Climate Change – The enemy we keep on fighting

Global warming or climate change is an old enemy we keep fighting without entirely aware of its whole existence. We’ve been hearing about it for the past 50 years or so, and we still haven’t managed to build a preparedness plan on it.

We’re noticing its effects more and more lately, and even if climate change may very well lead to human extinction one day, we still seem unbothered by it. We believe there’s more than enough time left to do something about it. Climate change is here to stay, and you can no longer ignore its effects, and you must prepare for what’s to come.

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For the last two decades, there has been an intense debate regarding climate change, and there are three sides “waging war” in the spotlight, the believers, the non-believers, and the neutral. Regardless of which side you stand on, it has become apparent that the weather patterns are changing, and Mother Nature is throwing more violent tantrums than ever.

What’s causing global warming?

You’ve probably seen people arguing on TV about the amount of CO2 we’re dumping into the atmosphere and how the greenhouse effect will kill us sooner or later, but you’re probably wondering how does all of this work.

The greenhouse effect was first studied in 1896 by a Swedish scientist named Svante Arrhenius. Since then, it was the main subject in debates conducted by the scientific community regarding global warming.

If you think of our planet’s atmosphere, we could compare it to the glass roof of a greenhouse since it acts both as a filter and as a transmission medium for all incoming solar energy. This roof protects us from ultraviolet radiation while at the same time it traps sunlight or heat energy beneath, slowly radiating it back beyond the atmosphere.

Due to significant CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, heat energy can no longer pass on and escape into space. Such blocking action leads to a warming of the planet, and to keep it simple, it would soon be like living in an oven for us.

CO2 emitters have been on this earth long before humans have started to take over, but there has always been a balance between emitters and absorbers (elements that remove and retain CO2). We are burning more fossil fuel, and we are wiping out natural CO2 absorbers such as forests. This has led to an irreversible effect that many believe will trigger irreversible weather patterns that can lead to extinction.

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13

What does this mean for us?

In 1974, the CIA issued various reports on climate change, warning our government about the challenges we will face in the future and giving global warming the proper attention it deserves. Here is n extract that sums up the overall situation we may soon face:

“It is increasingly evident that the intelligence community must understand the magnitude of international threats which occur as a function of climatic change. These methodologies are necessary to forewarn us of the economic and political collapse of nations caused by a worldwide failure in food production. In addition, methodologies are also necessary to project and assess a nation’s propensity to initiate militarily large-scale migrations of their people, as has been the case for the last 4.000 years … The politics of food will become the central issue of every government.” – CIA report on Climate Change 1974, page 31.

Climate change will have a significant impact on the world, and it will affect every one of us in one way or another. We need to understand that a change in weather patterns and the rising sea level due to the melting of the ice caps will lead to mass migration, but the spark that will ignite the fuse for the next world war will be food.

Food has always been a weapon and a commodity that helped built but also crumbled empires. People have always thrived on a surplus of food, and they managed to advance as a society when such a resource was plentiful.

The absence of food was the reason that started numerous wars and made us kill each other. The events we read about in history books may very well repeat themselves if food, the commodity the world depends upon, will once again be in short supply.

How can you prepare for climate change?

Climate change has been an excellent source for journalistic doomsaying, but for us preppers, it’s just another reason that makes emergency preparedness common sense at this point.

We have been ostracized by society since the 80s, and nobody bothered to have a talk with us and get our honest opinion on prepping. The media has somehow always managed to find and put in the spotlight the most “eccentric” of us (to put it lightly), and we all had to suffer for it.

Coming with the year 2020, when the Pandemic struck the world and people were running like crazy from one store to another fighting for a few rolls of toilet paper, there was a sudden shift in people’s mentality. Suddenly, everyone was like, “maybe those crazy preppers were right after all,” and folks all over the world started to understand that prepping is just a means of assuring one’s future.

Back in the day, everyone was a prepper, and storing food for the winter and for times of scarcity was an everyday activity. Nowadays, it seems that such activities are back on everyone’s agenda because no matter what your opinion on preppers is, food will always become a primary concern for you and yours.

Preparing for climate change needs to follow two simple patterns, getting out of harm’s way and having the means and resources to push forward and see the next day. Here’s what I mean.

Getting out of harm’s way

Climate change will lead to mass migration, and one of the main reasons for such an event will be the sea level rise. Those living in the coastal areas will be forced to move to dry land, and that’s a worrying fact considering that NOAA states that almost 40 percent of Americans live in such densely-populated areas.

This will become a significant issue for our country and every nation with highly-populated coastal areas. When people are forced to move inland without having anything planned, certain places will become “crowded,” leading to conflicts. Escalating tensions will eventually lead to wars for the available “dry land.”

Long before we will have to wage war with other nations for our land, there will be a more pressing matter we need to attend to. We will have to take care (or deal with) domestic refugees, those people that can no longer use their beachfront properties.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we can’t find solutions for all of them since we know that the US is no joke when it comes to supersizing, but we have to look at the bigger picture. Not everyone will be willing to have their way of life affected by domestic refugees, and those in need won’t wait patiently in line for FEMA to come to the rescue.

Without a doubt, there will be conflicts that will lead to much larger movements, and we have to admit that the government can’t take care of all of us. Those who live in secluded areas will probably be fine, but those living in a densely populated place will have to compete for resources.

You can imagine how a scenario that involves cramming people together can turn into an apocalyptic environment when resources are cannibalized. There will not be enough of anything to go around.

This puts a new perspective into mind if you look at your living area.

And before we move forward, I have to specify that the “Rambo” scenario depicted by many preppers, the one in which they will defend what’s theirs at any cost, is just not feasible. You will risk your life for a few cans of beans, and it’s not worth it, to be honest, no matter how good of a soldier/fighter you think you are. There will be just too much competition for you to handle.

To sum it up, staying out of harm’s ways means always keeping some distance between you and the thing that threatens your safety. As people will be pushed more inland, you will have to either bug in and keep a low profile or move to an environment that makes survival difficult (if not impossible) for the average Joe.

On the other hand, if you become a domestic refugee, you should have by now a plan to start fresh somewhere else without putting yourself and yours at risk.

Having the means and resources to push forward

We have to come back to the food issue since this will be your central concern regardless of whether you live in a densely populated area or live in a mountainous region where you have learned to become self-sufficient.

In my opinion, the number one goal of every prepper should be to become self-sufficient and obtain that level of security that focuses on thriving and not surviving. It will be impossible to cover in a single article the topic of becoming self-sufficient since such a scenario depends on various factors such as:

  • Your living area (population density, flora and fauna, resources, etc.)
  • Your skills
  • Available resources (everything that is hard to obtain from natural resources)
  • Number of people dependent on you
  • Competition for natural resources (human and wildlife)

That being said, you should concentrate on adapting your lifestyle to the effect of climate change while taking into account the factors mentioned above. And since food is a topic we have to reconsider once more, here are a few suggestions regarding food security.

Traditional agriculture and alternatives

If you rely on producing your food, you have to consider other methods besides traditional agriculture. While adapting your crops by planting hardy plants depending on the changing weather patterns may work for a while, you will probably have to move your food production operation underground.

On the surface, it will become just a numbers game with rainfall increasing or decreasing, affecting your crop accordingly. You shouldn’t concentrate all your efforts on the classical garden, and you should look into alternatives such as hydroponics and aquaponics. These two gardening systems work great indoors since you control the growing environment and save water (which may be in short supply in certain regions).

Hunting, trapping, and fishing

All these activities require skill and practice, so you might want to consider putting some hours in the field now when the climate still allows you to take advantage of such food procuring methods.

Once you covered the skill and practice factors, you have to consider the human competition one. The game and fish you’re after is also on the craving list of others, and you can imagine that this may lead to inevitable conflicts. You should look into ways of hunting that camouflage your presence. Bowhunting and trapping would be your best bets in such a case since using a rifle may not be recommended.

As fishing goes, you may have to adopt a more discrete approach since you will probably not have the luxury of spending all your time casting a line on the nearest water hole. Fish trapping is vital here since it won’t expose your presence, and you will be able to take care of other survival chores while the traps do their job.

Since climate change will probably affect animal behavior and fish populations may suffer from constant temperature fluctuations, you shouldn’t have high hopes of bagging something quickly. Few species of land and sea inhabitants will adapt to the new climate.

You also have to consider the conservation factor. There is a high chance of the entire species being wiped out since everyone will try to get an easy meal. It’s already happening in our times when the consumerism trend is within a “normal range.”

Foraging

The art of foraging is a lost skill, and few people can exist with what they can forage. A hardcore forager learns the truth about foraging after spending hundreds if not thousands of hours in the field. The reality of foraging is much grimmer than you can imagine, and you can’t just go into the woods looking for berries, stuff your face when you found them, and call it a day.

Foraging alone doesn’t provide proper nutrition, and it’s not sustainable long-term. Even foragers have to supplement their diets with what they can bag through hunting and/or fishing. And we’re talking here about actual foragers, not seasonal outdoor enthusiasts, the type of people that can forage all year-round. The type of people that can quickly identify the plants they search for without having to look in their field guide every step of the way. Such folks know how to transplant these plants for a sustainable foraging effort and preserve or transform plant material to last until the following season.

These people will tell you that foraging alone is not enough to provide a copious meal for one or more persons. Foraging only works if you combine it with other food procuring methods. For the average Joe, this food procuring method is mainly wishful thinking, and it just won’t work.

Other options?

Other methods of procuring food, such as scavenging and looting, aren’t worth mentioning, in my opinion. If you ended up in such a situation, you’ve already got the entire preparedness approach wrong. There won’t be enough to go around, and it will become just a number and muscle game.

Concluding

This article’s point is not to convince our readers that climate change is real since this is no longer a topic for debate. You’re probably already noticing its effects without anyone having to point them out. Hurricanes are starting to form sooner and increase in strength each year, the fire season is more extended and more devastating, and dry areas are becoming drier each year.

There’s quite some thinking you need to do depending on where you live and what your skills are, and you may need to consider relocating shortly. I honestly believe that we will see the world changed in our lifetime due to global warming in ways we thought could be possible just in doomsday movies.


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