How does a doomer prepare for retirement?
Between giggles and tears.
Like the dutiful middle class people we are, we’ve been saving for retirement since we started working, practically. I’ve been hearing since the 1980’s that social security won’t be nearly enough, and that we need lots of digits socked away for our golden years.
Never mind the two financial crises that have happened since we’ve been saving and we lost a third of our “wealth” each time.
In 10 years’ time, I’ll be 66 and my husband will be 69; we’ll be official golden agers. I just can’t conjure a world then that looks like today.
Imagine a decade of tar sands, fracking and business as usual. Imagine 10 years of spills, water contamination and pollution. Imagine 10 years of ALEC written laws. Ten years of vegetation loss and ocean acidification. Ten years of unfettered capitalism and population growth. Ten more years of CO2 and methane being vented into the atmosphere. Ten more years of flooding, droughts, wildfires, storms and weather whiplash. Hell, we don’t even know what will happen when the Arctic Ice is gone, and that’ll happen this year or within the next two.
I’m thinking that the crash will actually be a series of crashes, starting in the Middle East or Africa, probably, because the food situation is most dire there. In times of starvation, besides rioting, we know that people migrate to the cities and outbreaks of disease are a consequence. This at the same time that antibiotics aren’t working or aren’t available.
On the other hand, people are having a hard time breathing in China, not to mention the flooding and mudslides they are experiencing, so who knows where the first events will take place?
When do people start dying in the millions, and hundreds of millions, and what kills us? That really is the only question. Whatever gets the ball rolling along and how nation/states and people respond to it may or may not give people more time on this earth.
I hope fervently that we’re off the grid, growing some food and communing with nature before the crash comes to the U.S. I hope to be as far from “civilization” as I can be. I hope there is time for that.
Once there is enough chaos and/or resource shortages, the electrical grids go down for good.
Those grids supply juice to 438 nuclear power plants around the world. In America, they are required to have a week’s worth of diesel for the backup generators. After that, they start going down – with no repairs, no containment – unless there is forced labor, martial law and FEMA camps by then.
It’s funny that no one ever thinks about those nuclear power plants when predicting the future, isn’t it? Nuclear power is supposed to be “clean” energy, cheap energy….isn’t that how that has been sold to us? And yet, they require electricity to generate. They require electricity to cool. Without electricity, those plants go boom.
Wealth, of course, won’t survive the first real crash. We only have to look at the recent past (Depression, ’08) to know that. Even our financial advisors acknowledge that the system requires faith.
Let’s ask the people in Greece, Spain and Portugal how faith in the Ponzi scheme that is our financial system has worked out for them.
I suspect that whatever we have saved up in our IRAs will become targets for the vampire squids soon enough. Why make it so easy for them to find the blood they seek?
In 10 years’ time, if I’m still alive, I hope to be less angry at my species. I hope to gain some kind of peaceful acceptance of our fate.
In the meantime, I’m working on accepting that there is no future. As you might be able to tell from the blog posts, that isn’t going so well.
F. Scott Fitzgerald is credited with the observation that a truly first class mind is able to hold two contradictory thoughts. Derrick Jensen gave me the two I use as a mantra: We are fucked. Life is good.