Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Megacities have grown as we have became more reliant on cheap oil but those days are numbered.

    Megacities have grown as we have became more reliant on cheap oil but those days are numbered. With cities, food has to be brought in and as the price of oil keeps going up, food will start to get more expensive. So the cities that are surrounded by farmland that grows food to supply the city will survive.
    The cities in the Pearl River Delta in China are all surrounded by farmland so those cities will survive, except for Hong Kong. Hong Kong is just a rock and according to the TV it gets 90% of its food from China. Also their water comes from China but they seem to forget they are at the end of the pipeline and if China has water problems Hong Kong will have problems also.
     I’m at the China Trade Fair in Guangzhou and the complex used to have farmland across the road but now the fair complex is so big it just swallowed it up. Also China has the One Child Policy and that has put a serious dent in child poverty, and I would say one of the reasons there are no big slums in China. Actually I have not seen any slums in China. But then again I have never been very far out of the big cities.
     I think Guangzhou’s big mistake was banning the motorcycle as well as the electric motorcycle and the three-wheel motorcycle cart. I saw the police rounding up motorcycles the other day. I hope, as the price of oil gets more expensive they will change the law and bring them back.
     Traffic jams are not a serious problem here. As they re-engineered the city traffic jams are a thing of the past. Actually the traffic is a lot better than it was 4 years ago. And they now have the subway.  

For more stories about what we could expect very soon check out. http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Weakest-Link2.htm 
Thank you for your time 
Peter Legrove The suburban survivalist

Monday, November 17, 2014

When Cats Saved Mankind

Cats and mankind have been living in harmony for many years but that has not always been the case. There have been times when cats have been nearly wiped out in the name of God. And what happened the Black Death reigned supreme for a lot longer than it should. So we will go back to the beginnings of recorded history to the time of the pharaohs of Egypt. Here cats were revered as Gods and many were mummified to last for eternity. Because the cats guarded the grain warehouses and killed the rats and mice that fed on the grain. Therefore reducing famines, that were the curse of Egypt. It was illegal to kill cats in those days, like cows in India today.

Then the nine lives of the humble cat who only wanted to help mankind by killing rodents that carried disease took a serious turn for the worse during the middle ages. Where witch hunts and burning at the stake were the norm. Someone who didn't like cats somehow connected them to witches and they were burnt at the stake with there owners. How they made that connection I'll never know. It started off with Pope Gregory IX in the 1232 who deemed the common house cat as diabolical. Then to make matters worse in1484 along came the greatest cat killer of all time, Pope Innocent VIII, who decreed something along the lines of all cats came from hell and should returned to the fires of hell by fire. Cats were mercilessly prosecuted and were burnt, so they would return to the fires of hell. It is amazing any survived because if you were caught with a cat you were burnt together. I still go to church and sometimes I just wonder why. And of course the Black Death was in the background surviving and thriving, because there were no cats to kill the rats that carried the fleas that caused the disease. Then along came the cat's savior King Louis XIII of France, who in the 1630s repealed the law and cats once again started to live. But they were still hated and killed for many centuries after that. I don't know if the Black Death subsided but cats once again protected mankind against the diseases carried by rodents. And the famines brought on by mice plagues.

Cats actually carry a few parasites, a few fleas and some diseases and a few can turn serious but not many. If cats were causing too much sickness they would not have invaded our lives as well as they have. But there are still people out there who do not like cats. When I first went to China about 20 years ago there were very few cats living with people and very few wild cats. I was amazed because I've had cats all my life and I never thought people didn't like cats. But then in China the people said cats carried disease and that was it. I think that might have something to do with that cat sick you get in your eye. Not serious just a slight problem for a week And if you were pregnant you had to keep away from cats. I think they were referring to toxoplasmosis, but if you get that when you are a kid it should not affect your baby. They also said cats were dirty but I don't think so. I think cats are one of the cleanest pets you can have. I think that came from the cats killing the rats and mice. Because rats are very dirty animals then because the cats killed and ate them they will also be dirty. A dirty by connection type of thing. Also there were some big sewer rats running round during the day. Once I saw a rat and a cat face off each other and the cat wasn't much bigger than the rat. They were about a foot apart staring each other out and the cat ran away. I'm not surprised the rat's teeth were bigger that the cats.

I think one of the reasons there were not many cats around is because they used to eat them. And every now and then the restaurant cat catches would pick up an cat they could find and take them back to the restaurant. I remember seeing cats in glass displays out the front of the restaurants. But somewhere between then and now they banned eating cats. So cats are now not on the menu and now there are cats everywhere. Most of them started off in someone's house and got thrown away, as most are very friendly. Also they have this thing about stomach worms. And in those days China was not as modern as now so stomach worms would have been a problem. Fleas are not really a problem because they have tile floors and wooden furniture.

If this attitude towards cats goes back generations then one can understand why historians say the Black Death started in China. Where there are rats and no cats then the rats dominate and that would have been a precursor for the disease to get close to people. Now when I go back to China there are still rats running around but not so many in the housing estates. There are many down by the river. Also they have a very efficient rubbish clean up system that keeps the cities very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is collected everyday. That would also keep the rat population down. And with so many discarded cats running around the rats don't have much of a chance. I've never seen this but I suspect the government picks up a lot of cats. There used to be colonies of stray cats living in some places but now I don't see them any more.

Now cats have once more retained the spot on the sofa and any mouse or rat that comes inside better beware. Well I hope so except our cat was rubbing noses with a rat once. I thought he was going to get his nose bitten but he didn't. I think just the smell of the cat keeps most rodent away. There are diseases out there that are carried by rodents and some are very deadly like the hantavirus and the plague or black death. If any of these deadly diseases turn the cat into a host then it will be goodbye cats and possibly goodbye us. But until that happens we should keep on loving our cats. And if there is ever a population explosion of the rodents who carry the hantavirus then humble cat might be our last hope. There is no vaccine and no cure for the hantavirus. 

For more gloomy stories about what we could expect very soon check out. http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Weakest-Link2.htm 
Thank you for your time 
Peter Legrove The suburban survivalist

Monday, November 10, 2014

Will The Cocolitzli Virus Return With Climate Change

I was a follower of Gerard Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel" theory of the colonization of the Americas. But lately that theory has come under attack and the main culprit is the cocolitzli virus. This virus is a local virus, native to the Americas and it is deadly. Dr Francisco Hernadez, a Spanish physician in Mexico at the time of the conquest, in his writings never named the disease. He listed the symptoms but never named the disease. 

If it was smallpox or the plague or one of the other diseases from Europe, he would have known the disease and said so. But since he didn't name the disease Dr. John S. Marr MD an Historical Epidemiologist assumed he didn't know what it was. It was a new disease, native to the New World. But the Aztecs knew about it and they had a name for it, the Cocolitizli virus or the great pest. It is estimated this virus killed 16 out of every 20 people. It was deadly. There were 2 outbreaks one in1545 and the other in 1576 then it vanished. It is estimated to have killed around 17 million people.

Now fast forward to New Mexico in 1993 there was a strange deadly disease that was killing people very fast. It turned out to be a new strain of the Hantavirus that had first surfaced during the Korean war. Now this virus is also deadly. But the main difference between these two viruses is the one in New Mexico was transmitted from the rodent, a deer mouse to humans. While the Cocolitizli virus ended up, epidemiologist historians surmise because of how many people were killed, that the virus was transmitted from human to human.

If the Hantavirus goes human to human the human race has problems. Well it has already gone human to human once in Argentina there was an outbreak in 1998. There it went from patient to doctor and to wife and husband. We were lucky it died out before it did any serious damage to the human race. Because it died out so fast the host rodent was never found.

Now we will go back in history to the native Indians living in the South Western desert areas of America. The same area were the Hantavirus came back to life in 1993. The Indian peoples who live in the southern desert regions of the USA have a saying, “If a mouse walks over your bedding burn your bedding, and if a mouse moves into your house you move out.” They had been plagued by the disease for generations, but for modern man it was a new disease. This disease is like the Cocolotozli virus the local peoples knew about it but Spanish did not.

Also it might have paid a part in why the Native Indians left the desert areas. One of the unexplained migrations from early America is why did the Indian people pack up and leave their beautiful cities in the southern desert areas of the USA. There might have been a mice plague leaving the Indians with two choices – stay and die or leave so they left. 

The main reasons put forward so far are the usual ones, overpopulation with global warming equals famine so they left for greener pastures. The main problem with this theory is, if you are starving you can't walk very far. Also being humans we don't like to just up and go, well I don't. 
The archaeological record shows that they had what looks like the ritual burning of their homes meaning they weren’t coming back. I would say the ritual burning had more to do with the mice having moved in, so it was time for the native peoples to move out and on. If there was a mice plague and they saw mice everywhere they would have an incentive to leave. 

The local Indians would have been aware of the connections between the mice and the disease and they would have realized that to survive they would have to leave. Actually it is a mystery where they went, no one seems to know. 

Knowing about the mice and keeping out of their way has been passed down from generation to generation. It is possible to have started in antiquity so the saga of mice and men continues to this very day.

For more gloomy stories about what we could expect very soon check out. http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Weakest-Link2.htm 
Thank you for your time 
Peter Legrove The suburban survivalist

Sunday, November 2, 2014

"Be Fruitful And Multiply"

I never thought I would read these words on a religious pamphlet.
Times they are a changing, if more religious people got off the "Go forth and multiply" band wagon we might have a chance.

God said on the first page of the Bible (Genesis Chapter 1 verse 22, 28) "Be fruitful and multiply" but if you read on further there are other references to not overdoing the multiplying. 

In the Genesis 3 verse 16 (King James Version) it is written "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children" God is not really making out that getting pregnant and having babies is a happy thing to do. 

Also further on in the first book of the New Testament in Matthew 24 verse 19 Jesus says "And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days." Admittedly here the Lord Jesus is talking about the end of times. And now I think we are nearing the end of times, so it might be time to lay off having too many kids. 

At the moment possibly the greatest threat to mankind is overpopulation when it is combined with global warming and peak oil. 

But it is both politically and religiously taboo to do anything about it, so what do we do. We can watch as the world overpopulates itself towards extinction. When we look back at modern history through the last few thousand years we can see that the population has nearly always been controlled by famines. 
In India there were famines throughout the 1700s and 1800s. One famine was so bad there were not enough living to bury the dead. It was called the Skull Famine or something like that. So our future doesn't look too bright. 

The growth model will be the end of civilization as we know it. 

Most scientists seem to agree on global warming being caused by human activities but no one has ever mentioned doing anything about the population. It seems obvious that doing something about the population would affect global warming, but it is politically and religiously incorrect to do so. 

So we carry on as usual and hope for the best. But Armageddon as mentioned in the Bible could happen any time soon. I would say anyone 50 or younger should see the start of the collapse of civilization as we know it. 

  For more gloomy stories about what we could expect very soon check out.

Thank you for your time
Peter Legrove
The suburban survivalist

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Warning From History

I just watched one of the BBC History Cold Case programs and it got me thinking about the situation in the world at the moment. A common saying is “History repeats itself” and this time I hope history doesn’t repeat itself. I love this program mainly because after Western civilization collapses we could very well go back and live the way our ancestors lived. And the way we live now is a lot better, I mean a hell of a lot better. After the Roman Empire collapsed it took mankind over a thousand years to pass the technology of the Romans. So when our civilization comes unglued we will go backwards and now civilization could come unglued at any time.

The program I was watching was called “The Bodies in the Well” and here the team analyzed a bunch of 17 skeletons that had been buried in a well. Men, women and 11 children and a few cats had been thrown in the well. They searched historical records as well as doing a detailed analysis on some of the skeletons. And the results were not good and anyone working in finance should take note.

In the 12th and 13th Century, when these skeletons were carbon dated too, the Jews who had been brought to England by the King in the 11th century were being prosecuted and expelled. The Jews were the money-lenders because the religion at the time forbid the lending of money with interest. But the religion of the Jews allowed it that is why they were in England at that time.

But as they say all good things come to an end. There was a lot of discontent among the populous because the Jews were doing very little and making lots of money. So the masses rebelled and killed the Jews. Now did they kill them because they were Jews or because they were successful business people. This happened across Europe as well as in England where the skeletons were. Even though the Jews were protected by the crown, when they needed the protection it was not there.

It is believed the Jews died by suicide as there were no visible signs of trauma on the skeletons. And they were dropped down the well just to get rid of them. They never explained why there were a couple of cat skeletons in the well also. Maybe the discontented masses through the Jews cats down the well after the bodies were thrown in.

Now can you see the correlation between then and now? The same situation is arising where the bankers are making tons of money doing very little. And the masses are getting foreclosed out of their homes.

Is history going to repeat itself again in the near future. Bankers are totally oblivious to the effects fraud has on their customers. They must get their kicks from seeing how many customers they can lie too and deceive. But the bankers are forgetting that the world we all live in now is coming to an end. And when it does history might repeat itself.

Similar incidents have already happened in the very recent past. When Indonesia collapsed the Chinese were targeted. Now were they targeted because they were Chinese or because they were successful shop keepers and businessmen. Chinese have been targeted in other countries. When there were riots in Tonga, Chinese shops were looted. In other countries the Chinese huge Dragon Malls have caught fire. Most say they were accidental but is that really what happened.

Fast forward to now, right now we have Ebola set to march around the globe. Now if it does, how many disgruntled customers, who have been lied to and deceived by bank managers and bank staff will walk into a bank as their last act of getting even, after they realize they might have Ebola. And help spread it round to the people they think need it the most. The banks free reign over the economy might suddenly change.

At the moment banks are an evil necessity whereby we can't function without them. And there is not really an alternative. We have to use them. But in the future, hopefully very soon, true global companies should be able to start up a bank as a side line business. Why can't we go to the McBank, or the KFCB or the PizzaBank to do our banking while having lunch. We can even add WalBank to the list. These companies are true global companies and their bottom lines are a lot healthier than most banks.

This way when there is another catastrophic global financial meltdown the common everyday person who lives from day to day will still have some money left. For these companies the real estate is already in place, they just have to add the ATM outside, or as a number are 24 hour they can have the ATM inside. And in some of the bigger establishments they could have a teller window. Here multitasking would take on a new meaning, one minute you are serving burgers and the next you are a bank teller. Welcome to the workforce of the future.

 For more gloomy stories about what we could expect very soon check out.

Thank you for your time
Peter Legrove
The suburban survivalist

SARS and Ebola

I was there during sars and nobody seemed to worry too much. But the hospitals were very crowded especially the children's hospitals. When you have a one child policy kids mean a lot so they are well looked after. I went to a trade fair there and it was nearly deserted. I did wear a cloth mask but that was mainly for show. Not many people wore them.

They would survive, all the food is brought into the city twice a day from the surrounding farms, so they would get food. Water is another story, in places parts of the city run out of water quiet regularly and they bring in water in water tankers. So they are used to moving water. They had infrared heat cameras on the main roads plus going into the trade fair and train stations. Churches were all closed. Schools were still open.

One problem is petrol, the city sometimes runs out of petrol and the cars just block up the roads leading into the gas stations, so you cant get past. So they brought in the army and they moved the cars so the traffic would keep moving. All they did was put cones up so you could only enter the gas station from the side road and leave on the main road. it worked. Most people respect the army and the police so they do what they are told. Doctors and people who worked in the hospitals had to report to work or they would lose their job and pension and anything else that went with it. The support staff like cleaners all ran away.

In my view nothing seemed to change. There are usually guards everywhere, and then they could stop you if you looked sick or started coughing or brought too much fever medicine. Once one of the heat sensor light went bright red and they stopped this guy until the ambulance got there. It was quite entertaining, everybody just stopped and watched. This guy realized he wasn't going anywhere so they gave him a seat and he waited. At that time there was no fear in the air, people were just not worried. They just carried on normal.

Hong Kong came totally unglued but that is normal, there you had to wear a mask. That is the difference between controlled TV and what we have got which is --who has the worst news wins basically. In China on the news there was nothing to incite the people, the news was the same, so the people were not wound up. It might be different now with instant communication. In my humble opinion China would cope better than the western world.

There standard of hospital care is nowhere near what we have, but you will be looked after. Actually your relatives can look after you while you are in hospital. When you go into a hospital waiting room, there are people sitting in the waiting room with IV bottles stuck in their arms. I got very ill at one stage and they took me to the street clinic, they took a blood test to see if i had a virus or a bacteria then they stuck an IV in my arm hooked some bottles up and forgot about me for a couple of hours. I was OK in a couple of days.

China thinks differently and the way the people interact is very different. Family is the key so you will always help your family and that extends to distant relatives. Most people have a high opinion of the army and the police so they will have some control. If the government asks for volunteers to help in the hospitals I would say people will help. And the other thing they are used to - is moving masses of people, so they can do things.

 For more gloomy stories about what we could expect very soon check out. http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Weakest-Link2.htm Thank you for your time Peter Legrove The suburban survivalist

Will we survive Ebola

I think we are at a slight disadvantage with ebola. When the Spanish went to the new world they took their diseases and they devastated the local population. Now with ebola we in the west have no built in immunity so we could be hit harder than they are in Africa. Africa has had ebola for a long time so the people their will have more immunity than we have. Anyway they way it looks their might be a vaccine out soon. It does not look like the inoculation method, first used with smallpox, will be any good for ebola. There is no mild strain of ebola that we could use for inoculation. There is one serious glaring problem with vaccines and ebola. And that is ebola evolves very fast and would probably evolve ahead of a vaccine. With ebola it is fast, not slow moving like syphilis and not disfiguring like smallpox or syphilis for that matter. More like the black death and the 1918 flu or even a hantavirus.

If the hantavirus ever decided to go human to human transmission, or the cocoliztli decided to stage a comeback, we would think ebola was something like a walk in the park. It is estimated the cocoliztle killed 16 out of every 20 people, ebola is only 50%. It has been suggested that the cocoliztle could have been airborne hantavirus. But we wont know until it comes back.. The cocoliztle surfaced after a time of prolonged drought. So at that time there might have been a plague of mice. Rodents carry the hantavirus, and at that time since there was more to eat the mice could have reached plague proportions causing the horrific death rate. Rodents tend to over populate depending on the food supply.

Ebola and cocoliztle are both VHF or Viral hemorrhagic, but the hantavirus is a Hemorrhagic fever with a twist, it also has renal failure syndrome (HFRS). Slightly different and I have no idea what the difference is. The hantavirus comes under the friendly fire virus regime and all that is, is your body's response to the virus is what kills you, so you do not develop immunity. Therefore vaccines will not be effective.

There are a number of cases throughout history where diseases do not confer immunity. The sweating sickness was a plague that hit England at the time of Henry the 8th and there was no immunity. The Justinian Plague that brought the Roman Empire to its knees did not give you immunity. Emperor Justin had it three times before he finally succumbed to the disease. DNA tests on skeletons have revealed that that disease was the Black Death. Before that it was suggested it could have been Ebola.

The plague is still with us and I don't know if we still do not develop immunity. Does Ebola confer immunity, if so why aren't the people who have survived not working in the hospitals. They wont need Hazmat suits. Has anybody had ebola twice. Did anyone get the 1918 flu twice. What about SARS. SARS was the ideal wolf of mankind, it usually only took out the old and the infirm. Healthy people did not seem to be overly affected and usually survived. Now we also have to look at the economic effect of a very contagious disease in our neighborhood.

Our society is so entwined that if we have one breakdown in the supply chain the whole chain breaks. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. For example bread, in the days of the black death, bread was the farmer--miller--baker--yeast man--wood for fire man—horse and cart man--and probably a few others I don't know about. Compared to today I wouldn't have a clue how many links there are in the bread chain. So when ebola gets here we run out of bread and everything else. We got problems, serious problems. If the electric grid goes down we got huge problems, and if the water stops running we are in a society collapse situation. But throughout history massive pandemics did not collapse society, they caused severe problems but cities and society continued.

Except after Columbus got to the New World. Between the Old World diseases and the cocoliztle the peoples of central America were wiped out. Even today the population in Central America is less than before Columbus arrived..The Aztec and the Maya are a people clinging onto their culture. Yet before the clash of the Old World they were the empire of the Americas. They had the biggest cities and the biggest pyramids, and they were wiped out by “Guns Germs and Steel” Look on the bright side. It will definitely cure the unemployment problem and the obesity problem all in one.

After the black death there was competition for labor as there was a lot less working age people left alive and the price of labor went up. To get workers you had to pay more. Emperor Justin had the same problem, there were not enough workers for the harvest, so he forbid workers to leave their place of employment. But there w ere not enough people left alive to enforce the decree. And with not enough workers for the harvest then the invariable famine would follow. At the moment in the Ebola ridden lands everyday services and food distribution is already breaking down.

Now what will happen if and when Ebola hits a city near you. After the 1918 pandemic cities and countries didn't collapse, they carried on, small towns and villages collapsed as people moved away. Life went on, food kept coming in, people didn't starve they might have gone hungry, basic services kept going Now with Ebola we hope the same will happen, no major collapse of civilization. Mother Nature can wipe us out with droughts, famines, floods, earthquakes, tidal waves and whatever but with pandemics the infrastructure is still in place. There are just a few less people around to run the place.

For more gloomy stories about what we could expect very soon check out. http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com/Weakest-Link2.htm
Thank you for your time
Peter Legrove The suburban survivalist