I sometimes forget that the New York Times likes to hide certain articles in the Fashion & Style section which, had they appeared in the news section, might be judged overly anxiety-producing.
I didn't find this one until alerted by the User is Content blog a few weeks after it first appeared. Right at the outset of Alex Williams' "Duck and Cover- the New Survivalism", we read that Barton M. Biggs, the former chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley, writes in his new book "Wealth, War and Wisdom," that people should "assume the possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure."
"Your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food," Mr. Biggs writes. "It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc. Think Swiss Family Robinson. Even in America and Europe there could be moments of riot and rebellion when law and order temporarily completely breaks down."
That's pretty scary. As you might guess from the emphasis on 'riot and rebellion' rather than say, floods and famine, Mr. Biggs represents the 'conservative' survivalists, the more traditional ones. But the article makes a point of the emergence of a new left-wing and green survivalist contingent, who are more concerned with the floods and famine side.
Williams quotes Alex Steffen, executive editor of WorldChanging.com
"The 'where do we land when climate change gets crazy?’ question seems to be an increasingly common one..." such questions have "really gone mainstream."
Greens like us all want to live locally and sustainably, generating our own energy, food, and warmth by the sun and natural systems, in harmony with nature and the cycles of life. We don't flourish among mammon and condos and cars, we want to be with Nature and Natural Spirituality, that is what nourishes us. We want to make our Edens. We know it can be done. We don't really want most of the things this ADD society holds as desirable anyway. We want simpler, deeper lives, naturally enriched.
We know we can do it. But we are all part of a sprawling matrix of accumulated connections to many other agendas, and few of us have broken free and begun their Edens. The thought that this kind of living may in the future be the only tolerable way of living, or even the only way of living- period, well, this might just get the ball rolling a little faster.