Filed under: Being Responsible
When I went to see James Cameron’s “Avatar” recently it was with a large group of friends and friends of friends. Any big movie like that, and we tend to get everyone together, see the film at the same theater and then all go out for dinner afterwards to talk about it.
Its usually quite a eclectic group too, so the discussions can be quite informative as well as very lively. So its not surprising that one of the first topics to come up was, “Would you want to live on Pandora as one of the natives?”
(this entry being worked on)
One of our reoccurring features will be “Meals 4 Less“, a series of recipes and suggestions for making healthy, affordable food.
Salad Bar Omelets for Two:
I love a good omelet, but as a bachelor, having the makings for one on hand for when the mood strikes me can be expensive. Half the time when I purchase those bags of shredded cheese, I find them months afterwards, and not in any shape to sprinkle on some eggs.
I also like to have a salad once or twice a week, trying to lose a few pounds and to just be healthy. Grocery stores and their salad bars make it very convenient.
Several years ago, while getting a salad for lunch, I realized that they also had the ingredients for an omelet; shredded cheese, mushrooms and diced meat.
Add in some fruit, some potatoes or a tomato, and you have a very inexpensive and healthy meal.
(For two meals)
$1.00 – Four eggs. I tend to buy the organic brown ones as opposed to factory farm whites.
$0.90 – Cheese, mushrooms, diced chicken. It ends up being about 1/10th of a pound of each.
$0.65 – Two Roma tomatoes. They tend to be a bit smaller than the bigger round ones.
$0.35 – One banana
$0.35 – One orange
$1.20 – Tall Glass of Orange Juice (or Milk), $0.60 each.
That’s around $4.50 total.
The reason I fix two omelets and save one for later is I tend to add a side order of potatoes to the meal, in this case “Green Giant” makes a small 9 oz. steamer pack of “Roasted Potatoes with garlic and herbs” that you microwave, that is enough for two servings. I also tend to eat a banana with my orange juice and the orange with my milk. The potatoes costs $1.50 bringing the total for our meals to about $6.00.
Or one good meal for around $3.
Compare that with a breakfast biscuit, potato puck and a tiny juice (or coffee) from a fast food place, and which would you rather eat?
(That’s hot sauce from Taco Bell on the omelet, in case you’re wondering…)
Having recently watched James Cameron’s “Avatar”, I read with some interest Michael T. Klare’s op-ed at the CBSNews’ website titled “Will Earth’s Last Stand Sweep the 2013 Oscars?, in which he sketches one possible world view of the year 2144, the time that “Avatar” happens in, and one I feel could very well come to be.
(Michael Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. He is the author of “Resource Wars, Blood and Oil” and “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet”.)
“It’s the torrid summer of 2144, just a decade before Avatar begins. (That movie takes place in summer 2154, after a flight from Earth that, we’re told, involves six continuous years of sleep, which helps us backdate Jake Scully’s Venezuelan combat tours.) As it has been for decades, the world is at war, with competing power blocs fighting bitterly over a diminishing pool of vital resources.
Three great power centers dominate the global resource struggle, all located in the northern latitudes where the climate still remains tolerable and the land still receives sufficient rainfall to support agriculture. The first of these, in whose legions both Scully and Quaritch fight, is the North American Federation, founded after the United States, facing desertification in its southern half, invaded and absorbed Canada. The second, Greater China, incorporating northern China, the Korean peninsula, and eastern Siberia (seized from Russia in a series of wars), dominates what’s left of Asia; the third, the North European Alliance, encompassing Germany, Russia (west of the Urals), and Scandinavia, relies heavily on Arctic resources. As in the world portrayed by George Orwell in 1984, these powers continually jockey for dominance in shifting alliances, while their armies face one another in the torrid, still relatively resource-rich parts of the planet. In this neo-Orwellian world, warfare and the constant pressure of resource competition are the only constants.
Thanks to global warming, the planet’s tropical and subtropical regions, including large parts of Africa, the Mediterranean basin, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia, as well as Mexico and the American Southwest, have become virtually uninhabitable. Many island nations and coastal areas, including much of Florida, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines, lie under water. Critical raw materials like oil, coal, natural gas, uranium, copper, and cobalt are perennially scarce. Starvation is a constant fear for those not affluent enough to pay for increasingly expensive genetically-modified crops and meat produced on corporate farms with multiple chemical inputs.
Large-scale industrial civilization still persists, but many once-industrialized areas have been abandoned, and what factories and transport systems remain are constantly constrained by limited energy supplies and the lack of steady flows of vital resources. Oil is particularly hard to come by, and so, in all three power blocs, its use is largely restricted to the military, security forces, emergency services, the largest of corporations, and the very rich. (If you want to get a sense of such a world, imagine Mel Gibson’s 1979 movie Road Warrior on steroids.) Other sources of energy, including natural gas and uranium, are also in increasingly scant supply. Renewable sources, including wind and solar power, help to make up some, but not enough, of the difference, while a shortage of critical minerals — copper, cobalt, tin, manganese, titanium — limits the scale of many industrial undertakings.
For ordinary people — and only somewhat less so for the elites of the planet’s heavily militarized states — survival is a constant struggle. Outside of the industrialized power centers, life involves a daily search for food, water, and energy of any sort, as well as whatever precious goods (gems, weapons, bits of technology) might be traded to get those basics. For the big corporations and their government sponsors, as they send the Scullys and Quadritches to the distant corners of the planet to enforce their will, the struggle is no less fierce for control of the world’s few remaining deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, copper, and uranium.”
Chilling in its forecast but most people reading this will say to themselves “That’s over a hundred years from now, why worry?”.
Well, Responsible Survivalists worry about things that will affect their children and their grand children, that’s what being responsible is. More over though, the world Professor Klare lays out won’t be one that just appears over night. The conditions that create such a dark and brooding future will happen over time. Time that you and I will likely live to see.
And we are already seeing such conditions now.
If you have been reading the news this past year, you will have noted I hope the world wide buying spree China has been on, gobbling up long term contracts for essential resources from copper to coal, and especially oil. Unfortunately while most of the Western World stay glued to their televisions watching “American Idol” and our elected officials here in the US play partician games of chicken, the Chinese are already running the next, most important Olympic Sport, “Grab It Now, While You Can.”
Will the rest of the World wake up in time. Can you depend on our governments for your survival?
I doubt it, don’t you?
So become like China, look to securing your own future and that of your family, by securing the resources, the knowledge and the skills beginning now, that you will need in the future of the 21st century.
Follow Up – Dated 03.01.10:
“China eyeing perks of ice-free Arctic”
“China has started exploring how to reap economic and strategic benefits from the ice melting at the Arctic with global warming, a Stockholm research institute said Monday.
Chinese officials have so far had been cautious in expressing interest in the region for fear of causing alarm among the five countries bordering the Arctic, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.
“The prospect of the Arctic being navigable during summer months, leading to both shorter shipping routes and access to untapped energy resources, has impelled the Chinese government to allocate more resources to Arctic research,” SIPRI researcher Linda Jakobson said.”
As I said earlier, China gets its. Do you?
Filed under: Climate Change
discuss recent heavy snow fall and why that is expected
In a follow up on my previous reply re: land based ice in Antarctica and Greenland and the amount that sea level will rise if they melt:
“Sea levels are likely to rise by about 1.4m (4ft 6in) globally by 2100 as polar ice melts, according to a major review of climate change in Antarctica. Conducted by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), it says that warming seas are accelerating melting in the west of the continent.”
(I was correct that should all of the Antarctica ice sheets melt it would raise the sea level by 64 meters but given the cold reserves there it’s not likely.)
As for Greenland:
“Melting of the entire sheet would raise sea levels globally by about 7m (20ft).”
Arctic Ice institute
The new Dark Age is around the corner.
Greer’s The Long Road Down