With the 2012 Doomsday date quickly approaching, anxiety and fear are gripping more and more people across the globe. According to a recent survey of individuals in over twenty countries, 15% of people worldwide believe the end of the world as we know it will happen in our lifetime.
“Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters.
“Perhaps it is because of the media attention coming from one interpretation of the Mayan prophecy that states the world ‘ends’ in our calendar year 2012,” Gottfried said, adding that some Mayan scholars have disputed the interpretation.
People aren’t sure what it is or when it may happen, but there is a strong sentiment of unease among the general population. And it’s not all Mayan Prophecy centric.
The end of the world can come in lots of different ways. Over half of Americans, for example, think that a financial collapse is imminent. While such an event wouldn’t shift our geomagnetic poles or cause five thousand foot high Tsunamis, a collapse of the world’s economy, the US dollar or the international banking system would have implications so severe that it could cost millions of lives in its wake through food shortages and global conflict over resources.
The end of the world means different things to different people and can include a variety of scenarios. Man-made events like hyperinflationary global depression, chemical or biological attacks, cyber war, nuclear fallout, or electro magnetic pulse (EMP) could render our entire infrastructure obsolete by collapsing our nation’s just-in-time transportation services, causing widespread blackouts, and contaminating our food and water supplies. Natural disasters like solar flares, mega-quakes, super volcanoes, pole shifts, climate shifts and near earth objects have changed the face of the earth quite regularly since its creation – often with cataclysmic consequences.
While each of these possibilities is unlikely, when taken cumulatively the odds of disaster having a direct adverse impact on our lives successively increases – so much so that one in seven people around the world believe they’ll see such a Doomsday before they die.
You’d think that with all of the potential threats we face as a civilization more people would be preparing, but recent statistics indicate that just three million Americans (about 1% of the population) are preparing to weather the storm by stocking so-called doomsday supplies like long-term food storage, water, firearms, off-grid tools, and developing skills to live in a world where modern day technology has all but disappeared.
For those preparing for the scenarios discussed above it’s business as usual – a completely rational response to the mounting threats we as a society and as individuals face in this complex, interdependent and unsustainable consumptive paradigm. For onlookers, acquaintances, friends, and family who may have been exposed to prepper ravings of a system-on-the-brink, the idea of readying for TEOTWAWKI or SHTF is nothing short of lunacy in desperate need of professional medical assistance.
Via Steve Quayle:
Many would view Marston’s mindset as a form of radical paranoia, but he’s not alone — not nearly. He is what’s known as a “prepper,” someone who readies for the possibility of significant change, and there are millions across the country.
Preppers, also referred to as survivalists, have a dubious, often unfair reputation. They’re generally labeled right-wing kooks, although they come from all walks of life. Cable television series “Doomsday Preppers” on the National Geographic Channel and “Doomsday Bunkers” on the Discovery Channel have put them in the spotlight.
Such fictional characters as Robinson Crusoe and, less classically, MacGyver romanticized survivalism. But the ideal has been stigmatized by infamous real-life survivalists like Theodore Kaczynski (aka the Unabomber) and Timothy McVeigh, who were also terrorists.
Preppers frequently are ridiculed because of the oddball fringe that believes the Mayans might have been onto something with their 2012 Armageddon forecast or that a horde of zombies will overtake the planet.
But the prepper spectrum is expansive. The needle can point anywhere from incredibly practical to practically certifiable.
Some preppers merely cultivate a backyard garden to stock cellar shelves. They might be on alert for nothing more than an emergency weather situation, with a generator at the ready and enough provisions to last a week.
Others, such as members of the Mormon church, store food and supplies as faith-based policy.
There also is a group that takes the prepping lifestyle to an extreme, literal diehards who maintain underground bunkers or isolated backwoods retreats.
“Many people think the worst when they hear certain comments about survivalists,” said Bill Heffron, a retired National Guard colonel from the Town of Tonawanda. Heffron spent much of his career as a commander at the Connecticut Street Armory.
“It’s just comfort for some people. When you’re prepared ahead of time, then that’s just good planning. That’s never a problem.
“But when you start getting guns out, you start to wonder.”
Regardless of commitment levels or reasons for doing it, a critical component to a prepper’s lifestyle is anonymity.
Preppers want to stay off the grid to avoid social persecution and for one particularly important, sensible reason. When the SHTF (an abbreviation preppers commonly use for “stuff” hitting the fan) or TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) is at hand, they don’t want panicky nonpreppers trying to crowd their space or raid their reserves.
“We’re not into exposing ourselves even to close friends and family,” said the 31-year-old Marston, who asked that his real name not be used in this story. “People might be shocked to learn a family member is a prepper, an uncle, a cousin.
“The fear of being rejected is there. Yeah, there’s a lot of crazies out here. But there are crazies into everything else. There are legitimate, upstanding people doing this. It bothers me that when you say ‘I’m a prepper,’ you get the eye roll.”
Source: Buffalo News
We know that the system we live in is unsustainable and a significant alteration to our way of life is coming – this is inevitable. Fully half of Americans believe a massive financial collapse is imminent and some 15% of the world’s population is expecting the end of the world over coming decades.
Yet, when one takes steps to insulate themselves from the possibility of these very disasters they are looked at by most as paranoid, fringe lunatics who are acting completely irrationally.
This begs the question: What’s rational about expecting the end of the world, or a black swan event, or a natural disaster, but taking no practical steps to prepare for it?
One could argue that it’s those very people, who are aware of the possibilities but refuse to make preparations, that should be labeled the practically certifiable ones.