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Blackout: The Layered Approach to Coping | project chesapeake

Blackout: The Layered Approach to Coping | project chesapeake. (source)

By: Tom Chatham

The electrification of the nation and to a larger degree the technology now seen as a necessary part of American life, are the Achilles heel of life in this country today. From cooking to sanitation to transportation to communication, most Americans can no longer do even menial day to day tasks without some kind of electrically powered equipment. We have come to rely on technology more and more as a crutch rather than a lever.

We have been blessed as a society to have tools that can multiply our strengths while covering up our weaknesses. When technology fails on a monumental scale, those strengths disappear and our weaknesses are laid bare before us. When this happens we must cope with it one way or another. Society has become so fragile today that the coping mechanism of most people is a distant memory relegated to our forefathers who could convert a four legged creature into their next meal.

Coping is a matter of knowledge and equipment. The more of both that you have in a situation, the more coping ability you will have. Ever wonder why a soldier heading off to war is so cocky? Knowledge and equipment. If you have good equipment and know how to use it your confidence is through the roof when something happens. It gives you the sense of control you need to overcome obstacles. Of the two, knowledge is by far the most important item to have. You may not have any equipment but if you need to start a fire and know 10 ways to do it without matches, you will eventually find what you need to make it happen. Knowing what to look for is the key to overcoming that obstacle.

When the power disappears and you are left with a room full of electronic paperweights, you need to have the knowledge and equipment to move to the next level of sustainability to cope with the problem. On one end of the spectrum you have full service, full bore idiot proof electrification to do most of your thinking for you. On the other end of the spectrum you have the clothes on your back and the mush between your ears with the power of a small appliance bulb. Knowledge turns that small appliance bulb into a finely tuned laser capable of destroying any obstacle. With the proper knowledge and equipment you can maintain your sustainability near the upper end of the spectrum no matter how bad it gets.

There are different levels to preparing for loss of power. It can go from a temporary loss for a few hours to total loss of all electrical equipment for years. The greater the problem is the lower down the levels you will go making sustainability more challenging. The following levels will deal mainly with power concerns so only brief mention will be given to food, water, sanitation and security concerns. FEMA recommends that every home have a two week supply of food and water. That should be a minimum.

Level one – normal operations with full access to electrical devices and power

Level two- disruption of power systems for less than 24 hours

Level three- loss of power systems up to two weeks

Level four- loss of power systems for two weeks or longer

Level five- catastrophic destruction of power systems and some electrical devices

Level six- catastrophic destruction of power systems globally along with most or all electrical devices

Level one- All systems are functional and nothing out of the ordinary is experienced. All creature comforts are available and accessible.

Level two- Power disruptions are experienced for any of a number of reasons. The power outage will require some alternate systems to be employed to maintain normalcy. Refrigeration will cease so units should remain closed to prevent frozen foods from defrosting. Alternative power systems may include generators, power inverters or alternate energy systems to maintain limited power requirements although for this level no power is likely necessary given the short duration. This level is a survivable event even without preparations except for individuals that require medical devices for lifecare which must be addressed. As a minimum, flashlights, portable radios, candles and matches/lighters should be kept. Foods such as dry cereal, power bars and fresh produce will be sufficient to maintain most people until power returns. Bottled water, fruit juice and sodas will provide sufficient hydration under most circumstances until power returns. The security situation should be relatively normal in most cases.

Level Two

Flashlights
Extra batteries
Portable radio
Candles
Matches/lighters
Fire extinguisher 5 lb.
1st aid kit

Level Three- After the initial 24 hrs. power disruptions will start to have serious consequences for society. Refrigerated foods that are not eaten risk spoilage. People will begin to suffer from dehydration as water supplies disappear. After 72 hrs. the security situation will degrade sufficiently in urban areas to become a threat. At this level an alternative energy source is necessary to maintain living standards at acceptable levels. A generator can be utilized to maintain refrigeration and charge batteries. Generators only provide power when running and they use a lot of fuel when run continuously so to make the best use of small fuel supplies a generator should only be run a few hours in the morning and in the late afternoon to maintain refrigeration, charge batteries and cook food. The remainder of the time a power inverter/battery pack can provide limited power for CF lights and communications to keep informed. This system will provide you with power 24/7 while using the least amount of fuel which will likely be difficult to find. To conserve power, camping equipment can fill some needs such as propane for cooking and lighting. A pressure cooker can also reduce power usage by allowing some foods to be cooked much faster. Sanitation during this time will become more difficult. Urban systems will require a portable system to be used while independent septic systems will only require a supply of water to continue functioning. For apartment dwellers, a battery/inverter system recharged with a vehicle may be the most viable system for electrical power while using propane for cooking. A two week food and water supply would get you through this level.

Level Three

All level two items plus

Generator
Fuel – 5 gal. to 50 gal. depending on duration
3,000w power inverter
Deep cycle batteries
HD Extension cords
Sanitation, town system – portable toilet and waste storage means. Water to bathe
Sanitation, septic system – water supply to flush and bathe, 5 gal./person/day
Heat source to cook – Camp stove, grill, hot plate
Propane – for stove/grill 1 lb. per day
Water storage – drinking/cooking/sanitation
Manual can opener
CF bulbs
Water filter
Pressure cooker 4 qt.
1st aid kit
Defense weapon and ammo

Level Four – If this level is reached it is assumed that food and water supplies are not being transported so it is no longer viable to stay in an urban area and relocation to a less populated area is likely necessary. Without power a sustainable situation will require resources and space that are only possible in suburban or rural areas. This level can last months or even years depending on the situation. Because the duration will not be known at the time, it must be assumed at this point that the situation will continue for some time and a sustainable system of power and supply must be utilized. Renewable energy systems and food production will be a core necessity of this level. Propane appliances would be beneficial especially for refrigeration.

Level Four

All items in level three plus

Fuel Storage – 500 gal.
Propane – 400 lbs.+
Solar Panels – 1kw +
Additional deep cycle batteries
Wind turbine – 500w +
Wood gassifier system
Wood stove -Alternate source of heating/cooking
Tools – Chainsaw w/maintenance eq. & oil, ax, wood saw
Source of wood
Seeds
Garden tools
Canning supplies
Pressure cooker 21 qt.
Source of water / rain catchment system
Hunting weapon and ammo
Fishing supplies
Salt – 100 lbs +
Medical supplies

Level Five – This situation will likely result from an EMP/CME of limited duration and scope. In this instance some devices may still work if power is available so alternate sustainable systems must be utilized. Destruction of major components may impede recovery for many months making self sufficiency a key to survival. The difference between levels four and five are that a level five situation would likely disable or destroy electrical equipment that would be difficult to replace short term. In level four this equipment is still usable if the necessary power can be found to run it.

Level Five

Generator- inside a faraday cage for storage
Wood gassifier system
Tools – ax, wood saw
Solar panels/wind turbine/hydropower
Deep cycle batteries
Woodstove – heating and cooking
Canning supplies
Seeds
Garden tools
Pressure cooker 21 qt.
Source of water / rain catchment system
Candles
Matches/lighters
Fire extinguisher 5 lb.
Hunting weapon and ammo
Fishing supplies
Salt 100 lbs. +
Misc. medical supplies w/antibiotics
Mountain bike
Tube type radio – DC power

Level Six – This level would be the result of severe space weather or earth changes that cause catastrophic damage to electrical components worldwide. The damage to electrical equipment would be complete making recovery of technology a long and difficult process. With technology destroyed, sustainable systems from the past would have to be revived to provide the necessities of society. This is the worst case scenario. Alternative mechanical systems would be needed to rebuild the technology base. Computer chips are the pinnacle of our technology and the production of them requires several layers of technology to produce unlike the casting and assembly of things such as an engine.

Level Six

Wood cookstove
Tools – ax, wood saw, files
Canning supplies
Seeds
Garden tools
Pressure cooker 21 qt.
Source of water / rain catchment system
Water filter
Candles
Matches/lighters/flint
Fire extinguisher 2 – 5 lb.
Hunting weapon and ammo
Fishing supplies
Salt 100 lbs. +
Misc. medical supplies w/antibiotics
Mountain bike w/repair parts
Grain mill
Blacksmithing tools
Spinning wheel
Floor loom
Mechanical clock
Gramophone w/vinyl records
Typewriter w/extra ribbons
Slide rule
Gas appliances – refrigeration, heating, cooking, hot water, lighting
Bio-gas production unit
Steam engine – machine power
Hydro systems – machine power

While this listing is not exhaustive, it provides a window into the various levels a person will encounter over different time spans and situations. Some forethought about your particular living situation will allow you to devise a plan that will allow the least amount of deprivation during the situation you encounter. The time to prepare is before the lights go out. Once it happens it is too late. When this happens, the lack of resources will make your well being entirely dependant on the knowledge you carry. In this instance, knowing what to do if you are caught without resources will allow you to react quickly and decisively in the first few critical hours of an event.

A brief look at the various levels of potential blackout will help you determine what resources are best suited to your particular circumstances. Every plan needs to be tailored to individual needs and expectations. In a level six situation, most of the equipment to repair the technology base will be destroyed so antiquated technology systems will be essential to long term recovery. Since most of this old technology is no longer common knowledge, the storage of this knowledge is necessary outside of the technology systems for later retrieval. This can also be said for any necessary knowledge during short term situations as well.

In November 2003 NASA detected a CME that they later determined to be at the X28+ level. Fortunately this was not directed toward Earth. If it had interacted with Earth we would be living in a very different world today. In 2005 an X17 was recorded and in 2006 an X9 was recorded just to give an idea of how often and extreme these occurrences are. You must decide what level you should prepare for and seek the means to overcome the situation. When you prepare for the worst case scenario, you will be well prepared for almost any contingency and anything less should be easily handled, but that level of preparedness is a personal choice.

Coping with the loss of technology is a personal responsibility that cannot be farmed out to others. When the unexpected happens it is the responsibility of the head of the household to continue to care for their family no matter what situation they find themselves in. It is always good to have outside help when the unexpected happens but to rely solely on others in these circumstances is to put your family at great potential unnecessary risk.

 

Growing Your Investments for the Future | project chesapeake

Growing Your Investments for the Future | project chesapeake. (source)

By: Tom Chatham

When you speak of growing an investment most people automatically think of investing their money in some sort of financial scheme that increases the amount of financial units they trade in. In our case this is the dollar denominated world of crony capitalism and ponzi schemes. Anyone who gambles knows the house always wins. The house in this case is the banking system and its’ offshoot, the federal government.

People have been led to believe that they can magically get 6, 8 or 10% annual interest into perpetuity making them rich in the end. This means the amount of money in existence must increase at that rate. Some have done it but they are the exception to the rule. As with any ponzi scheme, the first in wins and everyone else loses. Money is only as good as the assets it can buy. If assets cannot expand as fast as money creation, the magical accumulation of it will ultimately buy less and less if everyone is allowed to accumulate it. In order for you to win the interest game, someone must lose.

As Chris Martenson has stated, there are limits to growth. Everything has a limit and debt creation is no different. If something grows without limits, it eventually outstrips the available resources that feed it. We are now seeing the limits of that growth evidenced by the stalled economy we have now inherited. This means the easy accumulation of money and debt that we are accustomed to will have to change. This will mean a redefining of the standard of living we will enjoy in the future. When the current ponzi scheme ends, some will win but most will lose. So, where does this leave those that are just now entering the economy and seek to build a nest egg to retire on.

The best way to build up assets is to literally grow them. The money printers can print to infinity and as they do so the value of that money will change. As I have said before, a can of ham will always be a can of ham. That means a pound of ham will always perform the same function in society regardless of the price or the amount of paper currency in circulation. That pound of ham represents a real asset. It may have a limited shelf life but it has real value.

It takes time and energy to produce that pound of ham just as it takes time and energy to produce beef, dairy products, wood, grain and any other commodity. Those commodities are limited by natural forces. It may be water, soil condition, growing area or pestilence. You can only produce so much of any commodity before you reach the upper limit of growth. The world can only produce so much grain every year so the available amount produces a cap on available supplies. This is similar to limiting the amount of currency in circulation. That means that a commodity will hold its value over time unlike a devaluing currency. In Argentina the recent currency devaluations have caused farmers to hoard their grain as a way to store their wealth until they can spend it.

For an individual that has a few acres of land, growing a commodity is a good way to build up their assets until they are needed. With a small pasture you can buy a bull calf from a dairy for as little as $35 and raise it on pasture until it is full grown. That full grown steer will now be worth $800 or more dollars if sold on the hoof. For a small investment in money and time, you will have increased your net assets by a huge amount. It is not that much more difficult to care for 5 calves than one which allows you to leverage your resources and compound your gains.

If you are someone that likes to grow things, you could start with a handful of heritage grain seeds and compound that small holding into a whole field of grain in a few years. If you have limited room for growing grains you may be able to grow just a few heritage seeds that thrive in your area and break the harvest into small packets of seeds to sell. Doing so can yield hundreds of dollars per bushel in some cases.

By growing your own seed and increasing the plantings, you will ultimately increase your net worth just as if you were earning interest in a bank only you will have complete control over the asset. For someone that uses sustainable growing techniques and maintains their own seed stocks and breeder stocks, which is the way our great grandparents accumulated wealth, it will be one of the few ways to accumulate wealth in the future outside of the manipulated systems we now have. A good woodlot with some selected woods can produce an impressive amount of wealth when sold. For someone with the ability to mill their own wood, they can get the maximum amount of wealth from their woodlot.

When you grow your assets in a financial institution, you are at the mercy of a host of unscrupulous persons that work for the house. The house will always win by eating away at your assets through taxes, fees, devaluation and outright theft as we have seen recently. When you literally grow your assets in the back yard, you are at the mercy of nature and the free market and they are much more forgiving than bankers and politicians. By doing so you carry no counterparty risk and give yourself every opportunity to prosper.

In the end you must decide what is more secure, a bunch of digits in a computer or a herd of cattle in the pasture. In the future those digits may be in limited supply and hard to come by if you do not work for the house so another more equitable way to accumulate wealth must be used by the population. By producing farm commodities that will always be in demand and storing some of that production in livestock, seeds or other elements like gold and silver, you can accumulate and preserve the wealth you need for the future.

 

The Coming Great American Foreclosure | project chesapeake

The Coming Great American Foreclosure | project chesapeake. (source)

Prior to 1913 the U.S. treasury issued treasury notes as currency that was backed by gold. The Gold and Silver certificates could be converted into silver and gold on demand. This kept the government on a financial leash to prevent over spending. The treasury printed its own money so they did not have to borrow it. They could print as much money as they had gold to back it.

In 1913 a non-elected body called the Federal Reserve, which is owned by some of the largest banks in the world, became the issuer of U.S. currency. This establishment went on to replace all of the sound money in the U.S. with what is today a totally fiat currency. In 1971 we were taken off of the gold standard thus allowing the FED to print as much money as they wished with absolutely no backing other than the good faith of the U.S. Government.

When the government wants to borrow money they print treasury bonds which are sold by selected traders. The bonds are sold as an interest bearing investment. The more credit worthy the issuer is, the lower the interest rate will be. This is an indication of how safe the bond is.

Just like an IOU, the bonds are the same as cash. The perception of cash value is based on the perceived ability of the issuer to repay the IOU. If it is suspected that the IOU may not be honored, it may be sold at a discount to unload it onto someone else before the issuer defaults on repayment and it becomes worthless.

When the demand for bonds is not sufficient to absorb all of the new bonds, the FED must buy them to prevent a failed auction. A failed auction would bring the credit worthiness of the U.S. into question. This would cause the interest rates to go up to reflect the increased risk.

When the U.S. issues bonds as repayment for the loan, the holders of these bonds have the ability to call the loan if they want. This is done by demanding payment at maturity of the bond rather than rolling it over into more bonds.

As the U.S. increases its’ deficit spending, its’ credit worthiness will come into question. This will cause those holding U.S. bonds to dump them for something more secure. When no one else will buy them anymore, the FED must purchase them to keep the dollar stable. We are seeing this happen now. Eventually the FED will own all of the outstanding bonds if the crisis goes on long enough. When the FED has to buy bonds it must print new money to buy them. This is called monetizing the debt. This is very inflationary.

Keep in mind that the FED is owned by other banks. What the FED owns, they actually own.

Since the U.S. government no longer prints its’ own money, it must go to the FED to get more currency if government revenues are insufficient. If the FED should one day say it will no longer issue currency to the government until the bonds it is holding are satisfied, what would the U.S. government be able to pay them with? If you borrow money from a bank and cannot repay it, they ultimately come for your assets to satisfy the loan. That is a lesson the Greeks are now learning.

The U.S. government has some very nice assets in the form of pristine real estate, much of it with a great deal of mineral wealth beneath it. If they cannot pay the banks, the bankers may demand assets in return. If you don’t think the banks would do something like that, you obviously have not been paying attention to world events lately. It may not even be the FED bankers. It could be anyone with the funds to buy up all of the worthless bonds. Someone like the IMF perhaps.

This is a larger version of what happened during the great depression. People that owned land but had no money would get a line of credit at a store to buy food. The store would continue to extend credit until it reached a certain level then they would suddenly demand payment. The people were unable to pay their bill so the store owner would demand their land as payment. This was the intention of the store owner all along. I know because this is how some of the largest farms in my county came into existence at that time.

The people never agreed to use their land as collateral for the credit, but after the debt was created, they had no other recourse. This is the position the U.S. will likely be placed in to deprive Americans of the land the rightfully own. Those in power that get a piece of the pie will willingly support this option. Americans will lose the land their forefathers fought for, all for a pile of worthless paper printed out of thin air that ultimately destroyed their standard of living.

This may not be the future of this country but at this point in time it seems likely. Unless the public understands how this could happen and resolve to fight it if it ever does come to pass, we could lose it all overnight. One thing is for certain. Whoever comes to foreclose on America will not be willing to give up easily.

 

Ocean Armageddon In Full Force | project chesapeake

Ocean Armageddon In Full Force | project chesapeake.

 

Is Your Standard of Living Sustainable? | project chesapeake

Is Your Standard of Living Sustainable? | project chesapeake.

 

An apple a day…project chesapeake | Preparing For The Challenges Ahead

project chesapeake | Preparing For The Challenges Ahead.

 

A Dead Zone the Size of New Jersey Is Growing in the Gulf of Mexico | Motherboard

A Dead Zone the Size of New Jersey Is Growing in the Gulf of Mexico | Motherboard.

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