From Ashes to Ashes – Or What?

The New Yorker recently ran an intriguing article on how the very rich are planning to cope with an Armageddon. Their ideas are diverse.

One plan is to move to New Zealand or Australia, as in Neville Schute’s On the Beach. Both countries are so remote that some people just might survive, at least for a while, after a global holocaust.

Other types of plans involve caves and tunnels stocked with everything required to extend life, presumably to make a comeback in some way at some point.

The article does not go into much detail about the various kinds of scenarios that might be encountered and, of course, those differences are crucially important in assessing how the different goals survivors might have in mind could be realized.

So let’s assume some rough “facts”:

Over half the people in the United States are already dead. The infrastructure of the country has collapsed completely. There is only a little electricity being created, except from water power. Transmission of electricity also is very spotty. Gasoline for cars and trucks is barely available. Schools are closed more or less permanently. Food and potable water are in very short supply and are rapidly becoming more scarce. The internet is basically shut down, and computers and phones cannot be charged. Such a scenario should not be too hard to imagine.

Yes, it is possible that slowly, over several generations—say 100 years—something resembling the world of today might reappear, hopefully better from lessons learned. However, the path to be trod to that world would be for sure much more challenging and difficult than the last 100 years.

But if you were 8 years old, or 18 years old, or 38 years old, or (heaven forbid) 86 years old, what do suppose you might be thinking? Young children, who cannot/should not think for themselves, particularly in such circumstances, need to be looked after. Even if parents and grandparents have little future in today’s sense, they have a duty to protect their young, particularly if they intend to step aside. What forms does that duty take?

Is the life that these rich doomsday preppers imagine possible? Is it worth the incredible struggles that will be unavoidable, even after the preparations are made? Who else or what else is out there that one knows and cares about for them to travel with on that ghastly voyage?

My best guess is that, long before any stockpile to extend life is depleted, rational thinking will likely to take command of those so called ”privileged” citizens; they will have to ask what comes next—when and how will they go on?

Recently, a new way of freeze-drying platelets from whole blood has been found and government is beginning to stock pile them for possible use in the event of a mass radiation event. Yes, it is a government duty to anticipate terrible and remote events, and we should be sure there are sufficient platelets to care for a radiated population.

But what about the remaining population that is simply realistic and wants to join their already ‘fortunate’ dead friends in avoiding “opportunities and challenges” that may lie ahead.

Will there also be enough cyanide capsules to go around with such unusual demand?

Should we be certain that is available that too?

And, while we are at it, what can we do to ensure that our so-called ‘elected leaders’ do not lead us blindly, stupidly and with ‘alternative facts’ to the brink of our world’s end?

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