Nebador Archives presents Standing on Your Own Two Feet - Comments, Questions, Teams

J. Z. Colby's NEBADOR takes place in the wide universe around us ...
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NEBADOR on GoodReads


The Ghost Host

NOAA Space Weather Scales (PDF)

The Donkey Sanctuary, Ireland

MENSA International


As the home team, Nature Bats Last.

Outward Bound International

National Outdoor Leadership School

Post Carbon Institute's

Kurt Cobb's Resource Insights

Kids vs. Global Warming

Transition Network

National Youth Rights Association

Hesperian Health Guides presents Speaking Truth to Power

Angry Steeled Curious Happy Smitten Surprised Comments, Questions, and Teams from
Standing on Your Own Two Feet: Young Adults Surviving 2012 and Beyond
and the Youth Futures essays

"I'm way too far away to do the trainign with you but I wanted to know that I'm doing it any way. My parents are giving my lots more freedom since I turned 16 but they just shake there heads when I say I'm going up on the mountain. They think there are no wild animals there but there are and I was afraid at first. Now I'm not any more. Ive made a little house actualy 2 of them. ones a cave and ones a stick house (like Eeore!) But mine doesn;t fall down. Even after a storm! I told one friend-about my only friend-and now there are people at school asking me to take them up there. Yikes! But none of them have parents wholl let them yet. weird."
-- Terri, Nebador citizen, 16, Nevada

JZC: I had a hunch you'd be one of the Nebador citizens who would like the new Preparation page, Terri. You are gaining strength (mental, emotional, and physical) that will serve you well in any challenging situation, and I believe they are coming, as you know. Don't forget to read up on how to scare off a cougar (a.k.a. mountain lion) if you ever meet one. I get letters fairly often from young people who want to get more prepared, but just like the ones who talk to you, they rarely have supportive parents.

I want to do your preperation training!

I know you never said you do this for kids but I just KNOW you do and Im not very far away and my mom and dad are close enough to saying YES that I had to tell you... please please please.
-- Stephanie, 14, Idaho

JZC: Yes, Stephanie, I do, and it's a point in your favor that you figured it out. I have one regular and one irregular student right now. We use the millions of acres of forest land that are right outside my door, all the way to Mt. St. Helens if we wanted to. I don't advertise the fact because it's a strictly private arrangement, and not any kind of business or professional activity, although I used to do similar work, whenever I could, before retirement.

The most important thing you have to figure out is an adult companion who can be responsible for you. I know from the rest of your letter that your parents can't do that, but your adult sister might be able to. In the meantime, or if your parents say no, remember that you can probably do most of it yourself in your home area.

"I love the new PREPARATION page!!

I know most of that stuff but I'm still will take one step a month and think about it and try some things. I'm more an animal person than gardner."
-- Artemis, 17, Nebador citizen, Ontario

JZC: It's great to hear from you again, Artemis! I would have guessed you'd pick animals as a way to create food, and that's just right for your climate. I'll swap you a home-grown pumpkin for a chicken or rabbit!

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

"Thanks for your insights J Z,
I'll join you in saying that I'm also introverted (as in your explanation). I was comfortable with that from a very young age. And your insight about having no loyalty to (my/your) culture put it in a nutshell for me. I call this freedom.

In my case, being introverted gave me the opportunity to start building inner strength very early on. People that are not like that, as you say the majority, always find this odd. I'm friendly, smiling and outgoing in social situations, anything but shy, so people automatically assume that you're a "party person" or that you're just trying hard to be "different" when they notice that you have other priorities. That's my experience.

Probably like most introverted people I try and avoid human institutions, associations and clubs etc. I've never like sports either or supporting it. The apparent thrill of togetherness when your team wins is something I could never identify with.

Also, and here I'm probably out on a limb, I guess that you'll find most autodidacts among the introverted, and maybe more people less likely to be anxious. You would probably know that. I'm just guessing."
-- Sabine

JZC: Thanks, Sabine. Although there are (arguably) some advantages to introversion, we have to remember that 75% of all people are extroverts. It's their world. Yes, most self-taught people are introverts, most gifted, most scientists, and most successful actors. But, in general, our intellectual "echo chamber" is not representative of the world, which is one essential reason so few people are aware of the dangers of NTHE.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

I have been struggling with my own sense of purpose lately.  Since I became unemployed a year ago, I sought a better grasp of "The Big Picture".

I want to recommend to you three of the books I've read since then that have made a profound impact on my view of life and my awareness of the comfort and security of my identity.  These books are, "Heaven and Earth" by James Van Praagh, "Journey of Souls" by Michael Newton, and "The Other Side and Back" by Sylvia Brown.

Our culture, our laws, and most of our information about the world come from a relatively small group of very powerful but desperate sociopaths.  And right now these people are working on means to wield complete control over the masses.  Their apperatus will invade our minds and make life so restricted and meaningless that no lesson or understanding or gain of any sort could be aquired by the human spirit.

Mother Earth appreciates all the effort many have made in trying to save her.  Now she is going to return the favor.  She will destroy the horrible outcome of the human experiment.  The powers that have taken over life on earth will be obliterated.  The playing field will be leveled.

The high energy souls that made purposeful effort in their human lives on earth will go in some physical form to a new world (a more advanced society or a Garden of Eden?) where they can cary out more purpose and experience more joy, love and spiritual growth.

Those who are currently ruining life on earth for their own gain of power have souls of low energy that reside in darkness.  That energy is too weak to escape, and will be sucked into a black hole.  This is only my theory, but it feels satisfying for now.

The books I recommended all say that we determine our purpose in heaven before we start each of our lives.  Faith is our means to knowing that we are carying out that purpose and our life is meaningful.  We knew what was going to happen in our coming lifetime, before we came back to earth.  Even so, we set out on this journey with purpose that is important to our soul identity.
-- Ross Maynard, Michigan

JZC: Thank you for the book recommendations.  I am writing a screenplay right now, but I will take a look at those books when I get back to reading things.

Although I agree with your general values, I have to part company with you that "good" people will be spared the extinction danger.  That theme is common to several religions, and I am a theist who believes that "good" people will have a place in the universe at some point in the process, but it makes more sense to me that that point will be in a spirit life.  I cannot prove this, or disprove your beliefs, it's just my best guess at this point.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

"I have, of course, looked further afield."

The sine qua non in every quest is to find the seeker. If the seeker is the sought, further afield regardless of how much further, will never do.

The parable of the "tenth man".

A party of ten persons were headed to a distant temple on a pilgrimage and had to cross a river by swimming. The leader took a headcount on the other side but neglected to count himself in; others repeated the count with the same error.

Failing to find the missing person on looking around, they fell into despondency until a wayfarer enquired and then asked the leader to repeat the count: at the end of the count he pointed out to the counter "and you are the tenth man".

"Finding purpose in difficult situations is just as relevant for atheists as theists"

Once one realises that the cosmic play is just a play, with no purpose whatsoever, the role-playing may continue, but that seeking is dropped.

The sine qua non in every quest is to start with the seeker.
-- Robin Datta

JZC: Thanks, Robin. Yes, self-reflection, the hardest kind, is essential for any journey, any search. I realized long ago, and have taught (to the dismay of some psychology students) that the above fact is what will always keep psychology closer to philosophy and the humanities, than to the hard sciences.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

Excellent essay.

I am still mystified that people are loyal to a culture that destroys them and are loyal political parties and governments that lie to them and steal from them.

My advice to a younger person who rang me because he was distressed about the state of NZ politics was to become as emotionally detached as possible; that way he would not be disappointed by the election result.

It's not easy to become emotionally detached when surrounded by maniacs who are destroying everything they touch, and are lying to justify the destruction they advocate.
-- kevin moore

JZC: Thanks, Kevin. Yes, very hard. It takes, in my experience, a lifetime of (as Mother Theresa would say) learning humility by being humiliated, again and again.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Up until now there's been doubt
WTF this whole thing was about;
Though we're soon going to leave,
That's OK because we've
Pretty near got it all figured out.
-- BenjaminTheDonkey

JZC: Thanks, Benjamin. I honor and respect donkeys, as you will see if you ever read my novels. Love your little poem.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

A lot of people that i worked with in the 1980's the party it up decade wonderer why i was shy and quite and also wonder why i spent all my money living it up. for some reason . i just had a feeling why save for the future live for today. Ihave had a great life. I'm ready to go. I just knew then things would be worse now. just knew it then
-- Blufusion

JZC: Thanks, Blufusion. I agree, tempered only by the fact that we can't know the timing of NTHE (or much of anything else), so we should hang on to a LITTLE.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

I have had a great life as well, except for the last 8 years when I discovered the truth and became aware. Now, I am as disconnected from the machine as I can be. Collapse cannot come soon enough.

Divest Now.

Just sittin' on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.

The Voluntary Extinction Movement

Thou shalt not procreate.

The Church of Euthanasia

Save the planet, kill yourself.
-- pat

JZC: Thanks, pat. I totally understand your feelings, and work on disconnecting from that machine too. Cats are good people.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

'Pretty near got it all figured out.' -btd

?????????????????????????????????????????? it rhymed with the first 2 lines of the poem. that's about all i've figured out!

i think i've become an introvert because practically everyone i know seems too stupid/crazy to be worthwhile friends/allies/intimates. 'free will' surreally sux, imho. we're all meat robots reacting to our environment, seeking in vain mostly to feel secure and fulfilled. reacting to things we have no control over, ultimately, because we're programmed to try to survive, in spite of everything. programmed to act purposefully in an inherently purposeless existence. u sure u got this shit almost figured out? lol
-- the virgin terry

JZC: Thanks, virgin terry. I completely agree, being as UNimpressed with the human race as you and I are pushes us toward introversion, or further in that direction. And, yes, our self-preservation instincts often keep us going when we might not, if we just acted on our thoughts or feelings. Perhaps that's a good thing.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

Agreed that NTHE, and the mental wrangling with it prior to it happening, will be harder for extroverts than for introverts. On the other hand, normal daily life in our societies, that extroverts have largely constructed, is often hell for introverts.

I don't exactly relish this, but I take some comfort in it.
-- yohocoma

JZC: Thanks, Yohocoma. Oh, yes, I am completely with you in your observation/experience about introversion in daily life.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

My dear tvt, you're absolutely right, that was a total disaster, and I've been trying to figure out how to redeem myself, maybe with a better title (easier than writing a new verse), e.g., "Homo Sapiens" = "Wise Ass Smarty Pants Man" or something.

The idea was everybody's so effing smart, yet we've got nothing to stop doom. Everybody's an expert, but the long-winded theories, the pedantic words, all this endless writing and reading, useless for changing a thing.

Today's lesson in humility: sarcasm is tricky, and best avoided. Very sorry about that. Got too introverted, didn't connect.
-- BenjaminTheDonkey

JZC: Thanks, Benjamin. I have long believed, as it sounds like you do also, that there is something INHERENT in our nature that does not allow us to solve this predicament. I wonder if it is related to the root cause of the Tower of Babel story.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

The more I look around, the stranger my world becomes. Today I noticed that colleges and universities are developing degree programs in Environmental Studies and interesting label to say the least. Let's do an engineering analysis of environmental studies.

Let's say if one were to leave a large bag of aluminum cans on the curb, would someone pick the aluminum cans before the garbage truck arrives? You bet, because the energy required to mine and process bauxite ore(1) is vastly greater the melting aluminum cans and the person who picks up the bag of cans can share in the energy savings by selling the cans for scrap metal.

How about if a pile of old newsprint was left at the curb? It would lay on the curb until the garbage truck arrived and put it in the landfill where it belongs. Why? If there is no economic incentive to recycle the newsprint, that means it requires more energy to reprocess old paper than to use virgin pulp fiber. According to a paper mill manager I know, the cost of processing recycled paper is more than twice that of virgin pulpwood.

In other words, the majority of recycling accelerates increased greenhouse gases due to increased energy requirements. (To be clear, some recycled paper is sent to China where there is a lack of pulpwood, nevertheless, added transportation costs make the energy equation even more lopsided.)

So not only is the average college graduate not given a clue, some become busy making the situation worse. Furthermore, these degree programs are viewed as a real 'growth' opportunity for Liberal Arts, Biology, and Engineering.

Looking into the details, one can only see 'higher education' Catch 22 insanity! And of course, with Federal student loans, and increased enrollments, universities are on a building spree, planning 20-50 years into the future. Either I am going nuts or I am living in a slow-motion zombie apocalypse movie plot promoted by higher education!?!

(1) In the Bayer process, bauxite is mixed with caustic soda, or sodium hydroxide, and heated under pressure. The sodium hydroxide dissolves the aluminum oxide, forming sodium aluminate. The iron oxide remains solid and is separated by filtration. Finally, aluminum hydroxide introduced to the liquid sodium aluminate causes aluminum oxide to precipitate, or come out of solution as a solid. These crystals are washed and heated to remove water. The result is pure aluminum oxide, a fine white powder also known as alumina.
-- Modern Money Mechanics

JZC: Thanks, Modern Money Mechanics. No, you're not going nuts, it's the slow-motion zombie apocalypse movie option. It seems to be an inherent quality of our current predicaments that few people have the slightest idea what to do (and maybe NO ONE really knows what to do), so they scramble around at whatever they can, which is usually some veriation on Business As Usual.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

I still find it difficult to except that all humans will become extinct. We are a very adaptable species living in ice worlds to tropical islands, high mountains to rocky beaches. I expect there will be at least a few survivors in some survivable retreat. What is more disturbing is the extermination of so much life other than human. We have been exterminating our neighbors for at least 50,000 years.

Like many others here I am a introvert, I live alone & like it, I have a large collection of science books & have little interest in fiction, reality is far more intriguing than any novel.

Paleontology is one of the most fascinating of the sciences next to astronomy. How can anyone not be fascinated by all the life that evolved long before we did? How can anyone not be ashamed that we were responsible for the extinction of so much life & we are still at it.

I do not believe in any of the many "gods" humans have invented to "explain" what at that time they didn't know.I cannot understand why so many otherwise intelligent people still believe in the "gods".

There is still so much left to learn about our planet, too bad our collapse will end our ability to do so.

A subsistence culture has little time or inclination to deeply study the world around it except when it relates to food, shelter & water.

I'm afraid that any survivors will sink back into the former world of superstition, ignorance & the "gods" who need sacrifices to support the god men.

In the meantime, I'll plant my garden, watch it grow & collect the harvest. I'll listen to the birds singing, the gophers digging & the waves grinding rocks against each other making sand as it's been doing for billions of years.

The spiders in my home will rebuild their webs each year inside, a male will find a female, mate & die, often in my tub as I save my 'clean' bath water to water inside plants & outside potted plants. Even green Oregon is in a drought.

Life will go on as it's done for 3.4 billion years & I hope it will continue to evolve long after we are gone.
-- Sheila Chambers

JZC: Thanks, Sheila. Although I don't pretend to know, if I had to guess I'd join you in saying that some people will survive, at least in little niches like caves, and perhaps a few places will get TOO MUCH rain and be survivable (like our home, the PNW -- I'm near you in Washington). I also share your sadness at all the species we have exterminated.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

and now this:

Everything We Know Is Wrong

Every day the newspapers carry stories of new scientific findings. There are 15 million scientists worldwide all trying to get their research published. But a disturbing fact appears if you look closely: as time goes by, many scientific findings seem to become less true than we thought. It's called the "decline effect" – and some findings even dwindle away to zero.

A highly influential paper by Dr John Ioannidis at Stanford University called "Why most published research findings are false" argues that fewer than half of scientific papers can be believed, and that the hotter a scientific field (with more scientific teams involved), the less likely the research findings are to be true. He even showed that of the 49 most highly cited medical papers, only 34 had been retested and of them 41 per cent had been convincingly shown to be wrong. And yet they were still being cited.

Again and again, researchers are finding the same things, whether it's with observational studies, or even the "gold standard" Randomised Controlled Studies, whether it's medicine or economics. Nobody bothers to try to replicate most studies, and when they do try, the majority of findings don't stack up. The awkward truth is that, taken as a whole, the scientific literature is full of falsehoods.

[there's more, and a podcast; the title is an attention-getting device]

Iowa becomes third state with confirmed cases of severe respiratory illness, joining Missouri and Illinois

[UPDATE: Officials in Colorado and Kentucky also confirmed cases of the virus on Monday.]
-- Tom

JZC: Thanks, Tom. Knowledge is slippery. That's one reason philosophy uses a stricter definition of "knowledge" than most of us do. We have to believe it, have good reasons to believe it, and it has to be true to the best of our ability to discern. Our ability to discern changes, of course, so what is "known" (by the strict definition) one year is not "known" the next. The only thing I would strongly disagree with is the absolute wording of the title.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

Kevin Moore says "I am still mystified that people are loyal to a culture that destroys them and are loyal political parties and governments that lie to them and steal from them."

Yet people seem to be willfully ignorant on vital matters while embracing meaningless trivia. The belief in two conflicting ideas is an American hobby. Being able to deny what is in front of you is a skill, apparently. I'm mystified as well.

Shelia: plastic particles now out number the amount of phytoplankton in the oceans. That plankton is responsible for 50% of the oxygen on the planet, and we're doing our damnest to kill it. No matter how adaptable the human race can be it is going to extremely difficult to adapt to no food, no water and no breathable air.
-- Grant Schreiber

JZC: Thanks, Grant. I, and all psychologists I have ever met, can join you in being mystified about the human ability to deny what is right in front of us. Theories abound, but it remains a mystery.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

I've been in the vicinity of bauxite mining ever since the 1950s, but never heard anyone talking of the science around aluminum production. The general population had nary a clue. Two older cousins worked in the industry. One, a scientists, certainly knew such things. The other got people to sell their properties to allow for mining.

Recycling never made sense to me. I like when people insert used bottles and cans into masonry walls, and I also like using waste paper to make paper-crete–a relatively impermeable mix of paper and concrete–for construction. I make small things with a version of paper crete, but buildings are a much heavier lift.
-- artleads

JZC: Thanks, artleads. You are right, reuse is better than recycling. The concrete I occassionally use always contains organic fibers.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

You state: "...That I "should" become suicidal at the thought of NTHE ... hasn't crossed my mind yet. Again, although I value this ability in self and others, I don't claim perfection at it, and still do my best to fully and deeply empathize with others who DO feel suicidal because of NTHE or other reasons."

I believe there is a common misperception where it concerns suicide in context to NTE, which apparently needs to be repeatedly pointed out.

The distinction between "feeling suicidal because of NTE", is but apples to oranges compared to realizing suicide will most likely be the most peaceful way of exiting this life, once we find ourselves in the chaotic intractable throws of an extinction event, especially for those who haven't any interest in preparing themselves to survive it.

In my opinion, rational, logical, logos, left brain appreciation for science, gets us but to the threshold of comprehending NTE. However, 'acceptance of NTE' is almost solely an emotional endeavor from there on out. In other words, our intellectual capacity to comprehend 'a thing', doesn't guarantee we will.

Is virtually everything that NTE entails "depressing"? Of course it is. Only psychopaths and those who seek to spiritually contort themselves into convoluted indifferent belief systems can look upon the brutal death of most of life on earth with a lack of concern and grievance.

But for many here, our own death, regardless of how it comes about is far less depressing than the wonted destruction of our planet's ability to support life.

There are also many here who are antinatalist and/or borderline misanthropes. Many here put a far greater value on the rest of life on earth than our own. For those who possess biophilic values, they will invariably look at all forms of suicide vastly different than those who are driven by an imperative to survive at all cost, namely, those who have children in their care.

Not all who contemplate suicide have immediate plans on committing it. Those who are comfortable discussing our mortality, usually have the freedom to do so, and tend to be comparatively more at ease in discussing the merits of self death as well, particularly where it concerns the near term extinction of most of life on earth during our lifetimes.
-- Daniel

JZC: Thanks, Daniel. I appreciate your thoughts on suicide and related issues, and agree with many of them, especially when you point out that both a rational and an emotional understanding are necessary.

Thoughts on Faith and Purpose during Near-Term Human Extinction

Collapse and reduced biomass
Mean saying goodbye to your ass,
And autodidacts
Must learn lots of facts
To keep up with the rest of the class.
-- BenjaminTheDonkey

JZC: Thank, Benjamin, for the additional poetry!

"Even though your NTE [near-term extintion] piece is short, it has kept my stomach tied in knots thinking about it. I think I better read some more."
-- gshultz

JZC: Good. It's the kind of thing that should make us worry and want to learn more. I'm in the same boat with you.

"This is the dangerous time, isn't it? The time everyone gets complacent cause nothing has happened for awhile, economic or ecological."
-- TKK

JZC: I think I know what you're saying TKK. The media, and people in general, only have their interest held when events are exciting. The fact that the Federal Reserve Bank discovered this year that it probably can NEVER cease quantitative easing, is SO boring. The fact that the artic ice cap was about the same this year as last year (even though it was the smallest on record) is SO boring. At times like this, progress we've made at mitigation or adaptation stalls, or is reversed. I guess that's part of human nature, and we will have to live with the consequences.

"Excellent post about communicating! [20 October 2013]

I've experienced those same frustrations, and must admit (blush) I've made those same mistakes, then been really mad at myself. Thanks for laying it out so clearly."
-- Mary T.

JZC: You're welcome, Mary. I've made those mistakes too, and other ones unique to my situation, and I need to remind myself as much as others.

"I'm glad you titled it 2012 and BEYOND cause knowing when things will happen is far harder then knowing what. I work in finances and lots of inside people are very nervois right now. The Fed just learned they CAN'T get out of the support they've been giving the markets with low interest rates. I don't pretent to know what's going to happen, but I wish I did so I could schedule a vacation about then! And thanks so much for making it free."
-- Jeremy87

JZC: I completely agree, Jeremy. One of the important tricks to being prepared is figuring out how to ALWAYS be prepared, because the future is so hard to predict. I generally believe that many changes ahead in our world will come slowly, often too slowly to see, but financial matters, like the stock market, can be an exception to that general rule. I hope that vacation spot of yours doesn't require reservations far in advance!

5/5 stars A "How To" book which challenges young people to take responsibility for their Lives.

Young people are asked to grow up at various rates around our World. This book is especially helpful for young people who have lived in a community which believes they should be protected to the extent they are nearly incapable of self-preservation. "Standing On Your Own Two Feet" not only challenges them to take responsibility for their choices and actions, but for the actual preservation of their bodies should global catastrophes impact them. What to do when the Internet is no longer your "safety net"; when power lines and wi-fi are not able to keep you connected. How to take care of yourself and family members / friends who are Incapable until the professionals can arrive. How to complete a network of others in your neighborhood who CAN be there when the professionals cannot.

Very well worth reading, and then giving as a gift of True Love for the young people who will someday be taking care of YOU!
-- Cecelia Harper, Washington,

"What a little gem of a book! My whole family has been involved in the permaculture and transition movement for years, and organic gardening before that, and this is a sweet little summary of our predicament. And I LOVE the good psychology lessons! And thank you so much for making it free!"
-- T. K.

JZC: I too came out of the Organic Gardening and Farming tradition of the 1970s, and we now know that's when we should have done something about our oil dependency and climate change, but chose not to. You're welcome, T. K.

"Love the mental health advice,

and keeping our heads screwed straight is soooo important in any crisis. My teen girls tend to (and did last fall) just scream and start texting people when anything bad happens. I'm thinking about how to get them interested in this great book."
-- Mary T.

JZC: Be careful, Mary. The motivation can't come from you. But you CAN avoid doing or providing things that "enable" them to continue being unprepared for life.

A Little Perspective on Gun Violence

"yes although magazine size has nothing to do with it. there has been recent killings where just bout as many people got killed or injured and all the sicko had was a knife."
-- Carl Bennett, Facebook

4/5 stars "The perfect book to read at the end of a complicated, challenging and wonderful year.

Colby writes in such a fluent way that I finished this book within one day- I literally could not put it down. With tips from choosing who you surround yourself with carefully, to first aid skills and beyond- this book will challenge your thoughts and make you want to be more prepared for our future. To be active in changing our future and to avoid sitting on the sidelines, waiting for devastation to hit us and being unprepared.

I would recommend this book to anyone- teenagers and adults alike, these are truly tips and advice for life.
-- Chenice, UK,

Celebrating the End of the World

"I don't think the world is coming to an end, this Friday. That said, at the end of the world, I would like to be a free light soul - free of the burdens of the world. Somehow I think at the end of the world, the planet per se as we see it now will cease to exist. Then there will be regrowth and rebirth - starting with amoeba again? or perhaps something else.

But the lack of consensus reached at Davos has already finished our planet, hasn't it?"
-- Lubna, India,

JZC: Many people who watch the evnironmental and climate problems are beginning to think that our civilization may not be capable of any meaningful response, at least in time. I tend to lean in that direction, and wonder if it might be an example of what the biblical story of the Tower of Babel was trying to tell us.

"Go-bag Saves Life!

"Well Maybe I would have lived with out it but it would have been way harder!!! Beacuse I live in NewYork and our house was TRASHED by the storm and we had to walk 2 miles with trees falling all over. Mom sort of had a deep pantry and we lost that but are glad to be ALIVE! Thank you for this wonder ful little book!!"
-- Jamie

JZC: You are very welcome, Jamie. This is a good example of how unpredictable the future can be. Luckily, in addition to your mom's deep pantry, you ALSO had a go-bag. If you and your mom had tried too hard to predict the future, and guessed wrong, you might have had a deep pantry, but NOT a go-bag. Preparing for the future is like that: many supplies and skills will never be used, just as many things in every first-aid kit will never be used. That's the price of having the supplies and skills that WILL save your life in hard times.

"thankyouthankyouthankyou! It is SOOO nice that you're telling people like me (sort a young) the truth about things in the world. My parents dont know this stuff and teachers wouldnt be caught DEAD telling us. they'd loose their jobs! i espec. love the partt about being invisible. That is so cool!"
-- Terri, Nebador citizen, 14, Nevada

JZC: I think that many parents and teachers will be getting familiar with some of the concepts in the book in the next few years, Terri, as events in the world will force them to. You will be ahead of the game, and can probably help them to understand what's happening!

Post Carbon Institute's
has accepted Standing on Your Own Two Feet as a Resource in the category Food & Water.

"Excellent little book.

"You rarely get so much good advice, readable by youth or adults, in one little volume. I could take some issue with your belief that communities will be net positive forces in a de-growth future, but I guess it's best to start with that assumption. I'm obviously not a Transitioner. But overall, great little book! Thank you!"
-- Paul D.

JZC: I can easily join you in your worry about communities. They are no better than the people in them, so they will vary from saintly to evil, just as people do. But like you say, it's best to start with a positive assumption.

"Gonna send pics of our team soon (no faces), but have question. Don't you think CIA is reading every word and building file on you?"
-- Samantha, Benie, Stevie, Matches, Gaia

JZC: Probably. Maybe they'll learn something (the individual readers, not the government). The fact is, whenever things get bad, people and their governments look for scapegoats. No one wants to say that Jimmy Carter's and Ronald Reagan's decisions about importing foreign oil were mistakes. But what is Iraq doing with OUR oil under their land? And what is China doing buying oil and making OUR price higher? And what is that scifi author think he's doing telling young people the truth?

"Dont you think most teens are too young to care about this stuff, you know all wrapped up in school and boyfriends and stuff?"
-- Aimee

JZC: Yes. That doesn't mean that the few who want to know about it (like you?) shouldn't have the chance. Even most adults are too wrapped up in work, TV, Facebook, you know. In the other direction, even a few pre-teens are interested. Whenever I give a workshop, I define "young adult" as anyone who is peeking out of their toy box (or X-Box) to see what's going on in the world.

"After I printed out the book for my 2 adopted kids,

both teens now, they immediately formed a team with one other neighbor and meet at our backyard fire pit. Now they are analyzing the food in my cupboards and telling me what we need to get for a deep pantry. :) Me and my husband are leaving it all to them, as all the good lessons in this book will be more effective that way."
-- Jeanie, Nevada

Mass Migrations, a Future Trend

"Mass migrations are constantly happening from rural India to Mumbai, where children come with dreams of Bollywood in their eyes to escape parental beatings, others come because of dismal poverty in villages. Mumbai is bursting at the seams, but this migration continues and will continue. I recently read an inspiring book on people settling down in Dharavi, Mumbai which is Asia's largest slum and learning to thrive. My review of Poor Little Rich Slum is on GoodReads, in case you wish to read more about it."
-- Lubna, India,

"Its true! Me and my friends KNOW were not getting cars and boats and stuff like our parents had!

Idiots in washington say theres no global warming while we watch the crops and animals around us shrivel up. I have 2 friends who just got forclosed on, another who's farm is failing because theres no water! I would love to stay on the land but its dying!"
-- Samantha, Kansas

"How do you know there are 11000 copies out there?"
-- John T.

JZC: My internet hosting service ( tells me how many times each ebook file is downloaded. This number is inflated slightly because it includes testing by me, people who download it more than once, and access by search engine "crawlers." But it does not include the times that people give copies to others (which is completely okay, as the copyright page includes the statement "freely distributable with attribution, without charge, in its entirety"). To these download numbers I add the number of printed books I give away, and the number sold. The sales numbers take about a month to get to me, but are small compared to the download numbers.

"Thanks for the updates.

I like how you keep everything positive and non poitical, but you don't sugarcoat either. Nice blog about black swans. My fifteen year old goes to your site every time I tell him there's something new."
-- Mary, Colorado

"Mostly I like the book, but ...

I don't like the idea that your encouraging kids to think they can get by w/o there parents."
-- Maryanne G.

JZC: I truly hope young adults will have their parents nearby to help and support them for many years, and indeed the dream of "moving out when you turn 18" appears to be getting less common, and multi-generation households are becoming more common. But I encourage kids to be READY to "stand on their own two feet" because history tells us that kids and their parents often become separated when times get tough. One of the ways we can see this situation creeping toward us is when governments (on all levels) cut social services to help balance budgets.

Transition Network
has accepted Standing on Your Own Two Feet as a Resource.

"Nice summary of Peak Oil w/o jargon or political slant.

Many writers turn me off because they can't keep their politics out, so I mostly stick to The Oil Drum. None of this was new to me, but I'm going to recommend it to friends as it's an excellent intro to the subject, and very readable. Thanks for the nice $5 price tag on printed copies, I'll be getting some to pass out."
-- William R., Pennsylvania

"vary cool book.

my dads gona print it for me. My mom likes deeppantry thing alredy. thnx."
-- Ryan

Original publication announcement

21 February 2012 on Post Carbon Institute's original Energy Bulletin

Comments & Questions about the 2010-2011 Youth Futures essays

"Will the new book [Standing on Your Own Two Feet] have things people my age [12] can do? i think my mom needs help feeding our family."
-- Joseph, 12

JZC: Yes, Joseph, I write for Young Adults, roughly ages 10-20, but some people younger and older also. But I have to warn you: there will be no quick and easy fixes in my book, because there just AREN'T any quick and easy fixes. Even so, I hope you will find some ideas in it that will help in your situation.

Is Our Civilization Self-Limiting?

"Yes, we have made mistakes, population explosion seems scary, as does the fact that many countries may just go bust. Yet, perhaps we will learn to survive in new ways, maybe find out how to harness the sea water better for power, or the solar energy...... Let us see. Nuclear energy as we have seen in the case of Japan can cause havoc."
-- Lubna, India,

"How soon do you think the stuff in the blog is going to happen?"
-- Danielle, 15, New Zealand

JZC: I cannot predict the future, Danielle. Anyone who says they are doing that is, in my opinion, lying. What we can do is look at the forces at work in the present that might affect the future, and prepare ourselves for the possible futures that seem most likely.

It is fairly easy to guess that certain things will probably happen in the future, not so easy to guess when. The forces and trends that I talk about in the Youth Futures blog are all very real, and many people are talking about them all over the world. We might even be able to say that force x usually leads to result y after about z months or years. But there could be some other force that cancels force x, or causes result y to arrive faster or more slowly. Also, we may not understand the process well enough, and a different result could come to pass.

The important thing to consider is something I wrote about just recently in the blog. Risk = Probability x Severity. If the probability is high, it's a good idea to prepare even if the severity (danger level) isn't too bad. Carry some lunch money when going to town. You'll probably get hungry, and even though you'd live without it, your day will be more fun with a snack.

But if the severity is high, you might want to prepare even if the probability is low. First aid kit. A spare tire and tools in the car. Fire extinguisher.

The future is hard to guess, the timing of it almost impossible. But we have the power to prepare for it in many ways.

The Myth of Progress

"The danger is that we may feel that nuclear energy is cheap and plentiful and we may end up blowing our entire Planet into oblivion."
-- Lubna, India,

"I'm reading your youth futures blog and the same stuff other places and I'm freaking out. I need to do something about it. Please tell me there's something we can do!!"
-- Danielle, 15, New Zealand

JZC: Sorry, Danielle, but the problems I explore in the Youth Futures blog are too big for a mere mortal like me to know the solutions. These problems constitute the "human condition." They were not invented by your parents' generation, but emerge from human nature itself, and so have been with us, in one form or another, to one degree or another, for as long as there have been human beings.

But there are certainly things you can do. Continue to educate yourself and anyone on your "team" (close friends, boyfriend, maybe your family). Use your powerful human imagination to picture yourself (and your "team") dealing with one of the problems. (Only you can guess which ones might come into your life.) Imagine solutions. Do the solutions need skills or resources that you don't yet have?

Is there anything we can do to completely wipe out the problems and take us back to some wonderful time in the past? 2000 maybe? (Your parents might pick 1985, and your grandparents might pick 1955.) I don't think so, and trying would probably be like sticking our heads in the sand and failing to do anything that would really help.

Please consider me a member of your "team," and let me know what ideas you come up with.

Why Can't the Economy Keep Growing?

"And what can your readers do, by way of tiny baby steps, to mitigate the problem?"
-- Lubna, India,

(J. Z. Colby responds on the Youth Futures blog page)

Keeping a Low Profile

"Wow, you have really 'hit the nail on the head' so to speak. I couldn't agree more with everything you have said."
-- Chenice, UK,

Money Without Jobs

"Enterpreneurship will also be the way to go. Vocational education will help a lot. People will always need plumbers, electricians, nursing staff, teachers - some professions are a must and jobs will also be easier to get in these areas."
-- Lubna, India,

"Im reading the blog. Do you really think grownups would leave a messedup world?"
-- Running Cat, Nebador citizen, 14

JZC: They wouldn't do it on purpose, RC. At each step, they would be doing what they thought was best for themselves and for the world. One of the big theories of economics is that there's an "invisible hand" that always guides civilization in the right direction if everyone is free to make decisions that are best for them (called "enlightened self-interest"). Others point to our two world wars and the Great Depression as evidence that this theory doesn't work.

Part of the problem is that people have short memories. Civilizations remember things longer, but dusty books sitting in libraries about times past are often overlooked. For example, in the Great Depression of the 1930s, we learned that deposit banks and investment banks should be separate. In the 1990s we, as a civilization, forgot that lesson, and allowed banks to do both things again. That was part of the cause of the current recession.

It appears to be natural for all civilizations to go through cycles. Many of the problems in the world today were experienced by the Romans between 300 and 400 AD. Many other problems are completely new. The simple fact is that a human civilization is too big and complex for any leader or group of leaders to understand, so we do the best we can. Sometimes it works, and sometimes the problems are too much for us. The Roman empire ended in 410 AD.

Recap of Threats to Young Adults

"Yes, it is quite true. People should look at vocational training as well. The demand for such jobs will continue."
-- Lubna, India,

Recap of Threats to Young Adults

"Unfortunate but true. Our situation in the UK is very dire and it's worrying how little employment there is. People are getting First class degrees at Oxford and Cambridge and are ending up on benefits because there are no jobs. It's scary."
-- Chenice, UK,

Free Energy!

"We need to learn to give instead to TAKE, TAKE, TAKE!!!"
-- Lubna, India,

Free Energy!

"why is it not possible to collect rain water? instead of it flowing down street drains!!! the more tarmac, cement, etc the less green areas and less water getting to the water table."
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

"Do you think the youth today, thinks praise is their birthright? Do they overestimate themselves?"
-- Lubna, India

JZC: Wanting praise (and taking all they can get) is natural for young people, and that state of craving external validation does not necessarily go away when we achieve any certain numerical age. It is also completely natural for us humans to "take for granted," and assume it to be our birthright, anything we like and get used to. That's why it's so hard for governments to trim entitlements.

And yes, youth are very good at overestimating themselves, and that's another youthful quality that few people grow out of. In adulthood, it leads to the "it can't happen to us, we're different" attitude as we observe problems in other parts of the world. Historical examples can be found of empires that temporarily insulted themselves from events affecting the world outside their borders, but no examples exist of empires that did so for long.

Free Energy!
"Kids aren't stupid. i mean my friends. We know its not free never was. I mean it is from mother nature like you said but then its not."
-- Clarissa, 12, Alabama, Nebador citizen

Risk = Probability x Severity

"Radiation from Japan has been found in Irish milk! Think about it!"
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

Just in Time?

"Indian citizens are now wide awake to the perils of nuclear power. They are at a cross roads -- no power or nuclear power? The debate goes on."
-- Lubna, India,

Just in Time?

"The PM's of France and Germany are now learning to there cost that nuclear power is unsafe. They are both about to be ex-PM's!"
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

"Why do grown-ups have so much trouble figuring out whats gonna happen in the future and doing something about it?"
-- William, Nebador citizen, 17

JZC: A paraphrase of William's question has been posted on 30 August 2010 in the Youth Futures blog.

Who ya gonna call?

"France and Germany shut their plants immedaitely, it took 2 weeks for Uk and Selafield lant similar years to the one in Japan stays working??!!"
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

Earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns ... Are the "End Times" coming?

"Couldn't agree more. We've had plagues and wars where mankind was saying it's the end of times. Bible prophecies have gone on centuries. If God wanted to end us, he'd just blow up the sun."
-- Richard MacLeod, California,

Did we build our own trap?

"Water may soon be the new oil. I think wars will now happen over water!"
-- Lubna, India,

"In your essay about young adults, why do you bring up churches? It seems you have a bone to pick."
-- Caroline, New York

JZC: I, and many other people, have bones to pick with organized religion. Piles of bones.

But in the essay you mentioned, the important point is that we can only begin to understand young adults (ages 10 - 20) if we set aside our "prescriptions," our "shoulds" and "oughts," long enough to gain a "description" of what they are really like. Organized religions have great trouble with this, but it's what a therapist has to do when he or she sits down in a room with a young person: see what is REALLY going on (after twenty or thirty adults have given their opinions, most of them wrong) so that a path toward mental healing and/or constitutional strengthening can (hopefully) be found.

In the story itself, the medieval culture where the story begins helps us gain this perspective. In that culture, we can "allow" Sata to leave home and begin a career at age 10, we can "allow" Neti and Miko, 15 and 16, to be engaged because of the Hell they've lived through. We can see, in that culture, what some kids can accomplish. It is much harder to see the same thing in our own culture because we react as the culture tells us to react, which is generally to deny that young adults can do anything.

Once we have "allowed" the characters to become real people, with youthful weaknesses but depths of courage and potential, the rest of the story can unfold.

Too Slow to See?

"It may be difficult to look and decipher the root cause of problems, but it is essential. Without understanding this, there can be no effective solution, or the solution that is conjured up would be nothing else but a knee jerk reaction. Sometimes it is tough to admit to one's mistakes, but this is so vital."
-- Lubna, India,

Do animals have souls?

"I don't think science has got to the stage of answering this yet! Maybe the rigid way science deals with things needs changing first? It's a bit like the hadron collider i bet God/higher being is having a laugh at science! lol"
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

Do animals have souls?

"I love the concept of animals having souls."
-- Lubna, India,

"That stuff in the blog is scary, but the more i think about it the more i see the CAT in me slipping thru shadows and being ok maybe even having fun. My dad reads stuff like that and he said its cool i found a place i can read it and not be bored. Thanks."
-- Felix, Nebador citizen, 13

Will 2011 be like 2008?

"Safe public transport, if available, and feasible, should always be used. Not only does it save your own money, it adds that extra drop to make the world greener."
-- Lubna, India,

"What about Greek myths? They're just made up, right?"
-- Tabitha, Nebador citizen, 11

JZC: Not at all, Tabitha. Here's something I just wrote for the Book Three Deep Learning Notes:

"Myths are narratives that contain facts, history, memories, values, and lessons that people need, in order to make sense of the universe and pass on their culture. Myths contain much "truth," but not everything in them needs to be literally true."

The ancient Greeks were very intelligent, but they lived in a world with many things they didn't understand. Their myths expressed their best guesses about the ways the universe worked. One of our myths, the myth of Eternal Progress that I mentioned to Françoise, was our best guess about why everything was always getting bigger, better, faster, and richer all during the 19th and 20th centuries.

"I don't like myths any more than you but how can anyone, short of God, write a story without human myths?"
-- Françoise, 15

JZC: Very good point. I'm not God, so the best I can hope for is to challenge a few myths that seem especially harmful right now. Just as an example, young people like you are about to inherit a world that is slamming up against resource limits. Therefore, the myth of "Eternal Progress" that we came to believe in the last century or two is becoming dangerous to our survival. Neither the human population, nor anything else physical, can grow indefinitely on a finite planet. I comment on many other human myths in the story, and in the Deep Learning Notes. Please feel free to send questions or comments about any certain myths that are interesting to you.


"I have stopped watching the news ,as it's mostly negative at the moment and just makes me angry! at the moment i think Nebador is keeping me sane! lol we could use Ilika teaching the bankers basic math!"
-- Jenny Quinlan, Ireland,

Privatized or Socialized?

"Well said. However there is a new concept that has crept in public-private partnership. In other words the government and the private group step together to create something, such as toll roads. The goverment provides the land, capital is provided by the private sector, which also builds and operates the toll road. Toll charges are decided by both parties and enable the private player to recoup its costs and earn 'reasonable' profits. Public Pvt partnership has taken roots in India. Perhaps this too will have its own pitfalls or perhaps not. We need to wait and see."
-- Lubna, India,

"Tnx for the future blog! Grownups dont think kids should know about bad thing but we have to live with them when we grow up so it isnt fair."
-- Tabitha, Nebador citizen, 11

Following the Mysteries

"Water is another resource that will become priceless. Today we are already seeing wars fought over land - especially border areas, next we may see wars over river sources and where the rivers can flow. Interesting times, these."
-- Lubna, India,

"What's going to happen with global warming?"
-- Terri, Nebador citizen, 12

JZC: I wish I knew, Terri. Not counting the politically and fear-motivated denial, the question seems to be whether climate change will occur gradually, over many decades or even centuries, or if some "tipping point" will be reached that will cause a sudden jump in climate. As you may know, "global warming" does not mean that the weather will get hotter everywhere. It does mean, scientists agree, that the weather will become more extreme in most places. That could be very bad for agriculture.

Many religious stories tell of the god or gods giving people "stewardship" or "dominion" over the Earth. We have not really had to do that until now. I suspect that the process of becoming good stewards of the Earth will really help us to grow as a civilization.

"Why do you think the future might be harder than the past?"
-- anonymous

JZC: The author doesn't pretend to know anything for sure, but many forward-thinking economists are starting to take a hard look at our economic system, and are seeing that it only runs well when energy (oil, electricity, etc.) are pretty cheap. A number of things are causing the prices of oil and other sources of energy to go up: depletion, difficulty of extraction, war, environmental problems, and others. If this trend continues, young people may inherit a world with many fewer jobs and other opportunities.


These teams have shared somthing about themselves with the author. Teams are welcome to share non-personal pictures, first names, events, and ideas. The author will not post any identifying information, even when he happens to receive it.

"Me and my boyfriend and my mom have been reading survival stuff for years and I got your little free book back in 12. But I guess I thought it was all kind a fun and now this ebola thing is making all 3 of us feel pretty wierd. What do you thinks goning to happen?"
-- Sarah

JZC: I understand the mixed feelings we can have when suddenly a problem, that used to be far away and theoretical, becomes real. I'll tackle your question over on the Questions page.

"Tnx for the sweet little free book. Me and my buds and there wives try to think outside box on this stuff..convinced the probs in coming yrs are gonna surprize everyone even prepers. Like the little book cause it doesnt say just prep in 1 little way but be ready for any thing. Tnx."
-- George of the forest, Ben, Fred

JZC: Thanks, George. I agree: reality has a habit of not living up to our expectations. Being as flexible as possible in all preparations is worth the extra effort.

"I am SO much like Ashley and my names Ashley!!! Except that I already like a boy whos into camping and preping and stuff and he knows it and he likes me. We'v made a promise to survive together whatever comes even if we're the only people still alive. We live in small town and were finding places that people dont use any more where we can stash stuff! its fun. Thanks for the great book. We look at other preping books but theyre all mixed with polotics and boring junk. Thnx.
-- Ashley, 14, and her friend

JZC: You're welcome, Ashley, and congratulations on your relationship! It sounds like you are truly planning for the worst, just don't forget to also hope for, and enjoy, the best whenever you can. But I have a hunch you are doing that. Your idea, to make use of places no one uses anymore, is a good one, and I do that too, as I live in a logging area where patches of woods, mostly along streams, are left in old growth. I tried very hard to keep boring politics out of Standing on Your Own Two Feet, and hope I succeeded.

"Most of the team pics make me think of office fauna and I get sick but this one wasn't too bad. Thanks for the little free book, nice to get some good psych lessons mixed in. We ranch most of the the time, high desert, everyone for about a hundred miles around knows everyone and we'd fit in one living room. We don't try to agree on everything except staying alive if power goes out, can't get supplies, can't sell the critters, stuff like that. Kids really like your book and a couple of the teens are reading your free Nebador book and wanting more. Carry on!
-- K Family and Friends

JZC: I like your philosophy of not trying to agree on everything, but just doing whatever each person feels moved to do in preparation for problems. I sometimes go through the high deserts of eastern Oregon and Nevada when I travel south, so maybe I'll run into you.

"Yep we're ready.. Fox has a job and were putting half of it into stuff for team, just us now, but more someday. no hurry. i'm starting to grow things. Nobody else grows things they just go to teh store. Stupid! Thanks for the book. I want ta learn to shoot a bow."
-- Turtle and Fox in Utah

JZC: Yes, it's good to stay in the labor force if you can, and always put part of your earning into "commodities" (stuff for the team). There are many economic situations in which stuff you can use directly is the only stuff that will have any value. And you are wise to learn to garden. Even if your garden isn't great, having a little something to eat is MUCH better than having nothing. Archery is a good skill to have, doesn't cost much, and isn't a concern of governments (with a few rare exceptions).

"Our team has a name but its SECRET cause that would give away where we are and we dont want any one to KNOW.. we decided to pretend the world was ending like a RP game...we know its not really but were pretending so stuff it if you dont like it.. And were liike GETTING READY with everything we need and reading books and stuff. its fun. We know that theres lots of stuff we need that we cant get TIL it ends but thats ok cause we have our LISTS ready and if it happens and you like near us WATCH OUT for your stuff! and were keeping the sexes equal cause we know well have to start the human race over cause NO ONE else is ready even for a lousy little storm!"
-- just us, nobody, nowhere, forget you saw this

JZC: Thanks for the warning, I'll keep a close watch on my stuff just in case you are near me! I compliment you on the idea of having fun in the process of preparing for the future.

"We lost Stevie, added Trix. She's a total kick will keep us all laughing thru ANY bad times. working on meeting places and well maybe get 1 deeppantry for all of us,little bit at each house. Got gobags! Hitting the used book store for survival stuff, indian ways. Mother earth is broken...we can feel it...dont know if she'll let us live in the little cracks when every thing breaks or if she'll squash us like every one else. fingers crossed.
-- Samantha, Benie, Matches, Gaia, Trix

JZC: It sounds like you are preparing in many ways, and that's good, because we really DON'T know what's coming, who will get squashed, and who can live in the little cracks that are left. There are advantages to having your emergency supplies spread out among several houses, as that will allow you to get to at least some of them if one house is lost to you for any reason, or inaccessible. I admire you for using your intuition about the health of Mother Earth. Too few people are doing that.

"Trying to start a team but its hard. Everyone had heads in the sand. it might just be me and my little sister. I tried talking about it at school And at church but noone's interested."
-- Tommy

JZC: It's the kind of thing, Tommy, that many (most?) people MUST have their heads in the sand about. In other words, it's scary. But remember, the important thing is NOT whatever social points you'd get by having a team with lots of people on it. The important thing is that YOU are prepared for the future in your location. Little sisters can make great team members! She probably looks up to you, and will be willing to learn many things from you. Be the prepared person you want to be, and you will naturally attract others who are prepared, or who want to become prepared.

"UPDATE! Wirdest girl in school heard about it and Asked to be on the team. and after burning hot dogs and freaking out with me and Tracy twice at her barbecu, I see shes not so wired and is smart!
-- Tommy, Tracy, Sarah

JZC: Good news! There are many intelligent, creative, and intuitive people hiding on the edges of every social group, and they have often grown strong because they don't get the social rewards of the more popular people.

"RTMK Team is us! Go bags ready. Boots on. North Idaho is our world. Bring it on! Raul does food. Tina loves Raul. Mike is all about bows and stuff. Karen (me) is the brains and the maps. Stoll the pic from somewhere in the web. No one can find a summer job. Parents dont see anything coming, think Romny will save us. Scrownging boards for a cabin. Wont tell where. Thanks."

JZC: Thanks, Karen! Sounds like a strong team that has some good skills, and goals for the future. I hope you will share more of your accomplishments as time passes.

"After I printed out the book for my 2 adopted kids, both teens now, they immediately formed a team with one other neighbor and meet at our backyard fire pit. Now they are analyzing the food in my cupboards and telling me what we need to get for a deep pantry. :) Me and my husband are leaving it all to them, as all the good lessons in this book will be more effective that way."
-- Jeanie, Nevada

JZC: It sounds like you are skillful enough at parenting, Jeanie, that you will be able support them in their preparations while leaving them in charge. As you already realize, that is often best.

"theres just 2 us so far but gota start somewhere, me, my sister. [the dog] comes too. parents don't like it-think we'll atract what we prep for. doesn't make cents. Sis is older,read the hole book to me. sorry no names. more teammembers soon."
-- somewhere in Georgia

JZC: The belief that what we pay attention to, we will attract into our lives, has roots in several religions. In a sense it is true, but mostly happens with threats from human social situations. For example, if you put a fancy alarm system on your house, you are advertising the fact that you have many things of value within. The main dangers that we need to prepare for are geological (expensive energy, mineral resources), climate (drought, flooding), and economic (unemployment, inflation). These non-social problems tend to not care one bit whether we are prepared or not.

Book by Book

the narrow streets of a medieval walled city
Book One:
The Test
Spring 2010




Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 1 (6MB)



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

a lonely beach along a wild seashore
Book Two:
Summer 2010


Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 13 (8MB)



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

the colorful aurora above majestic mountains
Book Three:
Fall 2010


Letter to Readers

Dramatic Audiobook

Audiobook Chapter 5 (13MB)



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

Screenplay 1

stranded on a frigid ice continent
Book Four:
Flight Training
Spring 2011


Letter to Readers



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

fascinating planets with strange life forms
Book Five:
Back to the Stars
Fall 2011


Letter to Readers



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

a shining jewel floating in the blackness of space
Book Six:
Star Station
Summer 2012


Letter to Readers



Deep Learning

Where to Get It

unseen guests at an event of universe importance
Book Seven:
The Local Universe
Summer 2013


Letter to Readers



Where to Get It

stillness and silence where movement and sound should be
Book Eight:
Summer 2014


Letter to Readers



Where to Get It

Heather's meeting circle at a top-secret military facility
Book Nine:
A Cry for Help
Summer 2015


Letter to Readers



Where to Get It

a strange eco-system deep underground
Book Ten:
Stories from Sonmatia
Summer 2016


Letter to Readers


Where to Get It

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by J. Z. Colby
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