below 450 ppm we’ll see irreversible climate change with several tipping points being crossed as a result,” he argues. “They are obviously saying that the world can go fry and that their profits must come first.” Lynas believes that despite oil company claims that they can innovate around the frameworks set by politicians and prosper in a low-carbon world, the current large energy majors will eventually die off, as newer, hungrier firms replace them with what he calls “disruptive” energy technology.
David Strahan, author of The Last Oil Shock, says Shell’s best case analysis – Blueprints – is a “fairly disastrous scenario, because (by their estimation) coal is getting bigger as we go up to 2050”. Strahan notes that NASA’s Jim Hanson believes that if the planet managed to eliminate the emissions from coal-fired power stations by either closing them or capturing all the carbon, then “we squeak in at around 440 parts per million” of CO2. “What’s interesting about [what] Shell [is] saying [is] that it’s the end of the planet” if they are right, Strahan claims.

The carbon capture dream
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is still largely wishful thinking, Lynas agrees. Right now only a tiny number of pilot projects exist around the world, with none being commercially viable. He is in favor of an upstream cap-and-trade system for carbon, which he says is “much easier to manage than regulating emissions” and should be discussed further. Under upstream trading systems, carbon is measured before consumers can become responsible for emitting it and effectively taxed heavily, creating energy efficiency and renewable energy investment incentives across the board.
While Lynas believes there is sufficient technology to decarbonizes power generation by 2050, he thinks it will have to come from renewable sources, with even nuclear a possibility, rather than from fossil fuels. He estimates that future scenarios should factor in a carbon price of €200-€300 a ton to make renewable energy power generation and transportation a reality by 2050. “We need to eliminate coal from the energy mix,” he says, noting that “nuclear may be a good option for China and India”.
“I think the scenarios are a good way of focusing policy makers’ attention on the progress we need to make,” says King. But she notes soberly that even with the considerable co-operation and technology implementation envisaged in Shell’s more positive Blueprints scenario: “We would not deliver the reductions that the climate science indicates we need. It is a useful reminder of the size of the challenge and the urgency.”

Scary future
A bleak message in many ways, but one that Shell appears increasingly comfortable offering – both as a wake-up call to others and to reassure shareholders of the company’s place in the future, after the firm was rocked in 2004 by a massive reserves accounting scandal and struggles to replace oil reserves.
Perhaps the most alarming two facts to emerge from Shell’s scenario planning are the uncertainty around predictions of future energy supply and the potential, or lack of it, of carbon capture and storage technology. No-one knows exactly when “peak oil” – the moment when more of the planet’s oil is out of the ground than left in it – will be reached and what the ramifications for global economics, unrest and politics will be.
Secondly, while many banks and energy firms say 2020 is the earliest when carbon capture and storage will be rolled out, the technology is still at its earliest stages. Unless massive investment in renewable energy is made over the next five to ten years, and if CCS is unable to decarbonize power generation from fossil fuels relatively quickly and on a commercially viable basis, the world will be short of low-carbon power options.
The fight between industry, with their hopeful ideas of carbon capture and storage technology, and those that want to see the whole planet shifting to renewable energy in the next two decades shows no signs of abating.

The peak oil problem
Shell predicts that global oil production will peak around 2020. But the company neatly side-steps the debate in its scenarios by predicting in both the Scramble and Blueprints scenarios that the decline rate of global production will be virtually negligible up to 2040.
David Strahan is surprised that Shell’s oil peak estimation is now 2020. “I haven’t heard them say that before,” he says. The world has already reached the beginnings of a global oil peak, he argues. “The facts are stark. The amount discovered has been falling for 40 years. For every barrel we find each year, we now guzzle three. Output is already falling in more than 60 of the world’s 98 oil-producing countries. And global oil production has been essentially flat, at just less than 86 million barrels per day, since early 2005. Serious analysts now forecast $200 per barrel.”

Blueprints or Scramble
Strahan believes peak oil is coming even earlier than Shell believes and will have a much faster decline rate in production than the company predicts. “Peak oil is this side of 2020”, he says. “Even if you take the most optimistic future discovery numbers that have any credibility and apply a little bit of common-sense you get a peak in 2017”. His fear is that global production will quickly descend to a 4 per cent annual decline rate sometime after that date. “That is the average decline rate of existing oil production capacity.
All major oil companies are struggling to replace their reserves and increase production, Strahan observes. Many are giving more money back to shareholders than they are spending on exploration and production combined, he claims. “They are basically liquidating themselves. Although the high oil price is giving them high profits for the time being, they are in trouble.”

[Did you understand that last statement (bold, brown text above)? After peak oil production, the rate of decline in oil coming to the market will quickly reach the standard average oil production DECLINE  rate of 4% a year. Every year there will be 4% less available oil in the market to sell, and for you, 4% less to buy.
Question: How can there be “growth” if every year there is 4% less work being done? How can we feed 2% more children born into the world with declining food production, when we already have a great deal of dislocation, warfare and starvation on the African continuent?
Since it takes 10 calories of energy input to produce and place 1 calorie of food on your table, if the energy input is declining so are the numbers of available food calories.
Of course there will be a couple years of belt tightening, which will briefly mitigate the food shortage in richer countries, but then with the energy continually declining 4% a year, the deficiencies add up fast: -4%, -8%, -12%, -16%, -20%….in less than 5 years we’ll be unable to hold back to flood tide of misery sweeping across the world, the country, into our homes. In 10 years there would be 40% less petroleum, in 25 years…..in less than 25 years, its all changed. Before 2034.
However, for now, (sadly said) if we can remain in a global recession for the next couple years that will push forward the ‘peak production’ inflection point a few months, while lower recessionary demand may or may not curtail price increases.
Your vote at the polls will not change this. Writing to elected officials or demonstrating on the street will not change this. The global population has voted, they are becoming increasingly concerned and now that they are becoming poorer, they are arming; some are hungry and many are angry, more are in the streets, but none will change the outcome. We are faced with classic ‘overshoot and collapse’.

In closing, a look back at a chart from the book, The Limits to Growth, © 1972, by the Club of Rome. The ‘limits to growth model’ data run is seen below, where there is a  cascading effect from the decline in (resources) oil production that spreads like falling dominos  across the variables, except death rate. The ‘establishment’ -governement, industry and finance, have found it economically convenient to ignore the concepts discussed by the Club of Rome, they did not heed the warning in Hubbert’s Peak oil or the Hirsch report; time passed and these ‘limiting factors’ have  quietly approached. Today, the leadership are ignoring the ‘peak oil’ reports made by various military, business and academic institutions…. Wake up, Neo!
Mr Larry]


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Filed under Survival Manual, __1. Disaster

Volcanic winter

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/ Volcanic winter)

A.  Vuncanism as a threat
How many volcanoes are there?
During the past 10,000 years, there are about 1,500 volcanoes on land that are known to have  been active, while the even larger number of submarine volcanoes is unknown. At present, there are about 600 volcanoes that have had known eruptions during recorded history, while about 50-70 volcanoes are active (erupting) each year. At any given time, there is an average of about 20 volcanoes that are erupting. Active volcanoes in the U.S. are found mainly in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington.

One of the major factors that affect overall climate are volcanoes. If a volcanic eruption occurs in Russia, it can affect North American weather if the eruption is at least 3 kilometers high. If an eruption occurs in the southern hemisphere and is 16 kilometers high, the entire globe will have its climate affected. Simply put, volcanic eruptions can alter the expected outcome of crops, investments, oil, ranching and many other factors that affect the economy of the world.

A ‘Triple Crown’ of global cooling could pose serious threat to humanity
Sea surface temperatures, extremely low solar activity and increased volcanic activity would lead to
widespread food shortages and famine.  By Kirk Myers
19 May 10 – “Global warming” may become one of those quaint cocktail party conversations of the past if three key climate drivers – 1) cooling North Pacific sea surface temperatures, 2) extremely low solar activity and 3) increased volcanic eruptions – converge to form a “perfect storm” of plummeting temperatures that send our planet into a long-term cool-down lasting 20 or 30 years or longer.
“There are some wild cards that are different from what we saw when we came out of the last warm PDO [Pacific Decadal Oscillation] and entered its cool phase [1947 to 1976]. Now we have a very weak solar cycle and the possibility of increased volcanic activity. Together, they would create what I call the ‘Triple Crown of Cooling,’” says Accuweather meteorologist Joe Bastardi.
If all three climate-change ingredients come together, it would be a recipe for dangerously cold temperatures that would shorten the agricultural growing season in northern latitudes, crippling grain production in the wheat belts of the United States and Canada and triggering widespread food shortages and famine.

1.  Cool Pacific Decadal Oscillation
The Pacific Decadal Oscillation refers to cyclical variations in sea surface temperatures that occur in the North Pacific Ocean. (The PDO is often described as a long-lived El Niño-like pattern.) PDO events usually persist for 20 to 30 years, alternating between warm and cool phases.
From 1977 to 1998, during the height of “global warming,” North America was in the midst of a warm PDO.
But the PDO has once again resumed its negative cool phase, and, as such, represents the first climate driver in the Triple Crown of Cooling. With the switch to a cool PDO, we’ve seen a change in the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which alternates between El Nino (warm phase) and La Nina (cool phase) every few years. The recent strong El Nino that began in July 2009 is now transitioning to a La Nina, a sign of cooler temperatures ahead.
“We’re definitely headed towards La Nina conditions before summer is over, and we’re looking at a moderate to strong La Nina by fall and winter, which …should bring us cooler temperatures over the next few years,” predicts Joe D’Aleo, founder of the International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project (ICECAP) and the first director of meteorology at the Weather Channel.
He is not alone in his forecast. Bastardi also sees a La Nina just around the corner.
“I’ve been saying since February that we’ll transition to La Nina by the middle of the hurricane season. I think we’re already seeing the atmosphere going into a La Nina state in advance of water temperatures. This will have interesting implications down the road. La Nina will dramatically cool off everything later this year and into next year, and it is a signal for strong hurricane activity,” Bastardi predicts.
The difference in sea surface temperature between positive and negative PDO phases is not more than 1 to 2 degrees Celsius, but the affected area is huge. So the temperature changes can have a big impact on the climate in North America.

2.  Declining solar activity
Another real concern – and the second climate driver in the Triple Crown of Cooling – is the continued stretch of weak solar activity… We recently exited the longest solar minimum –12.7 years compared to the 11-year average – in 100 years. It was a historically inactive period in terms of sunspot numbers. During the minimum, which began in 2004, we have experienced 800 spotless days. A normal cycle averages 485 spotless days.
In 2008, we experienced 265 days without a sunspot, the fourth-highest number of spotless days since continuous daily observations began in 1849. In 2009, the trend continued, with 261 spotless days, ranking it among the top five blank-sun years. Only 1878, 1901 and 1913 (the record-holder with 311 days) recorded more spotless days.
In 2010, the sun continues to remain in a funk. There were 27 spotless days (according to Layman’s sunspot count) in April and, as of May 19, 12 days without a spot. Both months exhibited periods of inexplicably low solar activity during a time when the sun should be flexing its “solar muscle” and ramping up towards the next solar maximum.

3.  Strong correlation between sunspot activity and global temperature
Why are sunspot numbers important? Very simple: there is a strong correlation between sunspot activity and global temperature. During the Dalton Minimum (1790 – 1830) and Maunder Minimum (1645 -1715), two periods with very low sunspot activity, temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere plummeted.
During the Dalton Minimum, the abnormally cold weather destroyed crops in northern Europe, the northeastern United States and eastern Canada. Historian John D. Post called it “the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world.” The record cold intensified after the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815, the largest volcanic eruption in more than 1,600 years (see details below).
During the 70-year Maunder Minimum, astronomers at the time counted only a few dozen sunspots per year, thousands fewer than usual. As sunspots vanished, temperatures fell. The River Thames in London froze, sea ice was reported along the coasts of southeast England, and ice floes blocked many harbors. Agricultural production nose-dived as growing seasons became shorter, leading to lower crop yields, food shortages and famine.
If the low levels of solar activity during the past three years continue through the current solar cycle … we could be facing a severe temperature decline within the next five to eight years.
“The sun is behaving very quietly – like it did in the late 1700s during the transition from Solar Cycle 4 to Solar Cycle 5 – which was the start of the Dalton Minimum,” D’Aleo says. If the official sunspot number reaches only 40 or 50 – a low number indicating very weak solar energy levels – during the next solar maximum, we could be facing much lower global temperatures down the road.”
Even NASA solar physicist David Hathaway has said this is “the quietest sun we’ve seen in almost a century.”

Volcanic eruptions
Unfortunately, there is a very real chance Eyjafjallajokull’s much larger neighbor, the Katla volcano, could blow its top, creating the third-climate driver in the ‘Triple Crown of Cooling’. If Katla does erupt, it would send global temperatures into a nosedive, with a big assist from the cool PDO and a slumbering sun.
The Katla caldera measures 42 square miles and has a magma chamber with a volume of around 2.4 cubic miles, enough to produce a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) level-six eruption – an event ten times larger than Mount St. Helens.
Katla erupts about every 70 years or so, most recently in 1918, often in tandem with neighboring Eyjafjallajokull, which is not a good sign.
According to Bastardi, “The Katla volcano in Iceland is a game changer. If it erupts and sends plumes of ash and SO2 into the stratosphere, any cooling caused by the oceanic cycles would be strengthened and amplified.”
Iceland’s President Olafur Grimsson says the eruption of Eyjafjallajoekull volcano is only a “small rehearsal.”
“The time for Katla to erupt is coming close . . . I don’t say if, but I say when Katla will erupt,” Grimsson predicts. And when Katla finally erupts it will “create for a long period, extraordinary damage to modern advanced society.”
Not a very encouraging outlook. Yet major eruptions throughout history bear witness to the deadly impact of volcanoes.
The Tambora eruption in 1815, the largest in 1,600 years, sent the earth’s climate into a deep freeze, triggering “the year without a summer.” Columnist Art Horn, writing in the Energy Tribune, describes the impact:
“During early June of 1815, a foot of snow fell on Quebec City. In July and August, lake and river ice were observed as far south as Pennsylvania. Frost killed crops across New England with resulting famine. During the brutal winter of 1816/17, the temperature fell to -32 in New York City.”
When (Katla) unleashed its fury in the 1700s, the volcano sent temperatures into a tailspin in North America.
“The Mississippi River froze just north of New Orleans and the East Coast, especially New England, had an extremely cold winter.

Global cooling: a life-threatening event
Says D’Aleo:  “Cold is far more threatening than the little extra warmth we experienced from 1977 to 1998 … A cooling down to Dalton Minimum temperatures or worse would lead to shortened growing seasons and large-scale crop failures. Food shortages would make worse the fact that more people die from cold than heat.”
Actions to limit CO2 emissions should be shelved and preparations made for an extended period of global cooling that would pose far more danger to humankind than any real or imagined warming predicted by today’s climate models.
Pasted from <http://www.iceagenow.com/Triple_Crown_of_global_cooling.htm>

B.  The Year Without a Summer
The Year Without a Summer (also known as, a) The Poverty Year, b) The Year There Was No Summer and c) Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death) was 1816, in which severe summer climate abnormalities caused average global temperatures to decrease by about 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F), resulting in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere. It is believed that the anomaly was caused by a combination of 1) a historic low in solar activity with 2) a volcanic winter event, the latter caused by a succession of major volcanic eruptions capped off by the Mount Tambora eruption of 1815, the largest known eruption in over 1,600 years. Historian John D. Post has called this “the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world”.

[Chart above:The 1816 summer temperature anomaly with respect to 1971-2000 climatology.]

Description of The Year Without a Summer 
The unusual climatic aberrations of 1816 had the greatest effect on the Northeastern United States, the Canadian Maritimes, Newfoundland, and Northern Europe. Typically, the late spring and summer of the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada are relatively stable: temperatures (average of both day and night) average about 68–77 °F and rarely fall below 41 °F. Summer snow is an extreme rarity.
In the spring and summer of 1816, a persistent “dry fog” was observed in the northeastern United States. The fog reddened and dimmed the sunlight, such that sunspots were visible to the naked eye. Neither wind nor rainfall dispersed the “fog”. It has been characterized as a stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil.
In May 1816, frost killed off most of the crops that had been planted, and on 4 June 1816, frosts were reported in Connecticut, and by the following day, most of New England was gripped by the cold front. On 6 June 1816, snow fell in Albany, New York, and Dennysville, Maine. Nearly a foot of snow was observed in Quebec City in early June, with consequent additional loss of crops—most summer-growing plants have cell walls which rupture even in a mild frost. The result was regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality.
In July and August, lake and river ice were observed as far south as Pennsylvania. Rapid, dramatic temperature swings were common, with temperatures sometimes reverting from normal or above-normal summer temperatures as high as 95°F to near-freezing within hours. Even though farmers south of New England did succeed in bringing some crops to maturity, maize and other grain prices rose dramatically. The staple food oats, for example, rose from 12¢ a bushel the previous year to 92¢ a bushel -nearly eight times as much. Those areas suffering local crop failures had to deal with the lack of roads in the early 19th Century, preventing any easy importation of bulky food stuffs.
Cool temperatures and heavy rains resulted in failed harvests in the British Isles as well. Families in Wales traveled long distances as refugees, begging for food. Famine was prevalent in north and southwest Ireland, following the failure of wheat, oat, and potato harvests. The crisis was severe in Germany, where food prices rose sharply. Due to the unknown cause of the problems, demonstrations in front of grain markets and bakeries, followed by riots, arson, and looting, took place in many European cities. It was the worst famine of the 19th Century.
In China, the cold weather killed trees, rice crops, and even water buffalo, especially in northern China. Floods destroyed many remaining crops. Mount Tambora’s eruption disrupted China’s monsoon season, resulting in overwhelming floods in the Yangtze Valley in 1816. In India the delayed summer monsoon caused late torrential rains that aggravated the spread of cholera from a region near the River Ganges in Bengal to as far as Moscow.
In the ensuing bitter winter of 1817, when the thermometer dropped to -26°F, the waters of New York’s Upper Bay froze deeply enough for horse-drawn sleighs to be driven across Buttermilk Channel from Brooklyn to Governors Island.
The effects were widespread and lasted beyond the winter. In eastern Switzerland, the summers of 1816 and 1817 were so cool that an ice dam formed below a tongue of the Giétro Glacier high in the Val de Bagnes. In spite of the efforts of the engineer Ignaz Venetz to drain the growing lake, the ice dam collapsed catastrophically in June 1818.

Causes
It is now generally thought that the aberrations occurred because of the 1815 (April 5–15) volcanic Mount Tambora eruption on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia (then part of the Dutch East Indies). The eruption had a Volcanic Explosivity Index ranking of 7, a super-colossal event that ejected immense amounts of volcanic dust into the upper atmosphere. It was the world’s largest eruption since the Hatepe eruption over 1,630 years earlier in AD 180. The fact that the 1815 eruption occurred during the middle of the Dalton Minimum (a period of unusually low solar activity) is also significant.
Other large volcanic eruptions (with VEI at least 4) during the same time frame are:
•  1812, La Soufrière on Saint Vincent in the Caribbean
•  1812, Awu on Sangihe Islands, Indonesia
•  1813, Suwanosejima on Ryukyu Islands, Japan
•  1814, Mayon in the Philippines
These other eruptions had already built up a substantial amount of atmospheric dust. As is common following a massive volcanic eruption, temperatures fell worldwide because less sunlight passed through the atmosphere.

Effects
As a result of the series of volcanic eruptions, crops in the above-cited areas had been poor for several years; the final blow came in 1815 with the eruption of Tambora. In the United States, many historians cite the “Year Without a Summer” as a primary motivation for the western movement and rapid settlement of what is now western and central New York and the American Midwest. Many New Englanders were wiped out by the year, and tens of thousands struck out for the richer soil and better growing conditions of the Upper Midwest (then the Northwest Territory).
Europe, still recuperating from the Napoleonic Wars, suffered from food shortages. Food riots broke out in the United Kingdom and France, and grain warehouses were looted. The violence was worst in landlocked Switzerland, where famine caused the government to declare a national emergency. Huge storms and abnormal rainfall with floodings of the major rivers of Europe (including the Rhine) are attributed to the event, as was the frost setting in during August 1816. A major typhus epidemic occurred in Ireland between 1816 and 1819, precipitated by the famine caused by “The Year Without a Summer”. It is estimated that 100,000 Irish perished during this period. A BBC documentary using figures compiled in Switzerland estimated that fatality rates in 1816 were twice that of average years, giving an approximate European fatality total of 200,000 deaths.
The eruption of Tambora also caused Hungary to experience brown snow. Italy experienced something similar, with red snow falling throughout the year. The cause of this is believed to have been volcanic ash in the atmosphere.
In China, unusually low temperatures in summer and fall devastated rice production in Yunnan province in the southwest, resulting in widespread famine. Fort Shuangcheng, now in Heilongjiang province, reported fields disrupted by frost and conscripts deserting as a result. Summer snowfall was reported in various locations in Jiangxi and Anhui provinces, both in the south of the country. In Taiwan, which has a tropical climate, snow was reported in Hsinchu and Miaoli, while frost was reported in Changhua.

Cultural effect
High levels of ash in the atmosphere led to unusually spectacular sunsets during this period, a feature celebrated in the paintings of J. M. W. Turner. It has been theorized that it was this that gave rise to the yellow tinge that is predominant in his paintings such as Chichester Canal circa 1828. Similar phenomena were observed after the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa and on the West Coast of the United States following the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. [‘Google’ for images]
The lack of oats to feed horses may have inspired the German inventor Karl Drais to research new ways of horseless transportation, which led to the invention of the Draisine or velocipede. This was the ancestor of the modern bicycle and a step toward mechanized personal transport.
The crop failures of the “Year without Summer” forced the family of Joseph Smith to move from Sharon, Vermont, to Palmyra, New York,  precipitating a series of events which culminated in the publication of the Book of Mormon and the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In July 1816 “incessant rainfall” during that “wet, ungenial summer” forced Mary Shelley, John William Polidori, and their friends to stay indoors for much of their Swiss holiday. They decided to have a contest to see who could write the scariest story, leading Shelley to write Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus and Polidori to write The Vampyre. In addition, their host, Lord Byron, was inspired to write a poem, Darkness, at the same time.
Justus von Liebig, a chemist who had experienced the famine as a child in Darmstadt, later studied plant nutrition and introduced mineral fertilizers.

Comparable events
•  Toba catastrophe 70,000 to 75,000 years ago.
•  The 1628–26 BC climate disturbances, usually attributed to the Minoan eruption of Santorini.
•  The Hekla 3 eruption of about 1200 BC, contemporary with the historical bronze age collapse.
•  Climate changes of 535–536 have been linked to the effects of a volcanic eruption, possibly at Krakatoa.
•  An eruption of Kuwae, a Pacific volcano, has been implicated in events surrounding the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.
•  An eruption of Huaynaputina, in Peru, caused 1601 to be the coldest year in the Northern Hemisphere for six centuries (see Russian famine of 1601–1603).
•  An eruption of Laki, in Iceland, caused major fatalities in Europe, 1783–84.
•  The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 led to odd weather patterns and temporary cooling in the United States, particularly in the Midwest and parts of the Northeast. An unusually mild winter and warm and early spring were followed by an unusually cool and wet summer in 1992.
Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer>

C.  Three discussions of Volcanic Winter
1.  Days of Darkness (AD 535-AD 546)
Each day, the morning sunrise is taken for granted. Based on the laws of science, it is expected that the sun will rise each day from east to west. Yet, the question must be asked, “what would happen if the sun didn’t rise?” This was the case from AD 535 through AD 546, with the darkest days in AD 536.
“A mighty roar of thunder” came out of the local mountain; there was a furious shaking of the earth, total darkness, thunder and lightning.” A Chinese court journal also made mention of “a huge thunderous sound coming from the south west” in February 535.2 And as a Hopi elder had said, thousands of miles away, “When the changes begin, there will be a big noise heard all over the Earth,” a low rumble reverberated across the planet.
“Then came forth a furious gale together with torrential rain and a deadly storm darkened the entire world,” read the Pustaka Raja Purwa or The Book of Ancient Kings, a buried Indonesian chronicle.
“The sun began to go dark, rain poured red, as if tinted by blood. Clouds of dust enveloped the earth… Yellow dust rained down like snow. It could be scooped up in handfuls,” wrote The Nan Shi Ancient Chronicle of Southern China, referring to the country’s weather in November and December 535.
Darkness followed making the day indistinguishable from the night. “There was a sign from the Sun, the likes of which had never been seen or reported before. The Sun became dark, and its darkness lasted for about 18 months. Each day, it shone for about four hours and still this light was only a feeble shadow. Everyone declared that the Sun would never recover its full light again. The fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes,” John of Ephesus, a Syrian bishop and contemporary writer, wrote in describing the unending darkness. “The sun became dim… for nearly the whole year… so that the fruits were killed at an unseasonable time,” John Lydus added, which was further confirmed by Procopius, a prominent Roman historian who served as Emperor Justinian’s chief archivist and secretary, when he wrote of 536, “…during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the Moon, during this whole year… and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”  “The sun… seems to have lost its wonted light, and appears of a bluish color. We marvel to see no shadows of our bodies at noon, to feel the mighty vigor of the sun’s heat wasted into feebleness,” Flavius Cassiodorus, another Roman historian wrote. Reports even indicated that midday consisted of “almost night-like darkness.”
A cold then gripped the world as temperatures declined. “We have had a winter without storms…”1 “a spring without mildness [and] a summer without heat… The months which should have been maturing the crops have been chilled by north winds,” wrote Cassiodorus. “When can we hope for mild weather, now that the months that once ripened the crops have become deadly sick under the northern blasts? …Out of all the elements, we find these two against us: perpetual frost and unnatural drought,” he added, while in China, it was written, “the stars were lost from view for three months. The sun dimmed, the rain failed, and snow fell in the summertime. Famine spread, and the emperor abandoned his capital…” Other Chinese records referred to a ‘dust veil’ obscuring the sky” while Mediterranean historians wrote about a “‘dry fog’ blocking out much of the sun’s heat for more than year.” The sun was so ineffective that snow even fell during August in southern China and in every month of the year in northern Europe.
“Then came drought [or floods], famine, plague, death…” “Food is the basis of the Empire. Yellow gold and ten thousand strings of cash cannot cure hunger. What avails a thousand boxes of pearls to him who is starving of cold,” the Japanese Great King lamented in 540, while Cassiodorus added, “Rain is denied and the reaper fears new frosts.” And “as hard winters and drought continued into the second and third years [in Mongolia and parts of China, the Avars] unable to find food, unable to barter food from others…” began a 3,000-mile trek to new lands to save themselves and their families from annihilation and starvation.
During this sustained period of unseasonably cold temperatures from 535-546 when the sun was ineffective and blotted out, plant life experienced stunted growth – tree rings from this period show little or no growth – and many crops failed. According to climatological research presented in 2001 by Markus Lindholm of the University of Helsinki, Finland, Abrupt changes in northern Fennoscandian summer temperatures extracted from the 7500-year ring-width chronology of Scots pine, the “most dramatic shift in growing conditions, from favorable to unfavorable, between two years, took place between A.D. 535-536” in Europe and Africa. His findings were corroborated by Mike Baillie of the University of Belfast, who based on his tree ring chronologies, some from specimens preserved in bogs, that dated back thousands of years stated, “It was a catastrophic environmental downturn that shows up in trees all over the world. Temperatures dropped enough to hinder the growth of trees as widely dispersed as northern Europe, Siberia, western North America, and southern South America.” Ominously, the cold brought rats, mice and fleas that normally lived outdoors, into peoples’ homes in search of food and warmth because of the decimation that was occurring to the animal population in the suddenly hostile, chilly dark environment. Deadly bacterium, Yersinia pestis was then transmitted to people and their pets.
In the ensuing unending darkness, chaos reigned as “whole cities were wiped out – civilizations crumbled.” Wars raged across Europe and the Middle East, prosperous societies were stripped of sustenance and wealth, economies collapsed and huge swaths of populations succumbed to disease and plague. “With some people it began in the head, made the eyes bloody and the face swollen, descended to the throat and then removed them from Mankind. With others, there was a flowing of the bowels. Some came out in buboes [pus-filled swellings] which gave rise to great fevers, and they would die two or three days later with their minds in the same state as those who had suffered nothing and with their bodies still robust. Others lost their senses before dying. Malignant pustules erupted and did away with them. Sometimes people were afflicted once or twice and then recovered, only to fall victim a third time and then succumb,” Evagrius, a 6th century Church historian wrote. In their final stages, people “generally entered a semi-conscious, lethargic state, and would not… eat or drink. Following this stage, the victims would be seized by madness… Many people died painfully when their buboes gangrened. A number of victims broke out with black blisters covering their bodies, and these individuals died swiftly.”
Within seven years, due to the ivory trade, in which ships brought rats and sailors infected by the plague, Europe and the Middle East were being ravaged. In Constantinople alone, “they had to dispose of over 10,000 bodies a day, week after week, throwing them into the sea off special boats, sticking them in the towers of the city wall, filling up cisterns, digging up orchards. Soldiers were forced to dig mass graves… chaos and pandemonium [reigned]. Constantinople stank for months after months [from the decaying bodies that were stuffed in towers and stacked or dumped in streets]… [and] when the number of dead reached a quarter of a million, Constantinople officials simply stopped counting.
An account by Procopius went as follows: “At first, relatives and domestics attended to the burial of the dead, but as the violence of the plague increased this duty was neglected, and corpses lay forlorn narrow in the streets, but even in the houses of notable men whose servants were sick or dead. Aware of this, Justinian placed considerable sums at the disposal of Theodore, one of his private secretaries, to take measures for the disposal of the dead. Huge pits [that could hold up to 70,000 corpses] were dug at Sycae, on the other side of the Golden Horn, in which the bodies were laid in rows and tramped down tightly; but the men who were engaged on this work, unable to keep up with the number of the dying, mounted the towers of the wall of the suburb, tore off their roofs, and threw the bodies in. Virtually all the towers were filled with corpses, and as a result ‘an evil stench pervaded the city and distressed the inhabitants still more, and especially whenever the wind blew fresh from that quarter.’”
Out of fear, many people refused to venture out of their homes — “…houses became tombs, as whole families died from the plague without anyone from the outside world even knowing. Streets were deserted…” Furthermore because of this fear and/or the affects of suffering from high fever, scores of people hallucinated, seeing apparitions and visions. And with the vast pestilence and destruction all around them, many could not help but wonder if the apocalypse as described in Revelation 6:8 “And I looked, and behold, a pale horse; and his name that sat on him was Death” was upon them.
It was so bad that some thirty years later, Pope Gregory The Great wrote of Rome, “Ruins on ruins… Where is the senate? Where are the people? All the pomp of secular dignities has been destroyed… And we, the few that we are who remain, every day we are menaced by scourges and innumerable trials.” In its height, the plague “depopulated towns, turned the country into a desert and made the habitations of men to become the haunts of wild beasts” while in Africa, major ports ceased to exist and agricultural practices all but vanished.
“And as others left the stricken city wearing identification tags so that their bodies would be buried if found] they took the plague to towns, villages and farms throughout the empire. To compound matters, with trade and commerce virtually nonexistent, food became scarce leading to the starvation of others. Untold millions perished,” with an estimated death toll of 100 million, the worst pandemic in human history.
“Scandinavian elites” in feeble desperation, “sacrificed large amounts of gold… to appease the angry gods and get the sunlight back.” In Mesoamerica and the Andes, cities “of perhaps one million people” emptied out “practically overnight” through starvation and disease. Peoples turned on their gods and goddesses, violently smashing their images and burning temples and towards the end, they viciously fought each other having become “savage and warlike.”
When the sun finally came out, overcoming the affects of a massive volcanic eruption, even though it hadn’t really been gone, minimizing the adverse affects and saving living creatures from complete extinction, the world was forever transformed. Countries and civilizations had ceased to exist while others emerged as the days of darkness “weakened the Eastern Roman Empire; created horrendous living conditions in the western part of Great Britain; contributed through drought… to the fall of the Teotihuacan civilization in Mexico; and through flooding to the collapse of a major center of civilization in Yemen;” while major upheavals occurred in China and France. More than half the world’s population when taking Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, into account, along with countless numbers of plants and animals, had perished illustrating the fragile relationship that exists between people and nature.
Pasted from <http://ezinearticles.com/?Days-of-Darkness-(AD-535-AD-546)&id=202540>

2.  The Great Famine,  ca. 1315-1322
The first half of the Great Famine of 1315–1322 in Europe may have been precipitated by a volcanic event, perhaps that of Kaharoa, New Zealand; the unusual weather patterns of the period are similar to those found following volcanic eruptions, such as the Mount Tambora eruption of April 1815 that caused ‘The Year Without a Summer’ in Europe.
The Great Famine lasted seven years, from 1315 to 1322, for which reason it is sometimes compared to the famine of Egypt in Genesis 41.  The first three years, however, were the most severe, and they adversely affected the next decade.  Even chroniclers in the 18th and 19th centuries pointed out the severe food shortages and torrential weather patterns of  1310-1320.
There was a catastrophic dip in the weather during the Medieval Warm Period that coincided with the onset of the Great Famine. Between 1310 and 1330 northern Europe saw some of the worst and most sustained periods of bad weather in the entire Middle Ages, characterized by severe winters and rainy and cold summers.
In the spring of 1315, unusually heavy rain began in much of Europe. Throughout the spring and summer, it continued to rain and the temperature remained cool. The rains began early in May and did not let up until September. These conditions caused widespread crop failures. The straw and hay for the animals could not be cured and there was no fodder for the livestock. The price of food began to rise.
Food prices in England doubled between spring and midsummer. Salt, the only way to cure and preserve meat, was difficult to obtain because it could not be evaporated in the wet weather; it went from 30 shillings to 40 shillings. In Lorraine, wheat prices increased by 320 percent and peasants could no longer afford bread. Stores of grain for long-term emergencies were limited to the lords and nobles.
Because of the general increased population pressures, even lower-than-average harvests meant some people would go hungry; there was little margin for failure. People began to harvest wild edible roots, plants, grasses, nuts, and bark in the forests. There are a number of documented incidents that show the extent of the famine. Edward II, King of England, stopped at St Albans on 10 August 1315 and no bread could be found for him or his entourage; it was a rare occasion in which the King of England was unable to eat.
In the spring of 1316, it continued to rain on a European population deprived of energy and reserves to sustain itself. All segments of society from nobles to peasants were affected, but especially the peasants who represented 95% of the population and who had no reserve food supplies. To provide some measure of relief, draft animals were butchered, seed grain was consumed, children were abandoned to fend for themselves (see “Hansel and Gretel”), and some elderly people voluntarily refused food in order to provide nourishment needed for the younger generation to survive. The chroniclers of the time wrote of many incidents of cannibalism.

“When God saw that the world was so over proud,
He sent a dearth on earth, and made it full hard.
A bushel of wheat was at four shillings or more,
Of which men might have had a quarter before….
And then they turned pale who had laughed so loud,
And they became all docile who before were so proud.
A man’s heart might bleed for to hear the cry
Of poor men who called out, “Alas! For hunger I die …!
—Poem on the Evil Times of Edward II, c. 1321.
Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_of_1315%E2%80%931317>

The height of the famine was reached in 1317 as the wet weather continued. Finally, in the summer the weather returned to its normal patterns. By now, however, people were so weakened by diseases such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis, and so much of the seed stock had been eaten, that it was not until 1325 that the food supply returned to relatively normal conditions and the population began to increase again. Historians debate the toll but it is estimated that 10–25% of the population of many cities and towns died. While the Black Death (1338–1375) would kill more people, it often swept through an area in a matter of months whereas the Great Famine lingered for years, drawing out the suffering of the populace.

3.  The Year Without Summer, 1816
In 1815, the Indonesian volcano Tambora propelled more ash and volcanic gases into the atmosphere than any other eruption in history and resulted in significant atmospheric cooling on a global scale, much like Krakatau a few decades later.
New England and Europe were particularly hard hit, with snowfalls as late as August and massive crop failures. The cold, wet, and unpleasant climatic effects of the eruption led 1816 to be known as “the year without a summer,” and inspired Lord Byron to write:

“The bright Sun was extinguished and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space
Rayless and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went and came,
And brought no day.”

1816 was known as the year without summer … famines in Europe and China … snowstorms killing people in June in Canada and New England …. even a book describing processions held by the church in the holy land (around Jerusalem ) praying for the famine to end … the wet weather caused eruption of ergot in France … just like in the medieval times.
Pasted from <http://www.historum.com/general-history/6893-volcanic-eruptions-world-history.html>

D.  Effect Of Volcanoes On World Climate
The first connection between volcanoes and global climate was made by Benjamin Franklin in 1783 while stationed in Paris as the first diplomatic representative of the United States of America.
He observed that during the summer of 1783, the climate was abnormally cold, both in Europe and back in the U.S. The ground froze early, the first snow stayed on the ground without melting, the winter was more severe than usual, and there seemed to be “a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America.
What Benjamin Franklin observed was indeed the result of volcanic activity. An enormous eruption of the Laid fissure system (a chain of volcanoes in which the lava erupts through a crack in the ground instead of from a single point) in Iceland caused the disruptions.
The Laid eruptions produced about 14 cubic kilometers of basalt (thin, black, fluid lava) during more than eight months of activity. More importantly in terms of global climate, however, the Laid Event also produced an ash cloud that may have reached up into the stratosphere. This cloud caused a dense haze across Europe that dimmed the sun, perhaps far west as Siberia. In addition to ash, the eruptive cloud consisted primarily of vast quantities of sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen chloride (HCL), and hydrogen fluoride gases (HF).
The gases combined with water in the atmosphere to produce acid rain, destroying crops and killing livestock. The effects, of course, were most severe in Iceland; ultimately, more than 75 percent of Iceland’s livestock and 25 percent of its human population died from famine or the toxic impact of the Laid eruption clouds. Consequences were also felt far beyond Iceland.
Temperature data from the U.S. indicate that records low occurred during the winter of 1783-1784. In fact, the temperature decreased about one degree Celsius in the Northern Hemisphere. It may not sound like much, but it had enormous effects in terms of food supplies and the survival of people across the Northern Hemisphere. For comparison, the global temperature of the most recent Ice Age was only about five degrees C below the current average.
There are many reasons that large volcanic eruptions have such far-reaching effects on global climate. First, volcanic eruptions produce major quantities of carbon dioxide (C02), a gas known to contribute to the greenhouse effect. Such greenhouse gases trap heat radiated off of the surface of the earth forming a type of insulation around the planet.
The greenhouse effect is essential for our survival because it maintains the temperature of our planet within a habitable range. Nevertheless, there is growing concern that our production of gases such as CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels may be pushing the system a little too far, resulting in excessive warming on a global scale.
There is no doubt that volcanic eruptions add CO2 to the atmosphere, but compared to the quantity produced by human activities, their impact is virtually trivial: volcanic eruptions produce about 110 million tons of CO2 each year, whereas human activities contribute almost 10,000 times that quantity.
By far the more substantive climatic effect from volcanoes results from the production of atmospheric haze. Large eruption columns inject ash particles and sulfur-rich gases into the troposphere and stratosphere and these clouds can circle the globe within weeks of the volcanic activity.
The small ash particles decrease the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the earth and lower average global temperatures. The sulfurous gases combine with water in the atmosphere to form acidic aerosols that also absorb incoming solar radiation and scatter it back out into space.
The ash and aerosol clouds from large volcanic eruptions spread quickly through the atmosphere. On August26 and 27, 1883, the volcano Krakatau erupted in a catastrophic event that ejected about 20 cubic kilometers of material in an eruption column almost 40 kilometers high.
Darkness immediately enveloped the neighboring Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. Fine particles, however, rode atmospheric currents westward. By the afternoon of August 28th, haze from the Krakatau eruption had reached South Africa and by September 9th it had circled the globe, only to do so several more times before settling out of the atmosphere.
Initially, scientists believed that it was volcanoes stratospheric ash clouds that had the dominant effect on global temperatures. The 1982 eruption of El Chichon in Mexico, however, altered that view. Only two years earlier, the major Mt. St. Helens eruption had lowered global temperatures by about 0.1 degree C.
The much smaller eruption of El Chichon, in contrast, had three to five times the global cooling effect worldwide. Despite its smaller ash cloud, El Chichon emitted more than 40 times the volume of sulfur-rich gases produced by Mt. St. Helens, which revealed that the formation of atmospheric sulfur aerosols has a more substantial effect on global temperatures than simply the volume of ash produced during an eruption. Sulfate aerosols appear to take several years to settle out of the atmosphere, which is one of the reasons their effects are so widespread and long lasting.
The atmospheric effects of volcanic eruptions were confirmed by the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, in the Philippines. Pinatubo’s eruption cloud reached over 40 kilometers into the atmosphere and ejected about 17 million tons of SO2, just over two times that of El Chichon in 1982. The sulfur-rich aerosols circled the globe within three weeks and produced a global cooling effect approximately twice that of El Chichon.
The Northern Hemisphere cooled by up to 0.6 degrees C during 1992 and 1993. Moreover, the aerosol particles may have contributed to an accelerated rate of ozone depletion during that same period. Interestingly, some scientists argue that without the cooling effect of major volcanic eruptions such as El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo, global warming effects caused by human activities would have been far more substantial.
Major volcanic eruptions have additional climatic effects beyond global temperature decreases and acid rain. Ash and aerosol particles suspended in the atmosphere scatter light of red wavelengths, often resulting in brilliantly colored sunsets and sunrises around the world. The spectacular optical effects of the 1883 Krakatau eruption cloud were observed across the globe, and may have inspired numerous artists and writers in theft work.
The luminous, vibrant renderings of the fiery late day skyline above the Thames River in London by the British painter William Ascroft, for instance, may be the result of the distant Krakatau eruption.

Krakatau (1883) — Eruption of the Indonesian volcano Krakatau in August 1883 generated twenty times the volume of tephra released by the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Krakatau was the second largest eruption in recorded history, dwarfed only by the eruption of neighboring Tambora in 1815 (see above). For months after the Krakatau eruption, the world experienced unseasonably cool weather, brilliant sunsets, and prolonged twilights due to the spread of aerosols throughout the stratosphere. The brilliant sunsets are typical of atmospheric haze. The unusual and prolonged sunsets generated considerable contemporary debate on their origin. They also provided inspiration for artists who depicted the vibrant nature of the sunsets in several late 19th-century paintings, two of which are noted here.
In London, the Krakatau sunsets were clearly distinct from the familiar red sunsets seen through the smoke-laden atmosphere of the city. This is demonstrated in the painting shown here of a sunset from the banks of the Thames River, created by artist William Ascroft on November 26, 1883 The vivid red sky in Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” was inspired by the vibrant twilights in Norway, his native land.

Volcano Danger: What you can do
The further from the volcano you are, the more time you have to respond and the fewer dangers exist. Immediately around the volcano, dangers include earthquake damage, flying rocks, heat blast, lava, floods, and mudslides. Rocks can be thrown 20 miles from a volcanic eruption but the ash can travel hundreds of miles.

Ash facts include:
•  can dissipate into the high altitude wind stream and travel around the globe, possibly causing world-wide temperature changes.
•  can clog water systems, damage vehicle engines, make walking slippery, and effect vegetation.
•  can damage lungs and cause respiratory problems because it is extremely abrasive. It can also scratch eye tissue.
•  can accumulate and collapse buildings. 1 inch of ash weighs up to 10 pounds dry and up to 15 pounds when wet.
•  can short circuit electrical items such as computers.
•  can cause power outages which often happen after an eruption.
•  can corrode metal with long-term exposure.
•  can linger and cause problems for months and months after an eruption.

There is usually plenty of warning that a volcano is preparing to erupt. Scientists monitor the Cascade range volcanoes as well as those in Hawaii and Alaska for information to help predict volcanic events. Many communities close to volcanoes now have volcano warning systems to alert citizens. But, if you live anywhere in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Utah, and possibly Wyoming and Nevada you may be affected by an eruption in the Cascade range. Taking a few precautions now won’t cost much and are a good idea to do anyway:
•  Keep 3 extra air filters and oil filters on hand for your vehicle.
•  Keep 3 extra filters for your home heating/cooling system.
•  Keep a roll of plastic wrap and packing tape so you can wrap and protect computers, electronics, and appliances from ash.
•  Store emergency food and water in your home.
•  Find out if your community has a warning system and know the warning signs.
•  Create an evacuation plan. It is best to head for high ground away from the eruption to protect against flood danger.
•  Define an out-of-town contact for all family members to reach to check in.
•  Besides your family emergency kit, have disposable breathing masks and goggles for each family member.

The North American Cascade Volcanic Arc
The Cascade Volcanic Arc is a continental volcanic arc that extends from northern California to the coastal mountains of British Columbia, a distance of well over 700 mi (1,100 km). The arc consists of a series of Quaternary age stratovolcanoes that grew on top of pre-existing geologic materials that ranged from Miocene volcanics to glacial ice. The Cascade Volcanic arc is located approximately 100 km inland from the coast, and forms a north-to-south chain of peaks that average over 10,000 feet in elevation. The major peaks from south to north include:
•  Lassen Peak and Mt. Shasta (California)
•  Crater Lake (Mazama), Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood (Oregon)
•  Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Glacier Peak, Mt. Baker (Washington)
•  Mt. Garibaldi and Mt. Meager (British Columbia)
The most active volcanoes in the chain include Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker, Lassen Peak, and Mt. Hood. St. Helens captured worldwide attention when it erupted catastrophically in 1980. St. Helens continues to rumble, albeit more quietly, emitting occasional steam plumes and experiencing small earthquakes, both signs of continuing magmatic activity.  Most of the volcanoes have a main, central vent from which the most recent eruptions have occurred.
The arc has formed due to subduction along the Cascadia subduction zone. Although taking its name from the Cascade Range, this term is a geologic grouping rather than a geographic one, and the Cascade Volcanoes extend north into the Coast Mountains, past the Fraser River which is the northward limit of the Cascade Range proper.
Some of the major cities along the length of the arc include Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, and the population in the region exceeds 10,000,000. All could be potentially affected by volcanic activity and great subduction-zone earthquakes along the arc. Because the population of the Pacific Northwest is rapidly increasing, the Cascade volcanoes are some of the most dangerous, due to their past eruptive history, potential eruptions and because they are underlain by weak, hydrothermally altered volcanic rocks that are susceptible to failure. Many large, long-runout landslides originating on Cascade volcanoes have inundated valleys tens of kilometers from their sources, and some of the inundated areas now support large populations.

Volcanoes within the subduction zone include:
Silverthrone Caldera     Mount Meager
Mount Cayley                  Mount Garibaldi
Mount Baker                   Glacier Peak
Mount Rainier                Mount St. Helens
Mount Adams                 Mount Hood
Mount Jefferson             Three Sisters
Newberry Volcano         Mount Mazama
Mount McLoughlin       Medicine Lake Volcano
Mount Shasta                  Lassen Peak
Black Butte

Could We Survive a Super Volcano?
Observing the volcanic ash cloud and the disruptions to northern Europe from Iceland’s recent volcanic eruption causes one to think about other scenarios which would have grim and wider consequences from an event called – a Super Volcano.
Our experiences with volcanoes have for the most part been with classifications that are somewhat tame in comparison to some events that have occurred in the distant past. I recall having observed a volcanic effect following the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. At the time I was living in Massachusetts, about 2,500 miles from the volcano. Within a few days of the eruption, the ash reached the east coast of the US, and within 2 weeks was circling the globe up in the stratosphere (between 6 and 31 miles altitude). I clearly remember the reddish skies from the ash up in the high atmosphere, as well as spectacular orange and red sunsets. The ash remained in the atmosphere for years.
Mount St. Helens was minuscule compared to the most dangerous type of volcano, the super volcano. Try to imagine an eruption that would be up to 10,000 times stronger than a Mount St. Helens. One that would threaten the very survival of all humankind. The super volcano is quite likely the worse case scenario of any and all possible disaster scenarios, mainly due to the fact that there is absolutely nothing that we can do to deter or prevent it. It’s devastation ranks up there with a large asteroid hit, world nuclear war, and worldwide deadly pandemic.

Super Volcano locations include
•  Yellowstone in Wyoming (USA)
•  Long Valley in California (USA)
•  Valley Grande in New Mexico (USA)
•  Lake Taupo in New Zealand
•  Aira in Japan
•  Lake Toba in Sumatra
•  Siberian Traps supervolcano field in Russia

Super Volcano Effects
•  Magma would be hurled 30 miles up into the atmosphere
•  Complete devastation of an area the size of North America or Europe
•  Volcanic ash would cover the devastated area to depths ranging from hundreds of feet to as much as six inches – thousands of miles away
•  Anything within 500 miles of the eruption would be completely destroyed
•  Sunlight would be blotted out for months followed by a dim and cold volcanic winter lasting for several years
•  Global temperature would drop 20 degrees
•  Mini Ice Age
•  75% off of all plant species would die off
•  World agriculture would be devastated
•  Mass starvation would ensue
•  The very survival of human civilization would be threatened.

An alarming statistic regarding Yellowstone is that it’s eruption cycle is about 600,000 years. That in itself is not alarming, however the fact that the last eruption was 640,000 years ago is alarming. Yellowstone is 40,000 years overdue!
When considering the affects that such an event would have upon the world, it is nearly incomprehensible to create a survival plan. When considering Yellowstone for example, those that live in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming will have a terrible if not impossible chance of survival. The entire United States will be covered with ash, probably at a minimum depth of 5 inches. How could one expect a chance to survive the effects of such a catastrophe? You may decide not to consider a plan of action due to the odds and magnitude of the situation. Well, you may be right if you live in the region, however there is always hope and a way for those living further away.
Pasted from <http://modernsurvivalblog.com/volcano/could-we-survive-a-super-volcano/>

[The Four Horsemen: Their effects spread over the period of several years]

The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse
The ‘four horseman’ will ride amongst Mankind in the aftermath of 1) the eruption of a supervolcano caldera; 2) a full scale, multi strike nuclear war; 3) a medium size asteroid impact; or 4) a solar flare that knocks out 1/4  the worlds electric power with an EMP.
Anyone living during the time of even a ‘major’ volcanic volcano eruption, will come to know the concept of ‘The Four Horsemen’. That will be a time when human ‘over population’ quickly encounters a greatly reduced global harvest that continues for several consecutive years, or longer.

[A Crisis, followed by 1) national plans to reduce disruption and maximize population survival, 2) those not part of the political definition of the solution are part of the problem, there is discontent, civil war and international wars follow, 3) the aftermath of the crisis and wars work together increasing the effects of famine-hunger-disease, 4) there are local and regional die offs, great hardship for a year or two, then things improve. Basically, the ‘Four Horsemen’ represent the downside-collapse of  the growth and prosperity curve. Mr Larry.]

In Biblical phraseology:  The first Horseman rides a white horse, and he represents the anti-Christ, proclaiming false prophecies and crying the end if the world.  He wears a golden crown and carries a bow in his hand.  He is crafty, spreading a false sense of God’s Will while hiding behind the facade of Divine favor.
The second Horseman comes colored in the blood of conflict.  To roughly translate what Emil Bock writes, the Red Horseman rides “to destroy peace on Earth and to sow fighting amongst the people.”  With his arrival, countries’ leaders will fight each other, while the Horseman oppresses the faithful of God’s children.
The Black Horsemen brings with him disease and famine.  His actions are directed to affect mostly the economy of a society, driving up food prices when crops fail, and making labor more valuable when plague kills off workers.  Under him, the wealthy thrive upon the misfortune of the poor, who are unable to pay for the items they need to survive.
Finally comes Death, riding a pale horse – one which is often described as ashen or greenish-yellow, the color of a corpse.  His goal is to destroy all that has life on Earth.

Where the land is overpopulated and because of disaster mankind is forced to swiftly reallocate resources, there will be fighting and death until balance is reestablished. – Mr Larry

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Pandemic

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Pandemic)

 Humans often tend to forget that they are not the only living species which adapts to and exploits the populations of other living beings.
A virus, such as one of the influenza variety, would have  a field day in our global, highly inter-connected society, especially in the midst of an economic depression (remember, H1N1 killed 50 million people in the early 20th century).

 1.  Overview: Surviving a deadly  pandemic
•  The duration of  a medical crisis  is usually 14-21 days depending on the disease and its method of movement through the country. There may be another 2-3 months before things swing back  to normal, but the worst will be over in 3 weeks.
•  Today we understand that a 30-40 day break in a human borne diseases cycle will stop most from spreading, except in the case where there are vectors such as rates, mice, pigeons that continue to harbor, carry and spread the disease.
•  Successful medical survivors will need to be news junkies, learning all there is to know about any threatening disease. What is it, how is it spread, why is  it here, what hosts are involved, and how long lived outside of human/ animal hosts?
•  Things to watch for: Look for signs that diseases are spreading than the experts normally expect, that the strain if disease is especially difficult to treat, that it is being spread by means not previously observed by those in the medical profession, that there are observed multiple /simultaneous outbreaks, that the disease is strangely affecting plants and /or livestock.

Diseases characterized as being ‘a far more virulent strain’ and/or that ‘are attacking our agricultural production’ are especially cautionary.
•  The basics of survival need not include anything more than provision for food, water, shelter, energy, medical and sanitary and self actualization.
•  Own a full face respirator (HEPA=high efficiency particulate air) with HEPA filters capable of sorting out particle down to about 0.3 microns. That size includes TB and smallpox organisms. Smallpox is one of the largest viruses known. You will need to store 4-6 extra sets of filters for each apparatus per
person. (see Disaster/Biological warfare document)
•  When an outbreak reaches the 30-50% rate victims will be whisked away to a central location if for no other reason to get them out of sight to die.
•  If  the epidemic is raging in your community or the neighbor have contracted it, you may be faced with wearing your mask continuously indoors.  (safety people who currently use masks claim,  “You get use to them”). In any event, city survivors might wish to wear at least a model N95 HEPA disposable filter during any infrequent time they leave the retreat to replenish supplies.
•  Remember that irregardless of the promises and issued statements, government never has done well at medical or any other enterprise. There is no penalty for government workers who fail to produce or who make wrong decisions.
•  The best survival defense is total obscurity. Another iron rule of survival is that you should never, never become a refugee. Worldwide, throughout history, refugees have always been as good as dead.  Refugees are characterized as being hopeless people with absolutely no control over  their lives. All of lives necessities are provided by others—always at their whim. Crime is rampant. In refugee camps, private property ownership is always nonexistent. Any necessity of life comes from the will of an often-disinterested, corrupt, arrogant, bureaucrat. Food, shelter, warmth, family stability, sanitation and personal safety are all in the hands of another person—who usually doesn’t give a damn.
•  Another rule of survival is that as much energy as possible should come from renewable or scrounged sources, ie firewood, burnable scrap, , peat dug out of a nearby bog, etc.
•  Effective shelter absolutely must provide for a place to safely store food supplies, prepare food, provide access to water, answer to one’s need for cleanliness and sanitation, and provide protection and security.
•  The deployment of tents means more than one tent, as there should be one tent for kitchen and food supplies, and another for personal shelter and maybe a 3rd for sanitation and porta-pottie.

How a pandemic might look (synopsis)
Some effects that a pandemic might have:
First off, people might not go to work, either because they’ve got the disease, they’re  too scared to show up, their workplace has been closed, or they’ve got to stay home because their kids are out of school.

The results of this might include:
•  Utility plants (power, gas, water, sewage) left untended, and maintenance and routine chores neglected until they cease tofunction.
•  Nobody available to fix things that break: powerlines, water mains, etc.
•  Public transit closed, either because there’s no employees around to run said transit (or for quarantine reasons)
•  Farmers who can’t farm, because they’re sick or they can’t get gas, diesel, propane, or supplies.
•  Items stored in warehouses can’t be distributed,including, potentially, food and medication and parts to fix things
•  Gasoline and diesel shortages
•  Retail and grocery stores closed
•  Additionally, local authorities may institute quarantines and closures. Either you may be unable to
travel to get your groceries, or the groceries themselves may be stuck inside or outside of a quarantined area. (One would assume that the authorities will figure out how to safely get supplies delivered; one would also assume that there would be some chaos and bureaucracy involved. I’d rather not go hungry
for a few days while they wrangle out the details.) It’s the rare grocery store that stocks more than enough food for a day or two for a given area. And areas where large groups gather, including schools, retail stores, movie theaters, and nonessential businesses of any kind, may simply be closed to limit spread.
•  Quarantine is a real possibility. Some of the families of the infected patients in the US have already been told to stay home until the authorities are sure they’re not sick. (See above: contagious before symptoms.) I’ll assume that, since there are only a few of them, having food and supplies delivered to the sick and quarantined won’t be a problem. However, if there are tens of thousands of families sick,
and all their friends, family, and the local pizza delivery drivers in the city are sick? Yeah. That could be logistically a little bit more of a challenge.
•  Finally, a pandemic will put a huge stress on the economy. Businesses will go under. It’s kinda hard to keep a cash flow going if you can’t sell anything because both your customers and your employees are unable to buy anything because of illness, quarantine, or unwillingness to leave the house. And if people can’t work because of quarantines and closures, they won’t have money to buy things.  Our economy is already a fragile house of cards. A pandemic would yank a few supporting aces out of the base, in unpredictable and potentially disastrous ways.

So. You need to prep in a hurry. What do you do?
First off, consider the basics. (See topic, Preparing for a Pandemic, below
1)  Water
2)  Food
3)  Shelter
4)  Health care
5)  Personal protection

First, cover your “water supplies” first. This is fairly easy, but also rather important. You  could see either shortages or contaminated water if water treatment plants break down, and if you’re on a well, you’ll need a power source to pump the well.
Get some jugs, fill them up, set them aside somewhere in your house. Figure a couple gallons per person per day. (You’ll need water for cleaning, drinking, and cooking.) How many days worth of water you feel you need to store is very situation dependent, of course. I’m probably going to need have a lot more water stored in Arizona than a guy living on a lake somewhere in the Pacific Northwest where it rains every day.
Also, if you don’t have some in your laundry room, get a couple jugs of chlorine bleach,and set it aside for water purification. For unscented chlorine bleach at 4-6% strength add 8 drops per gallon of water. If water is contaminated (see: water treatment plant breakdown) or you need to resort to natural sources of water such as rainwater or rivers and creeks you’ll have something to purify it with.
If you don’t need to purify water, you can use it for sanitation or for your laundry, and an extra jug of bleach is cheap enough that it shouldn’t be a budget breaker.

Second, figure out what you’re going to do for food. A few weeks, or even a month or two, of supplies is a good idea.
If you buy basic staples, you probably won’t break the bank. Buy food that you’ll actually eat and know how to cook, or can easily learn. Also, buy food with an idea of how you’ll cook it if the power goes out. If you’ve got a large home propane tank that’s been recently topped off or a wood burning stove you may chose to stock different types of food than someone who’s living in an apartment with just an electric range. If the power goes out, cooking a big pot of dry beans is not easy … but you can still eat a cold can of soup.
Go for the most calories for your buck if you’re short on money. Also, do not overstock on items that need to be frozen or refrigerated.  If the power goes out, or your freezer simply breaks down (See:  Murphy’s Law), you’re going to be eating a lot of meat in a hurry if your preps included half a cow.

Severity?
The severity of the next pandemic cannot be predicted, but modeling studies suggest that its effect
in the United States could be severe. In the United States, a pandemic influenza outbreak similar to the 1918 strain, could result in:
•  2.25 million deaths
•  90 million falling ill
•  60% absenteeism in the workplace
•  An economic impact of $310 billion reduction in GDP

Bird flu poses no great threat to humanity. This disease is simply too lethal to its victims and  too fast in killing them to ever pose any significant threat to mankind. With a 50% or so mortality rate  occurring in about 5 to 7 days after infection this disease cannot live long enough to spread. It also assures prompt detection.
Quick effective countermeasures can be applied. It may be a problem, but H5N1, as this virus is known, is not going to be a mass killer.

A pandemic disease of great danger has a unique pattern for its transmission and lethality. A dangerous pandemic disease will only have a moderate mortality rate in the order of 1% or 2%. This
will allow the disease to survive and infect. It will spread slowly and incubate for fairly long periods of time. This provides effective transmission to large numbers of victims. H5N1 simply doesn’t fit the bill. Even in a fairly mutated form this disease has little or no prospect of ever being a serious threat. The high rates of morality for bird flu and its fast transmission will make great headlines. It will not make a great epidemic. This bird flu will die out too fast to amount to anything. This is why the disease after 7 years has only produced a few deaths.

The flu is truly a dangerous disease.
In any given year the USA will lose between 10,000 and 50,000 people to the flu. It will make ill in varied degrees of seriousness between a million and 5 million persons. A truly serious flu epidemic could kill millions and make sick large parts of the population. We definitely need much more effective measures to deal with the flu in whatever form that arrives each year.

Pandemic Self Quarantine (Influenza)
•  10 days for personal infection = 1 incubation period
•  21 days minimum, more likely 8 to 10 with 12 weeks maximum for the community = 3 to 5 incubation periods
•  The disease may have run its course after the initial wave, if not may return in 3,6 or 12 months with a second wave. While the initial wave will most likely occur during the normal flu season, November through March, subsequent waves may arrive for a few individuals in June, but no new community outbreaks occur until August. with a wave peak in October (see below–to get chronology right).

2.  Preparing for a Pandemic
An expert discusses the ‘Must-Haves’ if Bird Flu (or ‘fill in the blank’) cripples the country.

The Red Cross says that if there’s a pandemic, we need to prepare for 10 days of being stuck in our homes, and that we may be without power and water during that time. In the event of a bird flu pandemic, Americans should plan for interruptions or delays in other services: Banks might close, hospitals could be overwhelmed, and postal service could be spotty. Experts also say that people need to begin stocking up on extra food and supplies like protective masks, flashlights, portable radios, batteries and matches.

“When you go to the store and buy three cans of tuna fish, buy a fourth and put it under the bed.
When you go to the store to buy some milk, pick up a box of powdered milk, put it under the bed,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. “When you do that for a period of four to six months, you are going to have a couple of weeks of food. And that’s what we’re talking about.”

Previous pandemics occurred in 1918, 1957 and 1968, and the worst waves of illness seem to pass
through communities in a matter of six weeks to eight weeks. Computer models suggest about 30 percent of people could be infected, but not all at the same time.

In the event of a pandemic, people must practice what the health officials call “social distancing,” or keeping away from other people’s germs. Schools and day-care centers could be closed, sporting events and other large gatherings could be canceled, and shaking hands could become socially unacceptable, at least for a while.

Darlene Washington, the director of disease prevention education at the American Red Cross, points
out some of the must-haves in the event of a bird flu pandemic.

Have 3 sources for each of the following necessities
•  Water–(utility, potable water storage, rainwater catchment, local fresh water supply/ treatment).
•  Food–(store, stocked cupboard, food storage program)
•  Shelter–(Home, camper, tent, 2nd home, relative or friend living away from the area)
•  Energy–(Utilities, Propane and propane appliances, firewood, solar appliances, battery backup/ photovoltaic

Water
“We recommend that each member of your family has a gallon of water for each day, so a family of
four needs to have 40 gallons of water available for a 10 day emergency period, that water needs to be stored because there’s a chance that your water will get cut off if there’s a pandemic,” Washington said. “Workers may not be able to make it, and plants may stop operating. Your family will need to drink water and for hygiene, for brushing their teeth and washing their hands.”

Food
In previous centuries, people had no means of  accumulating and preserving enough food and water to see them through a 3-10 week crisis. Fortunately, this is no longer true today. Modern technology
allows us to store food and water and to separate ourselves from disease  organisms.
You need foods that will not spoil, so you need canned foods like tuna. You also need to get foods that you don’t have to heat, because just like your water, your powers may go out, too. In addition, to things like canned tuna, you should start storing peanut butter, protein, bars, crackers. Again, foods that have a long shelf life and that don’t need to be heated. Make sure you have enough formula and baby food to get through that 10 days. You have to plan for every member of your family and that includes your pets. So get extra dog food or cat food, and make sure you have extra water for your pets. You need a 10-day supply for everyone.”

In spite of the apparent violation of the Rules of Three: Food storage alone is the best single recommendation for epidemic  survivors.

Some common sense:
•  If there is a avian type disease around, don’t  eat pigeons.
•  If yellow fever, malaria or any other mosquito borne disease is pandemic you may not want to wade into the swamp or hang around the lake collecting cattails.
•  If some mutant form of bubonic plague, spread by natural causes or bio-warfare is around, don’t consider rats as an emergency food.

Power Outages
It’s reasonable to believe that the grid will mostly  stay up during an epidemic and that emergency may be short lived.
“Stores are going to run out of what you need, too,” Washington said. “So that’s why you need to stock up now. And we encourage families to have supplies on hand like flashlights and batteries, matches. Hand-cranked or battery-operated radios, and a manual can opener, because you are going to need to open all those cans of food. And this may not seem important, but you must get activities for your children and yourself, games, coloring books, cards.”

Cleaning Supplies
“You have to have all those on hand to keep your home clean and to have receptacles for all your
trash,” she said. “You probably won’t have trash service and you need to account for that. You need to make sure to have paper towels, toilet paper and soap. Everything you need to keep your home clean and practice good hygiene.”

Medication
“You need to get an additional 10 days of all your prescription medications,” Washington said. “You
should also have over-the-counter, fever-reducing medications; medications for upset stomach; and cold and flu medication. You’ll also want to have fluids like Gatorade and Pedialite, which have electrolytes and will help a family member rehydrate if they get sick. Also, keep a few thermometers around in case someone gets sick.”
Taking refuge in a travel trailer or tent is OK for medical survivors, as long as you  don’t become refugees.

 If a Family Member Gets Sick …
“The first thing is  to strengthen your hand washing and to have the infected family member cover
his mouth when he coughs,” she said. “You should also keep that person isolated in a certain part of the house and identify a family member who will help him. You may have to take turns.”

Concepts to consider when preparing for a pandemic & self quarantine
•  Flu spreads in waves of 3-5 months with 3 months in-between.
•  Self-quarantine for 90-120 days per wave.
•  Government efforts to supply food and water are 10% effective at best.
•  Outside dirty, inside clean; Boy in the Bubble concept
•  Maintain household shelter with a good seal.
•  Clear brush and undergrowth 100 feet parameter around the house.
•  Preferable: Heat pump with forced air cooling/heat to filter out virus/microbes.
• Have a water reservoir, i.e., covered, pool, tubs and barrels, then disinfected.
•  Any source of standing water or body of water is a contaminate. Remove birdbaths,  old tires and/or fill puddles. Virus lives in water for days, influenza lives on hands 5 minutes.
•  Don’t have  bird feeders or chicken in your yard
•  Food supply; Have 1year supply per person.
•  Vacuum with bags that filter for allergens.
•  No eating from outside gardens, only preserved food.
•  Indoor sprouts, fluorescent lights for indoor growing plants vegetables.
•  Bleach for water disinfectant (10 drops/gallon) and medicinal wound care (½ sterile water ½ bleach).
•  Hand cleaners- soap and alcohol based.
•  Running water for washing hands, not standing water.
•  Face masks N-95 and goggles for outside.
•  No individual contact less than 8 feet (NO handshakes etc) social distancing.
•  Animals inside space and same social considerations.
•  Dogs and cats immunizations kept up (any stray dog will be shot).
•  Water repellent clothing w/ hood when outside (large garbage bags)
•  Toilet bowl cleaner tablets for inside standing water (tidy-bowl etc).
•  No contact with people within 8 feet, viruses jump 5+ feet.
•  If an exchange is required drop item in spot i.e. porch and leave then the receiver can pick up the item i.e. soup, firewood etc. (This was the practice during the 1918 influenza)
•  Keep dust to minimum, dusters, wet wipes. Sneeze into your elbow.
•  Keep surfaces clean with disinfectant.
•  Bake items coming into house for 20 min at 325F+ degrees (Microwave is best)
•  Good hygiene; Wash hands thoroughly and frequently after contact from outside world.
•  Once one individual leaves and breaks quarantine, they cannot return to re-infect rest of household.
•   No group meetings parties’ weddings, funerals, church, etc.
•  Only burn wood that is stored under protective covering and dry, if wet consider it contaminated.
•  Wallpaper the ceiling, walls and windows with foil in one safe room to insulate and retain heat.
•  UV lighting on surfaces (can cause skin cancer).
•  No washing cars by hand.
•  Flies and mosquitoes out must be kept out, don’t leave windows, doors open, screens are not an option. Bug Zappers are either a really good idea because they kill bugs or a real bad idea because they attract bugs.
•  Handling mail, wear gloves and bake mail before opening it (e-mail best).
•  Analog phone for when power goes out.
•  OTC medicine supply for diarrhea and cold remedies.
•  Homemade ‘Gatorade’: 1 tsp Lite Salt (source of potassium) + 1/3 tsp Baking Soda + 10 tsp sugar + 1 qt water OR 1 tsp salt + 3 tsp sugar + 1 qt water.
•  Turnips, clover and potatoes are good crops for cold weather.
•  0.4 rads / min acceptable after nuclear fall out.
•  Mice- use copper wool stuffed into holes around plumbing to keep them out.
•  Garbage bags to wear punch holes in sides and put arm through, good for warmth and as a disposable barrier from the outdoors.
•  Have a supply of Vitamins.
•  Wash down entryways w/ bleach or cleaner.
•  Keep shoes outside of living quarters (on enclosed pourch).
•  Use a pressure cooker and/or microwave to disinfect food.
•  Food from the outside- root veggies only (microwave and wash).
•  Cage animal, not range free (rabbits)
•  Dishwasher sterilizes
•  Remember your dishcloth is the dirtiest item in household
•  Shopping cart handles are the dirtiest item in public
•  Magazines  are the dirtiest item in doctor’s office
•  Your purse is exposed to everything, same with the morning coffee mug that follows you around at work
•  Do not share pens, combs, etc.
•  Tarp and duct tape corpses, bury deep at home if possible
•  Remove moss from roof as it harbors bacteria and virus.
•  Streams, lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers are sources of contamination.
•  Keep the outside yard dry, no watering lawn.
•  Rain, Snow, Mist, and fog are also carriers for the virus…
•  The Plague never returned to London after London’s Great Fire

3.  Flu Pandemic Mitigation – Social Distancing
 “It’s not like a ‘snow day!”
The so-called social distancing measures they studied would dramatically alter the life of the city for a period of months — long enough, Eubank said, for vaccine makers to develop a vaccine.

Schools and day-care centers would close. Theaters, bars, restaurants and ball parks would be shuttered.
Offices and factories would be open but hobbled as workers stay home to care for children. Infected people and their friends and  families would be confined to their homes.
“We are not talking about simply shutting things down for a day or two like a ‘snow day’. It’s a sustained period for weeks or months,” he said. “You wouldn’t go out to the movies. You wouldn’t
congregate with people. You’d pretty much be staying home with the doors and windows battened down,” he said.

While those measures seem draconian, Eubank said they are steps many people would take on their own in the face of a deadly flu outbreak. “In the context of a very infectious disease that is killing a
large number of the people, I think large fractions of the population won’t have a problem with these recommendations,” Eubank said.

 Two ways of increasing social distance activity restrictions are to 1) cancel events and 2) close buildings or to restrict access to certain sites or buildings. These measures are sometimes called “focused  measures to increase social distance.” Depending on the situation, examples of cancellations and building closures might include: cancellation of public events (concerts, sports events, movies, plays) and closure of recreational facilities (community swimming pools, youth clubs, gymnasiums).

Closure of office buildings, stores, schools, and public transportation systems may be feasible community containment measures during a pandemic. All of these have significant impact on the community and workforce, however, and careful consideration should be focused on their potential
effectiveness, how they can most effectively be implemented, and how to maintain critical supplies and infrastructure while limiting community interaction. For example, when public transportation is cancelled, other modes of transportation must be provided for emergency medical services and medical
evaluation.

In general, providing information to domestic and international travelers (risks to avoid, symptoms to look for, when to seek care) is a better use of health resources than formal screening. Entry  screening of travelers at international borders will incur considerable expense with a disproportionately small impact on international spread, although exit screening would be considered in some situations.

Although data is limited, school closures may be effective in decreasing spread of influenza and reducing the overall magnitude of disease in a community. In addition, the risk of infection and illness among children is likely to be decreased, which would be particularly important if the pandemic strain causes significant morbidity and mortality among children. Children are known to be efficient transmitters of seasonal influenza and other respiratory illnesses. Anecdotal reports suggest that community influenza outbreaks may be limited by closing schools. Results of mathematical modeling also suggest a reduction of overall disease, especially when schools are closed early in the outbreak.
During a Pandemic Period, parents would be encouraged to consider child care arrangements that do not result in large gatherings of children outside the school setting.

There is some evidence that big gatherings of people encourage spread of flu, and measures to flatten the epidemic curve can helpful in easing the most intense pressure on health services. Limiting public gatherings can be an effective preventive measure for diseases that are transmitted through the air [unlike flu] – especially for diseases that are transmitted by individuals with no symptoms [such as flu]. Often, public health experts recommend limiting exposures to others-such as frequently occurs during influenza season. There is a big difference between recommending limited public gatherings and enforcing a more specific and uniform requirement. In making a decision to close gathering places, the impact on economy, education, and access to food / water / other necessities needs to be balanced with the ability to effectively protect the public through such means.

During the 1957-1958 pandemic, a WHO expert panel found that spread within some countries
followed public gatherings, such as conferences and festivals. This panel also observed that in many countries the pandemic broke out first in camps, army units and schools; suggesting that the avoidance of crowding may be important in reducing the peak incidence of an epidemic.

During the first wave of the Asian influenza pandemic of 1957-1958, the highest attack rates were seen in school aged children. This has been attributed to their close contact in crowded settings. A published study found that during an influenza outbreak, school closures were associated with significant decreases in the incidence of viral respiratory diseases and health care utilization among children aged 6-12 years.

Given a pandemic strain causing significant morbidity and mortality in all age groups and the absence of a vaccine, the WHO consultation on priority public health interventions before and during an influenza pandemic concluded that authorities should seriously consider introducing population-wide measures to reduce the number of cases and deaths. These would include population-wide measures to
reduce mixing of adults (furlough non-essential workers, close workplaces, discourage mass gatherings). Decisions can be guided by mathematical and economic modeling.

The Center for Biosecurity of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center [UPMC] argued that idea that the cancellation of public gatherings or the imposition of travel restrictions might limit the spread of disease are scientifically unfounded, and that presenting them has the potential to create false expectations about what can be accomplished by government officials and their proposed containment measures. The UK Government, for instance, has concluded that closing schools and other
educational facilities would have a limited effect on the epidemic. There would be a major reduction in the numbers of students affected. On the other hand, there would be little reduction in the number of cases in the rest of the population. The UK Government concluded that there was little evidence that
cancelling large public events would have any significant impact on the course of the epidemic.

Flu Pandemic Home Care
Home care will be the predominant mode of care for most people infected with influenza. Most patients with pandemic influenza will be able to remain at home during the course of their illness and can be cared for by other family members or others who live in the household.  Anyone residing in a household with an influenza patient during the incubation period and illness is at risk for developing influenza. A key objective in this setting is to limit transmission of pandemic influenza within and outside the home. When care is provided by a household member, basic infection control precautions should be emphasized (e.g., segregating the ill patient, hand hygiene). Infection within the household may be minimized if a primary caregiver is designated, ideally someone who does not have an underlying condition that places them at increased risk of severe influenza disease. Although no studies have assessed the use of masks at home to decrease the spread of infection, use of surgical or procedure masks by the patient and/or caregiver during interactions may be of benefit.

The term “flu” is much used and abused.
Some people use the term “stomach flu” as an informal way of saying “gastroenteritis of unknown etiology.” Sometimes people confuse cold and flu, which share some of the same symptoms and occur at the same time of the year (cold and flu season). However, the two diseases are very different. Most
people get a cold several times each year, and the flu only once every several years. Others think that “flu” is any kind of illness with aches and fever with or without respiratory symptoms. In reality, influenza is none of these things. Influenza is a specific, often severe, respiratory viral infection caused by influenza viruses. The whole body suffers from it.

Typical symptoms include:
• 
The flu usually begins abruptly, with a fever between 102 to 106°F (with adults on the lower end of the spectrum). Other common symptoms include a flushed face. Some people have dizziness or vomiting. The fever usually lasts for two or three days, but can last 5 days.
•  Somewhere between day 2 and day 4 of the illness, the “whole body” symptoms — chills, weakness, lack of energy, loss of appetite, and aching of the head, back, arms, legs — begin to subside, and respiratory symptoms begin to increase.
•  The virus can settle anywhere in the respiratory tract, producing symptoms of a cold, croup, sore throat, bronchiolitis, ear infection, or pneumonia. The most prominent of the respiratory symptoms is usually a dry, hacking cough. Most people also develop a sore (red) throat and a headache.
Nasal discharge and sneezing are common. These symptoms (except the cough)
usually disappear within 4-7 days
•  Sometimes there’s a second wave of fever at this time.
•  Often the person continues to feel sick for several days. Cough and tiredness usually last for weeks after the rest of the illness is over.
•  Sometimes the person can have complications, such as dehydration or pneumonia.The disease is characterized by abrupt onset of constitutional and respiratory symptoms, including fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, malaise, nonproductive cough, sore throat, and runny nose. Upper respiratory and constitutional symptoms tend to predominate in the first several days of
illness, but lower respiratory symptoms, particularly cough, are common after the first week. In children, nausea and vomiting and, occasionally, ear infection are also symptoms.
•  Since several other respiratory pathogens (including adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, para influenza virus, rhinovirus, corona virus, human metapneumo virus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Legionella) can also cause a similar clinical picture, definitive diagnosis of influenza requires laboratory confirmation. However, laboratory testing is not necessary for all patients. In the presence of a community outbreak of respiratory illness, a presumptive diagnosis can be made based on knowledge of the predominant agent causing the outbreak. Uncomplicated influenza gets better with or without treatment, but may cause substantial discomfort and limitation of activity before getting better.
Complications of influenza can include bacterial infections, viral pneumonia, and cardiac and other organ system abnormalities. People with chronic medical conditions may have increased risk of complications when they get influenza.
Many other diseases, including serious infections such as rapidly progressive bacteremias, may start with symptoms that resemble influenza and may need to be considered in treatment decisions. Many people with uncomplicated influenza use over-the-counter medicines to help lessen their symptoms.Here are some tips to keep from spreading your germs to others, and to keep from catching someone else’s germs.

Keep your germs to yourself
•   Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
•   Throw out used tissues in the trash as soon as you can.
•   Always wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, or after touching used
tissues or handkerchiefs. Wash hands often if you are sick.
•   Use warm water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers to wash your hands.
•   Try to stay home if you have a cough and fever.
•   See your doctor as soon as you can if you have a cough and fever, and follow their instructions,
including taking medicine as prescribed and getting lots of rest.
•   If asked to, use face masks provided in your doctor’s office or clinic’s waiting room; follow their instructions to help stop the spread of germs.

Keep the germs away
•  Wash your hands before eating, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
•  Wash your hands after touching anyone else who is sneezing, coughing, blowing their nose, or whose nose is running.
•  Don’t share things like cigarettes, towels, lipstick, toys, or anything else that might be contaminated with respiratory germs.
•  Don’t share food, utensils or beverage containers with others.
•  Especially during a pandemic or disaster situation you are best served by not visiting the hospital if you can help it, where you are more likely to sit or stand next to a person carrying incurable TB, flu, smallpox, or whatever epidemic disease is ‘going around’. Remember, the doctor’s office and hospital’s
waiting room is where the sick congregate, it’s this infected group that you are trying to avoid! You are much more likely to encounter contagious people in hospitals than anywhere else, even though the facilities are generally much more sanitary. Survivors will try to avoid contact with anyone while outside.

4.   Plan  Ahead
People should plan ahead and think about what they need to have in their house in case someone in their household were to become infected with influenza and need to receive care at home. If you live alone, are a single parent of young children, or are sole caregiver for a frail or disabled adult, it would be a good idea to have some items stored in your home in case of illness:
•  Have enough fluids (e.g. water, juice, soup) available to last for 2 weeks.
•  Have enough basic household items (e.g. tissues) to last for 2 weeks.
•  Have acetaminophen and a thermometer in the medicine cabinet. Do you know how to use/read a thermometer correctly? If not, ask someone to show you how.
•  Think of someone you could call upon for help if you became very ill with the flu and discuss this possibility with him or her.
•  Think of someone you could call upon to care for your children if you were required to work and their school or day care was closed because of the influenza pandemic; discuss the possibility with them.

A.  Infection Control Measures in the Home
•  All persons in the household should carefully follow recommendations for hand hygiene (i.e., hand washing with soap and water or use of an alcohol-based hand rub) after contact with an influenza patient or the environment in which care is provided.
•  Although no studies have assessed the use of masks at home to decrease the spread of infection, use of surgical or procedure masks by the patient and/or caregiver during interactions may be of benefit. The wearing of gloves and gowns is not recommended for household members providing care in the
home.
•  Soiled dishes and eating utensils should be washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with warm water and soap. Separation of eating utensils for use by a patient with influenza is not necessary.
•  Laundry can be washed in a standard washing machine with warm or cold water and detergent. It is not necessary to separate soiled linen and laundry used by a patient with influenza from other household laundry. Care should be used when handling soiled laundry (i.e., avoid “hugging” the laundry) to avoid contamination. Hand hygiene should be performed after handling soiled laundry.
•  Tissues used by the ill patient should be placed in a bag and disposed with other household waste. Consider placing a bag for this purpose at the bedside.
•  Normal cleaning of environmental surfaces in the home should be followed.

B.  Management of Well Persons in the  Home
•  Persons who have not been exposed to pandemic influenza and who are not essential for patient care or support should not enter the home while persons are actively ill with pandemic influenza.
•  If unexposed persons must enter the home, they should avoid close contact with the patient.
•  Persons living in the home with the pandemic influenza patient should limit contact with the patient to the extent possible; consider designating one person as the primary care provider.
•  Household members should monitor closely for the development of influenza symptoms and contact a telephone hotline or medical care provider if symptoms occur.

C.  Management of Influenza Patients
Persons who have a sudden onset of influenza-like symptoms (e.g. headache, fever, chills, cough, chest pain, sore throat, muscle aches, weakness, exhaustion) should do the following:
•  Remain at home at least until all symptoms have resolved (approximately 4-5 days)
•  Take medication as needed to relieve the symptoms of the flu.
•  Decongestants, such as phenylephrine, and pseudoephedrine, produce a narrowing of blood vessels. This leads to clearing of nasal congestion, but it may also cause an increase in blood pressure in patients who have high blood pressure. OTC drugs to relieve stuffy noses often contain more than one ingredient. Some of these products are marketed for allergy relief and others for colds. They usually contain both an antihistamine and a nasal decongestant. The decongestant ingredient unstuffs nasal passages; antihistamines dry up a runny nose. But some of these products may also contain aspirin or acetaminophen, and some contain a decongestant alone. Closely related products with similar names may have different ingredients. There are other medications in the form of nasal drops and sprays sold OTC for this purpose. As with pills, some of these are long acting (up to 12 hours) and some  are shorter acting. And, as with pills, most have some side effects. Many of the products contain a nasal decongestant such as oxymetazoline or phenylephrine. When used for more than three days or more often than directed by the label, these drops or sprays can sometimes cause a “rebound” effect, in which the nose gets more stuffy. Other nose drops and sprays are formulated with a saline (salt) solution and can be used for dry nose or to relieve clogged nasal passages.
• Dextromethorphan, an antitussive, is used to relieve a nonproductive cough caused by a cold, the flu, or other conditions.
Dextromethorphan comes as a liquid or as a lozenge to take by mouth. It is usually taken every 4-8 hours as needed. Do not take more than 120 mg of dextromethorphan in a 24-hour period. Refer to the package or prescription label to determine the amount contained in each dose. The lozenge should
dissolve slowly in your mouth. Drink plenty of water after taking a dose. Follow the directions on the package or prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
•  Antipyretics are fever-reducing medications; the term comes from the Greek word pyresis, which means fire. Ibuprofen (Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) are generally recognized as safe and effective single analgesic-antipyretic active ingredients. These two antipyretics can be taken
together or on an alternating 4 hour schedule. Ibuprofen provides greater temperature decrement and longer duration of antipyresis than acetaminophen when the two drugs are administered in approximately equal doses.
•  Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms (and particularly fever) without first speaking to your doctor. Giving aspirin to children and teenagers who have influenza can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome. Reading the label becomes especially important when it comes to products containing aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or their chemical cousins, other salicylates, which are used to reduce fever or treat headaches and other pain.
•  A person’s fluid needs are greater when that person has fever. Drink lots of fluids (water and other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages) to avoid becoming dehydrated. Start with sips of any fluid other than caffeinated beverages. Drinking too much fluid at once can bring on more vomiting. Electrolyte solutions available in drugstores are usually best. Sport  drinks contain a lot of sugar and can cause or worsen diarrhea.
•  If you have diarrhea, it’s a good idea to rest, eat only small amounts of food at a time, and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Avoid over-the-counter diarrheal medications unless specifically instructed to use one by your doctor. Certain infections can be made worse by these drugs. When you have diarrhea, your body is trying to get rid of whatever food, virus, or other bug is causing it. OTC products marketed to stop diarrhea may contain loperamide (Imodium A-D), or attapulgite (Diasorb, Kaopectate and others), or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol and others).
•  Use either a traditional glass thermometer for each person [don’t cross-contaminate patients], or a digital thermometer with lots of  disposable sleeves. The thermometers are a few dollars. The sleeves are a dollar or so per hundred.

  • Get plenty of bed rest
  • Do not smoke
  • Restrict visitors to their home
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or
    sneezing.
  • Keep at least 3 feet away from others.
  • Patients should not leave the home during the period when
    they are most likely to be infectious to others (i.e., 5 days after onset of
    symptoms). When movement outside the home is necessary (e.g., for medical
    care), the patient should follow cough etiquette (i.e., cover the mouth and
    nose when coughing and sneezing) and wear procedure or surgical masks if
    available.

To protect the patients infected with influenza, individuals having contact with the patient, and the community in general, certain infection control measures should be practiced:

  • Wash hands often with warm soap and water, scrubbing for 15-20 seconds
  • Family members should wash hands or use waterless hand sanitizer after contact with the patient
  • Do not share eating utensils or drinks
  • Do not rub eyes, touch nose or mouth
  • Patients should cover their mouths and noses with tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of used tissues immediately after use and wash hands after using tissues
  • In general, wearing goggles or a face shield for routine contact with patients with pandemic influenza is not necessary. If sprays or splatter of infectious material is likely, goggles or a face shield should be worn as recommended for standard precautions.
  • In the absence of visible soiling of hands, approved alcohol-based products for hand disinfection are preferred over antimicrobial or plain soap and water because of their superior microbiocidal activity, reduced drying of the skin, and convenience.
  • Physically separate the patient with influenza from non-ill persons living in the home as much as possible.

In a pandemic influenza event, some individuals who are cared for at home may develop complications. Should complications develop, these individuals should seek medical care immediately, either by calling the doctor or going to an emergency room. Upon arrival, the receptionist or nurse should be told about the symptoms so that precautions can be taken (providing a mask and or separate
area for triage and evaluation).

D. Warning Signs to seek urgent medical care
In children, these include:
1.  High or prolonged fever for more than 4-5 days
2. Fast breathing or trouble breathing
3. Bluish skin color
4. Not drinking enough fluids
5. Changes in mental status, somnolence, irritability
6. Seizures, confusion or seizures
7. Influenza-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
8. Worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions (for example, heart or lung disease, diabetes)
9. Cough becomes productive of yellow sputum

In adults,  these include:
1. High or prolonged fever for more than 4-5 days
2. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
3. Cough becomes productive of yellow sputum
4. Pain or pressure in the chest
5. Near-fainting or fainting
6. Confusion or seizures
7. Severe or persistent vomiting [2 to 3 times in 24 hours] (vomiting is usually present in young children and elderly persons with influenza infection)
8. Skin color changes (lip and hands)
9.  Persons should seek medical attention at their physician’s office, urgent care facility or hospital emergency department if they are at high risk for the development of complications:
•   People age 65 and older, people of any age with chronic medical conditions and very young children are more likely to get complications from influenza.
•  Pregnant women also have an increased risk for pneumonia, lung insufficiency, and death after an influenza infection.

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Filed under __1. Disaster

Excuses that doom & a last day reprieve

(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/ Excuses that doom & a last day reprieve)

A.  Life or Death Choices: 35 Excuses That Will Doom The Non-Prepper
5 May 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Be Informed
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/life-or-death-choices-35-excuses-that-will-doom-the-non-prepper_05052013

Tlast min4he following article has been contributed by Be Informed.
As of today it is estimated that ONLY 1% of the population actually goes to much of any effort to prepare and store up enough of what they need to survive a true calamity.  This means a huge majority of the population fails, yes fails, to have much of anything if and WHEN what they need each day to live evaporates quickly.  Most people have no clue what life will be like after the grocery stores close. They simply cannot grasp the horrors that will befall those people that have not put away for tomorrow or prepared contingencies for life threatening emergencies.

Instead of taking some time, effort , and money to safeguard themselves and their families, they have a wide array of reasons (excuses) for why prepping is crazy and not at all necessary.

There exist a magnitude of what are called TRUE civilization altering or world-as-we-know-it ending events that could happen. Many have already occurred throughout history, as well as within just the last decade. The fact is , it’s only a matter of time before these catastrophes happen again.

People who choose not to prepare for their families will be faced with life and death situations that few have ever experienced before.

Without water people will die within a few days.  Without food people will die within a few weeks.  Without everyday necessities people will die in hordes from varying ailments and diseases.  Without what they are accustomed to on a daily basis, people will suffer and most will die.  This absolutely does not have to happen to such a high percentage of the population, but sadly it will unless more people understand there is no real excuse for NOT preparing.

The following are 35 of the most common excuses and causes cited by the 99% of the population who don’t prepare.

1.  Oh come on, it is never going to happen, my area is safe, I am safe.
Fact/Answer:  The overall odds increase of having a mega or even a lesser catastrophe as the population grows and cities grow in size.  Just like increasing the size of a target, it is easier and more likely to get hit.  Even if your area doesn’t get hit, your location can be cut off from getting vital supplies from areas that DID get hit.  Every single spot on the planet is a target, from natural disasters to terrorism to war to pandemics to a black swan event that no one expects.  No one is invulnerable anywhere and living this way is delusional and totally unrealistic.

2.  I am convinced that everything is recoverable and my area will get back to normal quickly.
Fact/Answer.  The media and government have longed ingrained into people’s minds that no matter what happens, it is repairable.  Fortunately up until now there has not been a type of event that is so severe and widespread that recovery is very long or requires massive clean-up involving millions of people and trillions of dollars.  There are potential disasters that occur on regular time frames that could easily be ranked as hundreds of times worse than anything we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes.  The New Madrid fault zone and San Andreas fault are a couple of examples. A solar induced super EMP (electro magnetic pulse) which occurred in 1812, 1857, and 1859 is another.  Fukushima is a recent example how bad things can get almost in a matter of just 24 hours.

3.  No matter how horrible it is, help will eventually come, I just have to wait it out.
Fact/Answer.  Help can come IF there are people and resources available.  All of the recent disasters have been fairly isolated and allow the majority of the unaffected population to come to the rescue of those in need.  What happens when an entire country is affected – or most of the world?  Assuming that your government or someone will reach your area with help and supplies no matter what is dangerous.  The government is going to spread help to areas of the highest priority FIRST.  Your area could be weeks or months away from help and you could be long dead before help and supplies arrive.

4.  Even if something happens, there are plenty of food and supplies for everyone in my city.
Fact/Answer.  Ever seen towns and cities cut off by winter storms?  Food in supermarkets, food warehouse stores, and restaurants, are extremely limited – perhaps one to seven days at best.  To prove this take your population where you live and divide this by the number of grocery stores in your city or town.  Now go into one of these stores and look around and consider how fast a few hundred or a few thousand people could empty that store.   You see all those trucks coming in each day carrying food and supplies for these stores. Imagine those deliveries stopping.  Food will disappear faster than anyone can imagine.

5.  My state government, my community, my neighbors will not abandon me and let me starve.
Fact/Answer.  It’s a pure numbers game. If food and other necessities are not there for the state to distribute, then everyone who has failed to put away for such a disaster will go hungry.  Your neighbors are likely to be in the same boat as you if 99% of the people don’t prep.  Those that did prepare are likely to not share with a bunch of people that choose not to.  Taking food from those that did store up will not be an easy task, as they will likely be well armed.  It is extremely selfish to expect your neighbor to sacrifice their family because you determined that preparing was too much effort.  Simply don’t be the 99% that don’t prepare.

6.  I have a 3 day supply of food, the government and others tell me that this is plenty.
Fact/Answer.  Three days go by awfully quickly, and as we saw in Hurricane Katrina help took much longer than that to arrive.  If it is possible, a bare minimum of 30 days worth of food, water, and other supplies should be considered for all families.  In the past, during “lightweight” SHTF events, help arrived 1-2 weeks after the disaster occurred  such as areas hit by a great earthquake or mega hurricane.  Severe disasters require much longer times for real help to arrive.

7.  I have lots of credit cards, I will purchase anything I need in my city or nearby cities.
Fact/Answer.  First of all, credit is something that ONLY works when systems connected to the outside world function properly.  People think that these little “magical”  pieces of plastic will save them in all circumstances.  This misconception is something that will flatten those who go out and try to buy food because the banks are not allowing or are simply unable to process any credit or debit cards.  Cash is necessary for buying what you need – have a fair amount in ALL denominations from 20′s down to 1′s.  Additionally, if your backup plan is to drive to another city to purchase emergency supplies you may not be able to get out of your area due to lack of fuel or closed roads.  Again, have your own supplies BEFORE it happens.

8.  My water faucets will have water, even if it is temporarily shut off, they will not let us go thirsty.
Fact/Answer.  Water pipes that bring water to your home require power, without power there is no water.   Those expecting water trucks to bring drinking water to their neighbor should not count on it.  Those who plan on drinking unsafe water from ponds, lakes, and other catchment basins are just asking to become very ill.  If someone doesn’t store much food, at least there should be water stored for drinking.  1/2 gallon per person per day minimum, not to forget the household pets either.  Water could be down for weeks.  Cases of bottled water are one way to store water for longer terms and can be neatly stacked in a small corner of your home.  Many stores sell safe water storage units that can be filled up with plain tap water.  A good water filter is something that all households should have for outside water should city supplies be inoperable or contaminated.  Learn how to catch rainwater and dew.  Dehydration is something that will kill scores of people because they have not taken water storage seriously. Without clean water you’re dead in 72 hours.

9.  There is no room to store supplies that will never be used anyway.
Fast/Answer.  Vertical storage is one way even very limited amount of space can be used to put away what someone’s needs.  There are all sorts of “dead spaces” around the home. Under the bed, closet shelves, or your garage are a couple of ideas.  Square footage of a home is 2 dimensional, as there is usually about 8 feet of space up to down between ceiling to floor.  Even people living in tiny apartments find room to store up emergency needs.

10. I can’t rotate supplies, everything will get old and have to be thrown away.
Fact/Answer.  Many items can be consumed way past the ‘best by dates’. Those that feel that they still can’t store up items even in cans because of some use by or best by date, can store up a lot of other items that don’t have to be rotated.  There are everyday items that can be forgotten about and will still be just as good as when you first stored it.  Sounds crazy, but there are items that will fetch a high barter value that people need and want.  Toilet paper is one key supply that can be traded for food and other items because it will never lose its demand.  Other barter items such as cigarettes and alcohol have extreme value just about everywhere.  It would be wise to always store up what you eat each day in cans, as canned foods have a very long shelf life so long as they are kept dry, cool and undamaged.

11. I don’t have extra money to store up anything for disasters.
Fact/Answer.  There are many coupons online, in newspapers, and in stores. Manufacturers want to attract new customers to try their product so badly that they often offer food for free or near free.  People live on coupons with very limited money sources using coupons.  Stores also offer reduced pricing on overstocked items.  Collecting these supplies will add up if one is willing to start doing so.  Never pass up an opportunity to get something for free, especially if it can be stored for later use or barter.

12. It is too much work to bother with.
Fact/Answer.  Even a person that is hardly an expert prepper who has stored up something will fare far better than the 99% that have not.  Simply picking up extra food and other supplies at the market each time and putting these into boxes in some isolated part of the home will add significant reserve supplies.  This is very limited effort that will reap huge results WHEN you need it.  You don’t have to work that hard to put away a decent amount of what you will need someday.

13. I have absolutely no idea what to store or how much.
Fact/Answer.  What do you use each day and every week?  This is what you want to store up. Buy your regular household staples in jars, bottles, or well sealed packages for longer term storage.  How much can be determined simply by asking yourself, ‘how long do I want to be self sufficient during a disaster?’  Have a time frame – a month, two months, etc.  You should be able to easily determine how much of something you will use in a certain amount of time.

14. I don’t need any protection after a disaster, the police, national guard, military will protect us.
Fact/Answer.  Even those that don’t like firearms should consider owning one.  The larger the distance between an attacker and your family, the less chance that someone you love will get injured or killed.  A firearm gives you this distance.  At least have something to defend your family with.  There are some real psychos out there that will certainly take advantage of the lawlessness that will come with no police or military force.  How many police does your city have per citizen?  This ratio is one golden reason to have self protection before, during, and after a disaster.  There may be no way of reaching law enforcement even if they are available after a true disaster as all cell towers and phone lines may be fried for whatever reason.

15. The power grid will come back on, until then I have LED flashlights that last forever.
Fact/Answer.  First of all when they say on commercials that the light will last for 100,000 hours they are referring to the bulbs. Batteries run out of energy.  You should have many extra batteries to avoid the dark with LED lights.  Many accidents happen in the dark and flashlights should not be the only source of lights.  Candles are cheap and last several hours and can be used to warm up food and a small heat source.  You don’t want to live nights without some source of light – it will get so dark sometimes that you won’t even be able to see your hand in front of your face.  Besides light, the power grid may not come back up for weeks, or ever if something catastrophic enough has happened.  Another grave consideration is what is called temperature control of your environment as excessive cold or heat kills hundreds or thousands of people in stable times every year.  You will likely lose the ability to stay cool or warm in the event of a power grid failure.  Weather insulation of your surroundings before anything occurs is a preparation that many should consider doing NOW.  A back-up electric generator with back up fuel is one option. For those who can afford it or know how to build it themselves, a solar or wind driven electric system is a viable long-term solution.  You may have to live a long time without power, as the grid is a lot more frail than people realize, so consider alternative energy supplies now.

16. Again and again I hear these fear mongers exaggerate the threat level, another false alarm.
Fact/Answer.  While Y2K, the Mayan calendar and many others have been wrong, there have been many times when a disaster has been a lot worse than anyone could have predicted.  Two of the most powerful tsunamis caused calamities that rank the worst of all time – one is widespread radiation release in Japan, and event that is likely killing people as you read this.  Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and recently Sandy were far worse than predicted.  Tornadoes have destroyed entire cities.  Deepwater Horizon caused the worst oil disaster on record.  Many wars and terrorist attacks have brought untold suffering in this century alone.  These are still lightweight disasters and are dwarfed in comparison to what has happened before and will happen again.  Preparedness is the only answer for the common person to help survive what is eventually coming.

17. I have a good car and family in other areas, if anything happens I will just go stay with them.
Fact/Answer.  One of the worst assumptions is that family or friends will openly accept you and yours and let you live with them.  Even if they do, you may not be able to get to them.  Your car or vehicle may be disabled for any number of reasons, or the roads may be unusable  because law enforcement will not allow ANY travel or because they have been destroyed.  Planning on how to stay safe where you are should be your foremost option. Bug out only as a last resort (unless you have a complete bug out strategy and destination already in place).

18. I work all week long and I am going to spend my extra money on fun rather than fear.
Fact/Answer.  Self indulgences seldom have much or any lasting benefits.  People often blow their money on something that was nothing more than fleeting fun. In the end it is often expensive and worthless.  A good plan is to do anything that will bring long time enjoyment and help you live your life with less stress.  The amount of stress you and your family will suffer after a true disaster strikes and you have nothing to feed yourself and your family will be well beyond what any job or most of life’s agonies can bring.  Entertainment can help live life better.  Not storing up for emergencies can help end your life in true anguish.

19. Survival supplies taste bad, I can’t live on this for long at all.
Fact/Answer.  Some supplies have high sodium contents, others are near or at goumet levels.  Practically everything that someone enjoys can be found in a can at the supermarket or other food retailer.  Just because food is stored up, doesn’t mean that it has to taste bad.  Most of what people cook for everyday meals – rice, beans, flour, oatmeal, etc. – can be stored for quite a while.

20. If a true catastrophe occurs we are going to die anyway, besides that I don’t want to live through it anyway.
Fact/Answer.  To each his own, but when you look at the faces of your family or your own face in the mirror, this feeling kind of changes its tone.  Even during the worst disaster there are going to be survivors, why should it not be you and your family?  Here is something very few people understand –  after a very bad catastrophe the planet and the life, vegetation and animals, have a remarkable recuperative ability.  In other words, times are likely to get better each day after a true disaster.  There are of course exceptions, but in all likelihood there will be slow to moderate improvement as time goes on.  The main objective to have enough of what you need to get through the worst parts of it.

21. Survival and prepping for the worst is negative, as long as I stay positive, only the positive will happen.
Fact/Answer.  One of the most positive things is to have what you need when the situation presents itself.  Too many people live like the proverbial ostrich with its head buried in the ground.  Not being realistic with worldwide situations that are way beyond your control is negative. It is denial.  Wishing that the economy will not collapse, a mega earthquake will not hit an area way overdue, that war will not develop in the Middle East and so on, will most likely not work.  Prepping and being ready for such an event(s) will work to help better safeguard you and your family and increase your chances of surviving it dramatically.

22. Preppers/Survivalists are radical, paranoid, conspiracy driven out of touch with reality, I don’t want anything to do with them.
Fact/Answer.  Out of touch with reality is depending on the government to come to your rescue when they simply can’t because of the magnitude of a particular disaster.  Preparing and storing up food, water, and other needs has nothing to do with associating with anyone but your immediate family and friends.  If you don’t like preppers and their way of thinking, no one is saying you have to become friends with anyone to store up what you need for later.  Letting your personal views of people that prepare influence your family’s well being for the future makes no sense.  Buying insurance in the form of what your family will need after it becomes no longer available for an undetermined period of time makes excellent common sense for everybody.

23. I don’t know why everyone is so worried, times are better and safer now than ever in human history.
Fact/Answer.  The old doomsday clock put out by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists puts the clock at 5 minutes to midnight.  Since 1960 the clock has only been closer to midnight between 1981-1988 during the height of the cold war.  In 1991 it was set at 17 minutes to midnight.  Most of the time it was set 7 minutes or higher.  As competition grows with increasing population, resources grow less plentiful.  While it can be argued that the earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural disasters are all part of a regular cycle, man-made conflicts and needs are something never experienced with 7 billion people trying to get what they need out of limited resources of water, food, arable land, energy and much more.  If anything, times are becoming a lot scarier and gives even more support to the notion of preparing to what the future may hold for us.

24. There is so much to prepping, I’ll take my chances that nothing will happen.
Fact/Answer.  There is a lot to knowing what to do after a disaster, but it takes little no know to simply put away what you need every day in life.  Just the simple act of putting away canned food and water and other necessities like toilet paper will put you into a better situation that most of the people you know.  Those people that even put away a month’s worth of what they need will likely survive better than at least half of the population after a mega SHTF event.  Just start putting away and continue it and someday you will probably be grateful you did.

25. All my investments go right into what makes me money and gives me security for the future.
Fact/Answer.  Many people cannot find a better investment for the future than to have what they need within arm’s reach.  Banks are closed most of the time, and online trading is only good if the internet and phone lines are up.  While having a stable portfolio is important, especially if nothing happens, not having an investment in the things you use each day to live life with ease makes no sense.  Buying stocks in precious metals is equally worthless compared to actually having the precious metals in your hands or your safe in a situation when the stock and commodities markets collapse or are inaccessible.

26. Why bother storing up that much food and supplies, mobs will just come in and take it.
Fact/Answer.  If you tell everyone that your house is a grocery store, then when something does happen you can expect big problems. If no one knows you have food, it is much less likely you will have any mobs come after you.  Good self defense is essential to guard your supplies as many people are cowards and just don’t have the gall to try to force themselves in while being shot at, many times people will back off just because there is a gun aiming at them.  Also something to consider is that many people will become quite weak after lack of food and water and after a few days the threat level will diminish significantly.

27. I have a refrigerator and a cupboard full of food, 2 cases of water, a 12 pack of toilet paper, I am all set.
Fact/Answer.  So many people are totally clueless to what they DON’T HAVE.  First of all the water of 2 cases will be used up in 3-4 days by a family of four.  If the power goes off everything in the refrigerator will have to be eaten within a couple of days.  A cupboard full of food is not a bad start, but most pantry sizes would store about a week’s worth of supplies.  Something is always better than nothing, but people need to see just how much they actually need for a certain amount of time.  Exaggerating what you actually have is very counterproductive – and poses a risk to the well being of your family should disaster strike.

28. If something happens I will just run to the grocery store and stock up before it closes.
Fact/Answer.  This is not a bad idea  if you see a crisis is imminent. For many preppers, heading to the grocery store at the first sign of trouble and adding goods to what they already have, such as fruit and vegetables that will perish within a short time, may help reduce psychological and physical strains of the initial impact.  Depending on this as a plan to stock up because you have nothing in your current supplies, however, is not a good idea and quite dangerous.  What will you use to purchase what you need? Do you have cash on hand to purchase these last minute supplies or are you planning on using your possible inactive credit or debit card?  Even with a wad of cash, the stores might not be open.  Your best course of action is stock up before anything happens, you cannot depend on any store to provide what you need after a disaster.

29. If we become sick after a disaster we have good medical treatment centers that will care for us.
Fact/Answer.  Medical response could be overwhelmed and could takes days or weeks to come back online.  It is likely that the number one killer after a calamity will be disease.  Extreme preventative care of yourself and your family is all too essential.  Germ control and ‘hand awareness’ of germs is top priority here.  Storage of anti-bacterial soaps, bleach, and other disinfectants are something no home should be without.  Investment in a really well stocked first aid kit is an excellent survival item for everyone.

30. Nothing is as bad as it ever seems, stop over blowing everything as doomsday
Fact/Answer.  Tell that one to Hurricane Katrina and Sandy survivors that were told it would not be that bad by the mass media.  Tell people in Haiti or people devastated by the two killer mega tsunamis about it not being all that bad.  Ask people who went through World War 2, the Korean or Vietnam war, or in Syria or Iraq how much less worse it was.  Preparing for the worst means that you can much better handle those worst-case scenarios that have occurred regularly throughout history.

31. If disaster strikes everybody will band together and save the day.
Fact/Answer.  Nice sentiment, but throughout history this idealism has proven to be less than reality.  Take away the hope of recovery with a bad enough situation and people revert back to the survival of the fittest.  Depending on the good will of human nature can and does lead to vast disappointment and individual disaster.  Depending on your own self and what you can put away is a lot more stable and reliable.

32. People have become way too civilized to wage a world war and take what you have and act like savages.
Fact/Answer.  There are too many examples to disprove this of people’s nature.  Given the severity of the circumstances, people are capable of anything as long as most of them can JUSTIFY their actions in their minds.  Trust in yourself and then others.  Trusting in society’s self righteousness to not act like criminals is a true stretch.  Good self defense and a cautious nature will take you far.

33. There are food banks and emergency preparedness places nearby to me, they will take care of us.
Fact/Answer.  It is all about volume, these places are meant to feed people on a SHORT TERM basis to keep people from starving to death immediately.  You will likely have to exist on a snack size package of crackers and maybe an energy bar per day.  You might get a couple of bottles of water if you are lucky.  Depending on these places for handouts is a losing proposition with any disaster that is even moderately tragic.  You could store up way more from a couple of weeks worth of extra items bought at the store than what these places are likely capable of feeding you with.

34. FEMA , the Red Cross, and other government agencies are huge and have the whole country backing them.
Fact/Answer.  Even if these organizations and government agencies can get to you, their supplies and what they can give out is severely limited, much like local and state run emergency preparedness centers.  Think about just how many people one million is and how much daily food that means.  Try to think of tens of millions of people needing all sorts of food, clean water and other supplies.  The logistics of distribution on this scale is a nightmare for any planner.  Even if there was enough food, imagine standing in 4-10 hour lines to get some crumbs and a drink of water.  Now imagine going into a room of your house and simply getting what you need.  Kind of makes the idea of prepping sound a lot better doesn’t it?

35. I can always wait until tomorrow to start prepping, there is always time.
Fact/Answer.  No there isn’t always time. Eventually that tomorrow does come.  When world or national events have deteriorated enough to scare many more people into prepping it is probably too late.  The best time to start preparing was yesterday, the next best time is right now.  Every day that goes by without putting away what you need is going to make it that much more difficult to store up enough of what you need for survival.  Time runs out quickly, start preparing today and find out how rewarding it is when you have what you need right there in your own home.

It is not an overblown statement that says 99% of the population could perish during the next mega calamity based on the sole reason that they did not prepare.  Without food, water, means of keeping yourself clean and disease free, and the many other necessities that people have become way too dependent on to survive everyday life, people cannot live and won’t.  Those rare 1% that choose to prepare and sacrifice those everyday pleasures and expensive distractions will have what they need as flocks of those unprepared will die in massive numbers because society can no longer support them.  Those 99%, though, have the conscious choice of not becoming a statistic and truly doing something about it with a lot less than they realize. All it takes is some time, effort and dedication to spending any available extra money and resources on living “life insurance” such as food, water, and everyday needs.

When a true mega-scale cataclysm strikes, your choices today will determine your probability of  death or survival.
Which choice will you make?
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[OK. Suppose you used one or more of the excuses above and when things actually went south you realized your assessment was wrong. Even while the breakdown is occurring and systems are in the process of unraveling, you want to know, “How to personally maximize the last hours of opportunity before situational sunset?” The next two articles will help, but some of the strategies/ products suggested may have by that time, already become unavailable. I wish you good luck and health on the path you take.  Mr. Larry]

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B.  Preppers List : 10 Things To Do Now!
5 Mar 2013, thesurvivalistblog.net, by M.D. Creekmore
Excerpts pasted from:  http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/survival-food-storage-walmart/

No matter how much I beg, some of you, no doubt haven’t done anything to prepare (you know who you are). I don’t know what else to do. All I can do is give you the information, it’s up to you to act. No one can do it for you.

No doubt some of you are intimidated by my repeated suggestions of storing and using whole grains. If it doesn’t come from the supermarket shelf it’s strange and unfamiliar and you want no part of it. Fair enough.

But you still need to prepare. Here are ten things that you can do right now that will make you better prepared than probably 90% of the population.

And everything is available at your local shopping center – so it’s easy. You can do all ten steps at once or divide each into a separate week and shopping trip. But you need to get it done as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that this is only a starting point and isn’t presented here as a completed list.

1.  Head to the nearest Wal-mart, Kmart, Costco or whatever and pick-up 20 lbs of white or brown rice and 20 lbs of pinto beans. White rice has a better storage life while brown rice has more nutritional benefits – your choice.

2. While you’re there grab 5 lbs mixed beans, 5 lbs of white sugar, 5 lbs of iodized salt, one gallon of olive oil (can be frozen to extend shelf-life), 5 lbs oats, 10 lbs each of white or wheat flour and cornmeal.

3. Now head over to the canned foods and pick-up 20 cans of canned fruits and 20 cans of canned vegetables. Be sure to buy only those brands and contents you normally eat and nothing exotic. No need to shock the senses.

4. Now over to the canned meats. Pick-up 20 cans of various meats, salmon, stews, spam and tuna. Again buy only those brands with contents you normally eat and nothing exotic.

5. Okay. Now to the to the peanut butter shelf and toss two 40-ounce jars in the cart. The listed shelf life is just over two years and each jar has over 6,000 calories. Peanut butter is an excellent instant survival food.

6. Over to the powdered drink mix – go on I’ll wait…Okay, pick up two 72 Ounce Tang Orange drink canisters (provides 100% of the US RDA vitamin C requirement per 8 oz. glass). Also grab six 19-Ounce Containers of Kool-Aid Drink Mix.

7. Off to the vitamin and supplement aisle, pick up 400 tablets “one a day” multivitamin and mineral supplements. I buy this brand at the local Wal-Mart – comes in 200 count bottle for $8 each.

8. Now to the department we all love – sporting goods. Go to the camping aisle and pick up 4 five gallon water containers. Fill with tap water as soon as you get back home.

9. While you’re there buy 250 rounds of ammunition for your primary defensive weapon. More if you can, but this should be a good start. Also a good universal cleaning kit.

10. And lastly pick up the best LED flashlight you can afford, extra batteries and bulb. Also grab two boxes of wooden matches and several multi-purpose lighters.

Don’t forget to date, use and rotate – remember first in first out. Let’s get started.

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C.  Prepper List : Ten MORE Things To Do Now
8 Dec 2010, thesurvivalistblog.net, by M.D. Creekmore
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/survival-gear-list/

Prepper List : Ten MORE Things To Do Now
[Continued from previous article]…Now let’s go back to the shopping center with another survival food and gear list and ten more things to do now. Ready? Great.

1. Go to the grocery department and pick up 5 lbs of powdered milk or the equivalent of canned, now go over to the next aisles and throw in 5 lbs of rolled oats and a case of Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles aren’t the most nutritional food but they are cheap, add bulk to the diet and store well –  just don’t rely on them to provide all your nutritional needs. And don’t forget a good manual can opener.

2. While you’re in the grocery department be sure to pick up an assortment of spices to taste, such as Basil, Chili powder, Cinnamon, Garlic, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Black Pepper. Spices can go a long way toward making unfamiliar foods palatable. Also, while you’re in that area add 5 or more lbs of salt to your shopping cart, as you know salt has 101 uses.

3. Okay, counting what you bought during our first trip to the shopping center, that should do it for the grocery. Now go over to the area near the pharmacy and pick up 3 large tubes of toothpaste, 3 brushes, 100 double edge razor blades, (note: if you don’t have a razor you’ll probably have to order one from Amazon.com and don’t forget a brush and bowl), I’ve used this type razor for years and think it is a cheaper long-term solution than disposable.

While you’re there, add the most comprehensive first-aid kit that you can find to your cart and don’t forget over the counter pain meds (Tylenol, aspirin etc.). If you’re a woman (or have one in your life) go over a few shelves and pick up enough “feminine” supplies to last three months or longer.

4. With all that food in your pantry its only a matter of time before you have to poop. I know, it’s shocking but we all do it.  If you have a water source such as a stream or lake nearby you can still use the toilet in your bathroom, all you have to do is manually fill the tank in back and flush as usual. If this isn’t an option, you’ll need to look for other alternatives such as the Portable Toilets sold in the sporting goods department or making a  sawdust toilet from a five-gallon bucket.

5. What’s next? You guessed it toilet paper. If you poop you need to wipe, if not you probably need to start. You could use a corncob, cloth, Roman sponge on a stick or paper from discarded books or newspapers but I would wager most of you prefer the softness of Angle Soft. Get enough to last at least a month, more if possible and remember women need more than men so plan accordingly.

6. While you are in that area of the store pick up a supply of disposable plates, bowls and plastic utensils. Don’t go overboard here but having a small stockpile of these items on hand can save a lot of water that would otherwise be used to wash dishes. Also add two or more gallons of regular, unscented bleach to your cart.

7. This is a biggie and can’t be done (legally) at the department store pharmacy without the signature of a doctor – that is stocking up on prescription meds.  Getting more than a 30 day supply, at least in the U.S., can be difficult if not impossible. But there are ways to get most of what you need for long-term survival.

8. Now push your cart (man this thing is getting heavy) over to the hardware department of the store and pick up a carpenters hammer, vice grips, adjustable wrench, screw driver set, duct tape, electrical tape, axe, pry bar, crosscut saw, hacksaw and large can of WD-40. This is your bare minimum survival tool kit.

9. After you get your tool kit, go over to sporting goods and in the camping supply aisle pick up a propane camp stove and 5 or more 1 pound propane cylinders or a bulk 20 lb tank and hose adaptor – yes the pressure in the small bottles is the same as a 20 lb cylinder or even 100 lb tank, just be sure to get the proper adapter and hose assembly. Another alternative and the one I prefer is the Volcano Stove because I can use propane, wood and charcoal.

10. Okay, we are just about done for today – only a few more steps pushing the cart and you’ll be out the door. You’ll need a way to keep in touch with your group so go to the electronics department and pick up the best two-way radios that you can afford. Don’t forget a battery-powered radio and extra batteries for both. While not necessary, I prefer a radio capable of receiving AM/FM and shortwave broadcasts.

This shopping list will have you better prepared than probably 90% of the U.S. but it should not be signify the end of your preps only a good start. There’s always something to do and learn never become complacent – remember the quote “On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of those who on the very threshold of victory sat down to rest, and while resting died.”

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EMP Part 2 of 2: What to store in your Faraday cage

(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/ EMP part 2 of 2: What to store in your Faraday cage)

Faraday cage 1

Faraday cage 2[Photos above from Mr. Larry’s personal research and experimentation. Note: The latest thinking is that the Faraday cage does not need to be grounded, there fore the red grounding wire seen in the top left photograph can be eliminated.]

A.  What’s in YOUR Faraday Cage? A Common Sense Guide to Preparing for an EMP
28 Jul 2012,SHTFplan.com, by Lisa Bedford (The Survival Mom)
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/whats-in-your-faraday-cage-a-common-sense-guide-to-preparing-for-an-emp_07282012

An EMP can be caused by the detonation of a large bomb, nuclear or otherwise, in the atmosphere, miles above land. [Actually, an area the size of the US could be crippled by a small nuclear device detonated at the edge of space over the target region. Mr. Larry] Its pulse wave can easily cover a continent and destroy electronic components in computers, engines, power plants, and solar panels alike. An event like this has never happened on a large scale, and there are differing opinions as to the exact consequences, but one thing is certain: In a matter of moments, life as we know it would be gone forever. Our closest star, the sun, could also do extensive damage in the form of a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The results would be similar.

Excerpted from: Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios
emp solar flare

Massive solar flares have been in the news recently, along with vague warnings of how a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) might affect us here on earth. The dangers of a man-made Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) was outlined in excruciating detail in One Second After by William Forstchen.

We rely on electronics way too much to ignore the potential of these events, and although even the experts aren’t always in agreement where details are concerned, it makes sense to have a plan to protect important electronics in either event.What experts do agree on is that many items with any type of electronic component may become inoperable by either a CME or EMP.

From Survival Mom: “How to prepare your family for everyday disasters and worst-case scenarios”: I don’t have a plan to turn my garage into a giant Faraday cage in hopes that our vehicles would be spared, but I have made plans to protect other, smaller items that would make a huge difference in our survival following a CME or EMP. Here is a list of some of those items.

  1. Mp3 players filled with music.  Also, every spare set of earphones I can scrape up around here.
  2. An old laptop computer with downloads of eBooks and stored personal information
  3. One or more digital cameras.
  4. A set of walkie-talkies that run on rechargeable batteries
  5. Solar battery chargers
  6. A Kindle containing more than 150 books, many of them reference and survival books but also dozens of classics and a couple version of the Bible
  7. One  or more digital watches and clocks
  8. Small DVD player (a backup player would be good also)
  9. Any and all digital photos stored on a DVD and/or a thumb drive
  10. Scanned documents stored on a DVD and/or thumb drive (See Grab-n-Go Binder.)
  11. Computer hard drives
  12. Ham radio equipment
  13. A small generator
  14. LED flashlights
  15. Shortwave radio
  16. Inverters
  17. Electronic medical equipment

And what should these be stored in? Well, again, most every expert has differing opinions. We have a few Tech Protect Bags and a metal trash can. Here are some other options:

  1. Tech Protect Bags – The owners of this company recommend nesting Faraday containers.
  2. A metal garbage can
  3. Ammo cans
  4. An old microwave (mixed reviews on this one)
  5. Heavy duty aluminum foil wrapped around individual items, wrapped in plastic, and then again with aluminum foil.
  6. A  tool box
  7. Gun safe
  8. A cardboard box or other container that has been “Faraday-ized”
  9. Holiday popcorn tins

If/when an EMP or CME occurs, there is no going back for a “re-do”. Whatever works, works. Whatever doesn’t, doesn’t, and there will likely be no way to make repairs. Because of that, I highly recommend taking these precautions.

First, if you have more than one of an item, 2 digital cameras, for example, don’t store them together in the same container. If the metal trash can proves to be effective but the microwave doesn’t (and you will only know following the EMP/CME), at least you’ll have one item that operates.

Next, pack small Faraday containers into larger Faraday containers. If you are using a Tech Protect Bag, store it inside a larger Tech Protect Bag, an ammo can, or another (hopefully) EMP-safe container. This layering could include a clothes dry, metal filing cabinet, or metal drum.

If you have emergency kits that contain electronic items, package them in an EMP-proof box or bag, so you’ll have your most important survival items protected when you may need them most.

True, we could survive just fine without music, photos, probably most documents that are important today but may not be, “one second after,” but since the exact results of a CME/EMP are so unknown, I would rather protect even just a few of these items than face a future without anything at all containing an electronic component.

One final thought. No one knows if or when either a CME or EMP will happen, and if it does, what the intensity will be. Whatever you pack in a Faraday container will be safest if it remains there. For example, don’t pack your laptop if you use it several times a week. Instead, pick up an older laptop on Craigslist, store your information, and then pack it away.
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B.  What To Store In Your Faraday cages? 
30 August 2012, ThePreparednessPodcast.com, by Rob Hanus
Pasted from: http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/what-to-store-in-your-faraday-cages/

Here is a list of suggested items that you may want to consider placing into a Faraday cage or Faraday Protection Unit (FPU) to protect them from the destructive effects of EMP.

Note: There is a two-part podcast series that explains all of this in great detail. Be sure to listen to it by starting with the first part of EMP and EMP Protection.

podcast-iconBe sure to check out the videos I did that demonstrates shielding against a 50,000 watt AM signal, and the Surviving EMP Mini-Guide:

The Preparedness Podcast Mini-Guide: Surviving EMP [Kindle Edition] E-book is for sale and download from Amazon:

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First, the items I list below might not be affected by an EMP if unprotected, but why take the chance? If there’s an electronic item that you deem important for your survival, then you should have it protected.

Second, you need to get your head wrapped around what life will be like without power and concentrate on storing those things that will give you a tactical and strategic advantage.

  • Things like radios, for both personal communications and gathering information.
    • For example, CB, FRS, GMRS, Ham and short-wave radios. The gear to do digital communications, like Digital HF, would be good, too.
    • A short-wave radio is important to hear broadcasts from other countries that weren’t affected by the EMP, as it may be a long time before there are any local news sources broadcasting.
  • Flashlights – What? you didn’t know that modern flashlights have electronics in them? If you have an LED flashlight, chances are that is has circuitry in it.
    • Not to mention, the LEDs themselves are very sensitive to EMP.
    • The old type of flashlights which are basically a battery-switch-incandescent bulb aren’t at risk.
  • Power generation equipment: generator parts, inverters, charge controllers, battery chargers, etc. It’s currently thought that solar panels would survive an EMP because there isn’t micro-circuitry in them.
    • However, if they are small, wrap them in foil and nest them inside a steel garbage can.
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  • UPDATE September 1, 2012: I may have muddled this and want to clarify: we do not know for certain whether solar panels will survive an EMP, thus you should protect them like any other electronic device if your post-EMP plan relies on them.
  • Repair parts for cars, trucks, tractors, ATVs, etc.
  • Night vision and other electronic optics.
  • Perimeter monitoring gear.
  • Computers (preferably laptops and tablets), PDAs, smartphones, ebook readers (Kindles, Nooks, etc.). If you have old stuff laying around, might as well as try to protect it. Don’t underestimate the force multiplier of having these things. Most of the tablet stuff (smart phones, iPads, Kindles and other ebook readers) are pretty rugged and will most likely last a long time. Imagine having the power of massive amounts of stored information at your fingertips.
    • Don’t forget to load these up with your survival info, documents and PDFs! In addition to reference material, you should also put a lot of novels on these. Without TV or radio, reading will be a huge pastime.
    • Use USB thumb drives to store backups of your reference materials, books and photos. These are very rugged and are very easy to wrap in foil to protect.
    • Make sure that the small devices you have can be updated from the computers you have. This is important in case they lose their info or you want to change the info.
    • On a similar note, WiFi components like wireless routers allow people to stay connected with these devices. This wouldn’t be at the top of my list of things to store, but if I had extra stuff laying around, why not protect it? It only costs a little foil and some space.
    • Ink-jet printer. Hey, why not. Printing information could be very important when the lights go out forever. Choose a printer that uses very common ink cartridges. Though you can store some of these cartridges, you should be able to find these readily, as no one is going to be needing them.
    • Many of these devices have internal batteries that need to be recharged fairly often. You’ll need to account for that and set up a schedule that allows for you to pull these out and recharge them on a regular basis.
    • One simple solution would be to export all of your preparedness and survival information as PDFs and store them on several USB flash drives. An old, used PC laptop should be able to read these just fine.
  • Solar battery chargers – these are those complete kits with the charger and solar panel integrated.
  • Medical devices – if you have any electronic medical equipment, either for rendering aid or because you need it to live (blood testers, O2 machines, etc.), make sure to have spares.
  • Cordless tools – drills, saws, Dremel tools.
  • Calculators – solar calculators would be best, as they don’t need batteries.
  • Batteries – Although small batteries weren’t affected in the 1962 tests and car batteries seem to survive EMP testing, why take the chance? Put some in your FPU.
    • Energizer makes lithium batteries that have a long storage life.
    • Energizer Advanced Lithium will store 10 years, and Energizer Ultimate Lithium will store 15 years.
    • Even regular Alkaline batteries should have a shelf life of 5 – 7 years.
    • You can even store rechargeable batteries, though you should probably run them through a charge-discharge-charge cycle at least once per year.
  • SPEAKING OF BATTERIES – Make sure to remove the batteries from all gear before storage. There would be few feelings worse than opening your cache of EMP-proofed gear, only to find that the batteries that you forgot to take out had leaked and destroyed the equipment.
  • CFL or Compact Fluorescent Lights – If your home or retreat has its own power source and you plan on using CFL lights because of their efficiency, know that they have electronics in them to control the voltage to the tube. When not connected to a light socket, they’re probably not susceptible to EMP, but if your power plan requires these, then stick a bunch in a steel garbage can to be sure.
  • A Throw-Away set of equipment. Open this first to check on radio signals. Include some ear buds and batteries. Keep this in a separate Faraday protection unit, away from your main stuff. Of course, this is also good for other things that need power, too.
  • Have analogue backups for everything. GPS units are nice, but even if they worked after an EMP attack, the satellites will rapidly drift off course without constant correction from ground control.
    • Maps; compass; manual can opener; writing stuff like paper, pens, pencils; whistles instead of radios; candles and kerosene lanterns instead of battery operated and LED ones.
  • Not In Podcast- Some things that I’ve thought of after the podcast:
    • Multimeters, circuit testers, repair equipment.
    • Audio or music players, like MP3 players or iPods/iPhones, including any active speakers (speakers that have their own amplifiers).
    • Radiation meters – actually, these should be EMP proof already, but again, why take the chance? At the very least, wrap them up in foil while they’re in storage.
    • Welders
    • Digital camera. Not really a high-priority, but could come in handy if you had a computer and were doing some recon.
    • Clocks – if you have old digital watches and clocks, why not put them in your Faraday cage? It would be better if you had a set of mechanical, wind up clocks and watches, but if you have the room, include the digital ones.
    • DVD players. If you have a lot of movies on DVD, might as well have a way to play them. But, you’ll also need something to play them on, like a small monitor, so you’ll need to store this, too.

This list is not prioritized, but you should prioritize your list before you start, as not everything on this list is necessary for survival. Those critical items, like medical devices needed to sustain life, power generation, flashlights, batteries and communication gear, would have the highest priority and should be protected first. Anything else that would give you an edge, like computers, night vision, powered scopes, perimeter monitoring, and items that make it possible to repair other items, should be the next highest on the list to protect.

Other things like DVD players, cameras, and handheld games should be the lowest priority. They’re nice to have, but not critical to your survival. That isn’t to say that you can’t have them, just concentrate on the needed items first. Just in case you run out of foil.

One note about storing electronics for use after an HEMP or CME event.

Keep in mind that without the infrastructure to make replacement parts and devices, what you have may be all you have. Ever. All the digital information that you have is to help you start a new life and give you an edge on learning all the new skills you’re going to need, now that there is no more electrical grid. Don’t plan on being able to access the information in digital format forever, or even for very long. If you don’t have paper backups of everything in your computers (and you should), then your post-HEMP/CME plan needs to include a way to start printing out all that info. Paper might be archaic in this digital age, but you can still read it after the power goes out.

Some Other Things To Consider About Post-EMP Conditions
Once people realize that the power is going to be off for a long time, possibly forever, things will probably get ugly and fairly soon. Be prepared to defend yourself and make sure you have all the needed items that go along with that (like magazines, slings, cleaning kits and plenty of ammo). Hopefully, at this point in the podcast, you’ve realized that as soon as we’re hit with an EMP, there won’t be anything made anymore. [In the area affected, elsewise, it will take time to ship replacements and you, like everyone else in the area will be near destitute by the time supplies arrive. Mr. Larry]

If you are not living on your retreat property when it happens, you should have a plan that calls for you to bug out to it immediately. It will probably take 1, 2 maybe 3 days for people to realize how bad it’s going to be – use this time to get to the location that you plan on staying in. Since we don’t know what vehicles will survive an EMP, you’ll need a plan for acquiring one that still runs, but you can store the fuel you’ll need to get there now.

And, just to be clear, you need to have stocked up on everything. Because not only won’t there be anything made for long time, but once people realize how bad it is, it will likely become a dog eat dog world. To me, one of the best ways to get ready for this is to become part of a community, preferably one that can grow food and has access to clean water and natural resources, like trees.

It’s been said that an EMP attack would be like time-traveling the entire country back to the mid-1800s. But it will be worse than that. In the mid-1800s, we had people that knew how to grow food and make things by hand. We will have to re-learn those skills.

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