Prepping: For REAL Climate Change

The histrionics of ‘weather reporters’ – leaning into non-extent winds and such – are not the “thinking point” today’s note related to “climate change.”  Instead, there are a lot of very simple observations and questions regular people (e.g. those without advanced degrees or government grants to come to ‘approved’ conclusions) can make and ACT on.

Let’s begin with some climate history:  We went through an Ice Age some thousands of years back and the “climate” has been warming ever since.  So, the controllers (who have their hands full trying to keep order among 7+ billion omnivores) are not exactly lying when the term “global warming” was cobbled up into a control plan.

Anyone who has beheld the majesty of the Grand Canyon, or for that matter the Columbia River Gorge, knows that these were once filled with water to the brim  Erosion over geological time did the rest.

The main thing to learn is yes, warming over geological time takes place and that politicians are lying through their teeth if they think tax dollars can change climate. Economics changes behaviors.  That’s their stock-in-trade.  Taxes.

Take some time and flip over to Quaternary Science Reviews (Elsevier) and read slowly how the mechanics of this work out as presented in “Final Laurentide ice-sheet deglaciation and Holocene climate-sea level change.”

It’s useful to understand how scientists short-hand very old dates because things like B.C. and BCE are not politically acceptable.  instead, works are dates in ma (mega annum), or millions of years) or, more useful to the above paper they are noted in ka or kilo annum as in thousands of years.  Thus a date like -15.3 ka would infer 15,300 years ago from whatever year you happen to be reading this in.

-15.3 is being mentioned as useful when you read on historical long-period comets after Napier and Clube, too.  Because long-period “wanderers” are another possible driver of periodic climate catastrophes, along with long-period solar fluctuations.  (Glad we have that settled, right?)  Remember this in late 2019 when “the Beast” shows up in the solar system, lol.

The “mark of the Beast” may be code for the rationing system government would set up in advance of a climate-changing long period comet that would wreck the “normal way of things.”   Something to ponder, eh?  See The Age of Desolation site for more ways to read future in advance.  Stu has many good insights.

What’s not clear is whether there is an ultra-long cycle of albedoAlbedo being how much heat and light is “bounced back” from a planetary object.  As you might have guessed, this is largely defined by what’s on the surface of an object – like, oh, Earth, for example… This diagram from Wikipedia’s discussion is useful:

As you can tell, Water has very low albedo while snow is very high.  Which leads a simpleton like me to expect that if water/forest is low, and snow it high, then we should expect a long-term oscillation and sure enough…

Which is why climate researchers are looking at issues like “Long-Term Variability of Surface Albedo and Its Correlation with Climatic Variables over Antarctica...”.

Enter the Climate Casino

The problem with all the data (it’s getting warmer, but it could get very cold, very quickly and without much notice…) is that sooner, or later, we may ALL have to place a bet on where to live and how to live in order to maximize our chances of survival.

Main bet:  Where exactly does one pick to “Live long and prosper?”

Let my borrow Mr. Peabody’s WABAC Machine and take you back to 2003.  That’s when Elaine and i were trying to figure out where we could find a reasonably stable geopolitical space where we could live and not be too hemmed in by society.  Coming, Sherman?

You can see that the Nut in the Woods was craftily planning ahead…all the way to the end of his life, in fact.  He knew that climate was changing and it would change in the future, but how does one hedge?  Elaine wasn’t keen on southeast Alaska…and in cooling, that’d be a very hard life location.

The answer was a simple series of calculations:  Pick a place where a 50 percent change in precipitation and a 7 percent change in average temperature would still allow a person to live comfortably and spend some time outdoors.  Fiddy up or down on precip and 7-up or down, you see?

Moreover, it would be important wherever was chosen that it be away from nuclear power plants, not be too bitterly cold in winter, and not sitting on a political division like a border, for example.

When East Texas came up in the review, it was part of a large area that ran from roughly Beaumont, Texas north to almost Tulsa.  We started with annual precip maps and such. The reasoning is useful to observe because it could be critical to your personal future.

See any of the books by retired UW professor emeritus (business history) Jack Lessinger.  We were guided by ideas like those found in his book “Penturbia Where Real Estate Will Boom After the Crash of Suburbia.”  Gee, what a coincidence where we are…Texas.  Can you beat that?  More recently, try Jack’s “Transformation Fall of the Consumer Economy Rise of the Responsible Capitalist.”

Back to the personal life-siting discussion:  We started with precipitation maps.  Where we settled in East Texas has (except for drought years) between 40 and 70 inches of rain per year. If the rainfall was cut in half this year, we would still have nearly as much rain as Portland, Oregon.  Plus, we wouldn’t have antifa, and we’d miss the occasional Portland ice storms.  No weed legalization, but give it time.  Like Prohibition ending, it will come at the bottom of the soon coming Depression.  History is cyclical.

On the other hand, if it got warmer (we have multiple days a year with temps at 100 F and a couple at 102 this year) we could still survive.  After all, people survive places like Phoenix which is much hotter.

We figured that IF we were to flip into serious heating that the relative humidity would also change and that would make the change in temperature a bit less dramatic on a comfort (wet bulb thermometer) basis.

Say it all went wrong:  Instead of summer highs in the lower 100’s, we drop into the low/middle 90’s.  We were good with that.  And what about more rainfall?  Well, it only took a couple of hours to “plateau” our septic field (so there’s low lying ground all around it fopr better draining – $2-bucks of diesel on the tractor, lol) and that got us through the year when we had 80-inches in the gauge.  Some things are easy to fix if you look at ’em right.

Of course, the selection of East Texas was driven by other factors, too:  Like ridiculously under-priced property (the land cost of our heavily-treed 30 acres was under $50,000 and property taxes are low, as well…Did I mention no state income tax?  Bonus points.  Especially now that the new Fed tax laws cap local and state deductibility at $10,000 for state income, property, sales…all that tax loading.  Sheesh.

We made a reasonable climate bet (with tax angles and more to it) and it has paid off brilliantly.  It’s still terribly under-priced where we are. Less than $500 in property taxes this year..  Still no state income tax, and while it was a warm summer, the humidity wasn’t bad.  We enjoy being outside into the low 90’s with a box fan on the screen porch and a cold drink…

The main asset here, though, is hidden:  We can subsist, if we have to.

That is, we have 3,400 square feet of roof that can be turned into water-harvesting area.  Drinking water safe tanks are cheap.

Unlike Oregon, no one in Texas has gotten into the water catchment regulation business.  Work out the roof square footage and convert to gallons…and that’s where we are before turning on the back-up well powered by the solar [anels that have been offsetting power bills since 2007.

Think about what you buy:  Long-term strategic or short-term fad?

The REAL Climate Change Call

Where are you going to live?  Will it offer you – regardless of which way the climate rolls –

  • Cheap enough land for a “famine garden?”
  • Low enough taxes to avoid “robotics=driven layoffs?”
  • Small enough government to avoid “tax servitude?”
  • Enough rain to get your own water independent of others?

Once you get all these things lined up (distance to major faults, nuclear targets, and civilian population centers that could be held political or terrorist hostages) then the question is can you afford it?

There are plenty of places like ours around the country, but it all depends on what your view of climate change is.

Yes, climate is always changing, but it’s the specifics and where you are that matters.  Florida is a great state – and we liked living their while we did.  But, they get hurricanes and they are in a “wash over zone” should the La Palma volcano let loose with an undersea earth slide.  With climate change slowly raising sea levels, would that be smart?

A consulting client of mine is a serial entrepreneur (highly successful) who lives on the A1A and from his two-story penthouse can see both the Atlantic and the Intercoastal waterway.  There I times I envy the hell out of his way of life.

On the other hand, if I were making a 100-year bet, would that be the place to plunk down a large chunk of net worth with a reasonable expectation of a positive after-tax return on an inflation-adjusted basis?

That’s a different kettle of fish.

Right now, if I was offering advice to my children (not that they’d listen), I would say Seattle is still a great place, as long as you don’t mind over-population, excessive taxation, and high earthquake risks.  It should do OK if the ices comes – which we’d put at something like a 55-45 set of odds, but you might need to live a couple of thousand years to get there.

Three Courses of Action

If you Believe in Warming:

  • Move north of 45-degrees North.
  • Buy lots of light-weight and light-colored clothes
  • Learn xeriscaping
  • Eat veggies
  • Get thin and find a great fresh water source
  • Sell your vehicles, walk, take public transit, bike.

If you believe in Global Cooling

  • Collect thick, dark, durable clothing’
  • Buy farm/survival vehicles and read up on producer gas. Store propane.
  • Move to the South, but inland from hurricanes
  • Work on organic farming and use animals and solar for power
  • Eat whatever you want because body fat has been historically useful when it gets cold
  • And won’t worry about water, too much.  There could be more rain and even snow…

If you don’t Believe in Change?

Keep visiting.  Because like the old Zen saying goes:  “Change is inevitable...”

You have to make big moves that fit with our knowledge while you’re still free to do so.  When it becomes obvious, it will become regulated..

Write when you get rich,

20 thoughts on “Prepping: For REAL Climate Change”

  1. Great article George, one reason I really like you pages, is you provide people information and data they can use make their own decisions and ideas to change their own situation. So many times I see people just complaining for US national government to take on some issue where they want to force others to “change” their ways. If you believe in man made warming and want to do something about it, change your lifestyle and CONVINCE others of the same necessity. But instead many want to use force to change others behavior. I want all the celebrities to politicos to swear off carbon travel, live within walking/biking distance of their work location, use only online meeting tools. Propose new laws that congress become virtual only, then will I have more respect they actually care about this issue instead of being just another method to increase their control over citizens.

      • 71% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by just 100 Corporations.

        Now considered in that light, this draws into question why the politicians funded by said Corporations might have a problem with the idea of a Carbon Tax and hence the Global Warming Theory.

        This also means that 7 billion of us regular folks – including celebrities- are only responsible for 29%.

        I think that both hypothesis can be true. After all, you can have a broken bone, blood poisoning from that broken bone poking out of the skin, and the flu, which is unrelated, all at the same time. The question then becomes, can the system stand the strain of multiple slights?

        And if there is Global Warming and also Global Cooling, we need to start considering how those two systems might interact with each other? Because as any meteorologist will tell you: A substantial cold front does not “cancel out” a substantial warm front. At least not without a lot of wind, rain, lightning, thunder, tornadoes and the like to churn the systems together.

        So the 4th possibility is, They’re all True. Prepare accordingly. And good luck to those of you living in the flat lands sans the windbreak of a major hill or mountain.

  2. Dawned on me a couple of nights ago, when the ground freezes the septic system will stop working even if their is water to flush the system. Am thinking a straight drop setup, 20 – 25 feet drop should be enough. And George, not sure about your referral to Oregon and restrictions on rainwater collection, I collect 3000 gallons yearly. I am not sure that in a Mini Ice Age that my location, here in Willamette Valley, we would have the normal amount of rain. We got virtuality no rain last year and are behind this year, colder than normal.

    • 20-25 feet down is a hell of a dig for field lines. Got a D-6 dozer sitting idle? Check table for below grade temps. Even in Dakotas and such, 24-36 inches works for water pipes, and there is all that salt and (yucko) in the septic side… so check building codes up in Minnesota etc for guidance on this one…

      • George, no dig. My back property has a 25 foot drop off into a gully. Simple thing to build a frame out and over, build an ‘outhouse’ at the end and let the waste lay, where I expect in a MIA it would just freeze. Certainly won’t be any inspectors out and about.

    • It won’t. “Waste” plumbing is empty unless someone flushes. Even a 4″ pipe (most residential waste plumbing is 6″ or 8″) will handle simultaneous flushes from three toilets and two bathtubs. Once such a torrent is passed, it is past, and the pipe is empty once again.

      It is generally accepted that a water pipe buried 42″ underground will not freeze. I believe the locals in places like Minot and International Falls, where surface temps occasionally hit -50°F, bury at 48″ or even 54″ because “better safe, than trying to dig up a burst pipe through four feet of frozen tundra,” and metallic clay may be less-insulating than sand or loam. For gray water or waste, they don’t worry about it. I’d be concerned that a straight drop would introduce waste water into an aquifer…

  3. George

    Don’t forget that over long periods of time the earths orbit changes slightly. It gets fatter or thinner depending on the position of the larger planets. The tilt of earths axis is also constantly changing which affects the amount of sunlight received by each latitude of its surface. The Sun itself is not as stable as we once believed. G type stars like the sun have now been found to have swings in their output that can make life a challenge.

    But then nobody promised us life would be a rose garden!

  4. Certain things can be done regardless of where you live. Abandon the modern “open plan” for houses – why heat 5000 square feet of house when you’re spending most of your time in just 500 sf? Install exterior grade doors between all rooms and weatherstrip them. Leave them open when appropriate, and close them if you want one room to be super comfortable. Have point source heating in the rooms you care for, perhaps even the bathroom. Have multiple sources of heat in at least one room – electric, gas, fireplace, etc. Have a central heating system if you must, and use it a few times a year to keep it functional. A/C in only one room makes sense for many people – and if the place is sufficiently protected from radiant heating, air infiltration, and conductive heat losses, the A/C need should be minimal.

    Lots of thermal mass within the envelope will allow you to blast heat into a room and have that heat be retained for many hours or longer. This is good if you’re heating with a wood or other fire. It also minimizes day and night variations. Obviously protect plumbing and bathrooms from freezing. Easy shutoffs for remote bathrooms are a good idea.

    Remember that infiltration invalidates insulation. First, make sure your envelope is tight, then insulate – ideally with foam first. Cellulose works better than fiberglass, but it’s heavier on sheetrock when you have minimal support. Make sure you have sufficient ventilation if you’re using a combustion heater.

    I’ve been in southeast Texas and my body can’t cope with the climate – even in September. It’s too hot and humid for me, and Houston is even worse. Know your limitations and find a climate that you like. I remember staggering to the airport in Austin at 89 degrees and landing in Phoenix at 106 with relief. Some of us don’t function well at high humidities. Don’t fight your biology.

    The worst thing about utilities is that they need to stay on in many places or your place gets declared “uninhabitable”, and/or the utilities require inspection and recertification before they’re turned on again. The base charges for many utilities far exceed the actual consumption/usage costs. I don’t know of any easy way around this.

    I won’t have an outside garden. Animals will eat anything that grows. The only options are inside beds and/or hydroponics. YMMV.

    • Inside beds and/or hydroponics may be viable, but need electricity for abundant production. Aquaculture also needs electricity for abundant production, but also produces protein.

      An outdoor garden can produce fewer calories per square foot and still outproduce any indoor food source due to increased size. Outdoor gardens also “attract” protein. Can you harvest rabbits and deer quietly?

  5. The most durable spieces are reptiles. For more than 230 million years reptiles were considered to be the strongest and most dominant of all land animals. The process of evolution has drastically altered the reptile species. Despite these changes, they have survived every upheaval mother nature has unleashed. I expect the human race over the next million years or so to evole into a reptile like body.

  6. George your old e-mail address doesn’t seem to work. I’ve been begging for weeks to resubscribe w/o Pay/Pal which won’t work for me.Where can I send a Visa number?

    • Oh…easy! Look on the PN Subscribe page and there are instructions to just send in a check. My email should work… let me know when “the check’s in the mail”: and will turn your acct back on manually – thanks!
      We use a third party (PayPal) for all credit card handling because with the craqzy laws and data hacking attempts lately, we don’t want to hold anyone’s personal data – loo much liability for $40 a year…

  7. We were just talking about this, George; we’re busy cutting firewood right now in our neck of the woods, rural NC. It’s possible for a couple of older people to hustle firewood to keep warm in the winter here, the trees are an abundant resource; but there’s a real block in our thinking about how to apply resources or low tech for a cooling situation in the summer. We have not so far dealt with the summer humidity here, than to shell out $ for air conditioning and electricity. It’s uncreative to wait for circumstances to inspire a better solution to humidity, but I like to say, “they’ll have to pry my thermostat out of my cold, dead hands”!

  8. “The main thing to learn is yes, warming over geological time takes place and that politicians are lying through their teeth if they think tax dollars can change climate. Economics changes behaviors. That’s their stock-in-trade. Taxes.”

    +2 from the balcony .. its a natural cycle..

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