Help mobilize self-sust. neigh.,y2k contingency : LUSENET : Self Reliance : One Thread

Is it not true that the best contingency for worst-case scenerio is self-sustainable neighborhood implemenation by 2000? We need to create a list or model(s) of cheap and simple ways and means to implement self-sustainability. I'll paste a paper that might make these ideas clearer. Y2K Problem/Opportunity: a Call to Action By Tom Osher Einstein explained that as one approaches the speed of light, time slows down -- a concept hard to believe but fun to contemplate. Now, as we approach the year 2000, watch how the time will speed up, much as a river accelerates as it approaches a huge waterfall. The 20th century began with the tragedy of the Titanic with its inadequate contingency plans (i.e., not enough lifeboats). Now, at the end of the century -- all of humanity, because of the pervasive growth of computers, floats, as it were, together on one giant ark called Technology. At the end of the river is the year 2000 problem, Y2K, like a giant iceberg. 3 Time is an ocean but it ends at the shore.2 B. Dylan. The people on board are preoccupied with their existence, the problem is a year and a quarter away and few realize the potential of its severity. We are about to make the same mistake that occurred with the Titanic. We have had one century to learn the importance of adequate, appropriate and inclusive contingency planning when facing potential disaster -- the sinking of Technology. We must have lifeboats for everybody. Therein lies the challenge that faces all of humanity: prepare for the worst by making all communities autonomously self-sustainable, neighborhood by neighborhood, worldwide, by the year 2000, or face tidal waves of panic and the possibility of infrastructure meltdown, martial law/chaos, world-wide for an indefinite period of time. Cynics may scoff and say, 3Why bother? It9s impossible.2 But they don9t recognize that in the very fact of their existence they face the impossible every day of their lives. Besides, we may not have everything in place -- here and everywhere by the year 2000 -- but the more we do, the less reason for panic, the smoother the transition, the less possibility of martial law/chaos. This inevitable event is of a singular nature historically; it is one of a kind. We cannot expect aid from the usual disaster aid sources (FEMA, Red Cross, etc.): the problem will be too widespread and ongoing, and these organizations will be undermined as well. It is a once in a millennium opportunity to transform society, non-violently. We need to create task forces of volunteers and groups to start realizing the many areas of contingency implementation. We need to have large neighborhood meetings, where people can input their knowledge of sources, resources, ideas and means for each of the different areas of infrastructure: food, water, waste, transport, communications, health and safety, electricity, gas, fuel, etc. Information and solutions need to be shared on the Internet. The government needs to be audited, to know their readiness and their contingencies, and petitioned for land-use permission and for funds for labor and supplies.Now that time is short, we need to come up with a feasible (cheap and simple) model(s) as comprehensive as possible as quickly as we can to be made available for everyone.Not everyone need agree to these ideas, but those that do, lets move on this now! E-mail: Telephone:415-824-4214 *Although the year 2000 problem (date-referencing computers and embedded microchips that can only go up to the year 1999 and are unable to process 2000) sounds simple, countless computers will malfunction as they encounter dates in the year 2000. But the prevalence of computers in our lives means that if and when these computers fail, problems will range from mere inconveniences to life-threatening consequences. One thing is for sure and that is that the collapse of our infrastructure that sustains us is possible. It is the likelihood of this possibility that is unknown. Both the public and the private sector are working on the problem, but collectively they cannot eliminate every year 2000 bug. While the Y2K issue does not necessarily represent Armageddon, the threat to trade, transportation, health care, financial institutions, telecommunication, power sources and government functions is very real. About the author: Tom Osher has lived in San Francisco since 1967, has been a grass roots organizer and activist for many years, especially working with Food Not Bombs since 1988, is the father of two grown children. He currently lives in Bayview-Hunters Pt., where he will be making his home and garden a model for self-sustainability. This will include vertical horticulture, electricity-generating devices, pirate radio for the purpose of communicating locally when and if there are no telecommunications, compost-creating toilets, etc. Check these out. y2k affords us an opportunity to transform the world in one stroke, more or less.For years activists have followed in the footsteps of MLKing, Ghandi, etc. to the point where proactive activism is somewhat rare. Now, it happens that the most prudent response to the y2k situation, would be preparation for the worst-case scenerio - infra-structure breakdown for an indefinite period of time, martial law/ chaos- by implementing globally autonomous self-sustainable neigborhoods before 2000. A daunting challenge in itself, but until the challenge is fully assumed, no one can say that it is impossible. Anyway, this responds coincides very much with the anarchist vision of decentralization and autonomy, also, with those who cherish the vision of self-sustainable communities based on co-operation and non-violence. There is only a short time to implement. People like yourself could play an instrumental role in manifesting this vision by helping to put out the call for ideas and ways that are cheap, simple, and comprehensive that could provide a model(s) that could be quickly disseminated and implemented. What do you think? They say "When the entire Universe passes thru the hole of a bagel, THATS when the Transformation will begin." I think that time is now. Co-reliantly, Tom feasible alternative sustainables The above link may be helpful, but be aware it is not necessarily the best way to go. The generator does not produce a whole lot of energy and photovoltaics may be better (more power, cheaper-no gas cost or storage). Verticle growing: Make a column out of chicken wire about 3-4 feet high,14" diameter and tar paper ( there might be a better substance, that has no toxics in it). Just attach it by folding it over the bottom and the top of chicken wire. Put a 4"diameter pipe in middle and fill with sand and stones, fill the rest of the area with good soil, remove the pipe. Cut slits (about 3") in a spiral thru the wire and paper. Insert seedlings at a downward angle thru the slits. Melons and such at lower areas, plants like peas, beans , tomatoes in the higher areas, salads, and middle types in middle, some plants will get more sun depending on which side they are on. The dimensions are arbitrary and you can vary the size of everything any way you want. I got over 40 plants in this size. Can be place on sidewalks, balconies, roofs,etc. you don't need a yard. Create more columns and plant every 2 weeks to keep a continual harvest. Also, it is recommended that you contact your gov't. to get them moving on storing grains in easily accessible warehouses to augment everyone's diet. As you can see, this packet or model is woefully incomplete, am trying to solicite more and better ideas to make available to everyone as soon as possible. Please send any ideas you can share. Co-reliantly, Tom

-- Tom Osher (, November 23, 1998

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