Thursday, April 12, 2012

Climate change, the next step.

I have stated before that we were very lucky that a long time ago in earth's history a vast expanse of carbon fixing life forms worked diligently creating an atmosphere habitable for the proliferation of animal life. Now we are consuming them as a resource and converting the climate back to that early carbon dioxide rich model. With that comes a heavy price, drinking water will be scarcer as temperature increases, arable land will decrease dramatically as the zones they currently exist in get pushed away from the equator faster than the soil can be built up. We probably have about two decades to prepare our selves for a major collapse of society.

We have passed the point of no return. What is the next step? I say we shut up about it. There is very little probability that we will be able to support anywhere near earths current population in a sustainable fashion into the future. It is time we stopped looking to "save the world" and start thinking only of our selves. Let those obsessed with accumulation of capital have it. Fiat currency will be of little use in an agrarian society. Instead work on practical skill development. Understand principals like the maximum number of individuals that can be supported in a motile hunter gatherer community or a subsistance farming community.

Other important skills might include a deep understanding of biological principals. We are shifting the locations of the temperate zones where most of our food production takes place. Worse yet, this shift will take place faster than species can adapt to, or in the case of plants, migrate. Places that previously were nothing more than  tundra might one day become the next fertile bread basket if we are able to induce the conditions necessary for agricultural growth. This includes encouraging or even transplanting: bacteria for fixing nitrogen, annalids to till the newly formed soil, arthropods for pollination, mycorhizal fungi to improve growth and mitigate toxins, etc.

Skills like foraging and backpacking will help you get there, and skills like construction, wood working, metal and work will increase your chances of survival once you get there. If I had the money, property in remote areas of Russia or Canada south of the present day arctic circle would be where I'd place my bet. The farther you are from high population densities when desperation creeps in the better. Don't fall into the "survival equipment" craze though. Humans have been apart of hunter/gatherer groups far longer than we've been technologically dependent. I look towards nature to provide my solutions, I can't help but marvel at the way our ancestors fashioned tools out of raw natural elements.

Tools can be lost or stolen. But skills will be with you no matter what.

1 comment:

  1. "Skills. . . no matter what." Add 'knowledge' and I agree 100%.