Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Fragility of Complex Societies

I'll never forget Hurricane Fran. For those who were in its path, you certainly remember as well. The morning after this hurricane blazed a path through North Carolina we discovered that the basic infrastructure of society had been destroyed in a matter of hours. Not only because of the loss of power, downed trees, fallen debris, which made even getting beyond your driveway difficult - but due to the extensive damage - we discovered that each family was basically on their own. No police, no fire trucks, no ambulance, no Doctor's office, no help was available - these groups had their own problems to deal with - not to mention that travel was almost impossible. In short, the "infrastructure of society" which we all count on daily was gone.

These articles remind us of just how tenuous the entire structure is - a structure which provides us with our "normal life".

The Fragility of Complex Societies

There is no more ordered, successful and humane urban society than found in Japan. Like most Americans, these last few days I have been moved as never before by the courage and calm of the Japanese people amid such horrific conditions, as one of the most sophisticated and complex urbanized cultures on the planet in a split second is nearly paralyzed.

It seems to me the greater worry right now is not yet a meltdown, but the vast dangers resulting from disruptions in food, water, power, and sewage.

Putting us in apartments and high rises, reliant on buses and trains, and dependent on huge centralized power, water, and sewage grids are recipes not for ecological utopia, but for a level of dependence and vulnerability that could only lead to disaster. Again, I understand that in terms of efficiency of resource utilization, such densities make sense and I grant that culture sparks where people are, but in times of calamity these regimens prove enormously fragile and a fool’s bargain.

And on that thought, we see this highly germane article:

What Can The Japanese Tsunami Teach Us About Prepping For Disasters And Emergencies?

The Japanese tsunami is a crystal clear example of just how unpredictable disasters and emergencies can be.

Nobody ever dreamed that a tsunami in Japan could wash cars, homes and people up to 6 miles inland. But that is exactly what happened. So while it is great to make elaborate preparations for potential disasters and emergencies, it is also absolutely essential to have backup plans.

All over Japan right now the supermarkets are being stripped bare. Don't you think that many of those people are wishing that they had stored up some food? It is those that prepare that have the best chance of surviving disasters and emergencies. No plan is foolproof, but having a plan is much better than not having a plan.

For example, there are lots of people in Japan right now that are wishing that they would have stored up at least a bit of fresh water to drink.

Of course bottled water flew off store shelves all over Japan in the aftermath of the tsunami. Now it is becoming very difficult to find.

Have you seen video of the empty supermarkets in Japan?

That can happen someday in America too.

In the United States, even a minor snowstorm can cause a run on the supermarkets in many areas. If a major league disaster or emergency ever hit the food in the stores would be gone really quickly.

Wise words indeed. In America, it could also be a matter of a large earthquake, but we also have hurricanes, tornados, floods, landslides and almost every other imaginable scenario which could lead to a loss of infrastructure.

We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable. Our financial system is crumbling. Our society is crumbling. The earth itself is crumbling.

Many of those that laugh at preppers are the same people that have health insurance, car insurance, home insurance, boat insurance, motorcycle insurance, disability insurance, travel insurance and business insurance.

But they won't lift a finger to get some "food insurance" for themselves and their families because that is what "preppers" and "conspiracy theorists" do.

When it comes to preparing for the worst, flexibility is the key.

And preparing for the worst does not have to be complicated. When you go to the store, pick up a couple extra items that you see on sale and store them away. Learn to grow a garden. Read blogs about prepping. Talk with your family and friends about what they would do in an emergency.

As the Japanese tsunami has shown, disaster can strike anywhere and at any time. The United States is certainly not immune.

Just some food for thought.

As stated: "We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable".

Just as we would expect from our knowledge of biblical prophecy. The rest of the world is finally taking notice.

I'm sure many of you, like me, are being asked a lot of questions - revolving around the idea of "what if what we are seeing around the planet represents the "end of the world"? This presents an enormous witnessing opportunity. Some people I know - those who used to scoff at biblical prophecy are now asking good, pertinent questions and they have become seriously interested in what the prophetic scriptures have to say about current events.

These current events that we see happening around the world have a lot of people shaken up. It is our opportunity to spread the news that Jesus is coming back and coming back soon.

The world needs to know.


Anonymous said...

The past couple of days Mat 24:45 and Luke 12:42 have been coming to mind. Found it a bit odd as have always wondered what they meant.


Scott said...

I see 24:45 as instructions regarding keeping watch, and "behaving" is if Jesus is coming at any second (ie, let one's behavior reflect that).

The "wicked" servant - thinking that the master would be staying away a long time - used that as an excuse to abuse the servants.

So the take-home message is to be watchful and to behave as if Jesus is coming at any second. Don't be lax just because you don't believe His coming is imminent.

I LOVE Luke 12. Note also the passages starting with verse 35, 37, 38, 40 and 54.

Its all about the urgency of watching. And the importance of watching.

Anonymous said...

Stored food would have been of little use to most of those people in Japan....their houses and all they had disappeared.


Scott said...

True that - there is only so much you can do anyway. But I do think we have to do what applies to our situations. On the east coast its hurricanes and tornados - not so much quakes. I'm not sure how I would prepare for quakes. It would probably be wise to have a "bug-out" kit prepared, in case of evacuations. Those aren't too expensive.

Anonymous said...

I live in a region that experienced a devastating flood, an F4 tornado, and an ice storm that left some without power for up to a month. FEMA visited our county 6 times within a year. Through all that we were never without food, water or shelter and our communities pulled together to assist the less fortunate. God has proven Himself to be faithful and merciful to His own and it brings me much comfort in these days of uncertainty.

Psalm 34:8
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.