Prepping for the End of the World (as we knew it)

The title wasn’t meant as click-bait. Sorry. But I do have a question for folks with respect to the mindset one has about…prepping.

Much of this site (and others), are rightly devoted to advising about how one endures an accute disaster. Whether it’s weather (hurricanes, floods), social (economic/societal collapse), or something else, like, a pandemic! And, then there are the outlier scenarios… like zombies.

But, I find myself starting to think about the future not in terms of how my “normal” life may be disrupted by an accute event. Rather, it’s about how we aren’t going back to that normalcy. More importantly, how whatever replaces the old “normal” could be far different and require some new thinking. Indeed, I’m almost convinced this is already the case.

So, a few general articles flew by my feed recently about the billionaire class. These were more specific to individual billionaires, but the theme fits with a lot of other general stories about the [new] state of the world. One article discussed how the conspicuously wealthy (Bezos, Gates, et al) have been investing heavily in residential real estate. Whether it’s REITs, or some new tech-AI that helps investors find/buy property… the fact is residential sector is being squeezed by large investor holding corps. And, to be fair, Warren Buffets made a huge push after the 2008 tanking (note: Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate, is now the largest US real estate firm). So, like many things, it’s been happening.

The other article was about how the same class of firms and individuals were not buying up farms.  And, on the one hand, you can say that just like buying real estate, farms may be a “good investment”.  But, the cynic in me wonders… is it good to have so few people be in charge of everything, including HOUSING and FOOD PRODUCTION??

All of this is to say, my prepping mindset is a bit different.  Less about surviving 72 hours after a flood, more about being self-reliant in a world where food/housing security is dwindling.


  • Comments (11)

    • 4

      Popular prepping has always been a little 72 hours and a little Rambo. I grew up reading Rachel Carson, Club of Rome and Mother Earth News. So I’m naturally an environmental armageddonist in addition to economic skeptic.

      I think once one allows themself room to consider various possibilities rather than striving for willful ignorance of any and every inconvenience, it is only natural to think about and plan for multiple contingencies.

      • 3

        Yah, Mother Earth News… the classics : )

        I think it’s been one of the bigger revelations for me (and surely others) over the last 2-3 years: the world simply may not be what I thought it was. Though, I don’t think I was willfully ignorant… perhaps, a mix of embarassingly naive and misplaced hopefulness. 

      • 3

        Turns out people are not what I had thought either. I have grave worries about democracy all over but in the US particularly. Whether people even have the capacity to focus beyond the outrage du jour appears doubtful. Individually people are pretty smart, collectively they are easily misled.

        I’ve lived 64 years through humanity’s greatest era, fueled entirely by fossils too cheap to meter. The next 10-20 years are crucial, we must transition to diffuse sources and away from concentrated fossil energy not just because of warming but because fossils are finite. Vast majorities either “believe” warming and scarcity are a hoax or, on the flip side, imagine we can simply quit carbon based energy on a whim. We can’t, fossils are the master resource and must be replaced rather than simply abandoned.

        So yeah, I’ve felt the water rising to a boil for a long time as well—I don’t know if it is my imagination or the heat is actually rising. Regardless, I’m not a bug out bag fanatic either, simply because my worries are system-wide. Like they say in AA: wherever you go, there you are. 

    • 1

      In the 2nd to last paragraph, is that a typo? “not” buying farms? 

      • 2

        Maybe the “not” was supposed to be “now”?

      • 1

        Yes, thank you.  “now” buying farms : /

    • 5

      Squidvicious, I’m thinking along the same lines as you are these days. How can I prepare for a generally declining quality of life (at least in terms of creature comforts and opportunities that I took for granted before)? How can I adjust not to a new equilibrium but to an ongoing downhill slide (hopefully not an avalanche slide but just unstable terrain where I keep slipping)? 

      I can see why the wealthy would invest in residential real estate and farms. Even if people can’t afford luxuries, they still need necessities like food and shelter.

      The primary things I’m focusing on are adjusting my expectations so that I don’t get stuck emotionally and lose precious time, prioritizing the wellbeing of vulnerable family members, spreading risk around rather than concentrating it, developing practical skills to the best of my ability, getting end of life stuff prepared (will, powers of attorney, final resting spot picked out), maintaining physical fitness routine (by Zoom these days), making my home a lovely place where I like to be, maintaining far flung relationships by phone and online, learning new things partially as a distraction for my brain so it doesn’t ruminate, and limiting my exposure to distressing news details while keeping up with headlines. I also prioritize knowing myself and my quirks and inner dynamics so that I make a life suitable for me rather than suitable for someone else.

      Regarding the wealthy owning homes and farms, I can’t change that. I can vote and advocate so that they don’t get unreasonable tax benefits for it.  

      • 4

        Good points.  And, I believe at least part of what you’re saying is, “enjoy what you have while you have it”.  True!  

    • 1

      I’ve come to grasp that things are just going to overtime cost more, be of lesser quality, be filled with more preservatives and junk, and harder to find. 

      Knowing how to make things yourself, be that a shed or vegetables in the garden, are ways we can combat the trends of society.

    • 0

      First of all, I hate the term “the end of the world as we know it” it suggests that the world is static and unchanging when it is in fact changing constantly. The world that you knew as little as a nanosecond ago has already changed, situations have evolved, people have been born or died, we change constantly as the world that (we think) we know also changes

      We adapt or die, the question is whether we can adapt fast enough to cope with the changes as they take place. Things have been relatively easy for the human race over the last eleven thousand years but there is nothing to say that we aren’t due a change of fortunes or that while change is constant change has to happen at a constant pace.

    • 0

      Now to address the specific point of the mega-rich getting richer by buying up every single commodity and controlling it while the poor seem to get poorer. Everything… land, housing, media, food etc is a commodity, we all consume. Unfortunately we seem to be consuming only what is given, not what we create for ourselves.

      This has not always been the case, for some reason we humans seem to need to promote or elect someone to guide us or lead us. It is in our nature to abrogate responsibility and bleat that we are only small fry, there is nothing we can do about anything. We don’t like it but we have no way of changing it. Newsflash, there is something that everyone can do to some degree.
      Man-up, work hard and build a life for yourself that isn’t for sale to the first fat cat that makes a cash offer. If you don’t agree with the ethics of a company it’s important to have enough balls to tell them to go to hell and not deal with them.