Originally Posted by beezer75
Urban Survival is another interesting market/financial/what's happening in the world read. He updates M-F and usually Sat. as well. Personally, I can't start my day w/o reading the update.
I think George is a sweet guy but he and the "web bots" have lost a lot of credibility in my eyes. I've been reading his daily update for well over a year and I have waited for many events that never came, like the "global coastal event" of January 2009 that never happened. Some things have lined up, but they seem to work hard at finding the evidence that the web bots were somehow correct. For general info and news that makes you go "hmmm", I do enjoy the site. I think George is a smart guy but perhaps he enjoys his doom and gloom a bit too much for my tastes. While I myself lean towards the darker side of reality for the purpose of being prepared, I really think you have to try and find some hope, especially when you have children. At my darkest hour, I was really into all that stuff and it cost me my health. It took me awhile to realize the effect my readings were having on me, afterall, I was in "control" of my mind and it couldn't affect me phsyically, and it was a good thing that I was taking my family's destiny by the reigns and getting a headstart on being ready. Wrong. It just hurt me. It hurt my marriage too. Has your husband or SO ever called you negative? Maybe they are right. Mine is far more balanced than I was. It's one thing to be aware of what is happening and aware of the gravity of this changing world, and it's another to be consumed by it and maybe even finding yourself seeking out bad things that happen just to validate your beliefs. I totally relate to all of you here on this thread. I just stopped reading those websites, except Kunstler because I think I even detect some hope and some willingness in his words to concede that things may not end up quite as bad as a fiction writer could imagine.
I totally agree about oil, water and food. There are just too many people on this earth and it is growing exponentially as population does. If we continued at a current growth rate of 1.3% (which is less than the 90s when the rate was 1.7%), we would have one person for every square meter of dry land on earth in 2,000 years. I think we all know we probably won't have great-great granchildren. Something has to give. Either mother nature will take care of the problem through pestilence, drought, natural disasters and/or disease, or life will become so challenging that our kids or grandkids are going to decide not to have children. I will be ok if my kids decide not to become mothers. I think we have reached the peak best time to be a human on this earth, specifically in this country, maybe we reached that 20 or 30 years ago and now we are on the decline. Technological advances can't make up for lack of family, replace values and morality, reduce violence and abuse, and clearly they have not reduced illnesses despite prolonging lifespans, which was born out of the need to keep far more people alive artificially thanks to skyrocketing rates of chronic illness. Sure sanitation has improved communicable disease rates, and some would credit vaccines for some of that, but in reality, we are a lot sicker now than we were 30, 40, 50 years ago. My parents had measles and mumps, it was not a big deal, but what they didn't have was one in 6 people with cancer or diabetes back then, and certainly autism was a very rare occurrence.
My point is, we are not well and we are not going to get better. I truly believe we are on the decline as a civilization. That's nice that China is doing so well but there will never be enough resources and oil on this earth for other countries to have the decadent life we have been so blessed with in this country. China is smart enough to understand that they aren't making any more minerals, timber, precious metals, and are in scurry across the globe to secure rights to what is left of these things. The earth simply cannot sustain further population growth but it isn't going to stop. Even if it slows down and people start putting the breaks on breeding, there will be a long period before the effects of that slowdown are felt. Meanwhile, there is really not much any of us can do except try to live as best we can. Move out of big cities, into clean air, small commutes, bigger yards for growing food, become as independant of oil and the grid as possible. But water is a big one, and it is going to affect most of us sooner or later. We own some land in Costa Rica that we have been trying to sell for years with no offers. Beautiful land 500 meters from a beautful beach, but there is no water in the area and many landowners have drilled 16 times in a one-acre plot to no avail (and that costs like 1-2k per drill). We have rights to share a well with some other people. The well goes dry some times of the year. There is 40% less rainfall in that region than there was some 50 years ago and that is due to deforestation. That is shocking. There has been a huge price for the earth to pay for us to live the way we do.
I suppose I've done my grieving over the past several years. I lived in Costa Rica 2001-2003, returning annually since then, and have watched in horror its transformation from paradise into a ruined symbol of greed and development allowed to go unchecked. Thousands of ugly concrete condos lie empty with no buyers, but now there are pronounced water shortages after the developers tapped into small communities' aquifers, allowed to do so thanks to bribery. Collapsing infrastructure, raw sewage dumped by hotels into the ocean, and a lot worse. It has been very hard for my husband to see what's happened to his country. We are simply destroying the last beautiful, pristine places on earth, and those with deep pockets are buying up all the beachfronts where I used to swim in peace in clear waters, to set up marinas and let yachts ooze oil into these waters, killing off whats left of coral reefs and destroying these natural gems for future generations. I figure I will someday be telling my children about the days when one could actually swim in the ocean without worrying about pollution (there are still some places left but not for long, sadly).
It's very telling to me that George W. Bush bought a large parcel of land in Paraguay that sits atop the region's largest aquifer. There are people in high places privy to info that us sheeple are not, but their actions tell us something. Water wars have already been going on in some places, like Mexico. We've personally been involved in ongoing water wars in our area of Costa Rica. A big part of the reason why we abandoned our dreams there and came to the U.S. For now, we are ok where we live. We are in the Rocky Mountains. Food could be an issue. We'd have to learn to love a simple diet of dairy, meat and potatoes, but we wouldn't starve. We do have time, and I am trying to make the most of that time and enjoying more of it rather than stressing over what I know is coming. I just don't think it's going to be a sudden thing either. It's going to be rapid in the historical context and unfortunately we are done ever ascending to new heights as a civilization. Now it's a race for what resources are left and it's a critical time for nations of the world to decide their own fates and these resources dwindle and countries, namely China, devour up the majority. We've been a fair and free country for quite come time now and I hate to think we will have to step aside as the superpower. We may be the most indulgent country but I don't think we deserve to be taken down. The bankers and politicians and other thieves, yes, absolutely, but we still have the best and brightest minds here and the strongest spirit. Obama was right when he said we make no apologies for how we live. I think most of us really appreciate what we have, and we are learning to do with less, but for others to have what we have achieved (and yes, I think it is an achievement, how many Americans gave their lives for the freedom of other countries (not including Iraq
?). I don't think we are a bully. We have been a model for the rest of the world. Now the playing field is leveling for sure, but we'll still be Americans and we have great resilience and some of the smartest minds on the globe, so I do still have some hope. I think we are in for a permanent change though, and we will all have to do with less, but I think there is a silver lining in that. Maybe things that made us so great 50 years ago will hold more value now, and the things that caused us to fail, like greed, decadence, lack of morals, ethics and values, lack of identity, hopelessness and idleness, will be replaced with the sorts of things Obama talks about, like personal responsibility, community service, family ties, and hard work. At least one can still hope, right?
Meanwhile, my emergency fund is tied up in an oil stock. I made a little profit in the stock market, got out, paid my debts, and now I have a little nest egg in oil because I am with the others who think oil/natural gas is going back up through the roof sooner than later.