We're Moving to Alaska/Oil Crisis/Sonoma County Y2K

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Dear Friends,

In 10 days, we, Alan and Donna, and our son Michael who will follow later, will be leaving to move to Alaska. In September, we visited our son Christopher who works at a boysAcademy in Alaska run by our church for at-risk youth. We spent a month in Alaska visiting Chris and traveling around to remote parts of the interior where we lived for five days in a town of twenty-five people. We posted some episodes of our Alaska Adventures to give folks an idea of what it was like. We were inspired by the work that the Academy is doing, and overwhelmed by the beauty, remoteness, and wildness of the land, and believe we are called to go live there and help with the work of the Academy.

We worked all summer to try to get Santa Rosa Neighborhoods started. Our hope was to link up neighborhood groups into a city wide network, and then work with the city and county to spread the message of preparedness to all, similar to what is being done in Oakland and Berkeley. We met a few people who were organizing their neighborhoods as best they could, but there were not enough people willing to take on major responsibilities sufficient to get a whole organization up and running, nor enough people who would respond to such an effort. We believe such an organization is still very important, because the disruptions of Y2K are going to be serious enough that community based response is going to be very much needed.

By now most of you hopefully have read our post of a few days ago, READ ME 1: Oil Crisis - 50% drop in supplies. Part 1 of 2. Part 2 will follow soon. If you havent read it, it is very important that you do so now. It features the forecasts of DD Reed, an oil industry consultant, that we may have up to a 60-70% drop in oil supplies as a result of embedded chips. I had a long talk last night with Rich, who spent hours putting the talk into a format that could be read easily and posted to the Yourdon bulletin board. He confirmed that DD is real, and is exactly who she says she is. The post also confirms what we suspected all along, that Y2K is going to bring serious disruptions far beyond what most people expect. If DD is only partly right, a major depression and severe shortages of oil and food, among other things, are in the offing. When you add up the oil situation, possible blackouts and brownouts, possible computer failures and disruption of data bases everywhere here and abroad, the total unreadiness of many businesses, government agencies, and underdeveloped countries, the entire medical establishment far behind in their redemption efforts, extensive disruptions to international trade, the possibility of accidents with the 433 nuclear reactors across the globe, not to mention chemical plants and oil refineries, the well reported preparations of terrorists, hackers, thieves and ambitious governments who are waiting for chaos to implement their own designs, and all the economic chaos which will result from all these things happening collectively, it is easy to see that if only a few of these things happen we are in for some major shocks.

Our forecast of what could happen is based on many hundreds of hours of research on our part over the past year, as well as many conversations with over a hundred people all over the country who have in turn done many hundreds of hours of research each. What with the investigation done by the many people who have written about the problem, we have calculated we are drawing on over one hundred thousand collective hours of research. If you still have doubts about Y2K, we would ask you to think about how much time you have spent investigating the problem. (Established media sources are notoriously inaccurate on this score, and information gained from them does not count more than 20%.) If you have not started doing your own research, please do so immediately. Sources for doing so are listed later in this letter.

The government has run a major misinformation campaign to convince people the problems will be minor, because they are afraid of bank runs, stock market crashes, and supply shortages. The result will be a populace unprepared, both physically and psychologically, who will be confused and angry when disruptions begin and they find they have been totally deceived by their government. When that happens, there will be a need for strong organizations everywhere, including Santa Rosa and all the cities and towns in Sonoma County, to teach people how to band together and cope.

The most important thing now is for leaders to step forward and revive the local Y2K organizations which were created in the last year. Serious thought needs to be given to what we are going to do when the shooting starts, so to speak. Sonoma County Y2K needs to be revived so that leaders from all over the county can meet, exchange ideas and support one another. Relationships need to be set up with city and county governments and the Office of Emergency Services, so that they are in place ahead of time. At some point the Forums could be re-started, at least until the gas shortages prevent widespread travel. These things need to be started now so that when it begins to come down, people, including ourselves, are not isolated.

So far as resources, there are many available. See READ ME: Oil Crisis, Part 1 for sites with material on preparations and Y2K information. The Sonoma County Y2K Website at www.sonic.net/Y2K is an excellent vehicle for exchanging ideas and keeping in touch. We and others have many names of people who have expressed some interest in the past, as well as some materials. We would be glad to share both. If you are not on Tom Atlees e-mail list, you should e-mail him to get his continual flow information on Y2K, and especially community organizing (cii@igc.org). Check out his Website at www.co-intelligence.org. Go to Mick Winters Napa Valley Y2K site at www.y2knapa.com and check out My Favorite Places. If you need help with preparations, try www.cassandraproject.org and www.y2kchaos.com. Above all, READ GARY NORTH REGULARLY, (www.garynorth.com), daily if possible, to find out what is really going on. If you dont have internet access, go the library or tean up with a friend who does.

We have found it extremely useful to go the monthly meetings of Bay Area Y2K organizers. We got connected up with a number of knowledgeable people, and it helped us to get a better handle on what is happening. Contact with that group led me (Alan) to attend the National Y2K Organizers Conference in Boulder in October, where I met more informed and committed people. Any interested organizer would be welcome at the Bay Area meetings. To find out about more, contact David at dhgold@pacbell.net.

At this point a lot has already been done. We have a group of people in Sonoma County Y2K who have worked together to put on the Forums. Almost every city or town in the county has a Y2K organization. We have widespread networks in place with each other, family, and friends. Most of us have some basic preparations done, and have gone through the emotional changes that inevitably happen to everyone who gets Y2K. All we need to do now is build on what we have already created.

We do, however need to be cautious. There will be a widespread backlash of blame when it all starts to come down, and Y2Kers may get blamed for causing whatever panic ensues. We should meet together and make plans to serve, but also be aware that many people are being cautious of how public they are until they see how everything falls out. Some local Y2K groups, for example, have stopped public activities for now to avoid the blame game should it fall on them, and these are some of the most knowledgeable people in the country. What we are suggesting is not cowardice, but simple prudence.

It is worth noting that we are not leaving Santa Rosa because of Y2K. We are leaving because we feel called to a different work. Before we visited Alaska in September, we were planning to stay in Santa Rosa and ride out any disruptions with our friends and community. It retrospect, however, leaving for Alaska and Y2K do have a connection. We feel called to a much simpler form of life that Alaska offers, and that most of us may soon find ourselves a part of whether we like it or not. We find ourselves deeply disturbed by a society that is increasingly governed by money, power, comfort, and convenience, and not by God and concern for people and the natural world. After living in the unspoiled purity of Alaska, living again in the lower forth-eight seems very artificial and removed from reality. More and more, Y2K seems not just a cause but an effect of a society that has lost its moorings and is wandering into uncharted and dangerous territory. As a result of our Y2K inquirings, namely Why is all this happening?, we have come to see the larger issues of rapacious destroying of traditional cultures and the environment, mindless consumerism, the reaching and exceeding of the levels of population (and destruction of natural resources) that the planet can support, and the near total jettisoning of God and higher values that have come to dominate this culture. Y2K may prove only to be the spark that sets off a number of underlying conditions that sooner or later would have had devastating consequences anyway. In a larger sense then, what we all need to do is to look at where we are and how we can change the directions both of our own lives and society to get back on the right track. Hopefully we will have time to convey some of our further thoughts on this subject at a later date, but for now consider our previous posts of Alaska Adventures Parts 1-4 the beginning of these efforts. We would like to hear your thoughts as well.

If you have gotten the message of Y2K you may have a feeling of being called to some higher work. Many people do. If this is so, the two questions you must answer are, who is calling you, and to what? Millions of people, and maybe hundreds of millions, are likely to die before this is over. You have a choice now of being one of the dead, perhaps an accidental survivor, to prepare to survive in isolation, or to prepare in order to serve. We recommend the latter. Please redouble your preparations and store as much food as possible, a years supply would not be too little. Oil shortages mean food shortages. Those who are prepared will be less likely to be forced to go to government run shelters if it comes to that, and in any case will be more able to weather economic disruptions with a tangible (and edible) form of insurance. Pass this message along to friends you think might listen. Everywhere, and in Santa Rosa especially, leaders are needed to come forth and start on all that needs to be done. If you are going to watch the Y2K movie on NBC tonight with friends, it might be a good time to start discussions of what we are going to do.

We will dearly miss our friends who have come to be so important to us in the short time we have been here. We hope all of you will keep in contact with us and we will try to do the same. God Bless You, and our prayers and thoughts are with all of you.

Alan and Donna

-- Alan & Donna (alandonnaj@aol.com), November 21, 1999

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