Van E. Harl


If you are in your 70s, don’t worry, you will most likely not be here when the hard times hit. If you are in your 60s, you may suffer for a few years before modern medicine fails you. Not because it is not good medicine, but because you will not have access to it. If you are in your 50s or younger, your life is going to change so dramatically that you will not be able to recognize your old way of living.

Hard times are not coming, really bad times are coming. That sounds like something an unwashed, long-haired hippie of the 1960s would have written on a sign and walked around the town square, announcing the end of the world.

Well it is not going to be the end of the world, but it is most definitely going to be the end of our cheap oil and cheap water way of life. I keep stating in my column that the average city has a one day supply of food on hand. What happens if the delivery truck does not come one day? What if it does not come for weeks? Everyone needs to take a historical look at the personal/family food growing that went on during WW II. Everyone is going to have to learn to be the American farmer all over again. If you live in a part of the country where you can grow your own food using natural rain fall, you are in a much better situation than those who must irrigate their crops.

There is a book titled The Long Emergency by James Kunstler (Atlantic Monthly Press). According to Mr. Kunstler the world, to include the US, is “sleepwalking into the future.” The problem is the future is here, now. The world has already hit the peak of oil production and is now in an unstoppable decline. We are running out of cheap oil. Cheap oil that has made the United States such a wonderful place to live. It is going to end in the next 35 years, and we are going to run into our new future, like hitting a brick wall.

If you are adding your age plus 35 and figuring you will not be here, so you have escaped the mess, well you’re wrong. You will not get to wait until 2044 when someone flips the light switch off for good. Cheap oil and coal are where our electricity comes from. First are fossil fuel, as they become harder to acquire and so much more expensive. This will impact you turning on your lights in the family home. We get mad when gas goes up in price so we just don’t drive as much. What do you do when your electricity goes out for weeks at a time? Who do you get mad at? If you grew up in the 1970s and 1980s you have been told over and over that technology will save us. That next invention will make life so much easier. Remember, no matter how great that new invention is, it still takes cheap oil to bring that new wonder tool to the public.

I keep saying in times of crisis, the only two things of true value are food and firearms (there is that ammo thing again). Food will be the most important thing that America will be concentrating on producing. Everyone will be involved in food production. The cute little garden that grandpa has ever year will not be enough. It will not even be a good start.

Of course there is the issue of hybrid seeds. We have been conditioned to believe that anything with hybrid attached to it, is good. But hybrid seeds can not produce their own seeds for the next years planting. So you bought your seeds from Wal-Mart this year, but if there are no seeds next year, what do you do? Start looking for heritage or heirloom seeds on the internet. Yes, you need to be hoarding ammo, but you need to be hoarding your heritage seeds also.

I heard an ad on a national radio program just this week that hard times are coming and you need to stock up (hoard) on heritage seeds. If you have lost faith in the stock market, put your money in tangible items that will feed and protect your family in the near future. Lots of well-made (non-powered) hand tools will be a good start and of course that new shotgun you have been telling the wife about for a year.