May 312008
 

[This is a fictional interview entry, written to answer some interview requests I’ve received. In the past year, I’ve had about five requests I think from different media outlets. I have turned them all down as a matter of routine. I do not grant interviews anymore, because I’ve little interest in the limelight and certainly don’t trust the media. Much of the following is a compendium of what is already written on this blog]

Q: You are involved in selling storable foods and writing your blog. Is there anything else you are involved with?
A: Trying to stay alive, just like you.

Q: How long have you been in the food business?
A: Thirteen years Twenty one years.

Q: How long have you been writing?
A: Over twenty years. I still make the same spelling mistakes I made then. There was an old forum I maintained for a few years, a couple of books and many contributions to other websites were written under a pseudonym.

Q: Why do you write? I’ve heard you are controversial.
A: I suppose I am. I’m not a pushover. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I do expect people to think. I don’t think that is asking too much, although for some people it is.

Q: Tell me about your blog.
A: My purpose for writing these words and this blog in its entirety, is to express what I believe to be true, what I have learned and why I think this is all important to all of you.

This blog is not about me and it is the reason why I am just Survival Acres or more commonly known as “Admin”. This blog is about you and your world and what is happening to your world. It is also about what we might or might not be able to do about what is happening to the world.

Q: What is your experience?
A: My experience is drawn from the same world you live in, but it is unlike your experience, at least I am pretty sure of that. Nobody lives in the same shoes as another and we each experience different things in different ways. Our relationship to that experience and its meaning, interpretation and understanding is also unique to each and every one of us.

My experience is probably unique. My perspectives on life, living, future are also unique. Perhaps it would be better or more accurate to say “uncommon”. I am not about popularity or fame. I do not care for these things because they are shallow and vain. I disdain popularity and attention, because they hide the message and promote the messenger who is often something other then he seems. Who is the man who can retain his integrity (if he has any) when he has made a platform for himself? Not many.

Q: That’s an interesting perspective. What is your level of involvement in the world?
A: I will not vote in the next (s)election. This is my protest. Some say that voting is the highest form of democracy. I disagree. I believe that protesting is the highest form of exercising democracy.

I do not believe that the next (s)election will make any difference at all. Nor do I believe that my vote makes any difference at all. I do not believe in any of the political processes of this nation anymore. If I did, I would probably vote, despite the deplorable candidates we are offered because I would not know any different.

I believe that by not voting I am withdrawing my consent to be governed by a government that does not care about what I think. Withdrawing my consent is far more important to me then voting is. I am not so naive to believe that my protest will make any difference. It won’t. Neither will your vote.

I do know what will make a difference, but we’re not ready for that yet in this country. I have no particular confidence that we will be ready any time soon either but I am planning ahead and preparing for that day. If not me, then somebody else will use my preparations.

Q: What do you think is going to happen?
A: Our civilization is going to collapse. I know this is true because this is what happens to all societies that destroy their resource base. There are experts who can tell you this. One man’s expert is usually another man’s enemy, so this isn’t a popular or well liked opinion.

Our devolution has been underway for some time. I inherited it just like you did. I don’t want to keep it alive anymore because it is choking the life out of everything. I don’t need an expert to tell me that. You don’t either. Continue reading »

May 292008
 

These are some samples of the warnings I’ve been sharing here: climate change and the scientific assessments documenting these facts, is speeding up — way beyond ALL the original assessments and expectations.

Scientists are cautious creatures, but are consistently failing to accurately assess the real severity of the problem facing our planet and it’s affects on human habitation.

The North Pacific ocean has jumped nearly 50 – 75 years ahead with acidification, a new study shows.

A recent symposium attended by 450 scientist from 60 countries, “Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans” has noted something VERY disturbing:

Over this period they have detected a strong upward trend, despite variability due to the seasons and impacts of El Niño climate events, according to UPR scientist Jorge Corredor, who presented these findings at the Symposium.

At the current rate of increase, the average year-round temperature will be more than 27.4 Celsius, which is the threshold for hurricane formation. This means hurricanes could form at any time of the year in three or four decades if the warming trend continues. “There will no longer be a hurricane season”,

There’s more:

“The fact is, we’re seeing lots of effects and impacts right now. These effects appear to be happening faster than expected, and the magnitude is bigger than expected. That’s a surprise,”

I am only surprised that they are still behind the curve on how bad things are getting. But they’re being paid to be cautious, I’m not.

May 282008
 

I’m going to venture into a very sensitive area that I have yet to cover in detail. Fair warning: this subject matter is going to strike very hard at the heart of many cherished belief systems, especially held by Americans. Read on at your own risk.

The collapse of civilization is a broad euphemism for masses of dead people in most parts of the world. Let’s not kid ourselves here. When our civilization collapses, it is going to mean massive body counts and death by violent means. It will also mean death by disease, starvation and more then a few self-inflictions.

The recently shared story on global ecological collapse, all by itself, signifies that our overpopulated world cannot possibly sustain 7+ billion people much longer. Environmentally speaking, we have depleted the world’s sustenance to such a degree, that our very survival (food) is at stake and has been for some time. More then simply supplementing this, our mega-farms throughout the world have made it dangerously possible to feed the world’s billions by overproduction and overtaxing the land far beyond sustainable levels. This has been possible through climate, the heavy application of fertilizers and pesticides, industrialization and mechanization, and a global just-in-time distribution system entirely reliant upon cheap oil.

All of this production and resulting human population requires massive energy inputs of extracted resources and a tolerable climate conducive for crops. Current predictions for climate and energy resource availability (and affordability) are dire indeed. If anything, they consistently underestimate the reality of what is actually happening to our planet, its climate and its resources. This is a dramatic understatement, one which bears careful consideration.

Energy and environmental predictions are being moved up by decades, as better science, measurements and assessments of what is really happening to our planet come forward. The so-called ‘predictions’ I have made are not my own, but the actual assessments of leading world scientists and researchers who have come to realize what I have, and that is our world is in dire peril.

The bottom line is our world can no longer support 7 billion people (and never could for very long), let alone the futuristic predictions of 10 billion, 12 billion or even more souls offered by some so-called “futurists”. Environmental collapse alone will cause the death of billions, soon. Energy collapse will help ensure this reality. Financial collapse will nail the coffin shut and resource collapse will be the signature on the last will and testament for most of mankind. Who’s going to live and who’s going to die then becomes a very pertinent and pressing question for this generation.

I will not try to “account” for unknown variables such as luck, chance and opportunity, which are unknown to all. Nor will I ascribe any “hope” to superstition or wishful thinking (religion) or magical rescues from above (alien or otherwise). Instead, I will deal with known’s and unknowns (reality).

Environmental collapse (ecological) means the world’s natural food supply will have reached maximum capacity for extraction and sustenance for human populations. This “date” has already occurred, and we are at least 20 years now past our maximum extraction capacity of the natural food supply. During this time, the world’s population has nearly doubled, while the natural food supply began a steep decline.

In some parts of the world, these food sources have never recovered since that time (and never will, as long as human population continues to grow). The Atlantic cod fisheries for example, collapsed in the early 90’s and has no chance of recovery due to constant overfishing. Tuna, swordfish, marlin, sharks, halibut and flounder have also collapsed to less then 10% of their former levels. Over 40% of the worlds billions depend upon the ocean fisheries, their collapse poses dire conditions for the world’s food supply.

Environmental collapse also means the collapse of land-based ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest and critical top soils throughout the world through erosion, compaction, depletion and in some areas such as Australia, salinization. The rainforest provides the lungs of the Earth, absorbing huge quantities of carbon dioxide, but we’re still cutting down and burning massive quantities of trees on a daily basis.

Other examples of environmental changes include disease emergence, abrupt alterations in water quality, the depletion of natural aquifers, the creation of “dead zones” in coastal waters, the collapse of land and ocean fisheries, fertilizer “plumes”, and shifts in regional climate.

This also indicates the inability of natural food systems to continue to provide essential food for burgeoning human populations as we continue rape and pillage these areas for resources. The Living Planet Report said the natural world was being degraded “at a rate unprecedented in human history“. Our very way of life (existence) is now threatened by too many people consuming too many resources.

Facts and Figures of Ecosystem Changes

Water withdrawal and impoundment

* Water withdrawals from rivers and lakes for irrigation, household, and industrial use doubled in the last 40 years.
* Humans now use between 40% and 50% of the fresh water running off land to which the majority of the population has access.
* In some regions, such as the Middle East and North Africa, humans use 120% of renewable supplies (due to the reliance on groundwater that is not recharged).
* Between 1960 and 2000, reservoir storage capacity quadrupled and, as a result, the amount of water stored behind large dams is estimated to be three to six times the amount held by natural river channels (this excludes natural lakes).

Land conversion and degradation

* More land was converted to cropland in the 30 years after 1950 than in the 150 years between 1700 and 1850, and now approximately one quarter (24%) of Earth’s terrestrial surface has been transformed to cultivated systems.
* Since about 1980, approximately 35% of mangroves have been lost, while 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed and a further 20% badly degraded or destroyed.
* Nutrient use and levels
* Human activities now produce more biologically usable nitrogen than is produced by all natural processes combined, and more than half of all the manufactured nitrogen fertilizer first produced in 1913) ever used on the planet has been applied since 1985.
* The flow of nitrogen to the oceans has doubled since 1860.
* The use of phosphorus fertilizers and the rate of phosphorus accumulation in agricultural soils both increased nearly threefold between 1960 and 1990. Although the rate has declined somewhat since then, phosphorus can remain in soils for decades before entering the wider environment.

Fisheries

* At least one quarter of marine fish stocks are over-harvested.
* The quantity of fish caught by humans increased until the 1980s but is now declining because of the shortage of stocks.
* In many sea areas, the total weight of fish available to be captured is less than a tenth of that available before the onset of industrial fishing.
* Inland fisheries, especially important for providing high-quality diets for the poor, have also declined due to overfishing, changes to habitats, and withdrawal of fresh water.

In essence, the collapse of our planetary ecosystems has already occurred as shown by the examples of above and cannot possibly hope to recover, or hope to provide the essential food sources for the existing human population. Without the massive food production provided by mega-farms and gigantic corporate enterprises, the world would have long since entered into irreversible starvation.

Right now, drought is encompassing over 30% of the Earth. The seriousness of this situation is not lost on many governments of the world who are making desperate moves to save their farmers and their national food supply. However, climate is something that humans have very little direct control over. We are far past the trigger points for “uncontrollable” global warming (a misnomer if there ever was one). Current greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb despite a growing world-wide awareness of the issue and we have now entered into an irreversible decline in our planetary climate.

In other words, we’re simply NOT going to be able to grow enough food to feed the existing population very soon. We may be “there” already, but just don’t know it yet as we consume the remaining stocks in our warehouses and silos.

We are also dealing with other issues, such as fertilizer shortages (produced by natural gas) and of course, petroleum depletion and their sky rocketing costs. These two issues, taken entirely alone from all the other factors now working against us, will create conditions of famine and starvation in many parts of the world.

Resource depletion however, has now taken a more serious turn then this, which was bound to happen due to severe overpopulation. Oil resources peaked over 20 years ago. The world reached peak oil discovery in the United States in 1970 and peak oil production worldwide in 2005. Oil IS food, providing the energy required to farm tens of millions of acres and provide the processing and distribution capacity to transport billions of tons of food stuffs throughout the world.

We are now on the downslope of oil production and oil discovery and there is absolutely nothing on the horizon that will solve this problem. This means our food production potential, without any other factors taken into account, will be in steep decline from here on out. Without oil, we cannot power our farms and raise the mega-harvests we have grown accustomed to. Without cheap oil and the artificial fertilizers we make from (cheap) natural gas, we are already facing a decline in production. A decline in production capacity means famine for some countries, and limited food stuffs in others.

Right now, the poor third-world countries are being hit by food shortages. This follows on the heels of economic crisis and collapse and poor governmental practices. South Africa for example, actively destroyed much of their farmland capabilities and brought famine early to their country (but it would have happened anyway). Other countries have suffered devastating climate change effects and severely limited crop productions and exports as a result, such as the Ukraine and Argentina, some of the largest food producers in the world. Australia, normally the world’s second-largest wheat exporter, has been suffering from an epic drought.

So who lives and who dies? The “evidence” is already out there for us to examine this question. We can extrapolate this data and make some logical deductions on what this means for the rest of us.

The rich and wealthy will “live” (for a while), despite their inability to actually feed and take care of themselves. This is most unfortunate, because it also means that their offspring will be just as incapable as they are and thereby doomed. However, it is my guess based on human behavior that they will survive — by manipulating their money, power and influence over the people that they still need (and always have) to keep them alive. This is how the world actually works and has almost always worked in Western Civilization.

The resourceful will “live”, but not at the same comfort level they enjoy now. And they will only live for a while until they, through bad luck, ill-timing or misfortune, slip up or are caught in the coming dragnet. This is the encroaching police state of course, which is a natural response by the State and corporate powers to enforce a draconian level of control on the world’s populations. This is “necessary” from their point of view as resource shortages become increasingly critical. Management of the most minute detail and it’s efficient distribution, protection, security and consumption is profitably in their “best interests” and has been hailed as the holy grail of corporate conglomerates. Their desire is to control and own it all, but they can only do this through the tracking, tagging and management (surveillance) required in a full-blown police state. Do not scoff at this — American have fully embraced the police state concept right here in Amerika.

Those that escape (a few I imagine) will be crafty and skilled enough to evade capture and conscription. Since this is beyond the scope of this particular entry, I will leave off on this subject, some thoughts on this topic have been covered before on this blog.

Since resource wars will be a part of the daily landscape on every level (even in your neighborhood), those that can glean the resources they need to survive will be the most adept at survival. This will happen through various means, most will eventually turn violent as time goes on. This will happen out of necessity in many cases. When confronted with acceptance of the police state, food rationing, road restrictions and the inability to work, desperation will force many to step off the well-worn path of civility.

Examples of this are of course, found throughout human history and even right now in the modern world. Countries undergoing collapse experience higher rates of crime, including murder, theft, and violence such as rape and assault. Desperate people are ‘lawless’ when they have to be (and when they can be).

This will also be a time of increased militarized police presence, which will respond in kind to the increased ‘restlessness’ and disgruntlement of the civilian population. Already America is being primed for such a take-over by police departments and sheriff departments all over the nation. Practice ‘sweeps’ and urban assault exercises are now a normal course of events.

This is highly disturbing to any thinking person, who already realizes that much of the police power already being exercised in this country is way beyond that which was granted in the US Constitution. The U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court have ruled on numerous occasions that the police have “no obligation to protect the citizen”, yet the alleged agenda being spouted by these agencies is that more power is “needed” to provide protection. This contradiction should be recognized as being what it is. It is a smoke-screen, hiding the fact that US police presence has become something far more then what it seems. It is the enforcing arm of the State, ultimately acting on the corporate business interests of American corporations.

Much could be said about the American judicial system in this regard, which now houses no less then 2.2 million American prisoners for crimes designed and developed by the same system. Many of these prisoners are not guilty of anything other then some bureaucratic legislation that has arbitrarily outlawed certain behaviors, including thought crimes. Crimes of violent offenders and offenses against property and persons are far less then crimes against administrative ‘offenses’.

The agenda behind all of this is two-fold. America has a huge prison labor population, run by American corporations, which are raking in billions of dollars in profits. Creating crime ‘offenses’ create cheap or free labor. It also justifies and creates a perceived ‘need’ in the eyes of the judicial system (and the gullible public) to increase the level of ‘protection’ and of course, the billion dollar budgets now being expended by law ‘enforcement’. This is of course, now a self-perpetuating system, of near infinite motion to create criminals out of thin air and to keep creating, demanding and justifying more and more ‘protection’ and budgetary grants.

Even worse, is the militarization of American law enforcement, which has gotten very heavily behind the bandwagon of the so-called war on terrorism. This is a totally false-flag ‘war’, which is really a war on the American individual and our historic freedoms as persons in this country. Almost everything is now illegal and you can be arrested (or “not”, simply disappeared is also now “legal”) for anything in this country. Probably cause is not even necessary anymore. You can have your home invaded without a search warrant, you can be dragged out of your car and tasered for simply running a red light by accident, and you can even be killed with no recourse or apology to your surviving family (if they survive).

These are all true stories and they have happened right here in Amerika, and there are many thousands of them now, increasing all of the time. Under all this malfeasance is the party-line mantra of “fighting the war on terrorism”, which previously was also falsely labeled the “war on drugs”. Americans seem to have this bizarre need to be at “war” with something all of the time. If we label it a “war”, then we can be sure to spend billions of dollars stomping on the object of our affection until we have absolutely destroyed it beyond any recognition (or taken it over for our own profits).

This is a war indeed — it is a war against you, your rights, the US Constitution and what you are going to be allowed (permitted, licensed, taxed, stamped and approved) to do in your life. This is happening now, all over America and more and more ‘crimes’ and offenses are being added to the books for the most ridiculous things to get you arrested, fined, imprisoned and jailed, many which eventually wind up being slave labor. Won’t cut your lawn? Then you can be arrested and imprisoned for ‘offending your neighbors eyes’ or neighborhood ordinance.

This list of inane and stupid offenses is quite long and growing longer, I won’t bother with trying to educate you on all of them.

Those that live (survive) will also have to evade the police state that is now rising to the forefront in American life. This is already a fact, but unacknowledged by most Americans. Devvy Kidd just wrote an article on this subject, Americans are embracing a police state. You see this everywhere and nobody is doing anything at all about it. Those few feeble attempts to stop it have been thwarted by a corrupt judiciary that will not relinquish their power easily.

If you are to live, you will either live in the cage of their choosing, or find a way to live outside. Anyone living in a city in America today is already living in a cage, with its well-defined rules, regulations and demands that are required of its citizens and visitors. This is a cage that is growing smaller and smaller all of the time in the sense of personal freedoms. There are tens of millions of cameras in operation today for example, all decried as being “necessary” despite the fact that they have been proven to do little to deter actual crimes. Being under constant surveillance is the real goal, obviously, one that has been championed by top military and corporate adviser’s and misguided bureaucrats.

We should all be asking ourselves why this is. What can they possibly be hoping to gain? Or protect? If our protection was truly in their minds as they have often claimed, they would have started down that path a long time ago, with affordable health care, proper nutrition for every American, healthy food, limited immigration, clean water, clean air, renewable energy, sustainable cities and towns, and even arming the average citizen and especially, deleting from the law books all the stupid victimless ‘crimes’ that have filled up our prisons.

But they have not done any of these things and never will, because our protection is not at all what they are all about. They fully intend to control us to the nth degree with their satellites, cameras, helicopters, wiretaps and illegal searches. You can intimidate just a few to control many thousands, it is a technique used by dictators all over the world for thousands of years and it works very, very well.

Well, now I’ve gone and done it and drifted far from my main topic. Those that live will be either a part of this police-state society and providing it support through employment, contracts or other means (snitches being one of them), or they will be the tiny cogs that they are in support of the rest of functioning society. They will be engineers, electricians and blue collar workers of all types, necessary for the continued function and operation of society. There will also be many white collar types providing administrative, bureaucratic and legal assistance. In other words, just like now, with the added distinction that it will all be geared towards the ‘survival of the State’.

This is a concept that must be contemplated on and hopefully, fully understood. In a police state, which is a natural outcome of a collapsing society, the survival of the State is deemed most important. This is more important to its proponents then your survival, or that of your family, or even your town. The State already deems each and every American as an ‘economic unit’, which I don’t have the time to cover here. You are an ‘asset’ of value, working or not, in the eyes of the State. As the police presence becomes increasingly draconian (which it will), the State will continue to place a higher and higher percentage of its resources (you) and all of it’s agents and agencies (everything else) on ensuring its continued survival and not yours.

This means that the State survival will supersede the needs of your community, family farm or place of business. If you by chance are deemed unnecessary or worse, undesirable, your business, home, job or even your life, is now forfeit.

This is how communist empires also work by the way. There must be some benefit to the State. Right now, American enterprises and businesses are allowed to survive as they do as long as the State is permitted to have several things to overlord; taxation, licensing, permits, inspections and the final “say” in its continued existence.

One other thing here: the corporate enterprise that is America is another way of envisioning the State. The US government is not a freely elected or appointed government beholden to the people of this country. We have elections, which I have long since coined the term (s)Elections, but they are neither free, nor fair, nor representative to the will of the people. What we have is smoke and mirrors distractions, as corporate America — the real corporate America, selects for itself the American people who will be President, or who will be a Supreme Court judge, who are truly beholden to corporate interests and not yours. This malfeasance in American politics and especially it’s (s)Elections is legendary.

Corporate America and even various foreign interest such as Israel (which is also not really the State, but certain individuals and corporations) are what really runs this country. Our government is just a reflection of what is going on in corporate boardrooms around the world. It has always been done like that in America — read your (true) history.

Because of this fact, resource depletion is going to have serious affects on corporate America, the real “State” entity. This is why the war for resources is already long since underway. Iraq was invaded for oil, among a few other things, 9/11 was orchestrated to protect “American” interests by sacrificing a few thousand Americans (it was supposed to be much higher), and the American military war machine was cranked up decades ago, just like it is now, to go forth and protect American corporations.

America is a war country and always has been (another history fact everyone should know). America “protects” only what it has an interest in protecting, which is why we do almost nothing except token exercises for the actual and real suffering going on in the world today. Much of this is actually caused by American monetary policies, corporate intervention and protection and the actual and real rape of sovereign nations and people.

This is “business as usual”, a term I am fond of saying for American interests. The American Empire is a voracious devourer of people, places, plants, animals and resources and is quite willing to go to war to get whatever it wants. The result of all this ‘activity’ is the country you live in today, with its fast, cheap and crappy food, cheap gas (compare our prices to the rest of the world), consumer ‘goods’ (boatloads of junk found in every home in America, imported from foreign shores), mega-malls brimming with absolutely useless trinkets and baubles, urban housing disasters by the thousands of square miles, and of course, the increasing police state to keep it all under control.

This is the “deal” Americans got by turning a blind eye to corporate malfeasance exercised within American boardrooms and political halls throughout the world. We are now indebted slaves of the worst kind, thinking we are “free” to buy, consume and reproduce with abandon (all for a price of course), while the rest of the world toils away and sells its assets in increasingly worthless dollars for our continued consumption. This situation cannot last forever, a finite world with finite resources is and never will be infinite. Nor can it be bankrolled on pure faith and credit forever. America will collapse, and it will take all the rest of the world with it when it does. This is indeed a sick, sad deal for all of the world.

There will always be those that will be a part of all this, even if in a small and distant way. I’m sure I am too, just like all of my readers are. We all eat, buy, consume and even reproduce. Much of what we have is made overseas, by foreign workers who have replaced American manufacturers. We let this happen, focusing instead on quick profits and quicker opportunities. Many foreign countries had eager populations economically and domestically deprived, with large available labor resources, and were very quick to tool up and ’employ’ millions of their own citizens on our behalf. What they didn’t know is they were also going to receive a toxic wasteland in return and abused citizen-slaves as a result. Well, some did, but others didn’t.

Entanglement in foreign ‘affairs’ is a dangerous path we’re not about to step off of. Not now, not when our very survival is now at stake. In fact, this will only worsen by my estimates, as resources wars begin in earnest and foreign “competition” (for their own assets) fights back.

So, those that live will be essential parts of all this State survival, as long as it may last. Nobody knows how long the State will last, but I would hazard a guess a goodly long time still. If you are willing to succumb to the incessant demands asked of you and sell yourself into a lifetime of bondage to the State (corporate America), and are willing to be mobile, essential and posses needed skills and talents, you will “survive” as a citizen-slave yourself, at least as long as the State entity you are a part of also lasts.

You will, like the rest of us, pay increasingly higher and higher prices for the basic necessities in life, like food, water, housing and electricity (not a real necessity), but you will also realize ‘benefits’ not offered to the rest of the peons (like me). Health care, vacations, ‘retirement’ (another form of slavery), and perhaps, even a few real-life citizen-slaves of your own to order around and do your bidding.

As a ’employee’, you will of course, be used in ways that is deemed best by someone else. This will be your bosses bosses boss and all the way, on up the line. Essential industries will be permitted to exist, as long as they contribute to the survival of the State and corporate America, while non-essential industries will actually be outlawed and banned outright. This will be a part of the traditional freedoms that will be destroyed in the days ahead as the State and it’s entities enact tighter and tighter controls.

Some of these industries probably need to go bye-bye, as world of depletion and environmental damage are fully realized. But others will be regulated to the dustbin of history as being considered “non-essential”. If you are already in one of these occupations or worse, a business owner in one of these, you had best be thinking about your future.

Examples include many tourism destinations and activities, which will obviously be limited in a future of increasingly higher travel costs, manufacturing and selling of non-essentials such as oil-powered automobiles, water parks and other ridiculous “theme” parks, etc.

The best place to be is going to be in the ‘essential industries’, such as food production, security, transportation (by any means), communications, housing, reclamation, power generation and such like. If in doubt, you can always enlist, there is sure to be a gigantic demand there.

I won’t go into this because I have never much believed in being a part of what everyone seems to think is American life. This means that I am not a big fan of huge conglomerates and corporations, especially those with foreign owners. Nor am I a fan of corporations in general, because they are unmanageable and indifferent to the harm they cause to the planet and the individual.

Small businesses seem to me, to be the “best enterprises” of all, but they do not offer the same things the bigger businesses offer, such as health insurance, retirement, or even a financial future (because they are often stamped out by the corporations). So do not look to me for support for a corporate anything. I think they are a bane on the Earth and for the most part, should be abolished worldwide.

I support a small America, built by small businesses, focused on healthy, sustainable and sensible enterprises. There are few enough of these around these days, but you simply will not find me working for one of the larger outfits, I’d rather be dead.

This means of course, what should be obvious — small America will flourish only at the local level (which is really the only place is should flourish when you think about the resource demands and requirements), and corporate America will still be actively engaged in making sure small America is well under it’s thumb, or stamped out entirely.

Even in collapse, this will happen. I do not believe in a total meltdown of our society, where we have a Mad Max situation all across the country. This country in particular, has a vested interested in keeping everything “business as usual”, which means the survival of its interests (corporate America) and by necessary extension, small America. If you are positioned in an essential service, industry or skills, then you will probably have opportunity to stay gainfully employed, even if this means you are simply working for food (a real possibility). Your living standard, and that of every non-rich person alive today, will diminish dramatically.

Those who are not a part of all this will be increasingly destitute. The poor (yes, I’m finally getting to this), will become a horde and will be mostly left to fend for themselves if they can escape incarceration. Many parts of middle and lower-class America will join the ranks of the homeless where they have failed to navigate themselves to an essential skill or position, the rest will migrate into positions and ’employment’ deemed necessary for the survival of the State.

The very young will be taken care of because they represent the future, the elderly will not. I see this as an essential decision that will be forced upon many parts of America. The young will be molded to be the next generation of citizen-slaves, the elderly will represent an unwanted burden and even a threat to a fascist society. They will know and understand what America once was, at least the idea of America if not ever the reality, and will be a threat to the surviving society.

This is going to be a tragic mistake, because a great deal of our knowledge and actual inheritance lies within those greying minds. Many of the elderly understand what it takes to actually feed a family and the skills and knowledge that this requires. Smart communities will recognize this and will need to make sure that these people are considered as assets instead of as burdens.

Finally, there will be those like me that will refuse to bow down to “the way things are” and will be hunted down and killed, one by one, by a society that turns against its own people. Outsiders such as this, will be feared as being threats (terrorist) since they will refuse to be a part of a fascist empire and controlled in their every thought, action and deed.

I expect that this will eventually number in the millions, but this fails to account for what I think will happen to many of these people. They will be the new slave labor in American prison camps and detention centers and “reeducation work places”, slaves for the Empire. China employs these techniques now, and American corporations are very much actively involved in helping setup the most advance surveillance society on Earth there.

Yet despite this foreboding conclusion, I believe that the Empire will falter, dramatically, as all Empires must (and should). Those that can either navigate their survival by serving the Empire (not!) or by avoiding its draconian measures (including your arrest, imprisonment and execution) will be many. The real clincher here is of course, climate change, which will require the reallocation of critical resources (food, water, energy, oil, etc.) and nobody knows yet how severe this will be, but this is expected to kill billions.

I expect it to be VERY severe to be honest, way beyond anything most are anticipating, because we have only barely begun to see what has been set in motion decades ago. At even 10% of what we might get, this will mean the death of millions of people who failed to navigate these changes. Their homes will be flooded, or they will die of dehydration and starvation, or disease, or find themselves dispossessed and force to move, with no employable or desirable job skills and on and on. Many will die of actual starvation, because global food supplies will be very critical and unable to feed 7+ billion people.

Those that survive will be flexible enough to avoid being one of these dispossessed refugees. Refugees have ALWAYS fared poorly, especially at first when it really counts. Some have gone on to become quite successful, but that was a different world then, this is now and the depleted future I’m talking about here. In any case, the opportunities for “success” are changing very rapidly indeed. Success in the future will generally be thought to mean to embrace the State Empire (which is what it really means now). For others, success will mean to have found a way to survive outside of the crushing embrace of the Empire, so check your definition and see where you stand.

There will be little room for the infirmed and the sick. I’ve hinted at this before, when I said that democracy would also disappear. Resource abundance fosters compassion, resource depletion creates competition. We can “afford” certain things now, such as highly advanced medical techniques which are resource and monetarily expensive.  However, it is very unlikely that this will last into the future as critical resources run out.  This is already happening if you’ve been paying attention.  The rich and wealthy have access to the best medical care in the world, but the poor and destitute receive nothing. It is not that there isn’t any medical care available, it’s because it is only being offered to certain classes of well-heeled citizens.

I have often been reminded of this fact when it comes to the medical care of woman versus men. There is a decided difference on what type of care is offered between the two sexes.  And it’s really noticeable if you have health insurance or if you don’t.  America is a “pay as you go” society, which will only worsen as it disintegrates.  We do not have the ethic of cohesion and community that is needed, I do not expect it to magically arrive either.

In the Future Prep series (I think) is where I listed the qualities for future survival. The young and healthy will have the best chances of all, if they can avoid conscription (employment or otherwise). Bear this mind, whatever health you have today, preserve it and cherish it (protect it) as long as you can, because it is one of the very best assets you will ever have.

There is a true story right here of a 19 year old young man who tragically broke his back and is now a paraplegic.  He will be dependent on many parts of society to continue to function for the rest of his life, which is likely to be dramatically shortened even in normal circumstances.  In a collapsing civilization, he will receive less and less care.  This will also happen to the diseased, aged, mentally ill and injured, so take very careful care of yourself now.

May 272008
 

Doug bought me a copy of this book, Earth Sheltered Homes, which he has recommended (thanks Doug!).

I’ve had a chance to look at it now, there are some innovative ideas on how to use plain old dirt for insulation and heat storage.  Instead of exposing the home to the heat-robbing damp ground that surrounds the home, a waterproof insulation blanket is extended outward away from the home many feet.

This creates a heat sink of sorts, that can reflect heat back into the home during the cold winter months.  The concepts of thermal conductivity and heat storage are exhaustively covered in the book.

Apparently it works too, having been tested in the cold Montana winters and some studies were also done by the University of Minnesota.

May 222008
 

From the Oil Drum:

Robert Hirsch, author of Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, and Risk Management (a.k.a. the Hirsch Report), appeared on CNBC this morning. He said flat out that new technologies and new drilling won’t solve the peak oil problem, and that we should expect $12-15/gallon gasoline followed by rationing. $15 Gasoline Ahead

HOST: Dr. Hirsch, there are a lot of people when we talk about peak oil who say there are going to be technologies that are always developed. There will be new ways to get oil, whether it’s from coal, whether it’s from the oil shales, and they say that means we will never actually hit peak oil. What do you say to those people?

HIRSCH: They’re incorrect, and the reason that they’re incorrect is that they don’t understand the magnitude of the problem and how long it’s going to take to bring substitute liquid fuels on and to introduce energy efficiency on a massive scale. That’s something that we analyzed and it takes decades. And the reason, simply, is that the magnitude of the problem is enormous.

[McTeer says we should drill more.]

HOST: Dr. Hirsch, what do you say to that–the idea that we should be drilling in places like ANWR and drilling offshore. Would that solve this problem of a plateau in oil production?

HIRSCH: There’s no single thing that’s going to solve this problem because it’s as massive as one can possibly imagine. And the prices that we’re paying at the pump today I think are going to be the good old days because others who watch this very closely forecast that we are going to be hitting $12 and $15 per gallon. And then, after that, when world oil production goes into decline, we’re going to talk about rationing. In other words, not only are we going to be paying high prices and have considerable economic problems, in addition to that, we’re not going to be able to get the fuel when we want it.

May 222008
 

Apparently, according to Russian researcher Boris Borisov, famine during the Great Depression in 1931 – 1932 in America killed over 7 million Americans.

The researcher, Boris Borisov, in his article titled “The American Famine” estimated the victims of the financial crisis in the US at over seven million people. The researcher also directly compared the US events of 1932-1933 with Holodomor, or Famine, in the USSR during 1932-1933.

In the article, Borisov used the official data of the US Census Bureau. Having revised the number of the US population, birth and date rates, immigration and emigration, the researcher came to conclusion that the United States lost over seven million people during the famine of 1932-1933.
“According to the US statistics, the US lost not less than 8 million 553 thousand people from 1931 to 1940. Afterwards, population growth indices change twice instantly exactly between 1930-1931: the indices drop and stay on the same level for ten years. There can no explanation to this phenomenon found in the extensive text of the report by the US Department of Commerce “Statistical Abstract of the United States,” the author wrote. Famine killed 7 million people in USA

I’ve never seen published data on how many people died in the Great Depresssion. All the news clips I’ve seen and read, including the movie, “The Grapes of Wrath” never state how bad it was.

Wikipedia apparently deleted the article and a quick search on Google did not turn it up either.

I would guess that another famine here would kill many more people then this. Our oil dependency and widely distributed and highly increased population base, city density, loss of knowledge and loss of farmland, topsoil, drought, etc., would make this much worse (including multiple climate change effects, it’s now flooding here for example).

Nobody knows what the number might be and it depends on whose estimate you are inclined to believe, but mine is in the range of 200,000,000+ from all the effects leading to (unnatural) death combined.

May 222008
 

Michael sent me this link, which is pretty interesting.  This could be a blueprint for the Cheney junta to take over this country, not at all hard to imagine.  The terrorist threat here I think is grossly overexaggerated, one of the main themes in this document.  But more importantly is the idea / reality that ANY supply disruption for ANY reason on the global oil output ANYWHERE s going to have huge repercussions for the entire world, especially here.

This is a few years old – which demonstrates that there is no doubt whatsoever that the White House and company (corporate America) is fully aware of what is at stake and has been for some time.  Oil Shockwave (*.pdf file).

May 212008
 

It would be worthwhile, if I had time, to do a weekly roundup of the latest news that is applicable to the collapse of civilization. But I can’t do this in reality, there is simply too much to share, too much to read and too little time to write it all down.

Events are indeed accelerating. But it’s still a big planet and there will be plenty of room for things to gather more and more momentum. If you’re watching the news like I am (reading it online), there’s some scary things ahead.

Each week, I suggest we consider the illusions that have held everything together for so long, because these illusions are now breaking down bit by bit. Our “belief” in things like our economy is the glue that has kept everything still working, for example. We know we are broke as a country, and have been so for a very long time, but we’re still functioning because most of us are still participating, which is illogical when you think about it.

Simple things like “there will be food in the grocery store” and “gasoline will be available at the pumps” is another illusionary belief we cling to, especially when we know we’re running out of those things. Illusions have become more real then reality actually is to us, I am seeing evidence of this everyday (I really wish some of you could sit in on some of the phone calls I get).

Our lives are very carefully assembled around our illusions, which is probably a defensive mechanism that helps us cope from day to day realities. Our illusions are many, such as:

Our illusions of freedom, which are often compared against that of another country (which is irrelevant, we don’t live there, nor live under that government, society or economy). This practice fails to identify our own shortcomings here and is a straw man argument, yet we hear about this comparison as an “advantage” all the time.

It is an illusion that we have a democracy, because we can vote and have a “representative government” (no we don’t). Voting does not change anything anymore (even if they are actually counted), certainly not on a national or state level and very often, not even on a regional or local level. But we stubbornly insist that this is a primary characteristic of a democracy, along with our “representatives”. We mistakenly apply the act of voting as a representative voice, losing sight of what a real democracy actually is (and does).

It is an illusion to believe that outside of your immediate sphere of influence, the average person really has any choices in his or her life. The reality is very different, a well-worn “approved path” of total existence has already been decided for each of us long ago. We mistake the choices we’ve been provided (given) as being “free choices” (no matter where you live in the world), when the reality is very different.

Our choices are nothing more then extensions of our positions in life based on things like sex, age, status, income and nationality, and all of this is subject to market direction which governs a great deal of this. Even the “rags to riches” stories found throughout the world reflect this. What we perceive as the ultimate success or freedom achieved at the end of such stories, is really nothing more then a gilded cage (with our compliance).

We cannot truly choose what isn’t really ours to ask for in other words, it’s prohibited by age, race, sex, income, position and even nationality. You can’t ask, or demand, or even try for example, to be an airliner pilot, unless you have first been schooled (approved) as being one — even if you hand-built your own airliner and found your own passengers. Nor could you ask or demand to be French for example. Everything you might want to do has to be approved by someone else, which really then isn’t a (free) choice at all.  We’re not really “free” to do anything anymore, except die.  How you live and where you live and what you will do is very often up to someone else, including society itself, but not up to you.

What we perceive as choices really aren’t. They are really approved paths, and well-worn ones at that, followed by millions of people before you. You’re not permitted to step off the path and “succeed” in your own private endeavor unless it’s on a approved path. Those that try, are swiftly reigned in (or even killed) for trying.

Here’s a big one:

It is an illusion to believe that your life really matters, when the lives of billions of others have come and gone and nobody remembers or learns (almost) nothing from their existence. Your life matters to you — and a very few others that actually know and care about you, but that’s it. The rest of the world simply doesn’t care about you about you and never will. This is why we do not really care about what happens in other lands, just like they do not really care what happens here.  All we really see and witness is lip-service, which appeases our conscience for the most part and does nothing else.

And another big one:

It is an illusion to believe that our beliefs matter either, when they themselves are unmeasurable and unquantifiable except by other “believers” who believe the same things we do. This is of course, a self-reinforcing illusion (and often, delusion), but we go right on living, dying and killing in the name of our beliefs as if it all really does matter. Entire worlds have been destroyed on this illusionary behavior (including this one).

A few others:

It is an illusion to believe that the poor will ever matter, when the rich have always owned and controlled the world in all societies. A just and fair society is simply an illusion we desperately cling to because it’s simply too distasteful to believe we can never, ever have it. We’re much more comfortable talking about it rather then actually living it.

It is an illusion to believe that your life will make a difference, when billions of lives have been extinguished without any remembrance at all. Your passing will be quickly forgotten by all except a very few. For some reason, this tends to bother us very much, but it shouldn’t.

It is an illusion to believe that “being involved” is important, when your actual importance and usually, your contribution is inestimably small. The larger the project or endeavor is, the less your input matters (which is why voting isn’t representative of anything). Your contribution and involvement only matters when things are kept quite small, and then it only matters to a very small group of people.

The truth is, we can no longer affect outcomes at all. We are powerless, controlled, manipulated and owned in exact measurement to our dependency and the size of the force that opposes us (or claims to be help us, which is always questionable).

It is an illusion that freedom is the real goal of human society, when just the opposite is true. Those of us that truly want freedom are really claiming we just want to be left alone. Those that claim to promote freedom are very often trying to take it away from someone else. And those that are trying to take freedom away are only interested in making sure they are in charge. But none of these behaviors is really in alliance with true freedom. There is nothing in our society today that actually promotes true freedom and which has in fact, been widely and broadly outlawed.

(Side note: there are also some examples of why tribal living works so much better then our society, humans have never well adapted to living in large groups)

At the risk of losing my readership, I’ll stop. Illusions are a governing self-deception in life, reinforced by all of society, that helps us cope with the actual reality of our true existence. Life as it actually is and not how we distort it to be, is harsher and more stark then what we’re really willing to admit, so coping mechanisms like our illusions offer our minds a defense against the harshness of reality.

Why is any of this important, and why have I even bothered to convey these thoughts? Because our illusions are now bumping badly into our realities on a daily basis, while reality comes crashing down over and over again.

Everything would be fine if our world wasn’t changing so quickly and so negatively for the worse, we could continue to cling to our illusions forever if we had to. But the illusions of gluing thoughts that have kept us all are rapidly dissolving with the harsh solvent of reality.

Nobody wants to believe in $12 gasoline for example, but there you go. Or that we will be farming with mules soon enough, or what this might mean for world population levels. Hardly anybody wanted to believe oil would break $100 and there were cries for “retraction” when someone published that figure, but now $140 a barrel is just about here. How about $150? Or $200? Or global, systematic crash, dead ahead?

Reality is slam-dunking our precious illusions, with an absolute brutality that has yet to be fully acknowledged. As often shared, we’ve not seen anything yet, it will get much, much worse then this and our illusions need to go bye-bye.

The police state that I often write about is already ramped up to arrest 8 million ‘dissidents’ if you can believe this article (already a 4 year old program). Don’t think it will happen? Then why are they doing this?

I wear a lot of different hats around here, mostly because I have to. Being “whoopee” and glad went right over some heads, and being doom and gloom is making grown men cry (seriously). How about I call this “illusionary balance” since one man’s reality is another man’s nightmare? And balance being necessary in all things, including knowing that not all of our illusions are going to just go away, we will tenaciously cling to them as long as we can.

The danger lies in all of our illusionary premises — especially the ones that “matter” to our daily lives. The big ones, like the coming (s)Election really aren’t important to us individually. If Al Gore had been permitted to be President for example, we’d still be screwed climatically speaking (it’s been too late for years to fix this). Our resources would be just as badly depleted too, and our energy policy would still probably be swirling around in the toilet because America just isn’t willing to change yet.

Much of life seems to be focusing on a lot of the “wrong things”, such as these illusionary premises, the self-deceptive beliefs we have that keep us spending time, money, energy and effort on things that just don’t matter at all and really never will. In effect, they are like part of a rigged game to keep you hopping to someone else’s tune (for their profits and purposes of control of course).

Do we really have the time for this kind of thing anymore? That depends on you and what you believe you should be doing with your life and how seriously you actually take the issue of the collapse to heart. I’ve taken the position that trying to save everyone is a complete waste of time and effort and certainly will not bother myself with it anymore. So is trying to simply educate everyone on what’s ahead. So is trying to “save the planet” or even “live sustainably”, there are many things that just aren’t achievable anymore or even desirable. They definitely matter, but they cannot be achieved and trying to do so poses some real risks with dubious results.

The belief in the collapse for example, matters and requires of you an actionable response (not just a verbal acknowledgement). The oil crisis (really, an “oil dependency” crisis) requires that everyone, driving or not, start planning ahead for the innumerable consequences of increased prices and product shortages and what this is going to mean in your daily life.  The growing food shortages for example, requires you to plan ahead for this fact, or face the inevitable consequences of going hungry for not doing so.

These are things that cannot be ignored and are much more real then our illusionary beliefs, and a lot more uncomfortable for us to deal with.

There is a much longer list of illusions that could be shared, but the point of this post is to make mention of them and how they are not helping us anymore and probably never did. We will be better off if we face our future head on with all honesty and integrity to truth; illusionary beliefs and then adherence to them are just costly exercises that aren’t accomplishing anything.

May 192008
 

Yeeeeeehaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!

Bet you have NO IDEA what’s up…. but I’ll say it again, YEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

Ever get that thought that if you open your mouth, you’d knock down mountains? No? Well, sometimes I get that thought. It doesn’t mean I’m right…. but if I am, well, then I’m right.

How important is it to be right? Think about it. It depends on who you’re influencing, even if it’s just yourself. Taking yourself too seriously is probably a pretty bad idea, but we all like to be right, at least now and then. That’s because it validates our thought processes and our efforts. Validation is pretty important too. We seek validation in love, friendship, work, leisure, well, everything.

If we do not receive validation, some “proof” of our reason(s) for our existence, then we can feel discouraged, distraught and disillusioned. Pretty bad stuff sometimes, but it depends on your frame of reference and outlook on life. There are some people that can swim against the tide seemingly forever, no matter what, receiving little to none validation for their efforts and yet, keep a happy smile on their face.

Why is that? Their frame of reference is different then the sour pusses that require constant validation (and/or recognition). The journey is the goal, not the destination — not obvious to many. The truth is, we “never arrive” at the destination, this is always a moving target, so I don’t aim at a particular point at all, I just focus on what’s ahead of me.

What has your journey brought you? Or more importantly, where has it taken you? There are a few people that know my life history for example and have asked me to write a book about it. I think not. Not now, and perhaps, not ever. I’m still on the journey for starters and that’s a lot more fun then reminiscing about my past.

However, the accumulation of life experiences and the interaction with the world is exactly what I’m talking about here. What makes it good, and what makes it bad?

Many people are quite distraught over the collapse of our civilization for example. Especially those that have not yet learned to accept it. They are often quite depressed and discouraged, their “hope” for their own future seems dashed. The focus is often not on what is happening in their daily lives (present tense), but what is going to happen (future tense).

This is both a mistake and a necessity. The key is balance. Focusing constantly on the doom and the gloom takes away the present moment like a sucking leech, drawing off all the life and joy of the here and now. The moment is in reality, all we actually live in. I’m not even alive ten minutes from now, I’m only alive and aware of the present surroundings and circumstances that are happening right now.

I project the future, by the moments, minutes, hours, days and years ahead, but it’s simply a projection. It’s not even “real” yet, but a projection based upon my understanding of the here and now and recent past. It’s a form of conjecture actually, but not illogical conjecture if you’re paying attention. It’s insight oftentimes, based upon a realistic understanding of the past and present and the logical future outcomes.

But not all of our projections of the future minutes, hours and days ahead are logical at all. In fact, a great many of them are not. What we fear the most is often what we experience the least. However, that does not negate the actual reality of what the future does bring when it finally does arrive, sometimes it’s much worse then we think. But keeping this all in balance is really important to our mental health and sanity.

Most of the world (in America) seems to live in the “now”, with little regard or concern for the future. This is both unfortunate and tragic in my mind, because it’s part of the problem with the “here and now” and the logical outcome of the future projections I’ve been making here. Indifference, apathy, selfishness, irresponsibility and unaccountability are the bastard children of living in the here and now. Sure, it might be a pleasant existence, but it’s also a very damaging one, one that cannot always be accepted as being good.

But that is something that I am projecting in this essay on “others”. Other people who do not care about our world, or even their own future very much. This blog deals quite a bit with projected future events that will effect all of humanity and the planet. It’s not a crystal ball and never will be, but it is an assessment of my viewpoints and why they are reaching the conclusions (future tense of course) of what “will be” in all of our lives.

But, I admit, this is a maddening exercise for some (and even for me at times) because it requires a type of discipline that is somewhat unique and underutilized in most of our modern world today. This discipline is to understand the art of projection based upon the past and present conditions in humans, society, the environment and the entire world. Future telling isn’t always in the realm of mystics or profits (pun intended), but in thinking minds all over the world.

We “look ahead” and “all around” as best as we can to assess the meaning of it all, the why it “is” and from whence it came, and of course, where it is all going and how we might get there. It’s quite a lot in reality, but notably absent is the focus on the “here and now” and the moment by moment existence that can at times, be quite envious if we are truly honest with ourselves.

So at times, a break in the process is needed for our sanity and mental well being. I advise this for everyone, because after all, we cannot change much about our future anyway. All we can do is play the bit parts we’ve all been assigned and do the best we can, but that doesn’t mean we must always be grinding ourselves away at the whetstone of life. It’s not necessary and certainly, not advisable.

So Yeeeeeehaaaaaa!!!!!!!!! Live the life. Live your life, it’s the only one you’ve got, the only one you’ll ever get (sorry), and don’t forget to enjoy the moments that are passing by like a flickering light. You will NEVER get them back — remember that. We may be facing the most difficult time in human history, but so what? That’s life, get used to it. There is nothing anybody, including you can actually do about it anyway.

The moments pass, one by one, in an unending stream of moments all connected together, leading off into our futures. Our only role in all of this is to appreciate what we do have — if we were all to do this, we’d already be living in a different place, right here, right now.

Appreciate the moment, the life, the joy and even the sorrow. Its the life, and always will be.  Your validation is the here and now — you’re still here aren’t you?  Don’t underestimate what this means — and what it is going to mean in the future.  Endurance is called for, no doubt.  Look around — what do you see?  The race does not always go to the fastest or swiftest, but to those who can endure.  That is also the journey — one that we are all running.

May 182008
 

This is a link contribution sent in by retardedbygod which is pretty interesting.  Using pigs to reclaim wasted land and enhance the fertility, even if you don’t eat pork. Fertility Farming

Many more links on the homepage, Small Farms Library

I’ve been clearing land mechanically and by hand, working my butt off too.  The slash left behind by irresponsible timber companies is pretty dreadful around here.  It takes several decades for this to rot properly and disintegrate into the soil.  In the meanwhile, you can’t walk around in the forest without stumbling (or falling) over all the slash.

Slash is good for the soil, resupplying nutrients, but it’s also bad for forest fires.  Mechanically chipped slash is expensive to process. Simply driving over it with a tractor breaks it down faster, breaking all the wood (limbs) that have been left behind into smaller pieces.  But it will still exist on the ground for a very long time and still poses a fire hazard.

I’m using a cultivating rake too, which is helping some, this is a device dragged behind the tractor that helps rake up the slash into piles.  Pigs could have helped break this down too, although they’d not have eaten any of it.  They’d root underneath for the grass and roots they’d find, leaving the dead limbs half buried.  Not good, these need to go first.

This might be my next step — either buy the pigs or lease out the land to someone for a season and allow the pigs to turn it over for me.  Something to think about.