Among other things to worry about is a danger from nature that can have catastrophic consequences. A global shift into another ice age.
Little Ice Age: The Approaching Disaster
Byb Tom Chatham
(Excerpts) – The Earth has spent much of its history moving from one ice age to another separated by short periods of warn weather. An ice age is the norm not the exception on this planet. These periods of warn weather are thought to be around 12,000 years. It seems that we may be nearing the end of one of those warm periods and a shift to a colder climate may be imminent. Even if it took decades for the climate to become unbearable to us, our food production would have ceased long before then.
Even if you stored 20 years worth of food, it would eventually run out, then what? This scenario could lead to the slow starvation of billions.
The problem with a global disaster, that requires evacuation from some areas, is that if there are safe zones following the disaster, how many people can that safe zone realistically support? If everyone has the same idea of moving to that zone, what will be the outcome? The first people in the zone will see it as their zone and at some point will try to limit or stop others from entering to insure their own survival. This is human nature. If you are one of the first ones in, are you prepared to fight to maintain that zone and for how long? How long do you think you will be able to fight off the rest of the world? If there is a great deal of fighting, will the resources in the safe zone survive destruction?
In an environment where you have to do everything inside, at least for a large portion of the year, energy is the key to everything. With enough energy you can produce light to grow food, stay warm, provide ventilation, produce power and run machines. In some survival situations, energy may be the primary need in order to produce food and pump water.
Wood is a good energy source that humans are very accustomed to using and we have a plentiful supply.
Coal is a good source of energy and we have an abundant supply of it in this country. We have used coal for over a hundred years and we know how to get the most from it. It can be dirty but will store indefinitely and is a compact source of energy.
In a long term survival situation where energy is a key to staying alive, a dependable source of power will be a necessary component to your plan. The storage of liquid fuels is possible to run a generator but could you afford a 20 year supply of fuel right now if you needed it? If so will it store for that long and how will you replace it when it is all gone? Also, generators running on liquid fuels will require periodic maintenance and replacement of components. Even with a supply of repair parts, your engine will eventually wear out requiring a replacement. You need a power system that is easy to maintain, is extremely durable and is simple enough that you can manufacture parts for if necessary.
A simple, tried and tested power system is steam power. With a boiler and a steam engine you can power just about anything and secondary steam can be used for heating. Machines and generators powered by a power take-off shaft can be run by a single engine. Boilers and steam engines are much simpler in design and function than petroleum based engines making repairs and maintenance long term more realistic. With a power take-off shaft you can run several items off of one engine such as a water pump, DC generator, AC generator, metal working machines and ventilation equipment.
The data from paleoclimatology, including ice cores, sea sediments, geology, paleobotany and zoology, indicate that we are on the verge of entering another Ice Age, and the data also shows that severe and lasting climate change can occur within only a few years.
In all likelihood, a return to a little ice age will entail cooler summers and colder winters with a growing season 1 to 2 months shorter in many places. This is something we can adapt to and is much less catastrophic than a full fledged ice age with glaciers covering large portions of the northern hemisphere. Even though we will be able to adapt, it will still cause problems with food production in a world that continues to grow at an ever increasing rate. It could still mean shortages and starvation for some around the world as the grain producing regions in the north are able to produce much less or nothing at all in some places. Even a small shift in climate still holds the potential for dire results if we do not plan for it ahead of time.
I’ve shortened this excellent article quite drastically.
See it in its entirety here:
Thanks to Martin Pigott for this link