Friday, January 9, 2009

What the Hell is going on here?



This photo was taken just down the street from the where the yellow van sat. It's a damn good thing that Mayor Young is not around today to see this site! This would have been enough to make his blood boil, as he despised using resources in such a wasteful matter... "What the @#%*&#$!!! hell, is going on here? %#&^%#$@!!! One was very wise not to shy or sleek away from such a rant, as this infuriated the man even more...


Let's really look at this picture, as this describes a society deep into catabolic collapse. Surely, the new pavement of the approach to the nonexistent driveway, that would lead to the nonexistent house, is a waste. That nonexistent house today, probably looked like the two at the other end of the block, not all that long ago? I wonder how long it will take when it is very likely that those two abandoned house's lots will look like the lot were viewing in this picture?
When resources become so depleted, that production falls short of the level needed to maintain the capitol stocks or homes/driveways, those homes/driveways eventually become waste. Not only is this very evident in the picture, but if that new blacktop was made from old existing blacktop that was salvaged, that too became a waste in an effort to try to maintain the unmaintainable.
During the photo shoot, I was just appalled at how much resource went into a feeble effort in making the "face lift", in areas so far into decay. That this would soon become not only a waste of time and resource, but could impede an effort on a project that would be more sustainable? Some project, that could be maintained in the foreseeable future?
I'm going to strongly suggest that Mayor Young, knew the catabolic process only too well. Certain neighborhoods were "permitted" to fall under his watch and that the dwindling resource base, was put forth on efforts to projects that could be maintained in the longer run. This is the "vision" that he had, that I was referring to earlier, that is so obviously lacking today in Detroit....


8 comments:

greenstatistician said...

Hej!
Don't you think that further down the road of collapse houses wont be abandoned, if the residents don't have any alternative?

Nudge said...

Hi Greenstatician:

Someone may be living in those buildings, if they do not become dangerously unsanitary anyway. This is well into the snow belt. If a house isn't heated during the winter, the pipes blow, it gets moldy inside, and soon the place is dangerous to set foot inside with the yellow bio-hazard suits.

How many of these houses are set up to be heated with something other than fossil fuel? If the intended fuel is wood, are there enough trees still standing in Michigan to heat that many houses that way? Or are there so many homes wanting heat that the effort to heat them with wood will result in the whole area being deforested?

FARfetched said...

Nudge, if the houses are old enough, there may be steam lines running in (the old radiators). 'Course, the lines are probably rusted to where they wouldn't hold much pressure.

Forestry is a significant part of Michigan's economy, but most of that is pine & you really don't want to burn that unless you're friends with the chimney sweep or the fire department.

yooper said...

Good Morning greenstatistician, and welcome to my circle of friends on Blogger! Perhaps, a bit of an introduction is in order here. greenstatistician, is from "old Europe" and the instructor who introduced me to the mindset of Spengler.

I don't know if residents can stay in their homes futher down the road of collapse. If they have lost their job(s), savings, unemployment, welfare, etc., how can they?

I'm going to suggest that, Detroit has experienced at least 40 years of catabolic collapse already. If that trend is to continue(which is very likely), then I would suspect that many residents may have no other alternative but to leave to leave their homes....

My next response to Nudge, will be directed towards you also. I think, you'll find this most interesting.

Hello Nudge! I can't agree more with your thoughts that abandoned buildings become dangerous in many respects including being unsanitary, rat infested, fire traps, etc..

Ok, on to your questions about if there is enough trees in Michigan to heat that many houses and if this could deplete the forest resulting in the whole area being deforested.

I feel quite confident in this response and rarely discuss my thoughts about it, as some might deem it as, "unappropreiate, and unbelieveable."

16 years ago, I wrote a investigative, research project report entitled, "Continuous Aging of Michigan Forests". This came about when the Dept. of Michigan Natural Resouces (MDNR) came to the conclusion that the prognosis for the sharp-tailed grouse (representing grassland species), ruffed grouse(representing early forest species) and many other species of both habitats would likely become extinct in the State, within the next 100 years.

A very exhaustive investigation was launched in cooperation with the society and an association, that I was apart of, along with the MDNR, U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USF&W), along with the Washington Archives and associated groups that "watchover" their information.

I'm quite satisfied, as were ALL the professionals from the agencies, who were involved that "no stone went unturned", on this project that lasted over a year and 2,000 hours of my time.

The research was limited to the last 100 years, when records pretty much began... Much of the information came from the USFS, 10 year intervals of analysis of the measurement of the forest (board feet, volume, area, etc.). This would be "tested" aganist the USDA's aerial photography of the sample areas of the 1980's, the 1960's, the 1940's and of some of the late 1920's (when this activitly begain), and of satellite imagery of today. A "pattern" soon emerged...

In part, due to better fire suppression, loss of agricultural land, etc., the forest has in fact grown, every year for the past 100 years (a 100 year trend), in area, density and volume in Michigan (as well as in Wisconsin and Minnsota and I suspect in other states). Moreover, one of the many hypothesises gathered from reviewing this information by one of the professionals, was that if volume was converted to btu, that the forest could provide heat for the entire State and that the forest would continue to grow, in area, density, etc.. The fact being, we cannot economically harvest forest products faster than the rate of growth and haven't for the past 100 years....

Now, I'm not suggesting that the forest might not become depleted resulting in deforestation in some areas by ways you're suggesting, however in the whole of the State, this isn't likely.

Firewood in the Detroit area, is expensive and hard to come by compared to say, the U.P., and to think these homes could be converted to be heated by wood would not be economically feasible, at this time (if ever?). Now you can draw your own conclusions from this, as these are the facts. As, I mentioned before, very unbelieveable and unpopular...

Contemplating, what I've just brought across, can lead to ugly, unpleasant thoughts concerning what could be the future here, and this was a common occurance coming from the professionals, however, at no surprize to most...

As I have often said elsewhere, this scenario is appealing to some people, however, it will very likely NOT include them.............

Hey Far! ha! You've heard this agruement before! ha! Yes, I'd dare say most homes still have/had the old radiator/steam system in them.

You're quite correct, about the difference between hard wood and soft wood, being used to heat homes. Btw, the volume/btu conversion considered all types of wood (in case you're wondering). That distinction, I think, could have been made, however would have entailed an even greater depth in research. This was the first time such a "test" or comparsion was attempted and why this project was greeted with such enthusiasm among the agencies. It was also very likely how I gained the priviledge to access "sensitive" information (historic aerial photographs) at the Washington Archive. This is something I can't fathom happening after 9/11......

thanks, yooper

Nudge said...

Good morning Yooper and thanks for the detailed info about forest resources. I gather from your answer that the great forests are essentially too far from the hovels of Detroit for anyone to haul firewood from the one to the other with [low tech] sustainable transportation. The calories expended on the effort might exceed the heat value of the wood retrieved, especially if it needs to be carried more than 50 miles.

It's good to hear about the forest recovering, though. I daresay that when the FF depletion thing gains better traction, we will not so easily or cheaply be able to accomplish much in the way of deforestation .. because when you've got to do all that work by hand using axes and bandsaws, and dragging everything out with teams of horses, it's a /lot/ of work.

My relatives in rural Ohio have a similar thing with the local wildlife. Out here, in densely-populated Massachusetts, it is entirely conceivable that overhunting could drive certain game species to local depletion. In that part of Ohio, it is completely impossible to accomplish game depletion. Just walking around town at night means encountering deer, rabbits, skunks, raccoons, etc on the streets. People jack deer all year round and they still have way too many of them.

yooper said...

Hello Nudge, you impress me with your wisdom! I'll reply more tomorrow...

yooper said...

Hello Nudge! I think at this time, perhaps heating with wood, would be a "sink" in the Detroit area. That is, the process might consume more energy than what the end product can deliever. Coal on the other hand (as nasty as it may be) might, I don't know.
That is what makes your transition/process (starting from the inside and moving outward) so appealing. If we can start thinking in this direction (the sooner the better) perhaps, the transition will be smoother. And by starting a more localized effort between the townies in meeting each other's needs now (which it will very likely become ever more the case as we decline, anyway), will be a more pratical approach than trying to adjust from distant markets once that becomes not feasible? Gee, I really like that idea, the more think about it... As I said before, this thought really never crossed my mind before. Really, it's much like an reversal, of the process today.

Much of Michigan at the turn of the past century (1900), was "cut-over", by using methods you described (and steam powered locomotives and factories). I'm not sure if this process might not happen once again, as townies will have to be powered more locally in the future. Perhaps, clearing forest land for argricultural purposes? One thing is certain, the forest today in Michigan is very likely the largest and more mature, than it has very likely ever been, due to fire suppression. What happens, if there comes a day when we will not have the resource to put out fire?

When I was a child and while the instructors were busy presenting their case of humanity's (Modern Man) extinction, my mind desperately wanted to seek another alternative. I'll likely describe this vision or scenario, next year at this time. It's very much of a reversal to times like the Victorian era. The instructors thought that this type of thinking was fantasy or "grasping at straws". They thought that Modern Man would not likely survive the RAPID COLLAPSE, they (we) envisioned.

If it were not for the mass cut-overs of the mature forest(that supports very little wildlife) here in the U.P. which resulted in early succession forest, that supports a much wider varity of wildlife, deer, grouse, rabbits and such species. Perhaps the Great Depression would have been much worse for the people here, as wild game was very much apart of their diet?

Thanks, yooper

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