Saturday, August 9, 2014
Sustainability - It's For the Children
K brought up a subject over on his blog today that I feel bears mentioning, or more specifically bears mentioning again.
There are preppers and then there are Sustainers. It's one thing to store a year, two, three or more worth of dried and canned goods in a pantry and call yourself a prepper but true Sustainability is a generational concept.
As I embarked on the homesteading/prepping lifestyle I realized pretty quickly that we as a society were not just on the edge of a collapse of some kind, we were on the edge of a knowledge cliff that if we don't find a way down off of could prove more devastating than any civilization collapse one could envision.
Why? You might ask.
Well it's pretty simple. This Time it's different.....
While many historians and doomers like to point out the similarities between the collapse of the Western world today and those civilizations which have come before, very few seem interested in pointing out the differences. Generally speaking this is understandable because looking at it as a whole most differences are minor window dressing but there is one big one. Cheap abundant energy.
Whether you are a peak oil person or not is really not important. What's important about the cheap energy scenario is that it has changed our way of life for generations now. Almost to the point that how things were done before cheap energy was available has been forgotten.
And that Ladies and Gentlemen would be the greatest loss we could suffer.
A collapse can be survived but if as a society we totally forget how to live without cheap energy it could set us so far back we might as well go extinct.
No other collapse that I can document ever included the loss of such surplus energy. Ever.
This is why I began shifting my focus from simple prepping to sustaining. It isn't enough to store items and talk about it. No matter how much you store if the knowledge of how to grow it or make it is lost you are still dooming either yourself or your children to doing without at some point.
Even if you survive the zombie hordes, government looting, lean times or what have you at some point you or your children are going to look up from an empty pail and say "Now what?".
This isn't a new idea. It finds it's origins in our very Christian ideology.
Give a man a fish.... you know the rest.
In most cases our children, mine, yours and your neighbor's, don't care. That's to be expected but we are in the final few years of time for those of us who do care to be able to gather and study these lost skills before they are gone forever. Being able to pass on these skills when our children do care will be the greatest gift we can give them.
The knowledge to save our children isn't found in the adventures of some guy with a camera eating snow and raw salmon. It's buried in the everyday mundane life of the subsistence farmer in Iowa who managed to produce enough surplus to help this Nation grow.
I cannot stress that time is against us. I find myself often tracking down some very old people just to find out how something was done before government subsidies and cheap fuel. Most of the ones I talk to these days can only relate what they saw as even they were too young to actually pitch in. Once these last few first person observers are gone we will have to reinvent the wheel in many cases.
In the end you have to ask yourself what you are prepping for. To live out your life on beans and canned tomatoes or to give your offspring a fighting chance at building a better world.
I choose the last myself.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!