It was 2003/2004. I had been running a little internet business for several years dealing with organic and fair trade clothing goods. While realizing the irony of how much oil we spent to get our products. One of our best sellers was German woolens. The wool for which came from New Zealand, Shipped to Germany and made and then to us in the USA. Another thing that caught my attention was the realization that the Debt we had as individuals and government would force our collapse. It would literally not be sustainable unless we had continuous growth- at a rate higher then the credit cards charged. At that point I realized the irony of what I was doing. I was selling organic clothes (made in Germany, some from china, India and Egypt) to a bunch of Americans on their credit cards, who already had a closet full of clothes they weren’t utilizing.
I wasn’t so much shocked at my own actions, but I was shocked at the system as a whole, I saw the whole system as set up to collapse- it being utterly unsustainable for the people and planet.
Soon after that we chose to move out of the typical American suburb to the country. We have learned to garden, do some plumbing and work with people on a small local scale. Our personal goal is to be comfortably prepared to handle high ( and volatile) oil prices and the changes that will force our society to make. I hope our small town can have a sustainable local economy (so I do not have to learn all homesteading arts). I also hope to become useful in a local scale economy by sharing my knowledge and becoming a skilled midwife.
I hope information (the web) will still be at our fingertips, but am preparing for a world where my calves and arms get toned by the physical labors of making hay (while the sun shines) weeding my gardens and tending the flocks. At the very least I have found that my body and mind are happiest when I am in the dirt. They are happiest when the real work to get done is physical. I can touch it, breathe it, feel it. My body was made for that. It sure beats sitting in a car or at a computer.
I suspect the official collapse date will go down in history as sometimes late last September. This is the financial collapse. The petroleum that we are dependent on and the fury of nature will liken hearken to a large government collapse. Many parts of society will follow. Who will be left? Well organized and prepared churches will survive. Tight knit communities that can pull together and organize to care for it’s members will survive. To that end I can see city- states forming.
Overall, I feel that parts of our society may be worth saving, but we have really built the infrastructure of our own doom. Because we are addicted to, surrounded by and shaped by our infrastructure I highly doubt we will have the courage to dismantle it on our own. Therefore, I recommend something of cataclysmic proportions, just about everything recommend in the New Testaments Revelation’s.