the zombie apocalypse and you

My friends all know me and the fascination I have with zombies. They have all laughed uproariously when I relate my plans for the zombie apocalypse, mostly because I explain that my main weapon will be a carpenter’s hammer. Aside from being useful in dispatching zombies, it will also be quite useful in hobbling my friends and family just enough so that the zombies will be too busy eating my suddenly hobbled friends and family to chase me.

Sure, say what you will about this weapon choice and my reasoning, but when the zombie apocalypse comes, we’ll see who’s standing and who is part of the zombie buffet.

I know that a few of you are also laughing because you think the zombie apocalypse is so far fetched as to render it comedy even discussing it.

I’m well aware that the dead will not rise from their graves, much to the chagrin of my catholic father and his belief in the rapture (I get scolded each Easter because I wish him a “happy zombie jesus day!”). While I do love zombies, I don’t actually believe the apocalypse will come in the form of risen dead attacking and consuming the living. The human race has a much more plausible end coming and my jokes about preparing for the zombie apocalypse are just my way of making what I do believe is coming much more palatable.

Our way of life is dependent on a finite resource and as that resource disappears, our ability to sustain the current population of the world is becoming more and more untenable.  See, oil is much more than a way for Arabian princes to get there swerve on and middle-eastern despots to hold the world hostage. Oil and petroleum products are also responsible for the existence of all 6,973,738,433 people on this planet.

I should preface the following with a provisional message.

Yes I know that the end of the world is unlikely. I am not hoarding food, nor have I dug out a bunker in anticipation of the end of the world. I am just relating how I believe the end will come… not with a bang, but a whimper.

Ok… back to the prognostication, already in progress: Petroleum is used in the production of food. In fact, unless you grow your own food including the protein in your diet like chicken, fish and/or beef, every bit of food you consume requires petroleum to either produce, harvest, ship or buy. Without petroleum, you, me, your neighbors, and every one you know, wouldn’t be nearly as fat and happy. Petroleum is also currently responsible for the current existence of millions of people in Africa, China, India, and Pakistan.

Without petroleum, those countries WOULD not be able to sustain their populations for more than 30 days. They trade petroleum to the US (or to other countries who DO trade with the US) in exchange for wheat and other grains, which they use to prop up their own food production. Without the US and its over abundance of grain and other food stuffs, those countries wouldn’t be able to support their populations.

At some point in the next 30 years, we will reach a time when the rate of production of oil enters a level that makes it impossible to produce enough food to feed the current population of the earth. Within the next 20 to 30 years, you’ll see a massive famine burn off 50-70% of the world’s population. Hardest hit will be those countries with large populations living in cities, far from food production centers.

In those cities, you will see crime rates multiply exponentially. Life in a city during a famine will be very difficult. In fact, it will require the same type of skills you would need in a “zombie apocalypse” in so much as you will have to fight other human beings for the small amount of food available.

Outside the cities, you will see a return to an agrarian society; a society that depends on agriculture as its primary means for support and sustenance. Those who cannot grow their own food will be required to forcibly take from those who can… and that’s where my preparation for the zombie apocalypse comes in.

Over the last 10 years I have worked on making myself as self-sustaining as possible. I’ve learned to grow my food and find that I enjoy it immensely. I’ve learned what wild plants are edible and which plants will kill you as quick as a machete to the head. The days when you just run to the corner McDonald’s for some food when you are hungry may not be around as long as you might think.

Even if the day never comes where I have to use these skills and knowledge to survive, I feel I’ve learned enough about sustainability and conservation to make the next 20-30 years of my life infinitely more entertaining.