Citizen Action Monitor

Forebodings drive a retired engineer-cum-blogger to prepare for the worst to come

Canadian Rob Mielcarski is concerned about planetary overshoot, the high probability of collapse, our inability to share a common reality, and clashes over what we should do. —

No 2785 by fw, October 7, 2021—

Rob Mielcarski

About Rob Mielcarski: Rob Mielcarski is a retired systems software developer and high-tech executive with an honors M.A.Sc. Electrical Engineering degree from UBC. He’s concerned about human overshoot, the damage we’re doing to a very special planet, the high probability of a big contraction or collapse in the not too distant future, and our inability to have an adult conversation about reality and what we should do. He created the blog un-Denial.com in 2012 after reading Ajit Varki & Danny Brower’s book Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind, which presents a theory that answers some of the big questions that interest him, including: Why are humans capable of understanding almost everything except their own [planetary] overshoot?

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My personal salute to Rob: As a regular follower of Rob’s blog, https://un-denial.com/, over these many years, he has introduced me to the works of most of the outstanding scientists covering our existential crises, experts that other so-called climate activists wilfully ignore. If you haven’t already discovered un-denial, do drop on by.

Reposted below is my abridged/edited take on Rob’s October 2 blog post titled “Take us to DEFCON 1.” As Rob explains:

The US military defines its Defense Readiness Condition (DEFCON) levels as follows: DEFCON 5 is normal readiness; DEFCON 4 is above normal readiness; DEFCON 3 is the air force ready to mobilize in 15 minutes; DEFCON 2 is all forces ready to fight in 6 hours; DEFCON 1 is the maximum state of readiness and means nuclear war is imminent or has already started. I have my own definitions that I use for my personal life.

In my repost, I have omitted all references to DEFCON because I found they distracted from his main thesis — there’s reason to be concerned about the worst to come.

To read Rob’s original post, click on the following linked title.

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Take us to DEFCON 1 by Rob Mielcarski, un-Denial, October 2, 2021

I spent the first 50 years of my life … as a normal, fully in denial, culturally conforming, dopamine & status seeking, energy maximizing, member of a superorganism.

Then I had a stress-related meltdown and while recovering stumbled on peak oil. After seeking and failing to find a good path forward other than population reduction, I wondered what else I was in denial about, and widened my field of view to include climate change, pollution, species extinction, unsustainable debt, etc., all of which I eventually came to understand are related and fall under the umbrella of human overshoot.

I began to think about making changes to my life, took a 6-month course on small scale farming, and did some volunteer work on a small organic farm.

Then the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) occurred and … Confident that a collapse would occur within 10 years, I changed everything in my life. A new location where I’d be happy finishing my life, a simpler slower lifestyle, satisfying physical work, improved health, and thank goodness, Varki’s MORT theory to keep me sane with an explanation for the insanity all around me.

I also began to methodically plan and implement some preparations for a different world that I expected would arrive soon. The basic idea was to convert some retirement savings into things needed to survive and/or that might provide some joy in a harsher simpler world, and that won’t go bad, will never be cheaper, or better quality, or more available than today.

In hindsight, I didn’t have a powerful enough imagination to predict that our leaders would loan into existence many trillions of dollars that can never possibly be repaid, to avoid having to acknowledge overshoot, and to extend and pretend business as usual a few extra years, at the expense of making our destination worse, but they did.

Then early in 2020 I saw the Chinese panicking over a virus before anyone here was discussing it, and I got serious about completing most of my preps, which was an easy low stress exercise, because I already had a plan and simply had to execute it.

By the time the majority was scrambling, I was done, and completely calm and confident.

Today, two years into the pandemic, I’m seeing [six] threats that have caused me to go to [a maximum state of readiness]:

1/ Many supply chains are broken and are getting worse, not better. This is a strong signal that our complex civilization is simplifying in unpredictable ways, as predicted by David Korowicz.

2/ Energy shortages have emerged simultaneously in multiple strategically important regions. This is a big deal because fossil energy underpins everything our species depends on to survive. Net energy peaked a few years ago and we have been on a plateau made wider by unprecedented money printing, but once we fall over the edge I believe the decline will be much faster than the few percent per year that an unstressed geology and monetary system would deliver. I do not know if we’ve already fallen off the plateau, but I do know it will happen soon, and when it does, the changes will be profound, rapid, and painful. Regardless if the current energy problems prove to be temporary, they are a serious threat to an already fragile economy, civil society, and war-free world.

3/ The Chinese economy is showing signs of stress from excess debt similar to the west’s 2008 GFC. Our vulnerability to a sick China is much greater than most assume because everything we depend on is dependent on Asian manufacturing, and a functioning global shipping system, and a functioning global banking system. This time I doubt more debt will fix an excess debt problem.

4/ There are worrying signals that our vaccination policy is failing with health risks for both vaccinated and unvaccinated increasing, and that the boosters everyone is counting on may not work.

5/ The leaders of the majority of countries seem incapable of absorbing and integrating evidence to improve their Covid strategy. If they are incapable of effectively managing Covid, we can be confident they will not be capable of managing the much more complex and profound implications of declining energy and the economic contraction it will cause.

6/ All paths lead to food and we are 3 missed meals away from civil disorder. The climate seems to have shifted a gear this year and I expect this will negatively impact agricultural yields soon. Energy shortages will also negatively impact food production and distribution. As will supply chain problems. As will more Covid problems. As will a global economic depression.

This does not mean I’m expecting the end of the world, but it does mean I intend to complete everything I can think of to prepare for what I think is coming, on the assumption that we are near the end zone, and that by the time our arrival is confirmed, it will probably be too late to do anything.

There’s nothing wrong with being prepared a little early. Especially when being late means it may be impossible to prepare.

NOTE: Rob concludes his post with this reference: “Chris Martenson is thinking along the same lines and recently produced an excellent video explaining what’s happening around the world with energy.” Rather than inserting Martenson’s video here, I have decided that his September 28 presentation, titled “The energy crunch is going to impact you and your family,” deserves its own repost. Martenson’s video is now available on my blog: Global energy crunch, exacerbated by supply chain shocks, could spark a major economic shock : Analyst Chis Martenson blames central bankers’ monetary policies and bumbling government mismanagement of COVID pandemic for coming “Dark Winter.” –— No 2786 by fw, October 9, 2021

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