I'll tell you what .... right now, enough people are thinking in these terms that I can barely come up for air (Safecastle's buyers club and shelter business are running me ragged).
The end is nigh
HELEN HARVEY talks to a prophet. - Taranaki Daily News Saturday, 19 April 2008
It's probably true that people don't want to hear things like "our current food system is totally unsustainable and on the point of collapse". But it's also true that Kevin Moore doesn't present his message in a way that is easy to understand. He interrupts himself, he changes the subject half-way through a sentence and goes off on tangents.
Ask him to explain his theory in two or three sentences. He doesn't. He doesn't even answer the question. "It's not a theory! Take out that word - it's not a theory. I'm presenting facts."
And news reports from around the world are telling a story similar to his. A shortage of food in Haiti has caused riots and deaths. Time magazine devoted six pages in its April 21 issue to biofuels and the resulting strain on grain supplies. Many of the subjects he talks about are regularly recurring themes in such respected journals as Nature and New Scientist. In New Zealand, the price of food and petrol has been steadily increasing.
Kevin Moore is famous for saying the end of the world is nigh.
He reckons he has never said that. What he says is the end of life as we know it is nigh.
New Zealand's current way of living will disappear sometime in the next three to five years, he says.
Peak oil and the world food shortage are the main problems, but there are other factors contributing to a future crisis - it's phosphorous, it's the money system, the water supply, the entire economic system.
The oil supply has peaked and is on the way down.
"Our society is totally dependent on oil, so without oil, it cannot function. Your food supply will be gone. You won't have anything to eat."
Take bread for an example. The tractor that ploughs the wheat field needs oil to function. A tractor is used to sow the field, harvest the crop and a truck transports it to the mill.
If the wheat needs to be dried, it is done using oil or natural gas.
Electricity is used to grind it and to work the ovens that make it into bread or biscuits.
"The whole system's dependent on using energy at about 100 times the rate we should be using it."
The age of oil will last about 150 years, he says, and it started in 1859.
"The crucial point isn't when oil runs out, it's when the supply starts to run down. That started in 2005. We're on the slippery slope."
Some of the predictions he's seen are pretty grim.
"It could be a matter of weeks. If there is an oil shock, the ships just stop coming to New Zealand."
About 15% of the oil used in New Zealand comes from here, so there will be some supplies, he says.
The run-on effects include the fact that trucks will stop delivering food to the supermarkets and that the tourism industry will be completely down the drain.
"It could be next year. I can't tell you exactly."
The very best case scenario is probably 2015. By then, the oil supply will be down to half what it is now, he says.
"You may recall, last year, I said the end of the world as we know it is coming very soon ... it happened August, September last year. That's when it happened. That was the end of the world as we know it."
In August and September, oil went up in price and the start of the meltdown of the American economy began.
"The meltdown started last August."'
Kevin Moore was born in England in 1950. He studied chemistry at the University of Surrey, graduating with an honours degree in 1972. "One of the things they dealt with on that course was resources depletion."
In 1974, he emigrated to New Zealand and arrived in New Plymouth in 1976. He left in 1991 for an attractive job offer in Napier - that didn't turn out that well, he says. He was then enticed to Auckland.
"That was a big mistake. I ended up trapped there."
He came back to New Plymouth in 2006. In 2007, he unsuccessfully stood for mayor.
He has two adult children. His daughter agrees with his philosophy, but she lives in the north of England, so isn't in a position to do much about it.
"My son was in denial for a long, long time, but about 18 months ago, the penny dropped. He said, Yeah, you're right, Dad."
In the future envisaged by Kevin Moore, people are going to be divided into two groups, those who perish and those who survive. "Survivors are people who know what is happening and they are preparing for the real future."
The perishers are the people who don't know what is happening, or don't care, or who believe that everything will carry on exactly the same. When oil runs out, work is going to dry up and people will lose their jobs.
"Finally, you'll starve to death."
People need to prepare for the loss of employment and then the shortage of food, he says.
They should stop spending their money on overseas holidays, jet skis, new cars, the latest DVDs anything that is not going to be of use to them, he says.
"The point is, you need decent-size land. You need to do anything you can to increase your ability to feed yourself."
He suggests people who live in an apartment buy pots and start growing lettuce, but then he backtracks.
"I'm not offering false hope to people, because if you're in an apartment block, you're f-----. There's no way you could possibly grow enough to feed yourself on the balcony of an apartment block. You have to relocate yourself somewhere that does have land."
Everyone needs to use money effectively now. Don't leave it in the bank or a finance company or the sharemarket, he says.
"Because if you do, it will be gone."
He brandishes a report showing graphs of a falling sharemarket.
The finance system isn't going to hold up, he says. How many finance companies have gone bust in New Zealand in the past year? At least a dozen. If Kevin Moore had been elected New Plymouth mayor at the last election, he says he would have stopped all spending on anything that is unsustainable, "particularly artworks and tourism and all that stuff".
"We are using up our last resources on artworks for the park, walkways, a centre to display artworks. Total insanity.
"I would have got community gardens, permaculture education centres set up now."
He would have demonstration plots and a centre to teach people the skills needed.
"This is stuff I proposed to the council and they took it off the agenda."
The window of opportunity to prepare for what he says is the inevitable is closing.
"It takes three or four years to grow fruit trees, so if the shit is going to hit the fan in 2010, which it is, maybe even 2009, and you haven't got your trees planted now, it's too late. That window of opportunity is gone."
Finance institutions are collapsing. Some people have already missed the opportunity to get their money out, he says.
"Anything you want to do will be harder next week than it is this week. It will be harder to do next month than it is the next month, much, much harder to do a year from now than it is now, because the price of oil and petrol is going up."
Kevin Moore is unemployed - has been for 18 months.
It's difficult to get a job: "The council won't employ me, because I'm telling the truth."
He has a degree in chemistry, but the chemical industry has vanished. And in the culture of youth, anyone over 40 isn't wanted, he says.
He is spending the last of his savings, cutting back, hardly buying any food. He has a scooter. He might use his car once a week and estimates he spends $5 a week on fuel.
Since buying his property 18 months ago, he has spent between six and 18 hours a day, seven days a week, working on his section and planting his future: macadamia, feijoa, loquat, orange, guava, lemon, grapefruit, tamarillo, pepinos, figs, apples, blueberry, cape gooseberry, strawberries, persimmon, corn, beans, chillis, carrots, peas ...
"I have no source of proteins other than eating snails and worms and I'm not into that at this stage."
People keep telling him to build a chicken house, but he says there's a flaw in that logic.
"The chicken system is dependent on imported grain. There is a shortage of grain. The prices are going up."
Many poor countries are struggling to get enough rice for their people, he says. "One of the reasons is biofuels. America is now using about a quarter of its grain crop to keep the cars running. The last thing we should be doing is keeping cars going or planes."
Kevin Moore plans to put barbed wire along the top of the fence that surrounds his property.
"I can do all this stuff and some marauding band comes along and kills me to get my food. Hence you have to think about the security thing."
It will come to that unless the community wakes up, he says, because people won't have anything to eat.
"All I'm telling you is facts, not my opinions."
By 2012, it will be pretty well over for everything. There's not much time.
New Zealand is in a far better position than many countries because of water, low population and its environment.
Life in the future will be similar to that in the 14th century, if we're lucky, he says - stone age if we are unlucky.
"I have changed the lives of at least 100 people. One person read my book, bought some land, planted fruit trees. My efforts have raised awareness, but most people are unreachable. It's easier to do nothing.
"I've been preparing for this mentally for the last five years. I've been preparing physically for the last 18 months."
Get Ready ... Seriously - www.safecastleroyal.com