Sunday, August 3, 2014


by Ray Jason

As our boats headed for an unspoiled anchorage, I sighed with relief – for this was such a perfect time to be getting away from it all.  Some longtime friends were sailing beside me, and I was introducing them to the glories of this magical archipelago.  For seven days we had no internet and almost no connection with the incorrectly named “real world.”  I consider the human built realm as the “artificial world” and Nature as the “authentic world.”
News from the “unreal” world had been particularly grim as we headed out for the solace of the islands.  The obscene butchery in Gaza had become so repellent that even UN shelters were now being targeted.  The insane demonizing of Russia and Putin was accelerating.  And new scientific studies were again proving that climate experts were underestimating the rate of ecological collapse. 
The couple who were sailing in their boat beside AVENTURA also had their nine year old son onboard.  It was a valuable experience for me to spend so much time in the company of a young person.  But I was deeply saddened by my forebodings of what type of planet he would inherit.
For years I have been arguing that humanity is probably headed for a catastrophic meltdown because of what I have dubbed The Big Bad “E”s.  This term refers to Economics, Energy and Ecology.  A significant disruption to any of these meta-systems could totally destroy the world that we are accustomed to.  And all three of them seem overstressed and poised for implosion.  Here are some recent examples that support this position.
ECONOMICS – The dollar as the world’s reserve currency is declining at an increasingly rapid pace.  The BRICS nations are starting their own bank.  Russia and China are doing a huge natural gas deal in their own currencies.  Germany is starting to by-pass the dollar in many transactions.  Only a half-blind American jingoist can deny that the dollar’s power is disintegrating.
ENERGY – Recent US foreign policy has greatly infuriated Saudi Arabia, who is their number one source for overseas crude oil.  American energy experts are either delusional or are maliciously deceiving people with their assurances that the U.S. can frack its way to energy independence.  And sanctions on Russia are cornering it into having to play the geopolitical trump card of turning off the gas supply to Europe this winter.          
ECOLOGY – In 2012, the Arctic lost enough ice to completely cover both Canada and Alaska.  Half of the Great Barrier Reef has died in the last 30 years.  And scientists are no longer calling the California drought “dangerous.”  They are referring to it as “catastrophic!”
These developments further convince me that extremely bad times are approaching.  During the years that I have been using my essays to call attention to this grim likelihood, I have also been proposing a unique small-scale solution.  I call my proposal The Sea Gypsy Tribe.  This concept is explained quite thoroughly via this link, but here is an abbreviated version of it.   
In the case of any global meltdown, I believe that small groups of ocean-going sailboats have the best chance of escaping from whatever emergency arises.  There are already at least 10,000 sailors living on their boats all over the planet.  My hope is that the small minority of “collapse aware” cruisers amongst this sub-culture will find each other and form small bands of fully-prepared sea gypsies.
Because ocean-ready sailboats are designed to safely and comfortably handle long offshore passages, they are already ideal survival pods.  With slight modification they can weather any type of gruesome societal storm.  Here are some good examples:
PANDEMIC – The contagion danger comes from large groups of humans jammed closely together.  This is not an issue when far out at sea.
GRID DOWN – Sailboats are self-sufficient vessels with wind and solar power systems, back-up diesel generators, water-makers and long-distance radios.    
THERMO-NUCLEAR – There is not a single ICBM aimed towards the ocean.  And the fall-out hazard is more easily handled in a boat with ¾ of its surface area underwater.
FAMINE – It is easy to have a year’s worth of provisions stashed onboard, and the sea provides fish, shellfish and seaweed.  The strategy would be to flee to the safety of the ocean and monitor events back on land through the long-distance radios.  When things stabilize, suitable land bases would be established and planted with the seeds we carry on the boats. 
SUBMERGED COASTAL CITIES – This is not an issue for a floating escape module.
MARAUDERS – The sea gypsies have a tremendous advantage over the land-based preppers because they can sail away as things start unraveling.  When faced with a choice between starving and marauding, most people will maraud.  Getting out of Dodge is good, but sailing out of Dodge is better!
During the years that I have been refining my Sea Gypsy Tribe concept, I have been fairly confident that when the Crash comes, it will be swift and very widespread.  Indeed, I believe that it will be so catastrophic that as society descends into chaos, governments will lose their authority and just disintegrate.  Given my conviction that most political leaders are Malignant Overlords, the prospect of their demise pleases me immensely.  The gradual decay of the Soviet Union that then suddenly collapsed with the toppling of the Berlin Wall seems like an accurate template of what we can expect.  Admittedly, I have been mindful that there are other Collapse theorists who envision a much more gradual decline, but I feel that scenario is less likely. 
But when hanging out with the nine year old son of my sailing friends, I found myself paying more attention to his future prospects and the possibility that I might be wrong.  What would his future be like if it was a slow, stair-step decline rather than a waterfall event?
As I attempt to observe the human trajectory without illusions, this is what I foresee:  Overpopulation is now so severe that it is almost psychotic.  It leads to mega-cities that are actually mega-slums.  They are breeding grounds for crippling poverty and starvation and disease and hopelessness.  Cheap energy is running out and yet so much global food production depends on it.  Water for drinking and irrigation is in severe decline.  Fisheries are not just deteriorating they are collapsing; and much of the planet relies on seafood protein. 
Tragically, these desperate conditions play right into the hands of the Malignant Overlords, who always seek to both expand and consolidate their power.  Millions of people will be so beaten down by their poverty and anguish that they will seek strongmen to raise them out of their abysmal despair.  But strongmen inevitably become omnipotent men and the masses will be subjugated even more.  And a smaller group of the dispossessed will become so desperate that they will revolt against their governments.  But this will give those rulers an excuse to crush their rebellion and impose an even more hideous tyranny.
And so as I contemplated the possible future of my friends’ son, I found myself descending into a profound depression composed of both sadness and anger.  But then as I sat in the cockpit of my stout, handsome AVENTURA and looked across at their boat which was anchored beside me, I felt a zephyr of hope and reassurance.  These sailing boats are such wondrous creations.  For just as they can protect us from the Tempest and from Collapse – they can also shield us from Tyranny.