Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Bane Of Technology

This morning I got out of bed
      (clean sheets, room warmed by natural gas)
I went to the bathroom and had a shower
      (hot water heated by electricity)
I got dressed
      (clothes cleaned in the washing machine by my wife yesterday)
I was hungry so I went into the kitchen and had breakfast
     (food kept fresh in the refrigerator, cooked food on electric stove,
      put dirty dishes in the dishwasher)
I needed to go down to the military base to check on my job application
    (a half hour walk but it is raining today so I drove my car, powered by gasoline from the US)
On the way home I stop by the local hardware store to get supplies to fix the leak in my garage
    (flashlight  made in China, tarp made in Ontario, rope made in Mexico)
After picking up the supplies I stopped by the library to check my email and post this blog entry
    (computer made in Taiwan, internet services provided by Shaw in Alberta)

My life is pretty easy.
I need something, there it is.
Someone, somewhere has produced it for me and managed to get it to where I can access it.

Tomorrow, that could all change.

A world wide natural disaster - massive earthquakes, hugely devastating storms or some moron fires off a nuclear weapon. What will I do when I get up the next morning?

Well, I can sleep in dirty sheets for a while, it won't really bother me too much until the sheets are able to get up and walk away themselves. I suppose at that point I could gather them up and take them to the ocean and wash them in sea water. As for the heated room, well, there is a fireplace in the other room that I could convert to burning wood if I had to. I have an axe (not all that sharp but I have means to correct that) and  pile of scrap wood out back.

Clean clothes? Well, I have been know to wear the same clothes for a week or more while out camping. Not a big problem until people start to remain upwind of me (at least the bugs keep away). And when those clothes wear out? My wife has a loom and has woven fabric on it - if I found a way to supply the materials for it, she could keep me from running around au natural.

Going down to the base to check on my job application? I don't think so, I would probably be too busy trying to provide the basic necessities for my family to survive.

Getting into my car to drive? If there was still gas in the car, I would be using it to provide a way to keep my family warm. With the multitude of problems that have been created, I doubt that the roads would be all the drivable anyway.

Where I live right now, the weather is generally pretty mild all year. It doesn't get hugely hot, nor hugely cold. I live in an area that has a lot of farming close by (a couple of hours walking if necessary). There is a lot of fresh drinkable water close by and if necessary, I have the resources to convert sea water to drinkable. I have the knowledge and resources I need to survive - it may not be nearly as comfortable as I might otherwise like but I would be okay.

What about you? Do you live in a huge city like Toronto, New York, London, Tokyo or such where there are millions of people jammed together and who haven't got the space they need to provide from themselves. Do you know how to make a fire? Do you know how to provide shelter for yourself or have enough resources immediately available to create that shelter for yourself and your neighbors if necessary?  Can you cook or at least have a basic idea of how to prepare food? Could you hunt down an animal, kill it, and be able to eat it? Okay, this idea squigs me out as well. Logically I know I could do so - how effective I would be at doing so is questionable but I believe I could if I had to.

A great many of us in the developed world have grown accustomed to our modern technology. As each day passes, more and more of us become more and more dependent on it. Dependent to the point of not being able to function without it.

Those tribes of people living in the deep Amazon. Primitive, simple and completely dependent on themselves. If the modern world ever collapses, those primitive peoples won't even blink an eye. They will keep on doing what they have always done.

How will the rest of us fair?

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