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#320492 - 01/24/20 02:47 PM What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises?
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 10331
Loc: One of the Mexicos
The idea of sudden global, or large scale regional, crisis was broached in another threat, so I thought I'd give it its own.

The initial "what if" had to do with a severe disruption to our food supply chain. Several scenarios could potential cause a supply chain breakdown in a relatively short period of time - one year would be short, as food is typically grown on a one year cycle, though the "what if" was a 12 hour period (which makes a dramatic point, even if it is an unlikely scenario).

A short, and very general, list of causes of supply chain disruptions could be drought, abnormal temperature fluctuations, fossil fuel shortages, internet communications failure, worker shortages, and trade wars.

My current business is intimately tied to energy, climate change, and soil productivity, which causes me to think about these things on a regular basis. One recurring theme is that we are frighteningly unprepared to deal with any one or a combination of the possibilities, and there will be no realistic opportunity to respond in a meaningful way.

Thoughts?
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#320495 - 01/24/20 03:11 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 608
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Originally Posted By: logtroll
The idea of sudden global, or large scale regional, crisis was broached in another threat, so I thought I'd give it its own.

The initial "what if" had to do with a severe disruption to our food supply chain. Several scenarios could potential cause a supply chain breakdown in a relatively short period of time - one year would be short, as food is typically grown on a one year cycle, though the "what if" was a 12 hour period (which makes a dramatic point, even if it is an unlikely scenario).

A short, and very general, list of causes of supply chain disruptions could be drought, abnormal temperature fluctuations, fossil fuel shortages, internet communications failure, worker shortages, and trade wars.

My current business is intimately tied to energy, climate change, and soil productivity, which causes me to think about these things on a regular basis. One recurring theme is that we are frighteningly unprepared to deal with any one or a combination of the possibilities, and there will be no realistic opportunity to respond in a meaningful way.

Thoughts?



An even shorter list would be:

1. Dropping the bridge over the 80/90 interchange just West of Gary, Indiana, and
2. Anything happening to the Denver rail switching yard.

OR

1. Anything happening to the Galveston fuel farm.
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#320496 - 01/24/20 03:13 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 608
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Quote:
My current business is intimately tied to energy, climate change, and soil productivity, which causes me to think about these things on a regular basis. One recurring theme is that we are frighteningly unprepared to deal with any one or a combination of the possibilities, and there will be no realistic opportunity to respond in a meaningful way.


For the last 8 years, until just last June, part of my job was analyzing what non-military situations could crush the American infrastructure, and where the single point failures were.

Granted, I mostly dealt with this in terms of water, but you couldn't help being pulled into other discussions.
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#320497 - 01/24/20 03:17 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 608
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Originally Posted By: logtroll
- one year would be short, as food is typically grown on a one year cycle, though the "what if" was a 12 hour period (which makes a dramatic point, even if it is an unlikely scenario).


Growing food is on a one year cycle. Transporting it is on a much shorter cycle.

If transportation into a city breaks down, the city's food reserves would last about 12-18 hours, depending on the city.

Panic would take care of the rest.
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#320499 - 01/24/20 03:35 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: Hamish Howl]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 10331
Loc: One of the Mexicos
Originally Posted By: Hamish Howl
Growing food is on a one year cycle. Transporting it is on a much shorter cycle.

If transportation into a city breaks down, the city's food reserves would last about 12-18 hours, depending on the city.

Panic would take care of the rest.

I have often asked folks what would happen if the trucks stopped coming, but I never thought of a reason of what would cause that. Crazy!

This is why I got excited about the idea of a Green New Deal, but I don't see much awareness of the need to make communities more self-reliant as a primary goal. My community is small (10,000) and isolated (nearest agricultural concentration is 50 miles away and the products are mostly chiles and cotton), and the nearest town of any size (not that it would be much advantage) is 100 miles. We grow enough food locally to feed maybe 50 people.
_________________________
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller

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#320500 - 01/24/20 03:58 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 608
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Originally Posted By: logtroll
Originally Posted By: Hamish Howl
Growing food is on a one year cycle. Transporting it is on a much shorter cycle.

If transportation into a city breaks down, the city's food reserves would last about 12-18 hours, depending on the city.

Panic would take care of the rest.

I have often asked folks what would happen if the trucks stopped coming, but I never thought of a reason of what would cause that. Crazy!

This is why I got excited about the idea of a Green New Deal, but I don't see much awareness of the need to make communities more self-reliant as a primary goal. My community is small (10,000) and isolated (nearest agricultural concentration is 50 miles away and the products are mostly chiles and cotton), and the nearest town of any size (not that it would be much advantage) is 100 miles. We grow enough food locally to feed maybe 50 people.



This is the funniest part of the trap we've built for ourselves.

We ran leaded gasoline for 70+ years. A result is that many urban or even small town environments have elevated lead levels in their soil (the MCL for lead in soil is 400 ppm), with Chicago (as one example) having 1200 ppm lead.

The best way to get that lead out of the soil is by growing plants and then removing the plants.

Which is, of course, what farming is.

Of course, the lead stays in the plants, until you eat them.
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#320501 - 01/24/20 04:03 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: Hamish Howl]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 10331
Loc: One of the Mexicos
Originally Posted By: Hamish Howl
This is the funniest part of the trap we've built for ourselves.

We ran leaded gasoline for 70+ years. A result is that many urban or even small town environments have elevated lead levels in their soil (the MCL for lead in soil is 400 ppm), with Chicago (as one example) having 1200 ppm lead.

The best way to get that lead out of the soil is by growing plants and then removing the plants.

Which is, of course, what farming is.

Of course, the lead stays in the plants, until you eat them.

Would that put some lead in my pencil?

One of the attributes of biochar is that it can bind up heavy metals and prevent the uptake into plants.
_________________________
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller

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#320502 - 01/24/20 04:11 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 608
Loc: Tucson, AZ
"The study found that adding organic matter—like compost—to soils changes the absorption of lead. "Compost addition will dilute overall lead concentration in soil," says Hettiarachchi. In turn, this reduces the amount of lead absorbed by the vegetables. Some substances in compost--notably phosphorus and iron oxides--"can help holding lead in soils and thereby reduce its availability to plants," Hettiarachchi notes. Enriching the soil with compost also helps increase fertility. As a result, the overall size of vegetables increases, diluting the amount of lead they contain. The effects of using compost can be striking. In the study, addition of compost cut the available concentration of lead by as much as one-half."

https://www.soils.org/discover-soils/story/lead-contamination-garden-soils

So, if you have 800 ppm or less, that can in fact help.

Also, avoid root vegetables, if the soil you are using is suspect.
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#320504 - 01/24/20 06:10 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: Hamish Howl]
Greger Offline


Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 17275
Loc: Florida
So the answer to avoiding large scale crisis is to eat less root vegetables? I'm good with that. Glancing at the larder, I have sufficient food for a month or more. Beyond that I still have chickens and a creek full of catfish. Subsistence would be a little on the sparse side but I trust local government would get things straightened out while Mitch McConnell was appointing conservative judges to insure no Republican colleagues were charged or implicated in the crisis.
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#320508 - 01/24/20 06:52 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: Greger]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 608
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Originally Posted By: Greger
So the answer to avoiding large scale crisis is to eat less root vegetables?


Um, no. Part of the answer to not getting lead poisoning while growing plants in built-up areas is to eat less root vegetables.
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