Sunday, 27 April 2014

Dr. Strangelove - or how it is time to build resilience and go off grid

The CBC, in their Sunday edition, had a fantastic essay today about the crisis in Ukraine and how it compares to Kubrick's masterpiece "Dr. Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb". 

You can find the essay here

Ironically, fifty years after the tragic comedy hit the screens the world finds itself in a situation that could maybe develop into a new kind of Cold War. While I personally think that such disaster scenarios are often pushed by hype and the media I believe that this world is indeed a fragile one. 

For us people in the developed, western world names like Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan and, yes, Russia spell worry and concern. Whether this concern is based on real threats or propaganda managed hype I will not discuss here. 
But nevertheless the essay got me thinking. 

What IF we find ourselves in a scenario where the peaceful and trade willing world collapses into a chaotic and suspicious one? A world where trading partners suddenly embargo each other. A world where the bananas from Honduras are not being delivered anymore. Or, heaven forbid, a world that actually goes to war.

Nobody would want such a scenario, but sometimes I wonder whether it could be down to a handful of lunatics such as Dr. Strangelove and Major King Kong in Kubrick's 95min movie. Could it be that Putin, Harper and the likes start to play a game with the people as playing figures? 

The lessons that can be learned from the past are all to often forgotten. What is the first thing that we would notice should such a scenario arise? 
During World War 2 the United Kingdom faced a brutal blockade by the German Navy. The U-Boots had drawn a tight ring around the Island and trade as well as food and other supplies did not make it to the country. Since Germany lost the war many English think they beat the Nazis. The fact is that England was on it's knees. The country would have never lasted another year if it would have not been for the Americans to join in the war. The most critical thing that ground the people down was the lack of food. The country was hardly able to sustain itself, in fact it wasn't. And this was at a time where farms were still omnipresent and food production was still a skill that most people understood.  Even in the cities gardens were not uncommon.
A blockade of the UK of the magnitude of 1940 in today's world would spell utter disaster and cause famine within less than 6 month. 

What to do? My father always says to me that I can't change the world. While I believe that one person can make a difference I also see that this is difficult and requires certain parameters that are extraordinary. So I am not banking on it. What I can do, however, is trying to become resilient to such situations. I can try to produce enough food for myself that I can survive. Maybe even comfortably.
I can try to set my house up in a way that I am independent of energy supply from the outside. On a slightly larger scale it can be possible to create a community based resilience scheme where enough food, water and energy is created within the community to sustain it in a comfortable manner. 

This is not only a strategy to combat dooms day scenarios, but also to position ourselves better in terms of economical uncertainty. While such a strategy could be adopted by whole countries it will never happen. The world is lacking the will for such "hippie" ideas. 

This is why I strongly believe that it is down to every single person to make such a difference. A One Straw Revolution. One person at a time.       

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