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Gaius Baltar

A Cold Wind

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When I was younger, my family lived in a rural part of the midwest. My parents built a cinder block house far removed from the built up metroplex. The structure was two stories with multiple bedrooms and kitchen space. More importantly, as originally built, it had no electric connection or running water. At the time I didnt miss those things, it was all I knew to burn wood for heat and light and hall water up from the creek. We were self sufficient in many ways. We grew are own vegetables, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. Later on we added a strawberry garden. We had a small herd of cattle and contemplated adding chickens. For pets we had a small company of German shepherds. And apparently a collection of feral cats. We hunted for game in the nearby woods and pastures. Several years in plumbing and electricity was added. My god that was a luxury. The daily chore of gathering wood and hauling water was, well reduced not totally eliminated. The
heating was a type of baseboard water system. We even added rugs. To me it was like a palace.
Fast forward to the recent events here, with the loss of the power grid during a winter storm. Now Im now kidding you, the cold was severe. For a couple of days there the windchills hovered around -20F. Thats ing cold. Water was turned off somewhere in there.

For myself, I put on my winter parka and hauled water up from the lake. Just like old times.

If you followed the news though you see that the vast majority of the population was paralyzed. Im quite sure that most millennials have never chopped wood, hauled water or prepared for extreme weather as a yearly event. Or most city dwellers for that matter. We, as a people, have become soft and lazy. The labor of survival has been replaced by comfortable cruises to the grocery store or the point and click of ordering from Amazon. Remove the basic elements of water, electricity and access to food and society will collapse. Now I do miss my trips to Whataburger, I admit. However, I am perfectly comfortable building a wood fire and grilling some game or frozen entree that appears in the freezer. Point being, I was prepared for the grid crash, in fact, I have foreseen these type of events. Iím not some kind of extreme prepper or anything, its just how I was raised.

The world population is increasing rapidly. The vast majority are located in urban islands that are totally dependent on lines of transport and communication for delivery of supplies for daily existence. These supply lines are fragile, to say the least.

What happens in an urban environment, of say 6 million, densely packed, when the water supply is lost? Water is a critical element and an individual can only go a few hours without access, or their life will be immediately threatened. Now multiply that desperation by 6 million, then throw in the surrounding areas that must absorb that without access to adequate supplies themselves.

We live a comfortable, pandered existence. Recent events suggest that reality is much closer that we would want to admit.

Updated February 25, 2021 at 06:21 PM by Gaius Baltar