I'm probably going to make you think that I'm crazy with this posting, if the ketchup recipe hasn't done it already. These are just some thoughts that come and go, and some of my motivation to learn skills that aren't really fashionable, like canning and knitting. I'd like to know how to care for myself and my family if I ever needed to.
Who knows how to provide for their own basic needs anymore? I sure don't. My grandparents did, my parents probably could still remember how if they needed to, but my generation? We have no clue. Everything comes from stores, and was made in China. I turn on the tap and water comes out, I flick the switch and there is light, I'm cold so I adjust the thermostat. We've managed to do away with our cold storage rooms and wood stoves in our homes in favour of luxuries that wouldn't benefit us at all in case of emergency.
Now what needs can we provide ourselves?
Air - This is a little out of our control, hopefully we have it and it isn't too polluted.
Food – What if the grocery store wasn't there, or they couldn't truck or fly food in? What would we do?
Water – What if there was no municipal water or electricity? Hopefully there is some source nearby that hasn't been too polluted.
Shelter – Do you know how to build a house? Now how about without a building supply store? Hopefully everyone already has a place to live, but can we handle our own repairs? What about in a condo?
Warmth – Could you stay warm without electricity or fossil fuels? Can you make your own clothing? Where do you get the supplies?
Health – We can try to reduce our risks of getting sick in the first place by reducing our exposure to bacteria, viruses and toxins, having a healthy diet and staying fit. Hopefully we aren't dependent on medications.
Safety – Can you protect yourself and your family? What about if people become desperate?
Security – Do you have all your needs met for the future? What about for a day?
How many of us could survive if it came down to it? Don't get me wrong, I don't think that the world will end in 2012, I just think that as a society we have a lot right now, more than ever, and we're taking for granted that it will always be like that.
Look at other countries on Earth. In Peru I witnessed people working at removing a mountain of a rock in line with other buildings on the street, where they would eventually build. How were they doing it? Not with explosives or heavy equipment, thinking outside the box we're all in, they were using hammers and chizels. Those people would know how to take care of themselves. But we would never have to do anything like that. The government will protect us right? I bet the Greeks, Romans, Mayans, Easter Islanders, etc, etc, never thought that anything could happen either.
Perhaps we will need to know how to care for ourselves because of an increase in solar storms due to our declining magnetic field. A polar reversal happens on average of every 200,000 years. It's been 780,000 since the last one. Here is a government reference on that at NRCAN. Perhaps it will be the environment and the melting ice caps or our economy and outsourcing everything to China. War? 2012 or 3012? Maybe never. Our 1st world countries will have no survival skills and die off like all great societies of the past. The 3rd & 4th world countries will notice little difference, besides lack of support from us.
The movement to support local businesses and farmers markets really makes sense. These are the people who we need to support. We need to create strong local communities because maybe one day we'll all be on the 100 mile diet whether we like it or not.