This will be the last installment to move us backwards through time to the month of August. After this we’ll catch up to real time and move forward in the next post.

 

We live in the channeled scablands in the shrub steppe desert. There haven’t been forests here for millions of years, however, we heat and cook with a wood stove so that could be problematic. We’re using permaculture principals to grow trees on a section of the property for wildlife habitat, food, medicine, shade, wind breaks, and biomass buildup in the soil so it wouldn’t make much sense to start cutting them down. Will knows a guy who delivered fire wood eight years ago and that fire wood has lasted up to now. Like good little scientist planners we have half a dozen white boards that help us plan out designs, concepts and strategies and it’s one in particular I’m thinking about just now. It’s got three columns with the following labels; Immediate, 1-2 year, 5 year. The board received this dry erase information in 2015, so our window of time is 2015-2020.

Wood fuel stockpile is in the second column (1-2 year) so we’re still on schedule to receive what will be another 8 years (or more) of mixed green and seasoned hardwood.

You don’t want to take me to a Casino. I’ve had course work in advanced statistics so in essence I’m no fun as I point out in a very Asperger’s way ‘hey you know this game has a 1:million chance of hitting?” but I am ‘fun’ when it comes to strategy and sequencing over time given the (massive) information I’ve spent time understanding. Getting this much fire wood Now is hedging the bet that in two years we will have built and  installed a Rocket Mass Heater in this old behemoth and before 2020 is upon us, er, uh, a couple of earth berm buildings will be added to the collection of outbuildings. That means the amount of fire wood needed will be substantially reduced – Rocket Mass Heaters (RMH) use sticks to burn a very hot fire (1200o) to release the heat through conductive mechanisms. Those sticks can be harvested from the trees we are growing now.

So the guy called Will back – after 8 years – and after a couple of hit and misses got to setting a date and time that stuck. It was amazing.

We were ready, excited and relieved that after 8 years this guy was still in business and willing to work with us and deliver the load. The lazy August sun was heading for the western horizon spilling color everywhere

 

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In the silence that is this place, crickets could be heard and then the low thundering of a very large vehicle changing gears on the dirt road in front of the house. He was here, lights on, idling at the top of the driveway.

 

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He stepped out and shouted over the diesel engine back and forth with Will and the assessment was; no he could not clear the black cotton wood and elm tree branches lower down on the driveway to drop the load. We had prepared for that and had made a spot where he could work without interference.

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This guy was amazing. He was a working class specialist who had crafted the mixed art of diesel machines and resource harvesting and over a lifetime had been able to put a roof over his head, food on the table and send his kids to college. In crass vernacular: he knew his shit forwards and backwards.

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He made it look easy.

 

 

 

I have always admired that sector of society; the persons who know their stuff and work their ass’s off to make it happen. That sector, as the Arch Druid points out , has had their livelihoods cut out from under them over the course of 30 years while the urban centered liberal anachronisms have piled higher and deeper in an age of declining cheap energy and lack of reality-based opportunity.

Anachronism is a word that is generally accepted to mean an error in chronology in a literary piece, it means against time as derived from the Greek word anachronous. I have used this word intentionally with an idea in mind.

When we know the party’s over and the problems have become predicaments, it doesn’t do any of us much good to keep pretending that we can have our Earth and eat it too, by gutting the working class of former livelihoods, relegate them to Walmart greeters and Starbucks baristas while we get in our cars to drive to a climate change protest and refuse to do with less ourselves.

That is a chronocentric attitude whose time has long passed and as such is against time when millions of working class persons have realized those same attitudes of butterfly unicorn rainbow kittens have essentially been complicit in throwing them under the bus.

The first working class group to be publicly sacrificed (on national TV) was the NYC fire fighters & first responders present at 911. Physics and Structural Engineering aside, that group of persons was left to suffer the health effects of their Value actions while politicians made sure to wring every last drop of 911 for their own Interests. While we jump up and down yelling hurray! For allowing gay marriages, putting a black man in office and making marijuana legal, there is another group very much focused on a whole different set of agendas that has to do with retaining their global positioning in the age of declining cheap energy, the fallout(s) that they are very much aware of, and the course of action required to keep people in line. That is the same group of persons who brought us 911, a bogey man*  from the wrong country, and the war against Terror.

Fear’s a great tool.

How do we counter that? How do we take the first steps to mitigate the effects?

Elect to decentralize, as much as possible, every subset possible and that means doing with less of the things and ‘conveniences’ we might have been formerly used to and delving into more of the rich relationships possible through self-accountability.

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Example: I chop my own wood to make my own fire to cook my own food. Wow! That’s a lot of work.

Until the lights go out. Then it’s a lot like it is and less like it isn’t.

*John Quincy Adams warned us about this. When a system takes a run at democracy,  while proceeding with Empire building business as usual and its populace does not take into account resource allocation, nor the difference between Values and Interests, it runs the risk of taking a very wrong turn. My comment on this topic is as follows. Please have a look at this topic link, to have a better grasp on the content of my comment.

“Meanwhile the battle for Allepo is raging.

Politics, all politics for large agrarian-dependent centralized societies is but the frosting on the cake of resource allocation – parceled out in ratios to the existing participants of the hierarchical system of that time.

As you have mentioned more than once in past posts; we’ve had a good run. We’ve managed to use up millions of years of stored sunlight in a fraction (150+years) of geological time as the dominant species on this planet.

As resources go, this particular country has had the benefit of the lion’s share of those resources for some time now. The ugliness of human beings forced by way of violence, to arrive and work here are part of that resource story. Unless any one of us can claim membership to a Native American Nation, all of us to a person are immigrants from somewhere else and arrived to a continent absolutely filthy rich in resources. My family left Ireland, that island having been stripped of its forests, and its people stripped of their land. Values and interests become murky water, and their differences can go mostly unnoticed when the resources are plentiful and cheap to extract. Optimism, and opportunity, like the butterfly winged rainbow unicorn kitten, can grow and expand to include countless ideals, values, and ‘rights ‘and those pursuing the aforementioned exercises can afford, by virtue of abundant resources, to look the other way as to how those resources, now shrinking since the 1970’s have arrived at their doorsteps.

My understanding is that John Quincy Adams, who had some concerns relevant to the dangers of foreign entanglements and the incompatibility between imperialism and democracy mentioned we might best avoid “going abroad in search of monsters to destroy” and I might add, resources.

None of us, it seems, are willing to do with less, yet speak in words that indicate extreme emotion when it comes to talking about our values, while refusing, each and every one of us, to address the actual physical limitations of how that might work out given the increase in population and decrease in resources. Left or Right, Up or Down, our collective culpability in missing the basic facts of physics has allowed self-interested parties to spin the story of interest as the story of value to its countless consumers, and as the pie keeps shrinking the Unicorn Kitten will face ever increasing pressure to deliver.

Meanwhile the battle for Allepo is raging”

thank you for reading my blog,

sheila