Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 8:23 PM
Subject: fond and sad goodbye
This experience has been just incredible for me. I've learned so much and started to think about even small things in my daily life in new ways. Sometimes as I travel through suburbs or the downtown, I see the coming ghost towns. When I see the homeless, the exhausted, the hungry, the sick, I see many, many of us in the near future.
Lately I'm thinking when I retire, I should look for the edge of a small town to the north of here, where there's more rain, a town on a bus line or maybe a railroad.. I really never considered that before. I hope I have time. I would hope to do that before things get too bad, and hope for time and money to re-fit it with solar collection, windmill or turbine, composting toilet, and a well-planned garden. Even to the north of here, if I can't sink a well, I'd want to be able to collect and store rainwater. We may live without food for weeks; without water,only a few days. I should probably seek to gather people to live there with me; in times to come; we'll all need others to share the work and to brainstorm the problems.
There were stories I wanted to send in and didn't have time to write, like the rebirth of the latino corridor and how much they helped the rest of us, the adopt-an-elder (and save precious knowledge) program, the recall and replacement of easily half the elected politicians, how nice it would be to have a milk-goat in the back garden, and giant shifts in California agriculture and irrigation practices.
I want so much to hear about how people in the cold-weather regions will survive the looming winter and what new plans people have to make the following year better. I'd like to explore the possibility of more shipping by sail and barge.
Sometimes I've wondered if my imagined scenarios of deathly water shortage, famines, and epidemics of formerly preventable diseases (that most of us have never seen, and many don't know are even around anymore) were way too dark. I no longer think so. Most population centers are entirely beyond any possible carrying capacity of the land that's close enough to feed them. Stuff that keeps us healthy (clean drinking water, mosquito control, sewer treatment, vaccinations, good nutrition) will almost certainly decline, break down or become very hard to obtain. Those things are much more important to the overall health of populations than medicines, medical devices and most medical specialists.
I can't imagine not having a terrible population crash, unless the downward curve is much more gentle and gradual than seems possible. I guess the future may lie in a few cities (small by 2000 standards) centers of trade, artisans, small manufacture, and hopefully, education - located at crossroads of the remaining transport and trade routes. Most of the population in would likely be out in the farming areas surrounding scattered towns - mostly small towns. . That could bring an improvement in quality of life for the surviving population, but generations of gruesome stuff may go on before that time is reached.
Your stories and suggestions give me hope, that good ideas are emerging, that people are reaching out to help each other through these times, that necessary skills and knowledge are being saved and treasured for times when we will need them desperately. You show me that many really great people are out there, when governments large and medium are inept or collapsing, you'll lead the way through.
I send you my deep admiration, and fond wishes for success and happiness.
p.s. I know it's too late to post this, but I wanted you guys that made this all possible to know how much it meant and will continue to mean to me. [not too late yet! -GT]