Reader response: Hunkering down

One reader’s comment got me to thinking quite a lot, so I’m going to answer her in a post. Lisa writes

Oy Vay! I think in a disaster, I just want to curl up somewhere warm and wait until either it, or I pass. I realize that is not very survivalist of me, but I am not convinced that surviving at any cost is the ticket.

I don’t blame you. This response to global climate change seems perfectly reasonable, in a duck and cover, backyard fallout shelter kind of way. But what if you climb out from under the table the morning after the cataclysm and discover you survived, when you didn’t really mean to? What will you do then?

What if it turns out the worst-case scenario isn’t the global climate change cataclysm itself, but that we survive it when we didn’t plan to?

What’s more, those of us who did the workout, stockpiled the goods and learned all the new skills we’ll need – what will we do about all those people wandering around who didn’t prepare? They’ll probably want to eat too. I suppose we’ll have to rebuild our society taking into account that not everyone has all the resources they need to survive.

Oh, wait. Is that what they call socialism? God Bless America.

Lisa, this video is for you:

Click here if you can’t see the video. You can also find this 1951 civil defense film here on the Internet Archive.

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4 Responses to Reader response: Hunkering down

  1. Cheryl says:

    Yes, some of the ants of the world have concluded that they need and love the grasshoppers. I just read something to that effect by Ann Patchett in Truth and Beauty. And Toni Morrison wrote a children’s book about it (hers is a metaphor for arts funding as opposed to socialism per se): http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780743222471-4

  2. blog52 says:

    At first I’m thinking, “Ant? Grasshopper? What’s she on about?” Then I looked it up and found the Wikipedia entry.

    It’s a false dilemma to have to choose between the two. I want this blog to be a little bit ant and a little bit grasshopper.

  3. lisabrooks says:

    Strange to think that only one country ever dropped the atomic bomb–and that was us. All we had to do to see that duck and cover didn’t work, was to examine the devastation in Hiroshima. The aftermath is still in affect.

    So much for spreading fear. The advice in the 50s and 60s did nothing to make us safer. It only served to terrify a new generation of children.

  4. blog52 says:

    It’s interesting you bring up fear-mongering. I’ve been looking at a lot of “survivalist” blogs and “do-it-yourself” blogs lately, and I’ve noticed an interesting pattern. They teach many of the same skills for living off the grid. But the do-it-yourselfers have a “let’s all get together and learn some skills so we can live better lives” attitude, while the survivalists are all about hiding out alone, loaded gun by their side, ready to fight off some army of god-knows-what that’s bearing down on them from just over the next ridge.

    It’s not entirely clear what they fear, but they’re sure it’s going to get them if they don’t keep their rifles loaded and their powder dry. A strange and terrifying way of looking at the world, to be sure.

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