*The following post is an excerpt from my book – Plan and Prep: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.
The Real Apocalypse
Sooner or Later
Although a zombie apocalypse is fun to plan and prepare for it is most likely never going to happen. As you read earlier, there are plenty of alternative “End of the World” scenarios. Although you may not get to experience the joy of blasting undead meat bags away with your assault rifle, you could still get plenty of opportunities to play survivor-man.
Obviously there are a few scenarios that don’t include humans in the aftermath such a black holes, gamma ray bursts, an exploding sun and more. These scenarios suck, but we won’t be here to worry about it. For the scenarios that do include survival of the human race, here are my ideas.
I believe the root cause of the collapse of the human civilization will be Climate Change. Although I do believe we are responsible as humans for hastening this process, I don’t believe that we are the base cause of it. Science has shown time and again that nearly everything in the universe works in cycles. The Earth is no different. Current scientific data shows that this planet alternately warms and cools over time in a distinct and predictable pattern.
For the past 10,000 years this planet has enjoyed a period of relative warmth referred to as the Holocene era. During this period climate and weather patterns have been extremely mild in comparison to what scientists believe has occurred in prior eras.
This peace will not last however, and we may be seeing the end of it as we look out of our windows today. The number and magnitude of major storms are increasing and we are seeing increased earthquake activity worldwide according to many other scientists. I am not throwing my hat in as a “true believer” to all of these theories, but I am also not trained in those areas and cannot dispute them. I choose instead to approach with a cautious but open mind. I prepare.
So if things continue, and our planet keeps warming and the ice keeps melting and climate change does in fact raise its ugly head; what will the end result look like?
Air is Rare
Before too long the air on this planet is going to be so full of pollutants it won’t be safe to breathe for long periods at a time. We already see this in parts of China and even to some extent in San Diego, CA. I see a future where masks are not only prominent, they are necessary. Prior to the collapse of civilization as we know it the air will already be bad, so hopefully companies will be developing smaller and more efficient personal masks before all hell breaks loose.
The lack of oxygen or addition of other non-breathable chemicals and pollutants in the air may cause defects in people over time. Be prepared for mutations due to radiation if the ozone layer gets too far depleted. Clothing will most likely mirror that of today’s desert dwelling nomads, being loose fitting and covering the whole body.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the things we are putting into the air are going to cause all of this. Remember that as the ice and permafrost of the earth melt, they release gases that have been trapped for eons. Some of these gases could be pretty nasty. Also, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and several other geological changes could release gases into the air. These aren’t pleasant either and in abundance could cause great harm and grief.
Mobile Society in the Western US
Residents of the western US will most likely become a more nomadic type of society. Lack of resources and changing seasons will require movement in order to survive. When the power grid fails anyone living in or around Phoenix, AZ will need to leave during summer months, or they will most likely die. As the planet gets hotter due to climate change the ground will become drier and there will be dust storms and wind storms in the western US to rival the famous Dust Bowl. Plants will not grow well in this environment; animals will migrate away from these areas. After a few years these areas will be devoid of humans.
California will continue to be a population center being close to the cooler Pacific air, but the southern regions of that state will quickly lose their luster for most people. Temperate areas such as those near San Francisco will continue to develop.
Washington and Oregon will either become warmer and thus more habitable, or they will suffer deep freezing beyond that which most people will want to endure. This truly depends on the root cause of the “end of the world” scenario. If it is “global warming” then no one really knows what will happen. If the root cause is the cyclic patterns that this planet has been shown to follow, well, people in those areas might want to invest in parkas and pocket hand warmers.
Communal Society in the Midwest US
In the Midwest US you will find more communal societies. Resources will be easier to come by, although still scarce, due to temperature and moisture levels in this region. Large cities will die out and massive amounts of the population will perish as the ability for this planet to support life dwindles.
The survivors will begin coming together into small communities for resource sharing, security and socializing. Travelling families may be welcome to join communities that are not stretched thin on resources, but single travelling men will most likely not be allowed and will be forced to move on.
These small Bible Belt communities will suffer internal strife in the beginning as some choose to follow local law enforcement or government while others turn to religion to show them the way forward. Cooler heads should prevail and if someone in charge has some decent common sense and a little survival training, these communities should prosper with relative ease, if not comfort.
Northern and Northeastern US
The northern and northeastern areas of the US are going to go one of two directions in post climate change times. Either they will be frigidly cold areas constantly receiving arctic temperature winds and massive amounts of snow, or they will be mildly cool to nicely warm areas with lush vegetation. Caution would lead me to avoid the area until the effects of climate change are more widely understood.
If temperatures in these regions plummet and remain there the majority of the year than as you can expect the populations will migrate south. Across most of the US this will not be too big of an issue. Areas south of Chicago will see massive amounts of roaming, starving and cold people heading their way, but the surrounding countryside is quite vast and unpopulated through much of Illinois, Indiana and even Iowa and Ohio, so this should be sustainable as long as they keep moving. You won’t want to be in their path though as they will most likely clear the entire area of all resources and certainly crimes against other people will occur in large numbers.
In the northeast there will be huge numbers of people migrating south, and this is going to cause some very large issues. The population density in these areas is such that any increase or nomadic transfer is going to wreak havoc on the local resources.
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