17 May 2021 | James Porteous | Clipper Media
Once again, fiction becomes reality as billionaires are buying up land in #newzealand for bunkers, preparing for the #apocalypse. And the rest of humanity? Got a revolution.
#ebook #fakeempire #epub
The Fake Empire is quite a kettle of fish. When I first began writing this book ten years ago it might have been considered a work of science fiction.
But the real world overtook the fictional one and it now it reads like it was pulled from recent headlines.
Empire is based on the notion that, even if the ‘outside’ world goes to shit, not everyone will suffer in quite the same way.
As we have seen during this recent pandemic, the rich or superrich are only too happy to continue jet-setting in their private jets or meeting in secret for lavish meals.
So in this case, the Davos Dandies has constructed dozens of private bunkers which will house the rich and the politicians and influencers until it is safe to enter New World Two and begin anew.
Sounds depressing? It is more a look at how ‘normal’ people have a gift for the rough and tumble rebellion when the going gets rough. No spoilers allowed here.
29 July 2021 | Damian Carrington | The Guardian
New Zealand, Iceland, the UK, Tasmania and Ireland are the places best suited to survive a global collapse of society, according to a study.
The researchers said human civilisation was “in a perilous state” due to the highly interconnected and energy-intensive society that had developed and the environmental damage this had caused.
A collapse could arise from shocks, such as a severe financial crisis, the impacts of the climate crisis, destruction of nature, an even worse pandemic than Covid-19 or a combination of these, the scientists said.
To assess which nations would be most resilient to such a collapse, countries were ranked according to their ability to grow food for their population, protect their borders from unwanted mass migration, and maintain an electrical grid and some manufacturing ability. Islands in temperate regions and mostly with low population densities came out on top.
The researchers said their study highlighted the factors that nations must improve to increase resilience. They said that a globalised society that prized economic efficiency damaged resilience, and that spare capacity needed to exist in food and other vital sectors.
Billionaires have been reported to be buying land for bunkers in New Zealand in preparation for an apocalypse. “We weren’t surprised New Zealand was on our list,” said Prof Aled Jones, at the Global Sustainability Institute, at Anglia Ruskin University, in the UK.
Jones added: “We chose that you had to be able to protect borders and places had to be temperate. So with hindsight it’s quite obvious that large islands with complex societies on them already [make up the list].
“We were quite surprised the UK came out strongly. It is densely populated, has traditionally outsourced manufacturing, hasn’t been the quickest to develop renewable technology, and only produces 50% of its own food at the moment. But it has the potential to withstand shocks.”
The study, published in the journal Sustainability, said: “The globe-spanning, energy-intensive industrial civilisation that characterises the modern era represents an anomalous situation when it is considered against the majority of human history.”
The study also said, that due to environmental destruction, limited resources, and population growth: “The [academic] literature paints a picture of human civilisation that is in a perilous state, with large and growing risks developing in multiple spheres of the human endeavour.”
Places that did not suffer “the most egregious effects of societal collapses and are therefore able to maintain significant populations” have been described as “collapse lifeboats”, the study said.
New Zealand was found to have the greatest potential to survive relatively unscathed due to its geothermal and hydroelectric energy, abundant agricultural land and low human population density.
Jones said major global food losses, a financial crisis and a pandemic had all happened in recent years, and “we’ve been lucky that things haven’t all happened at the same time – there’s no real reason why they can’t all happen in the same year”.
He added: “As you start to see these events happening, I get more worried but I also hope we can learn more quickly than we have in the past that resilience is important. With everyone talking about ‘building back better’ from the pandemic, if we don’t lose that momentum I might be more optimistic than I have been in the past.”
He said the coronavirus pandemic had shown that governments could act quickly when needed. “It’s interesting how quickly we can close borders, and how quickly governments can make decisions to change things.”
But he added: “This drive for just-in-time, ever-more efficient, economies isn’t the thing you want to do for resilience. We need to build in some slack in the system, so that if there is a shock then you have the ability to respond because you’ve got spare capacity.
“We need to start thinking about resilience much more in global planning. But obviously, the ideal thing is that a quick collapse doesn’t happen.”
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As I say, it is only going to get worse.
James Porteous has been writing since he was 14-years-old when he first began writing record and concert reviews.
His passion for all-things music remains today, resulting in his fictional biography, The Last Record Album.
This book covers the career of fictional singer/songwriter Bo Carter as he struggles to score one more hit single.
The problem is that the first hit happened by complete happenstance and despite the often warm praises of Bob Dylan, Carter seems destined to continue rattling the cages of life without reaching his dreams.
The book contains lyrics to songs written for the book, as well as live Bandcamp links to original lyrics and recorded versions of the songs.
As a bonus, the ebook also contains live links to dozens of his favorite songs via YouTube.
The reviews thus far have all noted that the details pertaining to life on the road and the creative process were written in such a way that they soon forgot they were reading a work of ‘fiction.’ Decades of writing record and concert reviews will do that.
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