I don't do blue, nor do I do potty humor. It's never been my thing. And so I am hesitant to even discuss this, but it is critical that we do.
The subject came up recently when visiting with one of you (whom I'm not identifying as I don't want their name associated with this subject) about post-disaster sanitation issues. Specifically, if you live in a multi-story condo or apartment complex, how do you get rid of waste - trash or otherwise - when the utilities aren't working for days on end? (My suggestion to my friend - to bag and weaponize it by launching it off the balcony at marauders - was summarily rejected, despite historical precedent.)
If you think I'm being silly in bringing up the subject of waste disposal in an extended emergency, just read the accounts of the passengers on board the Carnival cruise ship currently adrift. In short, don't underestimate the value of having a good sanitation plan in place in the event you are in a protracted emergency. Over 3.4 million people die each year because of sewage and hygiene-related causes. Most of these deaths occur in the third world, yet with large disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, we can experience similar conditions here.
I think we can sum up the sanitation needs in short order:
- Clean water
- Clean food
- Clean clothes
- Clean bathroom facilities
- Clean bodies
Need Some Doom Porn?
So this next story is making the rounds in the prepper/permabear community. Those of you who watch CNBC will recognize many of the names in the piece, which is more of an aggregation of news pieces than anything else. In short, these guys see a global war of some sort coming within the next year or so.
To be fair, some of the articles cited in this piece are old...pushing two years old in one case. Regardless of the pundits' collective ability to time the markets and global unrest, I do think we need to ask ourselves if "first world on first world" conflict is possible in this day and age. Most of us would like to think we've evolved significantly as a species over the last two hundred years; and we have. But are we necessarily immune from conflicts our grandparents fought with the grandparents of our fellow global residents?
And if you believe we're not immune, what does your warfare bracketology look like? Do we go to war with China? With Russia? I have to admit I don't see it happening. There's simply too much to lose for a full on first world set of combatants.
If you're disappointed in the prospect of a warless planet, fear not: Larry Krugman is calling for death panels and higher taxes on the middle class. That should give you reason to get your gloom on.