Spiritual connections for survival

For many years I’ve been praying, thinking, writing, and discussing how we can prepare for an increasingly dystopian future. In an article in Friends Journal, Donald McCormick asks “why is there no vision for the future of Quakerism?”  I wrote about my vision in the article What is your vision for the future?

The increasing threats from environmental devastation and chaos lead me to share more of my vision, which has been evolving over the past several years. It’s taken me a long time to write this article, I think because I haven’t found resources available to check on what I’m saying here.

I’ve always believed the greatest problem to solve is how communities of the future organize and govern themselves. We’ll have to do things differently because our present systems are collapsing. Which is often not a bad thing since those systems are based on colonialism and capitalism.


Spirituality

Spirituality is especially important now as we experience increasing environmental chaos, which will contribute to further social, economic, and political collapse. We will have no choice but to band together for the survival of us all. The alternative is tribalism with its violence, destruction and death.

We will need the help of those who know survival skills that we don’t. It takes time to build the trust necessary for these connections. It is urgent to do this now. It is by the Spirit that we can engage with everyone around us, of all cultures, identities, ethnicities.

  • Spirituality can show us how to live with integrity now. How to be examples to others. This is how change happens.
  • The Creator can help us heal the wounds of the past. And the wounds that will be inflicted in the future.
  • The Spirit can guide us through the coming chaos.
  • It is by the Spirit we create connections among diverse peoples.

Kheprw Institute (KI)

One set of my spiritual experiences relates to my introduction to a community of people of color, the Kheprw Institute (KI). I wrote about this in detail at: https://jeffkisling.com/2021/03/14/white-quakers-and-spiritual-connections-with-the-kheprw-institute/

At my first meeting with the KI community, I was asked a number of questions. When I said I was a Quaker, one of the adults (the group was mainly teenagers) spoke about the history of Quakers related to the underground railroad. When she finished, all eyes turned to me. I said I was glad my ancestors did that, it was the right thing to do, but we try not to take credit for things we have not done ourselves. When I was asked to speak more about that, I wasn’t sure what to say. I remember clearly that an answer came from the Spirit, which told me to not only say that Quakers believe there is that of God in everyone, but to also look into the eyes of each one there and say, “and that includes you”. Each person smiled at me when I did that. That ended the questioning, and I was welcomed into the community. We had this spiritual basis for our work together.

But that was just the first step. Trust was built, but slowly. With permission, I invited members of my Quaker community to engage with KI’s monthly book discussions. This was one way we began to get to know each other. But it was two years after this introduction before I was invited to teach a class on photography for KI.

Kheprw Institute, Indianapolis

First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March

Because of my lifelong commitment to care for our environment, I’d always wanted to learn about Indigenous peoples and their sustainable lives. I jumped at the opportunity to do so when I heard about the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March in 2018. The intention was to build a community of native and nonnative people by walking and camping together along the route of the Dakota Access pipeline from Des Moines to Fort Dodge, Iowa (94 miles). Many long hours walking together, for eight days, along empty Iowa gravel roads was very effective in creating the beginnings of trust. There were about fifteen native and fifteen nonnative people, which allowed each of us the opportunity to share stories with every other person.

I’d hoped there would be ways to learn more about their spirituality, and to share some about my own. But I knew there was a huge barrier between us related to Friends’ involvement in the institutions of forced assimilation of native children. It is uncomfortable to admit this, but at the time I wondered how much awareness there was about the Indian Boarding Schools. I was soon to learn how profound that trauma was, and how it was passed from generation to generation. Is a deep wound today in every Indigenous person I know. I discuss this in detail in White Quakers and Native Peoples and other writings.

I didn’t know if, or how, the occasion might occur to talk about this during the March. Or whether I should.

But I vividly remember when the Spirit told me to say, “I know Quakers were involved in the Indian boarding schools and I’m sorry that happened” to the native person I was getting to know the best early in the March. I was worried saying that would upset him, open wounds. But he just nodded his head, and we kept walking together. But later in the day he said, “I want to tell you a story”, and proceeded to tell me a story related to him and his mother and the boarding schools.

At various times the Spirit led me to bring this up with each of my native friends. Every one of them and their families have had traumatic experiences related to forced assimilation. And the removal of native children from their homes continues in the guise of child welfare.

This is something that should not be taken lightly. A certain level of connection and trust is important. This is not about us (White people) and what we would like to see or do. There should be clear spiritual guidance.

I’ve found my Indigenous friends to be deeply spiritual. I like the sign, Earth is my church, carried by my friends Foxy and Alton Onefeather during the March. That says a lot about why I feel my friends are spiritual, their reverence of all things human and nonhuman. And their practices such as smudging, putting down tobacco, expressing thanks to the Creator each time they speak in public. Their humbleness. One friend often says “we are just pitiful people” during her prayers.

In the four years since that March, various combinations of us have had numerous opportunities to work together.

And yet again, that trust has been built, is being built slowly.

Foxy Onefeather holds sign on First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March (2018)


Spiritual guidance

Quakers believe our lives must be guided by the Spirit. But far too often people haven’t found, or don’t try to discern that spiritual guidance. They try to figure out how to do justice work on their own or in conjunction with like-minded people. with the best of intentions. That phrase usually indicates not listening to those affected by injustice. And indicates not having discerned what their faith is trying to tell them.

And that often results in unintended, harmful consequences. A common phrase to keep in mind is nothing about us without us. This is especially challenging for White people who are accustomed to their privileges. Often not even aware of those privileges. We would not need to qualify what our intentions were if we were following the leadership of the communities facing injustice.

One horrific example of best intentions gone wrong were the Indian boarding schools. A policy of forced assimilation of native children into White culture was thought by many to be a way to help Indian children adjust to the enveloping White society. But tens of thousands of children suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Thousands died. Genocide. And that trauma has been passed to each following generation, including todays. Every one of my native friends has been affected.

This is an example of difficulties in making connections between different communities and/or cultures. With this horrific history, and ongoing trauma, how can a bridge ever be built between these two cultures, White and Indigenous? Or between White and BIPOC people and communities? (Black, Indigenous and other people of color)

But for others, especially in the government and military, this policy and horror was exactly what they intended.


Mutual Aid

The Spirit also led me to become involved in a Mutual Aid community. And led me to be involved in efforts to abolish police and prisons. I’ve written extensively about these things on my website Quakers and Religious Socialism, Intersection of Mutual Aid, Abolition and Socialism.


How to create connections between different communities or cultures

Returning to Donald McCormick’s question, “why is there no vision for the future of Quakerism?” I’ve tried to express my answer here. In these increasingly trying times, spiritual guidance is crucial. Sharing this with others is a gift Quakers have to offer. But we need to understand the history and concepts of oppression. Of Quakers’ role in oppression. And discern how the Spirit is leading us.

Frontline communities are figuring out how to live when the systems that are supposed to serve them no longer do, if they ever did. White communities will look to these communities and their solutions for our own survival.

I was recently surprised when a Quaker friend said I had a way of finding and connecting with oppressed communities. Which made me realize something I hadn’t expressed before, which is we must seek out these communities ourselves. Be guided to these communities by the Spirit. Search for these opportunities. Searching social media is usually very useful. And we can learn what our Friends and friends are doing and join those efforts.

Following is a list of things I have been learning from my experiences related to making connections between different communities and/or cultures.

You have to be in it with them

When I say I pray each morning, seeking what to write, I do spend time in quietness. But I also research what my sources are saying.

I came across this photo I took in 2013 that I found on the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement’s (ICCI) website. The photo was taken at ICCI’s offices during the two days of training for leaders in the Keystone Pledge of Resistance. Where I learned so much about community organizing.


Keystone Pledge of Resistance training, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Des Moines, Iowa 2013

This reminds me we have been working on pipeline resistance for ten years. We defeated the Keystone XL pipeline, but not the Dakota Access pipeline. It also looks like the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, on Wet’suwet’en lands, will be completed.

Now we are faced with the “false climate solutions” of several proposed carbon (CO2) pipelines in Iowa. The liquified carbon dioxide in these pipelines is a hazardous material that can be lethal when ruptures occur. If that happens in a densely populated area, there could be many deaths.

On November 9th, we held a rally against carbon capture in Des Moines, organized by the Buffalo Rebellion I’m a member of. See: https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/2022/11/10/dont-look-down/


Part of that rally was blocking Third Street, in front of the Iowa Event Center, where the carbon pipeline supporters were meeting, for about twenty minutes.

Blocking traffic on third street in front of the Iowa Event Center.
Jake Grobe, ICCI and Buffalo Rebellion organizer

In this photo my friend Jake Grobe says “yes, these people stuck in traffic are impatient and angry. But so are we. How long have we waited for action on real climate solutions?”

That is demonstrated by the time span between this photo, and the one above, taken in 2013.

The images of the latest environmental catastrophe, Hurricane Nicole, are really stunning. And, of course, the erosion of beach fronts will only worsen. As another warning, the article below was published just today.

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Nations will likely burn through their remaining carbon budget in less than a decade if they do not significantly reduce greenhouse gas pollution, a new study shows, causing the world to blow past a critical warming threshold and triggering catastrophic climate impacts.

World has nine years to avert catastrophic warming, study shows. Scientists say gas projects discussed at U.N. climate conference would seriously threaten world’s climate goals, by Sarah Kaplan, The Washington Post, November 11, 2022

The question of human survival

Running throughout (Lopez’s book) Horizon is the question of human survival. The multiple threats we now face, especially the very real possibility of climate disaster, expose the tensions between human aspiration and ecological reality. Perhaps what is most needed, Lopez suggests, is for us to lament what we’ve destroyed, but also to praise and love the world we still have. “Mystery,” he writes, “is the real condition in which we live, not certainty.

Bahnson: You’ve confronted the darkness you see on the horizon with anthropogenic climate change. How do you talk about this with audiences? People need to know what’s coming, yet if you overwhelm them with depressing news, they might freeze. How do you strike the balance between educator and artist?

Lopez: Whenever I speak in public, I write out a new talk. I begin by stipulating, with a modulated voice, that things are way worse than we imagine. And I offer some examples: the collapse of pollinating insect populations; the rise of nationalism; belligerent and ignorant narcissists like Donald Trump; methane gas spewing out of the Siberian tundra. You’re saying to everybody, “Let’s take off the rose-colored glasses now and see what our dilemma really is.” And then the second part of the talk is an evocation of the healing that is necessary and possible, a gradual elevation of the human spirit. It’s about the mobilization that is needed and which is within our reach. Then people know you’ve spoken truthfully, and you have evoked in each person a desire to help, to take care of their families, to have self-regard. I see this pattern in every talk I give. To remember, geographically, exactly where you are speaking that night, and to know whether there might be a full moon outside the building; to offer that sense of immediacy and groundedness; to underscore the specificity of the moment; and to be sure that you implicate yourself in the trouble. It all helps in these situations. If you attempt any version of “I know, and you don’t” or “This is not my fault” or “I am the holy messenger, and you’re the fools,” the evening ends in darkness. You have to be in it with them.

The World We Still Have. Barry Lopez On Restoring Our Lost Intimacy With Nature BY FRED BAHNSON, The Sun, DECEMBER 2019


You have to be in it with them

“And then the second part of the talk is an evocation of the healing that is necessary and possible, a gradual elevation of the human spirit. It’s about the mobilization that is needed and which is within our reach. Then people know you’ve spoken truthfully, and you have evoked in each person a desire to help, to take care of their families, to have self-regard”

I have experienced this healing with my Des Moines Mutual Aid community.

You have to be in it with them” is the core concept of Mutual Aid. Perhaps more accurately stated, “we are all in this together”.

Please build Mutual Aid communities where you are.


Collective emotional lift

As often happens, when I sat down to write this morning, I wasn’t sure what the subject would be. I’m aware of looking forward to being with my Mutual Aid friends this morning. I know they feel the same from comments I’ve heard over the past couple of years. I’ve heard my friends say this is the best part of their week.

In contrast, I sense so many people don’t have much joy in their lives. So many things are going wrong, things we could once rely on, we no longer can. We are entering a time of collapse. There is a general malaise, a fear for our future, the feeling we have no control, a spiritual poverty.

David Pollard has identified skills needed to deal with this developing collapse (listed below). I wrote about that and included my own vision of dealing with collapse here: https://quakersandreligioussocialism.com/2022/10/18/critical-skills-to-face-collapse/

Pollard asks four questions related to how we deal with collapse.

Dave Pollard, in How Do We Teach the Critical Skills Needed to Face Collapse? raises these questions.

  1. What’s the most effective way to voluntarily get billions of people to the point they are capable of exercising the skills below?
  2. How do we get the timing right: Not so early that there’s not yet a sense of urgency, but not so late that we’re trying to do it in an environment of chaos?
  3. How might we begin to identify, improve the competencies of, and empower the right people to do the mentoring, teaching, training, demonstrating, connecting, modelling, and other hands-on imparting of knowledge and skills needed to make it happen?
  4. How can we make this new, crucial learning easier, and fun?

What caught my attention is how can we make this new learning fun? I think of endless committee meetings related to justice work, for example, and how they were not fun. And usually not effective. My friend Alvin at the Kheprw Institute always asks, “what actually changed as a result of what was done?”

Those of us who have organized rallies and marches know how difficult it is to get people to participate. If participating in something isn’t fun in the sense of being enjoyable, exciting, fulfilling, and meaningful, there will be little enthusiasm for people to participate and they won’t.

Our Mutual Aid work is fun and effective. We enjoy working together to put boxes of food together and enjoy our interactions with those who come for food. We are meeting an immediate survival need. But it does require a commitment to be present as often as possible. And it is very physical work. I remember when Ronnie was explaining this to me, he said at the end of the food distribution you were tired, sweaty, and feeling good. And so it was.

That is captured in this quote. “There is an aspect of self-determination and ethical engagement in organizing to meet our peoples’ material needs. There is a collective emotional lift in doing something worthwhile for our peoples’ benefit, however short-lived that benefit might be.

You and your relations, my friend, are (still) busy building a different world at the end of this one. This is something I’ve emphasized over and over again in my own work. I cherish the belief and practice that it is never enough to just critique the system and name our oppression. We also have to create the alternative, on the ground and in real time. In part, for me, because Nishnaabeg ethics and theory demand no less. In part because in Nishnaabeg thinking, knowledge is mobilized, generated, and shared by collectively doing. It’s more than that, though. There is an aspect of self-determination and ethical engagement in organizing to meet our peoples’ material needs. There is a collective emotional lift in doing something worthwhile for our peoples’ benefit, however short-lived that benefit might be. These spaces become intergenerational, diverse places of Indigenous joy, care and conversation, and these conversations can be affirming, naming, critiquing, as well as rejecting and pushing back against the current systems of oppression. This for me seems like the practice of movement-building that our respective radical practices have been engaged with for centuries.

Maynard, Robyn; Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake. Rehearsals for Living (Abolitionist Papers) (p. 39). Haymarket Books. Kindle Edition.

I imagine you have experienced this. As I think of this in my life, I remember how significant it was at Scattergood Friends School when we did our assigned, rotating crews together. Such as preparing meals, baking bread, pruning trees in the orchard, even laundry crew that did the laundry for the entire student body. We had to have name tags sewn into every piece of our clothing so the laundry crew could separate everything out when the clothes were dry.

We experience this when we respond to community needs, such as weather disasters.

This is why I urge us to create our own, local Mutual Aid communities. Perhaps as important as providing essential resources to people is the experience of doing something meaningful. People have a desperate yearning to feel they are doing something worthwhile, something that fulfills their need to feel appreciated.

Collapse is coming at us far more quickly than we had anticipated.

In response to Pollard’s questions (above), the right timing is now. The way to get billions of volunteers to engage is to build Mutual Aid communities everywhere now, in part because Mutual Aid work is fun, meaningful, satisfying.


Soft skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Group facilitation
  • Helping people cope
  • Preparing healthy food
  • Caring for the young, old, and sick
  • Imaginative, reflective and creative skills
  • Mentoring
  • Listening, noticing and attention skills
  • Conversation
  • Community-building

Hard skills (that require some specific technical knowledge/experience

  • Growing and harvesting food
  • Making and repairing clothing and shelter from the elements
  • Accessing clean, safe water
  • Weaving, fabric-making, pottery and other crafting skills tha that make life much more pleasant and comfortable
  • Medical, medicinal, and injury-healing knowledge and skills
  • Food preservation
  • Bicycle construction and repair
  • Basic engineering skills
  • Ecological skills
  • Decommissioning-nuclear reactors and petrochemical sites

How Do We Teach the Critical Skills Needed to Face Collapse? by Dave Pollard, How To save the world, September 10, 2022


    I’m reading a book about the lives of people in the most polluted, least educated, most disadvantaged, and most dangerously toxic (and most conservative) part of Louisiana (more about that in an upcoming article). What emerges from the author’s study is that (1) these people are living in a ‘world’ that is already in a very advanced state of economic and ecological collapse, one that may foretell what the rest of us in ‘affluent’ nations will soon face; (2) they are far more of a ‘community’ than most people living in cities could claim; and (3) they are not particularly interested in paternalistic ‘grief professionals’ ‘coaching’ them on how to manage the massive grief and other emotions they and their families have been dealing with for generations.

    How Do We Teach the Critical Skills Needed to Face Collapse? by Dave Pollard, How To save the world, September 10, 2022



      But capitalism and colonialism created structures that have disrupted how people have historically connected with each other and shared everything they needed to survive. As people were forced into systems of wage labor and private property, and wealth became increasingly concentrated, our ways of caring for each other have become more and more tenuous. Today, many of us live in the most atomized societies in human history, which makes our lives less secure and undermines our ability to organize together to change unjust conditions on a large scale. We are put in competition with each other for survival, and we are forced to rely on hostile systems— like health care systems designed around profit, not keeping people healthy, or food and transportation systems that pollute the earth and poison people— for the things we need. More and more people report that they have no one they can confide in when they are in trouble. This means many of us do not get help with mental health, drug use, family violence, or abuse until the police or courts are involved, which tends to escalate rather than resolve harm. In this context of social isolation and forced dependency on hostile systems, mutual aid— where we choose to help each other out, share things, and put time and resources into caring for the most vulnerable— is a radical act.

      Dean Spade. Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During This Crisis (and the Next) (Kindle Locations 111-121). Verso.


      Sikowis Nobiss speaking at the beginning of the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March https://firstnationfarmer.com/

      Critical thinking

      This is a continuation of an article I recently wrote about critical skills to prepare for collapse. It is telling that the idea of collapse is more widely accepted, but not surprising as the signs are appearing in so many ways. Rather than being something environmentalists just talk about, the actual damage is occurring everywhere.

      But simply applying critical thinking to a problem or situation doesn’t necessarily mean you arrive at the best solution. The more you know about the situation you are facing, the better. Which is why banning books and all the other restrictions being placed on education is so tragic. It also explains why that is being done. Those working to control us don’t want us to have that knowledge. They want us to be dependent on what they want and say.

      The point of critical thinking is that as you learn more, you can integrate that into your knowledge base and make better decisions. Which is going to be crucial in the face of the rapid and dramatic changes that will be, already are occurring.

      And there are many situations that involve our values, which are not subject to critical thinking.

      Several people have asked me why I put ‘critical thinking’ on this list. My sense, from reading works like the Davids’ The Dawn of Everything and Peter Brody’s The Other Side of Eden is that what most distinguishes our civilization from most prehistoric and indigenous ones is that, before education became something that we ‘did’ to people, most people naturally acquired this essential skill, by facing the many existential challenges that life outside our synthetic, infantilizing, prosthetic, standardized culture presented to them every day. In short, they learned how to learn because they had to; they didn’t have to be ‘taught’.

      My experience has been that, given that it is no longer a prerequisite for survival, critical thinking is now something that has to be specifically nurtured in people, which probably happens most often by parents’ encouragement. Lacking that, there’s a natural propensity, I think, for simplification and uncritical reaction. But if you’re taught the value and importance of critical thinking, I think you figure out this process of weighing and assessing and challenging what the world throws at you.

      But I’m not so sure about this. Maybe, just as we can learn to make our own clothes and grow much of our own food if and when we have to (as millions discovered during the Great Depression), we can also learn to learn, to think critically, to challenge unsupported rhetoric, to think for ourselves instead of relying on increasingly-incompetent media to tell us what we should and should not believe.

      When it begins to dawn on us, in five years or twenty-five, that we are going to have to quickly instill the above (see the article) currently rare skills in many or even most of our people, how might we go about it? As pessimistic as I am, I just can’t believe it’s already too late to do so.

      So I’m thinking about these questions:

      1. What’s the most effective way to voluntarily get billions of people to the point they are capable of exercising the above skills?
      2. How do we get the timing right: Not so early that there’s not yet a sense of urgency, but not so late that we’re trying to do it in an environment of chaos?
      3. How might we begin to identify, improve the competencies of, and empower the right people to do the mentoring, teaching, training, demonstrating, connecting, modelling, and other hands-on imparting of knowledge and skills needed to make it happen?
      4. How can we make this new, crucial learning easier, and fun?

       ‘How Do We Teach the Critical Skills Needed to Face Collapse?” by Dave Pollard, How To save the world, September 10, 2022.


      So I don’t see any top-down ‘professional’ answer to developing the above essential skills in the coming decades, not even the skill of ‘helping people cope’ with collapse. I think the answer has to emerge bottom up, from within each community as that community establishes itself.

       ‘How Do We Teach the Critical Skills Needed to Face Collapse?” by Dave Pollard, How To save the world, September 10, 2022.

      So, we arrive at my experience with Mutual Aid. A future article will discuss how Mutual Aid is providing skills and developing communities to face collapse.


      Critical skills to face collapse

      Something that’s always been below the surface of my consciousness is that the root of our social and political problems is inadequate education. It’s not “I know if people understood ______ issue”, they would agree with me. I know I’m not always right. There are so many things we can have honest disagreements about. But you cannot have such discussions with people who refuse to accept basic facts and reasoning. It is about not falling for disinformation. It’s about critical thinking. It’s a real problem when emerging school policies are intended to make it impossible for students to be able to think critically.

      At Scattergood Friends (high) School the focus is on preparing students to be lifelong learners. Which means developing critical thinking skills. At the Kheprw Institute, a youth mentoring community, the students are taught to be critical thinkers.

      Rapidly emerging educational policies are intended to make students NOT think critically. Banning books! I never thought I’d see the day. Telling teachers they aren’t allowed to teach about racism, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

      I was intrigued when I saw the article ‘How Do We Teach the Critical Skills Needed to Face Collapse?” by Dave Pollard, How To save the world, September 10, 2022. He goes into some detail about these skills, but for now I’ll just list the soft skills and hard skills he says we need to face collapse.

      So civilization, at least as we know it, is going to collapse — political, economic, social, educational, health, transportation, technological systems all will fail, a bit a first, and then more and more.

      We have no idea when it will be complete — could be in 10 years, or in 40. We have no idea how it will play out — how quickly, where first, what systems and governments will go first.

      We don’t even know how people will react to this Slow (and Permanent) Emergency. So how can we possibly prepare for it?

      I think the best answer to this is to teach a lot of people a lot of skills, hard and soft, that they don’t currently have, so that we’re kind of ready for anything. Here’s a list of ten possibly critical soft skills, and ten possibly critical hard skills, that very few of us (in most countries) are competent at at the moment. The ones in italics are, IMO, those that it is important that most people learn; for the remainder, it’s important that some people in each community be very competent at them:

      Soft skills

      • Critical thinking
      • Group facilitation
      • Helping people cope
      • Preparing healthy food
      • Caring for the young, old, and sick
      • Imaginative, reflective and creative skills
      • Mentoring
      • Listening, noticing and attention skills
      • Conversation
      • Community-building

      Hard skills (that require some specific technical knowledge/experience

      • Growing and harvesting food
      • Making and repairing clothing and shelter from the elements
      • Accessing clean, safe water
      • Weaving, fabric-making, pottery and other crafting skills tha that make life much more pleasant and comfortable
      • Medical, medicinal, and injury-healing knowledge and skills
      • Food preservation
      • Bicycle construction and repair
      • Basic engineering skills
      • Ecological skills
      • Decommissioning-nuclear reactors and petrochemical sites

      Building Communities-The Vision

      For years I’ve been thinking about how to build communities as collapse occurs. I’d thought there would be millions of climate refugees moving inland in the country as their homes and communities are ruined by rising sea levels, severe storms, drought, collapsing infrastructure and social systems. It’s clear now that no place will really be safe. Here in the Midwest we’ve had severe flooding, drought, and strong storms.

      We need to build model sustainable communities. There have been numerous such experiments in intentional community. But this model must be created with the intention of being replicated many times over with minimal complexity, using locally available materials—a pre-fab community.

      Pre-fab components

      • Community hub with housing and other structures
        • Simple housing
          • Straw bale houses
          • Passive solar and solar panels
          • No kitchens, bathrooms or showers (community ones instead)
        • Stores, school, meetinghouse
        • Central kitchen, bathrooms and showers
      • Surrounding fields for food and straw
      • Water supply
        • Wells, cisterns and/or rain barrels
      • Power
        • Solar, wind, hydro, horse
      • Manufacturing
        • 3 D printing
        • Pottery
        • Sawmill
      • Communication
        • Radio, local networks
      • Transportation
        • Bicycles
        • Horses
        • Pedal powered vehicles
      • Medical
        • Stockpile common medications
        • Essential diagnostic and treatment equipment
        • Medical personnel adapt to work in community
      • Spiritual
        • Meeting for worship
        • Meeting for business
        • Religious education

      I plan to write more about critical thinking soon.