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Despair? Determination? Delight? — Let’s Discuss Options
agnusTN
#41 Posted : Monday, June 09, 2008 7:02:21 PM
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Drought.  The threat that might make all my skills and preparation worthless.
John Edward Mercier
#42 Posted : Monday, June 09, 2008 9:12:43 PM
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No one is staying within the premise of the question. Does anyone actually think the climate will change in five years do to economic factors?

Think more along these terms. My property tax will be 10 times today's. The cost of a cheap set of work boots will be $400, the cost of socks about $8 a pair... and briefs around $12.

So answers to would you be able to afford the energy/equipment to get water to your home? How would you heat it? Do you need to purchase the energy source to heat it? If not, what are the underlying ongoing costs of attaining the energy source... i.e. chainsaws, splitters, transport?

Would you be able to afford the cost of shelter... i.e. taxes, insurance, maintenance?

How would you feed your household? What are those items you buy, or have underlying ongoing costs to acquire?

What would you change going forward? Not what changes have you made.

No one is suggesting this is the future... just asking what if? What would be your priorities for change from your current situation?

 

 

davisonh
#43 Posted : Tuesday, June 10, 2008 2:21:50 AM
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John's right,what if a weeks worth of todays kind of groceries cost $1200?I'd be pretty much doing what I have been doing....doing it myself.If I cant afford it I find a way to either do without or do something else,this is where 'thinking outside the box'comes from.I think as a whole we could do a snootful better than we have been the last 20 years or so in the originality department.

As far as priorities,palatible food,water,heat for all under my roof.I would try my hardest to make an energy souce(ie my own fuel)but if I could'nt there's still the old 2 man saw sitting under my woodshed,lol.It is hypothetical but heading in that general direction quickly with no signs of looking back.

Angel
#44 Posted : Tuesday, June 10, 2008 2:32:20 AM
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Last winter I joined with a friend to create a local idea-sharing group around all these issues. We meet monthly to discuss, brainstorm, and then commit to individual actions that all add up to reducing our carbon footprint. For years now I have been dallying with cheesemaking, canning, gardening, while homeschooling, quilting, recycling, practicing a less-consumerist lifestyle. I am determined my boys will come through this next period of crisis having learned both DIYskills AND people/community-building skills.

I had been despairing the lack of attention to what I saw as a looming crisis--and had been thinking of Johnny Cash's commitment to wear black clothing to show solidarity with the sad, the disenfranchised, the oppressed, the downtrodden. I knew nobody would care if I only wore black, but I wanted to do something!! to get people talking.

My husband and I both can bike to work (assuming our work situations remain intact), we are in the (slow) process of turning our lawn into food production, we also have many local producer friends and contacts.

Here's my simple mantra--keep going. I am a huge fan of Daniel Quinn, and I believe his words that  we will figure this out or we won't, either way things are gonna change. I look forward to new tribal-like relations, intentional activity, less plastic.

Peace.
davisonh
#45 Posted : Tuesday, June 10, 2008 2:54:56 AM
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Yankee ingenuity and common sense all,this is the time for it..As far as hard times being ahead,they're already here and I get the feeling we're at the tip of the iceberg.Am I worried,yea a little.How bad it'll get I dont know..
Gods green earth
#46 Posted : Tuesday, June 10, 2008 1:11:16 PM
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We have let the big money people decide for us. We will sit here and complain about it but continue to go right along with it. I have watched as people vote on their government as if it is their savior and is going to make everything better. Have things gotten better after 40 years. Alot of people have strayed away from their faith but all my needs have been provided for.

As long as the big money people are pulling a profit they do not care what it cost us little people and they do not really think what the effects are on our world. Until it starts affecting their god(money) they will continue to go through life the same way we are going now.

I will sit back and thank GOD for everything I have and watch the great minds of the world make the world a better place to live.

Gods green earth
#47 Posted : Tuesday, June 10, 2008 1:38:48 PM
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FOR THEM!!!!
Jay Turner
#48 Posted : Tuesday, June 10, 2008 11:29:32 PM
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If prices went up 10x and my job and income held steady, I would continue down the path I'm on: reducing my need for fuel, cutting back on store-bought things, figuring out how to really garden productively, taking in more lodgers, and trying to get out of debt.    I made an exception to my no-new-debt rule last year when I decided to get a 3KW PV system, solar hot water, insulate the house and trade down from an SUV to a Prius.  If it becomes practical, I may move closer to work, but that's chancey, since no one knows what they'll be doing for work in 5 years, especially under the assumption of such economic chaos.   If I knew that gas would be $20/gal in 5 years, I'd go for the $10,000 plug-in hybrid upgrade for my car, so I would have the chance to use zero gas on my daily commute, instead of the 1gal/day that I use now.  Last week, I went through a deep funk because I realized that I'm so specialized in my work that I'm utterly ignorant when it comes to basic living skills.  If there were a big economic dislocation, I'd have slim chances of getting by.  I have so much to learn and so little free time.
John Edward Mercier
#49 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:05:50 AM
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Your kidding me right. You have a Prius that will never need maintenance, oil change, tires... it will last forever (new one would be 10 times the present cost). And it doesn't need a road to travel on... one of those new fangled hover ones. Or you forgot that gas taxes pay for road/highway maintenance?

Your lodgers are part of your income... you would need ten times as many to achieve today's results.

Even PV systems would be worthless, if they fail the replacement parts would be exhorbitant.

The loss of something as cheap as a hand tool would be devastating. You would see people literally begin painstaking save evey item for some unforeseen future use.

Barbara Pleasant
#50 Posted : Wednesday, June 11, 2008 3:01:01 PM
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Jay, you bring up an important point about everyday living skills, though it sounds like you're a few steps ahead of the masses. Growing food is fun, but even when you get the timing and soil right, figuring out how much to grow of what, and how to store it, is nothing short of an art.

Of course, part of the "problem" is that a good garden is a very productive place. On the positive side, out here in the boonies a barter mentality is definitely emerging among grow-your-own folks. If I have extra apples this year, I can easily network to trade some for sweet corn or something else I don't grow much of.

It's an old idea. In British Columbia, there are sheds up and down rural roadsides that are "Honor Boxes." If you have a crop or craft to trade or sell, you put it out there and see what happens. Apparently it works, because there are a lot of them!

Barbara Pleasant

http://www.barbarapleasant.com

  

   

davisonh
#51 Posted : Thursday, June 12, 2008 1:53:48 AM
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Barbra the same is happening in not so rural areas also,where I work the company has  set up a carpooling arrangement for long-distance employees(over 10  miles).They'll pay a percentage of the mileage for carpoolers of 2 or more workers each week,turn in a mileage slip.Someone has to pay unfortunately and as usual right now its us.Coporations are going to have to realize that I think and if they want to keep experienced workers they'll need to chip in for gas.They should know that  most laborers cannot afford to live 'in town' because of the high prices and rent that is charged and so have no other choice but to live where we do and I dont mind at all.Bartering services and products is and has been the norm out here between 'commoners' for hundreds of years.None of it is new,it's been done just so many forget I think or 'dont want to know'.

John Edward Mercier
#52 Posted : Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:36:48 PM
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These are all current things... at $4 fuel and still being embedded into the economy.

Honestly I haven't seen anything particularly out of place. Still boats on the lake, tourists eveywhere, and so on.

 

practicalman45
#53 Posted : Thursday, June 12, 2008 8:22:48 PM
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Staying with answering the questions posed by the thread's author:

Things mainly go up in price because our money is going down in value.

To deal with that the best way that I can right now would mean buying now, before the money goes down.  If toilet tissue will go from $1 for 4 rolls to $10 for 4 rolls, then it would be wise for me to purchase now before my money shrinks any more. (in fact, there ARE 4 "bales" of toilet tissue stacked up in my attic right now...that should be increased to 10 bales...in 5 years i'll still be wiping for cheap!)

Another similar approach is for me to partially switch to another "currency" that will not be shrinking in value and stockpile as much of that currency as I can now before it becomes precipitously more un-affordable.

Here's an example of that: In the early 1960s I could still purchase a gallon of gasoline for just a little more than 25cents. A quarter dollar then was about the same as 1/4 oz. of silver. In fact, the silver quarters in use then contained about 1/4oz of silver. Nowadays, a 1/4 oz of silver is worth about $4.50...about the same as a gallon of gasoline! That same US silver quarter would buy me a gallon of gas then, and it will still buy me a gallon of gas today!!  So, if the choice is there for me to "stock up" on silver money versus  the "paper nothing vanishing value debt notes" which form of "money" would make the most sense for me to be holding that 5 years time down the road???

John Edward Mercier
#54 Posted : Friday, June 13, 2008 2:33:35 PM
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The value of silver might not match the ten times increase as it has no inherent use. Maybe to maintain potable water... but not much is necessary for that.

Year-over-year, aluminum, copper, and platinum have far outpaced silver in performance.

Now the toilet paper... that would have inherent value.

 

practicalman45
#55 Posted : Friday, June 13, 2008 5:09:24 PM
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Silver (and gold) has been pretty stable as a  store of wealth value historically.  The beauty of it is that it is already, and has been for thousands of years, used as money. Coins and bullion forms are already established and widely recognized. A one troy ounce bullion round is  recognized worldwide as money.   An aluminum ingot or iron bar would probably be harder to spend than pure silver , real copper, or gold coinage and bullion.  With unbacked fiat currencies likely to be collapsing worlwide during the coming monetary crisis, the strong demand for a real wealth means of exchange such as bullion rounds and coins is almost guaranteed to keep their value high.

Silver has many uses industrially in electrical contacts, as jewelry and tableware, and medically as a form of disinfectant when  ionized in water. The demand has been exceeding the mining production for a number of years now. The balance of the supply has been made up from scrap. It will probably outperform gold which has fewer uses and a much higher supply.

practicalman45
#56 Posted : Friday, June 13, 2008 5:28:22 PM
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Gold and platinum are also made into coinage, and bullion forms and could be useful for high value purchases. It is just that at  $1000 and  $2000 respectively value per ounce currently they could be hard to use as money (except for very large purchases).  Even silver ounces could be too large for everyday commerce such as grocery shopping or barter trade.  Our nations early founders found it necessary to chop the silver ounce coinage into 8 wedge-shaped pieces for smaller denominations (hence the "pieces of eight", or "two bits" equaling a quarter dollar).

For smaller purchases, the "junk silver" currently available as pre-1964 US coinage could fill the bill nicely. A silver dime is about 1/14th troy oz of real silver.

Our nations founding fathers were wise. They specified precious metal coinage as money for a very good reason. They were already well aware of the pitfalls and problems associated with paper or unbacked fiat money.

 

John Edward Mercier
#57 Posted : Saturday, June 14, 2008 12:59:06 PM
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Stable for thousands of years... I think you had better re-check your data.

When gold and silver were used as money... their relative value was unknown. Since we left the gold standard... the value of an ounce of gold has fallen relative to other commodities. Fourty years ago, gold was trading for 20 barrels of oil to the ounce... its now seven, and could fall further.

 

 

tribal
#58 Posted : Saturday, June 14, 2008 2:11:25 PM
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I got the sense that I had better learn how to use herbs as medicine a long time ago, but this isn't just about growing medicinal herbs, its about learning diagnosis and other techniques too so have been studying on and off for years, but getting more into it now.
I live in a city, in an apartment and have not been able to find a community garden without a long waiting list. We are thinking about buying some property this year and my main criteria is that it has a large plot. A small house is fine with me as long as I can start growing my own food.
I don't feel doomed, but others have said that this is about changing a way of life. My goals are that I will learn self sufficiency. Luckily husband studied agriculture and animal husbandry so has the knowledge. We just need to put it into action sooner than anticipated.
We always thought we would retire on a working farm, but it is looking like it wouldn't be wise to wait that long.
Roving gangs with guns? I am not averse to fighting fire with fire. I live in a gang infested area now, they don't scare me and never have.  I would do what I had to do to protect myself and my children. Will it come to that? There are already gasoline theives popping up on the news, so it can happen.
I guess just being prepared is the best way to go. Being prepared starting now, not later on, is the wisest choice and I think that is why so many are afraid of what is happening. We just don't know any other way to live.
I envy those of you who have gotten the hang of self sufficiency before this crisis but I don't see any reason that I or anybody else, couldn't also get that way of life with the necessary information.

HockeyFan
#59 Posted : Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:08:04 AM
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Learning some useful DIY skills would be good.  And what you can't do yourself, you might be able to barter to get.  For instance, the you could possibly barter for skills that you don't have, but someone else does.  This could come in handy in fixing the Prius or PV system.  I know people who can actually manufacture crude replacements for some of the components, as well as in some cases, actually repair things that we're told can't be repaired.

In other cases, there's always the ingenuity of rationing out what we have, to make it go further.

I'm hoping to get a Rhodes Car, so that I can make the short trips without using gasoline at all.  For the longer distances, I'm hoping to have some kind of diesel driven vehicle so that if I want, I can manufacture some bio-diesel fuel, as necessary.

It all takes prepping though, and so you start with building a library of useful skills, and then start learning "how to".  I also recommend building a bartering network, so that if things do get tough, you'll know where to barter.  The time to find these things isn't after it hits the fan.

 


Earth Home Project:
www.freewebs.com/stocktonunderground

 

israelhatikvah
#60 Posted : Sunday, June 22, 2008 4:13:35 AM
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Hello! Until Mother Earth News, I was completely ignorant. I wasted energy, didn't recycle, and I swore never to eat Tofu. Thanks to Mother, I can now call myself "green."

This summer, I am growing a variety of veggies organically (successfully I might add!) and I conserve electricity, fuel, and water as much as I possibly can.

My 2 year old son is learning to love raw carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers!

I'm 24 years old, and have only 6 months experience in my quest for more independent living.

I strongly believe that growing my own food is not only saving money, but it gives my food more value. I wouldn't take such pleasure in biting into a waxy store cucumber as I do with my own fresh cucumbers!

And last but not least... if our monetary system does collapse... I guess I won't starve!

I can trade cucmbers and zucchini with someone for strawberries!

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