In the United States, various states offer glimpses into the future of industrial economies. Wisconsin is filling the mainstream media outlets, but California really leads the way. In the latter state, the lights have gone out and the water has been turned off for a significant number of people.

Those events are coming to the whole country, and a lot sooner than most people realize. Nobody thought a first-world, industrialized nation such as Argentina would implode, either. Until it did, quite rapidly, a decade ago. And no wonder: All police states fail.

The U.S. will prove no exception to the rule of police states that fail. If unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia, it’s game over for the world’s industrialized countries (and therefore a whole new, better ballgame for life on Earth). Here’s hoping.

Economic hit-man John Perkins points out the obvious: Corporations, not nations, run the world. Maintaining American Empire as a corporate state requires obedience at home and oppression abroad. Oh, and we’re headed for complete economic collapse whether or not you continue to act as slave to the fascistic monsters in charge.

Even as corporations are worried about their ability to maintain supply chains to keep you fed and filled with toys, they continue to find novel ways to take money from your wallet. Consider, for example, your tax dollars going directly from Freddie and Fannie to Wall Street in the perfect bailout for the banks.

On the other hand, Obama is promising to cut the budget significantly, as indicated in this video. But the deficit comprises a larger share of the industrial economy than any time since 1945, and Obama’s response is to continue along the same path and lie about it. Sadly, many Americans believe Obama about his many promises, even gulping down the Kool-Aid of his surreal budget projections. For most Americans, soaring rhetoric beats the truth every time. Despite Obama’s frequent expressions of love for the free market, it’s pretty clear the government is manipulating the stock markets. After campaigning on the promise to close Guantanamo Bay, Obama is expanding it. And so on, until it becomes impossible to keep up with the never-ending string of lies emanating from our elected officials (which doesn’t stop the lists, such as this one, from proliferating). Along with his other transgressions, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize has become arms dealer for the world. In short, hope and change is not working out for the average American, leading Mike Whitney to suggest we trade Obama for Hugo Chavez. That’s a great idea, but I doubt the Venezuelan people would go along with it.

Resistance is fertile. If you’re unwilling to take resistance seriously, you can start by planting a garden. Never mind the old adage, “who feeds you, owns you.” You’ll need the garden to survive. As you plant, grow, share the harvest, and improve the soil, it should become clear that your garden is a metaphor for life. You’ll want to tend your relationships as you tend your garden.

I suggest you start today. Even if the ongoing collapse of the industrial economy is not complete for another three years — which seems inconceivable in light of the steadily rising pace of events, including the accelerating decline of the U.S. dollar — it’ll take time to prepare for a bountiful future. As I’ve indicated many times, the time to dig a well is not when you’re thirsty, the time to plant a garden is not when you’re hungry, and the time to build shelter against the storm is not when it’s sleeting.


This essay is permalinked at Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly.

Comments 73

  • Sorry, but this is just random.

    In the Guardian Monday Andrew Simms ends an interesting article about the mixed signals from oil companies with the following:

    “But if problems with production, politics and price combine, the danger is that this may be less a repeat of Britain in the 1970s, and more like Cuba in the 1990s when it suddenly lost access to cheap cold war oil.

    On the bright side, almost overnight, Cuba took to urban organic farming, walking, cycling, mending, repairing and reusing what it already had. Cubans might not have chosen to be so, but they became the modern age’s first previously addicted explorers of a world beyond oil, and they found themselves much healthier and with some of the best mechanics in the world. The harder we cling to the comfort of oil, the sooner we might not have that choice either.”
    If you’re interested you can find it at:

    “The first previously addicted explorers of a world beyond oil.” I like that.

    Michael Irving

  • Planting potatoes, beans, and hiving bees. By no stretch will I be ready for complete collapse. I’m hoping for Kazakhstan, 1995. Nothing more than down-pushing poverty, kleptocratic oppression, migration, life expectancy decline, and starvation on the margins. But guitars still worked and chickens still laid.

  • Andy Brown,

    Too cold here yet to plant, but very soon it will be beans, spuds, and leeks, along with all the other regulars. Finally finished pruning yesterday, I know, way late. Kazakhstan would be nice, if unpleasant. I’m hoping for that and expecting worse. Like Guy I am expecting it to start sliding downhill like a big load of cow manure very soon.

    The almost overwhelming desire to run down to the hardware store and just buy some stuff that I think will be unavailable in the near future consumes me sometimes. I have to mentally slap myself and remember that we have a plan and we need to stick to it. It won’t do to panic now.

    Michael Irving

  • Cuba is amazing, but no one should forget that during all the time that Cuba adjusted to life without the Soviet Union, they still were receiving remittances from Cubans who immigrated. While it appears to be hard to quantify one estimate is $900 million in 2003 or 3% of GDP http://lanic.utexas.edu/project/asce/pdfs/volume15/pdfs/diazbriquetsperezlopez.pdf 3% may not seem like much unless you are having difficulty making it and then 3% may make the difference and life for Cubans would have been and still would be more difficult if it weren’t for family loyalty. The amounts may be much larger as not all remittances are made through channels that can be quantified.

    None the less Cuba’s story is amazing and they will be in better shape for what is coming than the US. Fidel Castro for all the US demonizing is an extraordinary man.

  • Bruce Kasting has joined the crowd calling for $140 oil, and soon. He also concludes, and I agree, that Brent is the oil that matters — West Texas Intermediate is irrelevant. Brent is the world’s oil, whereas WTI is derived largely from Canada’s tar sands and therefore greases interior North America.

  • Sometimes it looks as though it will all be over in a few months, and at other times it looks as though it could drag on for another decade. Yes, right now things are moving quickly.

    NZ has a heap of problems -the second biggest city hit by a major earthquake, company failures, rising unemployment, deficits, a huge oil import bill etc., but it is very noticeable that the kiwi dollar has risen agains the US from 72/73 cents to 77/78 cent over the past couple of weeks.

    However, it is wise to remember that it is a race to the bottom amongst industrialised nations, so it could all change next week. Only environmental catastrophe nations like Canada and Australia seem to be doing well at the moment, largely on the basis of digging them up and carting them away, it seems.

    Many of us have been watching Brent oil (two months ago $99, one month ago $115, now $122). Some of the movement is obviously partly due to the decline in the US dollar, but US oils are also up around 20% over the same time period: that has to start hurting consumers soon. On the other hand, higher oil prices will improve the profitability of tars sands etc. as well as conventional oil. The major oil companies will be laughing all the way to the bank, as will the British and Dutch royal families.

    A snip form the Independent says it all: too big to fail, too big to be saved.

    ‘Legendary investor and economist Nouriel Roubini, the so-called “Dr Doom” who correctly predicted the coming of the credit crunch and subsequent slump, summed up the danger to the euro: “I think the big question is not Portugal – that is too small – but rather whether the contagion could spread, over time, to Spain, a country that is on one side too big to fail, but from the other side too big to be saved.”

    I guess everyone knows Spain has reported unemployment rate of 20% and a collapsing property market.

  • If you haven’t seen it yet, get a copy of “The Power Of Community” a doco put out by Community Solution: http://www.communitysolution.org/poc.html

    I was at the Community Solution & Peak Oil Conference in 2005 when they showed us a draft of the doco (http://www.communitysolution.org/05conf.html).
    The producers wept on stage, as they explained that they hadn’t shown how hard it had been for the Cubans to start with:
    1. how not only did Cubans starve for a while…most getting less than 1700 calories a day. Some fled the country due to this.
    2. they almost stopped having children for about 10 years.
    3. how loving and welcoming the Cubans were to these American film makers, even though the US embargo was so brutal.


  • “Resistance is fertile” I didn’t catch that the first time through. Sounds like a refrigerator quote to me. Whether or not any of us can become self feeding through our gardens, I can’t think of a better way to head towards collapse. Getting dirt on your hands is a connection with the earth that eventually will enfold our whole bodies, thankfully after the crash we will be able to lay down in the dirt rather than packed in a box.

    In a mood enhancing mode I think of all the things I won’t have to worry about post collapse – here I am thinking of that point when the electric grid fails for good

    I won’t have to:

    Defrost the freezer
    Clean the window fans
    Replace light bulbs
    Fill out a tax return
    Pay bills
    Clean the filter in the water line
    Fly anywhere again and thus won’t have to worry about pat downs
    Answer the phone
    Change the clocks twice a year
    Upgrade Windows
    Tell folks collapse is coming
    Change the oil in the car
    Clear the privet off of the electric wire that comes into the house
    Remember to take coupons with me to the grocery store
    Buy printer ink

    See lots of good things to look forward to. :) :) :)

  • But OTOH I sure am going to miss the bananas …..

  • Michael Irving: Your post reminded me of what I found in my basement when I bought my house. It is a very old house, built in the late 1800’s.

    The original owner was fairly young when the Great Depression struck. While going through everything, and making some incredible finds (Like a big bottle of insecticide “WITH DDT Power!” and an original six pack of RC cola) I happened upon a workshop area full of tools and metal parts like screws, nails, nuts, bolts, hinges, doorknobs, etc. TONS of the stuff! Back then, they kept everything, and seemingly stuck it in closetfull of masonjars and cigar boxes in my basement. The tools were all pretty much ruined, but the hardware is, mostly, still usable, strangely enough. Their thought was that it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it, or have the money to go get it.

    I fear we’re closing in on that situation now.

    Kathy, you’re not in Cuba now and being forced to say that, are you? If you dare to say otherwise and are caught, guess where you get to go? Prison. (And yes I’ve been there) Indescribably beautiful, but not as nice as Michael Moore lets on. ;)

    Guy, I believe that it is all oil that matters. If you take away oil from any part of the system, you’ve taken oil away from all parts of it. As prices rise, oil sellers are going to go where they can make the most money for their product, thus the price goes up across the board.

    Scarcity, being what it is as it increases, won’t just make the price go up, it’ll make it go up logarithmically!

    I was talking with a couple truckers a few days ago. They were saying that things are getting extremely interesting right now and that they might end up tapping out before the summer completely kicks off, the owner/operators especially. Diesel is $4.07/gallon here in the Minneapolis area.

    Trains are great, but they don’t go everywhere. If the trucks shut down, things will get bad very, very quickly when the supermarket, you know, where everyone knows the food comes from, have empty shelves.

    And where’s Frank?

  • Oh and Kathy: Check this out, Prosser might have won.


    It’s high time for the political system to get it right. I find it rather amusing that I’ve gone to another country to ensure fair and legitimate elections and we can’t even get it right here.

  • I built three raised beds (so far) this year from salvaged lumber. A neighbor stopped by and saw them, told me she was jealous and – motivated – to get her own garden started. My snow peas are in the ground along with the lettuce I potted indoors over the winter. The apple blossoms are divine.

    You’re doin’ a fine job of keeping us tuned-in Guy; thanks.

  • Turboguy, there are people in Castro’s prisons, there are people in the US prisons. In the US grandmothers get tazed for giving a little lip to the police. A US citizen can be killed overseas by our government without trial. In the US you can be tortured and if you give out names after being tortured they can be arrested and convicted based on your confession (much like the inquisition or the show trials in the Soviet Union). In the US you can be given the death penalty even if you are innocent and now that DNA testing is available you can’t necessarily get the DNA from the case retested to prove your innocence – however the Innocence project is getting a significant number of innocent people out of jail. Keeping innocent people in jail for a crime leaves guilty people loose to act again. A double bad perpetrated by police who want a quick arrest and conviction to look good.

    “Chicago torture case figure starts prison
    As a former Chicago police commander reported to federal prison Wednesday for lying about the torture of murder suspects decades ago, a man his detectives allegedly beat into confessing learned he was being freed after 25 years behind bars.
    Jon Burge turned himself in Wednesday morning to begin a 41/2-year sentence at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina. Hours later in Chicago, a judge ordered 45-year-old Eric Caine released from Menard Correctional Center after prosecutors conceded they didn’t have enough evidence to convict Caine of murder again without the suspect confession he gave police in 1986”

    “As a percentage of total population, the United States also has the largest imprisoned population, with 739 people per 100,000 serving time, awaiting trial or otherwise detained.[14]” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison

    Looks like I am living in the country where by the percents I am most likely to go to jail.

  • Jb,

    Lucky dog. We are at the top of the crocus season here and we got an inch of snow this afternoon. The great thing is that once spring gets going it really comes on in a rush. The apples are just showing the smallest bit of color at the ends of the swelling buds and Dana’s tomatoes are trying to bloom in-doors. We’ll be planting the early stuff in a week.

    Michael Irving

  • All the strawberries I set out this spring have fruit on them, my new muscadine vines are leafing out, my 8 blueberry bushes all leafed out and flowered, and two of my three turkey figs have tiny fruit. My daughter and I are planting cucumbers, pumpkin, and sunflowers (she loves sunflowers) this Sunday, to go along with our tomatoes and bell peppers. I have laid out two new areas of sheet mulching just outside the poultry yard, where I hope to grow sweet corn next year.

    One of my 2 young pecan trees is dead, unfortunately.

    My order of 25 pullets is supposed to be arriving early next week.

    Today I received a large box from Amazon.com: a reel mower. I have never cut grass in my life without the roar and vibration of a gas-powered mower. It was surreal, and I got done cutting in about the same amount of time, but with no pollution, no gas or oil used, no racket, and got a good workout in the process. I hope to still have some grassy areas to walk around outside the house in the years ahead; may help deter venemous snakes.

    After finding out that we may only break even if we sell our house, our plans do so so are on hold, temporarily. We are very sad about it. I am not afraid of being broke, but am terrified of being broke and homeless. If it were only myself, maybe; but I cannot ask that of my wife and six-year old. Not yet. Now I am glad I did not pause in my gardening work to paint the outside of the house. I say “temporarily,” because there will likely not BE a real estate market in the near future, not as we have known it, anyway. Anything is possible, even a return to tenant farming here in the South.

    What an exciting, interesting, and rather terrifying time to be alive!

  • Guy,

    “Resistance is fertile.” I am not sure how to take that. Do you mean that there are many opportunities for growth by actively resisting? Do you mean that resistance is a means whereby we can make a richer life? Do you mean gardening is resistance because it challenges the conventional lifestyle? Or is it something else?

    If you are suggesting that we should join Chris Hedges next week I have this question: If everything will be crashed flat on its face within a year and a half, why bother? I believe in that kind of action, and in fact was at a peace/solidarity march last weekend but sometimes I get the feeling many here think that is naive. What’s your take?

    Michael Irving

  • Sorry for my lack of clarity, Michael. Thanks for the opportunity to elaborate.

    Many people, quoting Star Trek, believe resistance is futile. I think the opposite is true. By resisting the dominant paradigm, we think beyond conventional “wisdom” and therefore open ourselves to personal growth. As such, gardening is a metaphor. But gardening is also an activity, and one that promotes deep thought, interaction with non-human forms of life, and production of healthy food.

    I am not promoting joining Hedges next week, although local action is not a bad idea. My participation in such activities allows me to interact with like-minded individuals as well as attracting the attention of the government (the second of the three Chinese curses). But beyond personal connections and personal growth, I think marches and protests have impacts similar to signing petitions.

  • Kathy,

    Just because the United States has problems, an issue I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with you on, does not excuse Castro, either of them, of what is and has gone on in Cuba.

    That’s like a Republican making the case that Obama is a completely corrupt piece of crap, and the Democrat saying, “Oh yeah? Well George W did this and that!” Both of them are right, and I’d be hard pressed to argue against either person, but just because George W was an idiot and pulled all manner of corrupt garbage, does not excuse the excesses of the Obama administration, does it?

    At least here I can openly say that I think that Obama is, if not directly responsible, totally complicit with the degradation of not only our economic system long before it should have without fear of the government tossing me in prison. I can walk right up to another police officer and say that right to his face! (Chances are he’ll wholeheartedly agree with me!)

    Try that in Cuba… ;)

    BTW, did you see the Wisconsin results? I wonder how many more times it’ll go back and forth before both sides get tired of gross election fraud. I wonder if the losing side will get riotous.

  • Replace Obama with Chavez?

    Wouldn’t you be better off replacing Obama with Morales?

    Nice writing Guy, as always.

    Terri in Joburg

  • Good post, Guy. Within the context of impending collapse an informed person is pulled in apparently opposing directions – civil disobedience or quiet acceptance, communicating that which is coming in order to inform people and help them mentally prepare or quietly go about your life knowing that people would not listen anyway.

    Those with property might act differently than those without. Those with jobs might act differently than those without. Those with families to care for might be presented with a whole set of requirements that others won’t be. Those in the city might have to act differently than those in small towns or on farms.

    We each have a different life context and must make choices. To me resistance is a valid option. But it is an option that will have no more impact on the greater picture than fulfilling a personal desire to do something and to be with people of like mind. One should not expect real results.

    Though things do indeed appear to be moving fast, we must understand that this is only the beginning.

    I liked the quote from a Japanese lady recently who has lived through the earthquake and tsunami and most recently experienced the latest aftershock yesterday:

    “Something has changed,” she said. “The world feels strange now. Even the way the clouds move isn’t right.”


  • Turbo, I don’t trust the reports of the formerly landed Cuban immigrants. I believe that reports about Castro from their viewpoint (land they owned given to the peasants) to be biased. The Mob which had a cozy deal in Cuba before Castro has no doubt helped with the demonization of Castro.

    At the Bay of Pigs it was thought that the populace would rise up and join the invaders. They didn’t – probably because life was so much harder under Batista

    “The corruption of the Government, the brutality of the police, the regime’s indifference to the needs of the people for education, medical care, housing, for social justice and economic justice … is an open invitation to revolution.”

    Meanwhile, poverty on the island was growing. In 1953, the average Cuban family had an income of $6.00 a week, 15 to 20 percent of the labor force was chronically unemployed, and only a third of the homes had running water.[24]

    — Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., when asked by the U.S. government to analyze Batista’s Cuba [7

    “Brothels flourished. A major industry grew up around them; government officials received bribes, policemen collected protection money. Prostitutes could be seen standing in doorways, strolling the streets, or leaning from windows. One report estimated that 11,500 of them worked their trade in Havana. Beyond the outskirts of the capital, beyond the slot machines, was one of the poorest, and most beautiful countries in the Western world.”

    — David Detzer, American journalist, after visiting Havana in the 1950s[7]
    Batista established lasting relationships with organized crime, notably with American mobsters Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, and under his rule Havana became known as “the Latin Las Vegas.”[27] Batista and Lansky formed a friendship and business relationship that flourished for a decade. During a stay at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York in the late 1940s, it was mutually agreed that, in return for kickbacks, Batista would give Lansky and the Mafia control of Havana’s racetracks and casinos.

    People I know who have visited Cuba have a far different picture of Castro than you portray. Probably depends on whether you speak to a peasant who lived under Batista or a formerly rich land owner who had their wealth shared with the poor. Since I have not myself visited I can’t say for sure, but it is for sure that the hand of Batista was a heavy hand. It is for sure that the US economic blockade helped drive Castro towards the Soviet Union and prevented his country from prospering. I would any day choose to live under Castro from all I know than under Batista or any of the other dictators that our country has supported.

    My friends who have been to Cuba do not seem to think that one cannot speak out in Cuba. I don’t know who is right or wrong, but plenty of people over the world have not been able to speak out against their US supported dictator and have been arrested or killed for doing so. We live the good life thanks in large part to their oppression in order to rape the rest of the world of its natural resources. But yes, we have had more freedom of expression here because our words are made powerless by the influence of lobbyists in Congress – we are ignored. But people here are not as free to speak out as you think – whistleblower protection is fading fast and people are arrested for not speaking as in the case of former CIA agent Ray McGovern

    As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her speech at George Washington University yesterday condemning governments that arrest protestors and do not allow free expression, 71-year-old Ray McGovern was grabbed from the audience in plain view of her by police and an unidentified official in plain clothes, brutalized and left bleeding in jail. She never paused speaking. When Secretary Clinton began her speech, Mr. McGovern remained standing silently in the audience and turned his back. Mr. McGovern, a veteran Army officer who also worked as a C.I.A. analyst for 27 years, was wearing a Veterans for Peace t-shirt.

  • Eating asparagus here, edible pod peas up strong, eating lots of kale and sorrel salads.

    My husband in his activist days knew a couple that were strong in the civil rights movement even before MLK. Wally and Juanita Nelson – per wiki “He spent three and a half years in prison as a conscientious objector during World War II, was on the first of the “freedom rides” (then called the “Journey of Reconciliation”) enforcing desegregation in 1947 and was the first national field organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality.” “She co-founded the group Peacemakers in 1948. She is the author of A Matter of Freedom and Other Writings (1988).She worked on desegregation campaigns in Cincinnati, Washington D.C. and elsewhere and was an organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality. In 1943[1] she participated in some of the earliest sit-ins of the American Civil Rights Movement, while a journalist and student at Howard University.”
    Later in life they moved to a small house they built from salvaged materials and lived with no electricity or plumbing, growing their own food. Friends from the activist community said “you dropped out”, Wally replied “no we dropped in”.

  • Brent Crude up to $123.17 and climbing

    This is where “the rubber meets the road” with oil prices



    • According to testimony presented last week by the American Farm Bureau Federation, government figures show farmers this spring will pay almost 85 percent more than they paid in 2000 just to plant their crops.

    • There is no term in the English language to accurately describe what farmers and ranchers feel every time they put diesel in the tanks of their farm equipment.

    • The cost just for refueling a typical tractor can be more than $1,000.

    And again

    He also explained that the impact is far more than just higher costs for fueling tractors, harvesters and trucks. Higher natural gas and petroleum prices greatly increase the price for fertilizer, and crop protection products.

    The solution? Drill, Baby, Drill!

    “Energy rich repositories such as the Outer Continental Shelf, the Bakken Oilfields and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge must be explored and opened for oil and gas production,” Shawcroft said.

    More solution – take more food (corn) out of production and into gasoline!

    Shawcroft also said home-grown energy must be made more available to American consumers through implementation of the approved increase of the ethanol blend rate to 15 percent, building a biofuel infrastructure that includes blender pumps and biofuel pipelines and continuing to provide incentives, such as the tax credits currently in place, to encourage the production of biodiesel fuels.

  • And of course, you can’t talk about rising energy prices without looking at food as well. Here food is being severely impacted by not only higher energy costs, but more and more by climate instability.


    This spring is going to tell us a lot about what to expect later all over the world. Drought and heat will likely continue their ever burdensome impact on food supplies.

    This will be an interesting year. And next year, more so.

  • Headline at MSNBC: “As oil supply dwindles, Saudis turn to renewable energy”

    Lead paragraph: “Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, may not be panicking quite yet about its ever-declining oil supply —but the country is certainly concerned.”

    The kingdom’s peak has gone mainstream.

  • Guy

    A remarkable article. Next year we should begin to see very clearly a shortage that can not be made up by increasing production – if anyone at this time is capable of that. At that point (and we might even be experiencing a bit of that now!) things will get quite interesting.

    The Saudis have a lot of cheek, however, in asking the UN for a $100 billion loan for green energy investment!

  • Kathy

    Completely agree with you about Castro and Cuba. Everything I have heard from those who actually visit Cuba and from resident Cubans tell me that this is a remarkable society. Castro has done an incredible job.

    Most of the negative views I hear seem also to originate from Miami-based Cuban exiles, descendants of the infamous Batiste and his sweaty-palmed league of landowners.

    The US could learn a lot from Castro.


    I suspect that if you approached a cop in the US as you have indicated, the more likely scenario would be that after 20 words, you would be tasered and handcuffed.

  • Michael

    I believe in that kind of action, and in fact was at a peace/solidarity march last weekend but sometimes I get the feeling many here think that is naive.

    Each of us are different. And the way we approach Collapse will be different. If your inclination is to protest, go right ahead. I only suggest that you consider that, though it be personally fulfilling, it will be for naught in the bigger picture. But naive, it is not – I consider it admirable. The only suggestion I have in regards to protesting is that you REALLY protest.

    I mean by that that you make it a visible act of social disobedience – do not retreat when the police tell you enough is enough. If they ask you to leave, refuse. If they threaten you, stand your ground. Be prepared to receive police violence. If they club you, be prepared to bleed for the cause. Make them physically drag you away. This is real protest. And this is the kind of protest that the elite fear most – people who are willing to put their lives at risk – people who have overcome fear.

  • Victor you are right about food. Drought and heat are not the only problems. So are mycotoxins. One that bedeveled farmers in 2009/2010 was vomitoxin also know as DON. Corn with too much of this mycotoxin cannot be fed to pigs or it causes what its name implies. So too wet is not good either. Rust in wheat is another big problem “A fungus under control for 50 years is back and ravaging wheat crops in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Once it gets in a field, it corrodes the stalks, turning them shades of brown and red that gives the disease, wheat stem rust, its name. Farmers can do little but harvest what’s left, sometimes losing 60% of their crop…Then in 1999 a new, destructive strain called Ug99 appeared in Uganda. It has spread across 12 countries, including South Africa, Yemen, Iran, India, Bangladesh and Nepal… Wheat rust releases “billions and billions” of spores that ride the wind, Coffman says.
    “It can move on people’s clothes and on airplanes,” he says. There are even fears that it could ride on the global jet stream from Iran and reach North America.”http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2011-03-03-wheatrust03_ST_N.htm

  • Kathy

    I am inclined to wash my clothes!

  • victor
    I am inclined to wash my clothes!

    that may change victor…it will for me when i have to do em similar to kathy’s methods.

  • Hey Turboguy!

    Welcome back—where you been? For you new people,Our Turboguy!(don’t forget the exclam,it’s an intregal part of his monicker)is out of necessity,a secretive,mysterious man who travels all over the world on
    highly sensitive security assignments—a living James Bond if you will.

    His old house seems to be in a Minneapolis slum,a fact he is proud of.

    Tell us what you can Turboguy!,just to whet our intellectual appetites.

    At this time Brent crude is over $124. And as Guy and I,have been telling you that is the price you want to watch.

    Double D

  • Tar sand, ( http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/07-4 ) even worse than you thought.

  • 125.32 now, Frank!

    Each dollar up brings us closer to the next major socioeconomic
    shift d

    Dark Ages 2012, here we come… right on schedule, Guy.


  • Frank, a living James Bond, commenting on this site? Guess I better be more careful about what I say or I might end up in prison like folks do in Cuba. Anyone announcing on an open discussion site that they are someone involved in secret missions is probably not involved in secret missions. I am skeptical.

  • Hey Turboguy!

    What’s that screwy looking building in Minneapolis that looks like it was designed by a drunken architect—the one where the fenestration
    is all f- – – ed up ?

    Double D

  • Thanks to modern technology I have the answer to my own question. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.Don’t view it if you are high on anything—it’ll send you over the edge.

    Double D

  • Redreamer


  • Frank

    Are you ok?

  • Victor

    Guy told me that I was crazy—but just what were you referring to ?

    Correction: I meant to say that the market to watch,is the Brent crude
    future price,which now is above $126.

    Double D

  • Kathy

    Turboguy! has never used the word secret to apply to his missions,and sometimes he even tells us where he is approximately.

    The rest is true.

    Double D

  • Frank, [the rest is true] – so you know Turboguy personally? You said he was secretive. But you say his missions aren’t secret missions? So he is secretive for no particular reason, his missions are secret, but he is secretive about them?

  • I meant to say “So he is secretive for no particular reason, his missions are not secret missions, but he is secretive about them?” I think Frank what you mean to say is that “it is true that the rest is what he has told us previously about himself” – yes? Big difference.

  • Our Saturday morning surprise: Dated Brent Spot 126.74.


    ‘an informed person is pulled in apparently opposing directions – civil disobedience or quiet acceptance, communicating that which is coming in order to inform people and help them mentally prepare or quietly go about your life knowing that people would not listen anyway.’

    I still think it is too early to talk to most people; maybe when there has been a bit more economic collapse they will start to listen.


    I’ve never been to Cuba but have read a lot and seen DVDs etc. I do believe most of what is presented by western mainstream media is propaganda. Cuba seems to have sone of the most advanced social arrangements anywhere in the world. However, I have seen reports that it is getting sucked into the vortex of commercialism, and has plans for a big increase in tourism, the ubiquitous bogeyman.

  • Kevin, yes I had heard bits and pieces about Cuba moving towards commercialism. Perhaps the collapse will come before that goes too far and erases the gains in self sufficiency.

    The price of oil certainly is looking ominous.

  • @Victor

    Maybe if we responded like the link below the reaction to protest by our police might be different?


  • Hey, try this out. I’ve been working for three years to milk some money out of the government for construction of a storage building for our food bank. We are scheduled for a Wednesday pre-construction meeting, where all the paperwork with the contractors is signed. The contractors are ready to go. All of the bureaucratic crap is finally done. And (ta-ta!) the bastards are shutting down the government. The money is allocated and available, there just won’t be anyone around to distribute it. Hopefully they’ll fix this.


    Michael Irving

  • Michael, I’m sure that TPTB will get the money flowing soon enough. There’s too much at stake. My medical practice is just one infinitesimally small example: more than half of my clinic income flows from medicare and medicaid. So, if this goes on for very long at all, I have to layoff staff. If it goes on long enough, I default on my loans. Can you imagine how the fat cats who are sucking all the money up from the government will like it if their omni-flowing tit is taken away? Yeah, it’ll get fixed posthaste.

  • One of my hopes in starting the Thursday barter clinic was that I would find people nearby with whom I could share knowledge and ideas about surviving post-collapse. I purposely sought media attention for the clinic because I knew there were people living beneath the radar in the hills around here if I could just find them. This week I struck pay dirt!

    A young women came to see me about a potentially life-threatening issue. She was accompanied by her husband and four beautiful, incredibly well-behaved and polite children. They bartered with eggs, homemade soaps, apple butter, and tomato juice. I also got three baby rabbits out of the deal. They were just too cute to pass up. :-)

    Anyway, the family lives off the grid completely. They have a generator if they need it, but for the most part, they go to sleep at dark and get up at dawn. If they need light, they use kerosene lanterns. They have a wood stove for cooking. They raise chickens, cows, goats, and all their own food. They still have contact with the outside world, for instance they found out about the barter clinic from reading about it in the paper. But, they don’t rely on the world to take care of them. None of them have seen a doctor in quite some time. They were quite hesitant about coming to see me but felt that the situation warranted it and felt like I would be someone they could trust. I was flattered by that. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if her husband delivered their children.

    I could have spent hours talking to this young couple about their experiences but unfortunately, none of us had the time. They still had an hour’s drive back to their home and I had other patients waiting.

    But, we connected. They will be too far away post-collapse to see very often, but until then, I hope to learn everything I can from them. They’re already doing what many of us here on NBL hope and plan to do.

  • Great story Dr House. I am so envious of your patients, wish you were over here. Glad you found this couple.

    It amazes me that the takers don’t realize that if they cut funds and lay off enough folks, no one will be able to buy their products or services. It doesn’t take much mental ability to figure that one out. The phrase cutting off your nose to spite your face comes to mind.

  • 21,000 people evacuated as Indonesian volcano continues to spew ash for miles around

    Aircraft have had to be diverted and more than 21,000 people evacuated after an Indonesian volcano erupted for the second day in a row.

    Towering clouds of ash are being spewed out of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra and thousands of villagers living on its slopes have been forced to head to emergency shelters, mosques and churches.

    Homes and fields containing crops have been blanketed in heavy, gray soot and the air near the volcano is thick with the smell of sulphur.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1307360/21k-people-evacuated-Indonesian-volcano-continues-spew-ash.html#ixzz1IzHeUJD0

  • Dr House

    Soul-lifting post….really very much appreciated. It is good to know such people exist and even prosper today. Thank you for sharing that.


    What many non-peak oil folks fail to realise is that there are several reasons why oil prices rise. There is of course the fundamental supply/demand equation, but there is also the dollar value, crises in oil-producing countries, technical below ground issues, and others. But the underlying issue is that as the supply tightens for whatever reason, prices rise. The very fact that production can’t be increased enough to compensate for the price rise is a strong indicator that the peak has past and it is now just a matter of time.

    Pass the popcorn, please.

  • You should follow the Trackbacks/Pingbacks link at the bottom and then watch the Kaiser Report video linked there. It seems that the massive credit crunch began in July 2007 when the cocaine barons, as a protest against federal investigations that were building up steam, withdrew their money from the global banking system. Suddenly the big banks of the world found themselves in a huge liquidity trap and nearly failed – except you and I and the people of the world saved (and are still saving) the day for them. We of course are sacrificing our pensions, our investments, our health care, our children’s education, our government services, and our infrastructure for the cause – but what the hell, no pain no gain, as they say – it’s vital that the bankers stay in business, is it not? (by the way, the drug money is of course flowing once more, and bankers’ bonuses have never been higher – and it’s all because of our sacrifices – and naturally, the international drug cartel.)

    Mike Ruppert often speaks of the global drug trade and how much of it is financed by the US Government (the CIA) and the banking industry. This is just more of the same.

    Very interesting clip. James Howard Kuntsler is also on the program with his usual wit and interesting views.

    Well worth watching.

  • @ Privileged

    Really enjoyed the video, thanks.

  • The Real Dr. House,

    You hit the nail right on the head.

    Your experience with the couple and their children at your clinic is interesting. It brought up a question about the tax structure where you live. Here in Washington State the government runs on property taxes. Everyone who owns land here is essentially renting from the government. If you have no income, even if you’re completely self sufficient, the government will take your land because you have not paid your taxes. It forces each of us to keep a hand in the money economy. It sucks and makes us slaves. Even if you don’t own property here you have to pay rent to someone who does own property (or live under a bridge) so you still have to be part of the money economy. I don’t think people living like the couple at your clinic would be able to own property and yet have no money income in this state. When we bought this place almost 40 years ago that concept never even occurred to us. If the tax structure’s base were built from a state income tax it would probably be different. The more I think about it the more fully I embrace Geronimo’s position. When the troops come to take my place they’d better come prepared for a fight.

    Of course some here suggest the appropriate action would be to just walk away to later starve under a bridge. But there is more than one kind of violence. Taking a person’s land and thus his ability to feed himself is one. My “native” neighbors are fond a tee-shirt with a picture of Geronimo on the front with the phrase, “Homeland Security since 1492. I understand that kind of thinking although I also am not apologizing for the accident of my birth.

    Michael Irving

  • @Michael,

    Here in Arkansas we have a mixed property/income tax. So, I’m sure this family is paying property tax at least. I know that they will occasionally butcher a bull and sell it so maybe that’s where they get their money. They also arrived at my clinic driving a car. So, they’re aren’t like the Amish who have nothing at all to do with modern technology but appear to use it only when there is no other practical means available.

    In my opinion, there is no reasonable way to completely divorce oneself from the economic realities in which we live: taxes, occasional need for money, etc. – unless you’re willing to live under a bridge. For me, that’s not an option I’m willing to accept. Hell at this point, I can’t seem even to separate from the industrial economy much less divorce it. :-)

  • Thank you Guy for posting Gerald Celentes’ outstanding rant.

    Remember also Hugh Hendry’s “I would recommend you panic” video:


    It is good to see the honest fear and anger coming from these people.

    Hopefully the internet will go down soon and my friends and neighbors will come out to play again.

  • Navid, I enjoyed the Hugh Hendry immensely. Thanks. I will miss the internet and the bananas but the passing of this civilization I am hoping comes soon.

  • “Some 400 tremors have hit the region since the March 11 quake. Brian Baptie, a seismologist with the British Geological Survey, told the Financial Times: “We would expect many large aftershocks after such a large earthquake… it is part of the stabilisation process. Many can be very large—the largest [so far] was 7.9 [on the Richter scale].””

  • David Korton in a recent article about the “Era of Empire” for “Yes” magazine comments on what is in effect the case of the winners getting to write the history of civilization. In an abbreviated history, Babylon-to-Wall Street, he discusses the claim that all good things flowed from the point in time where power was consolidated by the first great empires. In opposition to that he has this telling comment about the narratives of imperial history:

    “Nor is there mention that most all the advances that make us truly human came before the Era of Empire—including the domestication of plants and animals, food storage, and the arts of dance, pottery, basket making, textile weaving, leather crafting, metallurgy, architecture, town planning, boat building, highway construction, and oral literature.”


    I found the whole article very interesting but especially the above quote.

    Michael Irving

  • Good points Michael, but I would argue against the author that we were truly human before domestication, town planning, architecture, metallurgy, and highway construction. In other words I would argue that hunter-gatherers are truly human.

  • On an unrelated note, it turns out I was wrong about Greer in a previous post of mine here.

    He doesn’t have a rightist bias. He has a conservative bias, true, but he doesn’t think the American right of TODAY is any more “conservative” than Reagan really was.

    Take a look at the opening of this article he just wrote:


    So apparently he IS just as hard on the right (or at least the “pseudoconservatives”) as he is on the left, but only because he think both the left and the right are irrelevant.

    He’s a fan of Edmund Burke, so I think he has a “classical conservative” bias, only in the sense that Burke thought that reform wasn’t always a good idea if it drew people away from the better traditions.

    So I apologize for my negative comments before; as I’ve said, I actually have a great deal of respect for Greer, and he’s made me think about things I wasn’t thinking about before. I just had disagreements with him for other reasons, but as it turns out, I jumped to a false conclusion as the basis for at least one of my disagreements.

  • Ted Howard,

    I was just checking back and came across your comment. Thanks for sharing. Dave Ewoldt’s article seems to pretty much nail it. Monbiot has indeed gone “Strangelove” with his switch to a pro-nuclear stance and Ewoldt’s comments nicely refute those arguments. For writers of Monbiot’s stature to be feeding us industry PR talking points (“If we don’t increase nuclear generation we MUST burn more coal”) only adds support to the BAU model; essentially, the only way out of the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into is to do more of the same, and do it faster.

    Michael Irving

  • Stepped out for a couple days and missed a lot.

    Victor, I doubt you’d get tazered. (I’ve been in Law Enforcement for going on ten years now, but am growing tired of it.) Police are just people too, no matter how much you’d love to vilify them. If you came up and threatened me, chances are you’d get handcuffed, the tazer is rarely necessary. I’ve had people scream nastiness right at my face, and they’re covered by our founding document, they can do so as they please. It is protected. I had to stand guard once for the local chapter of the KKK making a march, and they specifically want to hurt/kill me and those of my background! Too bad they didn’t march themselves right out of the country.

    Kathy: My recommendations then would be for you to go and see it for yourself and don’t believe the hype either for or against until you get there and can make the decision on the evidence presented to you. Communism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as you’d quickly find out.

    I’m not the secretive person he makes me out to be, lol. When I’m deployed to the Middle East I simply can’t say exactly where I am at that moment or what I’m doing. OPerational SECurity (OPSEC) is what he’s referring to. Loose Lips Sink Ships and all that. When I’m somewhere else it’s perfectly fine for me to say where I am, or even encouraged. The operation is Japan is a very, very good example as was Rwanda (Kigali) and Darfur.

    Lastly, you made this comment: “Thanks. I will miss the internet and the bananas but the passing of this civilization I am hoping comes soon.”

    You’re hoping for it? Really? I don’t think you’ve thought this all the way through if this is what you’re hoping for. If you don’t have the Guy McPherson Super Setup way out in the desert (ever notice how he doesn’t say exactly where it is? OPSEC!) you’re going to be in for a very bad time, especially so if you live in the city! Social upheaval is always a bad thing, but particularly so for women. Women always seem to get the stick, shitty end, one each. Saw it in Rwanda, Darfur, Iraq, and Afghanistan. You’re hoping for a world where rough men like me who’s job it is to protect you aren’t but a phone call away, you could easily die of a staph infection or an appendicitis, and good ol’ toilet paper is but a distant memory. (And shampoo, and exotic fruits, tampons, electricity, clean water from the tap, etc) Pregnancy was the #1 killer of women up until what year? It was the 1900’s, and you’re wishing for us to wind up in a civilization which predates that.

    I don’t think you’ve completely thought this out. Not that I’m doubting your “Survival Instinct” but you’re pulling for all the bad parts of the Bible here. If Mr. Bad McBadenstein shows up at your door, what are you going to do? Rape, torture and murder are very real possibilities, and those aren’t even the worst they could do! The world you’re hoping for isn’t happiness, rivers of chocolate, and children with gumdrop smiles. It’s hard, nasty, dirty and violent. Is that REALLY what you want?

    Frank my man! If you want to see some weird architecture, check out that building over by the Mississippi on the University of Minnesota campus that’s made almost entirely out of stainless steel! Darn thing looks like something spawned out of Picasso’s nightmares. I got back a week ago and am getting back to my civilian job of subjugation and corruption, or so Victor thinks is my job. :D

    How’s the wild world of Arizona?

  • Turboguy, I am hoping for the end of civilization because without it the planet will be so polluted, and the climate so unfavorable that it is unlikely that humans would survive at all. In fact I believe that we well may have already passed that point because positive feedbacks may already be strong enough to prevent any remediation.

    I live a simple life, have a deep well with a hand pump, land enough to provide, a productive garden, hand saws, wood stove, candles, matches, salt etc. but unfortunately an old body so I don’t expect to last long when collapse comes. You haven’t been around for a while so you don’t know that I have worked as a volunteer in Haiti, multiple nursing homes, as a Hospice volunteer and in homeless shelters in several cities. I know we are mortal and am not afraid to be dead. Post collapse deaths in some cases will likely be quicker and easier than years suffering from painful cancer or years moldering in a nursing home. I know rape and murder are very real possibilities. Here in the South I expect the race wars to flare and have even had a neighbor tell me the will. Then I will find out if I have the courage to stand up the the Klan (they only went underground) if they come after any of my neighbors of color. I know this is stewing under the surface here quite strongly. When working in TN with an aid project we had crosses burned on our lawn and guns fired outside of our house. I am far from the naive person you think I am. I expect collapse to spiral down with considerable violence before anything levels out. I don’t expect to last until the leveling out.

    But still I want civilization to collapse because it will perhaps save a world for some humans and other species. If it doesn’t collapse soon we all go down. Maybe you need to do a refresher course on some of the essays by Guy such as https://guymcpherson.com/2011/02/extinction-event/ or https://guymcpherson.com/2010/12/were-toast/

    It boils down to the best of two very bads. I have rejoiced in many a death for Hospice patients who are in incredible pain, glad for their release from a life that is a burden. Personal death is inevitable and often desirable when age and disease begin to make living miserable. The death of all previous civilizations is a matter of record and upon study one can see that this one is in the end stages. It just needs to get the dying over with so the planet and maybe a few humans can live.

    Everyone now alive is going to die anyway all 6+ billion, you and I included. The coming dieoff is about when, how and passing on genes, not about IF we die. We are mortals.

  • Turboguy,

    I think you’ve misinterpreted the ideas represented by some here at NBL. I think further study might convince you that many here think it is the “rough men” who are deluded by propaganda into becoming the enforcers of the elite’s agenda of world domination.

    You’ve further misinterpreted the “wish” for the end of civilization. Many here are convinced that civilization is bringing us the brink of ecosystem destruction, even to a level that might cause the extinction of Homo sapiens. Hoping for the end of civilization is to hope for the continuance of our species. Conversely, hoping for continuation of BAU is to wish for the destruction of most life on earth.

    And, by the way, I don’t think anyone said the transition would be easy or pleasant.

    Michael Irving

  • Irving, that’s funny.

    I am very well versed on the silly, immature, idea that it is those charged with protection of society who are the very ones speeding its downfall, or at the very least are pawns of the global elite. Quite honestly that belief is little more than foolish propaganda distilled to delusion. It reminds me of someone who tells a lie so many times they actually begin to believe it themselves. I think it stems from either an overactive imagination or a delusion of superiority, i.e. believing that soldiers and police are mindless automatons who will blindly follow orders of subjugation, when nothing is further from the truth.

    But don’t let me burst your little bubble here. By all means, please continue.

    On your second point: Just because I don’t often post does not mean that I’m not reading Guy’s posts, and aren’t enjoying the replies to such, and have been far longer than I believe you realize.

    I am well aware of the wish people have for the end of civilization, the only issue I have is that many of them have these ideas that when it happens, and let’s be clear: I wholly agree with them that it is a “When,” it is going to be some kind of video game fantasy where they live off the land as Native Americans did so long ago, or are able to whisk themselves and their family out of the city just before the shoe drops, move out to the Ozarks, and have a life of simple efficiency and luxury amongst like minded folk. To them I say, “Good Luck.”

    Kathy: I understand you’ve seen the darker side of the Human condition. It’s enough to shock you right to your bones isn’t it? Death, be it pre or post collapse is never quick, hasn’t ever been easy, and I’m positive couldn’t ever be accused of being “fun.” Post collapse you could starve, actually chances are that this is the highest chance behind dehydration and exposure.

    I’ve seen people starving. Got an up close and personal in Sudan, Somalia, and Rwanda just as I’m sure you did in Haiti. As I’m sure you can attest, it is never a mercifully quick expiration, and always, but always brings out the worst in everyone. It reminds me of a quote from Robert Heinlein:

    Most self-described “pacifists” are not pacific; they simply assume false colors. When the wind changes, they hoist the Jolly Roger.

  • TurboGuy:

    Re: “Believing that soldiers and police are mindless automatons who will blindly follow orders of subjugation, when nothing is further from the truth.”

    It’s refreshing to see you state the above. Like you, I’ve heard the other ad nauseam, when yes, if you really know these people, there’s nothing further from the truth. That’s not to say there aren’t bad apples. Unfortunately, the bad apples make super-good press.

    As for starvation. Yes, it’s an excruciatingly slow, slooow, slooooooow death. And the healthier you are, the longer it takes. The only thing the body is coded to do is survive. It’ll reduce you to a shell before it’ll let you go. If exposure or dehydration don’t get you first, that is.

    I don’t place much stock in rewilding or re-hunter-gathering either. We’d have to undergo one hell of a die-off (and other species would have to undergo one hell of a rejuvenation) for those options to be feasible. We’re going right back to an agrarian lifestyle otherwise.

  • Turboguy, I have seen some horrors maybe you haven’t. Thanks to technology and modern health care. I visited for some time a man who had had brain surgery for epilepsy. The surgery went wrong and left him a quadrapelgic and with only the ability to make a few grunts for yes and no. Besides he continued to have seizures that were painful. Besides yes and no he could still scream. He was 35. He almost choked on a piece of food and thus they stopped letting him eat and put in a stomach tube. Even tho when questioned he responded yes to do you want to eat, yes to do you know you might choke and die and yest to do you still want to eat, they wouldn’t let him eat.

    OTOH when collapse comes, while some might rape, torture and kill, other might give a quick bullet to head to steal our food.

    So yes I can imagine a quick end come the collapse and long and horrible deaths for many trapped in our medical system that cannot admit that Drs cannot save people, they can only extend their lives. It stems I believe from their own death denial.

    Dying I fear for as you note most dying is not at all nice (one can wish for a brain aneurysm, a fatal car accident etc.) But death and sleep are the same except for duration and the possibility of dreams or nightmares. I like sleep, I will not mind being dead any more than I minded not being alive for all the billions of years the universe existed.

    I am not a pacifist. I have my own personal standards of how I want to live that don’t fit into any category. I only hope that when I die I am not ashamed of myself. So far the things I feel good about are a bit ahead of the things I am ashamed of. I hope that the desire for one more day, one more hour doesn’t ever doesn’t change that. I just want my last thought to be, well not perfect but not too bad.

    Here is one thing I hope you understand. Whoever sends you all over the world on missions doesn’t give a damn about you. If you become no longer useful to them they will discard you like they have done so many others. Sometimes the discarded end up dead, sometimes in jail, I know that many of the discards from the Vietnam war ended up in the homeless shelters I worked at.