Jan 242011

This is the two hundredth post on this blog which started a year ago in February with a post titled Everything Is Okay Now, Isn’t It? in which I stated the purpose of this exercise,  “The purpose of this blog is to try to influence the thinking of Lummi Islanders to begin to take steps to prepare for a different future, an unknown future to be sure, but one which results from a crisis which could overwhelm us given lack of preparation.”

In that regard I’ve recommended Chris Martenson’s Crash Course, written about self-sufficiency, the Transition Town Movement, gardening issues, water catchement, food storage, peak oil and peak everything, relevant books,  foraging, putting food by, reskilling,
alternate transportation, money, Transition Whatcom, survivalism and prepping, contingency planning, neat products, time banks, pertinent documentaries, medical issues, life on the Maine Islands, economics, the Lummi Island Ferry, resilience, Dmitri Orlov and James Kunstler, disaster preparedness and seed saving plus other miscellaneous subjects.

As a result, a few other like-minded people have joined in with their comments establishing an ad hoc group from which we can launch some initiatives which may be helpful to the island community in both the short and long term.

Most days, and with most people, it’s hard to imagine that things might drastically change in ways that will challenge the way of life virtually all of us, younger than those of the Great Depression era, have known. The ability to fill our basket at the supermarket, withdraw some cash from the bank, collect Social Security, jump in our car to go where ever we wish, plan trips to distant lands, have the internet at our finger tips, hot water at the tap, propane or natural gas on hand, electricity at the flip of a switch, a toilet that flushes, TV and Netflix, NFL football, unlimited consumer goods is a given in most of our lives. If someone takes an erasure and begins to wipe some of these off the whiteboard of our charmed existence, shock will set in.

Best we be somewhat prepared. Actions we personally exercise some control over are not that hard to take and are not at all risky in any sense, financial or otherwise: plant a garden, build up a food pantry, save some seeds, store some water, buy extra necessities, learn some new skills.

Who knows when the waves of crises might explode on our reef?

Photo by Linda Smith


  5 Responses to “#200”

  1. For many people in this country, the transition has been underway for quite some time. Many are totally devastated by what has happened in their lives, while others have quickly learned how to adapt. So many people have lost their jobs, their homes, and their old way of life. Some have started to research how their grandparents survived the Great Depression. There may be lessons in history to learn from. I tried Googling, “How did people survive the Great Depression”. Many interesting links appear. One that particularly caught my attention was: http://frugalhomesteading.com/blog/how-did-people-survive-the-great-depression/2009/01/

  2. I am inspired by our hosts energy level, and the commitment of others on this blog towards thinking beyond our next ferry ride to Bellingham to get some more ‘stuff’.
    My grandparents, from the old country, had a small lot in a big city – and still managed to cultivate a garden capable of feeding a family of 8, and instilled a thrift value into most of the children.
    Somehow, my generation (baby boomers) lost those skills and values, and my grandchildren (generation X) takes everything I have for granted, without a glimpse of how hard times past are just the next disaster around the corner. We live under a triple threat. Tsunami, volcano, and pandemic; any one of which could overwhelm all of our customary services and supply lines overnight. All three are overdue for the inevitable. We could quickly become a real honest to goodness island.
    So hang in there Randy. Some of us are coming around, and I hope more will do the same.

  3. Beautiful photo. So that’s why family doesn’t want me crossing to the island in a canoe for groceries. Surprisingly, after all these foreclosures, I still think few people haven’t adapted to the need for change.

    I think it was common place and common sense, even in big cities, until after WWII, for people to have a veggie garden, hens and a goat, and a hand-powered machine shop at home.

    U.S. oil use per capita has quadrupled since those times, and guess what, that doesn’t factor in our commodity production coming from elsewhere in recent decades. At our current rate, the average person will consume 400 barrels of oil in their lifetime. Now imagine that much oil under each world resident’s bedroom, repeated for each generation, and there becomes no question that we will run out, and quite soon at that. The acid test for sustainability is meeting, on average, all your food, energy, clothing, and shelter needs from the property you live on. The fuel left remaining today requires significantly more global devestation to extract, and several times more fuel now to even process the fuel.

    I’m not one for armageddon prophecies, but thinking back to the mysterious end of the dinosaur age, I’ve come to realize that deep drilling also puts us at risk of opening methane geysers which could not only scorch the face of the earth, but even mix and ignite the oxygen and hydrogen layers of our atmsphere which are now only thinly separated by nitrogen. Covering our ocean life with oil is trivial in comparison. At least we still have our Van Allen radiation belt, and unlike Mars, the earth could at least start over. Who knows what life forms the next age might bring.

    Anyhow, looks like I’ll be moving to Sudden Valley, not the island, and could have my hands full just convincing the homeowners association there to permit sustainablity activities of any sort at all. It’s been hopeful to know that at least some people in the Bellingham area are on the right track already. Thanks for keeping up the good work.

  4. Kristal, you may find Sudden Valley a challenge. On the other hand, Bellingham has lots of people working on sustainability.

  5. I know, thus perhaps that’s where I’m most needed. The official cultural values there are obsolete, but I can understand having watershed concerns. Maybe I can become part of the island as well anyhow.

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