I’m taking a break from writing about my B12 experience today (although I may get to it later, if I have time) because there’s something that’s been bothering me for some time, and I think I’ve finally come to a decision.
The title of this post was inspired by a discussion that took place a few years ago on the forum at Peak Prosperity. It later became the title of a book by John Michael Greer, and it’s a concept that’s been the subject of much conversation in the peak oil community as a whole. It’s a pretty simple concept, and it starts from the position that industrial society is in the early stages of collapse, as time continues to pass, there will be a lot less stuff (energy and goods) to go around, so those of us who want to be well prepared need to get ahead of the game and start to simplify our lives now.
I took the idea on board right away, and started taking steps to reduce my reliance on fossil fuels. The big one was choosing to live without a car, and getting around entirely by pedal-power, but I’ve made many smaller changes aimed towards reducing my use of electricity, with the ultimate goal of being self-sufficient in energy. This is where I hit a stumbling block. My house is heated by a hot and cold air conditioning system, and even if I were to install a woodburner (which my landlords would agree to), maintenance of the 30 olive trees in my garden wouldn’t produce enough firewood to keep the house warm all winter. Not by a long way. So, I would still be dependent on buying firewood from an external source.
The obvious solution to this is more land, and more olive trees, which is something I’ve looked into, but the amount of land and number of trees required would push the rent into silly figures, even if I could find someone who was willing to rent out their olive grove (most landowners want to tend their own olive trees and benefit from the olives and wood themselves).
There’s also the problem of paying rent at all. It eats up a big part of my income, and if my internet-based income takes a knock (which has happened before), or the internet itself falls apart as part of the process of collapse, I’ll be left with rent to pay and no money coming in.
Which leaves buying as the only option.
I touched on this subject a little in this post, which I wrote back in June. At the time, I had a few reasons for staying where I am, but now I’m not so sure. One of the reasons has become less important, one has become … well, let’s say it’s changed somewhat (and I’ll write more about this in my posts about B12 deficiency). The other reason was never a solid reason in the first place because it was a very new thing, and could change at any time.
The cost of buying my own home and land (or land to build on) in this part of Spain is still prohibitive, so it will mean moving, and I’m still looking at the north east of Spain for its cheap land and climate that isn’t so unlike the climate I enjoy here. (Winters are quite a bit colder, and hours of daylight during winter must be less – because it’s further north – but I can live with that as long as the sun’s still out.) I’ve pretty much ruled out my other option, Bulgaria, on the basis that it gets too bloody cold in winter!
So, the goal at the moment is to raise the money to buy land, which certainly isn’t a huge amount but it still needs thinking about, with the plan of becoming totally self-sufficient in both energy and food. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, but never felt as if I was in a position to do it. Now, with all the change that’s happening in the world, it’s beginning to feel as if it would be foolish not to do it.