The economic news has not been good, as most of you are well aware. Many are talking about how to survive the coming economic chastisement. Should you head for the hills and buy remote land far away from urban strife? Or is it better to buckle down in the suburbs near friends, family, and a healthy parish? If your utilities are cut off, which is the best substitute: a diesel generator, solar power, or something else? Do you rely upon city water? Can you grow vegetables in your front yard? Where should you keep your money? What kinds of skills will you need? These questions and more are being addressed by the folks over at Catholic Home and Garden.
It’s difficult to say which direction things will go. In the past, the cities were always the hardest hit by economic disasters – but that was before the modern industrial economy swallowed rural civilization as well. In our circumstances the rural areas will be suffering along with everyone else. That said, I still think it best to live someplace near a regional food source, in close proximity to fertile land that is not dependent upon a complex water delivery system. Las Vegas and Phoenix are not the best choices here; neither are mountainous regions with short growing seasons; neither is any region with extremes in the weather.
Broad swaths of the east and west coasts would seem to be ideal – inland from the large coastal cities – as well as the southern and lower mid-western states. The northern mid-west and Great Lakes states worked well for our hardy ancestors, but deprived of civilization they could be virtually uninhabitable for soft, modern Americans.
City or country? The largest cities are going to be quite dangerous. Imagine Chicago going for a month without power and water. Therefore, it could be advantageous to live in or near a small town with a population between 2,500 and 25,000. Such a community is small enough to avoid urban dependency and turmoil, yet large enough to provide basic goods and services. An older home on, let’s say, a quarter acre could still produce a significant amount of food while providing a safe environment for the family. In such places driving (and fuel consumption) can be kept to a minimum if one is fortunate enough to work in town.
Steve Skojec has some interesting thoughts on the subject.
I’ll have more to say about this later …