Homesteading, Camping, Madness and more Conversations on Collapse

A friend emailed me a few months ago, and I’m just getting around to posting it now. We were going back and forth about climate change and peak oil. Both of them seem to be crazy issues that very well may impact civilization heavily.
Here is the email I received.

I feel as if there should be another side to the Evolver front, something much more concrete. Yes the Urban homesteading thing is good and important, I’ve even thought about storing up seeds for some prolonged emergency. I also have to wonder if I’m going insane.

I feel like there might be a need, either in myself or in the world around me, to relearn concrete skills like building things with your hands, or making things. How do you build a wall? How do make your own fabric/sew. Things that indicate self reliance, seem to be an important issue overall, but it almost seems like in the near future, things like: how to get clean water, how to feed yourself if you arent able to go to a grocery store, will become very important.

Then I have to stop myself and wonder: Am I just buying into the madness? If so, I feel that I’m doing so in a reserved way. Yes I have camping gear, and its all pretty new and usable. No I’m not going to get the most expensive sleeping bag and a economical backpack, and waste 500 bucks on a tent, that seems overkill. But yes I’d like to get a decent tent for camping purposes, or just in case I need a shelter asap, and that I can put it together and get inside it you know?

I dont think we’ll be forced to hide in our houses with the shades drawn, doors nailed shut, but it seems like a wise thing to have ready no?

I guess the good thing about going crazy, is that you don’t really know it.

How do we balance our daily commuter lives, and also plan/think about the coming changes to civilization? Big questions and big answers should be asked if we want to respond intelligently.

Personally, I’m working towards becoming debt free, and having a useful skill set that would help get me through some craziness. Maybe I’ll learn first aid? Maybe an EMT class?

Who knows. While we still have fossils left to burn, I plan on taking advantage. Seeing the world, and learning/experiencing as much as possible.

Cicero on the Mysteries at Eleusis

I found this quote in James Fadiman’s new book. Thought it was interesting, and relevant to a few of my largest interests.

For it appears to me that among the many exceptional and divine things your Athens has produced and contributed to human life, nothing is better than those [Eleusinian] mysteries. For by means of them we have transformed from a rough and savage way of life to the state of humanity, and have been civilized. Just as they are called initiations, so in actual fact we have learned from them the fundamentals of life, and have grasped the basis not only for living with joy but also for dying with a better hope.
MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO DE LEGIBUS 2.14.36

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleusinian_Mysteries

Mushrooming Fun: Stumbling towards the Light

A few years ago, Paul Stamets came into my life via a Ted Talk titled “Six Ways Mushrooms can Save the World”
http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html

This was the summer of 2005, my first summer free from College. I was living at home with my parents at the time, and decided to do as many inter library loans on the books Stamets published as I could.

His book Mycelium running awed me into becoming a believer. How intelligently organized Mycelium are as a life form is astounding, and one would be hard pressed to be disinterested in hearing Stamets speak about many of the fascinating aspects of these organisms.

As an example, here is a video of him speaking.

My passion led me to Evolver which was starting a pseudo bio-mimicry operation by calling the regional groups spores, to represent the intelligent nature of these nodal networks of people who are doing work to make the world a more beautiful place.

I then started learning what I needed to in order to grow mushrooms, and started growing Shiitake mushrooms in the summer of 2009. It was an interesting project, but failed because I didn’t make the proper drain holes. Now I am fully equipped with a huge pressure cooker, and machines to make Myco-bags. Sealed and sterilized plastic bags that can grow mushrooms of almost any variety depending on the growth medium used. I used wild bird seed (CHEAP), and so far it looks like the oyster mushrooms are loving it (Pics coming soon).
A friend of mine pointed me to MycoRiseUp, a group that wants to be an incubator for mushroom businesses. http://www.mycoriseup.com/about/about-mycoriseup/ We started brainstorming how to create and run a worker owned Mushroom business and laboratory. How could we do this on the bio-regional level so that we can act appropriately in our hugely diverse eco-systems? How could we have a bio-regional myco remediation task force armed and ready to help work on toxic waste sites when they happen? Can we open-source and share our business plans to help share this new paradigm

This is the next level of things to come… smaller scale with a local and regional focus.

Japan, Nuclear Energy, and a Smaller Scale Future.

Well, when they say low amount, you know, you need one millionth of a gram of plutonium inhaled into your lung, to give you cancer. They are measuring the external gamma radiation, running around with Geiger counters. But that doesn’t give you any indication at all of the kind of isotopes which make up the radiation that they are measuring. They don’t know what they are talking about.
Dr. Helen Caldicott – March 25
http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-03-26/dr-helen-caldicott-nuclear-disaster-japan

Nukes in this age of climate change and panic have been pushed by many as the only solution. I tend to think that we are in a position where we can use a suite of known and yet unknown (un-popularized) solutions to solve the energy and climate crisis. Dr Caldicott in this video voices clearly some of the many thoughts she has on the nuclear issue regarding the 2011 Japanese incident which threatens to poison large portions of the planet… if not all of it.

Maybe it is time for more small scale projects to be rolled out, instead of increasingly dangerous solutions. For example this nickel hydrogen reactor pushing 2.5 million watt hours.

It isn’t just about the planet heating up from climate change anymore… its really about not poisoning the earth that grows our food for us… if we poison it enough, where else can we go?

How can we work towards this? How can we work ourselves off of the coal / nuclear habit? Its going to take time, and I’d love to see a Manhattan project sized initiative working us out of this very dangerous slide on which we find ourselves.

More data on Japan here – http://www.undispatch.com/japan-earthquake-tsunami-and-nuclear-crisis-facts-and-figures-2

Exploring, and Deeping in the pursuit of Light, Life, Love and Liberty