Comments on: How Not to Be the Next North Korea http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Sun, 29 Jun 2008 07:55:33 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Rickster http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6996 Rickster Tue, 24 Jun 2008 23:15:13 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6996 David Holmgren, one of the founders of the Permaculture movement, thinks wood is a very viable energy source. Here's a quick good on the issue. He elaborates on this in his books. http://www.holmgren.com.au/DLFiles/PDFs/Firewood%20Web.pdf David Holmgren, one of the founders of the Permaculture movement, thinks wood is a very viable energy source. Here’s a quick good on the issue. He elaborates on this in his books.

http://www.holmgren.com.au/DLFiles/PDFs/Firewood%20Web.pdf

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By: Green Assassin Brigade http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6955 Green Assassin Brigade Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:52:10 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6955 I don't think wood is going to be much help, I know people in B.C. Valleys that claim winter smog is becoming a major problem because many people have rushed to wood stoves/fire places etc. A city full of wood stoves would be like London England in the 50s I also know people who have had problems with tree poaching on wood lots, and to make matters worse there are often ignored laws against moving firewood in my region because of an infestation of a Asian Beatle that does not belong here, the bug is spreading because of idiots who don't read or don't care. Deforestation by infestation and over use is likely. The only wood stoves that should be sold must be the highest efficiency with catalyst reburn of gasses or units like the masonary furnace/Russian furnace, even then any large number would be intolerable in an urban setting. More importanly new building codes and programs to retrofit houses to need less energy should be higher priority than backsliding to wood stoves. Living small in multi generation homes will become the norm again. Since food is more important than most day to day transportation, I suspect the argument will probably be made that fuel should be prioritized to agriculture rather than the public. I think this move will come before any move to low energy farming. N Korea makes the military its priority for the delivery of both food aid and energy, How we prioritze energy use will be the deciding factor of how far and how fast we collapse . I think electrical farm machines with swapable battery paks makes a lot of sense, low speed, efficient, high torque electric motors are perfect for the job. While we wiil eventually be forced to cut the oil based chemicals and ferilizers we do not need not to lose all the mechanized advancements. Food is more important than a sunday drive, electric tractors should be a priority. I think N.A. can feed itself even if we went low tech and returned to the land, the problem however is N.A. would no longer be able to feed the millions outside our borders like we do now. I don't think we would fall as far as N Korea would without its current diet of aid but many other countries would approach N Korea's status if N.A. no longer had surplus to sell or donate, and peak oil will certainly bring us to that point eventually. I don’t think wood is going to be much help, I know people in B.C. Valleys that claim winter smog is becoming a major problem because many people have rushed to wood stoves/fire places etc.
A city full of wood stoves would be like London England in the 50s

I also know people who have had problems with tree poaching on wood lots, and to make matters worse there are often ignored laws against moving firewood in my region because of an infestation of a Asian Beatle that does not belong here, the bug is spreading because of idiots who don’t read or don’t care. Deforestation by infestation and over use is likely.

The only wood stoves that should be sold must be the highest efficiency with catalyst reburn of gasses or units like the masonary furnace/Russian furnace, even then any large number would be intolerable in an urban setting.

More importanly new building codes and programs to retrofit houses to need less energy should be higher priority than backsliding to wood stoves. Living small in multi generation homes will become the norm again.

Since food is more important than most day to day transportation, I suspect the argument will probably be made that fuel should be prioritized to agriculture rather than the public. I think this move will come before any move to low energy farming. N Korea makes the military its priority for the delivery of both food aid and energy, How we prioritze energy use will be the deciding factor of how far and how fast we collapse .

I think electrical farm machines with swapable battery paks makes a lot of sense, low speed, efficient, high torque electric motors are perfect for the job. While we wiil eventually be forced to cut the oil based chemicals and ferilizers we do not need not to lose all the mechanized advancements. Food is more important than a sunday drive, electric tractors should be a priority.

I think N.A. can feed itself even if we went low tech and returned to the land, the problem however is N.A. would no longer be able to feed the millions outside our borders like we do now. I don’t think we would fall as far as N Korea would without its current diet of aid but many other countries would approach N Korea’s status if N.A. no longer had surplus to sell or donate, and peak oil will certainly bring us to that point eventually.

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By: Kati http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6923 Kati Sun, 22 Jun 2008 22:19:22 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6923 Also loving the look of that Rocket Stove! Wondering if it's adaptable to cooking from inside the house, or even heating a home. (Though, as to heating the home, I still don't know where or how we'd install one in our little place.) I'll have to look for that Ianto Evans book mentioned, I guess. (*grin* Cooking outside is great during the summer, but I'm not up to lighting that puppy outside at -40 deg. in Jan to cook my family's dinner. *wink*) Thanks for sharing the link, Retired curmudgeon! Also loving the look of that Rocket Stove! Wondering if it’s adaptable to cooking from inside the house, or even heating a home. (Though, as to heating the home, I still don’t know where or how we’d install one in our little place.) I’ll have to look for that Ianto Evans book mentioned, I guess. (*grin* Cooking outside is great during the summer, but I’m not up to lighting that puppy outside at -40 deg. in Jan to cook my family’s dinner. *wink*)

Thanks for sharing the link, Retired curmudgeon!

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By: Greenpa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6918 Greenpa Sun, 22 Jun 2008 18:59:54 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6918 I'm so glad somebody invented the "rocket stove" to help out the developing world! Now we can cook with twigs! Cool! And they've been doing exactly that in China for around 4 thousand years now- the entire cuisine is built around short, hot cooking times- in a wok (which fits right onto the top of the fire- twigs, pine needles, rice straw). What will they think of next! :-) I’m so glad somebody invented the “rocket stove” to help out the developing world! Now we can cook with twigs! Cool!

And they’ve been doing exactly that in China for around 4 thousand years now- the entire cuisine is built around short, hot cooking times- in a wok (which fits right onto the top of the fire- twigs, pine needles, rice straw).

What will they think of next! :-)

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By: Sue (coffeepot) http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6913 Sue (coffeepot) Sun, 22 Jun 2008 13:38:52 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6913 You know the story in Genesis where Joseph was made governor. Gen 41:46 Joseph was thirty when the king made him governor, and he went everywhere for the king. And Joseph began to store grain. Gen 41:48 Joseph collected and stored up the extra grain in the cities of Egypt near the fields where it was harvested. Gen 41:49 In fact, there was so much grain that they stopped keeping record, because it was like counting the grains of sand along the beach. I see no place where Joseph while storing for the famine began pointing fingers at others. In my own mind and personal opinion, all the finger pointing you do Sharon is unproductive and could be used gathering for your local. You can't save the world. Rich vs. poor and taking food from the mouths of babes will not help matters. While I love your writing usually, I see way too much unhelpful tones within the context. Just my own thoughts and probably won't change your tones a bit. I say get busy and start gathering. You know the story in Genesis where Joseph was made governor.

Gen 41:46 Joseph was thirty when the king made him governor, and he went everywhere for the king.

And Joseph began to store grain.

Gen 41:48 Joseph collected and stored up the extra grain in the cities of Egypt near the fields where it was harvested.
Gen 41:49 In fact, there was so much grain that they stopped keeping record, because it was like counting the grains of sand along the beach.

I see no place where Joseph while storing for the famine began pointing fingers at others.
In my own mind and personal opinion, all the finger pointing you do Sharon is unproductive and could be used gathering for your local.

You can’t save the world. Rich vs. poor and taking food from the mouths of babes will not help matters.

While I love your writing usually, I see way too much unhelpful tones within the context.

Just my own thoughts and probably won’t change your tones a bit.

I say get busy and start gathering.

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By: retired curmudgeon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6912 retired curmudgeon Sun, 22 Jun 2008 12:03:17 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6912 for efficent wood cooking check out rocket stoves. many sites/plans but this is simple one -- http://www.homegrownevolution.com/2007/11/our-rocket-stove.html I got interested when I started to grow mushrooms which involves a lot of boiling water but stove equally good for canning which be a lot of this fall. in my area-- southern nh have seen more gardens in hen ever and more woodpiles dring for winter. for efficent wood cooking check out rocket stoves. many sites/plans but this is simple one –
http://www.homegrownevolution.com/2007/11/our-rocket-stove.html

I got interested when I started to grow mushrooms which involves a lot of boiling water but stove equally good for canning which be a lot of this fall.

in my area– southern nh have seen more gardens in hen ever and more woodpiles dring for winter.

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By: Kellie http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6910 Kellie Sun, 22 Jun 2008 05:28:35 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6910 You should check out the study that oil is actually NOT a fossil fuel but that we have an endless supply because it generates constantly. You should check out the study that oil is actually NOT a fossil fuel but that we have an endless supply because it generates constantly.

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By: todd http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6908 todd Sun, 22 Jun 2008 02:37:03 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6908 My wife and I have been on a self-reliant path for around 40 years. We've been doing what many people are just now considering, for a long time. For example, we put in our first really, really small PV system in 1981. My experience leads me to believe that psychology plays a tremendous role in the actions people actually take. To avoid becoming the next NK, people have to come to terms with the reality that what they most believe is wrong. Todd My wife and I have been on a self-reliant path for around 40 years. We’ve been doing what many people are just now considering, for a long time. For example, we put in our first really, really small PV system in 1981.

My experience leads me to believe that psychology plays a tremendous role in the actions people actually take. To avoid becoming the next NK, people have to come to terms with the reality that what they most believe is wrong.

Todd

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By: M.Squirrel http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6907 M.Squirrel Sun, 22 Jun 2008 02:28:28 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6907 A few years ago, a local news station showed what it was like to be at the home of its newest, and youngest, weather man. He showed the viewers his fireplace-insert stove, told us that he got the wood from his neighbor (who owned a tree service), and related the story of how the gas company actually came to his door, worried that he had turned his gas off because the fireplace insert warmed his home so well. Since then, I had been keeping an eye on my neighbor's curbs on yard-waste day. Whenever I saw burnable wood placed at the curb, I stopped and snagged it. We also have a very old locust tree that needs yearly pruning of branches that it selects for self-destruction, as well as the house behind us having ash trees whose limbs tend to break off and fall into our yard during ice storms. People in the suburbs throw out an amazing amount of good firewood that simply goes into the cities compost pile! In the evenings, after the fire was put out, we'de heat the kids rooms up with an electric heater for about an hour before they went to bed, and piled thick blankets or sleeping bags on top of the beds. By the time the room gets cold again, you're snuggled under these thick blankets. And since Mama Squirrel gets up before everyone else without trying to, its no problem for me to get the house warmed up with the fire and cooking breakfast. Coffee, hot tea, and hot chocolate are liberally given out on these days as well. My mother thought I was crazy until I told her how much I was saving the first winter that natural gas prices sky-rocketed...hundreds of dollars a month. We also use a few tricks in the summer to keep cool without the air conditioner. I just remember those times sleeping in upstairs of my grandparent's Victorian-age homestead farmhouse, where there was no heat or air conditioning, and I remember reading how Laura Ingalls Wilder's family would have no fire after they went to bed, and woke up with their bed full of snow that came in under the rafters. Once upon a time, we knew how to do it. We can do it again. A few years ago, a local news station showed what it was like to be at the home of its newest, and youngest, weather man. He showed the viewers his fireplace-insert stove, told us that he got the wood from his neighbor (who owned a tree service), and related the story of how the gas company actually came to his door, worried that he had turned his gas off because the fireplace insert warmed his home so well.

Since then, I had been keeping an eye on my neighbor’s curbs on yard-waste day. Whenever I saw burnable wood placed at the curb, I stopped and snagged it. We also have a very old locust tree that needs yearly pruning of branches that it selects for self-destruction, as well as the house behind us having ash trees whose limbs tend to break off and fall into our yard during ice storms. People in the suburbs throw out an amazing amount of good firewood that simply goes into the cities compost pile!

In the evenings, after the fire was put out, we’de heat the kids rooms up with an electric heater for about an hour before they went to bed, and piled thick blankets or sleeping bags on top of the beds. By the time the room gets cold again, you’re snuggled under these thick blankets. And since Mama Squirrel gets up before everyone else without trying to, its no problem for me to get the house warmed up with the fire and cooking breakfast. Coffee, hot tea, and hot chocolate are liberally given out on these days as well.

My mother thought I was crazy until I told her how much I was saving the first winter that natural gas prices sky-rocketed…hundreds of dollars a month. We also use a few tricks in the summer to keep cool without the air conditioner. I just remember those times sleeping in upstairs of my grandparent’s Victorian-age homestead farmhouse, where there was no heat or air conditioning, and I remember reading how Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family would have no fire after they went to bed, and woke up with their bed full of snow that came in under the rafters.

Once upon a time, we knew how to do it. We can do it again.

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By: thriftwizard http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6902 thriftwizard Sat, 21 Jun 2008 21:45:26 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/06/20/how-not-to-be-the-next-north-korea/#comment-6902 Yes, plant hedgerows! Not just for wood, but also for food and to encourage beneficial wildlife. As a child we went out berrying every autumn; we would gather enough to make jam to last the family a year, and hazelnuts, and sloes, rosehips and elderberries for wines, preserves & sauces. I still go out foraging in autumn, with my own kids, but I don't see any other families out there now, and our English hedgerows (and their inhabitants) are slowly dying as they are hacked back by indiscriminate flails. Swift-growing species, often foreign imports like knotweed & rhododendron, recover quicker & are crowding out the slower, useful, wildllife-friendly natives. No-one even seems to be noticing the loss of this wonderful resource, but I can't blame our farmers; flails are very much cheaper & quicker than humans, and until recently our Government were paying them to grub hedges up. And so there's nowhere left for the pollinating insects to hide & breed, or the predators that prey on pests, and nowhere left for the wild roses to grow. Thinking about living in smaller spaces (which mostly we Europeans do as a matter of course) take a look at 4-poster beds, and cupboard beds. They originally evolved to keep heat in; perhaps that's the ultimate small space! Not sure how healthy they were, though... Yes, plant hedgerows! Not just for wood, but also for food and to encourage beneficial wildlife. As a child we went out berrying every autumn; we would gather enough to make jam to last the family a year, and hazelnuts, and sloes, rosehips and elderberries for wines, preserves & sauces. I still go out foraging in autumn, with my own kids, but I don’t see any other families out there now, and our English hedgerows (and their inhabitants) are slowly dying as they are hacked back by indiscriminate flails. Swift-growing species, often foreign imports like knotweed & rhododendron, recover quicker & are crowding out the slower, useful, wildllife-friendly natives. No-one even seems to be noticing the loss of this wonderful resource, but I can’t blame our farmers; flails are very much cheaper & quicker than humans, and until recently our Government were paying them to grub hedges up. And so there’s nowhere left for the pollinating insects to hide & breed, or the predators that prey on pests, and nowhere left for the wild roses to grow.

Thinking about living in smaller spaces (which mostly we Europeans do as a matter of course) take a look at 4-poster beds, and cupboard beds. They originally evolved to keep heat in; perhaps that’s the ultimate small space! Not sure how healthy they were, though…

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