Rebuilding civilization in North America

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Sönam » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:35 am

kirtu wrote:It could be that water will be a challenge. But on the East Coast we can legitimately store large quantities of water and possibly in arid areas as well storing liquid hydrogen and oxygen. Have to see if this really pays off though as the energy and infrastructure costs could be prohibitive. An artificial aquifer might be the way to go.

Kirt


Opposite to what is currently admited, you do not need so much quantity water ... water is really something you can be addicted.

And opposite to what think younger generations, there is a real advantage to live in communes, or at least villages ... it certainly solves the question of kids education, but it is also a quite natural way of living. I believe that we, human being, like wolfs, are adapted to live in pack (not a nice term in english) ... we used to live in tribes all along our history. Individual, separate, living is an egotic new approach, young generations are addicted to that egotistic approach ... afraid of "other"?

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Last edited by Sönam on Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Kyosan » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:39 am

kirtu wrote:
I personally would avoid any areas that are coccidioidomycosis (valley fever) hot spots, especially if I planned to be working with soil. Many people get it and it's not serious, but it can be very nasty or even fatal.


This is the first time I have even heard of this. I'll check it out. Curious that I never heard of it in California but I wasn't ever on a farm in Cali.

Thanks!

Kirt

Southern California has it but it's not a hot spot. Where I live, Tucson, is right in the middle of a hot spot. Many people who I've talked to here about it said they have had it. I think that everyone here knows what it is. You can get it even from breathing dust in the air.

About 5 years ago a developer started building housing in this area. There has been loose piles of dirt sitting close to my house and there has been digging as the result of road construction. Both my dog and I got disseminated coccidioidomycosis which is the worse type. My dog almost died but did recover except a joint in one of his legs was damaged. I got it about 9 months ago and am mostly recovered, I think, but the doctor said he expects it to take another 6 months. It attacked my shoulders including the bones and I even needed surgery on both shoulders to remove infected tissue. Hopefully the infection didn't damage my shoulder joints; I can't now raise my arms above my head but that could be for other reasons. So you see why I say it can be very nasty. :lol: Because I am a Buddhist, I take these things in stride.
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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby kirtu » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:19 pm

Land near Fairfield, NY.

May be a good place to start with yurts and tipis. As long as people like the cold.

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby purple rose » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:56 pm

Hi kirt,

I thought you might be interested in this website. http://www.simondale.net/house/ The location of this settlement is UK. The home in the main article looks amazing and enchanting. It says it cost around £3,000 to get it to the stage in the photographs.

Image Image Image
The house was built with maximum regard for the environment and by reciprocation gives us a unique opportunity to live close to nature.


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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby edearl » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:18 pm

Tara wrote:Hi kirt,

I thought you might be interested in this website. http://www.simondale.net/house/

Regards,


A beautiful find, Tara.

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby KeithBC » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:45 am

Fascinating thread, Kirt.

I live in a community that was the destination of many of the original "back-to-the-landers" in the 1970s. Many of them are still here, and still living on the land.

The biggest factor to consider is climate. Namdrol's estimation of the requirements are probably quite close to the truth. Wood is the only renewable fuel that does not depend on high-tech factories, and therefore the only sustainable fuel. Therefore, you need to live in a climate that has forests, and where the winters are mild enough that fuel requirements are minimized. You need a climate that allows a long growing season, both to produce excess food for the winter, and to minimize the length of that winter and that food requirement. A climate that allows food production year round is best. The climate must also produce enough rainfall to supply the crops. If that rainfall is not evenly distributed throughout the year, then you need to be able to store enough in the rainy season to see you through the dry season. (And, frankly, if the government takes a dim view of storing rainwater, do it anyway.)

Since forests are a requirement anyway, building materials are not a big issue. Having the skills within your community to use them is an important factor in the success of the dream. Self-sufficiency requires not just labour, but competence. There are still many examples of "hippie architecture" here. Typical 40-year-old houses here may still be lacking baseboards, finish flooring and doors on the bathrooms, but they are still standing and keeping the occupants dry and warm. One of my neighbours published a magazine article 35 years ago on building your own house for under $5000. He and his wife still live in that house. They must have worked like beavers for the first few years.

The community of old hippies here is only semi-intentional. The people generally arrived independently, and acquired their land and their houses independently. Though they shared many similar goals, their relationships were as neighbours within the context of a larger non-hippie community, not as communards. I think the natural community model works better than various intentional communities.

I wish you the best of luck with this dream. :namaste:

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Huifeng » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:46 am

For locations:
The northern part of the North Island in New Zealand (north of Auckland), and parts of the Coromandel peninsula just SE of Auckland, may be good sites.
Also, the northern tip of the South Island, around Nelson and Blenheim.
The climate in both of these places is mild, maybe only one frost per year in the far north. Also, rainfall is good, and looking to maintain with present forecasts for climate change.
And in the far north, there are plenty of forests, with the terrain being roughed but not really high mountains. The Coromandel has a medium sized range running down the middle of it, but is mostly forest excepts for the strips along the west and east coasts.
All places have long coastal areas, too.
Finally, the Coromandel has quite a few Buddhist centers now, mainly retreat centers and communities for organizations based in Auckland, about 1-2.5 hours away.

The three places also have the largest percentage of (former) hippy communities in NZ, too.
Apart from some of the gangs that do major cannabis cultivation in northland, the local communities are otherwise very welcoming. (Actually, the gangs are very welcoming too, just keep your nose out of their business activities ...)

Just a thought. All the best for this mission. :smile:

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby edearl » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:33 am

Deforestation is a major contributor to global warming. How much forest do you need to own or control to have a sustainable supply of wood?

No matter where you live, solar heating for water and home is really best. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a ready-to-buy solar home, and not everyone can afford to have one custom built, including me.
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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Malcolm » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:01 pm

edearl wrote:Deforestation is a major contributor to global warming. How much forest do you need to own or control to have a sustainable supply of wood?


According to Ben Franklin, an average home requires 13 acres of tended woods for a renewable source of wood for heat. Obviously this is not feasable as a renewable resource for 300,000,000 americans. But it can work fine as a low cost alternative for a small community living in one structure. Also, axe cutting of trees as opposed to sawing them helps. You cannot coppice a tree with a chainsaw, only with an axe.
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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Sönam » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:26 pm

Namdrol wrote:
edearl wrote:Deforestation is a major contributor to global warming. How much forest do you need to own or control to have a sustainable supply of wood?


According to Ben Franklin, an average home requires 13 acres of tended woods for a renewable source of wood for heat. Obviously this is not feasable as a renewable resource for 300,000,000 americans. But it can work fine as a low cost alternative for a small community living in one structure. Also, axe cutting of trees as opposed to sawing them helps. You cannot coppice a tree with a chainsaw, only with an axe.


plus replanting a young tree.
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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:45 pm

Tara wrote:I thought you might be interested in this website. http://www.simondale.net/house/

Hobbits!

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby kirtu » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:37 pm

Namdrol wrote:
edearl wrote:Deforestation is a major contributor to global warming. How much forest do you need to own or control to have a sustainable supply of wood?


I have no intention of using wood at all except as an emergency fuel. In the desert I have no problem using scrub brush.

According to Ben Franklin, an average home requires 13 acres of tended woods for a renewable source of wood for heat.


Seems a very high estimate. When my family had to use wood we certainly didn't use 13 acres of it. Where does Franklin give this estimate?

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby kirtu » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:40 pm

Sönam wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
edearl wrote:Deforestation is a major contributor to global warming. How much forest do you need to own or control to have a sustainable supply of wood?


According to Ben Franklin, an average home requires 13 acres of tended woods for a renewable source of wood for heat. Obviously this is not feasable as a renewable resource for 300,000,000 americans. But it can work fine as a low cost alternative for a small community living in one structure. Also, axe cutting of trees as opposed to sawing them helps. You cannot coppice a tree with a chainsaw, only with an axe.


plus replanting a young tree.


And many trees take a decade or more for growth. Bamboo might be the way to go but bamboo is not native to most of North America (there are three species that are).

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Malcolm » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:04 pm

134-14 acres of northern wardwood stand will last such a place an indefinite period of time if cut carefully -- first taking out old tree and sick trees, leaving saplings, middle aged trees so on and so on.

If you are in NE, you can use this as a guide to figure it out:

http://extension.unh.edu/resources/file ... ep1200.pdf

Common idea is that you can can get 1 cord an acre. But I think this is not based on a very scientific understanding as that sheet shows.

Basically, if we are talking maple, for exampe, it takes 20 years for a maple tree to reach an ideal size for firewood. If you have a large enough lot you can rotate through your acerage preserving mother trees and always having abundant fuel and more for your descendents. All it takes is a little thought.
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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Sönam » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:15 pm

Namdrol wrote:134-14 acres of northern wardwood stand will last such a place an indefinite period of time if cut carefully -- first taking out old tree and sick trees, leaving saplings, middle aged trees so on and so on.

If you are in NE, you can use this as a guide to figure it out:

http://extension.unh.edu/resources/file ... ep1200.pdf

Common idea is that you can can get 1 cord an acre. But I think this is not based on a very scientific understanding as that sheet shows.

Basically, if we are talking maple, for exampe, it takes 20 years for a maple tree to reach an ideal size for firewood. If you have a large enough lot you can rotate through your acerage preserving mother trees and always having abundant fuel and more for your descendents. All it takes is a little thought.


In your rotation you will need some more space to let the regeneration of the earth ...
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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby kirtu » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:56 pm

Namdrol wrote:134-14 acres


We're really talking about 20-50 acres max and as low as 1 acre (obviously we can't put many people sustainably on 1 acre). The restarting civilization tag means to begin rebuilding civilization. I cannot afford to buy that much land all at once. Banding together we can but no one has said that they are interested in buying land and building on it (not yet at least). So for a while I will probably be on my own.

Your assessment of wood needs is proven. However I would like to minimize wood usage to the minimum necessary.

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Sönam » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:37 pm

what would be right, but the system would not accept it, would be to occupy an unoccupied land, the possession of someone only possessing. Ideally there should be only occupied land, no possessed one.
Lineages of those who possess have all started by occupations. The whole landlord process is simply the great history of the appropriation.
But pure means pure ... other way cannot work.

Sönam
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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Virgo » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:54 pm

kirtu wrote:
Namdrol wrote:134-14 acres


We're really talking about 20-50 acres max and as low as 1 acre (obviously we can't put many people sustainably on 1 acre). The restarting civilization tag means to begin rebuilding civilization. I cannot afford to buy that much land all at once. Banding together we can but no one has said that they are interested in buying land and building on it (not yet at least). So for a while I will probably be on my own.

Your assessment of wood needs is proven. However I would like to minimize wood usage to the minimum necessary.

Kirt

I think Namdrol means 13-14 acres. You could also consider burning pellets. You can even make a lot of your own pellets, from wood, and other plant life. For example, if you save grass clippings, they make excellent pellets that burn very slowly because of the amount of clorophyll. You can purchase equipment to make your own wood and other pellets. I assume, though it is more work, that burning wood in pellets, will conserve your resources quite a bit, as the wood burns quite a bit slower. Sorry, don't have any data available to back that up, atm.

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Sönam » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:32 pm

others solutions exist to minimize the consumption of wood ... green roofs for exemple

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Re: Rebuilding civilization in North America

Postby Malcolm » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:03 pm

Sönam wrote:
Namdrol wrote:134-14 acres of northern wardwood stand will last such a place an indefinite period of time if cut carefully -- first taking out old tree and sick trees, leaving saplings, middle aged trees so on and so on.

If you are in NE, you can use this as a guide to figure it out:

http://extension.unh.edu/resources/file ... ep1200.pdf

Common idea is that you can can get 1 cord an acre. But I think this is not based on a very scientific understanding as that sheet shows.

Basically, if we are talking maple, for exampe, it takes 20 years for a maple tree to reach an ideal size for firewood. If you have a large enough lot you can rotate through your acerage preserving mother trees and always having abundant fuel and more for your descendents. All it takes is a little thought.


In your rotation you will need some more space to let the regeneration of the earth ...


Not really. This is not like growing crops. This is selectively picking trees and felling them in a rotation, while trying to maintain a whole population.
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