OK, controversial confession time:
I believe that the modern world cannot last in the form it is at the moment.
So, first of all, lets tackle some myths. No, there isn’t a bunker full of weapons, ammunition and tinned food under my house, or indeed anywhere that I know of. No, I don’t live in a compound and home-educate the kids to become white-supremacy ubermen to take over the post-apocalyptic world.
But, I do think that the clock is ticking on this civilisation. Just one thing that should scare any right thinking person is “peak oil”. In short, it’s the theory that the oil will run out at some time, and before it does, it will get more scarce and expensive. Take a quick look around the news and you’ll see most wars and/or conflicts are centred either around natural gas and oil reserves or are over pipeline routes. This is what’s behind the current problems between Iraq and Syria, as well as the Ukraine.
Oil is everywhere
It’s not just that electricity and petrol will get more expensive. Oil is deeply embedded within our food economy, from powering the tractors that spread the fertilizer to the bags we carry the food home in, it all depends on oil. Then there are the factories and processing plants, on to the supermarkets. Our food is moved between all of these places by lorry, ship and plane – all reliant on a cheap supply of oil.
I don’t think I’ll wake up one day and find out that the oil has all been switched off. Instead, it’ll corrupt our economic systems as it gets more expensive and dangerous to extract and as supply and demand kicks in. Actually, our financial sector has looked shaky since 2008 so maybe it’s already started.
Prepping and the kids
Prepping here refers to getting ready for the change – preparing for Transition. As I said previously, I don’t want to go down a scary route with them. But on the other hand, I do want them to be aware of where their food comes from, and that cooking doesn’t just mean putting something from the freezer in the oven for twenty minutes. If they can handle raw meat, pick food, forage, etc. then all the better. In fact, I always grow a few bits and pieces. At the moment I’m limited by the size of my garden but I hope that I’m teaching them skills that should be able to be scaled up should the need arise. As I’ve mentioned in another post on here, we all go camping on holiday, so hopefully that’ll be a part of their training.
I do talk to the older two and tell them that I believe that when they’re my age the world will be very different and possibly a lot harder. I explain that I’m trying to prepare them, in case I’m right and it all goes horribly wrong.
On a much shorter term, since we started looking into this on the Internet, we’ve started keeping a bug-out-bag. This is (in our case) a bag that can be grabbed and should keep the five of us comfortable for about 24 hours, assuming we’re in a shelter or friend’s house or some such. So it has clean underwear, toothpaste, soap, bottled water, spare clothes etc. in it. As I’m typing this I’m realising that it needs updating, firstly because the children have grown, and secondly to add details of home insurance and basic identity documents (or at least photocopies).
This might seem extreme, but on our close this year we’ve seen a flood bad enough to call the fire brigade for and a house struck by lightning. So, it makes sense to be ready to leave at the drop of a hat.
What if I’m wrong?
A question I often ask myself. Well, having thought about it, this is what would happen. My three boys would grow up to be self-sufficient. They’d be able to cook and clean, and if necessary grow and raise their own food. Their houses would be more sustainable, which would mean lower bills for heating and lighting. They’d probably have a lifelong love of the outdoors and a natural resilience to all the pitfalls that life can throw your way.
In all, not a bad outcome, and in this case I do hope I’m wrong and my children grow up in a world of stability and increasing technological marvels. But that won’t stop me preparing, just in case!