I didn’t mean to sound “preachy” (if I did) in the Saturday part one of this series, but have to say, it’s the way I really feel.  Once you have enough money to buy more than you can ever consume before the worms show up, there’s time to look around and ask:  Have I walked lightly?

That’s a Native American concept that, sure, gets flashed by environmental types, who then get in their cars, or like a certain former vice president, make heart rendering speeches about CO2 and then travel to the next warming conference aboard a corporate jet.  Somehow, it’s seems disingenuous and dishonest.

Yes, we ALL need to prep.  Not as a further “exercise in spending” however.  In living differently.  Somehow, though, this critical message about real prepping gets lost in the 15% off sales and the “Almost Gone…get them while you can” mass marketing craziness.

I was deadly serious when “I said if you think you’re a prepper and you don’t understand Allan Savoys work on management of livestock, you might never make it past year two of a Meltdown.”   On the Mandatory Reading list: Holistic Management, Third Edition: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore Our Environment.  We will discuss his “Greening the Desert: Holistic Management in the Era of Climate Change (Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures Book 35) in a future Peoplenomics report.

Fact is, you can already see the emergence of the huge need for holistic economics.  But, as Savory points out early on in his book, humans are tool makers and users.  And that doesn’t always work to our benefit.  Starting with chemical farming and livestocking and continuing on through our waste of energy in all forms.

Bitcoin mining, for example, is by this measure a “greedstercise” that should have been banned and shunned by all thinking, environmentally aware people.  Yet look at the energy wastes.  AYSM?  For hash codes pretending to be “money?”  CO2 for hash codes?  How freaking dumb, right?

Governments are setting ALL of us up for a massive, global show-down over “How we think and do”  with the Christian-Judaeo West trusting that capitalism will monetize a “way” that will work.  With equal certainty, the Chinese are doing down the C.H. Douglas route of “Social Credits” which is nothing more than the “lazy socialist” way of replacing monetization with forced labor.  Of course, it’s sold as as “social” and, since that is an emotional buzz word, people are bowing down to it – as they have before all the wrong-headed ways to fix the climate.

Savory’s got an actual working plan – which will reduce CO2 shedding by humans by 30 percent. Huge, right?  More than anything in the political sphere.  Yet, as we see it, he’s got a major marketing problem because, well, where’s the money is his approach?

Oh, sure, saves the planet, ends warming, doesn’t cost very much, and as a bonus it passes on the fine art of de-monetized thinking.  Can’t have that now, can we?

SOMEONE HAS TO  GET RICH.  ONE OF THE RULERS!

Which has what to do with cats, exactly?

Just coming to that.  The other day I was looking at a collection of barrels that we have gathered over the years…and I’ve been trying to figure out how to reuse, re-purpose, or recycle them.  Shouldn’t be too tough, you’d think.

There are a million things a creative person can do with an old barrel.  They’re all over the place in East Texas.  I bought some recently up in Tyler, Texas for $3-bucks each in very good condition.

Most have had dangerous chemicals, so they’re no good for food growing.  Cutting down to planter-size doesn’t seem smart.  The red and blue ones were used for corrosion inhibitors and the gray $3-buck specials contained a solvent used in PCB fabbing.

A great prepping exercise is to figure out how many ways you can use an old barrel.  In no time, you can come up with ideas likee…

  • A dozen variations on stoves and heating devices.
  • Animal shelters
  • Tractor weights  (yes, we do need to add weight to a tractor now and then))
  • Chairs…
  • And artwork like this fence decoration for my younger sitser, cut from a barrel top:

Side-story:  That metal sculpture, if you look closely, is the family last name and a Ying-Yang design, cut out while my consigliere was visting.  I pulled the “Tom Sawyer” sell on him:  “Huck, think you are man enough to handle a plasma cutter?

Being an attorney, he instantly fell for it. In no time, he was cutting like crazy while I supervised.  I like supervision.

I told him he was a natural at it, but he’d need some more practice.  “Tilt you torch a bit more,” I offered…continuing on in my supervisory role.

A carrot and stick sell…and works perfectly.]

Still, we have more barrels than artwork to cut…and more than enough for two or three “oil drum stoves” (we keep a kit or two plus barrels on hand).

Then it hit me!  Bolt of lightning out of the blue, it was.  I could take a barrel – one of the old rusty ones- and slice it open and lay it down in a field and give Alberto Culvert (a wild cat so-named because he’s a wild black cat that has been living in the driveway culvert for more than a year).  This would be a much better place to live.

And hour of playtime with grinder, the plasma torch, then the wire welder and it was done.  Careful set on a foundation of insulated work pads by Elaine and me.  Elaine donated two of those 20-inch square 3/8ths inch foam pads people use to soften shop floors.

Alberto took to it in no time… perhaps because Elaine put his first meal inside.  Nose leading, he was determined (as all feral forest cats are) to get a free meal even if there might be some risk involved.

The barrel ends are pock-marked and partly rusted through.  But, way we figure it, it’s better than living in a culvert when the UPS truck comes by.  Or I’m wheeling the trash out…Much quieter digs.

Fun?  You bet…sure!  But it goes deeper.  It goes to cat-balancing.

We’ve been noticing the neighbors around here and the HUGE number of wild cats about.  Close as we can figure it, what has been keeping the local rodent population down has been two things.  First, the farm across the road from us is no longer producing rabbits.  Rodents aren’t really fond of rabbit poo, but you’d be amazed at what they will eat when motivated.

But the second factor has been the increase in feral cats.

Remember, a few years back, we paid the Lexus emporium $500 to replace a wiring harness in Elaine’s car because in the dead of winter, that plastic insulation on Toyota wiring harnesses – made from a soy-based plastic – must taste like something edible.  (Lexus also cleaned the mouse nest in the fresh-air ducting).  Prime house cat Zeus was put on probation.

To say there is an optimal “environment to cats ratio” doesn’t misstate the things.  Our point this weekend is that if the crap ever hits the fan, you’ll need to be quick in assessing such real-time balancing decisions.

Do you need a dog?  What will he eat?  Will he be of service to you?  Can he fend for himself when the food runs out?

Cats eat something like over 1,000 different types of insects, plus they keep down rodents (and the tree rats that city-slickers call squirrels and feed). We figure with one cat house-side (Zeus) and t’other outdoors (Alberto) up around the garden, we should be about fixed.

Some of our neighbors up the road feed a dozen, or so, wild cats every evening.  No sign of rodents and I don’t know when they last saw a snake.

Sunflowers will go in next spring here.  They will drop seeds next summer.  The seeds will bring birds.  The birds will bring cats and snakes…but with enough cats  to balance… you following this?

We’ve seen cats here take on even corals snake (we haven’t seen any for a couple of years, though).  Cats cleaned ’em out.

Environmentalism shouldn’t be a Facebook or TV fund-raiser.  But, this is America and monetization rules.  People seem to like living detached from the Real World.

Which is why folks like us in the Outback are different:  We’ve lived on the water and now in the Outback.  From here, the insanity of modern monetizations is abundantly clear.  Yet addictive at the same time.

Somehow, it’s comforting to think about cat-balancing and reading Savory when the world seems at every second to be at the crossroads between utter collapse or another year of muddle-through.

We know it. Cats know it.  Nature provides for a cat balance… a sunflower balance…watering balance….a bird balance….

You can play with these levels, but its really a good idea to go camping more and experiment a little bit to see how Nature really works, up close and personal like.

Right now, it’s optional and a return to techno-life will be along tomorrow for most.  But you never know… We live in awe that people put so much emphasis on balancing their portfolios not realizing the bigger problem is in balancing lives.

Write when you get rich,

george@ure.net

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