Originally posted by DeusEx
While it doessurge, backyard husbandry and victory gardens never were primary sources of food- always supplements. With parks and vacant lots
commandeered, they made only 40% of the food supply. With less basic supplies and a larger population to feed, I doubt home agriculture will take off.
definitely amongst survivors of the immediate six months after, but expect starvation and raid against food sources. Chow takes time to grow, and food
in your belly while you're doing it.
Deus Ex, you can be sure from our previous exchanges that I'm not just ragging on you, and I agree with a lot of your "big picture" views.
That said, a lot of people on this thread are seriously underestimating human adaptability.
I have friends from moscow who talk about the collapse of the SU in 1991. They lost all access to fuel and food for a year. They did
(although with drastic weight loss!) by living on backyard gardens. My friend says her father made money by collecting cigarette butts and re-rolling
them and selling them to addicts. . . .
A lot of problems will even themselves out in the first 6 weeks. Gas leaks will be offset by the fact that the pipeline stations will quit pressuring
the lines, and the gas will dissapate fairly quickly.
Within about 6 mo, people who don't have latrine discipline will host massive epidemics--first in the rainiest regions, just like Yugoslavia when it
collapsed. That will ease a lot of the burden right there.
Look for a 2 week "adjustment" period, while the dialectic between armed bandits and neighborhood patrols works it out in favor of the local
patrols, as warlords assert themselves (happened in suburban moscow---a lot of them have grown to national mafia syndicates in 15 years)
Trash will be less of the problem, because the suburbs will be producing less trash; right now, 90% of their garbage is lawn clippings and packaging.
No more convenience foods means no more packaging; and without cheap water, no more lawn clippings. They will be taking a "crash course" in
Look for people to steal wooden fencing for fuel, and aluminum siding for rain shelters.
The thing about trade networks is, that while they appear
to be incredibly complex and fragile, they actually contain multiple redundancies.
Farmers may not have access to distant markets for their corn, but they can burn it as fuel. Grain stores indefinitely, and can be shipped by pack
animal/human just as well as by tractor-trailer. As the price per bushel soars, people can make a living back-packing in to the cities.
Remember, patriotism may be a hobby, but people will always
risk their lives to make a buck! And as long as there is money or barter to be
made, networks will re-assert themselves, and begin building webs all over again.
Once again I recommend two books on the ends of civilizations: Through a Glass Darkly: the tumultuous 14th century,
and The Great Wave:
Price revolution and the rythmn of history
To quote T.S. Eliot:
"This is the way the world ends--not with a bang, but a whimper."