Green Prepping

I am a green prepper.  I am retired but consider myself semi-retired because what I am doing is more work than a status quo job.  I want to say it is rewarding but I also want to say it is disappointing.  The rewards for example are being out in the woods making fire wood and taking a break and looking around at how beautiful it is.  I would not see this beauty in an office.  Seeing my grazing system function is wonderful.  Watching a garden come up and fruit start on my orchard is satisfying.


The disappointment is the realization of the incongruity of modern life with this small farmer reality.  The costs of the comforts of life compared to the return to permaculture farming is dramatic.  I could greatly expand my stocking rates.  I could grow the size of the farm effort but then what happens is you drift into being a factory farm and let’s face it even big farms are struggling.


I try to find a balance.  I am providing my greater family with recreation and a place to hide out if SHTF.  I am a prepper so I do those things that increase resilience and sustainability to shocks.  Green prepping is about combining permaculture and security.  Localism is safer and it is also greener.  The sad part is I am living off investments that are 30 years of fossil fuel drenched activity.  My goats and cattle cover cost but do not reward my labor.  It is much cheaper to go to the grocery store for vegetables but we still make an effort to garden.  I heat with wood but electric is cheaper when all the labor and equipment is considered.


I am in my mid 50’s and feeling the pain of this constant work.  I do think it is actually keeping me stronger but that only makes the pain a little less apparent.  I go out in the cold, hot, and wet which is uncomfortable.  Bugs in my face a ticks crawling up my legs make me think how nice a beach would be.


I am living a life of green prepping and telling people about it which is rewarding but then I also feel like I fool because it does not add up.  I am telling people to live like I do when the reality is, I have the time and money to do it.  If you don’t have the time and money how can you do it?  I have come to the humble conclusion that I must respect those who make no effort to do what I do.  I target a few chosen who have the time, money, and the awakening.  I target those who want to green prep instead of winter in Florida or RV to the west.  They care about the planet and seek to lower their footprint instead of growing it.  They want to feel the rewards of producing things.  They want to take the journey of a transformation of learning to live with less but find more meaning.


I did not find meaning in the status quo world.  Maybe I am too intellectual so I saw through the narrative of a way of life that does not add up.  Currently I am green prepping a monastery of all the knowledge and best equipment I can accumulate.  I have small working farm that also serves as a hideout from bad times for myself and my family.  I am living this and evaluating it as an alternative to the failed narrative of growth and affluence my status quo job was.  I am downsizing relatively to my people and place.


I feel I am following the planet so in a sense I am embracing the way.  I am like a shaman going to the fringes and reporting back to the tribe.  I humbly report that I find this difficult life better and the primary reason is meaning not satisfaction.  Satisfaction is there but equally there is pain, suffering, and let downs.  Not enough time or money to do things right in my mentality of perfection.  The disappointment with community that is not there but should be.  I can’t find people to work so I do lots of low value work because I have no choice.  The meaning comes from nature and the animals saying thank you for believing in us.  Thank you for a home that is cared about.  My family thanks me for a nice place to play and a refuge of sorts if things fall apart.


I find knowledge, experience, and the creation of something a hard-won meaning.  I am not looking at how rich I am with a portfolio of wealth.  My wealth is wisdom.  The wisdom of learning what to use and what to leave is very special.  So, concluding I would say do it as a road to meaning not comfort and affluence.  Do it within your limitations and do not feel guilty if your effort is small because we are all trapped in something beyond our abilities.  Embrace this way with humility and do it for the planet that is dying.  Do it for your significant others because meaning is a beacon for them.  Do it for yourself because meaning is golden.

Behavior is the Key to Green not Tech

The key to a meaningful energy reduction is behavioral.  This is likely not going to be enough to satisfy those who want dramatic change.  The amount of change with degree and time scale would be massively disruptive.  Politically, nations are in competition so they will cheat to remain competitive.  Any effort from the top will be compromised in regards to other nations relative standing.  Within nations much of the population does not care or is unable to care about energy reduction.  Systematically the amount of change needed is disruptive such that an economic depression is more likely.  Keeping economies strong is vital to renewable energy production and energy efficiency strategies so the needed degrowth kills the renewable energy drive in a catch 22 of emissions to reduce emissions.


Do you see the trap?  Can we accept failure and start the lifeboats and hospices?  This can only be with a small percentage of people who are not deceived by the science of solutions like the techno green. Those who deny science of the problem like the browns.  Then there are those that don’t care or unable to care like so many of the uneducated and egotistical.  Many are too old or young to understand.  Many are too selfish or locked into a small world of the ego.  This leaves a small percentage of people who can do dramatic transformations in a local but not at the macro.  These people are reduced even further by those being restricted by the status quo to making money and paying bills restricting time and resources for a local transition.  A final small amount of people can do something and some of these will.


A life boat is green prepping.  It starts with behavior with tech following.  Low carbon lifestyles centered on localism naturally promote conservation and lower energy consumption.  The best tech and practices are combined with proven old ways of low carbon capture to strengthen ones local.  The hospice part is the embracing of a lifestyle of stoicism and Spartan living.  This is about decline strategies that are similar to a terminally ill preparing for death.  This downsizing mirrors the planet and human civilization.  Dignity and meaning comes from the triage of bad behaviors.  A life of less results with more meaning plus a strengthened local of people and place.


This is about the top only capably of some transformation.  A 100% renewable transition is not possible in overshoot with both consumption and population.  Some change is possible and will help but it will not be enough. Technologically the hurdles are far too great to reinvent the status quo of affluence.  Even the systematic is fraught with impossible.  The value chains and the economic activity needed to switch out a world from old to new tech is just more of the status quo.  Tech is the problem not the solution.  It can and must be part of a life boat and hospice behavior change but only on the margins.  Behavior is trapped at the top.  It can change at the bottom with a very small amount of people who can become the monasteries of change.  A seed bank of the best practices and tech can be built into something that can offer the blue prints for a future of a different world changed by the planet not humans.


Human civilization and the planet are in decline and this is a force greater than human intervention.  Embrace this as reality.  If you embrace reality the planet and humanity will support you becuase here is where reality meets meaning.  Meaning is truth and the truth is what humans seek.  So, if you can relate to this picture you will quit worrying about the end game of 100% transition and embrace the journey of living in a world of decline with lower emissions as the vehicle to better living.  You will adapt to decline with decline.  You will use renewables because they are a best tech but you will also embrace the old ways.  Combining the two in triage and salvage you will become more sustainable.  You will do this in the surreal of being in the status quo to leave it.  Meaning will support your efforts.  The end game is collpase but the journey is one of meaning.  Meaning gives a spiritual wealth that will make up for the decline in material comforts.  This is so simple it is hard.  Life is a paradox so do what appears wrong and right will result.

REAL Green Shaman

There is a very small percentage of the people that are mentally capable of being “quality” and just as few bless with the resources to be nurtured to the awakened state. The living alone like a mountain man is more a metaphor for the awakened who may live among many people but they live alone in their awareness of the truth. The other issue is humility. The planet calls on such people to go forth on its behalf and not to use this power for selfish use. This is basically the way of the shaman who leads the tribe spiritually and often alone on the margins. This may sound word salad nutter but this deeper awareness is as old as intelligent man. If you have been called by the planet then accept your calling and go forth on its behalf unselfishly. Keep your proper scale and understand your mortality. This Life of being awakened will be short as the end speeds up the older you get. It often takes to post middle age to reach a true awakening because of all the experience needed. Many die on the way to the awakening. So, as you reach your twilight years with failing mind and body you hopefully will have built up a treasure chest of best practices and quality things for the young who are also being awakened behind you. Give them support and encouragement. Nothing special about all this. Yet, the mentality is very rare today becuase modern life has become so noisy.

Realistic Renewables

For a future of renewables to be meaningful behavior must change. The future is likely poorer with a decline process so this means more reality tested applications of renewables for a world in decline otherwise there will be expensive stranded assets the world in decline cannot afford. $50K fancy EVs are not it. There is the definite need for more localization of renewables with micro grids but also home owners with less expensive solar and batteries to cover needs when the grid is down plus cover some of their daily usage such as refrigeration or even lite HVAC. This provides resiliance but also allows the paying down of the investment. Thermal insulation and passive thermal are ideal additions to turbo charge renewables abilities. Renewables that have thermal efficiencies combined with conservation strategies are what will make the biggest impact in the future for sustainability and resilience. This equates to a lower planetary footprint which combined with degrowth policies will see the greatest results. Vastly complicated Green New Deals are just for political consumption not reality based.

The problem today is large renewable farms are the most power efficient for the money and get the investments. They feed into a dirty grid of fossil fuels but also bad behavior. So these renewables are just status quo extenders. The reality is renewables are dirty too with lifecycle costs so to be greener requires human behavior intervention. Even if the statistics show a positive renewable penetration situation it is marginal compared to what is needed. There seems to be a ceiling of renewable penetration since grid upgrades and storage are so difficult and expensive. Much more needs to be developed with storage strategies but not much is really promising with cost benefit.

So, this is a muddle at the status quo level. It could be different if behavior changed at all levels but it won’t except on the margin. The status quo is yield dominated and government investment pork orientated. Behavior changing policy is hardly on the radar if it was significant degrowth polcies would be on the table. Nowhere do we see this at meaningful levels. What we see is FAKE Green policy and poor human attitudes of cake and eat it behavior. A $50K Tesla of green righteousness is fake. A power wall and solar roof in a McMansion is fake. If you can go simple but effective with thermal efficiency strategies, use renewables, and practice conservation as an individual. Embrace localism and back off from the car culture. Be a simple and sober green source of change. If enough are like you a noticeable change will bubble up from the grass roots. Only so much can be done becuase of the carbon trap in path dependencies everyone is in but many can do a dramatic first change. Society may chip in someday because many do not have the time nor the money to get greener. It is not cheap and it requires embracing a way of life.


Fortitude in Localism is the New Meaning

This pandemic has been a learning experience.  For the first time our global world has been brought to its knees.  More worrying is this is not over but just beginning.  The dynamic lag effect in science called hysteresis assures consequences ahead.  It is likely these consequences will be dramatic and it is also possible they will cause a movement to an alternative state well explained in ecology of living systems.  We are talking thresholds, regime shifts, and perturbations.


This means this virus is now much more than a health problem.  The right or wrong of the response in some ways is irrelevant now except as a meaningful marker to learn from.  It is inevitable our system would eventually have such a pandemic because of our interconnectedness and movement to increasing urbanization.  We are now much more specialized and delocalized.  This means our survival is more than ever dependent on elsewhere.  Pandemics are white swans meaning they happen with regularity in human history.  This means the degree of disturbance in our society should be a warning to the risk of more pandemics but also other disruptive events.


It is unclear how many mistakes could have been prevented.  We are held to account to respond to these things.  We have a worrying limited response ability when the response is global.  This is because the world is joined together globally making responses brittle.  Do one thing here and affect another thing there.  So, we have a multilevel consideration here.  One is the medical but another is the systemness of everyone’s lifeline.  This points to localization as a solution but within a trap globalism has created.  Doors have been shut so only so much constructive change will be allowed.  It may be more a limiting of destructive change that is possible.


What I see from my REAL Green point of view is the need to degrowth within a wisdom of what degree of globalization and regional interconnectedness is safe.  This means now that we see just how vulnerable society is there should be an effort to move away from this dispersed risk.  This means less affluence and less comforts.  From this complex brittle condition should come more flexible simplicity.  One is localism and another is less complicated support systems locally.  The problem with this is competitive forces of globalism and capitalism.  Will they allow this retreat to simplicity?  My feelings are that nature will force this issue instead of proactive policy.  This means abandonment, dysfunction, and the irrational will create a vacuum that local of people and places will fill.  This also means disenfranchisement that will disrupt positive attempts at a reset.  There are forces at the top who will be pushing policy which is almost always growth based and status quo that will get in the way of local people and places to change constructively to simplicity.  This means it will be destructive change that will drive responses.  I am discussing what comes after the medical disruptions.  This does not mean the medical disruptions are over.


What this points to then is individual actions within these greater forces of change.  It starts with the individual’s behavior of acceptance of inevitable destructive change.  Getting out of paralysis from the shock and moving forward into constructive change locally.  Unfortunately, the medical situation is one of social distancing so this makes these efforts even more local.  We are now isolated and facing disruptive change.


The key to this is accept destructive change first.  Second is prepare for a difficult time ahead.  Do not get caught up with a crowd feeling of getting back to normal.  Normal is gone but still trapped in the surreal.  Downsize with dignity because this is where meaning is.  Your discomforts will be lessened if you realize meaning.  Do house cleaning and entertain new activities that prepare you for the worse ahead.  This means fundamental lifestyle changes.  If these are not possible becuase you are trapped then at a minimum begin mentally preparations.  Getting to acceptance is the stages of grief so these changes center on behavior.  There is no easy fix for destructive change there is mainly fortitude.  Even if I am wrong about the changes ahead it is likely something else worse than this pandemic is ahead.  This situation then is a warning to seek more resilience and sustainability if you can.  Those who can should.  Those who can’t can still find meaning and fortify.

Science needs Wisdom to say NO

I am not a scientist but find science and mathematics fascinating. Last night I was reading about Tracy-Widom distribution. This caught my eye:
“Universality is “an intriguing mystery…Why do certain laws seem to emerge from complex systems, he asked, “almost regardless of the underlying mechanisms driving those systems at the microscopic level?” … -20141015/
When it comes to a complete life it is better if science keeps to itself and spirituality to itself. A separation is in order reflecting human duality. The ego and the sacred can produce demons and in some ways science and spirituality is similar to this human condition. Most people here realized how screwed up religion is but often many don’t also see what science has done to humans and the planet. In fact, the damage science has done can be in some ways compared to what religion once did. Religion still does damage but to a lesser extent because science has tamed religion’s efforts at explaining the scientific. Science is the problem now.

Science has become a religion and that is why it is failing us. An organic planetary based spirituality is needed now grounded in science. This would be one that includes science and rejects science denial but also respects the metaphysical aspects of reality science cannot explain. IOW when science develops its own spirituality it is as bad as religion pretending to be science. Religion needs to focus on community and not act like scientist justifying community but science needs to stop dissecting community because values are destroyed. Humans must reject an unrestrained thirst for knowledge without bounds and this is the problem today. It may be this spirituality is only as simple as a check valve for our thirst for knowledge. Too often spirituality divulges into the noise of the complex and complicated and is lost. We already have a wealth of comparative spirituality to draw on and appreciate. The one missing ingredient is a check value to science and an acceptance of science wrapped up in one. It may be fate and humanly impossible with the check value being the universal itself. Intelligence cannot be controlled accept by its own demise.

Physics is seeking the deepest realities of life like singularity. Spirituality is needed to say no somewhere in this process. It needs to be a gatekeeper or a part of our brain is out of control. A spiritual reflection says humans can’t handle unrestrained science. This is clearly evident with humans today from Bio labs and factory farms to highly volatile organic compounds. The whole discussion of a 100% renewable world is another. Cover the world in pannels and turbines is absurd. Humans are out of control because of the quest for knowledge without limits. Spirituality is the limit mechanism and it is out of service at the moment. Scientist will often blame human problems on the lack of knowledge and this is true too but degree is important to that topic. Unrestrained procreation because of human emotion is a simple fact but a techno modern world of vast systems going automated is quite another. Science is vital to a point. Life will stop this thirst for knowledge without limits on its own because that is what a higher power does. Real spirituality seeks to respect the higher power. The higher power maintains balance and harmony by nature of its design. No way of knowing the higher power but that does not mean it should not be respected or the consequences are horrendous. Science can’t explain this because it breaks apart things in study instead of beholding all at once. Nothing can behold all at once and if it could it would stop in paralysis.

Hopi Elders’ Prophecy, June 8, 2000

We are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

“You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered…

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?

Know your garden.
It is time to speak your truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for your leader.

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.

And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word ’struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

–Hopi Elders’ Prophecy, June 8, 2000”