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The Five Stages of Collapse - Survivors’ Toolkit By Dmitry Orlov, 2013. New Society Publishers.

Dmitry Orlov’s new book The Five Stages of Collapse just arrived in my mailbox and I promptly read it. I have been reading Orlov for years now and consider him as having one of the most penetrating insights into the current crises the world is in and what is likely to happen as the crises develop further.  Permaculturists in general have a very good idea of the problems the world faces and in my opinion have the most practical ideas on how we can adapt ourselves out of the current mess, both individually and collectively. Permaculture is about solutions.  Alas, very few people are listening to permaculture’s solutions yet and so we are almost certainly going to go through at least some of the stages of collapse that Orlov describes. Increasing parts of the world are already in various stages of collapse. Take a look at the List of countries by Failed States Index.
Even within supposedly stable countries there are pockets of collapse already, especially in big city slums and among the increasingly large numbers of disenfranchised people.
Orlov’s book’s subtitle “Survivors’ Toolkit” is one of the reasons I recommend you read his book.  Orlov gives some good advice on how to survive whatever scale of collapse happens to your neighborhood. What it boils down to is building a network of relationships with trusted people in your neighborhood and area. Who can you trust?  Who will keep their word? Building mutual support networks is imperative.  Selling your labor in the job market to buy everything you need from the impersonal, globalized market will be less and less tenable for more and more people.  Growing food, making and repairing the things you need, setting up local barter systems, etc is what we need. Withdrawing our support and dependence on global supply lines is what we need to be doing and helping other people to do.  “Forewarned is forearmed” is an old saying that helps encapsulate why you would read this book. 
The five stages that Orlov describes are. 1. Financial collapse, 2. Commercial collapse. 3. Political collapse, 4. Social collapse; and 5. Cultural collapse. 
An optimistic person will recognize that the first three stages of collapse can open up avenues for society to create new and better structures and avoid the latter stages of collapse.  It won’t be easy. To quote Orlov: “The best-case scenario is that the old rules are consigned to oblivion quickly and decisively. The public at large will not be the major impediment to making the necessary changes. Rather, it will be the vested interests at every level – the political class, the financial elite, professional associations, property and business owners and last, but not least, the lawyers – who will try to block them at every turn.  They will not release their grip on society voluntarily, so it is best to make plans to forestall and thwart their efforts. When taking part in community organizing activities, if your envisioned community is to survive the transition to a post-collapse existence, it is important to keep in mind one vital distinction: is this community going to operate under the old rules or the new rules? The old rules will not work, but the new ones might, depending on what they are. You might want to give the new rules some thought ahead of time, perhaps even test them out under the guise of emergency preparation training.”
This brings to mind the work the permaculture-informed organization, Local 2020, is doing in Port Townsend, Washington. https://l2020.org/Home
To order Orlov’s book or read his latest writings visit: https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/

Introducing Dr. Arden Anderson

I attended, and spoke at, the February 7-8, 2013 Bio-Ag Conference in Spokane Washington. One of the presenters was Dr. Arden Anderson and he gave one of the most powerful presentations I have seen in many years. Dr. Anderson is both a scientist and a physician.  He talks to groups of farmers and also to doctors. He is an expert in soil health and human health and can point out the fallacies in conventional farming and allelopathic medicine and what the alternatives are for human health and for soil health. I highly recommend anyone concerned with human health to read his book. If you know anyone struggling with disease or illness this book can help them.
Arden made a clear cause and affect that the de-mineralized (and often poison-laden) food being delivered by agriculture today is the cause of the epidemic proportions of disease and ill health in the USA.  He made the point that the public is having an increasingly negative view of farmers for doing so.  Dr. Anderson is a family physician in Indiana and sees first hand the damage caused by the unhealthy food of today.  He particularly singled out GMO foods (genetically-modified organisms) and glyphosphate (Roundup herbicide) as possibly the worst catastrophe humanity has ever seen. There are now hundreds of studies showing that eating GMO food causes tumors, cancers and many diseases, particularly of the reproductive system. Glyphosphate or its breakdown products contaminates the food grown with its use. Most of the GMOs have been created for tolerance to Roundup herbicide (called Round-up Ready), so people eating those foods get a double whammy of GMO and glyphosphate.  The damage is being done at the genetic level and the ill effects will be with us for generations to come.  GMO crops and glyphosphate should be banned immediately.  I wish everybody could see Dr. Anderson’s presentation. His presentation at the conference will eventually be available on a DVD along with the presentations of other conference speakers. I’ll let my readers know when the DVD becomes available and how to order it.
Dr. Arden Anderson’s book “Real Medicine, Real Health” is available from Acres USA Bookstore. www.acresusa.com/books/books.asp
Here is where you can read an interview with Dr. Anderson:
Dr Anderson has a blog at: ardenandersen.blogspot.com/