Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Adaptation and the law
Peak oil, economic collapse, environmental degradation -pick one or all or add some more collapse threats. Odds are something is going to go down rough for a lot of people. Highly educated people run the numbers and make doom predictions. In fact, there are so many making doom predictions that some of them will be right. Call it the shotgun theory of doom narratives.
Doom happens and then we are all dead.
Few account for people's adaptability. I remember during the oil shocks of the 70s. Before long you could not give away big American 8 cylinder cars. Little foreign 4 cylinders were in high demand. Car pooling became popular. Miles travel were reduced. Trips were carefully planned to get as much done in a single trip as possible.
People do adapt. Houses get insulated and drafts are plugged. Thermostats are turned down. People switch to less expensive fuels. Solar energy is used more, even in simple things like placing a house to make best use of sun and shade.
Gardens are planted. Life styles change. We don't go gently into that good night.
Of course, survival may be illegal in your community. They don't exactly make survival illegal. They just outlaw anything that's outside the current norm. Property values have to be maintained.
Here's the simplest test: are clotheslines outlawed in your community? Are there HOA rules or town ordnances against it? What about other things? Wood stoves banned? Some places don't allow solar panels on private residences. Are private wells outlawed? How about private septic systems, or horrors, a composting toilet! Will someone freak if you tear up your lawn and plant carrots?
That's just a few tried and true strategies and technologies for getting by in tough times. How many of them are outlawed in your area? If these simple things are frowned upon, imagine how they'd react to more radical coping mechanisms. We don't even know what tools for survival people will develop in the future.
I'm betting that if you can't do much outside the norm where you are currently living, don't expect things to change radically in the near future. In fact, enforcement of these silly rules could even get worse. People heavily invested into the old system of property values will try to hold onto the old illusions as long as possible. You will be made an example of.
As for me, I've got a clothesline. It runs right past the solar electric panels near the garden.