In 1999, we predicted that there would be no monumental impact for Y2K. In 2010, we predicted the same for the May 21st 2011 Apocalypse, as we do now for the December 21st 2012 believed End of the World. There is however, a distinct difference between the End of the World, and TEOLAWKI, or The End Of Life As We Know It. This is experienced by millions through such things as medical diagnosis such as Keith experienced, to catastrophic infrastructure collapse, that 100's of thousands have, and millions more are likely to experience, in a growingly fragile future.
It is for these un-dated, less predictable occurrences, that we believe preparedness will make a distinct impact on the quality of life.
1. Crisis - : an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially: one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome <a financial crisis>
2. Calamity - : a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering <calamities of nature> <an economic calamity>
3. Catastrophe - : a momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin
4. Cataclysm - : a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition; broadly: an event that brings great changes
5. Chaos - : the inherent unpredictability in the behavior of a complex natural system (as the atmosphere, boiling water, or the beating heart)
Chaos and the Hot Water Bottle Theory – When looking at the potential for chaos within the fabric of society, I like to use the following analogy. Look at the fabric that holds civilization together, as an old fashion rubber hot water bottle. The kind mom may have put on your chest to help break up congestion when you were young. Like all vessels, the bottle will hold liquid under normal circumstances, but contains microscopic imperfections that under certain conditions, can cause leaks. Now look at society as the water, and population density as the water flow rate into the bottle. Next pretend that natural resources represent the temperature of the water, from abundant being cooler, to scarcity being warmer.
A hot water bottle holds hot water, and because it’s made of rubber, it also expands, so things should be fine right? Here’s the problem, we actually exceeded the tolerance of the bottle in the twentieth century. Now bursting population has increased the flow of water into the bottle to the point of causing over expansion.
On top of that, dwindling resources have now heated the water to a point higher than the tolerance of the rubber bladder, causing softening. Remember, civilization is the membrane that protects and holds together society, overexpansion and overheating have now caused the microscopic imperfections to be enlarged to visible leaks. The leaks are obvious for the purposes of our analogy, increased random violence, conflict, terrorism, and disaffected youth being just a few. As the leaks increase in number and size, sooner or later there is a natural outcome, Catastrophic Failure; The water bottle bursts.
Chaos Theory can also be applied to what happens when technological revolution outpaces human evolution. Never before in history, has one person had such potential power to create catastrophe.
Let’s also look at some of the evolutionary aspects of being a young species, and how the Throwback Principle applies counterproductively to civilization. Here, we have to be honest about some evolutionary baggage humans have not completely left behind.
Only the strong survive, meaning the best way to acquire something is to take it by force. Those best able passed this along in their genetic makeup, as those who were not, stood a much reduced chance of reproduction. It took over a hundred thousand years for brains to replace brawn, and some of us still haven’t gotten there yet.
Different is dangerous, what our early ancestors didn’t understand, usually killed them… Differences have been the basis of every war mankind has ever fought. We have yet to completely evolve beyond this primal necessity.
Acronyms of the Apocalypse
Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but, it’s important to know the potential impact of these things on your life and livelihood.
POIS: Personally Oriented Infrastructure Support, the sustainment of Critical Infrastructure at the personal or family level, as opposed to the community, state, or national level.
CIC: Critical Infrastructure Collapse – What happens when it all goes wrong on the regional, national, or global level.
TEOLAWKI; The End Of Life As We Know It. While usually associated with events altering the very fabric of civilization, this acronym is applied to even regional disasters such as Hurricanes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis.
ELE: Extinction Level Event. The big one… An event which causes a die off of a majority of species, seriously effecting evolution and biodiversity. A number of these have already occurred during the earth’s evolution. At least one during the evolution of mankind some 75,000 years ago.
Possible causes – Natural, Super volcanic or caldera eruption. The Toba Caldera Eruption approximately 75,000 years ago, reduced the worldwide human population to as few as 20,000 or less. A near ELE for humankind. Manmade equivalent, Global Thermonuclear War.
Coronal Mass Ejection, a massive burst of solar wind. A CME in 1859 caused Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America to fail and in some cases, even shock telegraph operators. Telegraph pylons threw sparks and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire. Some telegraph systems appeared to continue to send and receive messages despite having been disconnected from their power supplies.With today’s much more susceptible micro circuitry, the impact to infrastructure like power grids and transportation are potentially enormous. Manmade equivalent, EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) Weapon.
Plague. Naturally occurring plagues have killed 100’s of millions. Manmade equivalent, Biological Weapons.