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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Doomers Amongst Us!

An article in the Star today takes a look at doomers and their preparations for what they believe will be a crisis as oil depletes and the modern high carbon society collapses. The story covers a self sufficient farmer/homesteader type , the Bug-Out and start over type and the optimistic urban survivalist who opts the Adapt in Place scenario. (Personally I prefer the first option but will likely be forced by necessity to follow the last.)

As I read the article I can imagine the eyes of my friends and family rolling they way I do when I bring up such subjects, and then I start to panic thinking "Shit, these people seem better prepared than I am." I can't help but laugh when I see the "ideal" provisions list for a family of 5 with pet. I'm truly sceptical that any family needs 34 cans of anchovies or would want to live after 114 of Spam but we know the Star published this abridged version of the attached provisions list making sure there were just enough items on it to heap scorn on these "poor deluded" survivalist types. Can't take them too seriously can we?

I want to know where was the doomer like me? Someone concerned about growing local food and the conservation of open pollinated seed, strategies that will create personal food security and alleviate the need to store outrageous amounts of food.

Where was the reference to Cuba and the movement to low carbon urban farming and food self sufficiency? A reduction in fuel does not need to bring starvation and panic but it will if we do not prepared for it.

I think the doomers they covered were far too weighted towards the "screw you I'm saving my own ass" camp and ignored the good work and advocacy by people looking to Power Down society and adapt. It seems that making the doomers survivalists types rather than seers and mentors for the masses was a better way at marginalizing people who would question the status quo.

It was unfair to imply that most doomers are simply survivalists looking for the next perceived crisis, especially considering the connotation that the survivalist label has generated in the U.S.
At least they did not ask these people how many guns they owned!

What concerned me most about the article was the ignorance of commenter's who cling to claims that oil is not depleting, that Alaska, Alberta, Unknownia all still have massive reserves that will keep us wallowing in our exuberant lifestyles for another century. Beside these cornucopians we have the usual techno fix types who think that wind mills and solar will somehow replace a dense, easily transported liquid hydrocarbon for cars, fertilizer, pesticide, or as used in a gazillion chemical compounds including many medicines.

Did they all miss the report I posted about last week questioning the sustainability of most new "Saviour" techs which are commonly touted as our future.

When it comes down to it unless people are hoarding guns so they can steal their neighbours food, fuel, wife, land etc, why ridicule them? As long as they are not working on an online longpork cookbook why sneer at them. Each prepared person is one less the government will be able to fail, one less that will initially compete for resources as they decline, and one more likely to have the skills rest of us will need to learn. We've all heard the the boy scouts motto, about 7 fat years followed by 7 lean years, the stories of hardship from your depression era family, yet suddenly it's insane to be prepared "just in case". Are we too affluent to worry about mere food?


Also don't forget that the financial Doomers like Marc Faber and Peter Schiff are now becoming celebrities in financial circles for being all to correct. While chicken little was just a stupid bird it was those around Cassandra who could not see the truth.

Associated article

Embracing the doom: What kind of doomer are you?

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8 comments:

MeadowLark said...

I know it's bad to be smug, but there's a tiny bit of me that smiles inside when Husband's family says "wow... you were right about that 'get out of debt' and 'learn some self-sufficiency' stuff."

Bad. Bad. Bad.

Great post, btw!

GAB said...

A little gloating is fine on our part(we deserve it) but the dismissive sneering on theirs makes me mad, the more so that the crisis is actually starting to happening and yet they still can't see it.

MeadowLark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken Breadner said...

GAB, I read that Star article and rolled my eyes as well. They only included some of the 5000 items that one guy had on his spreadsheet. Some of them were obviously personal taste items. Some of them were, I'm sure, deliberately included to get a rise out of people.
My wife and I discussed the list at some length. She's got several lists, depending on the sort of disaster, and they include some oddities. Like condoms. "Do you have any idea how useful a condom can be?" she asks. "Waterproof, sturdy, and they can hold a LOT."
Never thought of that.
I'm just happy to see the doomers get mainstream media coverage. Most will read that article and scoff, but a few people will recognize something in the world and something in themselves from reading it, and some good may arise from it.

GAB said...

Ken,



It's funny several people have sent me this link, so while they have not actually done anything they were at least listening to my concerns.. Perhaps some main stream attention will "normalize" the topic as happened with my rants on housing, debt, monetary metals. We don't need to convince them of all the repercussions of peak oil we just need to find the ones that will create concern in the average household. Where will my heat come from, what will I eat? etc.

While I try to be prepared I'm admittedly an organizational nightmare, I don't have my stuff certralized, I don't have lists of what I should have vs what I do have, so I can appreciate the annal attention to detail many list makers show. To have everything however is very hard unless you have a group sharing preperation.

I really should make organization my goal for the year.

Do you have your lists posted? it would be good to compare different peoples perceptions or required goods before I try to organize better.

Theresa said...

It is disappointing to see 'doomers' painted in this light. I don't think people are prepared to take such things seriously yet, and so they must denigrate them to some degree so they feel safe and justified in ignoring them (us).

It's hard to get through this resistance/denial, and so it becomes necessary to show how doing things like building community, growing open pollinated seeds/plants, sharing tools/equipment, having some food and water on hand, etc., are just good ideas in their own right.

But how to get the populace at large to agree with this, and fast, remains a mystery to me.

Peter Dodson said...

Us doomers will always be painted as fringe elements, until the shit really hits the fan and then people will be at our doors asking for handouts.

I've always said, and I know Ken and GAB agree with me, prepare for the worst - you can't go wrong with that. And if the worst doesn't happen, well then, you have a nice supply of food to eat, a more efficient house, and are probably saving a lot of money.

liliannattel said...

Sometimes I wonder if human beings just have the sensation of thinking because of mental rumination but that very little thinking actually goes on.