Friday, November 30, 2012

You must change your life

You must change your life

Greetings peaksters

     I have started watching the Ken Burns movie about the Dust Bowl.  And it brought to mind something I hadn't really thought about.  Before things went to hell,  they had been really good !   Before the drought, the wheat farmers were seeing record prices, and plenty of moisture for a number a years.  So when the climate reverted to "normal", they couldn't accept it.  "Things are sure to turn around."  "Just plant more".   (kind of like Easter Islanders - "Just build another stone head.")
     So, it takes an act of will to see that things have changed for good .   And another act of will, to change our habits in response.  How to respond?

   Here's what Greer says:

"So what I advise is that people start by looking at their own lives and saying okay, how is my life going to change as energy constraints continue to squeeze in, and then get ahead of the change instead of being dragged along behind it? Get ahead of it, give yourself some space, work through the learning curve picking up the skills you’re going to need. Do it now, so that by the time it’s necessary, you’re comfortable with it, you know what you’re doing. You’ve already insulated your place. You may have a solar [hot] water system in place if you can afford one. You’ve torn up some of the grass in back and turned it into a vegetable garden so that you can stretch out staples. You know how to cook from scratch so you’re not dependent on the vast corporate structure. You have these various skills. You maybe started developing some tradable skills. You’ve got a little basement workshop where you’re doing something you can barter with your friends. You’re brewing beer in the basement, you know? That’s actually my number one suggestion for a lot of people – learn how to brew beer. If the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse knock on your door and you can offer each of them a cold one, they’re your friends. "

    Another thing to think about is how the Russian survived the fall of the USSR.   Those who could, moved back to the Dacha - the summer cottage, and scratched out a living there, maybe selling extra vegetables to the city dwellers.  This is also what is going on in Greece.     

From the Wall Street Journal:

For Greeks, Crisis Reverses a Generation of Progress

ARISTOMENIS, Greece—For decades, Panagiotis Triantafyllopoulos worked in Athens as a printer and graphic designer, most recently making slick packaging for multinational drug companies.

Now the 54-year-old spends his days gathering firewood, tending chickens and preparing for the olive harvest in this hillside village in southwestern Greece.

Unable to find a job more than two years after he was laid off, Mr. Triantafyllopoulos felt he had little choice but to return to his birthplace here this past summer and try to survive on what he can glean from his family's small plot of land.

"I'm a nouveau poor," said Mr. Triantafyllopoulos, who went to Athens as a teenager in 1975, part of a wave of young people moving from Greece's agricultural hinterland to its cities. "It was a difficult decision to come back. We had dreams of something bigger."



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