A lot of people who remember growing up in the 1970s in the UK will have memories of times that were very different, and very much harder, than the world we live in now. A world without computers, mobile phones, mp3 players, DVDs, playstations….
… A world where the power went off sometimes, rats scurried in suburbia, fat and well-fed on uncollected rubbish stacked in the streets, and always in the back of your mind was the knowledge that the Cold War might not stay that way, that most cities had sirens to warn of incoming nuclear attacks….
No wonder if some of us grew up to be what used to be called ‘survivalists’ and are now called ‘preppers’!
Yet neither ‘survivalism’ nor ‘prepping’ are new. They’re very old, in fact. The mesolithic hunter-gatherer who stashed a collection of roasted hazelnuts to see the family through the winter, the neolithic farmer who buried a barrel of butter in the bog to ensure there was something to tide the homestead through the snows, the medieval peasant who stored grain from harvest to planting time…. even my grandmother, who fed her family through World War II from an extensive garden, a flock of chickens and some caged rabbits…. they were all ‘prepped’. They had the foresight to think ahead, see a potential problem looming and put some insurance in place to ensure they got through it.
That’s all ‘prepping’ is. It’s insurance. Keeping a few weeks’ food in the pantry, in case you’re snowed in or there’s another fuel shortage that prevents shops restocking, is not obsessive hoarding. It’s insurance. Having a sack of grit, a snow-shovel and some old carpet tiles in the boot of the car in the winter isn’t madness, it’s insurance against getting stuck in a snowdrift.
All my life I’ve lived by the rule of the 7 P’s: Proper Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. I’ve considered ways to deal with powercuts, rising prices, job loss, ill health, bad winters, house fires and all the other things that can happen to anyone. I’ve studied flooding, droughts, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and storms.
Increasingly, though, I’m growing more and more aware that the biggest and most inevitable problem that we’re all going to face is climate change. It’s no longer a question of if, but only when. And it’s getting very clear that when isn’t ‘sometime next century’. It’s ‘now’. It’s already happening. The sirens are already sounding and there’s no fallout shelter in place.
This blog will be recording my thoughts and plans as I attempt to future-proof my life and my family’s life, to Adapt, Mitigate and Survive Climate Change.