Monday, April 6, 2020

Collapse: Where can we find a safe refuge?

Does it make sense to have a well-stocked bunker in the mountains to escape collapse?
 

Sometimes, you feel that the world looks like a horror story, something like Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth.." Image from F.R: Jameson.



Being the collapsnik I am, a few years ago I had the idea that I could buy myself some kind of safe haven in the mountains, a place where I and my family could find refuge if (and when) the dreaded collapse were to strike our civilization (as they say, when the Nutella hits the fan). It is a typical idea of collapse-oriented people: run away from cities, imagined being the most vulnerable places in a Mad Max-style scenario.

Maybe I was thinking also of Boccaccio's Decameron, when he describes how in the mid-14th century a group of wealthy Florentines finds refuge from the plague in a villa, outside Florence. And they had a leisured time telling stories to each other. I don't own a villa in the countryside, but I took a tour of villages in the Appennini mountains, a few hundred km from Florence, to seek for a hamlet of some kind to buy. I was accompanied by a friend of mine who is a denizen of the area and whom I had infected with the collapse meme.

We found several houses and apartments for sale in the area. One struck me as suitable, and the price was also interesting. It was a two-floor apartment with the windows opening on the central square of the village where it was located. It had a wood stove, the kind of heating system you can always manage in an emergency. And it was at a sufficient height you could be reasonably safe from heat waves, even without air conditioning.

Then, I was looking at the village from one of the windows when a strange sensation hit me. People were walking in the square and a few of them raised their glance to look at me. And, for a moment, I was scared.

Did you ever read Lovecraft's short story "The Shadow over Innsmouth"? It tells the story of someone who finds himself stuck in a coastal town named Innsmouth that he discovers being inhabited by fish-like humanoids, the "deep Ones," practicing the cult of a marine deity called Dagon.

Don't misunderstand me: the people I was seeing in the square were not alien cultists of some monstrous divinity. What had scared me was a different kind of thought. It was that I knew that every adult male in that area owns a rifle or a shotgun loaded with slug ammunition. And every adult male in good health engages in wild boar hunting every weekend. They can kill a boar at 50 meters or more, then they are perfectly able to gut it and turn it into ham and sausages.

Now, if things were to turn truly bad, would some of those people consider me as the equivalent of a wild boar? For sure, I couldn't even dream to be able to match the kind of firepower they have. I thanked the owner of the place and my friend, and I drove back home. I never went back to that place.

A few years later, with a real collapse striking us in the form of the COVID-19 epidemics,  I can see that I did well in not buying that apartment in the mountains. At the time of Boccaccio, wealthy Florentine citizens could reasonably think of moving to their villa in the countryside. These villas were nearly self-sufficient agricultural units, where one could find food and shelter provided by local peasants and servants (at that time not armed with long-range rifles). But that, of course, is not the case anymore.

The current crisis is showing us what a real collapse looks like. And it shows that some science fiction scenarios were totally wrong. The typical trope of a post-holocaust story is that people run away from flaming cities after having stormed the shops and the supermarkets, leaving empty shelves for those who arrive late. That didn't happen here. At most, people seemed to think that what they needed most in an emergency was toilet paper and they emptied the supermarket shelves of it. But that was quickly over. Maybe we'll arrive at that kind of scenario, but what is happening now is not that the supermarkets are running out of goods, everything is available if you have the money to buy it. The problem is that people are running out of money.

In this situation, the last thing the government wants is food riots. And they especially care about cities -- if they lose control of the cities, everything is lost for them. So they are acting on two levels: they are providing food certificates for the poor, and, at the same time, clamping down on cities with the police and the army to enforce the lockdown. People are facing criminal charges if they dare to take a walk on the street.

Not an easy situation, but at least we have food and the cities are quiet. Think of what would have happened if I had bought that apartment in the mountains. I wouldn't even have been able to go there during the coronavirus epidemics. But, if somehow I had managed to dodge the police, then I would be stuck there. And no supermarkets nearby: there is a small shop selling food in the village, but would it be resupplied during the crisis? The locals have ways to survive also with local food, but a town dweller like me doesn't. And I never tried to shoot a wild boar, I think it is not easy -- to say nothing about gutting it and turning it into sausages. Worse, I am sure that no police would patrol that small village, surely not the woods. So, maybe the local denizens would not shoot me and boil me in a cauldron, but if I were to run out of toilet paper, where could I find some? And, worse, what if I were to run out of food?

So, where can we find refuge from collapse? I can think of scenarios where you could be better off in a bunker somewhere in an isolated area, where you stocked a lot of supplies. But in most cases, that would be a terribly bad idea. A well-stocked bunker is an ideal target for whoever is better armed than you, and they can always smoke you out. Of course, you can think of a refuge for an entire group of people, with some of them able to shoot intruders, others to cultivate the fields, others to care for you if you get sick. Maybe, but it is a complicated story: you need to build up a whole group of people with similar ideas and complementary skills, but most collapsniks are good intellectuals but poor peasants or hunters. You could join the Amish, but would they want you? It has been done often on the basis of religious ideas and in some cases, it may have worked, at least for a while. And never forget the case of Reverend Jim Jones in Guyana.

In the end, I think the best place to be in a time of crisis is exactly where I am: in a medium-sized city. It is a place that the government will try to keep under control as long as possible, and not a likely target for someone armed with nukes or other nasty things. Why do I say that? Look at the map, here.


This is a map of the Roman Empire at its peak. Note the position of the major cities: the Empire collapsed and disappeared, but most of the cities of that time are still there, more or less with the same name, the new buildings built in place of the old ones, or near them. Those cities were built in specific places for specific reasons, availability of water, resources, or transportation. And so it made sense for the cities to be exactly where they were, and where they still are. Cities turned out to be extremely resilient.

But how about Roman villas in the countryside? Well, many are being excavated today but, after the fall of the Empire, they were abandoned and never rebuilt. It must have been terribly difficult to defend a small settlement against all the horrible things that were happening at the time of the fall of the Empire.

So, overall, I think I did well in moving from a home in the suburbs to one downtown. Bad times may come, but I would say that it offers the best chances of survival, even in reasonably horrible times. Then, of course, the best plan of mice and men tend to gang agley, as we all know.  In any case, collapses are bad and that's doesn't change for collapsniks.




27 comments:

  1. Great article that defies lots of collapse's stereotypes and it argues for sheer common sense. The only thing that strucks me as really paradoxical (as in "this is just speculating for something that goes beyond every wild imagination) is when you write "reasonably horrible times". At what point there is no way horrible times can be reasonable anyhow?

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  2. Probably Your conclusion is right thinking of the beginning of the collapse, but i suppose that at a later stage it my turn nastier in a city than in a countryside. I agree that a provision of toilet paper may be more difficult to obtain, but You could find some advice from some botanists for growing plants with the right leaves for the purpose (!)

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    1. I am no botanist, but I already know to avoid cacti and stinging nettles.

      When my older son returned from a two-week survival training in northern New Mexico USA, I asked what was the most important thing he learned. He said it was how to choose a good pebble to use for "toilet paper."

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  3. "The current crisis is showing us what a real collapse looks like. And it shows that some science fiction scenarios were totally wrong. The typical trope of a post-holocaust story is that people run away from flaming cities after having stormed the shops and the supermarkets, leaving empty shelves for those who arrive late. That didn't happen here"

    Might be too early to tell yet whether the Mad Max scenario will play out here in the U.S. or not? :)

    Here living in rural Texas near the border with Mexico, everything is amazingly calm, but groceries/foodstuffs are still available, although purchase quantities have been limited to prevent hoarding, although probably about a month and a half too late.

    Currently, people have enough money/credit to purchase food. Since most Americans don't have enough savings to address a $400 emergency, so the longer the pandemic suppresses people from being able to purchase food, it might become a major problem for our politicians here in the U.S.!

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  4. Yeah, there's not much point going to the country unless you want to become a country person.

    As for cities, do remember that those traits can change, especially with climate change. Ur was built at a river delta; as the river & coastline shifted the site was abandoned. I'm also not sure how relevant the persistence of a city is for the fate of an individual.

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  5. Some years ago I had the same conclusion as you, since then I have bought a wooded block with very low population density nearby but a reasonable small town nearby with apparently reasonable supplies (small supermarket). I also bought a Tesla to get there and back (if necessary) without fuel. It's a beautiful place and we love going there, we put a basic shed on it for shelter, so even if it doesn't work out as the best refuge we'll still enjoy it in the meantime..(we keep our house in the city which is where we can grow some food). At the moment we are not supposed to go there..

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  6. The best thing you can do to prepare for a collapse is to look after your health.

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  7. John Michael Greer arrived at the exact same conclusion and now lives in Providence, RI (before he lived for a while in a really small town in the rust belt). An added consideration you glossed over is the availability of health care, especially after a certain age.

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  8. The Phoenix always arises from the ashes - a constant in Human - no Universal History.

    My time in Italy was one of the best! I worked at Mt. Vergine - walked up and down the Monks Trail many times - loved living in Mercogliano - and having Italian friends in Avellino - so many years ago.

    As for; 'You could join the Amish, but would they want you'?

    Lots of Amish in Northern Wisconsin - around Eau Claire - but they depend upon the non-Amish to clear the roads in Winter - and are allowed one POL powered engine each. They are a closed society - and on one sunny Summer day I rode past a Amish School - on my Motobecane bicycle - and all the children rushed to the fence to look on in wonder.

    No easy answers to the dilemma to Overshoot.

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  9. The size of a city depends on transportation capacity and food productivity of the area of transport. There is a reason larger cities were on navigable waterways: boat transport of food was much more efficient than animal-drawn wagon transport.

    In choosing a city, consider the food productivity of the surrounding territory and the type of food-transport systems that will be available post-collapse.

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  10. I used Google Translate for "tabula reticuli" and it said "board netting." LOL... I had to dig a bit in order to get the correct "road network" translation. But at least I'm getting better at Latin.

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  11. All of us that see a future collapse are in danger to fall for survivalism, but I do not think that survivalism has a lot of "rational" background. Survivalism and the prepper movement are probably a result of societies irrational fears and antisocial ideology.

    Our ideology tells us to only rely on our self. The homo economicus is essentially in constant desperate survivalist mode, building his own castle and building up "securities". Fear of the very personal collapse, also called precarisation, is the basis of governmentality in neoliberal capitalist societies.

    In its more radical form, survivalism also roots in social darwinism and thus has strong links to fascist ideology. Both ideologies are often implicitly promoted in hollywood productions, especially action movies. As many movies always need a "hero", they have very low regard to "the people" which are mostly used as the background the hero distinguishes himself from. In so many hollywood productions the people are only pictured as an irrational mob, not as the sovereign of a functioning society.

    This (almost always) hyper masculine hero is what the prepper probably aims to become. In his imagined future the prepper fights heroically against the unreasonable masses that are (in his mind) the root of all the evil he distances himself from by retreating to his fortress.

    Survivalism thus is a very immature mindset. It is comparable to hiding from the evil in the closet by pulling a blanket over the eyes. In the end, humans as social beings must face the future as a collective. Real security can only be found in trusting each other.

    I hope the outcome of the corona crisis will be that the inaptitude of (proto?) fascists like Trump, Bolsonaro, Modi, Putin, Lukashenko, etc. to really deal with a crisis will become apparent.

    I think the power of a modern democratic society and how can and must rely on each other is what this crisis shows us. We cannot all be doctors, nurses, truckers, cashiers and farmers at the same time. We need each other for survival.

    What I also hope is, that we learn that what we dont really need are real estate sharks, wall street banksters or billionaires.

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  12. We're doing pretty good here in the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley on the Last Great Frontier of Alaska. :) Only 2 cases so far in the whole valley, which is about 1/4 the size of Italy in square miles/kilometers but has less people living in it than a suburb of Firenza (Firenza Population of Homo Saps: 380,000
    Mat Valley Population of Less-than Sapient Meat Packages: 89,000)

    Besides that, we are protected by Mountains. BIG FUCKING MOUNTAINS. The Great Wall that God built to protect the independent souls of the world.

    Latest video from the Doomstead Diner:
    https://youtu.be/Fp9OxkvO_mo

    RE

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    1. Ugo's latest now Cross-Posted on the Doomstead Diner.

      http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2020/04/09/collapse-where-can-we-find-a-safe-refuge/

      Also, last month's discussion with Ugo, George Mobus, K-Dog & myself now over 300 Views on Diner YouTube. More listens and downloads of the mp3 on Diner Soundcloud.

      https://soundcloud.com/doomstead-diner/scenes-from-an-italian-restaurant-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

      RE

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  13. I am not going to disagree because you are in Italy and I am in Missouri. This is a big gap with comparisons. I think I have made a good location decision. I am on a farm not too far from a medium size city. I make quite a bit of food and have lots of wildlife to draw on. Yet, it is community that really matter in prepping for collapse. A bunker mentality like a lot of preppers have is really not legitimate except for a few months. I have that set up too but it is more for my death party. I have all I need to watch SHTF play out. I would like to die in comfort so to speak not a panicked run into the bushes to die like an animal. That said I do not see a mad max SHTF Hollywood unfolding.

    I see a decline ahead virus or no virus. This will likely be a longer-term process with events and this virus was an event. Now let me elaborate because there are millions of locals or billions if you go down to the individual level. People will be dying from decline that otherwise would not be from a growth period. Locals which a define as small communities down to the family and individual will suffer according to a combination of fate and preparedness. Ask any special forces soldier about being organized and prepared yet everyone has a plan until he is smacked in the face. So prepping is education and life is what it is and that is a kind of fate. There is dumb luck and unfortunate situations of people that deserve better. Nature could give a shit on 98% of the level expect humans are part of nature so in this regards nature has empathy and judgment too.

    In my opinion a mega city is not a good place to be. Today the world is dotted with them and over the next decade they will surely stop growing and likely depopulate so avoid them. The rural areas are good depending on how they are situated in regards to population centers. Not too close so that if things spiral out of control hungry people show up to take or beg. If you are too far rural then you might be the hungry begging for help. In my opinion a small to medium size town and or a farm within 10 miles of these towns is a good location. Of course, regionally it matters. If you are in a region that populated because of fossil fuels then you really need to evaluate where you are. How many people will survive in southern Arizona post AC systems and imported water? Sure, there will be some but not current population levels. I think there are multiple ways to look at locations and I would say this is a good time to get started.

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  14. For those in Isolation - since I believe -

    Graham Hancock delivers a mind-blowing lecture during the 'Origins of Civilization Tour' of ancient Turkey, visiting Göbekli Tepe and other sites with Hugh Newman and Andrew Collins. This was Graham's first visit to Göbekli Tepe and in this exclusive presentation Graham shares his initial insights and how this fits into his other groundbreaking research.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUO9hUb3SB8

    Plato spoke of a Golden Age which preceded the modern age - after the Younger Dryas event.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas

    And for forbidden Archeology:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas

    As to:

    I can see you using the pandemic of COVID-19 to run the table on holding onto power while your institutions fail.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/no-mr-boomer-weve-run-out-god-pills

    If your Institutions are failing - is not the Age changing? As in - there is something more to what is happening than the eye can see - and the mind can comprehend?

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    1. I made a few mistakes - but then again I am Human:

      And for forbidden Archeology::

      https://youtu.be/DKfGC3P9KoQ

      Delete
    2. In addition - I must admit that according to my genetic tests - I rate high on the percentage of Neanderthal genes in my genotype.


      In the past there have been numerous theories for the cause(s) of neurodiversity conditions like Autism, Asperger's syndrome, ADD/ADHD, OCD, Social phobia, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Tourette and Dyspraxia. Most of these theories can at best explain small parts of these diverse syndromes. Many of them extend their findings in spectacular ways to be able to claim to explain larger parts of neurodiversity with little success.

      This theory approaches the problem from a new radical viewpoint. Instead of approaching neurodiversity conditions as disorders, brain defects or the result of poor socialization or parenting, it claims that neurodiversity is fully functional human variation.

      All the areas that are central to neurodiversity are related to species-typical adaptations that vary widely between species. These include nonverbal signals, social organization, sensory acuteness, perception, motor skills, general preferences, sexuality, courtship, physical traits and biological adaptations. Some of this diversity is poorly understood and virtually unresearched and therefore is not published in peer-reviewed journals. Because of this lack of research, Aspie Quiz, an online questionnary, is heavily referenced for these traits.

      Recent genetic research have demonstrated that Neanderthals contributed at least 1-4% to the non-African genome. Aspie Quiz have demonstrated in a large survey in the US population that Afroamericans have only 1/6 of the autism incidence of non-African groups.

      Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of Aspie Quiz yields axes that seems to be related to the first Eurasian Homo, the formation of modern humans in Africa or South Asia and the hybridization between modern humans and Neanderthals in Eurasia. In Caucasians, these axises seems to be 1.8 million years, 150,000 years and 33,000 years. In Asians, they seem to be 1.8 million years, 130,000 years and 44,000 years.

      http://www.rdos.net/eng/asperger.htm

      Just FYI.

      Delete
  15. If I had been in your shoes, I would have bought that apartment building. Then, I would simply involve myself in village life, befriending the boar-hunters, as well as the general population. If I have some skill that is useful to the village community, I would make this available to those who needed it. The village may indeed become a "fortress", but by being an asset to the village, I would not be alone, but would have the rest of the village as allies when the collapse eventually comes.

    Antoinetta III

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  16. I suggest a couple of interesting lectures

    Modern swedish depliant
    https://issuu.com/65c02/docs/if_crises_or_war_comes

    Old but interesting italian brochure
    https://issuu.com/65c02/docs/sopravvivechipensaprovvede

    I put them online in this post, many years ago
    https://mio-radar.blogspot.com/2018/08/mondo-prepper-gli-apocalittici-italiani.html

    I made my Bug Out Bag, some years ago and I decided to face off the NBC risk.

    .About the Nuclear explosion risk, frankly I decided that it is preferable to die istantly, rather than suffering and dying for radiation disease few months later.

    .About Chemical risk, a gas mask equipment is a very expensive stuff to buy: in case of terrorist attack, staying home strategy it could be a cheaper and effective solution, especially in a windy city.

    .About Bacteriological risk, it is very difficult fo face off, because is a very wide risk. I bought a sanitizing tablets kit for water, and I bought 3 cheap disposable face masks single use in FFP2.

    Then I made my Bug Out Bag.

    During time, I used 2 of disposable face masks single use FFP2, because when I rode my byke towards the city center, the smog was very heavy. I decided in the 2019 winter to save up for future ONE Disposable Face Masks single use FFP2, and I decided to remplace the BUG OUT BAG KIT, with 3 better disposable face masks in FFP3. Unfortunatly I forgot to buy on Christmas time 2019 a new set of disposable face masks in FFP3.

    When Corona virus spread up, I had only ONE disposable face masks FFP2, when nobody had anything.

    Now I have 5 disposable face masks FFP1 double use.
    FFP1 is lesser then FFP2 but today FFP1 are the only stuffs availabe for people.

    What is the lesson to learn?!

    Always Be prepared as best as you can.
    Always update your bug out bag, and never ever waste your time doing nothing.
    Be prepared is important, but WTSHTF I think being lucky is important as much as to be prepared!.

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    Replies
    1. The Bug Out bag only keeps you alive for a short time after BAU has collapsed.

      We need to confront BAU and change the Paradigm.

      Delete
    2. @ TSE April 10, 2020 at 3:55 AM

      There are 2 kind of Negative events:

      Terminal Events: massive and huge negative events, where nobody will come to help you after 24 hours and for the rest of the time. It's a sort of The End Of The World As We Know It. IMHO there is no reason to protect ourself from Terminal Events, because those events are so huge and massive, and there's no way out to stay alive. For example, you can build a secret and expensive bunker, on storaging food and water for 6-12-18-24 months, but in any case, after you run out your stuffs, outside there's no way to survive in Terminal Events.

      Not Terminal Events are another kind of stories: they are small, medium or massive and huge negative events, where someone will come to help you, after the first 24 hours. So you can protect yourself (and your family) with a Bug Out Bag, if you equip this stuff with the right tools, to handle a lot of risks, as best as you can.
      https://mio-radar.blogspot.com/2017/10/come-costruirsi-un-always-ready.html

      Bug Oug Bag always need to a small light backup: Emergency Escape Kit, just in case of emergency situation.
      https://mio-radar.blogspot.com/2017/11/prepping-italia-ed-emergency-escape-kit.html

      The story of my comment is simple: if you build a Bag Out Bag with the right stuffs, you can handle lots of different risks, in situations of not terminal events.

      .Always be prepared as best as you can
      .Always update your bug out bag/emergency escape kit, and never ever waste your time doing nothing.
      .Be prepared is important, but WTSHTF I think being lucky is important as much as to be prepared!.

      p.s.
      Sorry guys, it's too late for Europe for changing energy paradigm or avoiding the Punic Wars II in the Mediterranean area.
      http://lafrecciadellastoria.blogspot.com/2016/11/scenari-mediterranei-intorno-al-2050.html

      �� Quanto resta prima della notte della civiltà umana?
      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeSK8oZavDZkRfvQ9Pk1uvpZg-izIxlwV

      Le Guerre del Cambiamento Climatico Mediterraneo e Siberia 2050
      �� http://www.climate-change-wars.tk

      Delete
    3. Not sure anymore about a bugout bag - to where and how long?
      How about a bug in bag - what can you bring to the 'hood.
      Sure if you live below 1.5m sea level and have children then move, or insecure fresh water then move. But, whatever you do, get to know your neighbours. You're going to need each other.

      Delete
    4. @ John S April 10, 2020 at 8:25 AM
      1. You can need someone or not: it depends where is your Extraction Point.
      2. First of all, if you have a plan and an extraction point, for sure you don't have to say to anybody!

      A safe place could be in a wide open field near a NATO military base, or in the middle of nowhere (mountain, desert, beach, lake, ecc...) or into a house in the mountains or at sea, or into a safe and secret bunker, into a garage in the city, or a garage outside the city, in any case the extraction point is whereever you decide it could be a nice place to be for 24 hours only, becauseafter 24 hours you will have help from outsides, into Not Terminal Events.

      You can't plan for Terminal Events because it is a waste of time.

      For sure, you can plan for Not Terminal Events: on one hand if you want to have always the walking option, you can't equipe your BOB/EEK for all risks, because there is a trade off between Risk and Weight of B.O.B./E.E.K. On the other hand, you can for sure trasform your "Bug Out Bag" into a caravan/roulotte/trailer, then you can decide that your personal Extraction Point is a mouving veichle with no special place to be (what if you lose the caravan?).

      In any case, before getting any solution, you have to plan: planning will help you to define which concept is your B.O.B. so you can define how to equip your B.O.B.

      What if hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, earthquakes, floods, avalanches, landslides, natural fires, fall of fireballs and meteorites and other similar natural events will happens?!

      What if wars, conventional / atomic / chemical bombings, atomic explosions, terrorist attacks of various kinds, arson, urban clashes & flashpoints, revolutions, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, invasions, bacteriological epidemics wildfires etc will happens?

      Which events you can handle, and which not?

      a.Once you decide what kind of risks you will able to manage, then write what kinds of strategies it needs: simply run away, or staying at home, or reaching a special places and so on...

      b. Get a map and planning for you (or your family) to handle the Not Terminal events. Identify a couple of secure paths, planning what if you loose your BOB, and so on...

      c. Probably at the end of the thinking process, it may happen that you will have many different types of B.O.B. (houses, cars, roulotte, bug out bag...) to use them in many different situations, but for sure you will have always one only Emergency Escape Kit of few weigh.

      Delete
  17. Interesting Development:

    "About 140 global organizations and charities are calling for a worldwide Debt Jubilee to avoid some of the world's poorest countries from collapsing into chaos amid the COVID-19 crisis, reported BBC News".

    https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/calls-global-debt-jubilee-grow-louder-anything-goes-policy-mania-takes-over

    So would those who plunder and pillage for a living be required to stop?

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  18. In a Social System, When Control at the Top is Intact, A Collapse Happens at the Bottom – it Cannot be Other Than an Orchestrated-Collapse...

    http://energyskeptic.com/2020/ugo-bardi-collapse-where-can-we-find-a-safe-refuge/#comment-53339

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  19. This article comes to a lot of false conclusions:

    Of course a small refuge in an unaccessable area is safer than any city. The point is less the house, it's storage and the garden or cattle but the possibility to run away in any lockdown. It is less controlled. If you know an area and need training to walk it, it will be hard to send people after you. Yes, I know it is possible, in my area the Nazis did kill the resistance in the mountains. But chances are higher.

    Of course the refuge must be the center of your life and any city flat only a sleeping place for work. Officials will then allow you to drive home. I had this experience during Corona lockdown.

    If you buy a villa as a rich cityboy village people will treat you as an outsider. You need to integrate into the community and find a role how you can contribute to it. If you have money and renovate a historic building you create jobs. If you have education you could contribute consulting and teachings. If you are young you could carry heavy stuff for the old.

    It is not possible to live from boars. Firstly they are heavily poisoned by Tchernobyl. Secondly they are too little and most of them fed by additional food in the forest. It doesnt make sense to feed boars with food while people are starving. People in the countryside will also suffer famine. But they will manage better than people in cities because they can knock down the forests and try to grow something. Besides they have water. Famine means there is no food to distribute, neither in the cities nor on the countryside. The cities have no advantage in this case.

    And, yes, everyone in the country has some storage. Snow might come, heavy rain or an influenca. You cannot live in the country like a cityboy calling the pizza service.

    There is a huge misconception concerning Roman cities. The Roman reich was more or less a bronze age culture that was able to accumulate food from farms around the mediterranean and ship it to Rome. That's how Rome became big.

    All other cities depended on local farming. They were build in places with natural protection, resources and with logistic advantage (mountain pass, shipable river, forestry, good soil, fresh water).

    Our culture is heavily based on fossil fuels and electronic communications. Both make cities independent from natural resources, military and logistic advantage. Both will be gone shortly after a collapse. A lot of historic advantages, like fresh water or forests around have been eliminated by suburbs, industrial production or population growth and are replaced by solutions dependend on fossil fuel and digital communication.

    Imagine that all transport and communication is stopped. Only a few warlords have enough fuel to run their trucks. Which places would they want to control first? How can they squeeze some value out of the population in a simple way? Stop people and ask their golden teeth?

    Cities are all inhabitable because there is hardly any water without electricity. I know cityboys dream of solar or pedal driven solutions, good luck! The consequence will be refugee camps. A perfect recruiting base for slaves of all kind.

    This was a coward's attempt. You should trust your own conclusions more and draw the consequences. Be a man (or a woman) and not a fancy cityboy. You can do it!

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Who

Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)