May 16, 2014

BOOMERS or DOOMERS - The Continuum of Crisis Concern Levels

I was just introduced to the "Boomers and Doomers" meme by a very intelligent recent honors graduate in Environmental Studies. This nephew is optimistic and focused on doing his part to provide solutions from a stand point of acknowledging the problem. He has been equipped with recent formal education in the science - another family member recently completed a graduate degree in an environmental program and his work is with a group concerned with preservation of wilderness. Family resources like these should feel encouraged to share their perspectives.





My original question was framed as an inquiry into what (if anything) we could or should do to give the youngest additions to our extended family the best chance to deal with some of the worst - yet somewhat manageable - problems that will arise if there is a dramatic collapse in the social fabric brought on by scarcity of food, water or resources. Planning for a modified "Doomsday Preppers" approach of locating and establishing a 'retreat' or sanctuary where friends or family might improve the chances for getting through a drastic crisis. As Eagle Scouts most of the males in our family have been trained to "BE PREPARED". I think there are ways to start planning such a contingency without devoting any major time or resources because there are a couple of decades - most likely - prior to that kind of meltdown.



My attraction to post-apocalyptic science "fiction" or prediction gives me a wide range of thoughts and ideas about imagining possibilities and ways to survive them:

There are a number of categories to be found in Wikipedia 
3.1 War
3.2 Pandemic
3.3 Failure of modern technology
3.4 Astronomical
3.5 Aliens
3.6 Cosy catastrophe
3.7 Environmental disaster
3.8 Post-peak oil

WAR SCENARIOS 

The War scenarios are typically very bleak - Cormac McCarty's THE ROAD for instance: A father and son negotiating a frozen landscape of nuclear winter. Perhaps the excellent Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove coming in the 60's after school years with 'dive under your desk' drills and the Cuban Missile Crisis led to a fascination born of childhood trauma.
Alas, Babylon 1960
On the Beach 1959
Fail-Safe 1964
Dr. Strangelove 1964
Planet of the Apes series 1968 and 2012
A Boy and His Dog 1975
Testament 1983
The Day After 1983
The Terminator series 1984, 1991, 2003, 2007, 2009
Threads 1984
Mad Max Series 1980-1985
By Dawn's Early Light 1990
Star Trek: First Contact 1996
The Postman 1997
The Matrix series 1999, 2003
On the Beach 2000
City of Ember 2009
The Book of Eli 2010
The Divide 2012

One of these nuclear scenarios called ONE SECOND AFTER takes place near Asheville in Black Mountain NC in the aftermath of the detonation of a high atmosphere nuclear weapon that takes out all of the electronics that run the world as we know it. This one is the only scenario where surviving seems palatable to me. A world thrown back into 19th Century living. 


PANDEMICS

 The Pandemic idea should get us some input from a brother and sister in law who deal with infectious diseases and the CDC so  we might be able to BE PREPARED for a "CONTAGION" episode.

Empty World
The Stand
Emergence
Blindness
Oryx and Crake
The Year of the Flood
I Am Legend
Plague Year, Plague War and Plague Zone,
The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure
The Passage and The Twelve
12 Monkeys
Contagion
and a plethora of Zombie movies and TV series are all based on a pandemic resulting in hoards of the undead

Not sure why works like The STAND had such an impact on me. Is it intuition or premonition as part of my belief that "what we believe chooses us". There is no logical reason something like this should have such resonance and impact. I certainly didn't want to believe this kind of thing was probable.

The Alien scenarios from evil aliens - WAR OF THE WORLDS or The SAFEHOLD SERIES -Gababa don't resonate with me. I'm more attracted to ET, Close Encounters or TAKEN type aliens. But I really enjoy David Weber's Safehold books and there is much to be learned for a post tech society in those pages. 

The URANTIA BOOK fascinated me from the beginning - it is Christianity explained and corrected with clear explanations of the COSMOS and the beings that exist across the Universe in service to GOD on Havona. URANTIA is Earth and this book is a gift of clear explanations for everything. We are going to be protected in the event of a Planetary Disaster. Human beings will be de-materialized here and re-materialized on an architectural world until the Earth can be reclaimed and made fit for the inhabitants again.  You can find that online here in The Urantia Book online Paper 51 The Planetary Adams 




While there is this dematerializing technique for preparing the Adams for transit from Jerusem to the evolutionary worlds, there is no equivalent method for taking them away from such worlds unless the entire planet is to be emptied, in which event emergency installation of the dematerialization technique is made for the entire salvable population. If some physical catastrophe should doom the planetary residence of an evolving race, the Melchizedeks and the Life Carriers would install the technique of dematerialization for all survivors, and by seraphic transport these beings would be carried away to the new world prepared for their continuing existence. The evolution of a human race, once initiated on a world of space, must proceed quite independently of the physical survival of that planet, but during the evolutionary ages it is not otherwise intended that a Planetary Adam or Eve shall leave their chosen world.
That kind of idea bothers me in the same way fundamentalists dominion ideas seem to welcome apocalypse and rapture where they will be "Saved" in case of Earth's demise - so why do anything to keep from damaging the planet? So I am not espousing any belief or non-belief in this work - only exposing you to it's existence so you can form your own opinion, and to point out the many dimensions and depth of scale associated with life and dealing with crisis. 

Whether you call it COLLAPSE or Apocalypse one could argue the viewpoint that was espoused in The Day the Earth Stood Still - if humans survive the planet will die. We are the carbon units infecting the planet.

This post is designed to describe a context.  There appears to be growing concern for disaster scenarios but "growing" is my own assessment and it's slanted because I've exposed myself to many books, films, and games that embrace the subject.

My nephew and one brother so far want to use their resources and energy to address the climate change situation with solutions. They are optimistic that they can make a difference and that human ingenuity will be able to solve the crisis.




In The Day the Earth Stood Still -Mr. Wu tells Klaatu that he has found the human race to be destructive and unwilling to change. This confirms Klaatu's experience so far, and so he determines that the planet must be cleansed of humans to ensure that the planet—with its rare ability to sustain complex life—can survive. Mr. Wu says that despite humanity's destructive tendencies, he has grown to love humans and will stay on Earth to die with them. Klaatu is perplexed by this, but continues to proceed toward eliminating the human species infecting the planet. He orders smaller spheres—hidden on Earth—to begin taking animal species off the planet. Helen drives Klaatu to a forest near a pond. She witnesses Klaatu summoning a sphere that collects various species (evoking Noah's Ark) as Klaatu walks on water. Around the planet, the spheres collect other life forms. Helen quizzes Klaatu about his statement that he has come to save the Earth and discovers that he thinks the only way to save the planet is to exterminate humans. She begs him to realize that humans can change.

Only on the brink of disaster will human beings summon the will to change. - or so goes the story. So do we face an eminent clear and present danger? Will that realization lead to resolve required to act? Hope for the best - BE PREPARED for the worst and let those among us with an eye on certain parts of the problem offer clear and doable actions. SO let's get down to more practical basics shall we? 

SHOULD WE ALL BE PURCHASING SOLAR PANELS FOR OUR HOMES NOW?
This will be the subject of my next entry on this weblog.

If cloudy Germany can do it...

Germany's not a very sunny place, yet yet it leads the world in solar power, showing that you don't have to be in the middle of the Sahara desert to generate lots of clean power from the sun. In July 2013, it set a new world record, producing 5.1 terawatt-hours, a mindbogglingly big number that leaves the U.S. far behind with its 0.764 TWh record for May 2013 (we don't have data more recent than that). The only thing that comes close is other solar record by Germany, and Germany's world wind power record of 5 TWh in January earlier this year.
Germany's installed solar base is even more impressive when looked at per capita. 

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