When I moved to the Olympic Peninsula a few years ago it seemed like a good place to hole up and ride out the collapse of civilization. Plenty of water, lots of forest, near the ocean, nice folks (for the most part), a thriving maritime culture and a place that might be relatively stable with climate change coming.
This Spring I changed my mind.
I decided to leave the Olympic Peninsula for 2 reasons.
REASON 1 – THE MILITARY
There is a lot of military presence around the Puget Sound.
This base merged Naval Station Bremerton which hosts a fleet of decommissioned war ships, including aircraft carriers with the Naval Submarine Base Bangor. Naval Base Kitsap houses the Trident Submarine Base, as part of the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC) which provides maintenance, calibration, missile assembly/test, spare parts, and spare nuclear warhead storage for the Trident II ballistic missiles that are carried by the nuclear submarines. This is one of two nuclear submarine bases in the US and the only one on the west coast. This is rumored to be the largest nuclear stockpile on the west coast.
Naval Base Kitsap is the largest naval organization in Navy Region Northwest and the third-largest Navy base in the U.S. It features one of the U.S. Navy’s four nuclear shipyards, one of two strategic nuclear weapons facilities, the only West Coast dry dock capable of handling a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and the Navy’s largest fuel depot.
This base serves as the primary center for air force training and operations in the region. It is known for it’s constant noise disturbance from the Growlers and other aircraft flying overhead.
This base is conducting the controversial Electromagnetic Warfare Training on the Olympic Peninsula.
Being a student of history, I am aware that social upheaval can lead to martial law under military rule. I am also aware that should foreign policy fail, this area might get caught in a crossfire.
It seems prudent to find neighbors that I might actually want to live among.
REASON 2 – LOW FOOD RESILIENCY
There is a serious lack of food security in the region.
While there are many worse places in the country to be it has been estimated that local food consumption is around 5%, at most. While plenty of lip service is given to “buying local,” very few people are actually committed to living within the county’s food shed. People prefer to buy commodity foods from the far reaches of the planet. This shortsightedness will guarantee that local farmers will not get the support they need to be viable.
Until farmers can expect to make a good living and have a high quality of life for the essential services that they provide, very few will venture into the sector. If very few people take up farming, then we will have a very tough time when an abrupt economic/energy crisis hits. I expect that local farmers will continue to financially struggle until a national or regional crisis strikes. Then people will be forced to localize the food supply. When this happens many will go hungry but people will start to engage in food production. Here’s the problem: there’s a significant learning curve to farming and productive food systems take years to establish.
In the winter of 2017/2018 I did a white paper on regional food security for Jefferson County, Washington. I wrote:
“East Jefferson County has a population of approximately 30,000 residents. According to the county comprehensive plan document on housing, PC Agenda 11-01-2017.pdf: “since… 2004 and continuing for the current 20 year planning period, population growth is expected to occur at a very modest rate (~1% annually).” This leaves us with a population increase of about 1,000 people every 3 years. If we see an influx of migration [from climate refugees], this will increase further. East Jefferson County has 6,423 acres zoned as agricultural land (Jefferson County Central Services, GIS). While food can be grown on other types of zoned land, this figure is being used to generate a rough estimate of our productive limits. This gives the current population in East Jefferson County .21 acres per person (about 1/5 of an acre) on which to feed ourselves. We have about 30,000 people now, the county thinks we will be approaching a population around 40,000 in twenty years. Say it takes two acres of agricultural land to feed each person without exhausting the farm land. This means that we will require around 80,000 acres in food production to be self-sufficient. We only have 6,423 acres available right now. We would need over twelve-times as much farm land than is currently available to be anywhere close to establishing food security in Jefferson County […] Our population is currently far beyond what the land can support. We are maintaining our current population through the dependency on exploitation of resources from other lands. When these imports become scarce, we will have to face the reality of finite carrying capacity. We can supplement some food from the ocean, but the health of the fish populations is in decline, making the ocean an uncertain food source in the future. While I don’t expect outside trade to vanish completely (especially for the affluent), my purpose is to illustrate how far we have grown beyond our regional biological limits already. The addition of new people to the region further stresses our potential for local resiliency.”Food Security White Paper
Thoughts on developing a sustainable economy in Jefferson County, Considerations for the 20-Year Plan, 2018
I expect that people will probably deforest and damage ecosystems in their attempts to acquire sufficient land for food production.
I am leaving the United States for 2 reasons.
Two big shifts for me occurred earlier this year. One was realizing how electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and the push toward 5G is destroying us and all of life. I detail this in my post Imagine a Toxin. It was reading 5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health! by Dr. Martin Pall and Shrinking the Technosphere by Dmitry Orlov that helped me conclude that the odds of survival within an advanced technological society are slim. I decided I needed to find a low-tech (i.e. non affluent) country where food production is still practiced by a large portion of the population. It became clear that even if I moved to one of the few remaining small farm organic agricultural areas in the United States, the harm from wireless technologies would still get me. Even if I don’t own any gadgets myself these devices are transmitting everywhere. It is time to return to a pre-industrial and ecological life way.
REASON 1 – THE EMERGING HEALTH CRISIS
You can search online for all kinds of articles about declining life expectancy, mental health problems becoming epidemic, chronic disease rates consuming the population and so on. I used to think that what happened in Cuba during the Special Period would be a microcosm of what we could expect on a global scale with the coming collapse of civilization.
Then I realized that there is a significant difference between that situation and the one that we are in. Cuba had a collapse with a relatively sane and healthy population. If you look at the biological breakdown of our species from poor nutrition, chemical pollutants, GMO’s, vaccine injury, sedentary lifestyles and electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and then look where these trends are going…. All sorts of crisis are coalescing: the decline in freshwater availability, the end of cheap energy, biodiversity (species) loss, soil degradation, climate change. On top of all of this, humans, the species that is responsible for this mess are failing physically and mentally.
Surviving a collapse among people with their physical and mental health intact is a very different thing than a collapse among people that are suffering from a spectrum of neuropsychiatric disorders due to EMR exposure. You may be able to count on a sane neighbor to be somewhat reliable. Stability allows for opportunities to work together for mutual benefit. A mentally damaged person may not be predictable, lack empathy, not be functional enough to collaborate with, and may indeed be quite dangerous. Will you be able to trust your neighbor who is cracking under the stress?
The scenario that we are facing brings to life the Zombie Apocalypse metaphor quite vividly. It may be more appropriate to call it the EMR Apocalypse. You may think I am being hyperbolic but I am quite sincere. When we consider what we are losing it becomes quite clear that technology is destroying the Earth.
Since humanity seems quite committed to collective suicide, I’m going to try to avoid becoming another health statistic and escape.
REASON 2 – THE EMERGING POLICE STATE
A surveillance society is under construction as 5G/the Internet of Things (IoT) is rolled out with the goal of total social control.
San Diego is well on it’s way to a Chinese-style prison city. Tech giants like Facebook and Google are trafficking in surveillance capitalism. Google censors on behalf of corporate interests. Amazon censors on behalf of pharmaceutical interests. Facebook censors on behalf of political interests. Mailchimp also joins the assault on freedom of speech.
We live in an Orwellian world where truth is criminalized. Information that challenges corporate interest is suppressed under the pretext that such information “misinforms and endangers the public and therefore needs to be censured.” Industry lies are accepted as the official TRUTH. There is no shortage of evidence that corporations have hijacked regulatory bodies within the government, yet the charade continues.
The developments in robotics and Artificial Intelligence are an increasing threat to freedom and humanity.
Former National Security Agency whistle blowers like William Binney and Edward Snowden have been warning us for years about the growing police state. Despite the warnings, what remains of our limited freedoms continues to evaporate with little opposition. The internet has become the foundational infrastructure to our prison society. Peoples response? Continue to buy the products and services that move us closer to totalitarianism.
China, Europe and the United States all seem to be dead set in a race toward technological dystopia. This will be a race to the bottom with the destruction of people and planet as the only outcome.
I’d rather not be in the epicenter of this insanity. Any city, any technologically advanced society, and anywhere that capitalism has poisoned the minds of people to the degree that they actively undermine the environment and future generations for short term gain is unsafe. The sickness is everywhere.
I realize that this doesn’t leave many options for safe places to be.