Friday, May 18, 2012

Living on the Land

Many people who are concerned with Hubbert's Mesa want to "live off the land".  It is a wonderful dream to find a place that will provide you with all your needs.  By all means, if you have the ability to do so, finding a good place to crash is well worth pursuing.  (If you're looking in western Pennsylvania, I can even help you.)

However, first and foremost, you need to realize that perfection is not possible. REAL real estate will always have something missing.  Some deficiencies can be corrected, which is all the more reason to start sooner rather than later.  Other problems are not feasible to change, you will have to decide whether it is something you can live with.  Consider your needs in their time order both when deciding where is an appropriate place to live and what projects to start with.  Also consider the kind of community you will be living in, including the neighbors' attitude and the local zoning codes.

What if you can't afford to move?  You can still do your best to live off the land you live on, like William Hunter Duncan.  You may have more to be more creative in finding solutions, but the most important advantage is that you can start doing things now, like planting a garden.   Invest in your skills today and "live on the land".  It may even help you save enough pennies that finding the perfect place becomes feasible.

The Long Ascent begins where you are right now.


  1. Western PA hmm..

    Well it certainly doesn't pop up in too many of the apocalyptic catastrophe novels, so maybe its safe. The two that come to mind involved a meteor hitting the moon, and did not involve mass rioting or the UN invading the local towns, and the other was at least a century into the future and was in Central PA (Susquehanna River Valley). So based on a careful survey of the literature, Western PA would appear to be ideal.

    For the record, Great Britain (suggested by your link) would have to be the worst. They have every conceivable plague, bomb, etc. that you could possibly think of. Even carnivorous plants!

    1. For me, Great Britain certainly would be a bad place to crash (although, if we are going by the literature index, don't forget that Doctor Who has helped Great Britain through just about every conceivable predicament). My first point for including that link is that is does provide a decent framework for starting to think about where you want to live in a post-peak world. The second is that for the author of that blog, Great Britain is a good choice, because he is very familiar with Great Britain. This is another reason why starting where you are at is a good idea, because of your familiarity with your surroundings (unless, of course, you recently moved to where you are at).

      As to Western Pennsylvania, we have a saying in these parts (I'm sure others say this too), that if the world ended tomorrow, western Pennsylvanians would find out about it in 6 months. I think it's a fine place for people who are familiar with these kinds of surroundings, but many people would feel like they were like fish out of water. It's up to you to decide where you want to be when the lights go out.

  2. John,

    I'm inclined to think it is difficult to face the problem of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and think of it as an opportunity. Though I am accustomed to saying, the earth is pregnant with possibilities. And I believe, it is imperative for every man and woman at this point, to establish a relationship with the earth.

  3. John, thank you for visiting my site. BTW, I lived in Western Pennsylvania until I was 36 years old (am now 69), then moved quite a few times until I wound up here in Cut and Shoot, TX. I love western PA and try to get back there as often as possible. I have been to and through the old "slimy pebble" (Slippery Rock) many times. Camped a lot in a tent and also our family had a camp up near Fryburg. My fraternal grandparents lived in Foxburg and my maternal grandparents lived in Phillipston. I just love the woods, the rivers, the streams, and especially the fall colors in Pennsylvania. I was the happiest when out in the woods. Maybe I will see you on one of my visits.

  4. Hubbert's Mesa -- that's great. That can take some of the hot air out of George Monbiot's claim that "we were wrong about peak oil." - Jan Lundberg, independent oil industry analyst, and