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The Flight from Urban to Suburban

COMMENT: Good morning Marty and team,
You’re still my first read in the mornings after many years and I can’t say that about any other blog or content creator to even take the number #2 or #3 position, well, maybe Zerohedge. Thank You!
Glad to see you referencing Cristian Westbrook …

Here in Western Colorado, things are quite a bit more normal than elsewhere from what I am seeing and hearing from travelers and through my general on-line exploits. My home is on the divide between the homesteaders world and the psychopathy in the next town over of the agenda followers and double maskers. The difference in a few miles of highway travel is stunning. Our poor county sheriff deals with both worlds and he’s more in-line with our Western Colorado beliefs. Our local cops and town officials that I have met are also sick of this and are not enforcing Governor Polis’s warped WEF ideologies.
I never travel East to buy anything any longer and support our local businesses that don’t embrace this insanity, the carnicerias and markaditos are awesome, I even trade my chickens eggs for salsa. It seems our local Mexican culture buys from US and Mexican distributors and USDA guidelines aren’t their biggest concern. Same with many local restaurants, they will buy direct from local gardeners and will barter and trade.
Many of us around here purchase 1/4 and half steer for the year, we know and purchase from local pig farmers and sheep farmers, I get raw whole milk from a local family, separate the real cream and make keifer daily and am expanding the garden this year. Thank god some people are normal, I don’t think the homesteading communities will fall without a fight, we care too much about our way of life and our neighbors.
Keep up the good fight brother!
SG

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Panic in Real Estate

COMMENT: I live in central West Texas, I am passing on to you the fact that there is a “rush” of sales in rural property’s. Houses with small amounts of land attached are “flying off of the shelves” so to speak. This is occurring throughout all of West Texas and in the Panhandle. The effort to getting out of the cities. Even cities as small as 25,000 is in full swing! People are well aware of the potential of what is in the near future and are not sitting around wondering what they should do.

They are acting!

J

REPLY: There is a massive exodus from California and New York in particular. Even in North New Jersey, houses are selling in just days and over asking prices for cash. People are bailing out of New York City in herds. Here in Florida, condos are selling as fast as they can get them up in St Petersbourg. These lockdowns and COVID restrictions that are insane in the major cities have set in motion a massive exodus that these authoritarians never anticipated. As they flex their muscles to try to make this so draconian over nothing, they are complete the cycle which has been pointing to the collapse of urbanization, and the rich will flee.

One of my favorite stories of the Sovereign Debt Crisis is the City of Mainz, in Germany, around 1440. The goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, which began the Printing Revolution that enabled the Renaissance to flourish with the printing press which could produce up to 3,600 pages per workday compared to the hand-copying by scribes which would produce only about 40 pages per day. The printing press then spread within several decades to over two hundred cities in a dozen European countries.

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How to Start an Urban Farm

HOW TO START AN URBAN FARM

Like any new venture, starting an urban farm is a daunting and difficult task. Not only do you have to find land to farm, but that land also must be suitable for growing food. Not only do you have to know how to grow food, but you also have to know what to do with your bounty when harvest time comes around. What has often been referred to as “the simple life” is actually extremely complex and intensive.

And yet many people around the world are choosing to start urban farming ventures of their own to strengthen the bonds of communities and teach people that real food comes from the ground — not from supermarkets. It sounds like an obvious statement, but our food system makes it quite easy to hide all the sweat, work, and dirt that goes into food production and only focus on the finished, packaged products that line the grocery store shelves.

Why Start an Urban Farm?

It’s an unfortunate but true fact that threats to public health are everywhere in today’s modern world. Our food system, one that contributes to the greater problem of climate change, is a huge part of this issue.

How often do we visit the grocery store and buy fruits and vegetables with stickers that mark them as world travelers without ever thinking of how long their journey to our plate might have been? This is even easier to do when the food we buy is so processed that it doesn’t look like real food at all.

In a world where 36 percent of American adults are obese, the state of the food system in the U.S. is a crisis we must address. And what better way to take action against it than to start an urban farm to better feed yourself, your friends and family, and your community?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Would Rural Areas Be Safer In A SHTF Situation?

Would Rural Areas Be Safer In A SHTF Situation?

In a situation where national infrastructure and life sustaining resources are suddenly cut off , population density will have a lot to do with how well you get by in the days following the crisis. When it happens, what you have on hand will likely be all you have to work with for an extended time. Those that lack supplies will seek out and take what they need in an increasingly hostile manner as time goes on. This is why being in a large city will likely be hazardous to your well being.

Very few will argue that being in a rural area when something catastrophic happens will greatly increase your chances of survival. A lower population density and more available natural resources to help you get by will make long term survival much easier. This is why so many people advocate heading for a rural area when something happens. The problem is unless you are already established in a rural area, survival will not necessarily be easier.

Leaving the city when supplies and infrastructure are shut down would work only up to a point. Rural areas are like anywhere else. They have infrastructure designed to service a certain number of people that normally live there. The housing, restaurants, roadways, water systems and grocery stores will only handle a small excess of people even in the best of times. When the city dwellers suddenly evacuate to the rural areas in mass, they will simply be taking many of their big city problems with them. They will likely find no housing, food supplies or other infrastructure they need to live.

Because of this many small towns will likely close their roads at some point and prevent entry to anyone who does not live there. They will suddenly realize their already finite resources will not be enough for themselves much less thousands of new people.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fact: Your Chances of Surviving a Post-Collapse Urban Environment are Slim

Fact: Your Chances of Surviving a Post-Collapse Urban Environment are Slim

ReadyNutrition Readers, Simply put, urban survival will be quite a bit different from survival in a remote wilderness area or even a sparsely-populated suburban area.  Let’s game some options, remembering that these options are general.  These actions aren’t specific to the type of breakdown of society (external by an attack from a foreign nation, or internal from economic collapse, for examples).

So, we have our collapse.  Let us “X” out a nuclear war/nuclear terrorist attack, as we can deal with all the other scenarios in variables without radiation to contend with.  Let’s identify the largest challenges faced for that high-rise apartment resident in Manhattan, or the family in the brownstone on the South side of Chicago.  First, let’s game the scenario:

After “The Day,” the city was almost completely without power.  You and your wife and two children were not able to leave town.  All mass transit was halted or discontinued.  It has been three days, and your family has been listening to static on the radio for the most part, with “campy” pre-recorded disaster broadcasts that have not been helpful or informative.  One of your neighbors left this morning after saying goodbye: he and his family had a boat, and they were heading out of the harbor, hoping to use one of the major rivers to make an escape.

They didn’t have room to take you or yours, but you wanted to stay put and not follow your neighbor’s idea: that there were plenty of boats whose owners were not going to use them…probably dead following the rioting and civil breakdown.  You’re beginning to think you should have listened to him.  Now you can hear angry voices outside, and you go to the window.  A mob has gathered at the top of your street!  

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Tale of Two America’s…Urban Rise, Rural Demise, Rationale to Hyper-Monetize

The Tale of Two America’s…Urban Rise, Rural Demise, Rationale to Hyper-Monetize

 (The following was written as an outline for a potential book.  To this point no publisher has shown interest and time and funds have run out.)

America is in the midst of an ongoing and accelerating shift in demographics and population growth.  These trends, long in place, are at a tipping point that are simultaneously driving urban economic growth (plus associated asset bubbles) and rural economic declines (plus associated asset collapses).  The spin up and spin down are mutually interconnected, the result of movement in a zero sum game.  But for select regions (and rural America in general), there is a surging quantity of sellers and a dwindling quantity and quality of buyers that will result in the primary asset of most Americans, their home, transitioning from an asset to an outright liability.

Many will point to record stock market valuations as an indicator of positive economic and/or business activity to refute my claims.  Instead, I argue it is the Federal Reserve and federal government policies, in place as a quasi “life support” for the negatively affected regions and rural America at large, that are driving the asset valuation explosions of equities (chart below, representing all stocks publicly traded in the US) and urban housing.  I will outline why the situation in the affected regions will only get worse and thus the Fed believes its hands are tied.  Why any amount of normalization will only induce localized collapses across much of the nation.  The total market capitalization ($ value) of the Wilshire has nearly doubled the acknowledged “bubbles” of 2000 and 2008 and is likely to continue rising further, precisely due to the worsening issues I detail below.

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How to survive a global disaster: a handy guide

Whether it’s a natural disaster, bioterrorist attack or pandemic, experts reckon society as we know it will collapse within 13 days of a catastrophic event. So what do you do next?

Ubisoft’s role-playing shooter The Division wouldn’t be as much fun if players followed Nafeez Ahmed’s advice and stayed rural.

Ubisoft’s role-playing shooter The Division wouldn’t be as much fun if players followed Nafeez Ahmed’s advice and stayed rural.
Photograph: Ubisoft

On 22 June, 2001, Tara O’Toole and Thomas Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, organised a war game like no other. The two researchers, working with an array of bodies such as the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security, set out to simulate the effects of a biological attack on the US. The project was called Operation Dark Winter.

What they discovered was that the country was ill prepared to cope. Within two weeks there would be enormous civilian casualties, a catastrophic breakdown in essential institutions, and mass civil unrest. Food supplies, electricity and transport infrastructures would all collapse.

In short, the world would get medieval on America’s ass. And the same thing would happen all over the globe.

These days we’re spoiled for choice in terms of potential catastrophes. Natural and ecological disasters, nuclear weapons, terrorism, experimental technological accidents (“Oops, we’ve accidentally created Skynet”) – they’re all in the game. In 2008 a group of experts met at an Oxford University conference and suggested that there was a 19% chance of a global catastrophic event before 2100 (with super intelligent AI and molecular nanotechnology weapons at the top of the threat list). It was just a bit of fun, and they added plenty of caveats to that figure, but still, something to think about, eh?

With all this in mind, the Guardian spoke to the academic and author Nafeez Ahmed, who has studied global crises and mass violence, and recently advised Ubisoft on the authenticity of its post-pandemic video game, The Division.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Permaculture City: Cities as Complex Systems

The Permaculture City: Cities as Complex Systems

The following sections are excerpted with permission from Chapter 1 of Toby Hemenway’s new book The Permaculture City, published by Chelsea Green.

When a permaculturist sees words such as “function” and “synergy,” it sets off lightbulbs in his or her head. Function, for example, indicates a relationship, a connection between two or more elements. A road functions to move traffic, thus the road has a relationship with vehicles, and it mediates the movement—that is, it makes connections—between the traffic, its origin, and its destination. Knowing a function, in turn, leads us to identify the items and processes necessary to fill that function and also points to the yields created when that function is filled. Thinking in terms of functions, then, is a powerful leverage point, because it identifies needs, yields, relationships, and goals, and it helps us spot blockages, missing elements, buildup of waste, and inefficiencies in the various flows and linkages that are part of that function’s workings.
This means that when we look at cities, their residents, and the other components of urban life in terms of their functions, we can spot the factors that influence how well they are able to perform those functions. Then we can study, understand, and direct those factors and influences in ways that will create and enhance the functions and properties of cities that are beneficial, such as community-building public plazas, parks, and structures; open and supportive marketplaces; and habitat-creating green space; as well as human elements such as responsive policy processes. We can also spot and damp down the negative factors. Once we’ve done this, the next step is to evaluate, to see how well our changes have moved us toward a more livable, and life-filled, environment. That is the heart of design.

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The Cimmerian Hypothesis, Part Three: The End of the Dream

The Cimmerian Hypothesis, Part Three: The End of the Dream

Let’s take a moment to recap the argument of the last two posts here on The Archdruid Report before we follow it through to its conclusion. There are any number of ways to sort out the diversity of human social forms, but one significant division lies between those societies that don’t concentrate population, wealth, and power in urban centers, and those that do. One important difference between the societies that fall into these two categories is that urbanized societies—we may as well call these by the time-honored term “civilizations”—reliably crash and burn after a lifespan of roughly a thousand years, while societies that lack cities have no such fixed lifespans and can last for much longer without going through the cycle of rise and fall, punctuated by dark ages, that defines the history of civilizations.

It’s probably necessary to pause here and clear up what seems to be a common misunderstanding. To say that societies in the first category can last for much more than a thousand years doesn’t mean that all of them do this. I mention this because I fielded a flurry of comments from people who pointed to a few examples of  societies without cities that collapsed in less than a millennium, and insisted that this somehow disproved my hypothesis. Not so; if everyone who takes a certain diet pill, let’s say, suffers from heart damage, the fact that some people who don’t take the diet pill suffer heart damage from other causes doesn’t absolve the diet pill of responsibility. In the same way, the fact that civilizations such as Egypt and China have managed to pull themselves together after a dark age and rebuild a new version of their former civilization doesn’t erase the fact of the collapse and the dark age that followed it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

Wilderness Corridors: Agenda 21 Under A New Name

Wilderness Corridors: Agenda 21 Under A New Name

forrest roadWhen it comes to people the government fears the most, those who live in rural areas must be somewhere near the top of the list. Not that there’s anything wrong with this particular group of people. It’s just that they’re a demographic that the government often struggles to contend with.

They usually have the resources to take care of themselves, and often by necessity, which makes it difficult to corral this population. When you have no choice but to take care of yourself because government services are too far away, they don’t have any good excuses for telling you what to do. They know that if they tried to micromanage your life, they would utterly fail (at least more than they do already).

Now, contrast that with urban dwellers. The population density of cities makes it easier for them to control that population. One cop in the countryside may be miles away from the nearest person, but a cop in the city has rapid access to thousands of people. They’re never very far away. Simply put, the cost of exerting control over a population is much less in a city than it is in the countryside.

So it should go without saying that if the government could move those people out of the countryside and into the cities, they could rest easy knowing that everyone is firmly planted under their watchful eye, and away from their rural blindspot. Unfortunately, that may very well be what they have in store for those who live outside of the city.

They’ve also been planning this for a very long time.

An author for the thedailyherb.com recently stumbled upon a very interesting article written in 1998, for a local newspaper in Montana. It was written in part, to expose a plan made by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, to try and relocate rural populations into the cities.

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Resilient Urban Systems: Where We Stand Now and Where We Need to Go

Resilient Urban Systems: Where We Stand Now and Where We Need to Go

By the year 2050, close to seven billion people will be living in urbanized areas worldwide, which is almost double the number of urban inhabitants of today. Provision of adequate infrastructure service to this massive urban population in order to ensure their health, wealth, and comfort is going to be a daunting challenge for engineers, planners, and socioeconomic decision makers in the coming decades. However, the challenges faced by the developing and developed worlds are dissimilar in nature. While the developed world is coping with aging infrastructure, the developing world faces the challenge of keeping up with the brisk pace of urbanization and the consequential rise in infrastructure demand. In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awarded the US infrastructure an overall grade of D+ and estimated that USD $3.6 trillion needs to be invested by 2020.1

When considering how to reshape, redesign, or create urban areas to be more sustainable, it is imperative to include urban infrastructure systems (UIS) in the decision-making process. UIS are durable features of the urban form and exhibit a strong form of path dependence. UIS have a pronounced effect on the general topology of the urban system and how the urban area continues to grow spatially over time. UIS, with a typical design life of 50 to 100 years, continue to dominate the urban form and mediate the citizens, goods, services, energy, and resource flows into, within, and out of the urban areas for decades after the design decision has been made. For example, transportation planning often has a prescriptive effect on the growth pattern of an urban region. Empirical estimates suggest that one new highway built through a central city reduces its central-city population by about 18 percent.2

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Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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