Why Avoid Cities

Why Cities are Vulnerable (see also Awareness and Survival here)

Even though we are collectively in debt over our heads, because of constant borrowing (new debt) to pay old debt, our economy appears to be relatively prosperous. We (most of us) have enough to eat, we find store shelves bulging with things to buy, gasoline is still affordable, though expensive, and everything appears to be humming along.

Appearances can be deceptive. What appears to be a smoothly-running machine is actually dependent on cogs and parts that could break down overnight. This is mainly because of the complex systems of production and distribution that have evolved in the last several decades*.

Very few of us - around 2% - are involved in food production, which means that 98% of us are dependent on those few for our food. A lot of our food comes from hundreds, even thousands of miles away, and cities are completely dependent on these long supply lines of not only food but of almost everything else, including electricity, heating oil, gasoline and even tap water.

Well, what could possibly interrupt these supply lines? Scary version? A virus (and we already have several that could do the job) so virulent that it kills 80% of those infected. With rapid international travel, the virus could be global in just a week or two. As the virus takes out victims, people become increasingly worried, and many stay home rather than risk exposure at work. With much of the workforce out of action, basic services and supply lines begin to break down, making the situation much worse, because the hospitals, charged with isolating the virus will run out of supplies, and even water and power could be cut. If hospitals become inoperable, the virus will spread faster, as there is now no place to quarantine victims.

It need not be a virus to produce similar results. A collapse of the dollar, which many now see as inevitable, would make currency worthless, the banking system would collapse and everything dependent on money would be affected.

Cities, by their very nature of complete dependency on external inputs of nearly everything, would be unable to supply even basic necessities to their populations - no food, water or power - so people would panic and try to evacuate, causing gridlock on all roads leading out of town. Why gridlock? There are many reasons why roads will fill with cars and then traffic will stop. Here are some:

1) People would try to escape in any vehicle that would run, even junk cars that would later break down on their way out of town, blocking roads. 2) People would forget to fill the gas tank, or gas stations could be overwhelmed, and many would run out of gas and be stuck in traffic along with the break-downs. 3) In a panic, people tend to drive carelessly and fast and take risks, so accidents would disable cars and block traffic. With so many cars not moving, traffic would eventually stop, trapping everyone in their cars and on the roads.

And there they would remain, until they finally give up waiting for traffic to move again. Imagine ten million New Yorkers all trying to drive out of the city, and then having to walk. Might there be some criminals among those leaving? Sadly, more than a few. In a city where it is illegal to carry or even own a gun, and only criminals (who don't care what's legal) have guns, and survival could very well depend on having a gun, who do you think has the best chance for survival? Right, the armed criminals.

*In the past, grocery stores used to have a large stock room in the back where they had piles of food in reserve to use for stocking the shelves up front, until another shipment came to restock the stock room. Now, with bar codes on everything, even apples, inventory is monitored continuously and electronically. When you check out, that apple is removed from inventory.

Now, most stores just order what has been purchased to maintain the front store shelves - there is no longer a large stock room in the back. What you see on the shelves up front is just about the entire stock of the store. In disasters and other crises, panic buying is common, and people clear shelves, and thus entire stores, quickly, not to be restocked. One man who went into a Wal Mart in such a crisis area was amazed that the entire stock of the store was gone. People had bought out the entire store, of everything - food, clothing, dog food, furniture - everything.

Grid-down: It is not uncommon for storms to disable the electricity supply over large areas, and indeed it happens every year. In the past, when our society was less dependent on the Internet, when the power went off, we just lit candles and got our flashlights out, kept the fridge closed and piled more blankets on the beds. Now that every major business depends on the Internet for daily functioning, power failures are far more damaging than before. Many businesses simply cannot function at all without the Internet. Our increasing complexity has made many new things possible, but it has also made us more vulnerable. Electricity is now so much a part of our infrastructure that its failure can bring down the whole house of cards. Imagine no traffic lights in an entire city, no trams or subways, no ventilation, no water pumping, no ATM, no electronic transactions, no gas sales, no sales at all, no lights at night, no alarm systems for businesses and prisons, no phones, no electronic patient monitoring in hospitals, no defibrillator and so on. All things electric are dead. In a city, grid-down is a major disaster.

Now imagine the same grid-down in a rural off-grid community. Lights stay on in the village and in homes. Business goes on with cash, as it has for generations. People living off the grid don't even notice the grid. Some people use the Internet, but they don't depend on it for anything. People are dying in the city, so they hear on the radio, but life in the village goes on as if nothing happened, because nothing did.

What, you may ask, could disable the grid in a city so that it could not be repaired quickly? Sadly, we live in uncertain times, and among us are people who are wealthy enough and powerful enough and twisted enough to plan and execute major calamities, like destroying the World Trade Center towers and blaming terrorists. Plane strikes could not collapse those towers at freefall speed; only bombs planted inside to take out the support columns could achieve that. Iraq had nothing to do with that event, but we were told lies so the USA could invade Iraq. We will be lied to again and again, so that the USA can invade Syria, Iran and other countries. These same twisted men could take out a power station or two, or a dozen, claim it was terrorists and then invade another oil-rich nation. The grid is the life of a city - without it, people die. Do you really want to live in a place where your life depends on something that could be disabled tomorrow by the psychopaths in our fedgov? After watching tsunamis destroy costal cities in many countries, could you live close to the shore in Tokyo? Would you build your house on the side of Mount Saint Helens? Then why would you live in a big city?

Polar ice, including Greenland, could melt, as a result of climate change, pole shift (poles at or near the equator) or both. The resulting meltwater would raise global ocean levels by an estimated 80 meters, about 260 feet. Look at a globe and notice how much of humanity lives in that future flood zone - most of it. This probably isn't a good time to buy beachfront property in any country. It is also not the time to settle in a big city, whether or not it is close to the coast.

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