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The Long Emergency - Page 11

post #201 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pariah View Post
I made a thread about this book in the media forum recently, and a user directed me here...so hi!

I'm almost done with this book. DH and I are trying to pay down our (large, unfortunately) student loans as quickly as possible, and we're looking at land, off grid housing, etc.

My main question at the moment is...where is a good place to live? Our family is in the MD/VA area...We're leaning towards MD, VA, or NC. I know we want to be near the coast and semi-rural...we want a couple acres. PA is also another option, though my first choice is a coastal area. Any thoughts on New England? VT, ME? I'd like to investiage those options as well.

I wish we were closer with my SIL. I'd love to have some sort of living arrangement with her...not in the same house, but her family and ours with our own houses on a bigger chunk of land that we can garden and do all of that together. It is always easier with more people, and I feel like we should stick together with the family we have.
Not sure what part of Virginia you're looking towards, but I live in Charlottesville and I think it's a good place to be, LE-wise. So much farm land all around... I'm from Dallas, TX, so this feels much more "survivable" than there. My main worry would be the exodus of people from the DC/NOVA area into the countryside. Vermont is lovely, (I went to college there) but it's so cold, for so much of the year. The growing season is short and intense, and heating could be a serious concern.

Given what Kunstler and co. say re: global warming/ rising sea levels, are you sure that coastal areas are the way you want to go? If you're taking that into account, you may want to stay a certain number of feet above sea level...
post #202 of 260
I have been wholeheartedly devouring all the information in this thread! I want to be ignorant that things will change, but I think well I know it is us who will have to change!

Luckily, I love the idea of self sufficiency, and if I could get my hubby on board, we would be on a farm eating our own chicen's eggs and have a cow and some goats! He thinks I am crazy as he was raised on a farm and only remembers the hard work where as I was the city girl!


What I fear though is what I who is only 24 know as part of life...new clothes whenever, whatever meat we want, cell phones, things that my generation has never lived without. I think it will be hardest for my gen of 20 and 30somethings to adjust. My mom and dad who are in their fifties had parents who had survived the depression, so they learned what life was like and had parents who even today do things that they did then.

I feel as though the next generation, like my kids, are too young now to know what things are like, and will evolve and grow into how the world is going to change. At least I hope and plan on teaching my kids these things.

Luckily for me, I had a grandma who taught me to cook and sew and garden and homestead...well as much as you can in town! Even though most people look at these things as "hobbies" I look at them as soon to be necessities and those who can't will either learn or be in trouble!

We all have room to improve, and I have a LONG way to go! Somebody else has a thread on where and how do we lower our standards? I need to go back and look! I have realized that the 25 mile drive to Whole Foods is long gone, and even the 15 mile drive to my favorite town will have to be reserved for only once in awhile!

Somebody said that they were from Dallas TX originally and that they were glad to be away...well guess where we moved to! I have to admit, it is scary down here because there is no way to get anywhere besides a car...we live out well out past what would be considered the burbs, but we drive to work into the burbs.

For the person from MN who said that rural farming communities are dying...you betcha! That's why we moved down here from a rural town in MN. We love it there, and of course have the fantasy to move back, but there is no work...and we are teachers.

I don't have any answers just an open-mind to what's to come. I do appreciate people talking about what we can do instead of the gloom of what's to come. You ladies make me feel like if we are prepared for the change of lifestyle we will hopefully be alright!
post #203 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet2 View Post
. . . which means we must organize at the grassroots level.

V
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmsMom View Post
When I look at suburban lots I see lots of potential for a new model of small town living. I mean, why not? Just change the *&^%& zoning laws!
Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday View Post
They'll just have to overthrow the homeowners associations first!

Seriously though DH is an attorney and he predicts that states will pass legislation disallowing the banning of energy-saving practices such as clotheslines.
I see a lot of potential for suburbia too. After learning a little about sustainable ways that can be employed to maximize crop output in minimal space I am fairly confident that I could sustain my family on my relatively generous (.25 acre) subdivision lot. . .if I did everything right.
I agree that grass-roots action is the way to go & it would involve changing the priorities of the HOA. I think that will be easier as time goes on, and I hope that there is legislation that wednesday describes. As of right now I just buck the system and have my clothesline and container garden. If things got dire I would be the first one gathering up homeowners and talking about the need to re-write the rules to allow chickens, goats, and large front-yard gardens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wednesday View Post
. . .And cannibalization took place and became organized because there was NO other animal life? That's science fiction.
Well. I haven't read the book, but my first thoughts on this whole scenario is that there will be a drop in population. Certain at risk groups will be dying more rapidly and there will *need* to be a certain decrease in overall population density for life to go on.
My second thought was: if food is the least bit scarse and someone threatens my resources and I can't resolve the situation peaceably I will use my firepower (apparently it's because I'm in the South , but I would have said the same thing when I lived in Northern New York) . And I won't let perfectly good flesh go to waste, especially if it means I can save a chicken for next week.
It seems I've always been looking for an excuse to do the cannabal thing though
post #204 of 260
Ok, what I am doing (and not doing):

1) I'm trying to learn as much as I can about being self sufficient. I am very sad that my garden more or less failed miserably this year. I am going to do better next year. I am.
2) I'm paying down debt agressively and working on being even more agressive.
3) I do want to move to a more habitable locale. I don't dig heat and if sea level rises we may be under water. I want some place with less harsh summers and mildish winters, near multiple rivers and lakes. My mom is going to be buying this land with us.
4) I did buy my boys the Florida pre-paid college. Their college tuition is locked in at today's rates. It was a chunk of change and if they don't go it gets a modest interest. I feel a little bad for moving out of state. If they do choose to go they will need to move to FL for a year to re-become a resident I think.
5) I always have had food storage. I am doing a little first-aid storage now too.
6)I'm worrying less about my waist-line now. I figure, if things get lean my saddlebags are an insurance policy that might help me keep my family alive.


I guess that's it. I'm not looking forword to the changes, but I am not terribly scared. Change is inevitable. America will decline just like England, Denmark, and France did in the past. They used to be super powers too. . .until they were reluctant to change fuel sources and they relied heavily on debt. . .and they survived.
post #205 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeasleyMum View Post
Not sure what part of Virginia you're looking towards, but I live in Charlottesville and I think it's a good place to be, LE-wise. My main worry would be the exodus of people from the DC/NOVA area into the countryside. Vermont is lovely, (I went to college there) but it's so cold, for so much of the year. The growing season is short and intense, and heating could be a serious concern.

Given what Kunstler and co. say re: global warming/ rising sea levels, are you sure that coastal areas are the way you want to go? If you're taking that into account, you may want to stay a certain number of feet above sea level...
I'm familiar with the Charlottesville area, and I agree with what you say about it. It is a nice area, and very affordable. We also have family there. A family friend is getting a house and land not far from there for something like $65k. I've also thought about the DC area people coming into the more rural areas, which could get ugly in the ways other people mentioned previously in this thread...that would make me nervous if it came to something like that. Overall, I think it is a good spot, and there are lots of self-sufficient types (that we know through family, anyway).

The cold is something I've thought of about New England...the short growing season is definitely a concern. I really don't know much about NE, which is sad because I'm from MD originally so I should know more about the general area. I need to do some more reading.

Yeah, I should have clarified about the coastal areas...we wouldn't be ON the beach or anything like that. I was thinking within a hour or so of the coast, maybe a bit more then that. Hurricanes and sea levels would definitely prevent us from being directly on the water (plus we couldn't afford it, anyway...a duplex on the beach in MD I saw was going for $3 mil).
post #206 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by WeasleyMum View Post
Vermont is lovely, (I went to college there) but it's so cold, for so much of the year. The growing season is short and intense, and heating could be a serious concern.
I live in VT and I will second this. Growing food and putting it up is a challenge and a scramble. If you can meet your needs in a place with more of a year-round growing season, I'd recommend that instead. NC sounds good but I don't know much about it.

Also, winter cold is a huge concern. Self-sufficiency here involves splitting a LOT of wood. (We are still heating with oil, and we went through 500 gallons last winter with the thermostat set at 55F during the day and 50F at night).

That said, we love it here and we're settled here so we're staying. We have family within 1-2 hours and we grew up here, and the struggles of summer gardening and winter heating are part of the culture here.

But if I was searching to move someplace well-suited to the LE...I wouldn't choose New England or upstate NY. I'd pick something a couple of growing zones south, at least!
post #207 of 260
Land (agrarian) versus water (hunter/gatherer)?

Curious of you all's thoughts on the above. DH and I are at a cross-roads. We're a week away from being financially committed to buying a house on 5 acres in mid-coast Maine. We could settle in, live off the land (substantially, if not completely), have a nice community within walking distance, etc.

But we're considering going to water - as in, buying a big ass sailboat, converting it from diesel to solar/wind, and living the hunter/gatherer life with the kids. (For the record, we're sailers; we in the process of selling a 40' sailboat.) That would mean staying along the coasts where we could presumably buy local food, or forage for local food, and we would fish (obviously!). We could stay in temperate locations (no winter), and would have the ability to get out of dodge when TSHTF. I'm very worried about a draft reinstatement in the next decade - and this would solve that little problem

My mom thinks we're absolutely bat-shit crazy for considering it. Strangely, everyone who doesn't have a vested interest in what we do says we should go for it - that it's the most amazing life one can give to their kids and everyone will be better off for it. And I'd love to travel, and I haven't, and this may be the only way that happens, with the foreseeable demise of the air travel industry.
post #208 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda View Post
I live in VT and I will second this. Growing food and putting it up is a challenge and a scramble. If you can meet your needs in a place with more of a year-round growing season, I'd recommend that instead. NC sounds good but I don't know much about it.

Also, winter cold is a huge concern. Self-sufficiency here involves splitting a LOT of wood. (We are still heating with oil, and we went through 500 gallons last winter with the thermostat set at 55F during the day and 50F at night).

That said, we love it here and we're settled here so we're staying. We have family within 1-2 hours and we grew up here, and the struggles of summer gardening and winter heating are part of the culture here.

But if I was searching to move someplace well-suited to the LE...I wouldn't choose New England or upstate NY. I'd pick something a couple of growing zones south, at least!
You have to factor in climate change. For example, I know that Ohio is much more temperate now than it used to be. The zones are going to change in the next few decades and the North won't be quite as cold any more.

V
post #209 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet2 View Post
You have to factor in climate change. For example, I know that Ohio is much more temperate now than it used to be. The zones are going to change in the next few decades and the North won't be quite as cold any more.

V
Climate change can go the other way as well, making things colder.
post #210 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentilla View Post
Climate change can go the other way as well, making things colder.
That's true, but the North Midwest seems to be trending toward a longer growing season imo. We get more snow, but the bitter, bitter cold I recall from my youth isn't there. There's even been a marked change imo w/i the last few years. It's rare I have to pull my coat around me now, before I froze and shivered in a wool coat.

THe last five years Oct 31 has been 50-60 degrees. Much warmer than usual.
V
post #211 of 260
Can I ask why paying down debt is so important if according to some people things will supposedly change so drastically? I'm certainly in favor of paying down debt aggressively (obviously) but I'm more optimistic on this topic than most. Yet from what I'm reading about this book, it sounds like many institutions as we know them would crumble, so if one subscribes to those theories, I'm wondering why it would matter.

Although I am trying to pay down my debt, just b/c the economy is making me nervous. I never had any til I began sahm'ing and dh faced job setbacks. I became a little too comfy with it and now it's weighing heavy on me again.
post #212 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
Can I ask why paying down debt is so important if according to some people things will supposedly change so drastically?
I think the concern is that the chance of unemployment will go way up, and I think it's likely that many people will be out of work before any changes might occur that are drastic enough for banks to forgive or overlook debt.

No income makes it really hard to pay any sort of bills, you know? I think it's very likely that more people will be in this situation, than for the majority to be able to hang onto a job/salary and then find that debt is forgiven or ignored in the wake of a bank disaster.

Obviously it's not always possible to pay off debt quickly, and most people do have mortgages (and car loans and credit cards), and whatever changes hit our economy will IMO have to accommodate the ubiquity of consumer debt. I think the idea is that for people who want to prepare for a LE-type scenario, it's ideal to have no debt going into it, and it might be possible to make changes now that will allow this.

I don't know if we'll be in time, but DH and I plan to sell our house and buy land in a way that will have us mortgage-free sooner rather than later. This is not going to be convenient or easy for us (we expect to live on a tent and then a cabin on unimproved land, rather than buying a pre-built house to live in, and we have a fairly large family) but in the long run we will feel more secure with no debt, and that is worth a lot to us.

I don't know how long (or short) a period of upheaval we are currently facing, or how drastic the changes will be (or not), but lowering or eliminating debt is one way to prepare for the worst. It might or might not be the first priority for any one person.

HTH, and I'm interested in what others say as well, as I don't consider myself an expert on the financial stuff by any stretch.
post #213 of 260
nak so can't type much but need to sub to this thread

am curious about the debt thing, too--we have huge student loan debt that just won't budge...
post #214 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
Or maybe it will happen in 7000 years. And if the ability to fly in airplanes has brought us SARS and AIDS, and in the future we can't fly planes anymore, but yet we will still be killed by viruses from the rainforest?
The Black Plague didn't fly into Italy. It was brought there by trade ships. As long as humans travel, there will be disease that travels with them.

I do agree with you that it will be an adaption process to more dependence on alternative engeries. I don't believe WWIII is on the horizon for oil that will only last 50 years if we are lucky.
post #215 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
Can I ask why paying down debt is so important if according to some people things will supposedly change so drastically? I'm certainly in favor of paying down debt aggressively (obviously) but I'm more optimistic on this topic than most. Yet from what I'm reading about this book, it sounds like many institutions as we know them would crumble, so if one subscribes to those theories, I'm wondering why it would matter.

Although I am trying to pay down my debt, just b/c the economy is making me nervous. I never had any til I began sahm'ing and dh faced job setbacks. I became a little too comfy with it and now it's weighing heavy on me again.
Well, when it comes to the S hitting TF, it's logical to assume that it will happen in stages and phases, and that perhaps some things will happen and others might not. The "Great Depression-like Massive Unemployment" stage could happen well before the "Total Collapse of the Banking System and thus, the Erasement of all Debt" stage.

Think of it this way: What would have to happen for debt to become a huge problem (I mean even bigger than it already is)? People start getting laid off, and are suddenly not able to make house and car payments, start losing their homes, vehicles, everything. It's quite possible, maybe even *probable*: how many of us could sustain our mortgages and etc without our current pay? If unemployment keeps creeping up, this is a very real possibility. On the other hand, think of what it would take for all that debt to just dissapear, not matter anymore, in that why-should-I-worry-about-it, the-world's-coming-to-an-end way? That really would be the end of the world as we know it, if the financial system dissolved to the point where nobody was collecting debt payments anymore. Not saying it's not possible, just that it's way further down the line than the first scenario. Somehow, debt collectors never die...
post #216 of 260
That's kind of what I was thinking, it's just that some people are talking survivalist tactics as if the latter would happen quickly. I know that leaning toward more self-sufficiency is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective anyway, but it seems to me like secure finances in potentially dire times is more important than being totally self-sufficient at this point. The two are linked though of course.
post #217 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomInFlux View Post
Land (agrarian) versus water (hunter/gatherer)?

Curious of you all's thoughts on the above. DH and I are at a cross-roads. We're a week away from being financially committed to buying a house on 5 acres in mid-coast Maine. We could settle in, live off the land (substantially, if not completely), have a nice community within walking distance, etc.

But we're considering going to water - as in, buying a big ass sailboat, converting it from diesel to solar/wind, and living the hunter/gatherer life with the kids. (For the record, we're sailers; we in the process of selling a 40' sailboat.) That would mean staying along the coasts where we could presumably buy local food, or forage for local food, and we would fish (obviously!). We could stay in temperate locations (no winter), and would have the ability to get out of dodge when TSHTF. I'm very worried about a draft reinstatement in the next decade - and this would solve that little problem

My mom thinks we're absolutely bat-shit crazy for considering it. Strangely, everyone who doesn't have a vested interest in what we do says we should go for it - that it's the most amazing life one can give to their kids and everyone will be better off for it. And I'd love to travel, and I haven't, and this may be the only way that happens, with the foreseeable demise of the air travel industry.
I would go with the sailboat personally, but that's what we're planning anyways too. But not for another 7 years (after hubbys military retirement) Good luck
post #218 of 260
I just requested this from ILL and can't wait to read it . I have been loving all the conversation that this has generated!
post #219 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnenwende View Post

I do agree with you that it will be an adaption process to more dependence on alternative engeries. I don't believe WWIII is on the horizon for oil that will only last 50 years if we are lucky.
I dunno. The headline on msnbc today was the Iran is going full throttle with their nuclear program.

Or maybe it's just the WMD smoke and mirrors so we feel justified in invading.

I almost miss the Cold War. It was a war of ideology not one for scarce resources, much less dangerous imo.

V
post #220 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
Can I ask why paying down debt is so important if according to some people things will supposedly change so drastically? I'm certainly in favor of paying down debt aggressively (obviously) but I'm more optimistic on this topic than most.
. . .
That's kind of what I was thinking, it's just that some people are talking survivalist tactics as if the latter would happen quickly. I know that leaning toward more self-sufficiency is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective anyway, but it seems to me like secure finances in potentially dire times is more important than being totally self-sufficient at this point. The two are linked though of course.
The two are inextricably linked. I think "secure finances" is maybe not possible in the "Long Emergency". If one owns their home outright they have completed the first step towards self-sufficiency by having secured shelter. Paying down debt is--right now--the only way to secure shelter.
If my DH looses his job and can't get another one and we own our home outright we will need to know how to live self-sufficiently. Maybe some of the other survivalist stuff can wait, but at the very least I need to know how to care for my shelter and how to produce food and heat in absence of money. I don't see this as being too far off in the future.

Anyway it's very possible/probable that the "total erasement of debt" will never happen. I do think American landscape and culture will change dramatically, but I don't really believe the government and all business will disappear. I mean, there ARE alternate energy sources, even if they can't maintain the status-quo they still exist and will maintain some infrastructure.
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