February 7, 2008
By John Galt
Jamie felt like a super safe scooter rider and ever so green for switching from her old car to her new Vespa. Once regular unleaded topped $4.59 per gallon she felt that she had to do something as her dad was paying for her college and auto expenses and it was just too much. The scooter her family got her for Christmas was such a nice surprise and would save everyone a ton of money. Now that everyone who had a car or truck was on a strict rationing schedule she felt blessed as she could buy gas as little as once every three weeks if she didn’t travel too much. As she had been doing for weeks, she got ready for her late afternoon class by putting the iPod earbud in one ear so she could still hear the traffic, then her helmet on and putting the backpack on for the short drive to her college class. After driving past the gas station, she noticed the hot-headed screaming going on in the long line of cars and pickups and just kept moving, worried that things were getting worse. As she turned on the next street and came around a curve, WHAM, a two by four hit her square in the face shattering the face shield and knocking her off the scooter violently. As she started to move she saw a man catch the scooter and throw it into the back of a pick up before the man with the two by four kicked her in the head, knocking her unconscious…..
Carol and Mike felt good following the advice of the local PBS home improvement show. They had installed a solar panel system in the back yard which provided almost seventy five percent of their needed power and despite the cloudy days, the wind turbine provided a buffer and enough to sell some power back to the electric company for a tax break. One afternoon after a trip downtown, they came home and the power looked like it was out and there were no lights, no power to the refrigerator, nothing. It was weird because it had been sunny and windy that day and they could not understand why in this suburban area the power would be out in their home only. Mike walked into the back yard in utter horror and started screaming “no, no, no.” Carol ran out and saw the empty space where the solar panels once were mounted and the slab where their wind turbine tower once stood. The thieves even had yanked the power line down from their system which allowed them a last resort back up and the ability to sell power back to the electric utility. Mike just could not understand why anyone would do this…..
Tom had hit his wit’s end. For the fourth time in a month, thieves had popped his locking gas cap off and siphoned off all of the diesel from his semi. This time he had a plan. He knew if he stayed up all night, watching the truck in his front yard, that nothing would happen and he would just lose a night’s sleep. He did a little research and decided this time to surprise the thieves. He took the main fuel line and sealed it off and put a spar tank he had in his back yard and filled it with a cyanide based pesticide he borrowed from a friend. “The hell with these animals” he thought to himself as he bolted the tank back on. After finishing all the work, he locked a new cap on the tank and went into town for the evening to shoot pool and catch up on old times with friends. Well, after a few beers and a lot of pool Tom looked at his watch and said “fellas, I’ve got to get on home, it’s almost midnight.” As Tom pulled into his driveway he saw the two cop cars and lights everywhere. The officer walked over to Tom and asked “Sir, is this your semi?” Tom replied “yes officer, what’s wrong, was someone stealing stuff off of it again?” The office said “please get out of the car sir” and put his hand on his gun. Tom, being a lawful citizen obeyed and asked “so what happened officer.” With that Tom was slammed on the hood and the officer started to speak; “Sir, you are under arrest for murder. Two teenage boys attempted to siphon the diesel out of your truck and a deadly substance was added to the mixture. You have the right to remain silent….” After hearing his rights, Tom, now handcuffed and angry yelled back “where were you when these animals were stealing from me!” The officer warned him to calm down or they would taser him. Tom, furious by now, yelled again “this is BS! Let me go…” and before he finished the sentence he was dropped to the ground with the officer’s taser….
Sound far-fetched? Not in the current world we live in. The police have a job to do and there is no way they could ever answer every call about stolen goods, fuel, or scooters once the energy based inflation hits the next stride upwards. No matter what the deflationists and unbelievers say, there is a looming energy shortage unless we elect to liquidate about 1 billion people and reduce demand. My money is on the idea that we will not be losing the Chinese communists any day soon so the demand, thanks to Chindia will continue to grow. Keeping in mind the peak oil curve we are experiencing (thank you for that education Matt Simmons) and the fact that the global warming bogeyman will be used to make matters worse if not doubly expensive for us average souls, the price of energy will be frightening. This means that those tools and implements used to save money and provide savings in the coming energy shortage will be of prime interest to those who possess or sell them. Now the question is “what do I do?”
A lot depends on the neighborhood you live in. If you live in or near the inner city, well, you’re toast. Just accept that you love FEMA and find cookies to bribe the soldiers in exchange for goods you’ll need once your supplies run out.
If you live in suburbia, again, it depends on the area. If there are prolonged brownouts and you have a solar panel system it might be wise to keep it under wraps or as camouflaged as much as possible. If it were me and I had a bunch of nosy neighbors I would “participate” in the brownouts and shut down my personal grid as much as possible to hide the fact you have power and they do not. Fencing to hide this set up is highly advisable and I would never brag about it. As far as wind turbine systems, those are hard to hide, so good luck! If you live in the “country” then barbed wire is your friend and as much security as you can afford is a capital idea.
Gasoline and diesel will become a premium item once rationing begins. For the scooter rider who was assaulted in this story I would advise traveling in large groups. The safest mode of travel will soon be in large groups or convoys and this will apply to motorcycle as well as scooter riders even in just short local trips as high mileage vehicles will become the desired target of thieves everywhere. The fuel theft situation will ramp up dramatically much like the copper theft problem has. So to protect your resources the first thing to consider is the locking gas cap. Then if possible, strange as this sounds, parking your vehicle as close as possible to another vehicle or wall where the gas cap is blocked making it almost impossible to access unless the thief is five foot seven and weighs thirty pounds. It might be a pain exiting the vehicle from the opposite side, but at this point in time you have to ask yourself: Which is worse? Ten seconds of inconvenience crawling out of the passenger side or walking to the gas station for some fuel?
I’m sure my readers have literally dozens of suggestions of your own so please comment below with your suggestions as much as possible. The “learning to live like a caveman” idea is still open but that’s the one Algore wishes to impose and living in Florida I think I’ll take a pass on that suggestion.