End of the World as We Know It

Joe Huffman notes that we can’t really go back to a pre-technological lifestyle easily. Personally, I’m pretty worried about what’s going on in the Middle East currently. What if our oil supplies get interrupted? What if the Suez Canal falls into hostile Islamist hands? That’s stuff you have to fight a war over. And what money are we going to fight a war with? The money we keep printing?

Maybe we need to draft retiring baby boomers. They can drive tanks, man ships, and fly planes right?

22 thoughts on “End of the World as We Know It”

  1. Relax. Whoever is in charge will sell us the Oil no matter what. It might be more expensive, but not as expensive as war.

  2. Anyway our oil comes from Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela. Let the Europeans keep Suez open. I would agree we shouldn’t prevent them from keeping it open like Eisenhower did.

  3. What? No resource wars? Damn. What am I going to do with my stockpile of black leather, crossbows and motorcycles now?

  4. I can fly Cessnas so an F/A 18 or F16 is pretty much the same thing right? Where do I sign? Can’t do the infantry thing… My feet are too old.

  5. I figure fighter jocks probably need to be young people, because even in my 30s I think I’d pass out at 3-4Gs. You need to be fit to fly fighters. Now transport planes, tankers, and helicopters probably not so much.

  6. That’s the irony of modern living. A more extensive distribution of labor and specialization of skills causes a dramatically higher standard of living for those who participate in it, but they face a tremendous incentive to let their skills in anything other than their primary specialization stagnate. We all live like kings, but we’re hopelessly dependent on a complicated web that’s easily disrupted.

  7. Sebastian, Bob Hoover & Chuck Yeager might disagree. Hell, the FAA had to pull basicly a crimnal act to Lift Hoovers medical… Then Austrailia just gave him one. Few hours in an Aerobat or Citabria would get me back in shape… Now, where’s my F16.

  8. I’m not as worried about oil as I am about the food supply. We had a heck of a winter here in the Midwest. With stores doing very little stocking, and people doing very little stocking, two days of closed interstates made for some very bare shelves. Welfare or wealthy, people gotta eat.

  9. My draft status is 5A. Score!

    I could probably jockey a bench at Detrick though. Of course, if things get that bad, we’re all pretty much dead anyway.

  10. The event that scares me the most is a electromagnetic pulse (EMP), either from a high altitude nuclear detonation, or most likely, a naturally occurring solar event.

    We’d be in deep doo-doo for all the reasons most discuss, but there is one more: in the event of a electronics meltdown of this magnitude, ALL nuclear facilities will eventually go Chernobyl. Without working pumps to maintain the circulation of water, the reactors will eventually burn uncontrollably, and there are enough of them in the U.S. (not to mention worldwide) to make most folks downwind the recipients of some very nasty fallout.

  11. Electricity equals civilization. If by some remote chance the worst happens, I’m loading up and heading for Hoover Dam in Nevada. Civilization will coalesce around it. We may have to fight to preserve it, but it represents the best chance of survival.

  12. A lot more electricity is generated at Grand Coulee than at Hoover. Grand Coulee has lot of irrigated farm land nearby too.

    But you go ahead and go to Hoover.

  13. Joe,

    Hoover Dam is 3 hours away from my house. The Columbia River is at least a hard day’s drive. But why argue, both will end up as magnets attracting engineers, scientists, and the well armed.

  14. As long as we can split atoms we’ll have electricity. The problem is it takes oil to get uranium out of the ground, unless you can find some other way to run heavy machinery.

  15. “As long as we can split atoms we’ll have electricity. The problem is it takes oil to get uranium out of the ground, unless you can find some other way to run heavy machinery.”

    Unfortunately, we can’t make plastic out of electricity! This is one thing we sometimes forget about oil…

  16. I know that at least some plastics can and are made from rape seed oil. I know this because we sometime raise rape seed on our farm. Most of it goes toward “synthetic” motor oil such as Mobil One but plastics can be made from it also.

  17. @Bob Owens: Some prepper blog had a guest post on the danger of nuke plants in a world without power. The comments by people actually in the industry shot his scenario full of holes.

    Short form – the reactor coolant can circulate by gravity and convection, and the depleted fuel pools are failsafe as well. If really worried, SCRAM the reactor (which is an entirely mechanical gravity-powered process in any US plant) and walk away.

    US nuke plants are about the safest thing in the world.

  18. I wasn’t aware that things can be made from rape seed oil, although I consider it a good thing. I *am* aware that oil can be grown from genetically modified e. coli, but the person in the article warned that it would take an area the size of Chicago to produce the amount of oil needed to replace what we currently use. I remember thinking, “An area the size of Chicago…that’s it? That’s really small, especially if scattered around the country! If we vigorously pursue this, we could solve our oil problem!”

    These kinds of technologies, to me at least, seem to be in their infancies. They need to be pursued, though, if we want to gain independence from ground oil.

    I like to point out that oil gives us plastics, though, because figuring out how to generate electricity (for homes) and motion (for cars) is only a small fraction of what we use oil for! If we don’t get a handle on the larger fraction, we’re still screwed.

    Perhaps I should start experimenting with “crude corn”…

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