Just exactly how woke are you?

There is a common theme going around these days, that of trashing out people that are on your own side of the political spectrum. There is a culture of “if you are not the MOST of what side you are on, then you are not enough”. Not woke enough, not edgy enough, not left enough. I think that the only way that the country will survive the short term is deep socialism here in Canada and also to the south of us. We need free universal housing, food security, healthcare, and education. We also need a basic income to get through the pandemic and the potential collapse that is inevitably coming due to increasing climate instability and the resulting scarcity and fluctuation of our resources and safety nets. BUT, when that collapse comes, in the long term, we need to be able to look after ourselves. We need to be warriors, defend ourselves and our communities, we need to be able to grow and hunt our own food (and in a Canadian winter, vegan ain’t going to cut it), we need to know how to survive without electricity, without infrastructure, and without an extended social network. Anyone who does not have these skills will be the weakest link in the communities of the future.  

True strength is not in how connected you are to popular culture, but how strong you are as an individual within your community. If your community only has people that “look” like you, present the same as you, have the same ancestry as you, same age group as you or have the same cultural norms as you, your community is weak. Diversity is the key to true strength. Everyone brings a different skill set to the table. Different ethnicities, ages, backgrounds, physical abilities, skills and approaches are a deep strength to the group. The resilience is then built-in at the root level. A community that utilizes a round table (no one is a higher level than anyone else) can solve all problems thrown at it.  

That leads to taking stock of what you know and what you have. Take a look at your food security. How many of the foods that you eat every day are bought wrapped in plastic or other packaging, harvested or farmed from farther away than 50 or 100 miles, is out of season for your area, is not able to be grown in your area, depends on mass transportation to reach you? Now look deeper at that food. Does it need pesticides to be grown efficiently, does it need excessive water, does it require hybridization, or cross pollination? Does it require large and complicated machinery to grow or harvest? Is it highly processed?  If welfare of animals is part of your food decision, ask yourself how many animals were displaced to grow the food, how many are killed in the harvest of it by machinery or by other animals into which their territory was invaded. Are there other environmental damages associated with the growing of the food that, which in turn, impacts the wild animal populations of that area? Think about the process of turning a grain of wheat into pasta or couscous, corn into cornstarch, plants into oils and syrups, oats and rice into boxed breakfast cereal, etc. None of this is sustainable in fossil fuel free and survivor situations of the future.  

Long term food security involves being able to access food and food products in the event of a long- or short-term infrastructure collapse, being able to grow or produce your own or have close access to those that can. It involves utilizing food that does not harm the environment in the long term, by degrading soils and erosion, irreparably damaging wild life populations, invasive species escape, poisoning the environment, or over using water resources. Food security is so much more than what is in your pantry. It is what you are able to PUT in your pantry 10, 20 or 50 years from now.  

The other, even more, important part of food security is clean water. Do you have access to clean water on your property, or in your immediate area? Does it rely on electricity to pump it to you, electricity or chemicals to decontaminate it, is it protected from wild animals and livestock? Do you have an endless supply or is it metered? How many other people rely on the same supply? Until each of these questions is answered, you have no security.  

Now what do you know? You may have political, legal or financial knowledge. You may know how to run a business or navigate the intricacies of the tech world. However, in a collapse scenario, whether due to a climate disaster or political fallout, you need to know much more. Can you provide and maintain for yourself and your family shelter, warmth, food, water, and protection in the long term? Do you have skills to build and create shelter and needed products, grow, harvest and preserve food, defend against predators, and provide skills and resources to your community? Are you able to contribute to education, entertainment and the comfort level of your immediate family and the wider community? It’s important to hone your skills and learn new ones, over and above just talking about them. When the skills of the old world become the skills of the new world, you will be safer and more secure.