Crash Course, full version

Some may want to talk about "gay" marriage, immigration, birthplace of a candidate, “legitimate” rape and all the other irrelevant issues created to distract us from what REALLY matters in this election. MONEY affects everyone; it is the basis of our lifestyles. It is a life and death issue that we foolishly ignore. 

Some may feel entitled to all kinds of beliefs and opinions, but our actual need is facts, verifiable, reliable facts.   

Some may want to drill, baby, drill without consideration of the economic and environmental consequences, however that is highly unlikely to give the desired results.

Some may believe growth is our only option without ever taking into account exponential growth, without regard for Earth’s capacity to carry such loads.

These are just a few of the topics Martenson covers in “Crash Course.” He lays out a statement of the problems facing us, presents a vision of a preferred future, offers some options to make significant changes, an action plan for individuals and organizations to put into play, and a way to evaluate if we reach our goals.

Chris Martenson 

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I really like this post Joan. I agree those other issues just divert the attention away from the real important issues. I will check out that link.

The video is divided into 20+ sections so it is easy to stop and start at your pleasure. Each chapter makes excellent points and he uses good graphics and metaphors to illustrate his points. I think you will find the ideas very compelling.  

Ok good thing - I will watch a bit at a time.
I love learning - thank you Joan!

Thanks Joan! That was quite an earful and a lot to think about! It connects about everything I've seen and thought on economics in a logical way and it helps a lot. I was very glad with the help to see through fuzzy info and other sorts of deceit - I tend to think I'm the stupid one who misunderstands it all. So if the next twenty years are all important, I can just about see them if Alzheimer doesn't get me. You'll be glad of your kitchen garden, and perhaps I should find an allotment garden.

 

Well, I don't intend to be an alarmist, but what he says makes sense. I hope he is wrong on his predictions, but if he is wrong, we won't have a big challenge; if he is right, we are forewarned and can become better prepared. 

There was a great TV series from BBC on a allotment garden near London some years ago. It looked like a great community, lots of fun, and sense of belonging. 

Watched the course twice, second time with husband. Long talks. Preparing for exponentially growing changes is not very practical in the middle of an urban area below sealevel, but it cannot be helped - we're boomers and nobody is queueing to buy our apartment. What changes did you make in your lifestyle, Joan?

I started my changes 38 years ago when I left my husband, came to Spokane, bought a condemned house and started working on it. Paycheck by paycheck, little things improved, while the children were home we had a huge vegetable garden. When they grew up and moved away I changed the garden into a meditation garden and I come up with some pretty good ideas sitting and puttering out there. 

I retired from teaching, jeez! I don't remember when, and took care of my dad for seven years until he died at a ripe old age of 86. I just never went back to work for pay, just volunteer stuff. I had my pension plan all laid out to last until I was 100 years old and WHAM! prices started going up, groceries began to chew up a big chunk of my monthly pension, I used to be able to fill my car for $12.00 and the last time I filled it was $32.00. And we are not in inflationary times? Who does their arithmetic? 

So, I revert back to the old skills of 38 years ago. Planned car trips for groceries, errands doctor's appointments, fewer dinners out, I don't treat the family to restaurant meals and we have lovely meals at home --- I like that better anyway. I don't have need for clothes, I have all the kitchen gadgets I want, I used to buy books, now I go to the library. More of the garden is going back to fruits and vegetables --- I like that better anyway. It seems I have said that before. 
All-in-all, I am very content. I like my life the way it is. Have no desire to travel. No need for stuff, should get rid of some books so my kids don't have to do that. 

Being a boomer puts you in a vulnerable place because of demographics. I assume you have similar population trends that resulted from long range effects of WWII. Maybe you don't. 

I know Europe had a terrible time during WW I & II. Did you hear stories from your parents or grandparents about how they were able to survive? If I remember correctly, hunger was a real issue in the Netherlands. i remember sending packages of food and clothing to our Belgian relatives during and after the war. 

Did you and your husband find things you want to change, given his report? 

I'm not sure what a condemned house is, but it sounds like derelict. You did a wonderful job, and you tell it as if it was easy! But you did well, I'm glad of it!

I remember my parents' and grandparents' life was all coloured by the Thirties Depression. My mother's family was on the brink of starving - some aunts died of TBC on top of malnutrition, the others kept bad health all their lives. My father's family was in a village where everyone had a kitchen garden, no problems there. They even took in refugees in WWII and fed them from the surplus - one of them my mother. My parents-in-law lived in Rotterdam, which was bombed and burned. The survivors quickly leaned to make vegetable gardens everywhere - the others lived by trading, stealing or buttering up to the Nazis to get some food.

I found http://transitionculture.org/ and more, so I'm going to study what we can change. At first sight most of it matches my consuminder-lifestyle very well.  

The house I bought was condemned because the plumbing  and electrical did not pass code and so in effect, I bought the land. We lived in a tent until the cold sent us inside. Our cats took care of the overpopulation of mice and we kept them in the house to do their job. 

The house is now 100 years old and has turned into a lovely home. Lots of time, sweat, some blood, and a lot of funny stories came out of that experience. Like the time we had a load of concrete dumped in the basement through the coal shoot and we had to bucket-carry it to huge holes we dug under the foundation to put in now footings. My daughter, ten years old at the time, picked up a bucket of concrete and fell backwards onto the pile of wet cement. I think we cried at the time because we were so tired, and now we laugh. 
Thanks for the site reference. I am now looking at ways to get off petroleum ... sounds impossible, but I think there are some ways. What is your heat source for your home? What are your options? 

Now I understand. Must be a wonderful house, with such a good history - makes me wish I could visit you. I have got an apartment on the two top floors of this converted 1930s bankbuilding http://www.flickr.com/photos/rps8/6466319177/  heated by natural gas. No real option to make a change for the better possible. There is a natural gasfield under the north part of the Netherlands and there is stil enough for some decennia (they say), but the export of gas has grown, so I'm not at all sure about what there's left. Small earthshocks indicate that the field is getting emptier..

Last night we watched The end of suburbia, and we realized that the USA lost much of the smallscale infrastructure we here are still used to - you take the car for small errands because you haven't got a choice, everything is too far apart. Interesting film!

http://www.veoh.com/watch/v20073206BFdxe5c6?h1=THE+END+OF+SUBURBIA%...

Advice I've picked up sofar:

Isolate your home. I've got two surfaces exposed to the weather: the roof and the windows and it's all good enough to live with minimal heating in freezing temperatures.

Make a vegetable garden. The only room I've got is a 'roof garden' of 3 x 5 metres, I'm going to find out what I can make of that.

Live within your income and pay off your debts. Sometimes I save as much as 10 percent, but the mortgage will take a long time..

 I'm going to google and read, there's lots more to discover on this subject.

You're a teacher too! What subjects did you teach?

Chris, Thanks for the photo of your apartment building. Do you grow plants inside? Roof gardens provide excellent space with access to sun, and if water is available and put on timers, that easily works. Even dense city roofs seem to do well, even with heavy vehicle traffic below. I like your idea. Do the apartment owners support your vision? 

Are there other apartments in the building and people who might want to garden on your roof as well? 

Many of our business structures have converted partly to condominiums. I like the idea because it puts one in close proximity to banks, stores, even a grocery store has moved in to cater to the city-center dwellers. Many of our buildings were built after a terrible fire destroyed downtown in 1889. Brick replaced the old wood structures. It was during a wealthy time for Spokane with money from silver and lead mines in the Coeur d'Alene mountains to the east, lumbering all over this part of the state, and ambitious people coming from the east during the 1883 depression with dreams of opportunity for great wealth. Many buildings constructed during that era were built by skilled craftsmen; they make lovely condos. 

Have the "earthshocks" caused any structural damage to buildings or to seawalls? 

Here is a video from TED that makes a lot of sense to me. I have been attending meetings on Wednesday evenings in an old strip mall that is virtually abandoned. At one time it was a busy commercial place. the building are mostly empty, exterior walls deteriorating, weeds growing in cracks in pavement and is just plain ugly. Here is a possible remedy:

TED Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting suburbia

Thanks for your video "The End of Suburbia"; I shall watch it now. I think we are on to something good. 

I like the TED video very much; those are good projects, I'm glad of it.

I find I should have said earthquakeshocks - there was damage to buildings but not to the seawalls.

I started studying a book on smallscale vegetable gardening, next spring I can start. We're not allowed to use the roof we live under, but only the 'roof garden' that belongs to this apartment. This is what it looks like:

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