Four Insights on Resilience   (November 27, 2010)

Four readers share their insights on practical resilience.

The Holy Grail for most commentators who understand the end-game of resource depletion, exponential growth of debt and the culture of extinction is Resilience. Resilience is on the other end of the vulnerability scale from monoculture agriculture, monoculture work (one expertise, one employer) and a monoculture economy (consumerism).

Resilience relies on appropriate technology, low-vulnerability supply chains, a broad foundation of expertise and value creation/income streams, self-reliance and an acute understanding of "less is more" on both material and spiritual levels.

Here are four readers' insights into various aspects of resilience.

Eric A.:

If we take care of ourselves, who cares what happens to the big world?

Chris Martenson has started a new chapter on this, pointing out the one thing we should all focus on is resilience. Doing what works for us in a thousand surprising unimaginable, unforeseen ways--especially if independent of others--is the linchpin of this.

We used to do this pretty well when we didn't expect somebody else always to take care of us. Just have a pantry, a fruit tree, a job, a hobby, some friends, some family. Simple. If we are all independent, who can shake 110 million households that don't need anyone but themselves? Not even the third world war.

This helps go to the heart of being positive and taking action with what we can DO about it. I'm only too aware that if you write about how to plant tomatoes or build and stock a pantry, your readership will probably dwindle in short order. But this sort of thing is different. Everybody understands power. They understand Liberty and freedom from worry. Taking if for one's self is a universal, even as the execution of it is specific and unknowable.

Kevin G.:

I saw your comment about living closer to work as a conservation strategy vs. "magic tech-fixes" to create more fuel. There's a lot there that is spot-on. We can't win the battle against diminishing resources if we don't overcome sprawl (and rising population). In any case, here's an anecdote that's right to your point:

My wife drives a big vehicle that gets low gas mileage (15 mpg: a Jeep with a towing package). She drives to work every day (2 miles each way). That's 20 miles a week commuting and 1.33 gallons of gas. Meanwhile, I have a very "green" coworker that drives an older Prius (a very high-tech bit of "greenness"). He gets around 45 mpg.

However, my coworker lives 12 miles from work. At two trips a day that's 120 miles per week and 2.66 gallons per week. The inexorable mathematics of proximity means the Jeep's fuel consumption (not "per mile" but total) is HALF that of the Prius. It's carbon emissions are likewise about HALF that of the Prius.

Proximity beats technology. Besides, who wants to spend all that time in commuting every day?

Morris P.:

I recommend having an inverter on hand which turns your 12-volt direct-current (DC) vehicle battery electricity into household 120-volt alternate-current (AC) electricity.

You can purchase the inverter, cables and fuse at Amazon. I have provided the links to those items. In addition to the lamp, radio, and fan I have used the inverter to recharge my laptop and rechargeable AA and AAA batteries for flashlights. Overall, very good to have when the lights go off but one thing I have heard discussed is that one needs to be aware that if your house is the only one with a light burning, you may be targeted for a home invasion. Something to think about when night comes.

Inverter: Cobra CPI 1575 1500 Watt 12 Volt DC to 120 Volt AC Power Inverter

Heavy duty cables: Cobra CPI-A4000BC 4-AWG Heavy-Duty AC Power Inverter Cable Kit

The 150 amp fuse: DB Link ANL150 150 Amp ANL Fuses

Bart D.:

There needs to be a new aspirational paradigm that we don't need to 'Spend to Improve' ... which is very much the current ideology we are emersed in. The current ideology is very evident in advertising and marketing ... buy this cosmetic to improve your looks, buy this car to improve your social status, buy this exercise gadget to improve your health, buy this kitchen gadget to improve your cooking ...

Not until you start thinking with genuine objectivity do you realise we are (or have been) brainwashed into believing your existance can ONLY improve by spending as much as you can. I subscribe to thinking and acting being better than spending.

Thank you, Eric, Kevin, Morris and Bart for sharing your practical insights on resilience in the real world.

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