Thursday, May 10, 2007
OK, since I only get 3 channels here in The South of Iowa, I don't have a chance to get hooked on "24" or "Lost". No "American Idol", either (as if that were ever a consideration). So, my favorite show nowadays is "Jericho", on CBS.
If you don't know the premise of Jericho, here's a link to its entry in Wikipedia.
So, after watching the season finale, I'm sitting there thinking, "What would happen is this happened here? What if another town, jealous of our resources, wanted to invade and take over our farms and businesses? What if there was no rule of law, and we resorted to barbarianism?"
I realize that's a bit far-fetched, and makes good entertainment, but it does make you think - what would happen locally if simultaneous nuclear explosions took place around the country, leaving everyone in the dark, both literally and figuratively? How do you survive, not only in terms of food and shelter, but in emotional and mental stress? To add to it, what if someone wanted to deprive you of the few basics that you have?
Here's a bit of speculation:
1) If major cities were destroyed, we'd see an influx of refugees from cities that were not destroyed, as they would not be capable of supporting themselves with the infrastructure in ruins. People would move closer to food sources and away from future potential attacks. Because of this, rationing and protection of towns would be imperative. You have to take care of your own, but if you let everyone and their dog in and share the wealth, you'll soon not have enough to go around.
2) Those with grain in the bins would become millionaires overnight, and would need protection. Same for those with livestock and horses. One person could live on 10 bushels or so of corn a year, maybe less. Each acre would support approximately 15 people; a regular size field could feed my entire town twice. Maybe have some left over to make whiskey for consumption, medicinal purposes, or barter.
3) Fuel supplies would be used up almost immediately, I'm afraid. We are simply too used to driving everywhere, and we'd waste it within a few weeks. And, as much as I like ethanol production, a small ethanol plant would waste nearly as much energy to make ethanol as would be produced. Stick with squeezing oil out of soybeans and sunflowers for bio-diesel.
4) Battles would not occur between towns, as supposed in Jericho; I think for the most part people would try to work together to survive, use alternative economy systems (bartering, exchange, etc), and look out for each other. Some might hang on to a greed mentality (take advantage of the situation), but they'd soon run out of wares and be one of the multitude without.
5) The Amish would make us all look like fools. A nuclear war wouldn't hardly cause a blip on their radar (so to speak).
6) We'd learn how to make bio-diesel real fast to put crops in the ground and harvest them. Modern technology would still be useful, but not quite as handy as before. More hand labor would be necessary for food production. Older tractors would still be used, as the modern machines, with electronics blown out due to EMP blasts, would be oversized lawn ornaments.
7) Things that we currently consider of little value (firewood, hand tools, etc) would become valuable, and things we consider highly valuable today (Rolex watches, IPods, computers) would become worthless overnight.
It's good to consider these things once in a while; I'm not going Y2K on you, dear reader, and I'm not posting this from my underground bunker. However, we must realize that this scenario can happen, and if so, it's not a bad idea to consider the proposed situation and how one would deal with it.
At the very least, Jericho has been a great program to watch and very entertaining. There is some doubt if it will be back next season. I hope it does come back, and when the Season 1 DVD comes out, I will be in line to purchase a set.