Whatever you might feel about the causes of the changes to our climate, we can all be sure that we are living in unusual climate conditions that place enormous strain on our centralized machine systems. Whether it is floods or drought, wind or ice, relying on the "System" is not a good bet anymore.
In my book, You Don't Need a Job, I make the case for a return to a more decentralized way of living. Only 100 years ago 80% of us lived in rural settings and were very much more resilient. We had our own hand wells. We heated with wood. We had our own food. And our house did not cost a fortune to build or to keep.
But then, of course, the work was local. We went to the cities to get work as work itself became more centralized. But work today is becoming less centralized and much of the work of the future will be the old work. It will not be work in large corporations. It will be work in very small units. We will make and sell things for ourselves and for each other. We will make a living feeding each other. We will make a living by providing services to each other. We won't have a lot of money but then we won't need a lot of money when most of what we need is free! We do not need a lot of money when we share a lot of things.
Key to this new way of living is a new way of looking at a house. Our new houses will be like this.
It will be small - this is less than 700 sf. It will generate most of its own energy and will capture most of its own water. It may well be connected in a network to other small houses that house your extended family. You may well have a common barn that will have animals, your tools and a maker space.
To help you build this, there are new kinds of house builders emerging. This one is from Off Grid Shelters.
Tumbleweed is the leader.
There is more to a Tiny House than just a small space. Living in a tiny space forces us to rethink how we live. How much stuff do we really need? Does stuff make us free or a slave? Do we worry about how people will see us if we have a tiny house and few things? The Tiny, or small ,house is a statement about how we live. More on this here:
I have moved to a small cottage. It is not 700 sf - it is 1300 sf. We too have had to rethink all our stuff and what we really need. We are investing in making our small house as minimally dependent on the system as possible. We can walk to any place in the village. We will insulate it thoroughly. With our wood insert stove we rely on the local wood source to back up Hydro Quebec. There is a strong local food system and we have lots of family and real neigbours to offer the security of a real social network.
This shrinking has not been easy. Nor is it easy to show such a small face to the world when I have been indoctrinated to show the biggest face. "What will people think of us?" is a thought running in background.
But when I fuss, I remind myself that I am more free now than I have ever been. And I promise you true freedom is delicious.
We don't have much of an income. But we don't need it. This is my retirement strategy. It's not about having an impossible amount of savings to maintain my old way of living. It is about investing in a new way of living that does not need a lot of cash. It is such a tax effective approach too.
Our greatest exposure to the system at our age - in our 60's - is healthcare. And because of knowing what we do about health, we plan to keep away from that risk too. My Xmas Book - You Don't Need a Doctore to be Healthy - will shed more light on this too.