The spring of our discontent


I’d call it fair game, "man does not live by woodgas alone ", or something like that… :wink:

Plus, it’s labeled “off topic”.

Members think about many different things than strictly mechanics, it’s all good as long as it remains respectful, IMHO.


how so little words can say so much…

To hold and enjoy a big apple a person needs 2 hands… now, which of my brain halves thinks “to share or not to share…”


Interesting question:
From an evolutionary standpoint you would expect our genes would compel us to be selfish above all else.
Interesting thing is to watch our primate relatives we see both our selfish traits and our generous sharing traits.

Maybe it is in our personal best interest to be a social animal we must work in groups to survive…


When I speak of these things it is always about real-to-me, having to experiences specific people.
Blood family.
Real named face-to-faced acquaintances.
Real have to live with actual neighbors.
Never actual acknowledged friends. Mine/our friends are those we choose to associate with. The real, practical folks.
I do NOT take a world view save-all approach. To me Top-Down is the problem. Has always been the problem. Will always be the problem.

These others, real, with names . . . .not a whole lot of choice on my involvements with them. Unles I too would want to go no-taxes paying homeless.
So still having to $'s/sweat support their esoteric dreams and desires. Versus the actual needs of the needing.

So from those we as a blood family have time&$'s sponsored into BA degrees. Taxes supported then later into Masters Degrees. And some even later up to teaching, PHD’s.
How many follow my example and use wood-for-heat?
How many follow my example and pursue use wood-for-power?
None. Not a one.
How many do say that I am stupid to turn away from the easy low hanging fruits of pump fuels, supplied “natural” gas, Grid supplied “clean energy” big wind farms, and state and federal subsidized PV?
All of them.
Their public made degreed demanding designer/manger jobs are all dependent on big-investor projects; rah-rah, supported by easy duped, bought off voters.

Actually work-sweat for your personal use power?, they say. How very 19th century quaint and choosing to be 3rd world stupid simple you are Steve Unruh.
Yeah. Yeah. Stupid simple enough to maintain a body-mass-index they all envy.
Have a vascular circulatory system of one half my age.

Ha! Ha! Even my orthopedic issues: the Doc’s all say, how do you do this? How do you contentiously live in a pain-scale of 5-6? (shhh. by telling yourself it is always just a manageable 3-4! that the pain is the daily reminder that you are still alive, kicking, and well.)

Where I do vary from the majority expressed on this topic.
You cannot convince the generations of now tiered ed-u-ma-cated; and the do-easy-way cultural bought-in’s to ever change their ways. NOT until the made-easy-use-gas; the other made-easy-use-for-them-ways are all used-up, and expended out.

You/we CAN leave make-energy patterns and examples for that time-will-come. This ~2000-to-present decaying-interest “reawakening” of woodgas knowledge/use/possibility is really the 5th wave of re-interest in woodgas historically. The only one with really any traction in the WWII needs-must era. thrown away when better-days (easier-use) returned.
You/we can examples-sets, use-now patterns-leave for those who will see the sense of sweating-a-bit for their energy. Actually living-it, applying in this order:
REDUCE-USE. Makes everything then doable, personal scale possible.
REUSE. Meaning use all self-made energy heats re-utilized again and again until decayed back to ambient. And doing this small scale for-real personal.
RECYCLE. All making-energy by-products; and end of use products get put to use to on a small scale personal basis too. Mineral ash to soils. Condensate as bug suppressants. Tars as sealers and structural wood preservatives.
The end resulting carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere to grow more trees. CO2 is not the bad evil planet killing Devil to be stomped back into the earth locked-up. CO2 is the savior energy vehicle to make it all possible.

But jabber on dudes.
I will always be looking for your actual real self-use results beyond the words.


Being at least a little younger then the norm of this site and still in the working phase of my life while trying to bring it towards the sites goals I view it all through an energy lens. I don’t see the total amount of societal output being consumed by those at the top as being significantly different then it has been in the past. The problem is that the overall cost of energy has dramatically shot up. The west put up all its big public works energy projects (transportation,buildings, dams, distribution) at a time of low energy costs and high economic growth. Its all wearing out at the same time when our growth has flatlined, raw materials are expensive, labour is expensive and our societies are much older. The consuming class lives off of a surplus and that surplus has been squeezed to keep up with rising costs. The yellow vest protests I think are a reflection of people who know they are being squeezed out of existence. Now they would not cease to exist just have to live a much more bare bones existence but the reality is that is what most of the western world will have to come to terms with in coming decades. Its almost a return to Pre WW2 levels of services and energy usage. I believe those of us on this site are well ahead of the curve towards understanding a world with limits… And on that cheery note!
Cheers, David


Hi Tom, I understand your frustration. This topic is not breaking the rules however, and this is exactly what “off topic” is for.

I wrote this earlier, it might help:


I expect, worst case scenario, the helpless consumer class will just die in a crisis. Those who gladly give up all the skills and means for the necessities of life are fools. The time of contraction will deal with them very harshly.

I include in that group virtually all city people. It’s the greatest lifestyle ever contrived, while all the support systems work. Take away a cheap food surplus, or energy, and it will be a disaster.


I do not like this statement really I think their are options beyond fossil fuels.

Technology trap I think I posted this once before.
Of course we know how to make that tractor work.
So could a lot of people with some help so I am not so sure the technology trap is real.

Something I can not understand is how Youtube seems to have an endless amount of content and filters to throw stuff at me that sticks in the moment.


I believe what Gary is refering to is that the consumer class dont know how to do the things that Survival will take.

They just go to work, tap on their keyboard and buy everything they need.


I leave my brain and street cloths in the dry and carry around a bag of tools fixing broken stuff.
I have a clear view of future of my job completely unsustainable non renewable resource based, carbon emitting, SO2 NOX, leaching, chemicals, and human costs.
I do this knowing its nuts, but I do this because it is what I do.

I am a mass consumer too.
I am part of the problem, got that petro chemical monkey on my back, I just bought stuff in Ebay and Amazon even though I do not agree with the platforms.

I am KEENLY aware that if you turn off the gas taps and electricity this all goes to hell fast.
As much as I like to think I am pretty handy I am not going to kid myself and say I can survive in a post technological society any better than an office worker.
Once there are not machines to fix…

Funny how Youtube spits up stuff from the past.
This started to play in the mix after Alexi Sayle and Franky Sidebottom ( comedians with social commentary from the UK in the 80s )
Sometimes I think the savant machines we build to sift our data and amuse us are quietly telling us something about our way of life.

Laurie Anderson - O Superman
Excerpt from song

Well, you don’t know me,
But I know you.
And I’ve got a message to give to you.
Here come the planes.
So you better get ready. Ready to go. You can come
As you are, but pay as you go. Pay as you go.
And I said: OK. Who is this really? And the voice said:
This is the hand, the hand that takes. This is the
Hand, the hand that takes.
This is the hand, the hand that takes.
Here come the planes.
They’re American planes. Made in America.
Smoking or non-smoking?
And the voice said: Neither snow nor rain nor gloom
Of night shall stay these couriers from the swift
Completion of their appointed rounds.
'Cause when love is gone, there’s always justice.
And when justice is gone, there’s always force.
And when force is gone, there’s always Mom. Hi Mom!
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. So hold me,
Mom, in your long arms.
In your automatic arms. Your electronic arms.
In your arms.
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms.
Your petrochemical arms. Your military arms.
In your electronic arms.

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Ah…you will be in high demand my friend. It’s the people that cant fix things that will be in trouble.

The machines wont be technologically advanced anymore…but the settlers and farmers of old had to fix all their own equipment.

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You should go to sleep at night hoping that never comes to pass Barry.
The suffering would be on a scale that makes all the great disasters of the past small and insignificant.

You need parts and an infrastructure to fix things.
Half of one and half of the other is not going to cut it.

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Oh believe me. I do pray it never happens. However I will be prepared.

They say any major interruption in the power grid or services nation wide in general would lead to a 90% die off.

Food rotting in the fields in the midwest because infrastructure fell apart and theres no way to get it to the millions in the cities.



It would only be dire for the people living in cites. The “prepers” and folks like me, and there are many that moved to the country will get along just like our parrent’s parents did before all the modern gizmos. As far a fixing things, there will be more parts than ever. Every time a person that CAN’T fix has something break, there will be many parts available from the broken object to us repairing your product.
I go to sleep just hoping that I wake up in the morning knowing if I do, everything will be ok. TomC


голод і чума
Translates to hunger and plague
The “holodomor” голодомор a compound word above phrase ( loosely ).
Even written in English it sounds nasty like something you don’t want to know.

We do not know the meaning of or the horror of hunger in our industrial society.
One of these days our technological cleverness will fail us if we do not smarten the hell up real soon up and start living in a sustainable way.
The next one will no one untouched.

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If you live your life in fear, you will miss many joys. ( that is plain English and means just that) TomC


I bet someone said the same thing in Rome just before the fall.

Act now and we can probably avoid a lot.
It will require hardship and some sacrifices but doing nothing is not wise.

Prepping is…


you guys talk about a “great awakening” with the yellow vest protesters but I think its important to note that so are other groups are being “awoken” I’ve heard the media people talk about the “alt right” and I just thought it was some scare tactic to further their agenda. I’m sure a lot of you have seen chucky2009s videos about welding, and I certainly have learned from him, and enjoyed his videos but about a few weeks ago he posted a video of him reading out the christ church shooters manifesto and another video of him saying he was an ethno-facist since 2014. I guess that made it seem actually real? that a real life guy who makes good money could be so extreme. I’ve been thinking about what would happen in the event of societal collapse and it makes sense that local gangs like the aryan brother hood would take power… so I guess If we do have any sense of surviving a collapse and with our freedom intact, then I guess we will need a lot of bullets and a lot of wood.


I think you will see much worse than the aryan brotherhood.

The only way to survive in that scenario is to stick together. Evil groups will rise because it’s easier to take what others have instead of providing for yourself.

But good groups can prevail if good people will stand and fight.

It’s always been this way…

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How do you find these parts? If the grid goes down, modern communications also goes down.

In the US, reliability was addressed by Bush in 2005, and Obama fine tuned it to make it more economically viable for utilities to get it done by using RE projects to create the necessary line capacity and interconnections. We hoped something like solar could become cost competitive which helps create a viable distributed grid to get around at least part of the problems you are talking about as well as give the consumer the ability to have a real alternative from the utilities jacking up prices.

The government has been working on the issue for 15 years. A serious amount of infrastructure work has been done in the last 10 years. Is it perfect yet? no. The US is upgrading their gen1 system to essentially a gen 3 or 4 system as an in place upgrade. It just isn’t easy, when the technology hadn’t been developed or tested, and no matter what it was going to take 20+ years just to deploy.

We added electric cars to help alleviate stress on the whims of oil prices which have contributed heavily to the last 5 recessions. It also gives a greater share of power to the consumers as a lot of them can install solar to lower their overall costs and give them a predictable costs which really helps lower incomes.

I’m not saying you are doing anything wrong by planning on turn of the last century technology, I am just saying your concerns were valid, and have been/are being addressed.

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