In my last post I announced that I am working on something big, which led to reader’s speculation that maybe I was going to be on a reality TV Show. You are all much too smart for your own britches, because that is actually what it is! It isn’t a series and I doubt if it will even happen. And if it happens I am concerned that they will turn me into a joke. This series specializes in strange people doing weird things to save money.
Almost universally your response was that promoting vandwelling too much was not a good thing. In fact some of you though it might be a very bad thing. And that is an extremely important question I have failed to address on the blog; am I doing more harm than good by encouraging vandwelling like I do? I can’t give an easy, quick answer to that question in the comments sections of the blog, so I am going to do it here in today’s post.
Basically we are looking at the future through our crystal balls and trying to determine what the future will bring if lots of people start vandwelling. And in the near term future, it doesn’t look good. If there are too many of us we will draw attention to ourselves and that goes against all the rules of vandwelling. Our primary goal is to always stay under the radar and avoid being noticed; and that is true if you stealth park in the city or boondock on public land. Ultimately then, my spreading the good news of vandwelling (proselytizing) is self-destructive and harmful.
But, in my opinion that is a narrow and short term look at the future. I am motivated by a broader and longer-term view down the road. When I look into the future, I don’t like what I see. In my crystal ball I see life as we know it changing drastically. So drastically that in 100 years the man with a plow-horse and a plow will be king. And in my Dystopian (Utopian in my opinion) world view, promoting vandwelling is the only right thing to do.
Before I tell you the things I see coming, let me admit that I may be entirely wrong about all of it—after all, I’m looking into a crystal ball, how accurate can that be? And I am no expert on any of this stuff, I do some reading and studying, but I’m no expert. It all may seem pretty far out, but I am not alone in seeing it coming (and I am not talking about fringe survivalists) there are many mainstream economists and scientists saying exactly what I am saying. It’s those scientists who gave me all these ideas. I am going to throw out some numbers and dates but it has been awhile since I did this research so they are all approximations from my memory. A simple Google search will give you the exact numbers and also show you that the basic facts are all true. Finally let me say, that even if you disagree with all my opinions, hopefully you can see that given my point of view, promoting vandwelling makes sense. Okay, here are my predictions for the future:
Capitalism is ultimately self-destructive.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a right-wing Republican Capitalist. I firmly believe it is the only economic system that can work. Socialism and Communism do not take into account basic human nature and so they both will breakdown in the long-run. But Capitalism has a fatal flaw; it relies on constant, continual growth. It’s just like a Ponzi scheme, if it ever stops growing, it collapses. In the past the assumption has been that there is nothing that can stop our growth, and that proved to be true. But today we are reaping the results of our incredible arrogance. All over the planet we have consumed our natural resources like drunken sailors with no tomorrow. The problem is there is a tomorrow and there is a limited, finite supply of all those natural resources. We may disagree about when they will run out, but it is a fact that they will run out. How will we know when they start to run out? Their price will constantly go up but the supply will never increase—and don’t we see that happening right now with oil and silver and other commodities? And an economic system that depends on constant, infinite growth will totally fail when it runs up against a world-wide, depleting, finite supply. I very firmly believe we have come up square against that wall of finite supply and we will be looking at a future of stagnation and collapse. And it is made all the worse because much of the rest of world wants the same living standard we have. Just as supplies are running out, world-wide demand is gigantically increasing. Common sense has to tell you that can only lead to disaster.
Oil is going to get scarcer and tremendously expensive!
We are going to hit (I think we already have) what is called Peak Oil. That is the year when production of oil reaches its highest point, and starts to decrease every year afterwards. That happened in the United States in 1970 when we produced around 11 million barrels of oil a day. We have never produced that much again. Today we are down to about 5 million barrels of oil. That doesn’t mean we are going to run out of oil, it means we have already found the cheapest, easiest to get to and highest quality oil. Why are we “fraking” for oil in the United Sates? Because all the cheap and easy to get to oil is gone and so now we are going after the expensive and hard to get to oil. And even after the huge discovery of oil on Alaska’s North Slope and the fraking, we are still producing less than half of the oil we did 43 years ago. The exact same thing is going to start happening world-wide. I believe we have hit Peak Oil and from now on global production of oil will decrease every year. At the same time global demand for oil is going to skyrocket. The inevitable result is going to be incredible price increases for oil and ultimately real serious wars over it. And that is going to lead to total and drastic changes in the way we all live. An outstanding book on this subject is The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century
Climate Change is going to get worse and increase in speed.
Very few people disagree that the climate is changing; the only real argument is “Is man causing it?” And my answer is “Who cares!” Whether we are causing it or not is unimportant because: 1) If we aren’t causing it then there is nothing we can do to change it 2) If we are causing it we will totally lack the will to change anything until it is too late. 3) And even if we started right now our efforts will be half-ass and accomplish nothing. 4) Even if we went all out to stop Climate Change we probably can’t stop it and even if we did we will still destroy the world economy in the process of trying. So no matter what, climate change is going to change the world as we know it.
We are running out of water.
All over the world there are huge underground aquifers that are being drained in order to water our crops and provide drinking water. They were so huge that we assumed that they could never run out so we have been pumping water out of them at incredible rates (and doing some really stupid things with the water). Many of those aquifers are about to run out of water (see this link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/10/where-the-worlds-running-out-of-water-in-one-map/) Notice on the map that China and the United States are two countries looking at serious problems with water. And as Climate Change gets worse, our problems with water will get even worse. It took thousands and thousands of years to fill those aquifers, and we have drained them dry in a few decades leaving us nowhere else to get the water. Again, common sense tells you that can’t work.
So here is my bottom line: I am totally convinced mankind’s near-term future is very grim; and I don’t see any way around it. So I have washed my hands of society and dropped out. Instead of living in and supporting the rat race (which is dehumanizing us and destroying the planet) I am trying to live in the least destructive and happiest way I possibly can. And vandwelling has done that for me. Living in nature has been tremendously healing for me. It has virtually eliminated stress from my life and brought me an immense amount of joy and peace. At the same time I am doing the minimum amount of damage to the earth (for proof of that, go here: http://cheapgreenrvliving.com/Comparison_House_Van.html).
Because my life is so wonderful and so good for the earth, I want to spread the good news and tell as many others as I can. I know that for every new recruit I get to become a vandweller, another person finds peace, health and harmony with nature and a little less harm is being done to the planet. As far as I am concerned it is a win-win situation for everybody.
The only loser is the Rat Race itself because it loses some of its drones. But we are so small that we are nothing more than a fly buzzing around to them. And if they decide to swat us did I make a mistake by rescuing as many as I could? I honestly don’t think so. The best analogy I can make is to recruiting you for war. Our cause is just and noble because we are fighting for the soul of humanity and for Sacred Mother Earth. But in every war there are risks and the risk here is pissing off society. When I think of leaving so many people behind in the mind numbing, soul-sucking, living death that is the Rat Race, I know I have no choice, I must shout it from the roof tops.