Here’s an interesting tidbit from the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln):
Nebraska is currently facing its worst drought since the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression. The least amount of rain fell on the state this summer since records were kept in 1895.
What does a drought that severe look like?
NOTE: This is a pretty cool demonstration of how simple drone technology can be used to gather information and insight about what is going on in your community, and how it can be shared.
Let’s contrast this picture of drought with graphics depicting the torrential downfalls of rain expected from Hurricane Sandy. A storm has the potential to be the most severe storms in 100 years.
The first is an estimate of potential rainfall from NOAA. Note that the greatest amount of rainfall estimated is 11.57 inches!
Next, is a picture showing where New York City will likely flood and how badly.
So much water in such a short period of time is going to stress storm drains, sewage systems, water systems, building foundations, transportation(particularly bridges), and much more.
It’s likely to be a big mess. A mess made much worse because EVERYONE is completely dependent on systems they don’t have any control over and they all are going to demand help from government officials and the big infrastructure companies at the SAME time.
Here’s what we can learn about this.
Localization helps. For example, last year’s big October snowstorm in New England led to a blackout that last for almost a week. In contrast, the towns with local power companies were able to get back to 100% within a couple of days.
The other lesson is something I learned when I got my degree in Astronautical Engineering (I designed rocket ships and satellites).
When big systems, particularly the ones we don’t fully understand, begin to swing from extreme to extreme, events like this are going to become common.
As Rob, a farmer in Wisconsin, puts it: ”in my 8 years here in Jefferson County WI, we have had 2x 100 yr, 1x 500 yr, and 3x 50 yr floods. It’s getting real…”
Simply: Extreme events like the above are the new normal.
With this new normal in mind, please take steps to add some production of food, energy, water, products, and income to your home and community. It will make your more resilient.
The more resilient you are, the less events like this will impact you and the people in your community. The more resilient communities, the less these events will negatively impact anyone.
Connect to the world on your own terms, become resilient!
PS: One of the reasons we keep careening from crisis to crisis is that even the most highly compensated experts in the world don’t understand simple facts about big systems. For example, just after the financial crisis in 2008, David Viniar, the CFO of Goldman Sachs told the press that the financial crisis was a once in 10,000 year event. It wasn’t. We can’t be precise on how frequent events like this will be. Why? We only have a decade of experience with a financial system this complex, certainly not 10,000 years worth of data, and the theories we are using to model our financial system are sketchy, at best. If anything, an event like this in a system that big, fast, and opaque to understanding is a sign more instability is on the way. With experts like these, who needs enemies?
PPS: The plan is to launch Resilient Strategies next week. Finally! I’ve put in the effort to make it is the best service in the world for connecting you to the people, ideas, and tools you need to prosper in the future, no matter what happens.