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The Long Emergency - Page 8

post #141 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ary99 View Post
that's no longer a neighborhood swimming pool.. .it's an emergency water supply!
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
even with all the chlorine in it??
I assume you're thinking chlorine is an issue if you'll be drinking it? Chlorine dissipates from pool water into the air pretty quickly. That is why it keeps needing to be added. If a swimming pool had been sitting dormant and wasn't completely disgustingly mucky yet (it would get that way pretty fast when the chlorine was gone) AND if I had a good water purification system, AND if I was out of better options, I would consider it. Water is essential to human life, and I imagine I'd choose drinking pool water over death by dehydration, if it came to that.

But even under less stringent circumstances, water is good for more than drinking. Washing dishes, clothes, and bodies, for a few things. Flushing toilets, if you're still using a water toilet (I highly recommend a sawdust toilet if water gets scarce). Irrigation. As I said, the chemicals will most likely dissipate fairly quickly.

Yes, chlorine is not great for human consumption or skin exposure. But most Americans get it in their municipal water anyway, and a significant number of Americans use it in their laundry at least occasionally.

Before I made our sawdust toilet, I used swimming pool water for emergency flushing when the power went out and our well pump was rendered unusable.

Granted, I'm making assumptions here about what was meant in the quoted threads, but my point is, there are lots of important uses for water besides drinking.
post #142 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
If you look at the wikipedia chart, they explicitly state that they include infant mortality. It's statistics and math that skew life expectancy lower. Like a curve in a class, those doing poorly bring the curve down a lot. Even if the majority of the class got 75% on a test or better (say 2/3 of the class) the other 1/3 who completely flunked it would cause the curve to settle on a much lower mean than exists in reality. Am I making any sense? lol
Everything you say makes sense, and I don't really disagree with most of it. Except for antibiotics for a common cold, and if you look at infant mortality, it doesn't have much to do with cold or flu, the latter influenza is rare in infants. Reduction in infant mortality has everything to do with prenatal care, nutrition, and the banned V word which I won't mention, except to say that the things that used to kill, don't do so much here in the US b/c of that. Hence why Bill and Melinda are spending billions to try to reduce infant mortality in other countries. And the answer is not flu vaccine.

I think the difference of opinion is in the definition of miserable or mean existence. This is all just opinion, but IMO life pre-1900 was not buccolic, i.e. kill a cow now and then, and catch up on local gossip in the interim.

It's all perspective. If only 30% of your offspring make it to adulthood, that would make a pretty horriblle 20 years for me. Every couple of years burying a child? Even if you lived in Versailles, it would be depressing. But to live instead in a hut or tent, no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no library. Plenty of moms on MDC complain of cloth diapers being too much work. Washing cloth diapers by hand when 70% that you're washing for will die? I don't know if Europeans ever did EC.

Re: the hunter/ gatherer being tall IMO has a significant genetic component, i.e. there are definite hunter tribes in Africa that tend to be tall. Plenty of other hunter/ gatherer communities are known for their shortness: coastal Italian, Corsican, Okinawan, Alaskan, Northern Scandinavian, etc.

Which brings us back to the Long Emergency, and why I think it's important to have a desired commodity,... and my vote is for knowledge or expertise.
post #143 of 260
Quote:
Washing cloth diapers by hand when 70% that you're washing for will die? I don't know if Europeans ever did EC.
Not EC as such, but "swaddling cloths" were essentially diaper and clothing all in one for infants. And they didn't get changed as frequently as we do today! Also, they're easier to wash/dry since there is no "bulk" to the fabric itself... the bulk came from the layering.

I agree that definitions make a big difference in terms of "what is comfortable". And so much of that is culturally conditioned and/or what people are used to or expect simply because it's "the way it's always been". There are early adopters and late adopters for all technology... and people tend to want to "trade up". It's the generations and groups that (for one reason or another) are forced to "trade back" that feel they've lost something crucial for comfortable living.

If we become the first generation in the long emergency scenario, many of us will feel un-comfortable. Our children will probably also feel un-comfortable due to the transitional stresses passed along from adults as well as the changing environment. Their children will probably be more or less ok with the situation... bikes, composting toilets, local/limited diet options, barter for services, a more specific or localized educational system, etc. It's only the one or two transitional generations who really feel the pain... our grandchildren will most likely be cofortable within what they consider "normal life" and find the stories told by their elders about as believable as our own "when I was a kid we walked uphill through the snow ten miles to school" jokes.
post #144 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
If we become the first generation in the long emergency scenario, many of us will feel un-comfortable. Our children will probably also feel un-comfortable due to the transitional stresses passed along from adults as well as the changing environment.
Is anyone else trying to ease their children and/or their family into a transitional mindset, to ease the stress of what you anticipate?

I am doing this and I see my friends doing it to some extent as well, whether intentionally or not. We're rationing our gas usage and talking with our kids about why. We buy used as much as possible, and talk about the repercussions of people only buying new. We strive to eat simply in season, and talk about why we aren't buying (fill in the blank out-of-season or overprocessed food shipped from faraway). We conserve water and electricity, we garden, I take it seriously if food gets wasted and we try to compost or recycle everything we can. We avoid mainstream advertising influences and shun the "gimmes" that often arise from that. And on and on.

I do have this little fear in the back of my head that I'm being too stringent (compared to some of our friends in our old town, who were unabashed consumers), but I was hoping maybe others here could relate.

We have some friends who have plenty of money and still choose to live this way and keep their kids' expectations low (or more accurately, realistic, given what we anticipate is to come). I don't want to unnecessarily deprive my kids, but I think it's better for them to already have it as part of their thinking that food, water, gas, paper products, and other resources are precious. I also want them to know that if we can't afford or choose not to buy something, we can manage without (most things, anyway). Know what I mean?
post #145 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
I assume you're thinking chlorine is an issue if you'll be drinking it? Chlorine dissipates from pool water into the air pretty quickly. That is why it keeps needing to be added. If a swimming pool had been sitting dormant and wasn't completely disgustingly mucky yet (it would get that way pretty fast when the chlorine was gone) AND if I had a good water purification system, AND if I was out of better options, I would consider it. Water is essential to human life, and I imagine I'd choose drinking pool water over death by dehydration, if it came to that.

But even under less stringent circumstances, water is good for more than drinking. Washing dishes, clothes, and bodies, for a few things. Flushing toilets, if you're still using a water toilet (I highly recommend a sawdust toilet if water gets scarce). Irrigation. As I said, the chemicals will most likely dissipate fairly quickly.

Yes, chlorine is not great for human consumption or skin exposure. But most Americans get it in their municipal water anyway, and a significant number of Americans use it in their laundry at least occasionally.

Before I made our sawdust toilet, I used swimming pool water for emergency flushing when the power went out and our well pump was rendered unusable.

Granted, I'm making assumptions here about what was meant in the quoted threads, but my point is, there are lots of important uses for water besides drinking.
Nope, you got it exactly right! Actually, our pool is salinated, but with a make shift solar distiller it could be made potable.
post #146 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
... our grandchildren will most likely be cofortable within what they consider "normal life" and find the stories told by their elders about as believable as our own "when I was a kid we walked uphill through the snow ten miles to school" jokes.
as in ....." when I was a kid, there used to be disposable plates, and spoons and forks.
And people used to drive cars the size of a house!
And there used to be something called a lawn, and neighbors would compete on who had the greenest, weed free lawn.
And some places, everybody had a swimming pool."

maybe change is a little good, huh?
post #147 of 260
WRT infant mortality: think waterborne diarrhea illnesses. That's your big worry, not respiratory stuff. Blah blah Nestle boycott blah blah yay breastfeeding etc. I figure we all know that song here!

We're scaling down too, as pps have said, to get into a transitional mindset and all that.

Oh, about diapers and EC: a lot of non-Euro cultures do it. Not exclusively warm-climate cultures, either!
post #148 of 260
About the water and chlorine, yeah I was just coming on to say what Amy wrote - even if the water was gross, it would still have uses for washing, cleaning etc.

As for transitioning kids - well we just do it through the way we live our life. We are modelling and making changes to the way we live so the kids are naturally picking up new skills (gardening, energy/water conservation, living without reliance on a lot of convenience items, we cook from scratch etc), they hear me rationalising about what groceries to buy based on price, I talk to DS about the price of fuel going up and how that means that we will be cutting back on when and how we use the car (as in bundling errands together on one or two days a week instead of jumping in whenever we get the thought to). I don't talk doom and gloom to them, but I talk of the positive changes we are making and how we can still make our lives fulfilling and happy.
post #149 of 260
Quote:
as in ....." when I was a kid, there used to be disposable plates, and spoons and forks.
And people used to drive cars the size of a house!
And there used to be something called a lawn, and neighbors would compete on who had the greenest, weed free lawn.
And some places, everybody had a swimming pool."
Yeah yeah great-gran... pull the other one, it's got bells on. Come on. Plates you throw away? How gullible do we look?
post #150 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
Yeah yeah great-gran... pull the other one, it's got bells on. Come on. Plates you throw away? How gullible do we look?
...Remember toilet paper? No, it's true, we used to wipe our butts with paper that was specially made for that purpose!
post #151 of 260
Wow, I made it to the end of the thread!

Well, I've read Kunstler's books, and I 43rd the plug for Sharon Astyk!

I don't know if other cultures have had easier lives, but some have had longer, healthier lives and seemed happy to those who first documented their existance for us. The Okinawans and Hunzan peoples both saw many many old people in their societies live to 100 or beyond, with eyesight, teeth, etc intact and perfect!

The truth is, whether it was hard for others or not, it will be hard for us. We are reading the Little House on the Prairie books right now, and much of their normal day-to-day lives is like reading about aliens. And we are on the verge, or over the verge, or losing lots of practical skills and information for a low-tech lifestyle. Think: how to make soap, train a horse, make clothes and shoes, cook over an open fire.

I am discouraged when I look around. I don't think PO is on the normal person's radar. And most that know a little about it can't or don't think much about it. When I mentioned getting a wood cookstove to a friend the other day, she made a comment about going back to the dark ages. I gently reminded her that dark ages meant cooking inside over an open fire, and that the cast iron wood cookstove is actually like going back 100 years.

The best thing Kustler and other writers have done for me is give a historical perspective on what is going on. Other societies and civilizations have collapsed. I think ours will in my lifetime. And I think we are less prepared than the Cubans and the Russians (two recent examples). Dimitri Orlov has written comparisons between the situation in Russia in the 90s and the situation we are facing. Here is one of his essays:

http://www.energybulletin.net/23259.html

As you each prepare for the future in your own ways, I would encourage you to consider this tenant of permaculture: Any important system should be supported multiple ways.

Take water: Water is the basis of life and your household. Make sure you will have some no matter what. And then plan a backup. And then plan another backup. We hope to move to our little property and build a farm just as soon as we sell our house, and our plan is to have a hand-pump on our well (maybe along with another system), a rainwater catchment system that is gravity fed, possibly a pond, possibly a greywater system, and garden designed to soak in the maximum amount of rainfall when we do get rain.

We just recently got chickens - 12 - and I was seeking solace in that fact a month ago when NRP kept reporting food crisis all over the world. The next day, 10 chickens were killed by dogs. Note to self: if protein is important, do not rely on one source. We are getting one egg per day now.

I think PO boils down to this mistake that we as a society made. We put all our eggs in the cheap oil basket (after Carter tried very hard to steer us in a better direction in the 1970s), and the dogs are at the gate.

The chicken situation not only illuminates our lack of backup, but our lack of know-how with a simple thing like keeping laying hens. Our problem was faulty coop design. The dog got on top and fell through the screened roof in one area that was held by staples. Do almost any of us know how to design a dog-, raccoon-, fox-proof chicken coop?

Another book I recommend is American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips. Scary when all parties from different camps are saying the same thing.

And finally, I have Seymour's book and Carla Emory's "Encyclopedia of Country Living," and I recommend the latter if you have to pick one.
post #152 of 260
Just wondering; Is the long emergency supposed to be centred in the states? Does he mention other countries, such as the canadian neighbours?
post #153 of 260
Has anyone started conversations with their extended families about these issues? We tried with each set of parents/step-parents with mixed results. The most poignant for me was a discussion about how life will have to change with FIL and SMIL. They made several justifications of how frugal/eco-sensitive they were their SUV was mid-sized after-all, and they decided not to move into the 3500 sqft house nearby. Instead they stayed in their 2500 sq ft house. Didn't I realize both were smaller than their neighbors?!? (BTW - this isn't a laugh at all SUV owners or families with mid-sized houses. It is intimately knowing this particular couple's love of excess and their ability to justify anything.)

Anyone else an apple that fell far from the tree? Tips for how to talk about the issues of food and energy scarcity and the possibility of a coming emergency?
post #154 of 260
Seeking Joy, I am another apple that fell far from the tree. My parents take on rising gas prices was, oh , maybe we will have to try and combine some of our errands. This from retired people who truly don't have many places they have to be but are constantly running around anyway. I've preferred doing things "the old-fashioned way" for as long as I can remember. Mom kept trying to give me a mixer but finally understood that a plain ole wooden spoon was my favorite tool. A long time ago I read a book about the Plain people titled How do they live without electricity? It was quite interesting.
post #155 of 260
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by majazama View Post
Just wondering; Is the long emergency supposed to be centred in the states? Does he mention other countries, such as the canadian neighbours?
It's fairly US-centric in talking about the policies and denial/lack of planning that have got us to this point. But the overall issues are going to affect anyone around the globe who wants to, say, drive a car, or keep their house warm in winter, etc. Also an American economic crisis is expected to affect other nation's economies pretty significantly as well.
post #156 of 260
One fun way to prepare with children is to join a group like the SCA (society for creative anachronism http://www.sca.org/). From the homepage:
Quote:
The SCA is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our "Known World" consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which may feature tournaments, arts exhibits, classes, workshops, dancing, feasts, and more. Our "royalty" hold courts at which they recognize and honor members for their contributions to the group.
For a small membership fee you can learn to cook, sew, hunt, spin, weave, build, forge, grow, navigate, debate, dance, brew, design, etc. You can find experts/teachers for more or less anything any of the European societies did between ~700ce and 1600ce. From the seriously practical (identify wild foods, start a fire, clean a rabbit, hunt with a dog, prepare safe food without running water/artificial cooling systems) to the more elaborate skills (lampwork, forging, tanning, weaving). And it's all done with a huge sense of fun and play and shared experience.

Not to mention SCA events are inexpensive "learning" holidays for a larger family or family with children since events usually have a few free classes, activities just for children, camping, feasting, and more for under 10 dollars/person. And how much fun is it to watch knights in armor fighting with long swords or rapiers, to watch an artisan at their craft, and to take part in the dancing/singing yourself (or learn the arts, including sword work if you like).

And although it's a bit "odd" as a hobby, it's certainly easier to get people interested (and learning despite themselves) if you're not phrasing it as "the world as we know it is coming to an end and we must all know how to live without a fridge/freezer".
post #157 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by p.s View Post
as in ....." when I was a kid, there used to be disposable plates, and spoons and forks.
And people used to drive cars the size of a house!
And there used to be something called a lawn, and neighbors would compete on who had the greenest, weed free lawn.
And some places, everybody had a swimming pool."

maybe change is a little good, huh?

Try explaining airplanes!!
post #158 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekingJoy View Post
Has anyone started conversations with their extended families about these issues?



Let's just say we're the only ones in my family with a house that's less than 2000 sq. feet.
post #159 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post
One fun way to prepare with children is to join a group like the SCA (society for creative anachronism http://www.sca.org/). From the homepage:


For a small membership fee you can learn to cook, sew, hunt, spin, weave, build, forge, grow, navigate, debate, dance, brew, design, etc. You can find experts/teachers for more or less anything any of the European societies did between ~700ce and 1600ce. From the seriously practical (identify wild foods, start a fire, clean a rabbit, hunt with a dog, prepare safe food without running water/artificial cooling systems) to the more elaborate skills (lampwork, forging, tanning, weaving). And it's all done with a huge sense of fun and play and shared experience.
It looks interesting, but I have zero interest in wearing costumes.
post #160 of 260
I'm almost done readaing this book- it is so fascinating! And true...

I've been following this thread (though this is my first contribution to it) as I've been reading and I just ahve to say you all have some great views and ideas, and I've learned quite a few things reading here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekingJoy View Post
Has anyone started conversations with their extended families about these issues?
Absolutely. I don't think my IL's take it all very seriously, but my mom is totally on the same page as me, so we talk about it a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldabee View Post
It looks interesting, but I have zero interest in wearing costumes.
You totally do not have to wear costumes. Most do, but not all. When I was younger my best friends family was way involved in the SCA and I went to several events with them, I rarely wore any sort of costume, and nobody seemed to mind, there were always at least a few others without costumes too. It is way fun stuff, even if you don't like the idea of costumes, if you like the other stuff it is definately worth giving it a try!

ETA I see you're in Beaverton- there is an SCA group based in Washington County their website: http://www.dragonsmist.org/
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