overpopulation

Post Number 1,000

Well here we are.

Post number 1,000 on Survival And Prosperity, “Protecting and Growing Self and Wealth in These Uncertain Times.”

It feels like it was only yesterday when I launched this successor to Boom2Bust.com, “The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street.” In fact, it’s been almost 22 months since its debut. My how time flies. Especially when bad economic news keeps piling on. The Pollyanna gang might argue that Keynesian strategies pursued by Washington and the Fed successfully ended the “Great Recession” and have put the United States on a sustainable path to recovery. I’m of the approach that when a lot of money is poured into the financial system you’re bound to see some sort of pick-up in activity. At least initially. And, as we’ve witnessed, only temporarily, as more “stimulus” is required to keep the whole thing afloat.

But where has that left the country? As of last week, over $16 trillion in debt. And on the verge of yet another “quantitative easing.” And anyone who really believes debt doesn’t matter is in for a rude awakening when the nation’s “financial reckoning day” finally does arrives.

Since the launch of Boom2Bust.com back in May 2007, I’ve been warning about a coming U.S. financial crash. As much as some might credit me for calling it, the maelstrom that blew through the U.S. and global economies back in the fall of 2008 was only a part of the collapse that I still see heading our way. Somewhat surprisingly, Washington and the Fed have managed to “kick the can down the road” for the time being. But the road only goes so far. Will the crash happen all it once, or will it be drawn out over several years? I don’t know. I just know that my interpretation of the available data leads me to believe its coming.

To complicate matters, these days Americans must take into account other threats besides an economic crash. Depending on what one believes, these could include:

• Global warming
• Nuclear terrorism
• Overpopulation
• Pandemic
• Peak oil production
• Resource shortages
• Solar flares

There are others. Nevertheless, a lot of threats exist these days which endanger our survival and prosperity.

So in 2012, are we looking at the end of the world? Probably not. But most likely the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI), particularly as it relates to the U.S. economy and larger financial system. Accordingly, life in America is about to get a whole lot tougher for most (if it already hasn’t). A number of really smart individuals who predicted the 2008 global economic crisis and “Great Recession” suggest we could see:

• Civil strife, including rioting and looting
• Currency controls
• Hyperinflation
• Martial law
• Much higher taxes and fees
• Rampant crime
• “Second Great Depression”

There’s more, but I think you get the picture.

Despite all this, I must remind you that I’m not talking about the end of the world here. Remember, even at its worst unemployment during the Great Depression ran somewhere around 25 percent. While that really sucked for those without a job, not everyone found themselves in a soup kitchen line. The economy and society, though hobbled, still functioned.

I’m a big believer that, despite the coming crash, things will turn out okay for America in the long-run.

I also believe that focusing on one’s personal and financial safety and growth right now will go a long way in helping you and your loved ones come out on the other side of the approaching storm in reasonably good shape.

Wishing you all the best now, and down the rocky road I see in store for us,

Christopher E. Hill
Editor

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thoughts So Far About Doomsday Preppers

Regular viewers of the National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Preppers TV series might have been disappointed that only reruns were shown last night.

I was actually kind of happy to have a week off from writing-up episodes since they can be time-consuming. Not that I don’t like doing reviews of each installment, but it takes some time to put together something that I think might have value for Survival And Prosperity readers.

Seven episodes down. There more to go this season. Plus I see that they’re casting for a second season of the show. Good for Nat Geo Channel and all those associated with the production.

So far, I’m enjoying season 1 of Doomsday Preppers. The preppers featured on the weekly TV series seem not much different than the typical person I myself would run into on a Chicago street, they seem genuinely-concerned by the myriad of man-made and natural threats around them, and unlike many Americans, are actively doing something to mitigate these potential hazards.

Just what are those threats influencing the direction of their prepping?

Economic Crisis/Collapse- 8 “doomsday preppers” identified as primary concern
True Polar Wander (Polar Shift)- 3
EMP/Solar Superstorm- 2
Black Swan Event- 1
Climate Change- 1
Energy Crunch- 1
Food Shortage- 1
Major Earthquake- 1
Multi-Hazard- 1
Overpopulation- 1
Pandemic- 1
Radioactive Fallout- 1
Supervolcano- 1

Some time ago I came across a post on a survivalist board where some guy said something along the lines of he looked forward to TEOTWAWKI so that when he emerged from his bunker well-armed and well-supplied, the remaining women he encountered would not only adore him but “nay, beg me to father their children.” You’ve got to be kidding me (I think he was). Thankfully, none of the preppers featured on the Nat Geo Channel show to-date have come out and said they were looking forward to society’s collapse. Even though certain aspects of modern living might easily get under our skin, who in their right mind would really want such an event to happen? The amount of pain, death, and destruction that would likely accompany such a horrific scenario is beyond the comprehension of most Americans, and is something no sane human being would certainly wish for.

One more thing. A number of “doomsday preppers” indicated on the show that they put a lot of time into prepping. It’s one thing if you’re a beginning prepper and want to get things “up to speed.” However, if you’ve been doing it for a while and have a significant amount of gear and supplies socked away already, I’m wondering if it ain’t “Miller Time” already. At least for a bit. The last thing you probably want is your prepping turning into an obsession. Otherwise, you might just be short-changing yourself when it comes to other aspects of your life. And think about it. If TEOTWAWKI is really coming, wouldn’t you want to experience some things that would likely disappear when society grinds to a halt? I, personally, would like to do some more overseas travel before it gets much more difficult to do.

Anyway, that’s my two cents on Doomsday Preppers to-date.

What do you think about the show?

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On TV: Doomsday Preppers, Episode 5

This weekend I got around to reviewing episode number 5 of National Geographic Channel’s new TV series Doomsday Preppers. “You Shall Not Fear,” which aired on February 28, focused on three prepper groups. In order of appearance:

Michael Douglas and family, Augusta, Maine
“I’m preparing for overpopulation to reach critical mass”

Larry Hall, Kansas plains
“I’m building a luxury survival condominium to protect against solar flare, worldwide economic collapse, or anything Mother Nature could throw at us”

Becky Brown, Salt Lake City, Utah
“Because of our nation’s high unemployment rate, Becky believes that the economy will collapse, causing the government to forcibly take over and declare martial law, which would dismantle democracy, and strip American citizens of their basic constitutional rights.”

Here are my thoughts about episode 5 of Doomsday Preppers, broken down by prepper group:

Michael Douglas and family

Michael Douglas is a former U.S. Marine who is now a wilderness school instructor. He lives on a 30-acre farm in Augusta, Maine, with his wife and three kids.

Michael is concerned about overpopulation. According to the Nat Geo Channel:

The global population first reached 1 billion in 1804. In only 200 years, the global population has soared from 1 billion to 7 billion. Researchers believe that the planet can only sustain a limited number of people. And Michael fears, that we are fast approaching critical mass, and will soon exceed the world’s carrying capacity.

The prepper added:

Overpopulation reaches critical mass, soils will be depleted and turn into deserts. Once those deserts establish themselves, it’s irreversible. Giant dust clouds turning the sky red for days will cover the landscape. What’s going to happen? Massive food riots in the streets. Violence. A gallon of water would cost more than a gallon of gas.

Not only has Michael been developing his survival skills for the last 20 years, but he’s also been teaching his three kids to be preppers and to be able to live off the land. He explained:

It’s important to have every family member on board if we are to survive as a family.

Michael predicts food and water shortages ahead. The farm produces food and has 400 gallons of water cached. However, he thinks the key to his family’s survival is to become “hunter-gatherers.”

Instead of utilizing traditional alarm systems, Michael has been teaching his kids to decipher alerts among the local bird population. He believes this gives them around 5 minutes warning of approaching danger. While this sounds good on the surface, what if there are no birds present in an area at a particular time? Or what if another sound (farm equipment, or steadily falling rain, for example) drowns out the birds? Then there’s the evening, when the family retires indoors to bed. The Douglas family might want to consider adding additional layers of alarms, such as a battery of motion detectors, particularly for those times when they’re inside their residence.

On the topic of protection, the show revealed:

Most preppers stock up on firearms for self-defense. But Michael does not possess guns. He believes population would cause ammunition to become a finite resource, and he does not want to become dependent on it.

Instead, the Douglas family uses martial arts, the tomahawk, and the throwing stick to protect themselves.

While I’m glad to hear that the family is paying attention to their personal safety, I wonder about the tools they’ve chosen. Martial arts has a limited effective range, as does the tomahawk and throwing stick. Introduce a firearm like a carbine or battle rifle into the equation and they could have a real problem. Also, in a confrontation, you’re likely talking about one tomahawk/one “stick,” one throw. Advantage, “high-capacity” magazine? Finally, while the family may be able to effectively deal with one or a small number of lightly-armed intruders with what they’re working with, I’m concerned the outcome might be different in other circumstances. The more bad guys, armament, training, and distance of engagement, the more likely the attackers will prevail.

Ammunition availability is a major concern for many preppers. The solution I often come across in my research? Get out there and start buying ammo, and be sure to “stack ‘em high and stack ‘em deep.”

Michael said he conducts self-defense drills every day, multiple times a day, and often without warning. That sounds great, although I hope he doesn’t end up like Cato from the Pink Panther movies some day.

The children are being guided towards a “rite of passage” event in which they are to recognize they have the essential skills they need to survive. In the episode, the middle child, 12-year-old Ryan, was undergoing such a rite. Initially, Ryan was shown as not being too interested in the whole program. The young man even said:

I don’t need to know all the different skills that he teaches me. Like, for the food, pizza. Fire, matches. Water, sink. Not drinking out of moss.

His rite was to require of Ryan to build a shelter and a fire using a blow drill and piece of notched wood. Turns out, Ryan was pretty darn good at doing both.

Michael Douglas is not one for accumulating survival “toys.” He announced:

A lot of preppers get sooo infatuated with new toys. They’re temporary conveniences that will rust, fall apart, break, get lost.

Great point- which is why preppers should obtain the best-quality “toys” they can afford.

Larry Hall

Larry Hall is an engineer turned real estate developer who is building luxury survival condos somewhere on the plains in Kansas. The condos are being constructed out of former nuclear missile silos. The structure is 14 stories deep (175 feet), embedded in up to 9 feet of concrete. It will contain room for 70 residents, including Larry, his wife, and 6-year-old son. He said:

The survival condo project is a one size fits all solution to solar flares and loss of the grid, avian bird flu, a nuclear explosion, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions.

The complex is stocked with a combination of freeze-dried and dehydrated food- approximately 5 years’ worth of food for each resident at 2,500 calories per day. Psychologists were consulted and recommendations implemented (high ceilings, for example) when dealing with potential “cabin fever.” Artificial windows, available with a number of different scenes, are being built into the structure. Redundancy has been achieved for key life support systems.

According to Hall, residents of the complex will perform preventative maintenance and man security details. The structure is almost completely hidden from view. A half-million dollar 4-stage security plan is in place:

• Security Stage One- 7-foot high perimeter fence
• Security Stage Two- Complex surveillance system monitoring interior/exterior
• Security Stage Three- Concrete-encased entrance offers protection for armed defenders
• Security Stage Four- 70 armed, battle-ready residents can be mustered if necessary

Each condo unit will be offered for between $1 to $2 million. A prospective buyer by the name of Sara(h?) visited the complex during filming. From the show:

Many Americans can identify with Sara(h)’s sense of impending dread. A recent poll found that 41 percent of Americans feel that preparing for a disastrous event is more important than saving for retirement. And over half believe some kind of catastrophic event will occur in the next 10 years.

Near the end of the second part of the show, Larry Hall offered up this little nugget of advice to viewers:

Be prepared, because you don’t want to deal with the alternative.

In the “Expert Assessment” section, Practical Preppers suggested:

However, you should think about recruiting inhabitants with advanced skills sets, including those with medical and military training.

Great advice. Larry responded with:

I agree 100 percent with that comment. We attempted to do just that, but given the economic conditions that we have today, that option became overcome by events, for lack of a better term.

I think I get what Hall is trying to say here. If that’s the case, the project leaders might want to coordinate top-notch training with the future inhabitants as soon as they sign on the dotted line.

One last thing. Residents who live some distance from the Kansas complex must figure out how to get to the bug-out location safely and promptly when all hell is breaking loose. Otherwise, their purchase might be for nothing. I wonder if this is something the project assists with (providing armed escort and transportation that is strategically-positioned around the country, for example) or is each party on their own. I’m guessing it’s the latter due to the significant costs that would be involved with the former.

Becky Brown

Becky Brown is a thirtysomething business school student living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was introduced in the episode with:

Because of our nation’s high unemployment rate, Becky believes that the economy will collapse, causing the government to forcibly take over and declare martial law, which would dismantle democracy, and strip American citizens of their basic constitutional rights.

Brown herself added:

I foresee the government takeover happening within the next year or two. Honestly.

Brown is pretty intense about her prepping. She spends 4 hours a day thinking about prepping. She revealed that she has spent $50,000 on preps to-date- $30,000 in the last year alone.

Brown lives near the Utah State Capitol building. She said:

Having the Capitol right behind me is a constant reminder that the government could declare martial law and take over the city. So, it’s a blessing that I’m living so close to be able to put the clues together.

Then again, one can put the clues together while not living so close to a high-profile government facility. Her proximity to this building might make bugging-in and bugging-out more difficult in a SHTF event. Or it might work in her favor, as the amount of security in the area might provide some stability in a major crisis. I’d still keep an eye out for a good bug-out location though.

Brown dedicates 200 square feet of her 1,800 square foot apartment to supplies and preps. She fears water will be in short supply during a major crisis:

We won’t have a water supply. They’re going to hold the water for the most elite.

Brown owns several bug-out bags. Preppers are often known to utilize a vehicle bug-out bag and an everyday carry bag, or EDC bag, in addition to their main bug-out bag positioned at their residence.

Becky owns a stun gun, but not a firearm. She said:

I’m a girl, I’m feminine. I’m not supposed to love guns.

However, she added:

But you get in a different mentality when you’re protecting your family, and your home, and the things that are most important to you.

Consequently, she is shown receiving firearm instruction from a friend of hers, a “professional contract sniper.” In addition to some handgun training, she is given a scoped bolt-action sniper rifle for hitting targets 1,000 yards away. She explained:

I’m taking sniper training, because then I can keep people as far away as I needed to.

She proceeded to hit targets out to 200 yards with the long gun. That’s great, but I can’t help but wonder if she shouldn’t be concentrating on learning fighting skills in a particular order. Based on her not owning a firearm and living in an urban environment, she might want to consider learning hand-to-hand fighting skills first. After this is done, perhaps training in basic handgun, basic shotgun, and basic rifle should be pursued, possibly in that order. Sniper training might be further down the list of priorities for her, considering her personal circumstances.

In the “Expert Assessment” portion of the segment, Practical Preppers recommended to Becky:

If you have to leave Salt Lake City within a matter of minutes, it will be difficult to carry your supplies.

She responded with:

That’s why I have a big-frame hiking backpack , and so that’s the thing I would take if I were on foot.

Since it appears Becky has a large amount of supplies stored in her apartment, being able to take only a backpack-full of supplies in a “Get Out Of Dodge,” or G.O.O.D., situation seems wasteful. If she hasn’t done so already, she might want to select a good bug-out location (place of refuge in a major crisis) and pre-position supplies there and along the primary/alternate routes to the BOL in supply caches.

Becky recently appeared in a YouTube video with updates on improvements she’s made with her preps:


“National Geo Update.MP4”
YouTube Video

Another good episode. Funny how two of the preppers featured didn’t own firearms- although I wonder if Ms. Brown hasn’t changed her mind regarding that. Not as many good ideas worth looking into this time around- although I was intrigued by those artificial windows. I wish these three prepper groups success in their endeavors.

New episodes of Doomsday Preppers air on the National Geographic Channel Tuesday nights at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific Time. For more information, go to the Nat Geo Channel website here.

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oxfam Warns Food Prices Could Rise 70 To 90 Percent By 2030

Oxfam, the well-known international confederation of fifteen organizations working together in 98 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice, has released a report entitled “Growing a Better Future: Food Justice in a Resource-Constrained World.” Oxfam warns that the global food system is broken and that food prices could increase 70 to 90 percent by 2030. From the 76-page report:

The food system is buckling under intense pressure from climate change, ecological degradation, population growth, rising energy prices, rising demand for meat and dairy products, and competition for land from biofuels, industry, and urbanization.

The warning signs are clear. Surging and unstable international food prices, growing conflicts over water, the increased exposure of vulnerable populations to drought and floods are all symptoms of a crisis that may soon become permanent: food prices are forecast to increase by something in the range of 70 to 90 per cent by 2030 before the effects of climate change, which will roughly the double price rises again.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Regarding agriculture, Oxfam said:

Agriculture faces a daunting challenge. It must dramatically increase food production while completely transforming the way in which food is produced. On current trends, demand for food may increase by 70 per cent by 2050 due to population growth and economic development. The Earth’s population is expected to grow from around 6.9 billion today to 9.1 billion in 2050 – an increase of one-third – by which time an estimated seven out of ten people worldwide will live in Low-Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs).

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Such a task will be difficult if water shortages persist. From the publication:

Water, the lifeblood of agriculture, is already scarcer than land. Nearly three billion people live in areas where demand outstrips supply. In 2000, half a billion people lived in countries chronically short of water; by 2050 the number will have risen to more than four billion. By 2030, demand for water is expected to have increased by 30 per cent.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Oxfam admitted in the report that the margin of error for these forecasts could be significant. However, it’s probably a good idea to start working towards securing undisrupted access to food and water sources if you haven’t done so already.

You can read the entire Oxfam report here (.pdf file).

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

On TV: Earth 2100

One of our political leaders said not too long ago that the American way of life is non-negotiable. And we’re going to discover the hard way that when you don’t negotiate the circumstances that are sent to you by the universe, you automatically get assigned a new negotiating partner- named reality. And then they will negotiate for you- you don’t even have to be in the room.

-James Howard Kunstler (American author and leading proponent of “New Urbanism” movement), in ABC’s Earth 2100

Back on June 2, 2009, ABC ran a two-hour television program called Earth 2100. Hosted by ABC journalist Bob Woodruff, the show depicted a worst-case scenario for the United States in the next hundred years from a “perfect storm” of unsustainable population growth, disappearing resources, and harmful climate change coming together. From ABC News’ Alexa Danner back on May 29, 2009:

It’s an idea that most of us would rather not face — that within the next century, life as we know it could come to an end. Our civilization could crumble, leaving only traces of modern human existence behind.

It seems outlandish, extreme — even impossible. But according to cutting edge scientific research, it is a very real possibility. And unless we make drastic changes now, it could very well happen.

Experts have a stark warning: that unless we change course, the “perfect storm” of population growth, dwindling resources and climate change has the potential to converge in the next century with catastrophic results.

In order to plan for the worst, we must anticipate it. In that spirit, guided by some of the world’s experts, ABC News’ “Earth 2100,” hosted by Bob Woodruff, will journey through the next century and explore what might be our worst-case scenario.

But no one can predict the future, so how do we address the possibilities that lie ahead? Our solution is Lucy, a fictional character devised by the producers at ABC to guide us through the twists and turns of what the next 100 years could look like. It is through her eyes and experiences that we can truly imagine the experts’ worst-case scenario — and be inspired to make changes for the better…

And the worst case scenario dreamed up by some of the world’s foremost scientists and thinkers? Danner added:

If we remain on the current course, it’s estimated that by 2050, the world’s population may have increased by at least half and many parts of the world may be facing grave shortages of resources. The Southwest U.S. could face an extended drought, while pests threaten crops. As global sea levels rise, much of the world map could be redrawn. People will begin to migrate back to urban areas in search of better lives…

But just how bad could things get? In one scenario, scientists imagine that by the year 2100, immense storms irreparably damage major metropolises. Streets, subway tunnels, and buildings would flood and begin to rot. The stagnant water would breed filth and displace residents, forcing them into homelessness. Poverty levels and death rates could skyrocket. A new and virulent strain of disease might develop — then mutate and spread around the globe, potentially claiming tens of thousands of lives.

In this scenario, as the crisis explodes, looting grows rampant, major world powers go to war over water, and millions of people die from famine. Civilization literally collapses under its own weight.

Earth 2100 is divided into a number of chapters that correspond with events in Lucy’s life:

• June 2, 2009, “Born”- Lucy is born in Miami suburbs
• April 4, 2012, “The Good Old Days”
• August 27, 2014, “Summer Of The Dragonfly”- Species start migrating
• February 18, 2015, “Moving Day”- Americans leaving suburbs for the city
• July 14, 2015, “Running On Empty”- Lines form at gas stations, U.S. turns to coal for energy
• October 21, 2015, “Wakeup Call”- Major hurricane devastates Miami
• October 23, 2015, “After The Storm”- Lucy’s home destroyed, family moves to San Diego
• January 6, 2030, “The New Normal”- U.S. plagued by shortages and higher prices
• February 14, 2030, “In Deep Water”- Southwest becomes a desert by 2030s
• November 25, 2040, “On The Brink”- Environmental refugees on southern border
• March 28, 2050, “From Sea To Shining Sea”- Lucy leaves San Diego, witnesses Lake Mead dry, Las Vegas dead, refugees leaving dangerous Southwest, pests migrating north, Midwest still green and fertile
• September 18, 2060, “The Big “Green” Apple- Lucy moves to New York City, which is threatened by rising sea levels. Husband works on barrier.
• September 15, 2070, “Big Fixes”- Sea level up three feet, and island nations, California beaches, Everglades gone. Methane gas released from thawing Arctic tundra causing global temps to soar.
• March 15, 2074, “Plan B”- Ice sheets melt rapidly. Sulfur dioxide is released into atmosphere around the world to cool the Earth’s temperature. Halted because gas eroding ozone layer.
• January 5, 2075, “The Ice Storm”- Big nor’easter hits New York City. Barrier gate gets stuck and flooding ensues.
• January 5, 2075, “After The Storm”- Spouse killed in storm. NYC in shambles. Pandemic strikes. Civilization collapses. Famine strikes. Population dies off. World plunged into new “Dark Age.”

Lucy’s tale ends on June 2, 2100, at which point she is living with her daughter and grandson in the countryside. At the end of the program, contributors discuss what can be done to prevent such a scenario.

Overall, Earth 2100 was interesting to watch- despite, once again, the depressing subject material. Keep in mind that the show relies heavily on the theory of global warming- the belief that increases in the average temperature of the Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the middle of the last century can be attributed to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases from human activities such as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuel. For believers in global warming, the show could serve as a guide as to where America might be heading- and what to prepare for. For global warming skeptics, keep in mind that Earth 2100 isn’t just about climate change. The show also discusses what could result from unsustainable population growth and dwindling resources, so ideas for surviving and thriving in such a world can be taken away from the ABC special.

Earth 2100 shows up on the History Channel from time to time. If you’d like to view it now, the program has been uploaded to YouTube in nine parts, which you can access in a playlist on SPTV here.

(Editor’s note: Links placed on “Resources” page and SPTV)

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Survival And Prosperity
Est. 2010, Chicagoland, USA
Christopher E. Hill, Editor

Successor to Boom2Bust.com
"The Most Hated Blog On Wall Street"
(Memorial Day Weekend 2007-2010)

PLEASE RATE this blog HERE,
and PLEASE VOTE for the blog below:



Thank you very, very much!
Advertising Disclosure here.
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Emergency Foods Local vendor (Forest Park, IL). Review coming soon.
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Legacy Food Storage Review coming soon
ANY CHARACTER HERE
MyPatriotSupply.com reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
Buy Gold And Silver Coins BGASC reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
BulletSafe reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
BullionVault BullionVault.com reviewed HERE
ANY CHARACTER HERE
This project dedicated to St. Jude
Patron Saint of Desperate Situations

Categories

 

Archives