Editor’s note: What are our prospects for the future in a “dumbed down” society? Who among us will have what it takes to survive when the grid goes down?
Capt. William E. Simpson sheds light on these questions in the following article.
He occasionally contributes articles for DestinySurvival. He’s the author of The Nautical Prepper and Dark Stallions – Legend of the Centaurians, and has been my guest on DestinySurvival Radio. – John
If we traveled into the city, any city In fact, and tested the knowledge and skills of average people on the street who grew-up with the Internet, it would be shocking to learn that the majority of these people don’t have even the simplest knowledge or skills needed to survive for a couple weeks in the wilderness, let alone for months or years. Or for that matter, survive for a week without any technology off-grid in the wilderness.
Today, we find that most of the people who grew-up with the Internet believe that all they need or want to know about almost anything can be found on the Internet using a handy electrically powered device, such as a smart-phone. And they have become largely dependent upon the Internet for their knowledge base, as opposed to memorizing key information, as was the paradigm of the past. The result is that many people of the Internet generation have a very limited understanding of science, and have little to no applicable skills related to the sciences. This also applies to the world around them and is evidence by the fact that most cannot correctly answer even the simplest questions as seen in some of the on-street interviews that have been conducted by Mark Dice. The foregoing isn’t about berating anyone; it’s to showcase how ill prepared these people are for any kind of life without the Internet and the support of the government and business in order to just stay alive in the cities of today.
On the other hand, people who lead rural lifestyles far from the cities are by necessity able to provide for their own needs on a normal day-to-day basis. They have the skills and knowledge that give them the unique ability to live in a sustainable manner in remote rural areas. But these people only make-up about 10% of the total population. The other 90% of Americans live in the cities and urban areas.
Prior to the advent of the Internet (pre-1990), people had to learn skills and memorize knowledge. For instance, how many people do you know personally that can rebuild the engine or the transmission from your car, other than a professional mechanic? How many people can milk a cow or a goat, make fire with just the things found in nature, identify any of the stars in the sky overhead or navigate through the wilderness without a compass or GPS? Not many I would guess. Of course there are many other skills that would be necessary for survival without technology during a long-term national crises, such as during the aftermath of a collapse of the national energy grid. And cities will be the most hostile of places to attempt any sort of survival, even on a short-term bases.
Few people realize that if the national energy grid collapses (aka: ‘grid-down event’), the odds of ever re-energizing the grid are small at best and would result in a pre-industrial revolution (‘dark age’) in America for decades. Adding to complexities of attempting to repair and re-energizing the grid are some critical facts that are easily overlooked.
The key power transformers that would be damaged on the national grid, for which there are no spares laying around, take months to custom-build and are made overseas. Under ideal circumstances (with power) these building-sized transformers require months to install if you have the highly-skilled people and supporting logistics available at each of the dozens of damaged sites. But many of these people would likely succumb to all of the chaos and carnage post-collapse, resulting in the loss of the relatively very few technical personnel who had all the intrinsic know-how to re-energize the grid.
It wasn’t too long ago when many people had a host of practical personal skills accompanied by a wealth of memorized knowledge that was available to them without the need for a device to access the Internet to ‘look stuff up’, a crutch that is heavily relied upon by most millennials today. Other than the local library, the human brain was the storehouse of knowledge, and numerous practical skills were taught from 7th grade through high-school.
For instance, classes in gardening, first aid, electronics, metal and wood shop, drafting, welding and auto-shop were common classes provided up through the 12th grade prior to 1990. The Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts actually provided hands-on training in all the woodsman skills, which are hard to find today. The 4-H and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) taught American youth critical agricultural and animal production skills. These skills are now rarities in today’s American technocratic society, where at least 81% of Americans live in cities.
If we envision the predicted post-disaster America as a place where there is no electrical grid then the ramifications of that are grim at best. Without power society loses almost everything is has come to depend upon and in the process, the thin veneer of civility peels away revealing the savageries of the human survival instinct. Without power, there is obviously no light or ventilation in any building, there is no fresh water coming out of the pipes, no functional sewage systems, no functioning hospitals, no refrigeration, no fuel, no transportation systems, no Internet or cell phones, and only very limited short-wave radio communications. How would the masses of people survive? The simple answer by the people who have studied this issue in great deal is that, most people will die.
The sad fact is that, according to a commission appointed by Congress, about 90% of Americans would perish within 12-months of an EMP attack, solar event or computer-hack on the national energy grid. The result of which is that nothing powered by the grid would continue working. And the damage can also extend into many devices that are connected to the grid when it fails, so even if temporary alternate energy sources are available, these devices are also useless. Furthermore, according to the same blue-ribbon commission, the odds of bringing the grid back online after such an event are slim to none, even after two years. So the question arises, who would be surviving after two years?
I have not written this article to scare people; what’s the point in that? I have written this article to help Americans to wake-up to the fact that if they fail to prepare properly now while it’s possible, then they will be facing the ugly situation that has been presented in a candy-coated manner. Make no mistake, things would be far worse than can be cited herein.
The government is pathetic in its approach to taking effective actions against this very real probability, and have failed in every respect to properly inform and educate the People of the United States so they at least have the option of doing something for themselves.
In the aftermath of such a grid-down national disaster and after it has taken its full toll upon the population, there will be very few people left alive who have a deep-well of knowledge and complex skill sets. And because of their knowledge of many things unknown to others, it may very well be that these individuals will become the last Wizards.
All of that said, I’m not one to just showcase the risks without offering a solution, or in this case, a survival strategy. Here is an article that provides both some strategy and tactics that would allow some people to vastly increase their odds of surviving such upheaval.
Bliss is not derived through ignorance, it comes from being aware and prepared.
Capt. William E. Simpson II – USMM Ret.
Member: Authors Guild