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  1. Riversong | | #1

    The problem with the author's logic is that, just as he accuses others of, he doesn't take it far enough.

    If the money economy is collapsing (and it is), then any "investment" that is based on a dollar return or a functioning infrastructure is a lost investment.

    The best "investments" will be in subsistence tools for a lifestyle disconnected from a collapsing infrastructure. Not a "zero energy house" but a house that requires no inputs or maintenance beyond what's locally available, growable, makeable or tradeable.

    Not only are these the only sensible and safe investments, but also the only truly green ones.

  2. Lucas Durand | | #2

    The best "investments" will be in subsistence tools for a lifestyle disconnected from a collapsing infrastructure. Not a "zero energy house" but a house that requires no inputs or maintenance beyond what's locally available, growable, makeable or tradeable.

    I agree with Robert but I would change the "will be" to "are" and I would also add appropriate skills training to the list of worthwhile investments.

  3. Andrew Henry | | #3

    Hey Garth, Robert and Lucas,

    Feist said this last December in a comment in one of Martin's postings. It gets to the core of what the article Garth posted is about.

    "But it's apparently so much easier to speculate with other peoples money, make yourself a lot of money, loose the other peoples money and get awarded for this by taxpayers TARP. Sorry, if that sounds angry. But: The problem was, that real money (that could have been spend for reducing thermal bridge development promising just "4%" real internal interest rate) was not spend for that using the argument that you better spend it for 12% speculative investment."



  4. Conrad | | #4

    Nice civil discussion guys :) I like that. I've answered Mr. Riversong's comment on my website. Here it is, reprinted:

    Thanks for the comment Riversong.

    I don't think that anyone can predict with certainty that the next step is a subsistence economy.

    We did build the home to be resilient to shocks by installing a wood burner (discussed here), landscaping a permaculture yard, capturing rain water onsite, and building a cold room.

    I think that a Net Zero home, built with resiliency in mind, could be an extremely valuable asset to a family even if a subsistence economy is here sooner rather than later. After all, staying warm and dry is vital to subsisting :) Especially in northern Alberta. And our solar panels could be converted to charge batteries instead of depending on the grid.

    Since we live in a functioning industrialized economy right now, we plan to keeping working "within the system" until we've built an asset that retains value in all situations. Except lawlessness of course, which is entirely possible.

    I'm curious as to what you advocate doing with one's time/money until the crash arrives (which will not necessarily happen - we could be facing a long, slow decent rather than a violent crash).

  5. Riversong | | #5

    What do I advocate while waiting for the crash?

    I don't advocate waiting.

    Just as I don't advocate using the last of the available petrochemical plastics in order to save future petrochemicals, I don't believe it's responsible to continue living within the current dysfunctional and self-destructive paradigm, exploiting its advantages while preparing for self-preservation in our isolated homes and homesteads.

    It's, in fact, way past time to start disconnecting from the global political-economy and begin co-creating a new paradigm for human culture based on the paradigm upon which nature has evolved a self-balancing ecosystem that functioned beautifully for billions of years and has been disrupted and nearly destroyed only in the last blink of an eye by the hubris of a human culture gone astray.

    All life functions as parts of a whole, each fractally mirroring and holographically contained in the next level of complexity and organization. That means we can no longer live our separate middle-class lives in an atomized society. We have a biological mandate to live as members of a tribe, in mutual support and in harmony with the limits and the fellow creatures of our local ecosystems.

    That will require living much lower on the food chain and the material chain, sharing space and resources and skills with others, relying on trade or local currencies, abjuring all debt-based money, and saving seed rather than dollars and calling that our wealth.

    Ultimately, it makes no difference whether the shift occurs as a crash or a slide if we are not prepared with a fully-functioning alternative economy and ecology and - far more importantly - a new way of thinking and being in the world, based entirely on cooperation and mutuality. Nothing less will get us through this impending crisis.

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