Time for global action on Earth’s great threat – Fukushima’s spreading ionising radiation

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Federal Government says that the radioactive levels within it are “within safe limits”? Are we going to continue to label people like myself (of which there are many) as “conspiracy theorists” and uneducated alarmists who have been expressing concern over the Fukushima catastrophe since it occurred — people like me who know from objective observed and scientific fact that all is not well with what is going on (or not going on) at Fukushima?

SHTF: High probability low impact vs Low probability high impact

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What are you preparing for and how do you prioritize accordingly?  There are some very real threats out but all of us are limited on time and resources.  Even the independently wealthy prepper with all the time and money in the world could not prepare for and mitigate risk for every potential disaster which exists in the world today.  With that in mind there must be a calculated balance, prepping for threats in a common sense way which does not over extend our resources or take up too much time (read: getting bogged down).

I see this two ways: High Probability / Low Impact vs Low Probability / High Impact.  Where you are in the world and you current state of readiness determines how you break the threats out and prepare for them.  A few examples follow.

High Probability / Low Impact

  • Bugout necessary because: forest fire, flooding, train wrecks and spills chemicals etc.
  • Storm causes power outage for a few days or even a couple weeks
  • Job loss
  • Stuck on the side of the highway broken down in winter storm
  • Droughts cause water shortages

Low Probability / High Impact

  • Supervolcano in Yellowstone erupts
  • Total financial collapse globally
  • Asteroid strike on earth
  • WW3 with nukes
  • EMP Strike destroys the grid

From the list above (and there are many more) you can see that “impact” to us is relative, you might think a job loss is tough but indeed it is relatively low impact compared to the Supervolcano erupting (especially if you are in the fallout zone).

I’m sure at some point most of us used to watch the OPSEC fail show Doomsday Preppers, where people would state which disaster they were preparing for.  Countless time and efforts were being poured into prepping for that one thing but what if that one thing never came to fruition?  What if all that time and money toward an underground bunker could have been redirected toward something(s) which would have a better impact to mitigate more plausible scenarios?  Granted there is some definite crossover with respect to preps but all of those hand crafted Faraday cages probably won’t come in handy as supplemental income if a job loss happens.

There are no guarantees with respect to preparedness.  You could be that guy with seemingly everything going right: community, preps, land, crops, animals, et al and that flood / fire comes through and wipes it all out.  With that in mind I think it is important to strive for excellence but also have the mental agility to be flexible, to adjust and prioritize as necessary in order to remain effective.  All of the items I listed above could happen so I’m not discounting any of them, yet as stated time and resources are limited so use them wisely.  Make your own high prob / low impact vs low prob / high impact list and plan accordingly.

 

“New” National Firearms Agreement.

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I think the main purpose of this new national firearms agreement & indeed most of the past laws & legislation, is simply to make it harder for law abiding citizens to purchase & own a firearm. Now you need to ask yourself WHY would the government want to STOP us from owning a gun? What advantage is there to society in making it difficult for law abiding citizens to possess a firearm? 

FIRE WEATHER to TORCH Europe and US world becomes giant tinderbox ready to IGNITE

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The world is set for blazing fires of epic proportion which are anticipated to strike Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey and other tourist hotspots around the world, a new study has revealed.

Cities in southern Australia and western North America are also in the firing line. 

Researchers from the University of Idaho, South Dakota State University and the University of Tasmania forecast increasingly dangerous fire weather, as the globe witnesses and alarming increase of devastating fires. 

“THANKS, OBAMA!” THE 44TH PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON SPACE WEATHER

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You’ve probably heard of something called a coronal mass ejection (CME), otherwise known as a massive solar flare, and you probably know it could be very bad for the United States if the we happened to be facing the sun when it impacts earth. A large CME has the potential to have devastating impacts on everything from our global positioning systems (GPS), satellite operations, space operations, aviation and even our power grids, knocking them offline in an instant and destroying critical power grid infrastructure. A CME is one of several extra-terrestrial events that could possibly impact earth that are collectively referred to as space weather. Although much less likely, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) can produce the same impacts, most commonly seen as a result of a nuclear explosion. In a world where international terrorism is a real threat, the possibility of an EMP weapon being used against the United States is a real concern. Experts agree that a direct impact from a large CME or a successful EMP attack is an existential threat to the United States that could instantly bring an end to our modern civilization.

 

A silhouette of the New Jersey.

 

On October 13, 2016, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order — Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events that outlined the country’s contingency plan in the event such weather events lead to significant disruption to systems like the electrical power grid, satellite operations or aviation, stating “It is the policy of the United States to prepare for space weather events to minimize the extent of economic loss and human hardship.”

 

 

With this EO, President Obama ordered that the federal government takes steps insure that the national infrastructure is secure in the event of a space weather event. The National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan ( PDF ) was announced a few days later in conjunction with President Obama’s executive order, along with a PDF of The Implementation of the National Space Weather Action plan, complete with a White House official summary. The official pages aren’t up on WhiteHouse.gov, but here is the latest information I could find on those too.

 

 

After years of Congress knowing about the problem and failing to take action, I was pleased to learn that the President did what he could through the executive office to try and protect the critical infrastructure of our nation.  However it is still up to Congress to set aside the funds to follow through and take action in support of the specifics laid out in this order.

 

So what does this mean for me and every one of you concerned about national security and the protection of our extremely fragile power grid infrastructure? The phrase “Within 120 days of the date of this order…” is used repeatedly in this executive order. If you take a look at the calendar, we are at that point right now. I’ve read for years about how everyone knows this is a threat, yet no one is willing to take action. Well, the former President did what he could do in response to a lack of action by Congress and now it’s our turn. Call your United States Representatives and your United States Senators and ask them to take action on President Obama’s executive order to coordinate a national response and strengthen our national power grids against the possible catastrophic impacts of a massive CME or electromagnetic pulse attack. Find your US Representatives and your US Senators and urge them to take action on this very important initiative today.

 

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SHTF vs TEOTWAWKI?

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SHTF vs TEOTWAWKI? We often use SHTF and TEOTWAWKI almost interchangeably but they are not the same thing.  For the first week or two, they may be almost identical.  Law enforcement may still be in place well into the TEOTWAWKI event.  In many scenarios we won’t know if it is TEOTWAWKI for weeks or months. …

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Survival Today! The mess we are in.

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We the people, or at least the majority of people, have help create what we have today. Too many people are simply not satisfied with a simple life, they want more & more & more. Having got more, they now do not want to lose it, they don’t want to rock the boat, so we are stuck with a corrupt government who will continue to take from us more & more & more!

Ask yourself, what is wrong with a nation of people who allow their own government to profit from genocide being committed in Tibet & West Papua? You think that a government who can do this can be trusted to look after your own welfare? Take a look around you, take your heads out of the sand & SEE what is happening! Chinese corporations purchasing Australian farms, mining corporations ruining farm land & polluting our environment; our own government prioritising mining rights over farmer’s rights! Our pensions cut, & not only that but the pension age extended! Our pension rights are not welfare, we have worked all our lives to earn our pensions!

Council services have not increased, but the rates/taxes have! People are being evicted from their own homes & their homes sold. Aboriginal communities are being forced off their land to make way for mining companies. The water supply cut off & their dwellings bulldozed! Crime is rife & the government likes it that way because they can spread their terror campaign & gain more control over Australian citizens. Ask yourself, why was the massacre in Tasmania was allowed to continue so long? Why was the police sniper instructed not to shoot Man Monis in the Lindt Cafe seige? Why were police instructed not to arrest Dimitrious Gargasoulas when he was stuck in a traffic jam & so allowing him to kill people in Melbourne’s Bourke street mall?
I am sick & tired of seeing all these petitions by a variety of organisations attempting to achieve some form of justice for everything from domestic animals & the environment to human rights. As if petitioning a corrupt government will actually achieve anything! If all of these organisations were to band together & start legal proceedings to remove our government from office & set in place a new fairer system for all, then all the other problems would be resolved at the same time! But no, just like our government, they want to keep things rolling along as they are, creating new petitions every day. Is there a method in their madness? Do they in some way profit from this? Or are they just too stupid that they can’t see the wood for the trees?
I am one person in a minority, this minority can not change what is happening to Australia, we can not sack this corrupt & illegal government corporation on our own, & the majority that can accomplish this are doing nothing. YOU the majority are to blame for the unrest & corruption in Australia. YOU are to blame for the number of homeless people living on our streets. YOU are to blame for the crime rate & the number of people dying in our hospitals & those dying because they are not being admitted to our hospitals! YOU have the power, but you are too damned lazy, greedy & corrupt yourselves to use that power to make change for all Australian citizens. So if one day it all hits the fan, DO NOT come knocking on the doors of this minority of preppers, farmers, alternative lifestyle people or anyone else who is doing it hard right now, because we will not be opening our doors.

Survival, Camping or Bushcraft?

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Survival, Camping or Bushcraft?

If survival is what you are interested in & preparing for, then that is what you need to concentrate on. Camping is not survival, unless it is primitive camping, in which case there are skills to be learnt there. Bushcraft in the main is not about survival, it is about inventing new so called “skills” that you can practice & share but have no real practicle survival value. Modern camping & bushcraft is about gadgetry, new gadgets & tents are being produced all the time to lure the gadget oriented person into spending more money on stuff that has no real practicle value. Camping used to be about practicle skills & basic equipment, now it is an industry.


Lost survival is different from shtf survival. Lost survival involves people who fail to notify anyone where they are going & how long they will be, or they change their plans without telling anyone. SHTF survival is about surviving a major catastrophe, surviving an event that endangers your life & your living standards. If you are in the city you will have to leave & find somewhere safer in the country. If you are living in the country already you will need to step up your security measures. In both cases you will need to know primitive skills, & you will need basic tools to help you survive long term. Modern gadgets & modern tents won’t cut it. They will not last or stand up to the rigors of primitive living conditions & once they are gone you are left with nothing.

The author’s .62 caliber flintlock smoothbore fusil.
You need to choose a period pre 19th century & equip yourself with the tools & equipment of that period. Why? Because these tools will last, these tools were designed with a specific purpose in mind, survival, & once you are equipped in this fashion you will never drop below that level of comfort. Some 20th century tools will be very useful if you are already living in the country or are intending to move to a retreat. We are talking “hand tools” here, basic hand tools that do not rely on electricity or fuel to operate. You may well be living off grid using solar power electricity, but there is no guarantee that this will last. One of our batteries now has a dead cell, the system is still holding up, but for how long we can not tell.
So, think long & hard & seriously about how you equip yourself. Think about what will be required of the tools that you choose. A short bladed bushcraft knife will not kill as quickly as a longer bladed hunting knife if used for stabbing. Modern methods of fire lighting may not be the best, get a real flint, steel & tinderbox. This will last a lifetime & using it will teach you more fire lighting skills than using a ferrocerium rod. 
12 gauge Black Powder breechloader shotgun with brass cartridges.
When it comes to guns modern firearms are best for defence at your home in the bush, but if you have to “bug-out” with no dwelling to go to, then I recommend you carry a flintlock muzzleloading gun & a bow. Modern ammunition is heavy & bulky & if a modern firearm malfunctions, you are left with a fancy club or a goat stake! People are for ever rubbishing the flintlock muzzleloading gun, in favour of a more modern firearm. Yes having a 9mm Glock on your belt would be very reassuring, IF you can obtain one! My argument is that I can have a flintlock pistol right now, & I would sooner have a flintlock pistol than no handgun at all. Besides which there are many advantages to using a flintlock that are not available to you if you are using a modern breechloader.
.32 caliber flintlock rifle. Accurate, more power than a .22 rimfire & practicle for long term wilderness living.

So make up your mind now if you are really serious about shtf survival. If you genuinely think that something major could go down in the future that could threaten you (& your family);your life & your way of living, then stop wasting your time & money on modern gadgets & tents. Learn primitive skills & equip yourselves with primitive gear that will last long term. You will find that it is less expensive in the long run anyway.
Belt axe/tomahawk. Far more practicle than a machete.
Hunting knife for skinning, butchering & self-defence.
.70 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol for defence.
Exceptions? Possibly water filters, these could be useful if you have to leave the city & go bush. Maybe not of long term use, but they may help in your escape. Medical. You can’t beat good modern medical supplies. By all means use herbal remedies, but do not rely solely on herbs for your survival.

Medical supplies are very important.

The author’s hunting sword. A good basic self-defence tool to carry after the fall.


SURRENDER THE SUN

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SURRENDER THE SUN

I have a vast array of interests that add flavor and color to this wonderful life of mine. A few of those happen to be the idea of apocalypse and what impact it may have on the baseline human condition, our sometimes crazy weather and it’s impacts on this incredible world, and a deep rooted love of history, especially when either of my previous two mentions are somehow involved. In her recent work Surrender The Sun, author AR Shaw has offered up a shiny bobble that I simply could not ignore. So, the real question is would it live up to my wild imaginings of where it may take me?

Annette-Shaw-1_Fotor-300x298

Full disclosure, AR Shaw is a friend, a very nice lady and I have read her work before. That is precisely the reason I want to be careful in this review to only speak to the work and my impressions of it.

Given the interests I listed above that originally secured my interests in the book, in Surrender The Sun, Shaw did not disappoint.

Want to end life as we know it?
Let’s do it.
How about a naturally occurring catastrophe?
Yes, please.
What if I told you it’s all happened before and it will happen again?
Awesome. Bring it on.

In this cataclysmic, blizzard driven romp of a story, Shaw does a wonderful job of world building. I could feel my lungs ache and burn in the frigid temperatures as I stood on the lake shore staring out as wisps of blowing snow spun out and across the body of water’s frozen surface. To further my immersion in this white-bleached, wintry wasteland, Shaw effectively weaves a sense of intimate foreboding throughout the tale as I witnessed Bishop standing like a granite mountain as he shepherds flame-haired, Maeve and her party through the seemingly never-ending storm. Both natural and man made.

In short, if you share any or all of the interests I mentioned earlier, take a chance on Surrender The Sun. The story and the world are engulfing and satisfying. The author also does a good job of touching on some of my other interests too like preparedness and just what it would feel like to realize that you cannot prepare your way out of a situation. After all, it seems that is where things would get really interesting anyway, right? There will come a point when reading this book where you will find yourself standing alongside Bishop and Maeve, each of you asking yourselves the same question. Now what?

Jump into the deep freeze and grab your copy of Surrender The Sun today. To keep up with everything going on with AR Shaw, be sure to check out her blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

When the Economy Collapses, What is “Money”?

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It seems like every year there is talk of an imminent economic collapse. 2017 is no different. With the economic deck stacked against Trump, I don’t have much confidence that he, alone, can turn things around. After all, the national debt is completely out of control and has doubled in the past 8 years. Sooner or later, the piper must be paid and preppers who breathed a sigh of relief when Trump was elected, may want to think again, as I wrote about in this article.

So, with continued predictions of economic collapse, I asked Mac Slavo over at SHTFplan blog to share with my readers his insights into how a family might survive following a collapse of our money system.  Here is his answer, in his own words:

Economist Mike Shedlock defines money through the eyes of Austrian economist Murray N. Rothbard as, “a commodity used as a medium of exchange.”

“Like all commodities, it has an existing stock, it faces demands by people to buy and hold it. Like all commodities, its “price” in terms of other goods is determined by the interaction of its total supply, or stock, and the total demand by people to buy and hold it. People “buy” money by selling their goods and services for it, just as they “sell” money when they buy goods and services.”

What is money when the system collapses and the SHTF?

In disaster situations, the value of money as we know it now, changes, especially if we are dealing with a hyperinflationary collapse of the system’s core currency. This article discusses money as a commodity in an event where the traditional currency (US Dollar) is no longer valuable.

In a collapse of the system, there will be multiple phases, with the first phase being the “crunch”, as discussed in James Rawles’ book Patriots. The crunch is the period of time directly preceding a collapse and the collapse itself. Too often, preppers prep for “the crunch” and fail to realize they will have to be ready to survive for many months, if not years afterwards.

Traditional Currency

Initially, the traditional currency system will maintain some value, though it may be rapidly depreciating in buying power. For those with physical, non-precious metal denominated currency on hand (paper dollars, non-silver coins), spending it as rapidly as possible is the best approach. In Argentina during that country’s many economic collapses, if someone received a check in payment, the immediately rushed to cash it, knowing that it was losing its value minute by minute. This short Kindle document, written by a survivor of that time in Argentina’s history, details that event.

It is during the crunch that ATM machines around the country will run out of currency as people aware of the rapidly devaluing dollar will be attempting to withdraw as much money as possible. This immediate increase in money supply, coupled with the population’s general knowledge of the currency depreciation in progress, will lead to instant price increases for goods, especially essential goods.

And, forget the classic “run on banks” that have been depicted in old movies, including “It’s a Wonderful Life.” A modern day “run” simply won’t happen. Rather, the electronic system that moves money from a billion different points to another billion points will simply be turned off. In a split second, all access to funds will cease, and there will be no point running to a bank to get cash, since banks will be in lockdown mode and, in any case, they hold very little actual cash.

If your physical cash has not been converted into tangible assets, this would be the time to do so. Acquiring as much food, fuel, clothing and toiletry items as possible would be the ideal way to spend remaining cash before it completely collapses to zero, as it did in the Weimar inflation in 1930’s Germany or Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation in recent years. This family survival and prepping manual has in depth advice for preppers at all stages.

Precious Metals

During the initial phase of the ‘crunch’, precious metals will be a primary bartering tool, but this may not last long. The old survivalist adage, “You can’t eat your gold,” will become apparent very quickly. In a total breakdown of the system, food, water and fuel will be the most important tangible goods to acquire, and for beginners, this list of where to start with food storage is invaluable.

Consider someone who has a two-week or one-month supply of food on hand. Do you believe they would be willing to part with that food for some precious metals? The likely answer is no. There will be almost no bartering item that one would be willing to trade their food for once it is realized that food supply lines have been cut. At that point, it’s anyone’s guess as to when supplies, food and otherwise, will be replenished.

That being said, since most will not barter their food, not even for fuel, the next recognized medium of exchange by merchants, especially those selling fuel, will be precious metals. For the initial crunch, silver coins, especially recognizable coins like 90% silver quarters, dimes and half dollars, along with one ounce government mint issued silver coins, like US Silver Eagles, will be accepted by some, probably most, merchants. For those trying to flee cities to bug-out locations, silver coins of the aforementioned denominations may be a life saver, as they can be used to acquire fuel. While it’s recommended to have gold as well, the issue with gold is that its value is so much higher than that of silver. Breaking a one-ounce gold coin into ten pieces just to buy a tank of gas will not be practical. It is for this reason that having silver on hand is highly recommended. Packing at least $25 – $50 worth of silver coins in each bug-out bag would be a prudent prepping idea.

In a total SHTF scenario, silver and gold may eventually break down as a bartering unit, as contact with the, “outside” world breaks down. One reason for this, is that the fair value price of precious metals will be hard to determine, as it will be difficult to locate buyers for this commodity. As well, the vast majority of people will not have precious metals of any kind for barter, so other forms of currency will begin to appear.

This, however, does not mean that you should spend all of your precious metals right at the onset of a collapse. Precious metals will have value after bartering and trade is reestablished and once the system begins to stabilize. Once stabilization begins, the likely scenario is that precious metals will be one of the most valuable monetary units available, so having plenty may be quite a benefit. At this point, they could be used to purchase property, livestock, services, and labor.

Water as currency

Water is often overlooked as a medium of exchange, though it is one of the most essential commodities for survival on the planet.

For those bugging out of cities, it will be impractical to carry with them more than 5 – 10 gallons of water because of space limitations in their vehicles. Due to the weight of water, 8 lbs. per gallon, it’s very difficult to carry much if getting out on foot. Thus, having a method to procure water may not only save your life but also provide you with additional goods for which you can barter

An easy solution for providing yourself and others with clean water is to acquire a portable water filtration unit for your bug-out bag(s). While they are a bit costly, with a good unit such as the Katadyn Combi water filter running around $170, the water produced will be worth its weight in gold, almost literally. This particular filter produces 13,000 gallons of clean water! It’s a must-have for any survival kit.

Because we like reserves for our reserves, we’d also recommend acquiring water treatment tablets like the EPA approved Katadyn Micropur tabs. If your filter is lost or breaks for whatever reason, each tablet can filter 1 liter of water. In our opinion, it’s the best chemical water treatment available.

Clean water is money. In a bartering environment, especially before individuals have had time to establish water sources, this will be an extremely valuable medium of exchange and will have more buying power than even silver or gold on the individual bartering level.

Food as currency when SHTF

In a system collapse, food will be another of the core essential items that individuals will want to acquire. Survival Blog founder James Rawles suggests storing food for 1) personal use, 2) charity, and 3) bartering.

Dry goods, canned goods, and freeze dried foods can be used for bartering, but only if you have enought to feed yourself, family and friends. They should be bartered by expiration date, with those foods with the expiration dates farthest out being the last to be traded. You don’t know how long the crunch and recovery periods will last, so hold the foods with the longest expiration dates in your posession if you get to a point where you must trade.

Baby formula will also be a highly valued item in a SHTF scenario, so whether you have young children or not, it may not be a bad idea to stockpile a one or two weeks supply. (For parents of young children, this should be the absolute first thing you should be stockpiling!). In addition to water, baby formula may be one of the most precious of all monetary commodities.

Another tradeable food good would be non-hybrid produce seeds, but the need for these may not be apparent to most at the initial onset of a collapse, though having extra seeds in your bug-out location may come in handy later. If you currently have a productive garden, check out these instructions for creating your own mini seed banks for barter or sale.

Fuel as currency in a post-SHTF world

Fuel, including gas, diesel, propane and kerosene will all become barterable goods in a collapse, with gas being the primary of these energy monetary units during the crunch as individuals flee cities. For most, stockpiling large quantities will be impractical, so for those individuals who prepared, they may only have 20 – 50 gallons in their possession as they are leaving their homes. If you are near your final bug-out destination, and you must acquire food, water or firearms, fuel may be a good medium of exchange, especially for those that have extra food stuffs they are willing to trade.

Though we do not recommend expending your fuel, if you are left with no choice, then food, water and clothing may take precedence.

For those with the ability to do so, store fuel in underground tanks on your property for later use and trading, and this article provides vital instructions for storing fuel safely — a major consideration.

Firearms and Ammunition

Though firearms and ammunition may not be something you want to give up, those without them will be willing to trade some of their food, precious metals, fuel and water for personal security. If the system collapses, there will likely be pandemonium, and those without a way to protect themselves will be sitting ducks to thieves, predators, and gangs.

Even if you choose not to trade your firearms and ammo during the onset of a collapse, these items will be valuable later. As food supplies diminish, those without firearms will want to acquire them so they can hunt for food. Those with firearms may very well be running low on ammunition and will be willing to trade for any of the aforementioned items.

In James Rawles’ Patriots and William Forstchen’s One Second After, ammunition was the primary trading good during the recovery and stabilization periods, where it was traded for food, clothing, shoes, livestock, precious metals, and fuel.

Clothing and Footwear

We may take it for granted now because of the seemingly endless supply, but clothing and footwear items will be critical in both, the crunch and the phases after it. Having an extra pair of boots, a jacket, socks, underwear and sweaters can be an excellent way to acquire other essential items in a trade.

As children grow out of their clothes, rather than throwing them away, they will become barterable goods, and one possible way to earn an income during this time could be running a second hand clothing store.

It is recommended that those with children stock up on essential clothing items like socks, underwear and winter-wear that is sized a year or two ahead of your child’s age.

Additional Monetary Commodities

The above monetary units are essential goods that will be helpful for bartering in the initial phases of a collapse in the system. As the crunch wanes and recovery and stabilization begin to take over, other commodities will become tradeable goods.

Another important monetary commodity after the crunch will be trade skills. If you know how to fish, machine tools, hunt, sew, fix and operate radioes, fix cars, manufacture shoes, or grow food, you’ll have some very important skills during the recovery period. It costs very little, if anything, to acquire skills and survival knowledge, and, in the worst of times, those are things that cannot be taken from you.

Guest post by Mac Slavo from SHTFplan, updated by Noah, 1/2/17.

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Our New Three Sisters Garden. Hugelkultur.

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This season we are trying a slightly new garden method, just to see if it works. This will be our three sisters garden, corn, beans & squash. This method of making a garden bed is known as Hugelkultur .

I will be making a video of this later when the crops are up, but right now this is as far as I have got. I dug a trench first & filled it with garden refuge, cut grass & weeds, heavier tree trimmings on top of that, some old garden edging logs that we have replaced, then the soil on top. I did add some chook manure before adding the soil to help break down the refuse.
When I started mounding the earth, I soon realised that I was not going to have enough soil to cover the highest logs. I did not want to bring more soil from elsewhere or use our compost that we needed for our other garden beds, so I removed two of the top logs.

The two pumpkins are volunteers from last year.

Off Grid and Preppers Beware. It is coming here!

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The government is set on making Australian citizens totally dependent on their services. In some places they are trying to charge land owners for the use of their own dam water, in some towns rainwater collection is banned. This in a country as dry as ours! We live off grid, & yet we have to pay rates/taxes for services that they do not supply, nor do we want or need their services. We are even charged a fee for our use of our own compost toilets!!! Meanwhile the government still has disarmament of all civilians high on its list of restrictions. We have already lost so many of our rights & freedoms in the name of safety from terrorism!!! 
There may come a time when we will have to go silent on the net. The local councils are corrupt & already know of people like us who are off grid, but we can at least do our best to lower our profile.

Keith.

My thanks to Stephen M.C. for bringing this news video to my attention.

NASA scientist: Earth is overdue a dinosaur-killing asteroid strike, and we’re woefully unprepared.

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NASA scientist: Earth is overdue a dinosaur-killing asteroid strike, and we’re woefully unprepared.



11 Professions That Will Make You a Millionaire In a Post-SHTF World

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When I look at today’s young people, majoring in things like video game design and gender studies, I have to shake my head. Many expensive degrees today almost guarantee a life spent as a Starbucks barista. As well, in a post-SHTF world, those degrees will be worse than useless. The years spent in classes such as “Games and Culture”, “Gender and Representation of Asian Women” and “The Invention of French Theory”…oh, my. Those hours could have been so much better spent studying things that are real, meaningful, and have true significance in the world around us, as well as having practical applications that might be of some actual help.

But, I digress. In the future, as we see the value of our dollar decline, increased civil unrest (although that may provide occasional income opportunities for gender studies students), and a chaotic world, there are a few “professions”, if you will, that could reap huge benefits and income. Just to name a few:

Gunsmith — In a world where violence becomes more common place, armed defense and offense are going to become the hallmarks of a survivor. Want to protect yourself, your family, and your property? Then your firearms had better be in working order 100% of the time. In a future in which law enforcement agencies are disbanded or barely functional, a citizen’s firearm will be his or her own first line of defense. What better career for such a time, and a cool hobby for right now, than becoming a gunsmith? The NRA has information about the trade and suggestions for gunsmithing schools at this site. If you’re not able to attend a school, then a good manual or two, like this one for getting started and this one for learning advanced gunsmithing skills, and a set of basic gunsmithing tools can help you get started.

Midwife — As long as there are men and women who coexist anywhere near each other, there’s going to be a need for midwives and, actually, anyone with the skills to help birth a baby. In a real TEOTWAWKI scenario, life expectancy will decrease and the lives of a mother and newborn will become more precarious. Midwife training is available across the country, including community colleges. Even a single class to learn more than just the basics of childbirth could easily save lives, and if nothing else, a good midwife’s guide to pregnancy and birth is worth adding to your library.

Herbalist — As Obamacare has made the medical field a virtual landmine for medical professionals with onerous regulations of every type imaginable, many have left the field. Now, imagine trying to find a random physician for a major medical crisis when everything hits the fan. That’s when alternative medicine will truly come into its own. My family has experienced good results with certain herbal treatments — slippery elm lozenges for my daughter’s cough, for one. My wife takes Boswellia to help with a chronic cough during allergy season. It works nearly as well as an OTC drug like Delsym. I’m very aware that herbs can and do cause side effects, which is why becoming a trained herbalist would be a darn good profession in a SHTF world. Additionally, start growing medicinal herbs that help with common ailments, such as headaches, stomach aches, and to boost overall immunity. Right now, my family buys herbs in capsule form, and occasionally teas, but in the future, Amazon Prime won’t be there for that quick 2-day shipment, so one of my goals is to build up our backyard herb garden.

Beautician — Now, hear me out on this one! A few months ago, as a student in Preppers University, I had the chance to hear a Bosnian war survivor, Selco, talk about the realities of trying to live life on the front lines of a war. He was asked if, during that time period, the women still tried to look attractive. He chuckled and said, “Yeah, the women still did their best to look good.” Now, in my own personal, albeit somewhat limited experience, I’ve noticed that women always, always want to look their best. Before the birth of our second child, my wife found an attractive nightgown that would look good in photos and after he was born, she fluffed up her hair and put on some mascara. Crazy? Yes, but you can’t argue with the multi-billion dollar beauty business and chances are, no matter what happens, women will still want a haircut and, if possible, color and highlights. Men, too. (Some of them. Maybe.)

Forager — One other piece of information I picked up from Selco’s talk was the importance of foraging. In his town, one old woman knew how to find a few edible plants and was able to forage for them to provide food. Depending on where you live, start researching the edible plants in your area but be very careful with this. On some plants, the leaves may be edible while the roots are poisonous or, in other cases, the plant parts aren’t edible until cooked. Learn more about foraging in this book, one of the best and written by a local Texas foraging expert. Whatever you can forage can be either dried/dehydrated or canned to preserve it for longer term storage.

Seamstress — If you’ve ever traveled in very poor parts of the world, you undoubtedly noticed the well-worn clothing, to put it politely. Modern laundry facilities aren’t usually available, so clothing quickly becomes faded, tattered, and frayed. In such a world, what if you could alter clothing to different sizes or use old jeans to create a brand new pair. Not many have these skills anymore, and they would be worth learning. It’s also a good reason to stock up on sewing supplies like thread, needles, pins, fabric, bobbins, and a treadle sewing machine.

And now for the vices…

The vice businesses, think gambling, drugs, liquor, and prostitution, have always done well, regardless of economics. There will always be customers for these things and, sadly, as times and people get more desperate, those who make a living this way will thrive at the expense of those addicted to their products.

Obviously, I’m not recommending any of these professions, but it’s good to keep them in mind if and when you see society deteriorating. You’ll see an increase in the business of vice and, along with that, a rise in crimes of all types, including organized crime. Hey, with law enforcement scattered or out of the picture altogether, what else would you expect?

Gambling — People either hooked on the thrill of the roll of the dice or in dire need of just one lucky roll will provide plenty of customers for even primitive gambing establishments.

Drugs — Across the globe and throughout time, people have found ways to get high on one thing or another. Back when I lived in the Pacific islands, chewing on a betel nut gave a good buzz, if you were into that sort of thing. Mushrooms and plants of all kinds have been used to produce hallucinations, euphoria, excitement, and a host of less positive effects. This article explains that homemade heroin may become a reality. TEOTWAWKI absolutely will bring an increase in drug production and sales, along with more addicts.

Liquor — I suppose this may not be a vice, depending on which side of the aisle you sit, but I included it in the category because that’s where it has typically belonged. Back in the 30s, my wife’s hillbilly relatives had a front porch still, and as far as I know, they may still be producing homemade moonshine. However, home brewing has come a very long way since then, and if you know how to make a decent beer, wine, or some other alcoholic concoction, you could be set for life. Of course, historically, organized crime usually wants a piece of this type of action, so that life could be shorter than you might expect.

Prostitution — As a dad, this one bothers me a great deal. I’ve seen the devastating consequences of child prostitution in East Asia and human trafficking here in the United States. In a desperate world, one’s body becomes a form of currency and many families have sold their sons and daughters simply to stay alive a few more months. In many parts of the world, this isn’t a “lifestyle”, it’s survival. Knowing this, prepping and moving toward a self-reliant life becomes even more important. I never want one of my family members faced with no other option just to stay alive. In a SHTF world, you’d better believe pimps and prostitution rings will flourish.

Pornography — Yet another soul-stealing “profession”. I see no reason why it wouldn’t continue to thrive in a world with little law enforcement and individuals of all ages willing to risk anything in exchange for food, water, and shelter.

How will you earn a living post-TEOTWAWKI?

There are many skills and professions that will be in demand in a post-TEOTWAWKI world. I’ve listed just a few

 

 

 

 

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Drugs and TEOTWAWKI = Crazy People?

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Drugs and TEOTWAWKI = Crazy People? I found a detailed article on drugs post SHTF, I had not thought about this much as myself and family members are not on anything that would be detrimental to our health, mentally and physically if SHTF. After reading this article it has made me think more about maybe …

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POLITICIANS ACT AS AGENTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS TO ENFORCE AGENDA 21 UPON AUSTRALIANS

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POLITICIANS ACT AS AGENTS OF THE UNITED NATIONS TO ENFORCE AGENDA 21 UPON AUSTRALIANS Politicians Show Preference for Covert Undemocratic AG21 Policy Graham Williamson Revised edition January 2013 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This paper is about Agenda 21 and its implementation in Australia. Its primary purpose is to examine the implementation process and assess its democratic foundations and whether the public have truly been permitted to make an informed democratic choice. Its secondary purpose is to evaluate whether Agenda 21 is beneficial and necessary for Australians. Using extensive documentary evidence from experts, combined with personal correspondence documented in the Appendices, the following fundamental facts have been established. 1. Agenda 21 is a fundamentally undemocratic, sovereignty threatening, UN designed and monitored program which is being banned overseas because of the threat it poses to fundamental human rights. Agenda 21 is found to pose a serious risk to freedom and human rights and is unnecessarily foreign in its origin and control. 2. All three levels of government have been undemocratically implementing this program throughout Australia, on behalf of the UN, for 10-20 years. All the evidence indicates the consistent political refusal to publicly declare AG21 policy has been non-negotiable & bipartisan. 3. In 20 years, all major political parties have refused to openly declare their Agenda 21 policy during elections to enable citizens to make an informed democratic choice. All major parties have preferred to implement Agenda 21 as undeclared or covert policy. As a result, community ignorance about AG21 and its implications are widespread. 4. Although pervasively embedded into government (undeclared) policy at all levels, when directly questioned about AG21 our elected representatives go to extraordinary lengths to either avoid the subject or pretend it is not being implemented. From all my enquiries, not one politician or bureaucrat eagerly responded by openly detailing the many ways in which the tentacles of AG21 are being implemented through the various government departments. Implementation of Agenda 21 is based upon a failure to accurately and truthfully inform Australians. It is based upon deception and trashing of democracy. AG21 is a policy far bigger than any other policy. It is a policy of 20 years duration. It is a policy implemented by both major parties and all 3 levels of government around Australia. It has penetrated from Canberra to local communities everywhere. It shapes our legal system, our economic system, our environmental system, our political system, and even the education of our children. It is not possible to imagine a more massive political policy, yet it is excluded from the electoral agenda and the official policies of all major parties. This policy is being enforced upon us and we have been denied any democratic choice. Why? This is a massive scandal and it is why our politicians are desperately trying to shut the debate down. It is a scandal that dwarfs even the CO2 tax and climate change which form just one part of it. The past 20 years, and my correspondence detailed in the Appendix, show quite clearly that a change of government will not solve this issue. What is needed is a return to democracy, dramatically increased political accountability, strengthening of sovereignty, and a renewed political commitment of allegiance to the people rather than an allegiance to the UN. Introduction All 3 levels of government in Australia, and all major political parties, have chosen to implement a foreign United Nations designed and monitored ‘sustainability’ program called Agenda 21. Governments have been implementing this program around Australia for 10-20 years although all major parties have been unanimous in their decision not to give Australians a democratic choice on this issue at election time. Further, this foreign program has pervasively infiltrated local councils and the legal system so that property rights are being insidiously and progressively transferred from humans to plants and the environment. And our politicians, without the knowledge or permission of the overwhelming majority of Australians, have even seen fit to embed this foreign program into the school curriculum to ensure our children are indoctrinated with UN propaganda. In view of these developments I contacted various political parties in an attempt to clarify their policy regarding Agenda 21. This paper documents more than 12 months research into Agenda 21 & the response of political parties & elected representatives to simple questions regarding the implementation of this foreign UN program. It documents the difficulties involved in obtaining clear truthful answers from our elected representatives, irrespective of the party they represent. And it documents the death of democracy in Australia as political parties present one policy to the people during elections, but when elected they proceed to implement undeclared or covert policies, or policies of which they are apparently so ashamed they refuse to openly discuss them. This paper documents this disturbing abandonment of democracy. How is it possible to have a pervasive far reaching program such as Agenda 21 implemented by government departments and councils throughout Australia for 10-20 years and yet this program is omitted from official policy? And when our elected representatives are directly questioned about implementation of this UN program, why do they feel the need to go to extraordinary lengths to refuse to discuss it or even pretend it is not being implemented? It is astonishing that my exhaustive attempts to obtain simple answers from our elected representatives have met with such a solid brick wall of deception or obfuscation. In order to supply background information, and evidence from experts and from government departments, I have included the following detailed Appendices below. Most of the Appendices are self-explanatory. Appendix J documents some of the real life results of the government drive to support the ecocentric rewriting of the legal system and the erosion of property rights as proposed by Agenda 21. Appendix K documents the involvement of councils which are at the forefront of the implementation of UN AG21 restriction of land use and property rights while Appendix L documents my complaint to the NSW Ombudsman regarding council involvement. Appendix A – Introduction & Background to Agenda 21. Appendix B – Evidence of the Extent to Which Governments Having been Implementing AG21 Around Australia Without Giving Australians any Democratic Choice. Appendix C – Rewriting the Legal System to Support Ecocentrism & Transfer Property Rights from Humans to Plants & the Environment. Appendix D – Response to Correspondence from the Victorian Minister for Local Government – Jeanette Powell. Appendix E – Correspondence with the NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell Appendix F – Correspondence with the NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker. Appendix G – Correspondence with the NSW Attorney General Greg Smith. Appendix H – Correspondence with the Minister for Local Government Don Page Appendix I – Correspondence with the NSW Minister for Planning & Infrastructure Brad Hazzard Appendix J – Transferring Property Rights from Humans to Plants & the Environment: Submission to the NSW Government BioBanking review Appendix K – Correspondence With Eurobodalla Shire Council Appendix L – Complaint to NSW Ombudsman Appendix M – Correspondence With Greg Hunt, Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage Witness below the extraordinary determination of politicians not to openly discuss a policy they have been enforcing upon Australians for up to 20 years. And witness their continuing determination to implement Agenda 21 covertly and prevent Australians from having any say. The Politicians Speak, or Refuse to Speak, About AG21 On 8th September 2012 I asked the following politicians or political parties to state their policy regarding Agenda 21. That correspondence, based upon the fact that the WA Greens are the only party that openly state Agenda 21 policy, typically asked as follows: Dear Sir, I notice that the WA Greens openly endorse the Agenda 21 program in their policy platform as below. Do you, and the NSW Liberal Party, agree with this policy and support Agenda 21 also? If so, why is it not included in your official policy? Since the NSW Liberal Party has been endorsing Agenda 21 or implementing it for nearly 20 years, will you be adding it to your official policies or do you prefer to continue to implement it without mentioning it in your policies? Why? If you have no intention of adding it to your official policies will you be proactively seeking to ban it as has been done in Alabama? Regards Graham Williamson http://wa.greens.org.au/policies/local-government-0 The Greens (WA) want: · the Local Government Act amended to require the principles of ecological sustainable development in Agenda 211 be the basis of local government policy This correspondence was directed to the following. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell The NSW Liberal Party The Queensland Liberal National Party The Liberal Party of Victoria Vic Minister for Local Government – Jeanette Powell Leader of the National Party of Australia – Warren Truss The National Party of Australia The NSW National Party Deputy Premier & Leader of NSW National Party Andrew Stoner The Greens NSW Liberal Party of Australia Opposition Leader – Tony Abbott Australian Greens – Senator Christine Milne The Queensland Greens The Australian Greens Victoria In addition, detailed questions regarding Agenda 21 were addressed to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, NSW Attorney General Greg Smith, NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker, NSW Minister for Planning & Infrastructure Brad Hazzard, Minister for Local Government Don Page, & Greg Hunt, Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage. The responses & non-responses of our elected representatives to very simple questions are alarming in their consistent evasiveness & dismissiveness. These responses are documented below. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell – See Appendix E In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from the Premier on 21st July 2012, 8th September, 23rd September, 24th September, 25th November, & 2nd December, no response has yet been received. Yet, in spite of this non-response, the issues raised with the Premier were very serious, including deceit and misinformation about AG21 and the abandonment of Ministerial responsibilities by the Attorney General. NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker – See Appendix F Correspondence with the NSW Minister for the Environment is documented in Appendix E. Since I received no response to my correspondence of 4th October, I sent a further reminder to the Minister on the 25th November. No attempt has been made by the Minister to answer the issues I raised and I have yet to receive any response to this correspondence. NSW Attorney General & Minister for Justice Greg Smith – See Appendix G Correspondence with the NSW Attorney General is documented in Appendix F. When I wrote to the Minister asking about the use of laws based upon foreign programs like AG21 to penalise NSW citizens, and the conversion of the NSW judicial system from its traditional anthropocentric basis to an ecocentric basis, he responded that “The matters raised do not fall under the portfolio responsibility of the NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice.” But when I responded by asking him: “Please explain why you consider that overseeing the direction of the legal system of NSW is not your responsibility and please name the person who is responsible?”; he opted to completely avoid all the issues I raised by issuing the following evasive dismissive response. Dear Mr Williamson (final response from Minister – 30th Nov 2012) If you have concerns about Australia’s adoption of Agenda 21 you should contact the Federal Government. If you have concerns about the adoption of a particular policy associated with Agenda 21 then you should contact the Minister, Council etc responsible for that decision. Elections are regularly held at a local, state and federal level. This affords you the opportunity to vote for the candidate that you believe best reflects your policy preferences. I have referred your matter to a number of Ministers and should you send further correspondence this will be placed on file without response. Kind regards Office of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice. The Attorney General clearly seems to agree with other Ministers that Agenda 21 must continue to be implemented while pretending to the public that it is not happening and denying them any democratic choice. The NSW Minister for Local Government Don Page – see Appendix H In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from the Minister on 21st July 2012, 23rd July, 25 th September & 25th November, no meaningful response has yet been received. The final response received from the Minister’s office, dated 17th Dec 2012, continued the same dismissiveness and evasiveness. In my correspondence I asked various questions of the Minister including: 1. Has the NSW government warned residents of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 plans, their UN origin, and their full agenda and final goals? If so please supply documentary evidence (notices, media releases etc). 2. Does the NSW government have a clear policy to ban all such UN derived Agenda 21 related policies to protect local residents? Please supply documentary evidence, including the time frame for implementation. 3. Has the NSW government offered local residents the choice between a locally designed, monitored and implemented environmental/sustainability plan as an alternative to plans designed and monitored by a foreign agency (the UN)? 4. Although you are overseeing the implementation of AG 21 at the local government level you not only expressed no concern whatsoever about the above matters, you even chose to pretend implementation of Agenda 21 by local government in NSW is not your responsibility. Why? In response to these questions regarding AG21 the Minister’s office replied: The government’s determination to implement AG21 without giving residents any choice, and without even discussing it, is once again made perfectly clear by the Minister’s refusal to respond. The NSW Minister for Planning & Infrastructure Brad Hazzard – see Appendix I In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from the Minister on 29th June, 21st July 2012, 31st July, 9 th August, 23 rd September & 25th November, no meaningful response has yet been received. The response from the Minister’s office dated 19th Dec is also evasive and completely avoids all the issues I raised concerning AG21. The NSW Liberal Party After writing to the leader of the NSW Liberal Party on 8 th September, 23rd September, & the 25th November, I received the following response on the 26th November. Dear Graham, The Liberal Party is committed to environmental action and is why we are establishing a Green Army which will deliver real benefits to local communities. It is suggested you contact your local member to find out more about this. Kind Regards, Liberal Campaign Headquarters LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA (NSW DIVISION) T 02 8356 0300 | F 02 9331 4480 | E chq@nsw.liberal.org.au The Queensland Liberal National Party In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from the Queensland Liberal National Party on 8 th September, 23rd September & 25th November, no response has yet been received. The Liberal Party of Victoria The Liberal Party of Victoria responded on 25th September stating they had nothing to do with policy & I should contact the Minister for Local Government, Jeanette Powell. Victorian Minister for Local Government – Jeanette Powell – See Appendix D On 23rd of November I received a response from the Minister’s office, signed by Chief of Staff, James Lantry. Mr Lantry stated, on behalf of the Minister: “Please note that the Victorian Government has not adopted the Agenda 21 policy platform as part of its policies, but continues to undertake actions in accordance with sound environmental policies for the benefit of all Victorians.” Of course this is totally untrue which I point out in my response which is documented below in Appendix D, below. Government documents I cite clearly confirm that the government has in fact been implementing Agenda 21 programs in Victoria for more than 10 years. The Minister’s denial of the facts raise serious questions, as I indicate in my response: “Unless you can supply current documentation proving you have outlawed or banned UN Agenda 21 and other imported sustainability programs from Victoria, then to suggest your government is not part of the implementation of this program is at best extremely misleading, and at worst, a deliberate untruth designed to deliberately deceive the public. Which is it? Why is it apparently so important to you NOT to openly declare this program as policy? Or will you immediately ban it and all such imported programs?” To date I have received no further response from the Minister. Leader of the National Party of Australia – Warren Truss In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from the leader of the National Party on 8 th September, 23rd September & 25th November, no response has yet been received. The National Party of Australia In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from the National Party on 8 th September, 23rd September & 25th November, no response has yet been received. The NSW National Party In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from the NSW National Party on 8 th September, 23rd September & 25th November, no response has yet been received. Deputy Premier & Leader of NSW National Party Andrew Stoner After writing to the leader of the NSW National Party on 8 th September & 23rd September, I received the following response on the 24th September. Dear Mr Williamson Thank you for your emails dated 8 September 2012 and 23 September 2012. Your request is currently receiving attention and a response is forthcoming. Kind regards Office of the NSW Deputy Premier. Due to the fact that I received no further response from Mr Stoner, in spite of the promise made by his office, I sent a further reminder to him on the 25th November. No response has yet been received. The Greens NSW After writing to the NSW Greens on 8 th September, 23rd September, & 25th November, I received the following response from NSW Greens MP, Mr David Shoebridge, on the 30th November. Dear Graham, Thank you for your email. Australian Greens constituent bodies (i.e. states and territories) create policies independently of each other, within the broader framework of the Australian Greens. It would probably be incorrect to assume that simply because one state mentioned an item in their policy and another didn’t that this means the states are at loggerheads over the issue. All Greens parties in Australia develop policies based on local circumstances through grassroots processes. To my knowledge Agenda 21 has not been raised in NSW as part of our Local Government policy development process in the past. If you are interested, you can find the Greens NSW local government policy online here: http://nsw.greens.org.au/policies/local-government. The Greens NSW will be working through a process of reviewing all of our policies ahead of the next state election through our grassroots democratic processes. If you are interested in policy development in the area of local government, and supportive of the four main principles of the Greens, I recommend you join the party (if you are not already) and get involved with the grassroots discussions with other members. Thanks again for your email. David David Shoebridge Greens MP in the NSW Legislative Council P: (02) 9230 3030 |Media: 0433 753 376 |T: @ShoebridgeMLC SIGN UP TO STAY IN TOUCH at davidshoebridge.org.au/sign-up Liberal Party of Australia In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from the Liberal Party of Australia on 8 th September, 23rd September & 25th November, no response has yet been received. Opposition Leader – Tony Abbott In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from Mr Abbott on 8 th September, 23rd September & 25th November, no response has yet been received. Australian Greens – Senator Christine Milne After writing to the leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, on the 8 th September, I received the following response from her office on the 23rdth of September. Dear Graham Thank you for your e-mail. Agenda 21 is an international blueprint that outlines actions that governments, international organisations, industries and the community can take to achieve sustainability. These actions recognise the impacts of human behaviours on the environment and on the sustainability of systems of production. The objective of Agenda 21 is the alleviation of poverty, hunger, sickness and illiteracy worldwide while halting the deterioration of ecosystems which sustain life. As such it provides a framework and statement of principles that you will find incorporated into many Australian Greens policies – copies of which you can find at http://greens.org.au/policies . The Australian Greens Party is a federation within which the WA Greens are entitled to establish their own policies relevant to their specific areas of interest and responsibility. They have chosen to apply one aspect of Agenda 21 – “the principles of ecological sustainable development” to underpin the operations of the Local Government Act in WA. This falls a long way short of “openly endorsing the Agenda 21 program in their policy platform” as you claim. Regards John Dodd Office of Senator Christine Milne Leader of the Australian Greens Level 1 Murray St Pier Hobart 7000 | Ph: 03 6224 8899 | Fax: 03 6224 7599 www.christinemilne.org.au | http://greens.org.au On 23rd September I sent the following response to Mr Dodd from Senator Milne’s office. Dear John, Thank you for your response. You state that “the objective of Agenda 21 is the alleviation of poverty, hunger, sickness and illiteracy worldwide while halting the deterioration of ecosystems which sustain life,” but yet you claim that the Greens (WA & National?)do not fully endorse the Agenda 21 program. Which objectives do you support and which do you find unacceptable? You failed to answer the following queries which I therefore repeat below. 1. Do you, or the Australian Greens, agree with this policy and support Agenda 21 also? 2. If so, why is it not included in your official policy? 3. Will you be adding it to your policies or do you disagree with the WA Greens? 4. If you have no intention of adding it to your official policies will you be proactively seeking to ban it? Regards Graham Williamson Due to the fact that no further response was received from the office of Senator Milne, I sent a further reminder on the 25th November. No response has yet been received. The Queensland Greens After writing to the Queensland Greens on the 8 th September & the 23rd September, I received the following response from the office of Senator Larissa Waters on the 9 th of October. Hi Graham, Apologies for the delay in getting back to you on this! Larissa had a quick through of your question and wanted to let you know that the concepts in Agenda 21 are imbued through all of the party’s policy platform, whether explicitly outlined or not. I’ve copied in a recent report which came out of our office regarding commitments which were made in Rio 20 years ago and where we’re up to now. Hope that helps Graham, Dominic DOMINIC JARVIS Office Manager Office of Senator Larissa Waters Australian Greens Senator for Queensland http://larissa-waters.greensmps.org.au/ Amazingly, It seems there are 2 fundamental types of political policies, namely, openly declared policies, or, on the other hand, concealed or embedded policies. Since Agenda 21 is an embedded policy there is apparently no need for the democratic approval of the electorate. The Australian Greens Victoria In spite of repeated attempts to obtain answers from the Victorian Greens on 8 th September, 23rd September & 25th November, no response has yet been received. Greg Hunt, Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage In my correspondence with Greg Hunt I asked the following questions with his partial responses in blue below (see Appendix M for details). 1. When your government warned in their 2006 SOE report that councils around Australia were exceeding their legislative authority in implementing Agenda 21, what steps did you or the Liberal party take to prevent this? Did you lobby the state parties? Did you or the party follow this up? What action was taken? Do you still agree with this assessment? 2. So what will your Agenda 21 policy be should you win government? Will you be seeking to work with the Premiers to discipline Councils which are implementing Agenda 21? Or will you be more proactive and encourage Premiers to introduce legislation banning Agenda 21, as is occurring overseas? To summarise. Fact 1 Agenda 21 is being implemented nationwide by state governments and councils. (see encl) Do you deny this? Fact 2 Though you claim that I had never heard of it raised once during the entire period of the Howard Government in the party room or in ministerial discussions” in fact it was included in 2006 SOE report under your watch. Do you deny this? Fact 3 Since the continuing implementation of AG21 is a simple fact, this raises serious questions about who is taking political responsibility for this since the electorate has never been given a democratic choice and politicians, like yourself, deny knowledge of it even though bureaucrats under their portfolio are implementing it (as is clearly evidenced from enclosed) Do you deny this?. Part of the problem of course was the decision by successive governments that Australia needed an imported sustainability program, one that was designed by a foreign agency and was monitored by the CSD(part of UN). Of course, governments, such as the Howard government, were required to send annual implementation reports to the CSD. Response from Greg Hunt. “There is nothing to ban. It is a 20 year old non binding declaration. I can honestly tell you that I had never heard of it raised once during the entire period of the Howard Government in the party room or in ministerial discussions….. For the final time i had never heard of the issue, heard it raised by Ministers, MP’s or constituents until 19 years after the ing was apparently signed…… Given that for the first 19 years the issue appears to have escaped both of our attention can I respectfully suggest that the discovery of a dead, irrelevant declaration 19 years after the fact may cause everyone to be calm…… I will respectfully draw this engagement to a conclusion and encourage you from here to approach State based Governments as we have no powers over local Governments.” I replied to Greg by citing well documented evidence from his former government of the extensive government resources used to comply with the implementation requirements of AG21 (see Appendix M), arrangements which he claims complete ignorance about. I have as yet received no response. If we are to believe Greg’s claim of his complete ignorance of AG21 then the extreme level of incompetence that this would necessarily involve would immediately disqualify him from suitability for parliamentary office. Of course, should this be the case, then Greg, now his ignorance has been rectified, would be itching at the bit to now put things right by banning AG21. But alas, this is not the case. He refused to answer any of my questions about the Liberal Party’s AG21 policy at the next election. Conclusion It is clear that AG21 has been pervasively and undemocratically embedded into government (undeclared) policy at all levels. It is also clear that when directly questioned about AG21 our elected representatives go to extraordinary lengths to either avoid the subject or pretend it is not being implemented. From all my enquiries, not one politician or bureaucrat eagerly responded by proudly detailing the many ways in which the tentacles of AG21 are being implemented, and are benefiting Australia, by the various government departments. Implementation of Agenda 21 is based upon a failure to accurately and truthfully inform Australians. It is based upon deception and trashing of democracy. So far, the AG21 policy of both major political parties is…’more of the same’. In other words continue to implement AG21 but continue to do this covertly and refuse to give voters a choice at the next election. This of course is entirely consistent with their historical bipartisan determination NOT to give Australians a democratic choice by openly declaring their AG21 policy during the election campaigns of the past 20 years. The past 20 years, and my correspondence detailed in the Appendix, show quite clearly that a change of government will not solve this issue. What is needed is a return to democracy, dramatically increased political accountability, strengthening of sovereignty, and a renewed political commitment of allegiance to the people rather than an allegiance to the UN. It is up to you. Do you care enough? APPENDIX APPENDIX A Introduction & Background to Agenda 21 · AG21 is a foreign United Nations (UN) program aimed at controlling all aspects of people’s lives. It reduces or eliminates individual human rights such as private property rights (1, 2, 3, 4). AG21 is a UN program adopted by the Keating government in 1992, later ratified by the Howard government, & implemented by successive federal, state & local governments of all political persuasions ever since. In 20 years of implementation, neither of the two major political parties has declared AG 21 as official policy, nor given voters a democratic choice. · AG21 is an attempt to undemocratically enforce upon Australians a ‘foreign solution’ for what are termed “sustainability” issues. It is vitally important to understand that AG21 is undemocratic. It is an imported agenda that has been designed by, & its implementation monitored by, a foreign agency (the UN). Control must be increasingly surrendered to the UN & its foreign agencies with absolutely no limits being placed upon this process. · AG21 is very much a blank cheque with no clearly defined goals & no clearly defined limits regarding costs, legislative changes, loss of sovereignty, as well as loss of individual rights & democracy. · Implementation of Agenda 21 around the world has been monitored by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). Participating countries are required to report back to the UN on a regular basis (5, 5a, 5b, 6, 7, 8). The CSD, which included despotic dictators from other countries, has been overseeing Australia’s compliance! The CSD however, is now being dissolved to be replaced by a high level political forum to be established in 2013 while ECOSOC will become responsible for sustainability & Agenda 21. The Australian government approves of these changes. · The guiding principle behind AG21 is a belief in Gaia or ecocentrism (22, 23, 24), or the supremacy of the rights of plants & the environment (25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35) & an abandonment of traditional anthropocentrism (36). In other words, rights are progressively transferred from humans to plants & the environment with the result that private property rights are being surrendered, piece by piece (37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43). · Two fundamental concepts upon which AG21 is based are intragenerational equity & intergenerational equity. a) Intragenerational equity states that common goods such as nature, environment, the ecosystem & therefore private property, must be shared amongst all. No one has exclusive rights of ownership (44, 45, 46, 47). According to the principle of intragenerational equity, the rights of those who have less may be used to take from those who have more, simply because of this disparity & not because of the existence of any legal debt. b) Intergenerational equity grants equal rights to those who may exist in the future but who are not yet born (44, 45, 46, 47). With this bold new sense of ‘justice’ an assumption is made that the actions of one or more persons currently in existence will somehow reduce the quality of life of one or more persons who do not yet exist! Of course we should all be mindful of our responsibility to care for the environment, but to legally convict a perpetrator when the victim cannot be named, does not exist, & his/her degree of suffering cannot be determined, is an astonishing corruption of traditional legal & moral principles. Yet, this has now become reality. · Under Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 the UN established Local Agenda 21 or LA 21 for implementation by local councils around the world (48, 49, 50, 51,52 ,53 , 54, 55,56 , 57, 58 , 59). Though Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 suggests that “each local authority should enter into a dialogue with its citizens, local organizations & private enterprises & adopt a local Agenda 21”, in practice the public has largely been kept ignorant of AG 21 & has been denied a democratic choice by councils & governments around Australia. These concepts are currently being used by councils & state governments in Australia to tie up land use with regulations, LEP’s, zonings & green tape so that private landholders are progressively losing control of their land, with resultant loss in land value. · Implementation of LA21 is also promoted by ICLEI, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, the name now being changed to Local Governments for Sustainability. In fact, Section 7.21 of Agenda 21, specifically recommends involvement with ICLEI. According to Maurice Strong in the Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide, “The task of mobilizing & technically supporting Local Agenda 21 planning in these communities has been led by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) & national associations of local government.” ICLEI supports the “Cities for Climate Protection Campaign & the Local Agenda 21 Initiative.” · The UN Tentacles of ICLEI in Local Councils ICLEI “will continue connecting cities and local governments to the United Nations and other international bodies” and ICLEI will “serve as a global entry point for cities and local governments to engage with the United Nations and international and national policy processes” and will “pursue more radical solutions.” ICLEI will “Advocate direct access to climate finance and other funds by local governments and an inversion of climate finance mechanisms to enable the implementation of needs-driven local development.” ICLEI will promote “Management of global environmental goods” such as” Climate, Biodiversity, Water, Food.” In other words, ICLEI intends to convert them to controllable tradeable commodities. ICLEI will promote “Municipal planning and management” or, in other words, they will help councils control land use. ICLEI will promote Local Agenda 21, that is, ICLEI will continue to assist councils to undemocratically implement foreign UN monitored sustainability programs. ICLEI will “Maintain and enhance ecosystems services” and “Promote the global implementation of “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) chapter for Local and Regional Decision Makers” developed under UNEP.” Economic services are defined: “Ecosystem services are the transformation of a set of natural assets (soil, plants and animals, air and water) into things that we value. For example, when fungi, worms and bacteria transform the raw “ingredients” of sunlight, carbon and nitrogen into fertile soil this transformation is an ecosystem service.” ICLEI will also “Continue Local Government climate advocacy through the Local Government Climate Roadmap. Continue supporting and acting as Secretariat of the World Mayors Council on Climate Change.” No need for scientific evidence—no exit strategy if cooling continues. ICLEI will “Develop EcoMobility program modules” to help councils get rid of cars. ICLEI will “Support local governments in introducing a local “happiness index” drawing on the Kingdom of Bhutan’s experiences with replacing the GDP through “Gross National Happiness”. · Many authorities prefer to mislead the public by avoiding the term “Agenda 21”, using instead terms such as (60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65) “sustainability”, “smart growth”, “growth management”, “local environmental plans” or Sustainable Development 21 or SD21 (66, 66b, 67, 68, 69). Some local authorities have also changed the name of Local Agenda 21 to ‘Local Climate Strategy’ (66, 66a, 66b). The United Nations Sustainable Cities program is yet another spin off of Local Agenda 21 & the UN Habitat agenda (70, 71, 72, 73, 74). Deliberate deception or failure to fully inform the public is fundamental to the success of the program (75, 76). · Some local authorities overseas are now moving to ban Agenda 21 because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature & the threat it poses to basic human rights, not least, our property rights (9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21). According to Agenda 21 (77, 78), Australians can only have “improved living standards”, a “more prosperous future” & “managed ecosystems”, if we form a “global partnership”, a partnership of course which will ultimately be under the control of one global authority. By ourselves we are doomed to failure according to Agenda 21 (77, 78). Chapter 8.31 of Agenda 21 states that countries are required to (80 ) “incorporate environmental costs in the decisions of producers & consumers, to reverse the tendency to treat the environment as a ‘free good’ & to pass these costs on to other parts of society, other countries, or to future generations.” This is described in Agenda 21 as a (80) “fundamental objective.” Ratepayers & ordinary Australians will be increasingly required to fund local UN Agenda 21 schemes & ‘green’ programs with growing rates & taxes such as the CO2 tax. However, these funds will be diverted AWAY from local infrastructure projects to further the global ambitions of the UN, not least their stated goals of central World Governance. Agenda 21 & LA 21, inspired by Mikhail Gorbachev & Maurice Strong who formed the original Earth Charter, amounts to a global power grab & land grab to control & outlaw private land ownership (81, 82, 83, 84, 85). Agenda 21 & Local Agenda 21 aims to change our lives, that of our children & future descendants, forever. And yet the political promoters of this program have continually refused to expose this program to the light of truth during an election campaign. It is urgent that we restore democracy to our local area & insist that the voting public are permitted to make an informed democratic choice. APPENDIX B Evidence of the Extent to Which Governments Having been Implementing AG21 Around Australia Without Giving Australians any Democratic Choice · Agenda 21: The political program that has been implemented around Australia by all 3 levels of government for 20 years without giving voters a democratic choice. · Agenda 21: The program that all major political parties have decided, for the past 20 years, is best to implement without including in official party policy. · Agenda 21: The bipartisan supported program which both political parties have consistently decided to exclude from electoral campaigns. · Agenda 21: For 20 years the most universally politically popular and democratically and electorally unpopular program which has been completely ignored by the mainstream media. The undemocratic invasion of Australia by the United Nations Agenda 21 Agenda 21 is an undemocratic United Nations designed and monitored program (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19). It is absolutely disgraceful that such anti-democratic sovereignty undermining foreign designed and monitored programs such as Agenda 21 have been implemented by all three levels of government throughout Australia for 20 years. Further, during this 20 year implementation, both major political parties have consistently decided it best to exclude Agenda 21 from their official policies to prevent voters from having a democratic choice. The Australian government has paved the way for the undemocratic infiltration of Agenda 21 in Australia by the support of the United Nations Earth Summit by the Howard government followed by ratification by the Keating government and implementation by successive governments (5, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 51 ). No doubt because of the undemocratic regressive nature of Agenda 21, various experts and government officials often prefer to mislead the public by avoiding the term “Agenda 21” and using instead terms such as (40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45) “sustainability”, “smart growth”, “growth management” or “local environmental plans”. Deliberate deception of the public it seems, is fundamental to the success of the program (45): “Agenda 21 is being implemented in the U.S. under various names to deceive the unsuspecting public as to the source and real purpose of the program. However identifying the programs is relatively easy. All you have to do is look for the keywords……..Everything associated with this program is deceptive. The language they use, the names they give the projects, the means by which they lure local governments into the trap and then slam the door – absolutely everything is deceptive from beginning to end.” And the deceit about the full implications and origin of AG21 is endemic throughout Australia (46): “Throughout Australia it seems that there has been widespread uncertainty about the meaning, scope and value of the term ‘Local Agenda 21’……..Some councils have chosen, for a variety of reasons, not to call their initiatives ‘LA21′ “…….”However, this is not to say that LA21 is not happening within Australia. On the contrary there is Local Agenda 21 activity in every state and territory and many councils are working on projects that have at their core the processes of LA21, although they may not necessarily be using that terminology.” Since many aspects of AG21 need to be enforced at the local level, the federal government was compelled to enlist the co-operation of state and local governments in order to satisfy the implementation requirements of the United Nations. As a result, all Australian states, including NSW (47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70 , 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93,94 ,95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 100, 101, 102, 103 ), Queensland (104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114) Victoria (115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 123, 124, 125, 126), SA (127, 128, 129, 130, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144), and WA (145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151), proceeded to implement Agenda by changes to state legislation and by enforcing local changes at the local council level. In fact, so important were local councils in the global plans of the UN that the UN specifically incorporated a section promoting so called ‘Local Agenda 21’ or’ LA 21’ into Chapter 28 of the Agenda 21 document. Local Agenda 21 has been adopted by Councils around Australia under the guidance of their respective state governments (46, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 69, 70 , 71, 73, 74, 75, 76, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 104, 110, 111, 112, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159). In Victoria, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) “has established a statewide partnership of councils involved in ecological sustainable development (ESD) /Triple Bottom Line/Local Agenda 21(LA21) initiatives. A successful first meeting of 17 member councils from around the State was held on 15th August 2001 to establish the MAV Victorian Local Sustainability Partnership.” And “By 2001, at least 20 local councils in Victoria were working towards implementing Local Agenda 21 action plans to help their communities become involved in sustainable development. “ Eric Smith draws attention to some of the regressive effects of AG 21 in Melbourne: “Has anyone noticed that the streets around Melbourne aren’t as bright as they used to be?…….. That’s because various local councils have been rolling out “energy-efficient” street lights, which cost the tax-payer a fortune, while making our streets significantly darker and hence less safe……It’s all being done under a United Nations treaty, signed and ratified by Australia in the early 1990s, known as Agenda 21, which is a manifesto for sending humanity back to the pre-industrial era, a time when you had to wash your clothes in the local river and the average life expectancy was little more than 30.” Smith cites The Municipal Association of Victoria: “Local government has a key role to play in promoting environmental sustainability and taking action that sees the concept incorporated into everyday life. Steps toward this are part of the Local Agenda 21 model and the MAV is helping to push the sustainability agenda further through various council networks, showcase forums and other initiatives.” To further disguise the true goals of Agenda 21 the name has been changed to Sustainable Development 21 or SD21 (160, 161, 162, 163, 163a), while some local authorities have changed the name of Local Agenda 21 to ‘Local Climate Strategy’ (161, 161b, 161a). The United Nations Sustainable Cities program is yet another spin off of Agenda 21 and the UN Habitat agenda (173, 174, 175, 176, 177). The United Nations has found from 20 years experience that implementation of their global agenda by local authorities has been their most effective strategy (160, 161, 162), especially given the impediments of national sovereignty. Not surprisingly, according to the United Nations Sustainable Development in the 21st Century Summary for Policymakers, the future of their global agenda depends largely upon giving more power and recognition to local councils (161): “Empowering lower levels with means to act on their own Progress towards more sustainable outcomes does not need to wait for a hypothetical consensus on what the future of the world should be, or how global affairs should be managed. Actions at lower levels can and should be taken as soon as possible……… Empower lower levels of governments to act as agents of change on their own and try new approaches to sustainability…. Local governments also have a critical role to play as agents of change, as their closeness to their constituents enable them to embark on bold experiments of different paths to sustainability…… Providing appropriate mandates and resources to all levels of governments Ultimately, the success or failure of sustainable development will largely depend on decisions and actions that are taken at the local level. This was well recognized by Agenda 21.” But the UN went further in their Review of Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Rio Principles (Draft – Jan 2012), even suggesting that local governments should be empowered by state and federal governments to communicate directly with the United Nations (160): “All governance levels from local through global need to be vertically interconnected for bottom-up energy to meet top-down support. In order to bridge the gaps between different levels of governance well as between agenda and action, local governments need to be given a more prominent role in global UN processes. The intergovernmental level should recognize that local authorities have similar legitimacy compared to national governments, and with many local authorities governing bigger populations than the 150 smallest UN member states, it would be reasonable if they could get voting rights in the UN. New institutional arrangements for sustainability should be based on a multi-level concept of governance and include elected representatives from local, sub-national, national, regional and ultimately global levels. In the other direction, it is imperative that decentralization policies are accompanied with all the needed political, legal and financial support that local authorities need for implementing their localized strategies for sustainability.” Since the United Nations have issued their directives for governments around the world, it is hardly surprising that the current Labor government plans to conduct a referendum at the next election to constitutionally recognise and give more rights to local councils (163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168). The commitment to hold a referendum was part of an agreement signed by the Greens Party and the ALP in order to form government (166, 168, 169). Astonishingly, even though ecologically sustainable development in Australia is enforced by state law (86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93,94 ,95, 96, 170, 171, 172), the public have yet to be made aware of either its UN Agenda 21 origins or the totality of its global goals. APPENDIX C Rewriting the Legal System to Support Ecocentrism & Transfer Property Rights from Humans to Plants & the Environment Agenda 21 is firmly rooted in the Gaia philosophy of the Earth Charter and Agenda 21 architects such as Maurice Strong. The Gaians or earth worshippers support a biocentric world view or ecocentric world view where humans become of secondary importance to the environment and ecosystem. In other words, plants come first humans come last. This biocentric or ecocentric Gaian world view is pervasively infiltrating our legal and political systems and scientific facts no longer matter. As has been noted by Henry Lamb in The Rise of Global Green Religion: “The paradigm shift from anthropocentrism to biocentrism is increasingly evident in public policy and in the documents which emanate from the United Nations and from the federal government. Public policies are being formulated in response to biocentric enlightenment, rather than in response to scientific evidence.” According to Bosselmann and Taylor in their essay about the Significance of the Earth Charter in International Law, The Earth Charter “challenges the anthropocentric idea of justice”. The Earth Charter was initiated by Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev , and was adopted by the Australian government in 2005. Anthropocentrism, the traditional basis of NSW laws (32), has now been overturned and replaced by a Gaia driven (39, 40) UN Agenda 21 ecocentric world view where the environment, and animals, reign supreme and man’s place in the world is secondary (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38). This philosophy now forms the basis of new environmental laws and the flourishing NSW environmental legal system (25, 26 ). As has been noted by Pain (25, 26): “environmental legislation has moved away from being ‘anthropocentric-and-development orientated’ towards legislation that is ‘more environment-centred’.” In regard to an ecocentric view of property rights, Peter Burdon notes in his thesis, Earth jurisprudence: private property and earth community: “The central argument of this thesis is that the institution of private property reflects an anthropocentric worldview and is contributing to the current environmental crisis. ……It advocates a paradigm shift in law from anthropocentrism to the concept of Earth community. The thesis first provides an example laws anthropocentrism by exploring the legal philosophical concept of private property. ….It concludes that the dominant rights-based theory of private property is anthropocentric and facilitates environmental harm. The second component of the thesis explores contemporary scientific evidence supporting the ecocentric concept of Earth community. This concept argues that human beings are deeply connected and dependent on nature. It also describes the Earth as a community of subjects and not a collection of objects. Assuming that the social sphere is an important source for law, this thesis considers how a paradigm shift from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism can influence the development of legal concepts. To catalyse this shift, it considers the ‘new story’ proposed by cultural historian and theologian Thomas Berry. This story describes contemporary scientific insights such as interconnectedness in a narrative form Third, the thesis uses the alternative paradigm of Earth community to articulate an emerging legal philosophy called Earth Jurisprudence. It describes Earth Jurisprudence as a theory of natural law and advocates for the recognition of two kinds of law, organised in a hierarchical relationship. At the apex is the Great Law, which represents the principle of Earth community. Beneath the Great Law is Human Law, which represents rules articulated by human authorities, which are consistent with the Great Law and enacted for the common good of the comprehensive Earth Community. In regard to the interrelationship between these two legal categories, two points are crucial. Human Law derives its legal quality from the Great Law and any law in contravention of this standard is considered a corruption of law and not morally binding on a population. Finally, the thesis constructs an alternative concept of private property based on the philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence. It describes private property as a relationship between members of the Earth community, through tangible or intangible items. To be consistent with the philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence, the concept of private property must recognise human social relationships, include nonreciprocal duties and obligations; and respond to the ‘thing’ which is the subject matter of a property relationship. A theory of private property that overlooks any of these considerations is defective and deserves to be labelled such.” Supporters of this world view, who believe property rights should be transferred from humans to plants and the environment, are insidiously rewriting our laws to support their bizarre world view. According to Justice Preston, Chief Judge of the NSW Land & Environment Court, Earth should be run like a spaceship: “An increasing recognition of the first law of ecology – that everything is connected to everything else27 – and that the Earth’s ecosystem is, in a sense, a spaceship,28 may necessitate more sweeping positive obligations on landowners. Sax argues that ‘property owners must bear affirmative obligations to use their property in the service of habitable planet’. Sax recommends that: ‘We increasingly will have to employ land and other natural resources to maintain and restore the natural functioning of natural systems. More forest land will have to be left as forest, both to play a role in climate and as habitat. More water will have to be left instream to maintain marine ecosystems. More coastal wetland will have to be left as zones of biological productivity. We already recognise that there is no right to use air and water as waste sinks, and no right to contaminate the underground with toxic residue. In short there will be – there is being – imposed a servitude on our resources, a first call on them to play a role in maintaining a habitable and congenial planet … We shall have to move that way, for only when the demands of the abovementioned public servitude of habitability has been met will resources be available for private benefits. To fulfil the demands of that servitude, each owner will have to bear an affirmative responsibility, to act as a trustee insofar as the fate of the earth is entrusted to him. Each inhabitant will effectively have a right in all such property sufficient to ensure servitude is enforced. Every opportunity for private gain will have to yield to the exigencies of a life-sustaining planet.’ Sax’s call for private gain to yield to the existences of a life-sustaining planet is encapsulated in the concept of ecologically sustainable development.” Justice Preston summarises ecocentrism thus: “Ecocentrism involves taking a nature-centred rather than a human-centred approach, where the earth is valued not as a commodity belonging to us but a community to which we belong. Development of an earth jurisprudence requires the internalisation of ecocentrism in environmental law. It involves listening to the earth and adapting law to ecology. It values and gives voice to the environment. This paper surveys some ways in which environmental law can embrace ecocentrism” The NSW government has integrated Agenda 21 and Agenda 21 related biocentric/ecocentric programs into its environmental/sustainability policies, its planning policies, its local government policies, and its education policies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23). The decision of the NSW government not to utilise a democratic locally designed sustainability program, but rather to import an ecocentric sustainability policy which has been designed by a foreign agency (UN), and is monitored and supervised by a foreign agency (UN), poses a fundamental and ongoing threat to the sovereignty and democracy of NSW and all of its residents. Indeed, so entrenched has Agenda 21 become that it has even infiltrated the legal system of NSW to the extent the ecocentric principles of this imported undemocratic sustainability program are frequently used to pass judgement upon, and penalise, NSW citizens (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,43 ,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50). Otherwise law abiding citizens are being dragged into court as politicians and lawyers seek to enforce their ecocentric philosophy upon ordinary people. How is this possible? How can any democratic NSW government permit an undemocratic foreign agency such as the UN to attack the human rights, particularly property rights, of NSW residents by legislating to enforce the ecocentric dictates of the UN? This new environment centred ecocentric philosophy or environmental ethics (41, 42 ) has led to an explosion in both the complexity and number of new environmental laws (25 ) and these laws are increasingly being undemocratically used by State and local government to override and erode property rights of NSW landholders (50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85). According to David Farrier and Paul Stein in the Environmental Law Handbook: Planning and Land Use in NSW: “The perspective presented by the law has been quite clearly human-centred, or anthropocentric. Instead of looking at the natural environment as having value in its own right, we have looked at it from the point of view of humans. Before a 1997 amendment to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, ‘environment’ was defined in it as including ‘all aspects of the surroundings of man whether affecting him as an individual or in his social groupings’ (s.4(1)). The problem with the human-centred approach to the natural environment is that it leads to an irresistible temptation to view it simply as a resource to be used for our benefit. Decisions are made on the basis of what is good for people rather than what is good for the natural environment. The natural environment becomes a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Perhaps this is inevitable, given that it is human beings who make the law and the decisions. No matter how motivated the human decision-maker is to give some kind of equal status to the integrity of the natural environment, we cannot avoid the fact that a human interpretation of the needs of the natural world will prevail. Recently, there have been attempts to modify the anthropocentric focus of environmental law. There is a changing consciousness about the interconnectedness of all living species and systems, encapsulated in a concern for the conservation of biological diversity. This has given rise to a new definition of ‘environment’ in the Protection of the Environment Administration Act (see page 4), and the enactment of legislation such as the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, which seeks to protect ecological communities and the critical habitat of threatened species (see chapter 11). This change in emphasis, however, can also be justified in terms of the future interests of humanity. For example, restrictions on certain developments can be justified because of the need to preserve plants whose pharmacological properties have not yet been identified. And there are ecological processes, many of them still poorly understood, that provide ecosystem services such as water purification and soil fertilisation. Humans ultimately depend on, and benefit from, these processes.” The decline of anthropocentrism and the rise of modern environmentalism is creating a future where basic human rights, including the right to private property, will be challenged on environmental grounds. Not only the rights of plants and ecosystems, but also the rights of future generations will be utilised to justify removal of the human rights of the present generation. We can therefore look forward to a future where fundamental human rights will be considered secondary to the rights of the “environment” and persons who do not exist. According to Justice McClellan: “It cannot be assumed that environmental law and the role of the Land and Environment Court will be free of controversy in the future. Some of the issues which the Court must deal with raise questions of fundamental human rights. All of them affect the lives of some or a group of people in our community. Many will involve very substantial money profits or losses to individuals or corporations. The court must contribute to the task of balancing the immediate needs of the present generation with the trust we hold for those who will come after us.” Increasingly, the rights of private land owners are being eroded under the guise of environmental concerns, the UN biodiversity programme and Agenda 21, and the principles of distributive justice and intergenerational justice. According to Gerry Bates at the Conference on Rural Land Use Change: “Government has progressively moved to wrest management of natural resources away from private control and unlimited public access. It is common now for water, fish and biodiversity to be vested in and controlled by the Crown*. Legislation then creates government authorities charged with the task of managing these resources, and implementing and enforcing the statutory scheme. Environmental restrictions imposed by legislation, of course, cut across common law rights; but centuries of legal and cultural tradition that support the pre-eminence of the rights of private landowners cannot be easily overcome; and such rights still have a considerable influence on the development of environmental policy and therefore of environmental law. The governmental approach to environmental management and protection has had to be applied in the context of a social system, supported by the common law, that hitherto placed few restrictions on the exploitation of natural resources by private landowners.” *Emphasis added Agenda 21, which all levels of government continue to enthusiastically embrace, is an undemocratic biocentric/ecocentric United Nations designed and monitored program (58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64), which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77). It is absolutely astonishing and completely unacceptable that foreign designed and monitored biocentric/ecocentric programs such as Agenda 21 have been actively and pervasively embedded into NSW planning and legislation while residents have NEVER been given a democratic choice. APPENDIX D Response to Correspondence from the Victorian Minister for Local Government – Jeanette Powell (Please note: My response to the Minister also included the following 3 back up documents not included here: The Australian Government Agenda for the 21st Century – The Invasion of Australia by the United Nations; Local Environmental Plans & the Covert UN Agenda 21 Takeover: Councils, Property Rights & Democracy, What you Should Know) Vivien Leizer|Reception Office of the Hon Jeanette Powell MP Minister for Local Government |Aboriginal Affairs 17/8 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne VIC 3002 Phone(03) 9637 8938 | Fax(03) 9637 8920 Email vivien.e.leizer@dse.vic.gov.au Dear Vivien, Thank you for your forwarding the response on behalf of the Minister. I refer the following extremely serious matters to the Minister’s urgent attention. I refer to the following part of the Minister’s response. In spite of this claim, according to the voluminous evidence below and enclosed, your government has clearly been implementing, and permitting to be implemented, the Agenda 21 program for near 20 years, yet you have never declared it as policy. Why? Are you saying you have now banned Agenda 21 from Victoria and you now utilise a local sustainability program with no UN connections? Will you be officially declaring it as policy at the next election or do you prefer to continue implementing it without declaring it as policy? Why? Please refer me to relevant documentation. And do you now reject the Commonwealth Governments Local Agenda 21 guide? And have you now prevented Victorian Councils from importing foreign UN sustainability programs such as Agenda 21? Could you please supply documentation? Will you be taking legal action against the Municipal Association and Victorian councils (below) for implementing Agenda 21 when you have not approved it? Or will you be deregistering them? Let’s cut to the chase here. Unless you can supply current documentation proving you have outlawed or banned UN Agenda 21 and other imported sustainability programs from Victoria, then to suggest your government is not part of the implementation of this program is at best extremely misleading, and at worst, a deliberate untruth designed to deliberately deceive the public. Which is it? Why is it apparently so important to you NOT to openly declare this program as policy? Or will you immediately ban it and all such imported programs? Regards Graham Williamson http://www.regional.org.au/au/soc/2002/4/lyon.htm The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has established a statewide partnership of councils involved in ecological sustainable development (ESD) /Triple Bottom Line/Local Agenda 21(LA21) initiatives. A successful first meeting of 17 member councils from around the State was held on 15th August 2001 to establish the MAV Victorian Local Sustainability Partnership…….In Victoria over the past ten years, about 15–20 local governments have embarked on local processes to engage with their communities and develop a strategic plan to address sustainability. Much of the work of leading councils in this area has developed on the back of the Local Conservation Strategy (LCS) program of the Cain and Kirner Labour governments of the early 90s. During the 6 years of the Kennett government there was no explicit support or acknowledgment of Local Agenda 21 or environment planning initiatives at the local government level. Despite this lack of State support, leading Victorian local governments have developed innovative approaches to sustainability. However, more recently at a State level there has been an explicit focus on ‘sustainability’ with a number of approaches. The Brack’s Labour government elected almost three years ago had an election platform to create a ‘Commissioner for ESD’ and the government has undertaken extensive consultation on the proposed Commissioner. A final government response to these consultations is still being developed. Additionally the Brack’s government has highlighted the importance of triple bottom line (TBL) approaches and sustainability in the ‘Growing Victoria Together’2 policy statement. The still to be released Metro Strategy is to be a major statement by Government on the future of Melbourne, particularly focusing on the growth corridors of outer Melbourne, the urban–rural interface issues and the issues of integrated planning and transport across greater Melbourne. While these major initiatives have still to be launched, many of the programs now being developed by different Victorian government agencies to address sustainability still do not explicitly acknowledge and provide support of local government approaches to ESD such as Local Agenda 21. In fact, a number of recent initiatives could be argued to duplicate or cut across municipal approaches, and in a sense ‘re-invent’ much of the successful local sustainability work already underway through local government. The Liveable Neighbourhood approach attempts to develop a community driven local approach to environmental management, providing a planning tool that is more responsive to community and to arguments for greater local autonomy and control of planning and environment issues.3 Like Local Agenda 21, the NEIP model seeks to tackle sustainability at the local level by creating a form of local community involvement. However, as with the Victorian residential planning system where a Minister or VCAT (administrative tribunal) can override a local planning decision, the EPA is the final approver and arbiter of NEIPs. While the work in developing an NEIP is undertaken by a local council (or other ‘protection agency’) and though a community process, the plan is still at the end of the day sanctioned or ‘approved’ by the State though the EPA. http://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/handle/10072/40787/73366_1.pdf?sequence=1 Examples of governments’ reluctance to devolve power and control can be found in attempts to implement the Agenda 21 at the local level. For instance, as part of the sustainability discourse, local governments were ascribed the role of promoting better public dialogue to deal with complex environmental issues (Khakee, 2001). At the centre of that rhetoric was the establishment of the Agenda 21 at the local level (Bulkeley, 2000). Khakee (2001) states that the public dialogue advocated with Agenda 21 was a community-wide learning process which could assist in the definition of objectives as well as install institutional capital that would enable the achievement of sustainability. However, a study about the implementation of the Agenda 21 in the Victorian context (Mercer & Jotkowits, 2000) suggests that the fact that local governments’ role changed from being one which governs to a more administrative entity did not result in the devolution of power and control; instead, it contributed to impede the implementation of programmes with a more structural changing character such as the one proposed by the Agenda 21. Governments, particularly at the local scale, appear to prefer to embrace less contentious initiatives such as the ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCPC) (Bulkeley, 2000). While this campaign has established as one of its objectives the strengthening of local communities, its key outcomes are heavily associated with tangible results. These include targets and timetables and related economic benefits rather than more comprehensive measures which would demand better public engagement (Lindseth, 2004). Thus when faced with the challenge of implementing major structural changes and policies similar to the ones advocated by the Agenda 21, local authorities tend to buy time by implementing easier policies (Whittaker, 1997). Additionally, they also tend to do business-as-usual and repack existing programmes under new banners as observed in the case of adoption of the CCPC by American cities (Betsill, 2000). https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/common/public/documents/8cbc79e88419896- EnvironmentManagementStrategy2006-2011.pdf Council recognised the importance of sound environmental management in the late 1990’s when it adopted its first Environmental Management Strategy- Local Agenda 21 in February 1999……. In 1992 a meeting of the World Commission on Environment and Development met in Rio de Janeiro at the Earth Summit. A strategy called Agenda 21 was adopted by over 100 countries to encourage more sustainable development. A Local Agenda 21 is a strategy prepared by government and all sections of the community to establish a vision and to integrate programs for change. The City’s new Environment Management Strategy is Council’s Local Agenda 21 and represents a commitment to addressing global issues at the local level. http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/melbourne2030online/content/policies_initiatives/07h_policy78.html Melbourne 2030 – Local sustainability initiatives in Victoria Local Agenda 21 This is based on the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, which aimed to establish a global agenda for social, economic and environmental sustainability. Australia joined with 177 other member nations to adopt Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and subsequently local authorities were encouraged to prepare a ‘Local Agenda 21’ with their communities. Since then, some 100 local governments throughout Australia have made a commitment to Local Agenda 21 or ecologically sustainable development through municipal plans and strategies. By 2001, at least 20 local councils in Victoria were working towards implementing Local Agenda 21 action plans to help their communities become involved in sustainable development. http://www.gswreportcard.org/_opes/publications/IntegratingRegionalSustainabilityProgram.pdf Local governments across Australia have recognised an integrative role in community sustainability and thus traditionally address local sustainability through the Local Agenda 21 model. Local Agenda 21 encourages all local authorities to enter into dialogue with their communities on developing an action plan for sustainability that seeks to integrate social, ecological and economic sustainability. This approach was reendorsed in 2002 by local government representatives at the Johannesburg World Summit. The next step for those attempting to implement such action plans is to be able to demonstrate that such plans and strategies are making a difference. http://www.markbirrell.com/Vital.htm (Speech on the Agenda 21 infrastructure initiatives for our Capital City – outlining progress in implementing the Liberal/National policy on Melbourne first announced by Mark Birrell on 16th. August, 1991) In this address I wish to outline the aims and objectives of the Coalition Government’s agenda for our capital city. It is important for me first of all to put on record my thanks to the Institute for the work that it has done to assist us in progressing elements of the “Agenda 21″ program. http://www.la.org.au/opinion/011010/back-dark-ages-melbourne%E2%80%99s-streets Has anyone noticed that the streets around Melbourne aren’t as bright as they used to be?…….. That’s because various local councils have been rolling out “energy-efficient” street lights, which cost the tax-payer a fortune, while making our streets significantly darker and hence less safe……It’s all being done under a United Nations treaty, signed and ratified by Australia in the early 1990s, known as Agenda 21, which is a manifesto for sending humanity back to the pre-industrial era, a time when you had to wash your clothes in the local river and the average life expectancy was little more than 30. The Municipal Association of Victoria states on its website: “Local government has a key role to play in promoting environmental sustainability and taking action that sees the concept incorporated into everyday life. Steps toward this are part of the Local Agenda 21 model and the MAV is helping to push the sustainability agenda further through various council networks, showcase forums and other initiatives.” http://www.ccmaknowledgebase.vic.gov.au/resources/COGG.pdf A Local Agenda 21 is an environment strategy prepared by government and all sections of the community to establish a vision and to integrate programs for change. This EMS is therefore Council’s Local Agenda 21 and represents a commitment to addressing global issues at the local level…. The importance of ESD was highlighted in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, where agreements aimed at providing a broad framework for global sustainable development such as Agenda 21, to which Australia is a signatory, were signed. The emphasis of Agenda 21 is the achievement of the objectives of ESD at the global scale through action at the local level, which is encapsulated in the statement `think globally, act locally’. A copy of Chapter 28 from the Agenda 21 Charter is attached as Appendix One. In the Australian context, the concept of sustainable development has been incorporated into National policy documents, such as the 1992 Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment and the 1995 CommonwealthLocal Government Accord on the Environment. The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is a party to these, which place responsibilities on all local Councils to prepare strategies and policies that will foster sound environmental management and sustainable development. ALGA is also a signatory to `The Newcastle Declaration’, which was endorsed at the International Conference – Pathways to Sustainability in June 1997. A copy of this is attached as Appendix Two… This EMS is the City of Greater Geelong’s response to acting locally and will be Geelong’s Local Agenda 21 Action Plan. It is an action-oriented document outlining a range of actions that can be undertaken within the municipality to achieve ecologically sustainable development. Background – the undemocratic invasion of Australia by the United Nations Agenda 21 Graham Williamson Agenda 21 is an undemocratic United Nations designed and monitored program (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19). It is absolutely disgraceful that such anti-democratic sovereignty undermining foreign designed and monitored programs such as Agenda 21 have been implemented by all three levels of government throughout Australia for 20 years. Further, during this 20 year implementation, both major political parties have consistently decided it best to exclude Agenda 21 from their official policies to prevent voters from having a democratic choice. The Australian government has paved the way for the undemocratic infiltration of Agenda 21 in Australia by the support of the United Nations Earth Summit by the Howard government followed by ratification by the Keating government and implementation by successive governments (5, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 51 ). No doubt because of the undemocratic regressive nature of Agenda 21, various experts and government officials often prefer to mislead the public by avoiding the term “Agenda 21” and using instead terms such as (40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45) “sustainability”, “smart growth”, “growth management” or “local environmental plans”. Deliberate deception of the public it seems, is fundamental to the success of the program (45): “Agenda 21 is being implemented in the U.S. under various names to deceive the unsuspecting public as to the source and real purpose of the program. However identifying the programs is relatively easy. All you have to do is look for the keywords……..Everything associated with this program is deceptive. The language they use, the names they give the projects, the means by which they lure local governments into the trap and then slam the door – absolutely everything is deceptive from beginning to end.” And the deceit about the full implications and origin of AG21 is endemic throughout Australia (46): “Throughout Australia it seems that there has been widespread uncertainty about the meaning, scope and value of the term ‘Local Agenda 21’……..Some councils have chosen, for a variety of reasons, not to call their initiatives ‘LA21’ “…….”However, this is not to say that LA21 is not happening within Australia. On the contrary there is Local Agenda 21 activity in every state and territory and many councils are working on projects that have at their core the processes of LA21, although they may not necessarily be using that terminology.” Since many aspects of AG21 need to be enforced at the local level, the federal government was compelled to enlist the co-operation of state and local governments in order to satisfy the implementation requirements of the United Nations. As a result, all Australian states, including NSW (47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70 , 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93,94 ,95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 100, 101, 102, 103 ), Queensland (104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114) Victoria (115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 123, 124, 125, 126), SA (127, 128, 129, 130, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144), and WA (145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151), proceeded to implement Agenda by changes to state legislation and by enforcing local changes at the local council level. In fact, so important were local councils in the global plans of the UN that the UN specifically incorporated a section promoting so called ‘Local Agenda 21’ or’ LA 21’ into Chapter 28 of the Agenda 21 document. Local Agenda 21 has been adopted by Councils around Australia under the guidance of their respective state governments (46, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 69, 70 , 71, 73, 74, 75, 76, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 104, 110, 111, 112, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159). To further disguise the true goals of Agenda 21 the name has been changed to Sustainable Development 21 or SD21 (160, 161, 162, 163), while some local authorities have changed the name of Local Agenda 21 to ‘Local Climate Strategy’ (160). The United Nations Sustainable Cities program is yet another spin off of Agenda 21 and the UN Habitat agenda (173, 174, 175, 176, 177). The United Nations has found from 20 years experience that implementation of their global agenda by local authorities has been their most effective strategy (160, 161, 162), especially given the impediments of national sovereignty. Not surprisingly, according to the United Nations Sustainable Development in the 21st Century Summary for Policymakers, the future of their global agenda depends largely upon giving more power and recognition to local councils (161): “Empowering lower levels with means to act on their own Progress towards more sustainable outcomes does not need to wait for a hypothetical consensus on what the future of the world should be, or how global affairs should be managed. Actions at lower levels can and should be taken as soon as possible……… Empower lower levels of governments to act as agents of change on their own and try new approaches to sustainability…. Local governments also have a critical role to play as agents of change, as their closeness to their constituents enable them to embark on bold experiments of different paths to sustainability…… Providing appropriate mandates and resources to all levels of governments Ultimately, the success or failure of sustainable development will largely depend on decisions and actions that are taken at the local level. This was well recognized by Agenda 21.” But the UN went further in their Review of Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Rio Principles (Draft – Jan 2012), even suggesting that local governments should be empowered by state and federal governments to communicate directly with the United Nations (160): “All governance levels from local through global need to be vertically interconnected for bottom-up energy to meet top-down support. In order to bridge the gaps between different levels of governance well as between agenda and action, local governments need to be given a more prominent role in global UN processes. The intergovernmental level should recognize that local authorities have similar legitimacy compared to national governments, and with many local authorities governing bigger populations than the 150 smallest UN member states, it would be reasonable if they could get voting rights in the UN. New institutional arrangements for sustainability should be based on a multi-level concept of governance and include elected representatives from local, sub-national, national, regional and ultimately global levels. In the other direction, it is imperative that decentralization policies are accompanied with all the needed political, legal and financial support that local authorities need for implementing their localized strategies for sustainability.” Since the United Nations have issued their directives for governments around the world, it is hardly surprising that the current Labor government plans to conduct a referendum at the next election to constitutionally recognise and give more rights to local councils (163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 168). The commitment to hold a referendum was part of an agreement signed by the Greens Party and the ALP in order to form government (166, 168, 169). Astonishingly, even though ecologically sustainable development in Australia is enforced by state law (86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93,94 ,95, 96, 170, 171, 172), the public have yet to be made aware of either its UN Agenda 21 origins or the totality of its global goals. In further support of the global implementation of LA21 is ICLEI , the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, the name now being changed to Local Governments for Sustainability. In fact, Section 7.21 of Agenda 21, specifically recommends involvement with ICLEI. According to Maurice Strong in the Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide (173), “The task of mobilizing and technically supporting Local Agenda 21 planning in these communities has been led by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and national associations of local government.” And further, according to ICLEI, the UN requested that ICLEI present a draft of Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 including a mandate for all local authorities to prepare a ‘local Agenda 21’.” In fact, ICLEI stated they had two fundamental programs, the “Cities for Climate Protection Campaign and the Local Agenda 21 Initiative.” According to ICLEI (174): “In 1991, at the invitation of Secretariat for the UN Conference on Environment and Development, ICLEI presented a draft of Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 including the mandate for all local authorities to prepare a “local Agenda 21.” The final version of Chapter 28 approved at the Earth Summit stipulates that “by 1996 , most local authorities in each country should have undertaken a consultative process with their population and achieved a consensus on a local Agenda 21 for the(ir) communities.” Following the adoption of the LA21 at the Earth Summit, ICLEI began organizing to ensure that this mandate would be used to advance sustainable development. In particular, ICLEI was concerned that LA21 processes be truly participatory and that they result in new commitments by municipalities and their communities to improve and extend urban services in a sustainable way. To address these concerns, ICLEI established a Local Agenda 21 Initiative with three elements. The Local Agenda 21 Model Communities Programme was a research and development project which supported a select group of municipalities to design, test, and evaluate planning frameworks for sustainable development. These local frameworks were guided by a general ICLEI framework called “Strategic Services Planning” which addresses many of the organizational and institutional problems related to governance and public sector service delivery in the sustainable development context. With the creation of its Local Agenda 21 Campaign, ICLEI has positioned itself in the growing LA 21 “movement”-which presently counts more than 2,000 communities involved-as a developer and promoter of standards for LA 21 planning. The LA 21 Model Communities Programme established the guiding principles for LA 21 planning and tested a variety of participatory planning tools. The experiences of the MCP participants resulted in the publication, in English, Spanish, and now Turkish, of the ICLEI Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide: An Introduction to Sustainable Development Planning(1996). This guide is being increasingly used in university and local government institute training courses around the world. ICLEI also developed with participating municipalities, the Local Agenda 21 Declaration. This declaration consists of a set of milestones and principles which are formally adopted by local councils as their standard for LA 21 planning. In 1998, ICLEI directly assisted more than 180 municipalities in the establishment of LA 21 planning and projects that are consistent with the declaration’s standards. According to the United Nations, Agenda 21 requires that local authorities, as part of their new global role, also enter into partnerships with (175) “relevant organs and organizations such as UNDP, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and UNEP, the World Bank, regional banks, the International Union of Local Authorities, the World Association of the Major Metropolises, Summit of Great Cities of the World, the United Towns Organization.” This has given rise to bottom up movements where local government and local councils are given progressively more power as compared to national governments. The implementation of Agenda 21 is of course, monitored by the UN, participating countries being required to report back to the UN on a regular basis (176, 177, 178, 179). The UN describes the monitoring and reporting provisions for Agenda 21 in chapter 38.11. The Commonwealth of course, provides these reports to the UN from implementation progress at state and local government levels. In fact, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development was established to oversee the implementation of Agenda 21 around the world (176, 177, 179). According to the Commonwealth Government in this regard (179): “The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with a mandate to review implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, in particular progress in the implementation of the program of action known as Agenda 21. The CSD held its first substantive session in June 1993 and has met annually since. The 10-year review of the implementation of Agenda 21 culminated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa (September, 2002). While the CSD successfully built a profile and improved understanding of sustainable development during its first 10 years, it was recognised at the WSSD that some reforms were required to ensure the continued relevance of its work. The WSSD Plan of Implementation (POI) called for reform of the CSD within its existing mandate (as adopted un UNGA resolution 47/191). In particular, the POI recommended : · Limiting negotiating sessions to every two years; · Re-considering the scheduling and duration of intersessional meetings; and · Limiting the number of themes addressed in each session. An enhanced role for the CSD in monitoring and reporting on progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and in facilitation of partnerships was also recommended.” Strangely, membership of the CSD which oversees Australia’s compliance with the requirements of Agenda 21, includes various extremist and despotic regimes who deny basic human rights to their own citizens. So at a time when (180) “many of the world’s worst violators of human rights and democratic standards have joined in loose coalitions at the United Nations to deflect attention from their records of repression”, the United Nations and the Australian government want such countries to judge Australia’s sustainability progress. But as if all this isn’t bad enough, representatives of Iran, Cuba, North Korea, and Libya in the United Nations Human Rights Council, recently criticised human rights violations in the USA (181,182): “Recommendations to improve the U.S. human rights record included Cuba’s advice to end “violations against migrants and mentally ill persons” and “ensure the right to food and health.” Iran – currently poised to stone an Iranian woman for adultery – told the U.S. “effectively to combat violence against women.” North Korea – which systematically starves a captive population – told the U.S. “to address inequalities in housing, employment and education” and “prohibit brutality…by law enforcement officials.” Libya complained about U.S. “racism, racial discrimination and intolerance.” Interestingly, “North Korea is not only on the Human Rights Council. It was appointed to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UN CSD) even though many of its people routinely suffer from starvation because of the regime’s totalitarian nature”(181, 183). APPENDIX E Mr Barry O’Farrell, MP Level 40 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Sir, As you can see below, the NSW Attorney General was unwilling to answer simple questions regarding the use of the ecocentric principles of the Agenda 21 program to rewrite and reshape the NSW legal system (as backed up by voluminous evidence of implementation across numerous government departments). I asked the Attorney the following specific questions. Please explain why you consider that overseeing the direction of the legal system of NSW is not your responsibility and please name the person who is responsible? Indeed, so entrenched has Agenda 21 become that it has even infiltrated the legal system of NSW to the extent the principles of this imported undemocratic sustainability program are frequently used to pass judgement upon, and penalise, NSW citizens (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,43 ,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50). I then asked: How is this possible? How can any democratic NSW government permit an undemocratic foreign agency such as the UN to attack the human rights, particularly property rights, of NSW residents by legislating to enforce the dictates of the UN? For some reason you chose to ignore this legal question and refer it to other Ministers such as the Minister for Planning and Minister for the Environment? Why? Do you feel they are better qualified to answer legal questions about human rights, property rights, and NSW sovereignty? But the Attorney General refused to answer, seeking to avoid the subject of implementation of AG21 by NSW and even go so far as to pretend it is only a Commonwealth matter. I quote: “If you have concerns about Australia’s adoption of Agenda 21 you should contact the Federal Government.” Clearly this is ridiculous. We have a situation in NSW where numerous judges and legal experts acknowledge that the NSW legal system is being restructured to support the ecocentric principles of the United Nations Agenda 21 program and yet we have an Attorney General who accepts no responsibility and seems to profess complete ignorance. Could he possibly be so ignorant, or is he being deliberately misleading or deceptive. Either way, he should be instantly dismissed. Will you be sacking him? Could you please state what action you will be taking and the government’s policy in regard to implementation of the foreign UN Agenda 21 program? Will you be banning it? Or do you intend to continue to implement it throughout the various state departments which have embedded it into policy? And could you please advise who is responsible for overseeing the direction of the NSW legal system and administration of justice in NSW as the Attorney General continually seeks to distance himself from any such responsibility. Regards Graham Williamson From: Public Smith’s Office Email [mailto:Office@smith.minister.nsw.gov.au] Sent: Friday, 30 November 2012 10:33 AM To: grahamhw@iprimus.com.au Subject: FW: TRIM: FW: Ecocentrism – who is responsible for overseeing NSW laws Dear Mr Williamson If you have concerns about Australia’s adoption of Agenda 21 you should contact the Federal Government. If you have concerns about the adoption of a particular policy associated with Agenda 21 then you should contact the Minister, Council etc responsible for that decision. Elections are regularly held at a local, state and federal level. This affords you the opportunity to vote for the candidate that you believe best reflects your policy preferences. I have referred your matter to a number of Ministers and should you send further correspondence this will be placed on file without response. Kind regards Office of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice. Mr Barry O’Farrell Premier Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Mr O’Farrell, The NSW government has integrated Agenda 21 and Agenda 21 related programs into its environmental/sustainability policies, its planning policies, its local government policies, and its education policies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23). Indeed, so entrenched has Agenda 21 become that it has even infiltrated the legal system of NSW to the extent it is frequently used to pass judgement upon, and penalise, NSW citizens (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,43 ,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50). Traditionally NSW laws have been based upon “anthropocentrism” (32), the belief that humankind had dominion over the environment and the plants and animals of which it is comprised. In recent years however, this has been reversed so that our legal system is now increasingly based upon a Gaia driven (39, 40) UN Agenda 21 world view where anthropocentrism is overturned and is replaced by a new order where the environment, and animals, reign supreme and man’s place in the world is secondary (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38). This philosophy now forms the basis of new environmental laws and the flourishing NSW environmental legal system (25, 26 ). As has been noted by Pain (25, 26): “environmental legislation has moved away from being ‘anthropocentric-and-development orientated’ towards legislation that is ‘more environment-centred’.” This new environment centred philosophy or environmental ethics (41, 42 ) as opposed to a human centred or anthropocentric philosophy, has led to an explosion in both the complexity and number of new environmental laws (25 ) and these laws are increasingly being undemocratically used by State and local government to override and erode property rights of NSW landholders (50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57). Agenda 21 however is an undemocratic United Nations designed and monitored program (58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64), which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77). It is absolutely astonishing and completely unacceptable that foreign designed and monitored programs such as Agenda 21 have been actively and pervasively embedded into NSW planning and legislation while residents have NEVER been given a democratic choice. What will you do about this? Recently, because of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 and the serious threat it poses to human rights, particularly property rights, the following law was passed by the legislature in Alabama banning Agenda 21 (78): Senate Bill 477 “Section 1. (b) The State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to ‘Agenda 21’, adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Alabama. (c) Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services, or giving financial aid to or from those non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as defined in Agenda 21.” Are you prepared to represent the interests of NSW residents by giving them this same protection, as enacted in Alabama, from foreign attempts to infringe upon the property rights of local landholders? If not, why not? In view of the above facts I seek answers to the following questions. 5. Has the NSW government warned residents of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 plans, their UN origin, and their full agenda and final goals? If so please supply documentary evidence (notices, media releases etc). 6. Does the NSW government have a clear policy to ban all such UN derived Agenda 21 related policies to protect local residents? Please supply documentary evidence, including the time frame for implementation. 7. Has the NSW government offered local residents the choice between a locally designed, monitored and implemented environmental/sustainability plan as an alternative to plans designed and monitored by a foreign agency (the UN)? I look forward to receiving clarification of these vitally important matters. Regards Graham Williamson APPENDIX F Correspondence with NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker. Ms Robyn Parker, MP Minister for the Environment Level 32 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Re response from Ms Danielle Lautrec MD12/3442; MD12/4303 Dear Ms Parker, Thank you for your response, courtesy of Ms Lautrec. As you know, my correspondence (included below) was about various aspects of Agenda 21, none of which Ms Lautrec was able to respond to. To quote Ms Lautrec: The claim that “the decision for Australia to commit to the principals of Agenda 21 was a decision made by the Federal Government” is of course, completely false if you are attempting to deny the NSW state government, and Local Governments, are implementing this program. This statement is at best, extremely and deceptively misleading, and at worst, it is deliberate deception and denial of the facts. Do you condone this dishonesty? Are you denying that both the NSW Government, and Local Councils, are implementing this program and have been doing so for nearly two decades? As you of course realise, the Federal Government is reliant upon State and Local Governments to implement the many local requirements of Agenda 21. Knowing this, why would you feel the need to pretend it was just a “decision made by the Federal Government” and imply it has nothing to do with state and local governments? Let me remind you of some of the issues you failed to address from my earlier correspondence (below). First let me stress that my enquiry is about the 500 page foreign United Nations designed and monitored Agenda 21 program. As I stated previously: The NSW government has integrated Agenda 21 and Agenda 21 related programs into its environmental/sustainability policies, its planning policies, its local government policies, and its education policies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23). Indeed, so entrenched has Agenda 21 become that it has even infiltrated the legal system of NSW to the extent it is frequently used to pass judgement upon, and penalise, NSW citizens (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,43 ,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50). Do you approve of this adoption of this foreign program and its use to penalise NSW residents? Will you be including this program in official Liberal Party Policy or do you prefer to continue to implement it while excluding it from policy? I continued in my earlier communication: Agenda 21 however is an undemocratic United Nations designed and monitored program (58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64), which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77). It is absolutely astonishing and completely unacceptable that foreign designed and monitored programs such as Agenda 21 have been actively and pervasively embedded into NSW planning and legislation while residents have NEVER been given a democratic choice. What will you do about this? Even though these matters are of vital importance to residents of NSW you expressed no concern whatsoever and failed to advise what action you would take to protect the sovereignty of NSW and the rights of NSW land owners. Why? I continued: Recently, because of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 and the serious threat it poses to human rights, particularly property rights, the following law was passed by the legislature in Alabama banning Agenda 21 (78): Senate Bill 477 “Section 1. (b) The State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to ‘Agenda 21’, adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Alabama. (c) Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services, or giving financial aid to or from those non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as defined in Agenda 21.” I then asked: Are you prepared to represent the interests of NSW residents by giving them this same protection, as enacted in Alabama, from foreign attempts to infringe upon the property rights of local landholders? If not, why not? But you once again chose to completely ignore this question, apparently preferring NOT to offer NSW land owners any such protections. Is this correct? When will you take decisive action to protect the rights of NSW residents? I continued: In view of the above facts I seek answers to the following questions. 8. Has the NSW government warned residents of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 plans, their UN origin, and their full agenda and final goals? If so please supply documentary evidence (notices, media releases etc). You were unable to supply even one NSW Government notice alerting residents to these facts. Why? 9. Does the NSW government have a clear policy to ban all such UN derived Agenda 21 related policies to protect local residents? Please supply documentary evidence, including the time frame for implementation. Once again you were unable to supply any such documentation. Why? 10. Has the NSW government offered local residents the choice between a locally designed, monitored and implemented environmental/sustainability plan as an alternative to plans designed and monitored by a foreign agency (the UN)? You were completely unable to confirm that you had offered residents any such local program at all, your only option being to force upon NSW residents a foreign (UN) designed and monitored program. Why? As is perfectly clear, the above issues are of vital importance, yet your preferred response was to ignore all of them. When can I expect a meaningful response? Regards Graham Williamson Ms Robyn Parker, MP Minister for the Environment Level 32 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Ms Parker, The NSW government has integrated Agenda 21 and Agenda 21 related programs into its environmental/sustainability policies, its planning policies, its local government policies, and its education policies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23). Indeed, so entrenched has Agenda 21 become that it has even infiltrated the legal system of NSW to the extent it is frequently used to pass judgement upon, and penalise, NSW citizens (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,43 ,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50). Traditionally NSW laws have been based upon “anthropocentrism” (32), the belief that humankind had dominion over the environment and the plants and animals of which it is comprised. In recent years however, this has been reversed so that our legal system is now increasingly based upon a Gaia driven (39, 40) UN Agenda 21 world view where anthropocentrism is overturned and is replaced by a new order where the environment, and animals, reign supreme and man’s place in the world is secondary (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38). This philosophy now forms the basis of new environmental laws and the flourishing NSW environmental legal system (25, 26 ). As has been noted by Pain (25, 26): “environmental legislation has moved away from being ‘anthropocentric-and-development orientated’ towards legislation that is ‘more environment-centred’.” This new environment centred philosophy or environmental ethics (41, 42 ) as opposed to a human centred or anthropocentric philosophy, has led to an explosion in both the complexity and number of new environmental laws (25 ) and these laws are increasingly being undemocratically used by State and local government to override and erode property rights of NSW landholders (50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57). Agenda 21 however is an undemocratic United Nations designed and monitored program (58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64), which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77). It is absolutely astonishing and completely unacceptable that foreign designed and monitored programs such as Agenda 21 have been actively and pervasively embedded into NSW planning and legislation while residents have NEVER been given a democratic choice. What will you do about this? Recently, because of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 and the serious threat it poses to human rights, particularly property rights, the following law was passed by the legislature in Alabama banning Agenda 21 (78): Senate Bill 477 “Section 1. (b) The State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to ‘Agenda 21’, adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Alabama. (c) Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services, or giving financial aid to or from those non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as defined in Agenda 21.” Are you prepared to represent the interests of NSW residents by giving them this same protection, as enacted in Alabama, from foreign attempts to infringe upon the property rights of local landholders? If not, why not? In view of the above facts I seek answers to the following questions. 11. Has the NSW government warned residents of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 plans, their UN origin, and their full agenda and final goals? If so please supply documentary evidence (notices, media releases etc). 12. Does the NSW government have a clear policy to ban all such UN derived Agenda 21 related policies to protect local residents? Please supply documentary evidence, including the time frame for implementation. 13. Has the NSW government offered local residents the choice between a locally designed, monitored and implemented environmental/sustainability plan as an alternative to plans designed and monitored by a foreign agency (the UN)? I look forward to receiving clarification of these vitally important matters. Regards Graham Williamson APPENDIX G Correspondence with NSW Attorney General Greg Smith. Dear Mr Williamson (final response from Minister – 30th Nov 2012) If you have concerns about Australia’s adoption of Agenda 21 you should contact the Federal Government. If you have concerns about the adoption of a particular policy associated with Agenda 21 then you should contact the Minister, Council etc responsible for that decision. Elections are regularly held at a local, state and federal level. This affords you the opportunity to vote for the candidate that you believe best reflects your policy preferences. I have referred your matter to a number of Ministers and should you send further correspondence this will be placed on file without response. Kind regards Office of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice. From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Sunday, 25 November 2012 7:20 AM To: Public Smith’s Office Email Subject: TRIM: FW: Ecocentrism – who is responsible for overseeing NSW laws Mr Greg Smith, MP Attorney General and Minister for Justice Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Sir, I have still received no response to the vitally important issues raised in the below email. When can I expect a meaningful response? Is your continuing non-response indicative of your complete lack of concern about these issues? Regards Graham Williamson From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Sunday, 23 September 2012 9:18 AM To: office@smith..minister.nsw.gov.au; epping@parliament.nsw.gov.au Cc: office@premier.nsw.gov.au Subject: FW: Ecocentrism – who is responsible for overseeing NSW laws Mr Greg Smith, MP Attorney General and Minister for Justice Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Mr Smith, The below email remains unanswered. When can I expect an answer to the extremely important issues contained therein? Regards Graham Williamson From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Wednesday, 15 August 2012 8:25 PM To: office@smith..minister.nsw.gov.au; ‘epping@parliament.nsw.gov.au’ Cc: office@premier.nsw.gov.au; ‘kuringgai@parliament.nsw.gov.au’ Subject: Ecocentrism – who is responsible for overseeing NSW laws Mr Greg Smith, MP Attorney General and Minister for Justice Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Sir, In response to my previous communication below, which you referred to other Ministers, you stated “The matters raised do not fall under the portfolio responsibility of the NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice.” Please explain why you consider that overseeing the direction of the legal system of NSW is not your responsibility and please name the person who is responsible? Incidentally, since as a result of my earlier correspondence you have declared that the matters I referred to, including the overseeing of the direction of the NSW legal system, has nothing to do with you, I have cc’d the Premier. Previously I stated as follows. Indeed, so entrenched has Agenda 21 become that it has even infiltrated the legal system of NSW to the extent the principles of this imported undemocratic sustainability program are frequently used to pass judgement upon, and penalise, NSW citizens (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,43 ,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50). I then asked: How is this possible? How can any democratic NSW government permit an undemocratic foreign agency such as the UN to attack the human rights, particularly property rights, of NSW residents by legislating to enforce the dictates of the UN? For some reason you chose to ignore this legal question and refer it to other Ministers such as the Minister for Planning and Minister for the Environment? Why? Do you feel they are better qualified to answer legal questions about human rights, property rights, and NSW sovereignty? Traditionally NSW laws have been based upon “anthropocentrism” (32), the belief that humankind had dominion over the environment and the plants and animals of which it is comprised. In recent years however, this has been reversed so that our legal system is now increasingly based upon a Gaia driven (39, 40) UN Agenda 21 world view where anthropocentrism is overturned and is replaced by a new order where the environment, and animals, reign supreme and man’s place in the world is secondary (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38). This philosophy now forms the basis of new environmental laws and the flourishing NSW environmental legal system (25, 26 ). As has been noted by Pain (25, 26): “environmental legislation has moved away from being ‘anthropocentric-and-development orientated’ towards legislation that is ‘more environment-centred’.” This new environment centred philosophy or environmental ethics (41, 42 ) as opposed to a human centred or anthropocentric philosophy, has led to an explosion in both the complexity and number of new environmental laws (25 ) and these laws are increasingly being undemocratically used by State and local government to override and erode property rights of NSW landholders (50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85). I then asked: Do you support the Gaia inspired UN driven reversal of our traditional anthropocentric legal system and its replacement with a ‘plants come first humans come last’ biocentric system? Have you advised the public about this? You decided to completely ignore this legal question, preferring instead to refer it to other Ministers such as the Minister for Education. Why? Do you feel you are not qualified to answer legal questions? If you are not responsible for overseeing the direction of the NSW legal system please explain why and refer me to the person who is responsible. I provide further documentary evidence below and ask again: Do you support the Gaia inspired UN driven reversal of our traditional anthropocentric legal system and its replacement with a ‘plants come first humans come last’ biocentric system? Have you advised the public about this? Justice Preston and others confirm that the anthropocentric basis of the NSW legal system is being undermined so the system is being converted into a virtual plants come first humans come last ecocentric system. You are overseeing this process. Are you directly responsible for these changes? Do you approve of these changes? If not, what will you do to restore anthropocentrism in the NSW legal system? REWRITING THE LEGAL SYSTEM TO ENFORCE THE RIGHTS OF PLANTS & THE ENVIRONMENT Agenda 21 is firmly rooted in the Gaia philosophy of the Earth Charter and Agenda 21 architects such as Maurice Strong. The Gaians or earth worshippers support a biocentric world view or ecocentric world view where humans become of secondary importance to the environment and ecosystem. In other words, plants come first humans come last. This biocentric or ecocentric Gaian world view is pervasively infiltrating our legal and political systems and scientific facts no longer matter. As has been noted by Henry Lamb in The Rise of Global Green Religion: “The paradigm shift from anthropocentrism to biocentrism is increasingly evident in public policy and in the documents which emanate from the United Nations and from the federal government. Public policies are being formulated in response to biocentric enlightenment, rather than in response to scientific evidence.” According to Bosselmann and Taylor in their essay about the Significance of the Earth Charter in International Law, The Earth Charter “challenges the anthropocentric idea of justice”. The Earth Charter was initiated by Maurice Strong and Mikhail Gorbachev , and was adopted by the Australian government in 2005. Anthropocentrism, the traditional basis of NSW laws (32), has now been overturned and replaced by a Gaia driven (39, 40) UN Agenda 21 ecocentric world view where the environment, and animals, reign supreme and man’s place in the world is secondary (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38). This philosophy now forms the basis of new environmental laws and the flourishing NSW environmental legal system (25, 26 ). As has been noted by Pain (25, 26): “environmental legislation has moved away from being ‘anthropocentric-and-development orientated’ towards legislation that is ‘more environment-centred’.” In regard to an ecocentric view of property rights, Peter Burdon notes in his thesis, Earth jurisprudence: private property and earth community: “The central argument of this thesis is that the institution of private property reflects an anthropocentric worldview and is contributing to the current environmental crisis. ……It advocates a paradigm shift in law from anthropocentrism to the concept of Earth community. The thesis first provides an example laws anthropocentrism by exploring the legal philosophical concept of private property. ….It concludes that the dominant rightsbased theory of private property is anthropocentric and facilitates environmental harm. The second component of the thesis explores contemporary scientific evidence supporting the ecocentric concept of Earth community.. This concept argues that human beings are deeply connected and dependent on nature. It also describes the Earth as a community of subjects and not a collection of objects. Assuming that the social sphere is an important source for law, this thesis considers how a paradigm shift from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism can influence the development of legal concepts. To catalyse this shift, it considers the ‘new story’ proposed by cultural historian and theologian Thomas Berry. This story describes contemporary scientific insights such as interconnectedness in a narrative form Third, the thesis uses the alternative paradigm of Earth community to articulate an emerging legal philosophy called Earth Jurisprudence. It describes Earth Jurisprudence as a theory of natural law and advocates for the recognition of two kinds of law, organised in a hierarchical relationship. At the apex is the Great Law, which represents the principle of Earth community. Beneath the Great Law is Human Law, which represents rules articulated by human authorities, which are consistent with the Great Law and enacted for the common good of the comprehensive Earth Community. In regard to the interrelationship between these two legal categories, two points are crucial. Human Law derives its legal quality from the Great Law and any law in contravention of this standard is considered a corruption of law and not morally binding on a population. Finally, the thesis constructs an alternative concept of private property based on the philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence. It describes private property as a relationship between members of the Earth community, through tangible or intangible items. To be consistent with the philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence, the concept of private property must recognise human social relationships, include nonreciprocal duties and obligations; and respond to the ‘thing’ which is the subject matter of a property relationship. A theory of private property that overlooks any of these considerations is defective and deserves to be labelled such.” Supporters of this world view, who believe property rights should be transferred from humans to plants and the environment, are insidiously rewriting our laws to support their bizarre world view. According to Justice Preston, Chief Judge of the NSW Land & Environment Court, Earth should be run like a spaceship: “An increasing recognition of the first law of ecology – that everything is connected to everything else27 – and that the Earth’s ecosystem is, in a sense, a spaceship,28 may necessitate more sweeping positive obligations on landowners. Sax argues that ‘property owners must bear affirmative obligations to use their property in the service of habitable planet’. Sax recommends that: ‘We increasingly will have to employ land and other natural resources to maintain and restore the natural functioning of natural systems. More forest land will have to be left as forest, both to play a role in climate and as habitat. More water will have to be left instream to maintain marine ecosystems. More coastal wetland will have to be left as zones of biological productivity. We already recognise that there is no right to use air and water as waste sinks, and no right to contaminate the underground with toxic residue. In short there will be – there is being – imposed a servitude on our resources, a first call on them to play a role in maintaining a habitable and congenial planet … We shall have to move that way, for only when the demands of the abovementioned public servitude of habitability has been met will resources be available for private benefits. To fulfil the demands of that servitude, each owner will have to bear an affirmative responsibility, to act as a trustee insofar as the fate of the earth is entrusted to him. Each inhabitant will effectively have a right in all such property sufficient to ensure servitude is enforced. Every opportunity for private gain will have to yield to the exigencies of a life-sustaining planet.’ Sax’s call for private gain to yield to the existences of a life-sustaining planet is encapsulated in the concept of ecologically sustainable development.” Justice Preston summarises ecocentrism thus: “Ecocentrism involves taking a nature-centred rather than a human-centred approach, where the earth is valued not as a commodity belonging to us but a community to which we belong. Development of an earth jurisprudence requires the internalisation of ecocentrism in environmental law. It involves listening to the earth and adapting law to ecology. It values and gives voice to the environment. This paper surveys some ways in which environmental law can embrace ecocentrism” The NSW government has integrated Agenda 21 and Agenda 21 related biocentric/ecocentric programs into its environmental/sustainability policies, its planning policies, its local government policies, and its education policies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23). The decision of the NSW government not to utilise a democratic locally designed sustainability program, but rather to import an ecocentric sustainability policy which has been designed by a foreign agency (UN), and is monitored and supervised by a foreign agency (UN), poses a fundamental and ongoing threat to the sovereignty and democracy of NSW and all of its residents. Indeed, so entrenched has Agenda 21 become that it has even infiltrated the legal system of NSW to the extent the ecocentric principles of this imported undemocratic sustainability program are frequently used to pass judgement upon, and penalise, NSW citizens (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,43 ,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50). Otherwise law abiding citizens are being dragged into court as politicians and lawyers seek to enforce their ecocentric philosophy upon ordinary people. How is this possible? How can any democratic NSW government permit an undemocratic foreign agency such as the UN to attack the human rights, particularly property rights, of NSW residents by legislating to enforce the ecocentric dictates of the UN? This new environment centred ecocentric philosophy or environmental ethics (41, 42 ) has led to an explosion in both the complexity and number of new environmental laws (25 ) and these laws are increasingly being undemocratically used by State and local government to override and erode property rights of NSW landholders (50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85). According to David Farrier and Paul Stein in the Environmental Law Handbook: Planning and Land Use in NSW: “The perspective presented by the law has been quite clearly human-centred, or anthropocentric. Instead of looking at the natural environment as having value in its own right, we have looked at it from the point of view of humans. Before a 1997 amendment to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, ‘environment’ was defined in it as including ‘all aspects of the surroundings of man whether affecting him as an individual or in his social groupings’ (s.4(1)). The problem with the human-centred approach to the natural environment is that it leads to an irresistible temptation to view it simply as a resource to be used for our benefit. Decisions are made on the basis of what is good for people rather than what is good for the natural environment. The natural environment becomes a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Perhaps this is inevitable, given that it is human beings who make the law and the decisions. No matter how motivated the human decision-maker is to give some kind of equal status to the integrity of the natural environment, we cannot avoid the fact that a human interpretation of the needs of the natural world will prevail. Recently, there have been attempts to modify the anthropocentric focus of environmental law. There is a changing consciousness about the interconnectedness of all living species and systems, encapsulated in a concern for the conservation of biological diversity. This has given rise to a new definition of ‘environment’ in the Protection of the Environment Administration Act (see page 4), and the enactment of legislation such as the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, which seeks to protect ecological communities and the critical habitat of threatened species (see chapter 11). This change in emphasis, however, can also be justified in terms of the future interests of humanity. For example, restrictions on certain developments can be justified because of the need to preserve plants whose pharmacological properties have not yet been identified. And there are ecological processes, many of them still poorly understood, that provide ecosystem services such as water purification and soil fertilisation. Humans ultimately depend on, and benefit from, these processes.” The decline of anthropocentrism and the rise of modern environmentalism is creating a future where basic human rights, including the right to private property, will be challenged on environmental grounds. Not only the rights of plants and ecosystems, but also the rights of future generations will be utilised to justify removal of the human rights of the present generation. We can therefore look forward to a future where fundamental human rights will be considered secondary to the rights of the “environment” and persons who do not exist. According to Justice McClellan: “It cannot be assumed that environmental law and the role of the Land and Environment Court will be free of controversy in the future. Some of the issues which the Court must deal with raise questions of fundamental human rights. All of them affect the lives of some or a group of people in our community. Many will involve very substantial money profits or losses to individuals or corporations. The court must contribute to the task of balancing the immediate needs of the present generation with the trust we hold for those who will come after us.” Increasingly, the rights of private land owners are being eroded under the guise of environmental concerns, the UN biodiversity programme and Agenda 21, and the principles of distributive justice and intergenerational justice. According to Gerry Bates at the Conference on Rural Land Use Change: “Government has progressively moved to wrest management of natural resources away from private control and unlimited public access. It is common now for water, fish and biodiversity to be vested in and controlled by the Crown*. Legislation then creates government authorities charged with the task of managing these resources, and implementing and enforcing the statutory scheme. Environmental restrictions imposed by legislation, of course, cut across common law rights; but centuries of legal and cultural tradition that support the pre-eminence of the rights of private landowners cannot be easily overcome; and such rights still have a considerable influence on the development of environmental policy and therefore of environmental law. The governmental approach to environmental management and protection has had to be applied in the context of a social system, supported by the common law, that hitherto placed few restrictions on the exploitation of natural resources by private landowners.” *Emphasis added Agenda 21, which all levels of government continue to enthusiastically embrace, is an undemocratic biocentric/ecocentric United Nations designed and monitored program (58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64), which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77). It is absolutely astonishing and completely unacceptable that foreign designed and monitored biocentric/ecocentric programs such as Agenda 21 have been actively and pervasively embedded into NSW planning and legislation while residents have NEVER been given a democratic choice. You are the Minister responsible for justice. What do you intend to do regarding this unjust treatment and betrayal of NSW residents? And do you intend to continue to support the insidious undemocratic conversion of the NSW legal system to an ecocentric system? If not, what action will you take to prevent this and when? Regards Graham Williamson Dear Mr Williamson Thank you for your recent correspondence to the office of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, the Hon Greg Smith SC MP. The matters raised do not fall under the portfolio responsibility of the NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice. Therefore, we have forwarded your correspondence to; 1. The Hon. Robyn Parker MP Minister for the Environment 2. The Hon. Brad Hazzard MP Minister for Planning and Infrastructure &Minister Assisting the Premier on Infrastructure NSW 3. The Hon. Adrian Piccoli MP Minister for Education 4. The Hon. Don Page MP Minister for Local Government I trust your correspondence will receive attention as soon as possible… Kind regards Mr Greg Smith, MP Attorney General and Minister for Justice Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Sir, The NSW government has integrated Agenda 21 and Agenda 21 related programs into its environmental/sustainability policies, its planning policies, its local government policies, and its education policies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23). The decision of the NSW government not to utilise a democratic locally designed sustainability program, but rather to import a sustainability policy which has been designed by a foreign agency (UN), and is monitored and supervised by a foreign agency (UN), poses a fundamental and ongoing threat to the sovereignty and democracy of NSW and all of its residents. Indeed, so entrenched has Agenda 21 become that it has even infiltrated the legal system of NSW to the extent the principles of this imported undemocratic sustainability program are frequently used to pass judgement upon, and penalise, NSW citizens (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,43 ,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50). How is this possible? How can any democratic NSW government permit an undemocratic foreign agency such as the UN to attack the human rights, particularly property rights, of NSW residents by legislating to enforce the dictates of the UN? Traditionally NSW laws have been based upon “anthropocentrism” (32), the belief that humankind had dominion over the environment and the plants and animals of which it is comprised. In recent years however, this has been reversed so that our legal system is now increasingly based upon a Gaia driven (39, 40) UN Agenda 21 world view where anthropocentrism is overturned and is replaced by a new order where the environment, and animals, reign supreme and man’s place in the world is secondary (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38). This philosophy now forms the basis of new environmental laws and the flourishing NSW environmental legal system (25, 26 ). As has been noted by Pain (25, 26): “environmental legislation has moved away from being ‘anthropocentric-and-development orientated’ towards legislation that is ‘more environment-centred’.” This new environment centred philosophy or environmental ethics (41, 42 ) as opposed to a human centred or anthropocentric philosophy, has led to an explosion in both the complexity and number of new environmental laws (25 ) and these laws are increasingly being undemocratically used by State and local government to override and erode property rights of NSW landholders (50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85). Do you support the Gaia inspired UN driven reversal of our traditional anthropocentric legal system and its replacement with a ‘plants come first humans come last’ biocentric system? Have you advised the public about this? Agenda 21, which your government continues to enthusiastically embrace, is an undemocratic United Nations designed and monitored program (58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64), which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77)… It is absolutely astonishing and completely unacceptable that foreign designed and monitored programs such as Agenda 21 have been actively and pervasively embedded into NSW planning and legislation while residents have NEVER been given a democratic choice. What will you do about this? Recently, because of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 and the serious threat it poses to human rights, particularly property rights, the following law was passed by the legislature in Alabama banning Agenda 21 (78): Senate Bill 477 “Section 1. (b) The State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to ‘Agenda 21’, adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Alabama. (c) Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services, or giving financial aid to or from those non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as defined in Agenda 21.” Are you prepared to represent the interests of NSW residents by giving them this same protection, as enacted in Alabama, from foreign attempts to infringe upon the property rights of local landholders? If not, why not? In view of the above facts I seek answers to the following questions. 1. Has the NSW government warned residents of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 plans, their UN origin, and their full agenda and final goals? If so please supply documentary evidence (notices, media releases etc). 2. Does the NSW government have a clear policy to ban all such UN derived Agenda 21 related policies to protect local residents? Please supply documentary evidence, including the time frame for implementation. 3. Has the NSW government offered local residents the choice between a locally designed, monitored and implemented environmental/sustainability plan as an alternative to plans designed and monitored by a foreign agency (the UN)? I look forward to receiving clarification of these vitally important matters. Regards Graham Williamson APPENDIX H Correspondence with Minister for Local Government, Don Page Mr Donald Page MP Minister for Local Government Level 33 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Sir, I have yet to receive a response to the issues below. Could you please advise your time frame for a meaningful response to these vitally important issues? Regards Graham Williamson From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 8:04 PM To: office@page.minister.nsw.gov.au Cc: ‘Anne Rinaudo’ Subject: RE: Agenda item 21 Mr Donald Page MP Minister for Local Government Level 33 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Sir, In my previous emails (see below) I asked about your policy in regard to Agenda 21(1, 1a) and its implementation at the local government level. I also provided voluminous back up documentation showing the implementation of Agenda by the NSW government, and by local governments of NSW ( 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23), none of which was refuted by you. Given the fact that the Department of Local Government is overseeing the implementation of Agenda 21 by local Councils throughout NSW ( 24 , 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39) under your guidance, I was absolutely astonished to receive the following response from you: “Dear Mr Williamson Thank you for your emails. However, the matters you raise in relation to the United Nations and changes in laws in Alabama are not issues which fall under the responsibilities of the Minister for Local Government and Minister for the North Coast.” Are you deliberately, for some reason, attempting to avoid discussing your policy regarding implementation of Agenda 21 at the local government level in NSW? If so. Why? Why would you seek to abandon ministerial responsibility for the local government portfolio in such a fashion? Even the Attorney General’s Department has advised me it is your responsibility so your abandonment of your ministerial responsibility raises serious questions indeed. Given your responsibility for the implementation of AG 21 at the local government level I also drew your attention to the undemocratic and foreign nature of this program: Agenda 21 however is an undemocratic United Nations designed and monitored program (58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64), which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77). Recently, because of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 and the serious threat it poses to human rights, particularly property rights, the following law was passed by the legislature in Alabama banning Agenda 21 (78): Senate Bill 477 “Section 1. (b) The State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to ‘Agenda 21’, adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Alabama. (c) Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services, or giving financial aid to or from those non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as defined in Agenda 21.” I then asked: Are you prepared to represent the interests of NSW residents by giving them this same protection, as enacted in Alabama, from foreign attempts to infringe upon the property rights of local landholders? If not, why not? In view of the above facts I seek answers to the following questions. 14. Has the NSW government warned residents of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 plans, their UN origin, and their full agenda and final goals? If so please supply documentary evidence (notices, media releases etc). 15. Does the NSW government have a clear policy to ban all such UN derived Agenda 21 related policies to protect local residents? Please supply documentary evidence, including the time frame for implementation. 16. Has the NSW government offered local residents the choice between a locally designed, monitored and implemented environmental/sustainability plan as an alternative to plans designed and monitored by a foreign agency (the UN)? Although you are overseeing the implementation of AG 21 at the local government level you not only expressed no concern whatsoever about the above matters, you even chose to pretend implementation of Agenda 21 by local government in NSW is not your responsibility. Why? I further noted that according to various experts government officials often prefer to mislead the public by avoiding the term “Agenda 21” and using instead terms such as (40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45) “sustainability”, “smart growth”, “growth management” or “local environmental plans”. Deliberate deception of the public it seems, is fundamental to the success of the program (45): “Agenda 21 is being implemented in the U.S. under various names to deceive the unsuspecting public as to the source and real purpose of the program. However identifying the programs is relatively easy. All you have to do is look for the keywords……..Everything associated with this program is deceptive. The language they use, the names they give the projects, the means by which they lure local governments into the trap and then slam the door – absolutely everything is deceptive from beginning to end.” And the deceit is endemic throughout Australia (46): “Throughout Australia it seems that there has been widespread uncertainty about the meaning, scope and value of the term ‘Local Agenda 21’……..Some councils have chosen, for a variety of reasons, not to call their initiatives ‘LA21’ “…….”However, this is not to say that LA21 is not happening within Australia. On the contrary there is Local Agenda 21 activity in every state and territory and many councils are working on projects that have at their core the processes of LA21, although they may not necessarily be using that terminology.” Will you be promoting a more honest and open policy in regard to educating the public about Agenda 21? As you realise, the implementation of Agenda 21 is also monitored by the UN, participating countries being required to report back to the UN on a regular basis (47, 48, 49, 50). The UN describes the monitoring and reporting provisions for Agenda 21 in chapter 38.11. The Commonwealth of course, provides these reports to the UN from implementation progress at state and local government levels. In fact, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development was established to oversee the implementation of Agenda 21 around the world (47, 48, 50). According to the Commonwealth Government in this regard (50): “The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with a mandate to review implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, in particular progress in the implementation of the program of action known as Agenda 21. The CSD held its first substantive session in June 1993 and has met annually since. The 10-year review of the implementation of Agenda 21 culminated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa (September, 2002). While the CSD successfully built a profile and improved understanding of sustainable development during its first 10 years, it was recognised at the WSSD that some reforms were required to ensure the continued relevance of its work. The WSSD Plan of Implementation (POI) called for reform of the CSD within its existing mandate (as adopted un UNGA resolution 47/191). In particular, the POI recommended : · Limiting negotiating sessions to every two years; · Re-considering the scheduling and duration of intersessional meetings; and · Limiting the number of themes addressed in each session. An enhanced role for the CSD in monitoring and reporting on progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and in facilitation of partnerships was also recommended.” Following are some of the typical United Nations land use questions the government is required to answer to check implementation of Agenda 21 at the local level (51): “4. Agenda 21 called for the review and development of policies to support the best possible use of land and sustainable management of land resources, with a target date not later than 1996. Please describe progress that your country has made towards meeting this target. 6. Please explain briefly, to what extent are plans for expansion of human settlements reviewed with respect to the impacts on farmlands, landscape, forest land, wetlands and biological diversity. ANNEX: OVERALL EVALUATION OF INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF LAND RESOURCES The following section is designed to facilitate an overall evaluation of the progress achieved in various related activities as outlined in Chapter 10. 1. Please provide qualitative rankings on different aspects of integrated land use planning and management that your Government has been able to achieve at different levels of success since UNCED. In order to guide your answers (i.e. giving a rating to every box) the qualitative rankings are ordered on a scale from 1-5: 5 – distinguishing or outstanding achievements 4 – clear and apparent achievements 3 – only slight achievements 2 – no achievements at all 1 – worse than before UNCED Rankings Activities [4] Development of a national policy or strategy on integrated land management [4] Development of policies that have encouraged sustainable land use and management of land resources [5] Review of the regulatory frameworks related to land use and management [4] Formulation and adoption of land use zoning [3] Institutional set-up for monitoring land use regulations [4] Formulation and adoption of market-based measures [4] Information compilation and land capability analysis [5] Identification of data gaps [5] Identification of major challenges and issues related to the implementation of integrated land use and management approach at nation-wide level 82 2. What level of importance is attached to the different functions of land in your country? Please provide qualitative ranking of the major functions or characteristics of land (i.e. give a rating to every box) on a scale from 1-4. 4 – Very high importance 3 – Highly important 2 – only slightly important 1 – not important at all Ranking Major functions/characteristics of land [1] Food security [4] Rural development [4] Rural viability [4] Environmental sustainability (protection/recovery/rehabilitation/enhancement) [4] Improved policies and institutions [4] Economic development [4] Poverty reduction and equity [4] Social cohesion” Will you be publicising the above facts and educating the public (and councils) about the full details and end goals of Local Agenda 21? Will the government be officially including Agenda 21 in government policy or do you prefer to continue to implement this program through local governments without including it as a policy? Regards Graham Williamson From: Anne Rinaudo [mailto:Anne.Rinaudo@minister.nsw.gov.au] Sent: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 9:51 AM To: grahamhw@iprimus.com.au Subject: FW: Agenda item 21 Dear Mr Williamson, Please accept my apologies, unfortunately the email reply to your request was mistakenly sent to an incorrect email address. The reply is below. Kind regards Anne Rinaudo Policy Advisor Minister for Local Government and the North Coast _____________________________________________ Email: anne.rinaudo@minister.nsw.gov.au Tel: 02 9228 3403 Fax: 02 9228 3442 This message is intended for the addressee named and may contain confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, please delete it and notify the sender. Views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender, and are not necessarily those of the office of the Minister. Please consider the environment before printing this email. From: Public Page’s Office Email Sent: Monday, 6 August 2012 11:56 AM To: ‘grahamw@iprimus.com.au’ Subject: Agenda item 21 Dear Mr Williamson Thank you for your emails. However, the matters you raise in relation to the United Nations and changes in laws in Alabama are not issues which fall under the responsibilities of the Minister for Local Government and Minister for the North Coast. Kind regards Anne Rinaudo Policy Advisor Minister for Local Government and the North Coast _____________________________________________ Email: anne.rinaudo@minister.nsw.gov.au Tel: 02 9228 3403 Fax: 02 9228 3442 APPENDIX I Correspondence with the NSW Minister for Planning & Infrastructure Brad Hazzard Mr Brad Hazzard, MP Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Sir, I have still received no response to the vitally important issues raised in the below email. When can I expect a meaningful response? Is your continuing non-response indicative of your complete lack of concern about these issues? Regards Graham Williamson From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Sunday, 23 September 2012 9:11 AM To: office@hazzard.minister.nsw.gov.au Cc: office@premier.nsw.gov.au Subject: FW: Agenda 21 policy Mr Brad Hazzard, MP Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Mr Hazzard, The below emails remain unanswered. When can I expect an answer to the extremely important issues contained therein? Regards Graham Williamson From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Tuesday, 31 July 2012 7:31 PM To: office@hazzard.minister.nsw.gov.au Cc: office@premier.nsw.gov.au Subject: FW: Agenda 21 policy Mr Brad Hazzard, MP Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Mr Hazzard, The below emails remain unanswered. When can I expect an answer to the extremely important issues contained therein? Regards Graham Williamson From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Saturday, 21 July 2012 7:16 AM To: office@hazzard.minister.nsw.gov.au Subject: Agenda 21 policy Mr Brad Hazzard, MP Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower 1 Farrer Place SYDNEY NSW 2000 Dear Mr Hazzard, The NSW government has integrated Agenda 21 and Agenda 21 related programs into its environmental/sustainability policies, its planning policies, its local government policies, and its education policies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23). Indeed, so entrenched has Agenda 21 become that it has even infiltrated the legal system of NSW to the extent it is frequently used to pass judgement upon, and penalise, NSW citizens (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31,43 ,44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50). Traditionally NSW laws have been based upon “anthropocentrism” (32), the belief that humankind had dominion over the environment and the plants and animals of which it is comprised. In recent years however, this has been reversed so that our legal system is now increasingly based upon a Gaia driven (39, 40) UN Agenda 21 world view where anthropocentrism is overturned and is replaced by a new order where the environment, and animals, reign supreme and man’s place in the world is secondary (33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38). This philosophy now forms the basis of new environmental laws and the flourishing NSW environmental legal system (25, 26 ). As has been noted by Pain (25, 26): “environmental legislation has moved away from being ‘anthropocentric-and-development orientated’ towards legislation that is ‘more environment-centred’.” This new environment centred philosophy or environmental ethics (41, 42 ) as opposed to a human centred or anthropocentric philosophy, has led to an explosion in both the complexity and number of new environmental laws (25 ) and these laws are increasingly being undemocratically used by State and local government to override and erode property rights of NSW landholders (50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57). Agenda 21 however is an undemocratic United Nations designed and monitored program (58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64), which is being banned overseas because of its fundamentally undemocratic regressive nature and the threat it poses to basic human rights, including property rights (65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77). It is absolutely astonishing and completely unacceptable that foreign designed and monitored programs such as Agenda 21 have been actively and pervasively embedded into NSW planning and legislation while residents have NEVER been given a democratic choice. What will you do about this? Recently, because of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 and the serious threat it poses to human rights, particularly property rights, the following law was passed by the legislature in Alabama banning Agenda 21 (78): Senate Bill 477 “Section 1. (b) The State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to ‘Agenda 21’, adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Alabama. (c) Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services, or giving financial aid to or from those non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as defined in Agenda 21.” Are you prepared to represent the interests of NSW residents by giving them this same protection, as enacted in Alabama, from foreign attempts to infringe upon the property rights of local landholders? If not, why not? In view of the above facts I seek answers to the following questions. 1. Has the NSW government warned residents of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 plans, their UN origin, and their full agenda and final goals? If so please supply documentary evidence (notices, media releases etc). 2. Does the NSW government have a clear policy to ban all such UN derived Agenda 21 related policies to protect local residents? Please supply documentary evidence, including the time frame for implementation. 3. Has the NSW government offered local residents the choice between a locally designed, monitored and implemented environmental/sustainability plan as an alternative to plans designed and monitored by a foreign agency (the UN)? I look forward to receiving clarification of these vitally important matters. Regards Graham Williamson UNANSWERED EMAIL OF 29th JUNE Dear Sir, I am alarmed at the pervasive infiltration of foreign UN Agenda 21 (1) associated programs at all levels of state and local government in NSW (3, 4, 5, 6 , 7 ,8 , 9 , 10, 11,12, 13, 14, 15 , 16, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61) and the continuing refusal of the NSW government to reverse this undemocratic trend. Rather than inform Australians about the UN origins of Agenda 21 or the intended radical end results of the total agenda, government officials often seek to conceal the truth by using terms such as (2, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28) “sustainability”, “smart growth”, “growth management” or “local environmental plans”. Deliberate deception of the public it seems, is fundamental to the success of the program (28): “Agenda 21 is being implemented in the U.S. under various names to deceive the unsuspecting public as to the source and real purpose of the program. However identifying the programs is relatively easy. All you have to do is look for the keywords……..Everything associated with this program is deceptive. The language they use, the names they give the projects, the means by which they lure local governments into the trap and then slam the door – absolutely everything is deceptive from beginning to end.” And the deceit is endemic throughout Australia also (29): “Throughout Australia it seems that there has been widespread uncertainty about the meaning, scope and value of the term ‘Local Agenda 21’……..Some councils have chosen, for a variety of reasons, not to call their initiatives ‘LA21’ “…….”However, this is not to say that LA21 is not happening within Australia. On the contrary there is Local Agenda 21 activity in every state and territory and many councils are working on projects that have at their core the processes of LA21, although they may not necessarily be using that terminology.” Agenda 21 and LA 21, inspired by Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong who formed the Earth Charter, amounts to a socialistic global land grab to control and outlaw private land ownership (62, 63, 64, 65, 66). Those behind the United Nations global sustainability push believe more in the rights of animals, plants, and people not yet born, than they do about everyday Australians and their families. Do you support this gaia driven biocentric philosophy which forms the basis of Agenda 21? But, most conspicuously, as with all these United Nations motivated visions for the future, Commonwealth, State, and local governments, seem to have abandoned any concept of democracy, freedom, and ensuring individual rights. Our elected representatives are spending billions of dollars on protecting the rights of plants, animals, and people not yet born. At the same time they are attacking the rights and freedoms of real people and real families. What sort of vision do we have if we do not include exact details of our plans to protect freedom and democracy? Increasingly, the rights of private land owners are being eroded by Australian governments acting as agents of the UN against the interests of the Australian people, all under the guise of environmental concerns (68 ): “Government has progressively moved to wrest management of natural resources away from private control and unlimited public access. It is common now for water, fish and biodiversity to be vested in and controlled by the Crown*. Legislation then creates government authorities charged with the task of managing these resources, and implementing and enforcing the statutory scheme. Environmental restrictions imposed by legislation, of course, cut across common law rights; but centuries of legal and cultural tradition that support the pre-eminence of the rights of private landowners cannot be easily overcome; and such rights still have a considerable influence on the development of environmental policy and therefore of environmental law. The governmental approach to environmental management and protection has had to be applied in the context of a social system, supported by the common law, that hitherto placed few restrictions on the exploitation of natural resources by private landowners.” *Emphasis added Do you support this UN driven process of using environmental concerns to control & restrict the rights of land owners? In Chapter 38 of Agenda 21 the United Nations describes the necessary powers to administer and implement Agenda 21 and initiates the formation of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) to oversee and monitor the implementation of Agenda 21. According to Chapter 39 countries should ensure they cooperate with the requirements of Agenda 21 as set out by the United Nations (67 ): “The parties to international agreements should consider procedures and mechanisms to promote and review their effective, full and prompt implementation. To that effect, States could, inter alia: (a) Establish efficient and practical reporting systems on the effective, full and prompt implementation of international legal instruments; (b) Consider appropriate ways in which relevant international bodies, such as UNEP, might contribute towards the further development of such mechanisms.” Strangely, membership of the CSD which will oversee Australia’s compliance with the requirements of Agenda 21, includes various extremist and despotic regimes who deny basic human rights to their own citizens. According to Windsor (110) “many of the world’s worst violators of human rights and democratic standards have joined in loose coalitions at the United Nations to deflect attention from their records of repression.” Interestingly, “North Korea is not only on the Human Rights Council, It was appointed to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UN CSD) even though many of its people routinely suffer from starvation because of the regime’s totalitarian nature”(111, 112). In fact, the CSD is comprised of many undemocratic totalitarian countries (112, 113). These countries will be overseeing Australia’s progress. Do you approve of this and why haven’t you advised the people of NSW? Meanwhile, Australian schoolchildren are being ‘educated’ in line with the instructions contained within the United Nations global ecological sustainability program ( 69, 70, 71 , 72, 73, 90 ). These educational initiatives are in response to the United Nations Agenda 21 program and their global sustainability requirements (74 ). According to John Aquilina (69): “The New South Wales Government is a world leader in supporting environmental education in schools, with particular attention being given to Agenda 21, a global policy outcome of the 1992 Earth Summit. Agenda 21 has been recognised by the New South Wales Government as the basis for an internationally agreed course of action towards sustainability. This has led to legislation in a number of areas, including the Protection of the Environment Amendment (Environmental Education) Act, 1998.” Do you support this UN driven indoctrination of schoolchildren? Not only have the people of NSW never been given a democratic choice about the NSW government’s implementation of UN based Agenda 21 associated initiatives, but from the evidence above it is clear there have even been attempts to deliberately conceal the true UN origin and goals of the program by the use of more innocuous names. This persistent refusal of the government to properly inform Australians about Agenda 21 and the United Nations global sustainability campaign is not only in breach of fundamental freedoms and the ability to make an informed democratic choice, it is also in direct violation of the basic human right to participate in elections and political processes. These rights (75) “are protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR).” The right to participate in Agenda 21 and other political or public policy processes (which of course, should also include the right not to participate – but that is another matter!) includes the right to be correctly and fully informed, as is noted by Picolotti (76): “Informative participation Informative participation implies an exchange of information and knowledge on certain issues of concern to the community. The community provides information to the state and vice versa, enabling each to make proper decisions about how they administer resources, which leads to more optimal resource management.” Successive Australian & NSW governments have not only been guilty of gross negligence in refusing to fully inform Australians of the long term goals and totality of the Agenda 21 and sustainability initiatives, but further, they are also guilty of consistently violating fundamental human rights relating to the right to participate. Not only have they failed to inform the voting public of the totality and long term goals of the UN Agenda 21 sustainability initiatives, but further, there is even evidence that attempts have been made to conceal the truth by the use of innocuous descriptive labels the aim of which is to distance Australian initiatives from the their UN global origins. But this violation of human rights is still continuing as the government still refuses to publicise the totality and goals of their agenda, thereby actively preventing Australians from making an informed democratic choice. Do you continue to support this removal of democratic choice and refusal to clearly spell out the UN origin of the Agenda 21 program? Or will you follow the overseas precedent (77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89) and ban UN gaia driven (94) Agenda 21 associated programs until residents of NSW have been granted a genuine informed democratic choice? Currently the rights of NSW residents, particularly landowners, are under attack on so many fronts and yet the NSW government appears to be part of the problem, with their UN driven gaia motivated legal pursuit of landowners, rather than part of the solution (91, 92, 93, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109). Will you change this? Will you take immediate action to protect landowners and all Australians from intrusive UN driven ‘sustainability’ programs? Will you ban such programs and show allegiance to NSW residents by enabling them to determine their own environmental future or do you feel our future should be determined by foreign undemocratic agencies in a process which is overseen by foreign dictators? Regards Graham Williamson APPENDIX J Transferring Property Rights from Humans to Plants & the Environment: Submission to the NSW Government BioBanking review 1. Putting a Price on Nature: Morality & Responsibility The NSW government seeks to put a price on nature, a price on every blade of grass, every animal, every insect, even microrganisms and the ecosystem itself. Since the ecosystem will be valued and revalued at the whim of government, this of course, includes every rock, leaf, log, or dead tree. A dead tree or log harbouring termites after all, is an important part of the ecosystem. And the government wants the power to control the value of all these components of nature. This clearly is a full out frontal attack on private property, the rights of all land holders (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). It is unjust, immoral, and fundamentally antiAustralian. This aspect has recently been addressed by David Leyonhjelm in an article entitled (3) “Property rights gone for the ‘general good’.” According to Leyonhjelm (3): WHEN the great William Blackstone codified the English common law in the 1760s, he placed great significance on property rights. In his view: ‘So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community.’ Although they are among the inheritors of the common law, farmers have watched in dismay as their property rights have dwindled in the face of government encroachments, always defended as for the “general good of the whole community”. The rain that falls on their property may now comprise part of the water rights owned by someone else. There are major restrictions on the subdivision of land for lifestyle blocks. Riparian rights and biodiversity corridors reduce property options. Mineral rights are owned by the Crown, allowing others to explore without permission. Justin Jefferson has also acknowledged the threat to private property posed by the NSW Native Vegetation Act (2): “For starters, here in the Monaro the overwhelming effect of the Act in practice is actually to promote the spread and restrict the fighting of African lovegrass. This means more weeds and less native vegetation, less biodiversity and less sustainability. So the Act is selfdefeating. It can’t justified be even in its own terms. But it gets worse. The Act simply 1: ASSUMES that all property should and does belong to the state; 2: ASSUMES that the state knows best in all and any decision-making; and it; 3: ASSUMES that social co-operation based on force and threats and central planning is intrinsically better than social co-operation based on consent and freedom and property. All these assumptions are wrong and offensive. They have been disproved both in theory and in practice over and over and over again at enormous cost in human suffering. The Act reverses the onus of proof: you’re guilty until proven innocent. It authorises intrusive search without a warrant. It abolishes the right to silence: it compels you to incriminate yourself. It authorises evidence by executive decree. It effectively confiscates freehold property rights without compensation in breach of the Constitution. The Act is oppressive and abusive.” As has recently been pointed out by Lorraine Finlay (8), the government attack on private property rights, which is occurring on many fronts, is completely at odds with frequent public statements about human rights or individual rights. The fundamental importance of private property rights in regard to human freedom have also been noted by Finlay (8): “the protection of property rights has evolved to mean owners have the right to obtain benefits from their property, including the right to put it to productive use and to dispose of it through sale”8. Property rights therefore encompass “the right to own property, the right to dispose of property and the right to exclude others”9. Since that time leading philosophers and political thinkers have emphasized the link between private property rights and the protection of individual liberty. This was noted by 4 Henry Maine, who claimed that the history of individual property rights and history of civilization “cannot be disentangled”11. Similarly, John Adams observed that12: ‘Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty … The moment that the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of god, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist’. This paper argues that private property rights are just as important today as in the past. The link between property rights and individual liberty remains relevant in the modern context, and the foundations for both individual freedoms and economic security may be found in private property rights. In relation to this point, it has been emphasized that19: ‘Without private property rights there is no way to check the power of the state over the individual. When the state gains control over private property rights the ability to create wealth stagnates or even declines, thereby creating poverty and misery rather than freedom and wealth’. There is a well established causal link between property rights and higher standards of living21, with the ownership of private property motivating individuals ‘to improve the productivity and value of assets in the realization that family and designated heirs may benefit from such endeavour’22. In short, ‘*the evidence is irrefutable that the protection of property rights is the key to wealth accumulation and secure and stable societies’23.” But in spite of the fundamental importance of private property rights, the NSW government is busily involved in plotting against landholders and tying their properties up in so much green tape they become unusable and worthless (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). One case in point is the disgraceful case of Peter Spencer (8). As Finlay indicates, these problems have been noted by the Productivity Commission (8): “In the 2004 Inquiry Report into the Impacts of Native Vegetation and Biodiversity Regulations the Productivity Commission concluded that while the retention, management and rehabilitation of native vegetation and biodiversity were important objectives, “existing regulatory approaches are not as effective as they could be in promoting these objectives and impose significant costs”64. In particular, it was concluded that the effectiveness of the clearing restrictions had been compromised, that “perverse environmental outcomes” often resulted and that landholders “… are being prevented from developing their properties, switching to more profitable land use, and from introducing costsaving innovations. Arbitrary reclassification of regrowth vegetation as remnant and restrictions on clearing woodland thickening in some jurisdictions are reducing yields and areas that can be used for agricultural production”65 Since the Zimbabwe experience shows exactly what happens when private property rights are lost (8), it is up to all Australian governments to respect private property rights, respect landowners, and respect freedom which is so fundamental to all Australians (8): “If we are not able to build an environment in which the general public, politicians and government bureaucrats are all encouraged to respect and value private property rights, then we will continue to see the gradual erosion of property rights regardless of any changes that may be made to the surrounding legal framework.” The moral acceptability of putting a price on everything (17, 18, 19) including water and the air we exhale, is clearly paving the way for putting a price on every component of nature, commonly referred to as ecological economics (20, 21). Of course the idea that a monetary value can be placed upon every animal, plant, insect, microorganism, and ecosystem is not only ridiculous, it is morally reprehensible and scientifically impossible. In fact, reducing nature to a monetary value is necessarily a move to devalue nature and give humans the ability to decide the absolute and relative worth of not only living things, but also systems. It is fundamentally and intrinsically hypocritical and contradictory to suggest that nature will become more valuable, and more readily conserved, by devaluing it and defining it in terms of human currency. According to Monbiot (20): “The UK government’s assessment of the “value” of nature is pure reductionist gobbledegook, dressed up in the language of objectivity and reason but ascribing prices to emotional responses: prices, which, for all the high-falutin’ language it uses, can only be arbitrary. It has been constructed by people who feel safe only with numbers, who must drag the whole world into their comfort zone in order to feel that they have it under control…………The second problem is that it delivers the natural world into the hands of those who would destroy it. Picture, for example, a planning enquiry for an opencast coal mine. The public benefits arising from the forests and meadows it will destroy have been costed at £1m per year. The income from opening the mine will be £10m per year. No further argument needs to be made. The coal mine’s barrister, presenting these figures to the enquiry, has an indefeasible case: public objections have already been addressed by the pricing exercise; there is nothing more to be discussed. When you turn nature into an accounting exercise, its destruction can be justified as soon as the business case comes out right. It almost always comes out right……………….This is the machine into which nature must now be fed. The National Ecosystem Assessment hands the biosphere on a plate to the construction industry. It’s the definitive neoliberal triumph: the monetisation and marketisation of nature, its reduction to a tradeable asset.” The cost of calculating the value of nature seems incomprehensible. It has recently been calculated that in Canberra the planting of 400,000 trees has had (22) “a combined energy reduction, pollution mitigation and carbon sequestration value of US$20–67 million during the period 2008–2012,” or around 11c daily per tree. Whether this allows for the tree having a bad day (or year) from attack by insects is not clear. Clearly there is no moral or scientific basis for reducing nature to a marketable commodity. We have seen that there has been an attack on private property rights by the NSW government as they busily use the environment to tie up landholders. But is their environmental zealotry genuine, or is it just a deliberate devious land grab? What ways has the NSW government legislated to protect the rights of land owners? 2. The Effectiveness of Biobanking or Market Mechanisms for Maintaining or Improving Biodiversity Everyone is concerned about the environment, but is the NSW government drive to control the land of private landowners really about the environment? Historically, as noted by David Leyonhjelm (3), evidence of the environmental benefits of government policies are lacking: “The perverse thing about all this is that there is plenty of evidence to show the environment does better when it is in private hands, away from the tentacles of government. We saw that very clearly in the difference in environmental quality between the former Communist countries and the west when communism collapsed. Here at home we see uncontrolled weeds and feral animals in our government-owned national parks. Quite simply, government control is incompatible with the promotion of environmental values. And as Blackstone would say, the government should stop violating private property”. Indeed, there is no argument that historically it is the governments at all levels who must shoulder the responsibility for degradation of the environment for it is they who have formulated the policies, permitted land development, and organised land planning and land use strategies. In fact, the biodiversity loss and environmental situation today is the result of present and previous government policies (9). Not only have governments presided over wilful habitat destruction and poor town planning, but also they are responsible for most of the enormous environmental damage and biodiversity loss caused by invasive species (9, 10, 11, 12). According to McFadyen (11): “In the 200 years since the arrival of Europeans, over 28,000 foreign plants have been brought to Australia, most deliberately imported for pasture, horticulture or as ornamentals. Their impact is enormous – invasive plants are the main threat to 45% of threatened and endangered species and ecosystems in New South Wales (Coutts-Smith and Downey 2006), and the cost to Australian agriculture is at least $3.5bn per year in lost production and control costs (Sinden et al. 2004). Further, according to the the Australian Terrestrial Biodiversity Assessment 2008 (12), “Invasive species and pathogens represent one of the most potent, persistent and widespread threats to Australian biodiversity.” But what have successive government’s done about this? And how is it envisaged that biobanking and other market schemes will reverse or prevent this major threat? Clearly the matter of invasive species alone exposes the whole biobanking/biodiversity marketing scheme as a fraud, somewhat synonymous with the idea that we can control climate by economic instruments. This is highly significant because if environmental policies or biobanking are to be just and have a sound moral basis then the system must be firmly based upon science, and be cost effective, and responsibility for environmental damage must be correctly attributed . The matter of historical responsibility has been considered of the utmost importance when it comes to climate change and a clear precedent has been established in this regard (13, 14, 15, 16). Historical responsibility in fact, because it permits a cumulative assessment of responsibility (13), “is one of the main lines of argument underlying the principle of common but differentiated responsibility for climate change, and the polluter pays principle more generally.” In fact the cumulative aspect is far more important when it comes to biodiversity loss as the permanence and irreversibility are not disputed, unlike CO2. Whether from the point of view of habitat destruction or invasive species, there is absolutely no doubt that all 3 levels of government share most of the responsibility for cumulative biodiversity loss in Australia and therefore, in keeping with a moral and just conservation program, financial penalties should be targeted accordingly. But has biobanking or biodiversity trading been environmentally effective? What are the expectations? Given the above, it is hardly surprising that biobanking or biodiversity trading does not have a history of positive environmental outcomes (23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29). As has been pointed out by the Productivity Commission (28): The high scientific uncertainty associated with biodiversity conservation and salinity mitigation could mean that market creation schemes for these ecosystem services are subject to considerable sovereign risk. In particular, there may be a high probability that the property right associated with a market creation scheme would need to be changed in the future because of new scientific discoveries. This uncertainty could diminish the value of the property right and hence the likelihood that market creation would be effective. We use the term market creation to refer to government intervention to indirectly form markets for ecosystem services whose ownership cannot be enforced. Such intervention involves the definition of a new property right that is both linked to an ecosystem service and can be exchanged for reward. A property right is an entitlement to use a particular good or service in a certain way. For example, the property right for a car entitles its owner to use the car, prevent others from using it, and to sell it to another party.” So the government seeks to redefine every creature, plant or ecosystem as separate property rights and then value, revalue, or devalue each or all at will. But as has been pointed out by the Clarence Environment Centre (29), although scientists have predicted a loss of at least 30% of world diversity due to climate change, “BioBanking proposes to lock landowners into contracts that demand biodiversity values be ‘maintained or improved’ in perpetuity. At the same time it is made clear that: “If participants fail to meet their commitments under the scheme, penalties can be applied”. According to the CEC these requirements are bordering on fraud. The CEC further notes that biobanking is structured to favour developers (29) a view confirmed by Ian Cohen (30), and therefore will result in a net loss of biodiversity (29). Indeed, it must be admitted that the Act is user friendly to developers, the purpose of biobanking being to (31) “streamline biodiversity assessment for development”. Biobanking even offers developers (31) immunity from legal appeals in the Land and Environment Court and (31) “certainty for developers and consent authorities with respect to meeting their threatened species responsibilities.” Landowners however, once locked into biobanking, agree to surrender extensive control of their property forever and this encumbrance, since it is automatically passed to any new land owner, would be expected to devalue the land (31): “Biobanking agreements are registered on the land title and run with the land to bind future landowners. The agreements create a permanent legal obligation for the owner to manage the land either passively or actively, depending on the number of credits sold from the site. Agreements also restrict development, commercial and industrial uses and certain other activities on the land that may have a detrimental effect on biodiversity.” So sweeping and pervasive are these powers that land owners even lose control of the rocks and dead trees on their property (31). Since the emphasis is on the eco “system” rather than individual components of the system, the virtual loss of title surrendered by the land owner is considerable. And if the landholder fails to comply with these requirements there are a range of severe penalties, including an application to have the land title transferred to the Minister under Section 1270 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act (31, 32, 33 ). The transfer of land title under Section 1270 is possible under the following circumstances (33): “(3) An order may be made under this section only where the Court is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities: (a) that there is a serious risk to the biodiversity values protected by the biobanking agreement because of the contravention by the person, or (b) that there is no reasonable likelihood of the person complying with the obligations imposed by the biobanking agreement, or (c) that the person has previously committed frequent contraventions of the biobanking agreement, or (d) that the person has persistently and unreasonably delayed complying with the obligations imposed by the biobanking agreement. (4) If the Court makes the order requested, the Court may impose such conditions on the conveyance or transfer of the land as the Court thinks fit. (5) Where land is conveyed or transferred to the Minister, or to a person or body nominated by the Minister, in accordance with an order made under this section, the consideration payable by the Minister, person or body, is to be determined in the same way as the compensation payable under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 in respect of an acquisition of land, but is to be reduced by the amount that, in the opinion of the Court, is equivalent to any outstanding liability of the person to the Minister arising out of contravention of the biobanking agreement. (6) In calculating the consideration payable as referred to in subsection (5), the value of the land is to be determined having regard to the fact that it is subject to a biobanking agreement, and any increase in the value of the land attributable to anything done or omitted to be done in contravention of the biobanking agreement is to be disregarded.” Already these proposals are tying up private land, particularly in rural areas. According to Damien Rogers, these proposals are well advanced in Eurobodalla Shire (36): “Biodiversity Certification is basically a forced version of Biobanking. Few know about it, and fewer understand it. But it is essentially a Development Rights Credit Trading Scheme! Trading development “Credits” taken from land owners, without Just Compensation, or even a requirement to notify owners. Just like Carbon Trading, only this time designed with the cooperation of all three levels of Government (and environmental groups). It is to be run by councils, the DOP and a State Bureaucracy, called the OEH (Office of Environment and Heritage)………..First councils use the “Standard Template LEP” to cover undeveloped Urban and Rural land with numerous restrictive “Overlay” maps, and new Environmental zonings, which severely restrict or stop development. As mentioned, in our Shire, these covered at least 80% (and probably more) of all the private land area of the Shire. (which is already approximately 90% state forest and national parks) Councils can then earn 25% Development Credits for land they restrict in this way. Then when owners on mainly Rural land want to build something, it triggers expensive studies, and funnels most owners into unavoidable “Perpetual Voluntary Agreements”. The more council or the OEH restrict the land, the more Credits they can earn, for perpetual agreements its more like 90%. These “agreements” must then be attached to the owners title deeds, and may now restrict the land forever…….. So here is the real motive. Council, with the DOP and OEH can now control and profit from virtually all future land releases and development. As, for example, unlocking an area of undeveloped urban land, will now likely require a perpetual agreement, and/or that it to be “Biocertified” first. This involves packaging an urban area with a nearby rural area. “Taking” credits from the rural owners (now called “offset” lands). Without Just Compensation, or even a requirement to personally notify owners. Then compelling Urban land owners and developers to bargain with council or the OEH for these Development “Credits”, which were ‘taken’ from others. The deals councils and the OEH make will be in confidential contracts. As developers have pointed out, this will make the cost of new urban land very expensive. But as most Rural blocks will loose their building entitlements, or be sterilized with environmental overlays and zonings, there will be little competition or alternatives for future potential buyers. Giving Councils and the OEH total control, and in effect, a massive monopoly control over urban land development, for their own benefit! Another big plus for Councils and the OEH, is that any urban or rural land they sterilize will then plummet in value.” The suggestion that biobanking schemes may be compulsory, completely and permanently locking up the land of private landholders, is absolutely alarming. Clearly we need a broad ranging enquiry into this exploitation of environmental concerns for short sighted self-interested political agendas. There must be extensive community consultation regarding environmental marketing schemes and biobanking. While the powers over the private landholder are incredibly extensive, the same cannot be said for developers. Under Section 127U and 127S of the Act mining or petroleum activities are specifically exempted, allowing mining companies to trash the environment at will, and existing biobank contracts may be cancelled without compensation (34, 35): “Nothing in this Division: (a) prevents the grant of a mining authority or petroleum title in respect of a biobank site in accordance with the Mining Act 1992 or the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 , or (b) prevents the carrying out, on or in respect of a biobank site, of any activity authorised by a mining authority or petroleum title in accordance with the Mining Act 1992 or the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 .” 127S Prospecting and mining on biobank sites (1) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, vary or terminate a biobanking agreement without the consent of the owner of the biobank site if a mining authority or petroleum title is granted in respect of the biobank site and the Minister is of the opinion that the activity authorised by the mining authority or petroleum title: (a) will adversely affect any management actions that may be carried out on the land under the biobanking agreement, or (b) will adversely affect the biodiversity values protected by the biobanking agreement. (2) If the Minister varies or terminates the biobanking agreement under this section, the Minister may, by order in writing to the holder of the mining authority or petroleum title, direct the holder to retire biodiversity credits of a number and class (if any) specified by the Minister within a time specified in the order. (3) A direction may be given to a person under subsection (2) only if biodiversity credits have already been created in respect of management actions that were carried out or proposed to be carried out on the biobank site and have been transferred to any person. (4) The maximum number of biodiversity credits that the holder of the mining authority or petroleum title may be required to retire under the direction is the number of biodiversity credits that have been created in respect of the biobank site. (5) A person must not, without reasonable excuse, fail to comply with a direction under subsection (2). Maximum penalty: 10,000 penalty units. (6) It is not an excuse for a failure to comply with a direction under this section that the person who is the subject of the direction does not, at the time the direction is given, hold a sufficient number of biodiversity credits to comply with the direction. Note: If the person who is the subject of the direction does not hold a sufficient number of credits to comply with the direction, the person may obtain the required number by purchasing them. (7) A court that convicts a person of an offence under subsection (5) may, in addition to or in substitution for any pecuniary penalty for the offence, by order direct the person to retire, in accordance with this Part, biodiversity credits of a specified number and class (if applicable) within a time specified in the order and, if the person does not hold sufficient biodiversity credits to comply with the direction, to acquire the necessary biodiversity credits for the purpose of retiring them. (8) The owner of a biobank site is not entitled to any compensation as a result of the variation or termination of an agreement under this section. (9) Subsection (8) does not affect any right to compensation the owner may have under the Mining Act 1992 , the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 or any other legislation in respect of the grant of the mining authority or petroleum title. (10) In this section: “conviction” includes the making of an order under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 . CONCLUSION The fact that Biobanking/biodiversity trading schemes are primarily marketing schemes and are therefore NOT primarily intended to generate positive environmental outcomes is evidenced by the following fundamental facts. 1. These schemes completely avoid targeting one of the main causes of biodiversity loss, namely the problem of invasive species. 2. Instead of addressing the causes of cumulative biodiversity loss and pursuing those responsible (governments), responsibility for biodiversity loss is shifted AWAY from those responsible and transferred to current landholders. 3. The underlying philosophy that nature will be conserved by devaluing it and reducing it to a marketable commodity is completely immoral, unjust, and devoid of any semblance of common sense or logic. 4. Biobanking is proposed as a scheme to “streamline” development and prevent legal appeals to the Land & Environment Court. 5. The Act specifically empowers mining companies and oil companies to avoid any environmental responsibilities. The true spirit and essence of environmentalism is completely betrayed by biodiversity trading schemes which are a direct attack on private property rights and an attempt to transfer to government the power to control and put a price on nature. We need to get back to genuine environmentalism and stop exploiting environmentalism for personal or political gain and short sighted self-interested agendas (21): “The scientistic and self-referential controversies in which ecological economists engage drain away the moral power that once sustained environmentalism. This moral power may return if environmentalists employ science not to prescribe goals to society but to help society to achieve goals it already has. Environmentalists may then shape the natural environment of the future rather than model and monetize the environment of the past.” The cost effectiveness of biobanking is a completely unknown quantity. Though I have written to the Department seeking this information I have received no response whatsoever, not even the courtesy of an acknowledgement. Clearly the complete costs of this scheme must be publicised and there must be complete transparency and accountability. The scheme should be discontinued until this is done. Recently there has been an erosion of private property rights under the guise of short sighted self-interested government promoted environmentalism. This exploitation of environmentalism must cease. Property rights should be restored by extensive consultation with landholders. Since the government has no mandate for biodiversity trading schemes such schemes should cease until such a mandate is obtained. Not only has there been no mandate, the level of public ignorance about these schemes is alarming and must be immediately rectified by an extensive education campaign. There should be extensive community consultation, especially with rural landholders. References 1. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/truth-gets-lost-amid-the-debate-onnational-parks-catherine-cusack/story-e6frezz0-1226389879077 2. http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2012/s3535098.htm?site=gippsland 3. http://theland.farmonline.com.au/blogs/agribuzz-with-david-leyonhjelm/property-rightsgone-for-the-general-good/2594167.aspx?storypage=0 4. http://www.nswfarmers.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/62247/Native_Veg_Case_Stud y.pdf 5. https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/viewdocument.aspx?id=ef282b1a-43d5- 44d3-a1e8-e613ee9f4ccb 6. https://senate.aph.gov.au/submissions/comittees/viewdocument.aspx?id=0088ed5f-025e- 4164-81fd-05d062568ff7 7. http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2009/12/peter-spencer 8. http://www.familyfirst.org.au/files/The-Attack-on-Property-Rights-Finlay.pdf 9. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Previousproducts/1301.0Feature%20Article1200 9%E2%80%9310?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=1301.0&issue=2009%9610& num=&view 10. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/index.html 11. http://www.weeds.org.au/docs/intro_flora_australia.pdf 12. http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/terrestrialassessment/pubs/terrestrial-assessment.pdf 13. http://www.oxfordclimatepolicy.org/publications/documents/Ellermannetal.pdf 14. http://150.229.66.66/bmrc/basic/cawcr-wksp1/papers/Raupach.pdf 15. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/datablog/2009/sep/02/co2-emissions-historical 16. http://globalcitizen.net/Data/Pages/1291/papers/2009103014156814.pdf 17. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/04/what-isn-8217-t-for-sale/8902/ 18. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/what-money-cant-buythe-moral-limits-of-markets-by-michael-sandel-7711785.html 19. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/04/what-isn-8217-t-for-sale/8902/ 20. http://climateandcapitalism.com/2011/06/07/putting-a-price-on-nature-a-destructivedelusion/ 21. http://breakthroughjournal.org/content/authors/mark-sagoff/the-rise-and-fall-ofecologica.shtml 22. http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/programs/uesd/uep/products/12/psw_cufr704_Brack_Pollution_ Mitig_Urban_Forest.pdf 23. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/1053209/biobanking-land-purchase-to-go-ahead 24. http://www.colongwilderness.org.au/media-releases/2010/06/biobanking-credibility-sinksconservation-site-undermined 25. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/mine-plan-shows-biobanking-fails-say-green-groups- 20100624-z3px.html 26. http://www.edo.org.au/edonsw/site/pdf/subs/071130assessment_methodology.pdf 27. http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/12356 28. http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/8484/cmfes.pdf 29. http://www.cec.org.au/sub/BioBanking.Submission/index.htm 30. http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hanstrans.nsf/v3ByKey/LC20061025 31. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/biobanking/20120062bbrevdp.pdf 32. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/biobanking/08346biobankingcas.pdf 33. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/tsca1995323/s127o.html 34. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/tsca1995323/s127u.html 35. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/tsca1995323/s127s.html 36. http://justgroundsonline.com/forum/topics/fighting-the-nsw-standard-lep-what-if-we-alljoined-forces?xg_source=activity APPENDIX K Correspondence With Eurobodalla Shire Council Mark Hitchenson Land Use Planning Coordinator Eurobodalla Shire Council Dear Mark, Thank you for your email. Although I am trying to move forward in an attempt to resolve the vitally important issues we have been discussing, you are tending to revisit matters we have already resolved while at the same time completely ignoring fundamental questions from my earlier emails. The matters discussed below are of vital importance to local ratepayers and of vital importance for the upcoming elections. If any of my assertions below are in any way inaccurate, please supply documentary evidence from the vast resources of Council to demonstrate my error/s so that the matters may be resolved. Your inability to do this to date merely prolongs the correspondence and raises more questions. I look forward to resolving the issues below in the interests of local ratepayers and in the interests of the wider community as well. For clarity I will reproduce some of the unanswered questions from previous correspondence at the conclusion of this email and I hope that you will make a meaningful attempt to respond to them. Previously I stated the following facts which you now, for some reason seem to dispute. FACT: Eurobodalla Council has decided to have its environmental and land use policies determined and monitored by an undemocratic foreign agency (the UN), utilising the principles of their Agenda 21/sustainability program. You will note that I have cited authoritative evidence in support of this claim, including evidence from your Settlement Strategy and from the UN but although you disputed the above you were unable to supply any supportive documentation whatsoever to support your position. In fact, the documentation you did provide (Settlement Strategy) supports my claim that Council policy is indeed based upon the UN Agenda 21 program. It is a simple fact that you state the “Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy sets out the Councils policies and strategies for managing land use within the Shire” and it is also a simple fact that this Settlement Strategy clearly states (1): “Eurobodalla Shire Council is committed to the concept and principles of sustainable development and the implementation of Local Agenda 21”. It is also a simple fact that Agenda 21 is a United Nations program, designed by the UN (2, 3, 4, 5). But as you no doubt realise, the implementation of Agenda 21 is also monitored by the UN, participating countries being required to report back to the UN on a regular basis (2, 6, 7, 8). The UN describes the monitoring and reporting provisions for Agenda 21 in chapter 38.11. The Commonwealth of course, provides these reports to the UN from implementation progress at state and local government levels. In fact, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development was established to oversee the implementation of Agenda 21 around the world (2, 6, 8). According to the Commonwealth Government in this regard (8): “The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) with a mandate to review implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, in particular progress in the implementation of the program of action known as Agenda 21. The CSD held its first substantive session in June 1993 and has met annually since. The 10-year review of the implementation of Agenda 21 culminated in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa (September, 2002). While the CSD successfully built a profile and improved understanding of sustainable development during its first 10 years, it was recognised at the WSSD that some reforms were required to ensure the continued relevance of its work. The WSSD Plan of Implementation (POI) called for reform of the CSD within its existing mandate (as adopted un UNGA resolution 47/191). In particular, the POI recommended : · Limiting negotiating sessions to every two years; · Re-considering the scheduling and duration of intersessional meetings; and · Limiting the number of themes addressed in each session. An enhanced role for the CSD in monitoring and reporting on progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 and in facilitation of partnerships was also recommended.” Following are some of the typical United Nations land use questions the government is required to answer to check implementation of Agenda 21 at the local level (7): “4. Agenda 21 called for the review and development of policies to support the best possible use of land and sustainable management of land resources, with a target date not later than 1996. Please describe progress that your country has made towards meeting this target. 6. Please explain briefly, to what extent are plans for expansion of human settlements reviewed with respect to the impacts on farmlands, landscape, forest land, wetlands and biological diversity. ANNEX: OVERALL EVALUATION OF INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF LAND RESOURCES The following section is designed to facilitate an overall evaluation of the progress achieved in various related activities as outlined in Chapter 10. 1. Please provide qualitative rankings on different aspects of integrated land use planning and management that your Government has been able to achieve at different levels of success since UNCED. In order to guide your answers (i.e. giving a rating to every box) the qualitative rankings are ordered on a scale from 1-5: 5 – distinguishing or outstanding achievements 4 – clear and apparent achievements 3 – only slight achievements 2 – no achievements at all 1 – worse than before UNCED Rankings Activities [4] Development of a national policy or strategy on integrated land management [4] Development of policies that have encouraged sustainable land use and management of land resources [5] Review of the regulatory frameworks related to land use and management [4] Formulation and adoption of land use zoning [3] Institutional set-up for monitoring land use regulations [4] Formulation and adoption of market-based measures [4] Information compilation and land capability analysis [5] Identification of data gaps [5] Identification of major challenges and issues related to the implementation of integrated land use and management approach at nation-wide level 82 2. What level of importance is attached to the different functions of land in your country? Please provide qualitative ranking of the major functions or characteristics of land (i.e. give a rating to every box) on a scale from 1-4. 4 – Very high importance 3 – Highly important 2 – only slightly important 1 – not important at all Ranking Major functions/characteristics of land [1] Food security [4] Rural development [4] Rural viability [4] Environmental sustainability (protection/recovery/rehabilitation/enhancement) [4] Improved policies and institutions [4] Economic development [4] Poverty reduction and equity [4] Social cohesion” Since the United Nations origin, and monitoring provisions for implementation of Agenda 21, are indisputable, it would seem you must disagree with Council’s commitment to Agenda 21 as stated in the Settlement Strategy. Clearly this would be ridiculous. I was hoping for a more meaningful response, more in accord with the seriousness of these matters. To continue to dispute simple facts while ratepayers struggle with the results of Council policy creates a perception of extreme self-interest and complete indifference towards the everyday concerns of ratepayers. I also asserted in my previous communication: FACT: Eurobodalla Council has decided to continue to deny residents a democratic choice as to whether they prefer Council land use/sustainability policies determined locally, by local authorities and ratepayers, or by an undemocratic foreign agency as is presently the case. Has the situation changed? Has Council decided to fully inform residents of the UN origin and end goals of AG21 at the upcoming election so they make an informed choice? As I asked previously: You are suggesting that if I were to conduct a survey in the local area and ask residents the following questions then I would mostly obtain correct answers. 1. Did you realise council’s sustainability policy is based upon the UN Agenda 21 program? 2. Did council explain the full details and goals of Agenda 21 to you prior to adopting this policy? 3. Did council give you an informed democratic choice and offer you a locally based policy as distinct from a foreign UN policy? Is it true council has been communicating with residents so they can answer these very basic questions? Not only was this question completely ignored by you, but further, In your response you were unable to supply any documentary evidence whatsoever (media releases, ratepayers notices) confirming that Council had fully advised residents of the UN origin, end goals, and UN monitoring, of Agenda 21 prior to its introduction and incorporation into Council policy. Why do you continue to refuse to supply this information if in fact you have accurately and truthfully advised residents as you claim? I have repeated some of your statements below with my responses in red. “Agenda 21 is an international framework agreement for pursuing global sustainable development that was endorsed by national governments, including the Australian Government, at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.” Correct, it is a program designed by the UN and overseen and monitored by the UN as noted above, but it appears you did not explain this to ratepayers. Eurobodalla Shire Council is not a signatory to the framework.” The fact that Council is implementing Agenda 21, without giving residents an informed democratic choice has already been established. The fact that you may not be a direct (Council of course must answer to state and federal governments which in turn answer to the UN) ‘signatory’ is completely irrelevant. “Eurobodalla Shire Council has not decided to have its environmental and land use policies determined by any foreign agency.” You have already conceded that Council’s Settlement Strategy, is based upon the dictates of the United Nations Agenda 21 program. Are you suggesting the UN is not a foreign agency? “Council does not report to the United Nations or any other foreign agency. No foreign agency has any involvement in Council’s processes for determining environmental or land use policy. There is no monitoring of Council’s environmental or land use policies by any foreign agency.” You have stated in your Settlement Strategy (1): “Eurobodalla Shire Council is committed to the concept and principles of sustainable development and the implementation of Local Agenda 21”. How is it possible that you have based the Shire Settlement Strategy on Agenda 21, which states in chapter 38.11, that the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development will be established to monitor progress and implementation, and yet you claim no involvement from the UN or a foreign agency? Of course, whether it is monitored directly, or indirectly through state or federal governments, is irrelevant. “Eurobodalla Shire Council has not decided to deny residents a democratic choice in terms of the setting of environmental or land use policy.” Council has so far been unable to provide any evidence whatsoever that it fully informed residents of the UN origin and total goals of Agenda 21 before implementation. “Further, Eurobodalla Shire Council is not promoting or implementing any foreign based and initiated restrictions on Eurobodalla land owners. All of Council’s environmental and land use policies are determined by Council in consultation with the Eurobodalla community.” I have already dealt with these issues above. Council agreed to implement Agenda 21 and one of the provisions of Agenda 21 is an agreement to be monitored by the UNCSD as already noted. “All of Councils policies are set by the democratically elected Council of the day, this includes the Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy which sets out the Councils policies and strategies for managing land use within the Shire.” Since the Settlement Strategy, which is based upon the UN Agenda 21 program, will determine “Councils policies and strategies for managing land use within the Shire,” does this mean you will be following the lead of US States and Councils which are banning the UN Agenda 21 program? I note that Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard, has recently passed the new LEP (9, 10,) in spite of the numerous protests and complaints from local ratepayers, including a petition with 5000 signatures (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25) and in spite of your claims that you continue to work with local residents rather than against them. I note the long list of complaints and adverse results of Council policies (12): “· Lost sales due to new Overlays / E-Zones · Owners cost of DA applications and associated expensive consultancy studies i.e., native vegetation, endangered species, aboriginal artefacts, environmental impact, sea inundation, acid soil test, flora and fauna studies, bush fire report, catchment management study, energy rating report, geotechnical report and section 94 contributions · Owners/buyers being compelled to sign agreements to further restrict land uses or forced to donate private land to get a DA approved. · Council requesting owners to submit DA’s despite knowing the DA would be rejected on crucial issues · Council applying new Draft (LEP) to current DA applications · More recently the Council not wanting DA’s submitted until the new LEP is adopted · 1c zoned land owners are losing their entitlements · Subdivision approved with onerous restrictions – i.e. No hoofed animals allowed on lifestyle properties (Hobby farms) · Increasing minimum size lots from 450m² to 550m² · Council selling public land · Private buyers finding the Eurobodalla Council too difficult and frustrating to deal with and therefore abandon their pursuit of buying within the shire · Commercial developers claiming similar issues as above · Council becoming a Quasi Developer – viewed as a conflict of interest and possibly anticompetitive · Some residents have left the area and others are looking to leave due to frustrations with Council · Council stating to purchasers not to touch certain properties “With a 40 foot pole” · Down-zoning land for Councils’ future acquisition with no communication to owners · The implementation of Bio-certification is inequitable and will divide our Community. This will also add further costs and restrictions to landowners and developers, further exasperating our struggling economy · Owners restricted from removing dead wood and slashing/mowing their land · Property owners promised 4-5 lot subdivision and eventually badgered into accepting a 1 lot subdivision · The Rural Lands Strategy Steering Committee will neither remedy nor compensate negatively affected land owners.” I urge you to reconsider your stance and ban UN/Agenda 21 associated policies as mentioned below. How do you propose to protect landowners from restrictive repressive anti-Australian Agenda 21 policies? When will you commence such action? Regards Graham Williamson PREVIOUS UNANSWERED QUESTIONS Recently the following law was passed by the legislature in Alabama banning Agenda 21 (1): Senate Bill 477 “Section 1. (b) The State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to ‘Agenda 21’, adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Alabama. (c) Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services, or giving financial aid to or from those non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as defined in Agenda 21.” Are you prepared to represent the interests of Eurobodalla residents by giving them this same protection, as enacted in Alabama, from foreign attempts to infringe upon the property rights of local landholders? If not, why not? If you prefer to continue to have landowners property rights determined and monitored by a foreign agency, will you make this an election issue at the upcoming elections so residents may make an informed democratic choice? When the local government of College Station in Texas recently withdrew from Agenda 21, Councilman Jess Fields commented (2, 3): “I am truly excited to announce that the proposed 2013 College Station budget will not include funding for this organization (ICLEI-an Agenda 21 organisation)…..It is an insidious, extreme institution that does not represent our citizens, and for our taxpayers to continue to fund it would be ridiculous…. This organization is a threat to our individual rights and our local government’s sovereignty in decision-making…..ICLEI’s Charter and its Strategic Plan both reinforce what could already be surmised by examining its founding and history…..This is an international organization with an extreme environmentalist bent, which desires to impose its vision of ‘sustainability’ on the citizens of member cities and connect to the United Nations in a way that furthers that goal……..We do not need international organizations leading the way for us in how we develop our planning and development tools and regulations. It is better for policies to reflect the actual needs of our community than some amorphous concept of greenness or sustainability, promoted by an overarching international body.” Do you agree or disagree? Do Eurobodalla residents “need international organizations leading the way for us in how we develop our planning and development tools and regulations?” Are Eurobodalla residents any less deserving of having their property rights protected from foreign agencies? “Especially since the restrictive requirements of Agenda 21 are being banned overseas (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15), why is Council moving in the opposite direction? Does Council intend to continue following the dictates of Agenda 21 program or do you intend to ban this foreign interference and represent the interests of ratepayers instead?” From: Mark Hitchenson [mailto:mark.hitchenson@eurocoast.nsw.gov.au] Sent: Monday, 16 July 2012 4:30 PM To: ‘Graham’ Cc: Clr Fergus Thomson; Paula Pollock; Lindsay Usher; Shannon Burt Subject: RE: Land use Dear Graham, Apologies for the delay in replying to your email. Your concerns regarding the process of determining local land use and sustainability policies are unfounded. Agenda 21 is an international framework agreement for pursuing global sustainable development that was endorsed by national governments, including the Australian Government, at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Eurobodalla Shire Council is not a signatory to the framework. Eurobodalla Shire Council has not decided to have its environmental and land use policies determined by any foreign agency. Council does not report to the United Nations or any other foreign agency. No foreign agency has any involvement in Council’s processes for determining environmental or land use policy. There is no monitoring of Council’s environmental or land use policies by any foreign agency. Eurobodalla Shire Council has not decided to deny residents a democratic choice in terms of the setting of environmental or land use policy. Further, Eurobodalla Shire Council is not promoting or implementing any foreign based and initiated restrictions on Eurobodalla land owners. All of Council’s environmental and land use policies are determined by Council in consultation with the Eurobodalla community. As I have previously advised, the Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy was developed in consultation with the Eurobodalla community. I have also previously advised that there was extensive community consultation in the preparation of the Eurobodalla Community Strategic Plan. In both of these consultation processes, the community told Council that protection of the environment was important to them. Council will therefore continue to work with the community to develop local solutions to local environmental issues. All of Councils policies are set by the democratically elected Council of the day, this includes the Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy which sets out the Councils policies and strategies for managing land use within the Shire. This should leave you in no doubt that Council has and will continue to provide all Eurobodalla residents with the opportunity to be involved in the setting of local policies and that Council is not undemocratically implementing any foreign agenda. As all of your questions have now been fully answered, there should be no need for any further correspondence on the matter. Regards, Mark Mark Hitchenson Land Use Planning Coordinator t 02 4474 1314 | m 0400 784 515| f 02 4474 1234 From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Thursday, 12 July 2012 7:49 AM To: Mark Hitchenson Cc: Clr Fergus Thomson; Paula Pollock; Lindsay Usher Subject: RE: Land use Dear Mark, I have yet to receive a response to my communication of 2nd July and the issues raised therein (see below). When can I expect a response to these issues and questions? If you feel incapable of making a meaningful response could you please forward this communication to the appropriate authority. In order to save your valuable time, the matters may be summarised as below. FACT: Eurobodalla Council has decided to have its environmental and land use policies determined and monitored by an undemocratic foreign agency (the UN), utilising the principles of their Agenda 21/sustainability program. FACT: Eurobodalla Council has decided to continue to deny residents a democratic choice as to whether they prefer Council land use/sustainability policies determined locally, by local authorities and ratepayers, or by an undemocratic foreign agency as is presently the case. Recently the following law was passed by the legislature in Alabama banning Agenda 21 (1): Senate Bill 477 “Section 1. (b) The State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to ‘Agenda 21’, adopted by the United Nations in 1992 at its Conference on Environment and Development or any other international law or ancillary plan of action that contravenes the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Alabama. (c) Since the United Nations has accredited and enlisted numerous non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to Agenda 21 around the world, the State of Alabama and all political subdivisions may not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, or receive funds contracting services, or giving financial aid to or from those non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations as defined in Agenda 21.” FACT: Your council is unashamedly still promoting and implementing these same undemocratic foreign based and initiated restrictions upon the rights of local landowners. Are you prepared to represent the interests of Eurobodalla residents by giving them this same protection, as enacted in Alabama, from foreign attempts to infringe upon the property rights of local landholders? If not, why not? If you prefer to continue to have landowners property rights determined and monitored by a foreign agency, will you make this an election issue at the upcoming elections so residents may make an informed democratic choice? When the local government of College Station in Texas recently withdrew from Agenda 21, Councilman Jess Fields commented (2, 3): “I am truly excited to announce that the proposed 2013 College Station budget will not include funding for this organization (ICLEI-an Agenda 21 organisation)…..It is an insidious, extreme institution that does not represent our citizens, and for our taxpayers to continue to fund it would be ridiculous…. This organization is a threat to our individual rights and our local government’s sovereignty in decision-making…..ICLEI’s Charter and its Strategic Plan both reinforce what could already be surmised by examining its founding and history…..This is an international organization with an extreme environmentalist bent, which desires to impose its vision of ‘sustainability’ on the citizens of member cities and connect to the United Nations in a way that furthers that goal……..We do not need international organizations leading the way for us in how we develop our planning and development tools and regulations. It is better for policies to reflect the actual needs of our community than some amorphous concept of greenness or sustainability, promoted by an overarching international body.” Do you agree or disagree? Do Eurobodalla residents “need international organizations leading the way for us in how we develop our planning and development tools and regulations?” Are Eurobodalla residents any less deserving of having their property rights protected from foreign agencies? Regards Graham Williamson Dear Mark, Once again you have overlooked the main points I have made. 1. Your environmental policy, in spite of your initial denial, is UN Agenda 21 (1) based as stated quite clearly in your settlement strategy. Agenda 21 environmental policies are planned and monitored by an undemocratic foreign agency, the UN. In fact, In Chapter 38 of Agenda 21 the United Nations describes the necessary powers to administer and implement Agenda 21 and initiates the formation of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) to oversee and monitor the implementation of Agenda 21. Have you fully informed residents about this and given them a democratic choice? I repeat the unanswered questions from my previous email. “Especially since the restrictive requirements of Agenda 21 are being banned overseas (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15), why is Council moving in the opposite direction? Does Council intend to continue following the dictates of Agenda 21 program or do you intend to ban this foreign interference and represent the interests of ratepayers instead?” You state in your response: With regards to your specific questions about Agenda 21, I wish to advise that Council is required by law to act in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979, for example, has a number of objects, including “to encourage…the protection of the environment…” and “ecologically sustainable development”. In addition, one of the purposes of Local Government Act, 1993 is “to require councils, councillors and council employees to have regard to the principles of ecologically sustainable development in carrying out their responsibilities.” Local Agenda 21 is about establishing a dialogue between Council and the community on ways to address sustainable development issues locally. Council regularly has this dialogue with the Eurobodalla community, most recently in the development of the Eurobodalla Community Strategic Plan “Eurobodalla 2030”. One of the key messages to emerge from the community in the development of Eurobodalla 2030 was that “the natural environment is important”. Once again you overlook the main point which is not about sustainability but rather whether council should be acting as an agent of the UN by implementing UN environmental policies which will also be overseen by the UN, or whether council should reject interference from undemocratic foreign agencies and instead implement its own policies. Is council incapable of implementing its own sustainability policy, controlled and monitored locally? And did council give residents a democratic choice about this, fully informing them they had decided to seek foreign control of their environmental policies instead of acting independently in accord with the desire of ratepayers? You seem to suggest that it is impossible to act sustainably unless council conforms to the dictates of the UN. Is this your meaning? You further state: “Council’s support for local action to achieve sustainable development is based on communication with the local community and local actions to achieve the community’s vision.” Is this true? You are suggesting that if I were to conduct a survey in the local area and ask residents the following questions then I would mostly obtain correct answers. 1. Did you realise council’s sustainability policy is based upon the UN Agenda 21 program? 2. Did council explain the full details and goals of Agenda 21 to you prior to adopting this policy? 3. Did council give you an informed democratic choice and offer you a locally based policy as distinct from a foreign UN policy? Is it true council has been communicating with residents so they can answer these very basic questions? Will council continue to support intrusive, regressive UN policies which are being banned overseas? Or will council reconsider and represent ratepayers instead? Regards Graham Williamson From: Mark Hitchenson [mailto:mark.hitchenson@eurocoast.nsw..gov.au] Sent: Monday, 2 July 2012 11:56 AM To: ‘Graham’ Cc: Clr Fergus Thomson; Paula Pollock; Lindsay Usher Subject: RE: Land use Dear Graham, The purpose of my previous reply to your email was to confirm that Council undertakes extensive consultations with the Eurobodalla community in the development of planning strategies and to outline how the Draft LEP makes provision for a range of development in rural areas. This was to show how Council supports Eurobodalla residents and ratepayers and that our policy is not regressive as suggested. You expressed an interest in rural properties, so my reply was focused on our planning for rural areas. With regards to your specific questions about Agenda 21, I wish to advise that Council is required by law to act in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979, for example, has a number of objects, including “to encourage…the protection of the environment…” and “ecologically sustainable development”. In addition, one of the purposes of Local Government Act, 1993 is “to require councils, councillors and council employees to have regard to the principles of ecologically sustainable development in carrying out their responsibilities.” Local Agenda 21 is about establishing a dialogue between Council and the community on ways to address sustainable development issues locally. Council regularly has this dialogue with the Eurobodalla community, most recently in the development of the Eurobodalla Community Strategic Plan “Eurobodalla 2030”. One of the key messages to emerge from the community in the development of Eurobodalla 2030 was that “the natural environment is important”. As a further example of local dialogue on actions relating to achieving the principles of ecologically sustainable development, Council is currently exhibiting a Greenhouse Action Plan to seek community input into the ways Council can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in response to the issue of climate change. Council’s support for local action to achieve sustainable development is based on communication with the local community and local actions to achieve the community’s vision. I trust this clarifies the situation for you. Regards, Mark From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Thursday, 28 June 2012 6:03 PM To: Mark Hitchenson Cc: Clr Fergus Thomson; Paula Pollock; Lindsay Usher Subject: RE: Land use Dear Mark, Thank you for your prompt reply. It does appear you have misunderstood or perhaps you have been misinformed. I asked if Council policy is based upon a foreign UN Agenda 21 program or whether Council is following overseas precedents in banning such programs to protect ratepayers. You responded by stating “unfortunately the information you have been given is incorrect”, however, you referred me to your Settlement Strategy (1) to back up your claim that I had been misadvised. When I checked this document I found that it directly contradicted your claim that your policies are NOT UN Agenda 21 based and actually confirmed what I had heard about Council resorting to implementation of regressive UN Agenda 21 policy. According to the Settlement Strategy (1): “Eurobodalla Shire Council is committed to the concept and principles of sustainable development and the implementation of Local Agenda 21”. I am alarmed that Council seems to be acting as an agent of the UN in forcing ratepayers to comply with the dictates of such a regressive intrusive program as Agenda 21. Has Council given ratepayers an informed choice about this? Especially since the restrictive requirements of Agenda 21 are being banned overseas, why is Council moving in the opposite direction? Does Council intend to continue following the dictates of Agenda 21 program or do you intend to ban this foreign interference and represent the interests of ratepayers instead? I am particularly interested in ascertaining your future intentions in this regard. Council has made their allegiance to the UN quite clear in their above statement, but what about your allegiance to ratepayers? Will you move to ban all Agenda 21 associated policies to protect the interests of ratepayers? Regards Graham Williamson From: Mark Hitchenson [mailto:mark.hitchenson@eurocoast.nsw…gov.au] Sent: Thursday, 28 June 2012 3:41 PM To: ‘Graham’ Cc: Clr Fergus Thomson; Paula Pollock; Lindsay Usher Subject: RE: Land use Dear Mr Williamson, Unfortunately the information you have been given is incorrect. Councils Rural Local Environmental Plan (RLEP 1987) and the soon to be adopted Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan (ELEP 2012) both provide for a full range of agricultural land uses and primary production industries on rural zoned lands across the Shire. Aside from traditional agricultural pursuits such as dairying, horticultural and husbandry activities, the ELEP 2012 permits a range of additional land uses such as tourist and visitor accommodation and nurseries through to home based child care with consent in rural areas. The ELEP 2012 also includes secondary dwellings and dual occupancy development to accommodate growing families or rural workers. It is anticipated that the ELEP 2012 will be approved by the NSW Government in the very near future and will then be available to view from Council’s website www.esc.nsw.gov.au. If you would like to learn more about the rural values of the Shire and Council’s aims for rural land management, you may like to review the Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy, available on Council’s website at http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/services/planning-anddevelopment/plans-policies-and-strategies/. The ESS is a 30 year plan that makes explicit the policy positioning of Council and State Government which in turn are in response to community expectations. The Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy involved extensive public consultation, community survey work, community visioning and planning and development with State Agencies. Eurobodalla’s rural land planning and policy is consistent with the South Coast Regional Strategy (available at http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/StrategicPlanning/Regionalstrategies/tabid/161/language /en-AU/Default.aspx)that underpins the planning framework for all South Coast LGAs. Additionally, the preparation of a Rural Lands Strategy is about to commence and will inform land use planning decisions on rural developments and industries into the future. This Strategy will be conducted in consultation with the rural community. You can find more information on this process at Council’s website at http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/services/planning-and-development/plans-policies-andstrategies/eurobodalla-rural-lands-strategy/ . I hope this advice clarifies the situation for you and I encourage you to review the information referred to. If you would like further information Council staff would be happy to assist. Regards, Mark Mark Hitchenson Land Use Planning Coordinator t 02 4474 1314 | m 0400 784 515| f 02 4474 1234 From: Mark Hitchenson [mailto:mark.hitchenson@eurocoast.nsw..gov.au] Sent: Monday, 2 July 2012 11:56 AM To: ‘Graham’ Cc: Clr Fergus Thomson; Paula Pollock; Lindsay Usher Subject: RE: Land use Dear Graham, The purpose of my previous reply to your email was to confirm that Council undertakes extensive consultations with the Eurobodalla community in the development of planning strategies and to outline how the Draft LEP makes provision for a range of development in rural areas. This was to show how Council supports Eurobodalla residents and ratepayers and that our policy is not regressive as suggested. You expressed an interest in rural properties, so my reply was focused on our planning for rural areas. With regards to your specific questions about Agenda 21, I wish to advise that Council is required by law to act in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979, for example, has a number of objects, including “to encourage…the protection of the environment…” and “ecologically sustainable development”. In addition, one of the purposes of Local Government Act, 1993 is “to require councils, councillors and council employees to have regard to the principles of ecologically sustainable development in carrying out their responsibilities.” Local Agenda 21 is about establishing a dialogue between Council and the community on ways to address sustainable development issues locally. Council regularly has this dialogue with the Eurobodalla community, most recently in the development of the Eurobodalla Community Strategic Plan “Eurobodalla 2030”. One of the key messages to emerge from the community in the development of Eurobodalla 2030 was that “the natural environment is important”. As a further example of local dialogue on actions relating to achieving the principles of ecologically sustainable development, Council is currently exhibiting a Greenhouse Action Plan to seek community input into the ways Council can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in response to the issue of climate change. Council’s support for local action to achieve sustainable development is based on communication with the local community and local actions to achieve the community’s vision. I trust this clarifies the situation for you. Regards, Mark From: Graham [mailto:grahamhw@iprimus.com.au] Sent: Thursday, 28 June 2012 6:03 PM To: Mark Hitchenson Cc: Clr Fergus Thomson; Paula Pollock; Lindsay Usher Subject: RE: Land use Dear Mark, Thank you for your prompt reply. It does appear you have misunderstood or perhaps you have been misinformed. I asked if Council policy is based upon a foreign UN Agenda 21 program or whether Council is following overseas precedents in banning such programs to protect ratepayers. You responded by stating “unfortunately the information you have been given is incorrect”, however, you referred me to your Settlement Strategy (1) to back up your claim that I had been misadvised. When I checked this document I found that it directly contradicted your claim that your policies are NOT UN Agenda 21 based and actually confirmed what I had heard about Council resorting to implementation of regressive UN Agenda 21 policy. According to the Settlement Strategy (1): “Eurobodalla Shire Council is committed to the concept and principles of sustainable development and the implementation of Local Agenda 21”. I am alarmed that Council seems to be acting as an agent of the UN in forcing ratepayers to comply with the dictates of such a regressive intrusive program as Agenda 21. Has Council given ratepayers an informed choice about this? Especially since the restrictive requirements of Agenda 21 are being banned overseas, why is Council moving in the opposite direction? Does Council intend to continue following the dictates of Agenda 21 program or do you intend to ban this foreign interference and represent the interests of ratepayers instead? I am particularly interested in ascertaining your future intentions in this regard. Council has made their allegiance to the UN quite clear in their above statement, but what about your allegiance to ratepayers? Will you move to ban all Agenda 21 associated policies to protect the interests of ratepayers? Regards Graham Williamson From: Mark Hitchenson [mailto:mark.hitchenson@eurocoast.nsw…gov.au] Sent: Thursday, 28 June 2012 3:41 PM To: ‘Graham’ Cc: Clr Fergus Thomson; Paula Pollock; Lindsay Usher Subject: RE: Land use Dear Mr Williamson, Unfortunately the information you have been given is incorrect. Councils Rural Local Environmental Plan (RLEP 1987) and the soon to be adopted Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan (ELEP 2012) both provide for a full range of agricultural land uses and primary production industries on rural zoned lands across the Shire. Aside from traditional agricultural pursuits such as dairying, horticultural and husbandry activities, the ELEP 2012 permits a range of additional land uses such as tourist and visitor accommodation and nurseries through to home based child care with consent in rural areas. The ELEP 2012 also includes secondary dwellings and dual occupancy development to accommodate growing families or rural workers. It is anticipated that the ELEP 2012 will be approved by the NSW Government in the very near future and will then be available to view from Council’s website www.esc.nsw.gov.au. If you would like to learn more about the rural values of the Shire and Council’s aims for rural land management, you may like to review the Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy, available on Council’s website at http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/services/planning-anddevelopment/plans-policies-and-strategies/. The ESS is a 30 year plan that makes explicit the policy positioning of Council and State Government which in turn are in response to community expectations. The Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy involved extensive public consultation, community survey work, community visioning and planning and development with State Agencies. Eurobodalla’s rural land planning and policy is consistent with the South Coast Regional Strategy (available at http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/StrategicPlanning/Regionalstrategies/tabid/161/language /en-AU/Default.aspx)that underpins the planning framework for all South Coast LGAs. Additionally, the preparation of a Rural Lands Strategy is about to commence and will inform land use planning decisions on rural developments and industries into the future. This Strategy will be conducted in consultation with the rural community. You can find more information on this process at Council’s website at http://www.esc.nsw.gov.au/services/planning-and-development/plans-policies-andstrategies/eurobodalla-rural-lands-strategy/ . I hope this advice clarifies the situation for you and I encourage you to review the information referred to. If you would like further information Council staff would be happy to assist. Regards, Mark APPENDIX L Complaint to NSW Ombudsman SUMMARY Three important issues resulted from my correspondence with Eurobodalla Council and the NSW Ombudsman. 1. Truthfulness of Council. This includes both the supplying of complete and factual information in response to my enquiry and also the commitment shown by Council to fully and truthfully inform residents of the full details of Agenda 21. 2. The legislative authority of Council in regard to enforcing upon local residents the dictates of a foreign program such as the UN Agenda 21 program. 3. Response of the Ombudsman. This includes not only the Ombudsman’s refuting of evidence provided in my complaint, but also the “repackaging” of my complaint by the Ombudsman and internal disagreements within the Ombudsman’s office regarding the subject of my complaint. 1. Truthfulness of Council a. Accuracy of information supplied by Council in response to my enquiry My assertion to Council that the Agenda 21 program, which they admitted forms the basis of their Settlement Strategy, is a foreign program, the implementation of which is also monitored by a foreign organisation (the UN), was completely denied by Council. Council statements clearly contradicted the facts, as evidenced by extensive documentary evidence from the United Nations, the Commonwealth government, and the NSW government. In spite of this, the NSW Ombudsman stated they agreed with Council claims that Agenda 21 is NOT a foreign program and its implementation is NOT monitored by a foreign agency (the UN). The NSW Ombudsman has here apparently acted to condone or reinforce the dishonesty of Council and the supplying of misleading or deliberately false information by Council. b. Commitment shown by Council to fully and truthfully inform residents of the full details of Agenda 21. Because of the UN origin of AG21, the complexity of the program, and the threat it poses to fundamental human rights, it is vitally important that the Council has shown a clear commitment to accurately convey all these details to local residents. However, in response to my enquiry asking Council to provide evidence of media releases or Council notices to explain the details of AG21 to local residents, Council were unable to provide even one such notice. I concluded that “the high level of ignorance about AG 21 in the local community is patently obvious and is a sad reflection of Council’s community spirit and its total abandonment of community education, its duty of care, and any sense of social conscience or commitment.” While the Ombudsman made no direct reference to this allegation, he did note however that of the various “community consultations” conducted by Council he was unable to document even one which was designed by Council to educate local residents regarding the full details of AG21. Evidence from the Ombudsman therefore reinforces the claim that enforcement of AG 21 by Eurobodalla Council is fundamentally undemocratic. 2. The legislative authority of Council in regard to enforcing upon local residents the dictates of a foreign program such as the UN Agenda 21 program. As I notified the NSW Ombudsman, according to the Commonwealth government “Many local governments work in areas beyond statutory requirements, such as Local Agenda 21 and Cities for Climate Protection.” In response the Ombudsman was careful NOT to deny Council had exceeded its legislative authority. He simply made the point that he did not have the information “before” him to confirm any such abuse of Council powers. The Ombudsman however, carefully avoided responding to my quote from the Commonwealth government that Councils have no legislative authority to enforce AG21. The fact remains that Eurobodalla Council ARE enforcing AG21 and the Commonwealth government says they do not have the legislative power to enforce it. The NSW Ombudsman clearly, and no doubt wisely, refused to contradict the Commonwealth, preferring instead to suggest he did not have sufficient information. Perhaps this issue can only be resolved in the Courts. Obviously a distinction must be made between enforcing provisions of AG21 and enforcing provisions of NSW state legislation. 3. Response From the Ombudsman’s Office According to Phoebe Tan, my complaint to the Ombudsman was about “council’s environmental and land use policies being determined and monitored by the United Nations (UN) as the council have stated that it supports the UN’s Agenda 21 policy.” For some reason Ms Tan chose to confine my complaint to land use policies (my complaint was about the totality of AG21) and completely omit all my complaints about Council’s dishonesty and Council’s failure to supply truthful and complete information to local residents. Why does the Ombudsman’s office assume the role of processing and altering the substance of complaints they receive? As a result of my objections to the initial response of the Ombudsman’s office from Phoebe Tan, I received a second response from Ombudsman Bruce Barbour. According to Ombudsman Bruce Barbour’s new description of my complaint, my complaint was about the “legislative authority” of Council, not the “land use policies” as asserted by Phoebe Tan. Like Phoebe Tan however, Bruce Barbour chose not to include my complaint about honesty and accuracy of information supplied by Council. The reader can see that I have made my complaints perfectly clear but yet the Ombudsman’s office was obviously very confused with Phoebe Tan and Bruce Barbour contradicting each other regarding the fundamental nature of my complaint. In Barbour’s defence however, it should be noted that Tan’s claim that my complaint was confined to “land use policies” was apparently invented by her. However, though I asked why this fictitious complaint about land use policies had been invented by the Ombudsman’s office, Barbour refused to comment upon this, preferring instead to state that he agreed with Tan’s analysis even though he changed my complaint to a complaint about the “legislative authority” of Council. Tan’s acknowledgement of my concerns about the UN monitoring of Council Agenda 21 policies was of course correct, but for some reason Barbour, in further apparent disagreement with Tan, deleted this from his analysis of the subject of my complaint. The Ombudsmans office is clearly in complete disarray with complainants having their complaints twisted and censored and staff openly contradicting each othar about the subject of a complaint. The Ombudsman’s office accepts a complaint, then processes and sterilises the complaint and spits out a completely new complaint, then, after arguing about the subject of the complaint, adjudicates on the merits of the complaint. How can they ever arrive at a correct and just decision? Given the above it is hardly surprising that the Ombudsman’s office was unable to refute the voluminous documentary evidence I supplied to them. My evidence may have been indisputable, but my complaint was dismissed nevertheless. I repeat my concerns made to the Ombudsman regarding the specific failings of the Ombudsman’s office in regard to my complaint: “I am concerned that the NSW Ombudsman, in responding to my complaint, has failed or completely abandoned his responsibility which (20) “is to make sure that agencies we watch over fulfil their functions properly and improve their delivery of services to the public.” You have also failed or abandoned your responsibility to oversee Council activities (21), “We handle complaints about local councils and help make sure councils act fairly and reasonably. We can look at the conduct of councillors and council employees and the administrative conduct of the council itself.” You have failed in 3 specific areas. 1. Firstly, Council states quite clearly that it is implementing the provisions of the 500 page United Nations plan called “Agenda 21”. The Commonwealth government says Council has no legislative power to implement this program and I have asked you if this is correct, whether Council has the legal power to introduce this program, or any other foreign program for that matter, and from whence does Council derive the legal authority to enforce any or all of the Agenda 21 package. You responded by completely avoiding my complaint and my questions and instead you fabricated a new fictitious complaint about LEP’s and land use and proceeded to answer this new complaint which was created by you. 2. Although Agenda 21 is United Nations program, you approved as factual and accurate Council’s claim that Agenda 21 is a local program which has no relationship to any foreign agency. Clearly you are seeking to condone or cover up Council untruths here. I supplied voluminous evidence regarding improper conduct of Council but once again you completely ignored all this evidence. Introduction Eurobodalla Shire Council, like many councils, has been busy using the provisions of the United Nations Agenda 21 program to undermine human rights and freedoms, particularly property rights (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15). To make matters worse, the public have not been informed of the implications of Agenda 21 and are kept in a high state of ignorance by all three levels of government. In fact this public ignorance is one of the hallmarks of the program and seems to be a prerequisite for the successful implementation of what otherwise would be a democratically unacceptable foreign program. In view of these facts I expressed my concerns to Eurobodalla Council in a series of emails which are documented in Appendix A. However, the dismissing of my concerns by council ultimately resulted in my contacting the NSW Ombudsman. On 1st of August 2012 I submitted a complaint to the NSW Ombudsman regarding Eurobodalla Councils implementation of the United Nations Agenda 21 program. This paper documents that complaint and the response from the Ombudsman. The reader should note however, that since this complaint was initiated there have been Council elections with the consequent restructuring of Eurobodalla Council. Summary of Initial Complaint to Ombudsman Initially, in my complaint, I documented the responsibility of Council to truthfully inform the public. Council notes the unacceptability of “illegal decisions”, “decisions not in the public interest”, “decisions which would not withstand public scrutiny,” “conflicts of interest”, but also dishonest decisions or those reflecting poorly on Council integrity are also unacceptable. But in forcing upon local residents, with absolutely no legislative authority, a program which was produced by a foreign agency, and is monitored by a foreign agency, Council has gone way beyond its legal authority and has relied upon fictitious powers to force its will upon residents. Furthermore, Councils complete failure to properly inform and educate the local community regarding the foreign nature of this program, the foreign monitoring of the program, and the totality or end goals of the program, reveals that Council has completely abrogated its role as a Council and working with the community in the interests of the community. So complete has been Councils failure to truthfully inform the public that the prospect of deliberate deception must be very carefully investigated. I then proceeded to summarise my complaint and supply back up evidence. Summary of Complaint 1. Council Enforcing Foreign Program With no Legislative Support Council, as confirmed by its own Settlement Strategy document (16), is attempting to enforce upon the local community the provisions of a foreign UN initiated and monitored program called Agenda 21. As is aptly pointed out by the Commonwealth Government (17), there is no statutory basis for enforcing this program upon the community. Why is Eurobodalla Council being permitted to enforce a foreign initiative upon the local community without any legislative requirement? Is Council empowered to respond directly to foreign agencies? What limits have been imposed upon this? Is any Local Government empowered to indiscriminately enforce foreign programs upon local residents? What action will you take about this and when? 2. Council resorting to dishonesty or misleading information. Initially I asked Council : “I was advised that Council supports a regressive rural land policy based upon the requirements of the UN Agenda 21 program, a program currently being banned overseas. Is this correct? On behalf of Council, Mr Hitchenson responded: “Unfortunately the information you have been given is incorrect.” However, as noted above and below, Mr Hitchenson’s response is not true or accurate since Council admits its policy is indeed based upon Agenda 21. What disciplinary action will be taken about this and when? Subsequently Mr Hitchenson responded in regard to Agenda 21: “With regards to your specific questions about Agenda 21, I wish to advise that Council is required by law to act in an environmentally sustainable manner.” So though Council claims I had been incorrectly advised about Council implementing Agenda 21, now Council claims, re Agenda 21, they are “required to act by law.” As already noted however, AG 21 has no legislative basis. Council also goes to some length to repeatedly emphasise their policies have no foreign connection whatsoever but have been locally formulated. According to Council: “Eurobodalla Shire Council has not decided to have its environmental and land use policies determined by any foreign agency – Council does not report to the United Nations or any other foreign agency. No foreign agency has any involvement in Council’s processes for determining environmental or land use policy – There is no monitoring of Council’s environmental or land use policies by any foreign agency – Further, Eurobodalla Shire Council is not promoting or implementing any foreign based and initiated restrictions on Eurobodalla land owners.” As I point out to Council however, “Council admits its policies are based upon AG 21 and AG21 is a UN policy and the UN is a foreign agency; if any of this is incorrect please supply proof, if not, let us cease arguing about simple facts – council has agreed to the provisions of Agenda 21 and chapter 38.11 of AG 21 clearly sets out the UN’s monitoring provisions, which are of course carried out with the assistance of all 3 levels of government. Since Council agreed to adopt Agenda 21 Council would also have been aware of the monitoring provisions which are an integral part of the program.” Council further underlines the dependence of its environmental/sustainability policies upon Agenda 21 and foreign agencies with its admission in its Greenhouse Action Plan that such policies are derived from ICLEI (2), an Agenda 21 promotional organisation. In fact, Section 7.21 of Agenda 21, specifically recommends involvement with ICLEI. According to Maurice Strong in the Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide (4), “The task of mobilizing and technically supporting Local Agenda 21 planning in these communities has been led by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and national associations of local government.” And further, according to ICLEI, “In 1991, at the invitation of Secretariat for the UN Conference on Environment and Development, ICLEI presented a draft of Chapter 28 of Agenda 21 including the mandate for all local authorities to prepare a ‘local Agenda 21’.” Once again information supplied by Council is false, unless of course Council is either declaring its own documents to be false or claiming the UN is not a foreign agency. What disciplinary action will you take about this and when? 3. Abandonment of Democracy, Divisiveness, and Acting Against the Interests of Ratepayers, and Refusing to Truthfully Advise Ratepayers. I asked Council the following questions as evidenced below: “Has Council offered local residents the choice between a locally designed, monitored and implemented environmental/sustainability plan as an alternative to plans designed and monitored by a foreign agency (the UN)? Council has completely ignored this question. Do you intend to clearly state your policies in regard to the above matters for the upcoming local elections?” Council has completely ignored this question. “Has Council warned residents of the undemocratic nature of Agenda 21 plans, their UN origin, and their full agenda and final goals? If so please supply documentary evidence (notices, media releases etc)? In response Council stated: “Eurobodalla Shire Council has not decided to deny residents a democratic choice in terms of the setting of environmental or land use policy – All of Council’s environmental and land use policies are determined by Council in consultation with the Eurobodalla community- As I have previously advised, the Eurobodalla Settlement Strategy was developed in consultation with the Eurobodalla community. I have also previously advised that there was extensive community consultation in the preparation of the Eurobodalla Community Strategic Plan – Council will therefore continue to work with the community to develop local solutions to local environmental issues.” So far Council has not been able to produce even one document they have produced with the purpose of educating the public about the UN origin of Agenda 21, and the totality or end goals of Agenda 21. As a result, I responded to Council: “I have repeatedly asked Council to provide copies of media releases or council notices informing residents of the UN origin and monitoring of AG21 and the full agenda or long term goals of AG21 but so far council has been unable to produce even one document in support of their claim that they have communicated with the community and given them a democratic choice – I have asked why the Council felt unable to utilise its own locally produced and monitored sustainability plan but instead felt the need to import a UN plan but have received no answer to this. Has this been explained to residents during your consultation with them?” The high level of ignorance about AG 21 in the local community is patently obvious and is a sad reflection of Council’s community spirit and its total abandonment of community education, its duty of care, and any sense of social conscience or commitment. What disciplinary action will you take about this and when? Ombudsman’s Response to Initial Complaint In my complaint to the Ombudsman I first made the following point. “Council Enforcing Foreign Program With no Legislative Support Council, as confirmed by its own Settlement Strategy document (16), is attempting to enforce upon the local community the provisions of a foreign UN initiated and monitored program called Agenda 21. As is aptly pointed out by the Commonwealth Government (17), there is no statutory basis for enforcing this program upon the community. Why is Eurobodalla Council being permitted to enforce a foreign initiative upon the local community without any legislative requirement? Is Council empowered to respond directly to foreign agencies? What limits have been imposed upon this? Is any Local Government empowered to indiscriminately enforce foreign programs upon local residents? What action will you take about this and when?” I received the following response from Phoebe Tan of the Ombudsman’s office: “Council’s decision to consider Agenda 21 when developing their environmental and land use policies is a discretionary decision and doing so does not avoid the requirement that such policies must be deemed to comply with the Act by the Director-General of the Department of Planning and ultimately, the Minister for Planning.” In reply I pointed out to the Ombudsman that my complaint did not specifically mention land use policies and nowhere in Council documentation did Council claim its implementation of AG 21 was limited to the land use policies of the AG21 program. “Seems for some reason you have decided to limit your Agenda 21 comments to “land use policies” whereas this was not my complaint. Why do you suggest my complaint about AG21 is only about “land use policies” when I did not state this? Council states quite clearly that they endorse ALL the provisions of Agenda 21” (16). I then outlined some of the requirements of Agenda 21, requirements which were endorsed by Eurobodalla Council since Council did not seek to qualify or limit their endorsement of Agenda 21 in any way. According to the UN, Agenda 21 is (18) “a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.” These provisions include control of pollution, land use, limiting consumption, conservation, health, development, agriculture, biodiversity, water, women, farming, to name but a few. Additionally, participants in Agenda 21 agree to UN supervision and monitoring. In specific connection with local government AG21 states (19): “All local authorities in each country should be encouraged to implement and monitor programmes which aim at ensuring that women and youth are represented in decision-making, planning and implementation processes. Activities 28.3. Each local authority should enter into a dialogue with its citizens, local organizations and private enterprises and adopt “a local Agenda 21″. Through consultation and consensusbuilding, local authorities would learn from citizens and from local, civic, community, business and industrial organizations and acquire the information needed for formulating the best strategies. The process of consultation would increase household awareness of sustainable development issues. Local authority programmes, policies, laws and regulations to achieve Agenda 21 objectives would be assessed and modified, based on local programmes adopted. Strategies could also be used in supporting proposals for local, national, regional and international funding. 28.4. Partnerships should be fostered among relevant organs and organizations such as UNDP, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and UNEP, the World Bank, regional banks, the International Union of Local Authorities, the World Association of the Major Metropolises, Summit of Great Cities of the World, the United Towns Organization and other relevant partners, with a view to mobilizing increased international support for local authority programmes. An important goal would be to support, extend and improve existing institutions working in the field of local authority capacity-building and local environment management. For this purpose: (a) Habitat and other relevant organs and organizations of the United Nations system are called upon to strengthen services in collecting information on strategies of local authorities, in particular for those that need international support; (b) Periodic consultations involving both international partners and developing countries could review strategies and consider how such international support could best be mobilized. Such a sectoral consultation would complement concurrent country-focused consultations, such as those taking place in consultative groups and round tables.” The Ombudsman was unable to refute any of this information of course since it is taken directly from the Agenda 21 document published by the United Nations. I asked the Ombudsman again: “Why is Eurobodalla Council being permitted to enforce a foreign initiative upon the local community without any legislative requirement? Is Council empowered to respond directly to foreign agencies? What limits have been imposed upon this? Is any Local Government empowered to indiscriminately enforce foreign programs upon local residents? What action will you take about this and when?” My questions regarding implementation were NOT limited to land use decisions though for some reason you have chosen to make this claim. Council has nowhere limited its implementation of AG21 to land use decisions only in spite of your apparent conclusion in this regard. Especially since the Commonwealth government has said Council has no legal power (17) to implement the provisions of “Agenda 21”, how are they permitted to implement this foreign program? The mere statement by Council that it is implementing AG21 is, according to Commonwealth, a violation of its own powers. Are you contradicting the Commonwealth and suggesting Council is legally entitled to enforce any or all of the provisions of the Agenda 21 package? FACT: Eurobodalla Council has confirmed it is implementing the extensive UN package of reforms described as “Agenda 21”. FACT: Agenda 21 is a comprehensive UN program which has no clear end point but which contains hundreds of provisions which aim to control our lives and yet you, for some reason, have chosen to ignore my complaint and confine the discussion to land use policies only. FACT: The Commonwealth government has stated Council has no legislative authority to implement AG21.” The Ombudsman, though unable to refute my evidence, failed to respond to any of my above points. I asked the Ombudsman again: “For some reason you have sought to turn my complaint into a complaint about land use only and ignore the actual facts of my complaint which relate to AG21 itself and the behaviour and authority of Council. Why?” In my complaint I also drew attention to supply of inaccurate, misleading, or untruthful information by council but the Ombudsman’s only response to Council deception was: “I acknowledge your complaint that council has answered none of your questions. I have read your complaint and the supporting documentation you have provided, including several responses from Mr Mark Hitchenson, Land Use Planning Coordinator for the council. Mr Hitchenson’s emails to you demonstrate that the council has been appropriately responsive to your contact and the issues you have raised. That the council has not answered ‘every’ question is not wrong conduct that warrants further investigation by this office.” I replied to the Ombudsman: “You have made absolutely no comment or judgement about the accuracy or truthfulness of Council’s responses but yet this was fundamental to my complaint. Why? Are you suggesting Council was truthful, accurate and open? Are you suggesting Council did not breach the Council Code of Conduct? FACT: Council readily admits it is implementing Agenda 21; FACT: Agenda 21 is a foreign UN program; FACT: The UN monitors implementation of AG21 FACT: Council has repeatedly denied their policies have any connection with a foreign agency. Council claims are blatantly false and untrue and yet you have described this as being “appropriately responsive”. Why, and on what basis, do you consider factual inaccuracies and untruths as an appropriate response? Please reveal where Council responded “appropriately” by accurately informing me about the UN basis and monitoring of AG21. If you cannot show me this then my question remains; why are you seeking to condone or cover up their dishonesty? Is this your personal decision, or an official decision of the Ombudsman’s office? Council has made repeated statements which are factually inaccurate and untruthful and yet you have concluded that this dishonesty is quite acceptable. Why? On what basis do you condone this dishonesty? Are you suggesting this dishonesty conforms to the Code of Conduct? As a result of the Ombudsman’s response I responded thus: So are you endorsing and supporting the numerous untruths told by Council, and the misinformation supplied by Council, which is in direct breach of the Council Code of conduct? Is this correct? Or are you suggesting the Council told no untruths, did not supply misinformation, and did not violate the Code of Conduct? I further expressed my concern regarding the Ombudsman’s response and detailed specific failings of the Ombudsman’s office in regard to my complaint: “I am concerned that the NSW Ombudsman, in responding to my complaint, has failed or completely abandoned his responsibility which (20) “is to make sure that agencies we watch over fulfil their functions properly and improve their delivery of services to the public.” You have also failed or abandoned your responsibility to oversee Council activities (21), “We handle complaints about local councils and help make sure councils act fairly and reasonably. We can look at the conduct of councillors and council employees and the administrative conduct of the council itself.” You have failed in 3 specific areas. 3. Firstly, Council states quite clearly that it is implementing the provisions of the 500 page United Nations plan called “Agenda 21”. The Commonwealth government says Council has no legislative power to implement this program and I have asked you if this is correct, whether Council has the legal power to introduce this program, or any other foreign program for that matter, and from whence does Council derive the legal authority to enforce any or all of the Agenda 21 package. You responded by completely avoiding my complaint and my questions and instead you fabricated a new fictitious complaint about LEP’s and land use and proceeded to answer this new complaint which was created by you. 4. Although Agenda 21 is United Nations program, you approved as factual and accurate Council’s claim that Agenda 21 is a local program which has no relationship to any foreign agency. Clearly you are seeking to condone or cover up Council untruths here. 5. I supplied voluminous evidence regarding improper conduct of Council but once again you completely ignored all this evidence. I continued to express my concerns to the Ombudsman regarding his response. “In your response you stated as in red below. Council’s environmental and land use policies When councils develops its planning policies such as the Local Environment Plan (LEP), council must follow the process set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the Act). More specifically, councils must publicly exhibit amendments to the LEP, invite public comment and consider any submissions received. The draft LEP is then sent to the DirectorGeneral of the Department of Planning for a report to the Minister for Planning who makes the final decision to amend the LEP. The Director-General must report to the Minister on whether the draft LEP has met all the requirements of the Act. This office generally does not take up complaints about the changes to the content of LEPs because the Minister for Planning makes the final decision on a proposal to rezone land, and we have no power to investigate the conduct of a Minister.” “While I thank you for the information, what has all this got to do with my complaint? I did not mention land use and LEP’s but yet here you are answering a complaint I did not make. Why? Why invent a new complaint that I did not make and then proceed to answer it? I repeat: FACT: Eurobodalla Council has confirmed it is implementing the extensive UN package of reforms described as “Agenda 21”. FACT: Agenda 21 is a comprehensive UN program which has no clear end point but which contains hundreds of provisions which aim to control our lives and yet you, for some reason, have chosen to ignore my complaint and confine the discussion to land use policies only. FACT: The Commonwealth government has stated Council has no legislative authority to implement AG21. FACT: Council readily admits it is implementing Agenda 21; FACT: Agenda 21 is a foreign UN program; FACT: The UN monitors implementation of AG21 FACT: Council has repeatedly denied their policies have any connection with a foreign agency. I have provided extensive documentation from the United Nations, the government, and Council, to substantiate ALL of the above facts. You have not been able to dispute or disprove ANY of that evidence. You describe Council’s dishonesty about the United Nations origin of Agenda 21 thus: “Mr Hitchenson’s emails to you demonstrate that the council has been appropriately responsive to your contact and the issues you have raised.” So according to the Office of the NSW Ombudsman, concealing the truth, or blatant dishonesty, is an “appropriate” Council response and does not violate the Council Code of Conduct. Is this correct? If not, in light of the above facts, please explain how their denial of foreign involvement is truthful. Are you suggesting both the government and the United Nations are wrong about the foreign origin of AG21?” The above points I made in my complaint, backed up by extensive evidence from the United Nations, the Australian government, and Eurobodalla Council, were not refuted by the Ombudsman even though my complaints were nevertheless dismissed. The Council was untruthful and supplied misleading or deliberately false information about the foreign UN origin of Agenda 21 and yet this dishonesty was apparently approved by the Ombudsman. Adding to this deception was the fact that the Council were unable to supply a copy of even one press release or council notice explaining to residents the full details of AG 21 and its UN origins. Nevertheless, the Ombudsman seemingly gave his seal of approval to Council’s deceptive and misleading behaviour and their determination NOT to explain to residents the full implications of AG 21. Second Response from Ombudsman’s Office – from Ombudsman Bruce Barbour As a result of my above objections to the initial response of the Ombudsman’s office from Phoebe Tan, the matter was then referred to Ombudsman Bruce Barbour for further consideration. But for some reason, the Ombudsman chose to completely omit all my complaints about Council’s dishonesty and Council’s responsibility to supply truthful information. According to Ombudsman Bruce Barbour’s new description of my complaint, my complaint was only about the “legislative authority” of Council. Barbour’s analysis of my complaint contrasts sharply with the earlier analysis by Phoebe Tan. “You complain that the council’s environmental and land use policies are being determined and monitored by the United Nations (UN) as the council have stated that it supports the UN’s Agenda 21 policy.” The reader can see that I have made my complaint perfectly clear but yet the Ombudsman’s office was obviously very confused with Phoebe Tan and Bruce Barbour contradicting each other regarding the fundamental nature of my complaint. In Barbour’s defence however, it should be noted that Tan’s claim that my complaint was confined to “land use policies” was apparently invented by her. However, though I asked why this fictitious complaint about land use policies had been invented by the Ombudsman’s office, Barbour refused to comment upon this, preferring instead to state that he agreed with Tan’s analysis even though he changed my complaint to a complaint about the “legislative authority” of Council. Tan’s acknowledgement of my concerns about the UN monitoring of Council Agenda 21 policies was of course correct, but for some reason Barbour, in further apparent disagreement with Tan, deleted this from his analysis of the subject of my complaint. The Ombudsmans office is clearly in complete disarray with complainants having their complaints twisted and censored and staff openly contradicting each othar about the subject of a complaint. The Ombudsman’s office accepts a complaint, then processes and sterilises the complaint and spits out a completely new complaint, then, after arguing about the subject of the complaint, adjudicates on the merits of the complaint. How can they ever arrive at a correct and just decision? Barbour went on to say he agreed with the reply I received from Mark Hitchenson of Eurobodalla Council: The comments made by Hitchenson, with which the Ombudsman fully agrees, are as follows: “Eurobodalla Shire Council has not decided to have its environmental and land use policies determined by any foreign agency. Council does not report to the United Nations or any other foreign agency. No foreign agency has any involvement in Council’s processes for determining environmental or land use policy. There is no monitoring of Council’s environmental or land use policies by any foreign agency. Eurobodalla Shire Council has not decided to deny residents a democratic choice in terms of the setting of environmental or land use policy. Further, Eurobodalla Shire Council is not promoting or implementing any foreign based and initiated restrictions on Eurobodalla land owners. All of Council’s environmental and land use policies are determined by Council in consultation with the Eurobodalla community……This should leave you in no doubt that Council has and will continue to provide all Eurobodalla residents with the opportunity to be involved in the setting of local policies and that Council is not undemocratically implementing any foreign agenda.” The fact that Agenda 21 is a foreign UN program, and it is program monitored by a foreign Agency (the UN) is simply indisputable as is clear from the above evidence. Also perfectly clear is the fact that Eurobodalla Council not only failed to publicise and inform the community about these facts, but even worse, when I questioned them they concealed the truth and supplied highly misleading and deceptive information. Additionally, the Council was unable to supply even one media release or Council notice showing they had attempted to explain to residents the full implications of AG 21. In spite of all these facts, the NSW Ombudsman has endorsed and stated his agreement with the above misinformation supplied by Eurobodalla Council. The NSW Ombudsman continued to offer the following explanation of his response in his letter. This information of course is completely irrelevant to my complaint and the reason for its inclusion in the Ombudsman’s response is unclear. Of course I have never suggested the Council is a signatory to the agreement. Quite the opposite in fact since I pointed out that Council had no legislative authority to enforce AG21 upon local residents. Signatory or not, the fact remains that implementation is monitored by the United Nations. The Ombudsman continues in his letter. The reason the Ombudsman included this information is also unclear, unless he was somehow meaning to suggest that the “community consultations” he referred to in some way indicate that Council has attempted to honestly inform the public about AG21. Quite the opposite is true in fact. The Ombudsman has seemingly confirmed that he was unable to document any community consultations conducted by Council which were intended to convey to the public the full implications of AG21 and its United Nations origin. In all of these community consultations, the Ombudsman has confirmed that not one was designed to explain the full implications of AG21 to residents. The Council it seems, specifically avoided explaining the full details of AG 21 to local residents. Even though the Ombudsman is supplying further evidence here to support my allegation that Council has not even attempted to explain the full implications of AG21 to local residents, nevertheless, somehow he dismissed my complaint! The Ombudsman continues in his letter. The Ombudsman is careful here NOT to deny Council has exceeded its legislative authority. He simply makes the point that he does not have the information “before” him to confirm any such abuse of Council powers. The Ombudsman carefully avoided responding to my quote from the Commonwealth government that Councils have no legislative authority to enforce AG21 (2) : “Many local governments work in areas beyond statutory requirements, such as Local Agenda 21 and Cities for Climate Protection.” The fact remains that Eurobodalla Council ARE enforcing AG21 and the Commonwealth government says they do not have the legislative power to enforce it. The NSW Ombudsman clearly, and no doubt wisely, refused to contradict the Commonwealth, preferring instead to suggest he did not have sufficient information. APPENDIX M Correspondence With Greg Hunt, Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage Unanswered email of 22/12/2012 Hi Greg, Unfortunately, though you prefer to ” draw this engagement to a conclusion”, this matter is just emerging and will be a factor at the next election. Australians are looking for politicians with a commitment to Australia, not a commitment to importing everything, including UN sustainability programs. But Australians are also looking for a commitment to democracy, truth and political integrity, not backroom deals and covert undeclared policies in which they have no say. Ignoring these matters will fracture the conservative vote and encourage new parties. I find it interesting that you mentioned global government and global conspiracy in regard to Agenda 21. I did not mention these terms or make this connection although of course I acknowledge an awareness of discussions about this, including discussions in the Federal parliament. I also acknowledge statements from the UN to the effect that the limitations of state sovereignty are restricting their global governance aspirations. I also acknowledge the simple fact that the independence and sovereignty of Australia has been progressively reduced over the past 2 decades by various political mechanisms. Are all these changes accidental or deliberate? You would know the answer to this better than I would. Suffice to say that successive governments conspicuously avoid arresting this process by strengthening our sovereignty and independence. What is your policy? More of the same? Or would you adopt a policy of strengthening Australia’s sovereignty and independence? Your question “Can I ask if you honestly think that John Howard was involved in some global Government Green left conspiracy” is curious and irrelevant. I find it interesting that you prefer to waste time with such a question and avoid all the real issues I raised. You seem to be more concerned about what you label ‘conspiracies’ than about the nationwide implementation of AG21 to which I referred. You seem more concerned with conspiracies than the warning your government issued about councils exceeding their legislative authority. And you expressed no concern whatsoever that according to legal experts AG21 is being used to destroy the traditional anthropocentric values of our legal system(see previous encl), even though, being a lawyer, you would be well aware of this. Are these legal experts all wrong? When you describe AG21 as a “dead, irrelevant declaration”, are you suggesting our laws are not being rewritten to endorse the ecocentric principles of AG21 as legal experts claim? And are you suggesting AG21 is not currently being implemented around Australia? And are you suggesting that your government was wrong when they acknowledged in their 2006 SOE report that AG21 is being introduced by councils? If you look on the government’s web site http://www.environment.gov.au/about/international/uncsd/index.html#agenda21 you will see “Australia’s commitment to Agenda 21 is reflected in a strong national response to meet our obligations under this international agreement.” Is this what you mean by a dead irrelevant declaration? You mentioned John Howard. As you must be aware, the Howard government complied with the dictates of the UN that they must send regular implementation reports to the UN to confirm the details of implementation (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Of course this was done undemocratically with no declared policy Australians could vote on. These reports of course involved huge government resources and involved a huge number of bureaucrats and politicians as you can see here (8): How Was This Report Written? The preparation of this report was overseen by an editorial committee composed of the following members: National (Commonwealth Government) members: · the Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories (convenor); · the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; · the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; · the Department of Primary Industries and Energy; and · the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). State and Local Government members: · a representative of the Government of the State of Victoria, nominated by the Intergovernmental Committee for Ecologically Sustainable Development to represent all States and Territories; and · the Australian Local Government Association. Non-government organisation members: · the Australian Conservation Foundation; · the Australian Council for Overseas Aid; and · the Business Council of Australia. Initial drafts of each chapter of the report were prepared by a Commonwealth Government department or agency with the relevant domestic responsibility. These drafts were provided to the editorial committee, all State, Territory and Local Government members of the Intergovernmental Committee for Ecologically Sustainable Development, and to approximately twenty non-government organisations (NGOs) with interests in the subject matter of the reports. Comments and suggestions from all groups were referred to the editorial committee and the report was finalised on the basis of the committee’s recommendations. The editorial committee took the view that, wherever possible, NGO suggestions on matters of fact or emphasis should be reflected in the body of the report. Where comments critical of government policy could not be accommodated in the official response to the CSD guidelines, text reflecting the comments provided by NGOs was agreed by the editorial committee and included in the report as an identified NGO comment. The report was drafted prior to the March 1996 Federal election which brought about a change of government. It has been approved by the new Government as a document describing policies and programs which were in effect prior to or as at the end of 1995. The final report was approved by the following Ministers: · the Minister for the Environment, Senator the Hon Robert Hill; · the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Alexander Downer MP; · the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, the Hon John Anderson MP; and · the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator the Hon Warwick Parer. And again here (9): UNCSD – NATIONAL LEVEL COORDINATION STRUCTURE OF AGENDA 21 ACTIONS (Fact Sheet – CSD 1999) 1. Key National Sustainable Development Coordination Mechanism(s) (e.g, Councils, Commissions, Inter-Ministerial Working Groups). Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Working Groups The principle of sustainable development is now broadly accepted and built into the working programs of the key bodies of national governance which bring together the National and State governments. An example of these key bodies are Ministerial Councils, including: Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ) Australian and New Zealand Minerals and Energy Council (ANZMEC) Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture (MCFFA) Australian Transport Council 2. Membership/Composition/Chairperson 2a. List of ministries and government agencies involved: Agencies involved in COAG are: Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet New South Wales Cabinet Office Victorian Department of the Premier and Cabinet Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet Western Australian Ministry of the Premier and Cabinet South Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet Tasmanian Department of the Premier and Cabinet Northern Territory Department of the Chief Minister Australian Capital Territory Chief minister’s Department Other Ministries that contribute to other coordination mechanisms such as the Ministerial Councils include: Australian Greenhouse Office Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade New South Wales Environment Protection Authority New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service New South Wales Department of Land and Water Conservation New South Wales Fisheries New South Wales State Forests Victorian Environment Protection Agency Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment Queensland Department of Natural Resources Queensland Department of Primary Industries Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Western Australian Department of Environmental Protection Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management Western Australian Fisheries South Australian Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Resources Tasmanian Department of the Primary Industries, Water and Environment Northern Territory Department of Lands, Planning and Environment Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Australian Capital Territory Department of Urban Services 2b. Names of para-statal bodies and institutions involved, as well as participation of academic and private sectors: A range of groups may be consulted on an issues basis, including: Association of Australian Ports and Marine Authorities Inc. Australian Local Government Association National Academies Forum National Environmental Law Association Royal Australian Planning Institute Australian Business Chamber Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Australian Industry Greenhouse Network Sustainable Technologies Australia Australian Chamber of Manufacturers Australian Institute of Petroleum Ltd Minerals Council of Australia National Association of Forest Industries National Farmers’ Federation Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association Business Council of Australia The Institution of Engineers, Australia Pulp and Paper Manufacturers Federation of Australia Environment Management Industry Association of Australia Waste Management Association of Australia Australian Seafood Industry Council Recfish Australia Australian Automobile Association Australian Coal Association Australian Gas Association Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Ltd. Electricity Supply Association of Australia Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Metal trades industry Association Road Transport Forum Tourism Council Australia 2c. Names of non-governmental organisations: A number of non-government organisations are consulted on an issues basis, including: Australian Council for Overseas Aid Australian Conservation Foundation Greenpeace Australia World Wide Fund for Nature OzChild Australian Council of Social Services Australian Council of National Trustees Australian Marine Conservation Society Australian National Parks Council Humane Society International Clean Up Australia Ltd. Keep Australia Beautiful Association Birds Australia National Toxics Network Urban Ecology Australia Inc. Ecological Society of Australia Environs Australia Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales Queensland Conservation Council Conservation Council of South Australia Conservation Council of Western Australia Tasmanian Conservation Trust Inc. The Environment Centre Northern Territory CONSERAC Victorian National Parks Association 3. Mandate/role of above mechanism/council: COAG’s objectives include increasing cooperation among governments in the national interest, and consultation on major whole-of-government issues arising from Ministerial Council deliberations and on major initiatives of one government which impact on other governments. Groups such as ANZECC, ANZMEC, ARMCANZ, MCFFA report to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). When considering intergovernmental matters which have implications beyond the areas of responsibility of Ministers on a Council, liaison between Ministerial Councils is carried out through the respective Chairs, to ensure that relevant factors are taken into account. Chairs of Ministerial Councils may then report to Heads of Government on issues which have major cross-portfolio or whole-of-government implications. Submitted by Name: Andrew Ross Signature: Title: Director, Intergovernment Unit Date: Ministry/Office: Environment Australia Telephone: + 61 2 6274 1387 Fax: + 61 2 6274 1858 e-mail: Andrew.Ross@ea.gov.au Your claims that AG21 is a non-binding dead agreement (and you are unaware of the above) clearly contradict testimony by your own political party and your own colleagues. You are, for some reason, simply denying the truth, denying the facts. But it gets worse since you claim “we have no powers over local Governments.” I notice you failed to mention former Minister for Environment Robert Hill’s endorsement of the Commonwealth’s Local Agenda 21 guide for councils. According to the Minister: In 1992, the United Nations released a ground-breaking action plan for sustainable development called Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is a blueprint that sets out actions we can all take to contribute to global sustainability in the 21st century. It recognises that most environmental challenges have their roots in local activities and therefore encourages Local Governments to promote local environmental, economic and social sustainability by translating the principles of sustainable development into strategies that are meaningful to local communities. This process is called Local Agenda 21 (LA21). The importance of LA21 was recognised in June 1997 by APEC Ministers for Sustainable Development when they set an APEC-wide target of doubling the number of Councils with LA21s by 2003. At the time there were approximately 61 councils in Australia with LA21 programs in place. The importance of local ESD has been further recognised by Environment ministers from all Australian jurisdictions (meeting as the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC)) when they agreed to encourage the implementation of LA21 in their own jurisdictions in order to meet the APEC LA21 target in Australia. In July 1999 ANZECC Ministers agreed to encourage LA21 in their jurisdictions through an ANZECC LA21 Achievement Award. The award will promote LA21 by recognising best practice and raising the profile of LA21 amongst Local Government. Since the Pathways to Sustainability Conference in June 1997 and the release of the Newcastle Declaration, we have seen the growth of Local Agenda 21 initiatives and the LA21 movement in Australia. Moving ahead on sustainable development is not an easy task but it is essential to secure Australia’s future. Australia needs leadership on sustainable development and many Australian Local Governments are providing that leadership… We are now starting to see strong synergies in Australia between LA21 and other sustainable development issues like greenhouse gas emission reduction, integrated coastal management, biodiversity conservation and the objectives of the Natural Heritage Trust.” Are you suggesting that Robert Hill was also unaware AG21 is “dead”? Let us be serious Greg. We both know AG21 is being implemented nationwide and this is being done without giving Australians a democratic choice. To deny this is to deny reality and suggest you are incompetent and unintelligent which I do not believe is so. So let us move on. Instead of constantly denying reality and arguing in the negative, what positive policies will you bring to the election to restore democracy and counter AG21. In the interests of Australian citizens, will you follow the American lead and ban all imported sustainability programs such as AG21? Are you prepared to take positive action, or merely continue arguing and pretending reality is not happening? I have been very patient and given you every opportunity only to have you insult my intelligence by denying simple facts. Isn’t Australia more important to you than that? Regards Graham Williamson —–Original Message—– From: Hunt, Greg (MP) [mailto:Greg.Hunt.MP@aph.gov.au] Sent: Friday, 21 December 2012 8:30 PM To: Graham Subject: Re: Mitigation strategy For the final time i had never heard of the issue, heard it raised by Ministers, MP’s pr constituents until 19 years after the ing was apparently signed. Given that you are int he same position we a subject to the same degree of knowledge. Can I ask if you honestly think that John Howard was involved in some global Government Green left conspiracy? Given that for the first 19 years the issue appears to have escaped both of our attention can I respectfully suggest that the discovery of a dead, irrelevant declaration 19 years after the fact may cause everyone to be calm. I respect your views and encourage you to find and approach any councils directly and to attend Council meetings to announce and denounce any actions which you believe are part of a global conspiracy. I genuinely respect your rights on this front. I will respectfully draw this engagement to a conclusion and encourage you from here to approach State based Governments as we have no powers over local Governments. Sent from my iPad On 21/12/2012, at 6:54 PM, “Graham” wrote: Hi Greg, My interest has gradually increased over the past 12 months as I have learned more about it. You can see the summarised results of 12 months research enclosed. While I of course respect what you have said, it is very much at odds with reality as is evidenced by enclosed. Councils right around Australia are implementing Agenda 21 with the assistance of state governments. This is a simple fact. As you can see, state governments have even incorporated AG into the school curriculum. And your government has acknowledged councils continue to introduce it without legislative authority. The fact that there is such extensive nationwide implementation of this program without politicians prepared to accept responsibility is an enormous problem in itself and raises serious questions. The fact that it is being implemented without being a binding agreement raises even more questions as to why this is so. As you no doubt realise however, experts have pointed out(including human rights commission) that non binding international agreements commonly end up being incorporated into state laws. To summarise. Fact 1 Agenda 21 is being implemented nationwide by state governments and councils. (see encl) Do you deny this? Fact 2 Though you claim that I had never heard of it raised once during the entire period of the Howard Government in the party room or in ministerial discussions” in fact it was included in 2006 SOE report under your watch. Do you deny this? Fact 3 Since the continuing implementation of AG21 is a simple fact, this raises serious questions about who is taking political responsibility for this since the electorate has never been given a democratic choice and politicians, like yourself, deny knowledge of it even though bureaucrats under their portfolio are implementing it (as is clearly evidenced from enclosed) Do you deny this?. Part of the problem of course was the decision by successive governments that Australia needed an imported sustainability program, one that was designed by a foreign agency and was monitored by the CSD(part of UN). Of course, governments, such as the Howard government, were required to send annual implementation reports to the CSD. You seem to be denying all this is happening and the politicians, bureaucrats, and other experts cited in the enclosed are all mistaken or not telling the truth. Is this correct? Australians are very concerned about what is happening to this great country and when hundreds of politicians, bureaucrats and other experts say AG21 is being implemented and yet no current politician is prepared to accept responsibility or even give the people a choice, it reflects very poorly upon the credibility of politicians. The clear impression is created that politicians are not to be trusted and I think you deserve the opportunity to correct this. It will not be corrected by denial of the facts. You are after all, asking me to believe you had absolutely no idea about implementation of AG21 around Australia and even the warning in your government’s 2006 SOE report. Of course you are all busy with so many issues to attend to. You are however aware of it now. What will your policy be regarding AG21? Regards Graham Williamson From: Hunt, Greg (MP) [mailto:Greg.Hunt.MP@aph.gov.au] Sent: Friday, 21 December 2012 5:59 PM To: Graham Subject: Re: Mitigation strategy There is nothing to ban. It is a 20 year old non binding declaration. Councils can use any number of excuses to justify their actions. The only thing that matters is whether it is within the State alas which control them. I would also be interested to know at what point in the last 20 years yu formed the conclusion that this declaration was a gross threat. I can honestly tell you that I had never heard of it raised once during the entire period of the Howard Government in the party room or in ministerial discussions. Sent from my iPad On 21/12/2012, at 5:44 PM, “Graham” grahamhw@iprimus.com.au> wrote: Hi Greg, Thanks for that. So what will your Agenda 21 policy be should you win government? Will you be seeking to work with the Premiers to discipline Councils which are implementing Agenda 21? Or will you be more proactive and encourage Premiers to introduce legislation banning Agenda 21, as is occurring overseas? Regards Graham Williamson From: Hunt, Greg (MP) [mailto:Greg.Hunt.MP@aph.gov.au] Sent: Friday, 21 December 2012 4:32 PM To: Graham Subject: Re: Mitigation strategy Councils should not misuse a 20 year old agreement. Sent from my iPad On 21/12/2012, at 1:17 PM, “Graham” grahamhw@iprimus.com.au> wrote: Hi Greg, Thanks for that. And what about the warning issued by your government in the 2006 SOE report regarding councils exceeding their legislative authority by implementing Agenda 21? Did you or the party follow this up? What action was taken? Do you still agree with this assessment? Regards Graham Williamson From: Hunt, Greg (MP) [mailto:Greg.Hunt.MP@aph.gov.au] Sent: Friday, 21 December 2012 10:06 AM To: Graham Subject: Re: Mitigation strategy No we do not endorse a per capita budget. Sent from my iPad On 21/12/2012, at 9:00 AM, “Graham” grahamhw@iprimus.com.au> wrote: Hi Greg, As per enclosed, do you endorse the per capita approach to emissions (see encl)? One other thing, when your government warned in their 2006 SOE report that councils around Australia were exceeding their legislative authority in implementing Agenda 21, what steps did you or the Liberal party take to prevent this? Did you lobby the state parties? May I wish you and your family a safe Christmas and wonderful New Year. 
Regards Graham Williamson.

More Food from the Wild and Your Yard – Graft Fruit Trees!

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LoquatVeneerGraft4

Despite a smashed thumbnail, the author bravely grafts a loquat tree in his food forest.

I once did a horticultural analysis of a property way out in the scrublands. The owner had good clean water, no real neighbors, a great location… and hot, fast-drying, mineral-poor sand that was really, really bad for gardening.

There was no couching it. I had to tell him: this area just won’t cut it for most of your planned annual gardening projects. It will barely support much in the way of fruit or nut trees.

What it did have was a decent amount of native American persimmon trees. They were dwarfed by drought and stress, but they were strong and alive. That said, I saw very few with fruit.

With antive persimmons you deal with a variety of drawbacks. Unlike their cultivated Japanese persimmon relations, they’re dioecious. That means you have male and female trees – and you need both to get fruit. The male won’t make fruit but it does provide the pollen that allows the females to fruit.

Japanese persimmons are self-fertile, plus they make hefty, sweet fruit that’s very worth growing. They’re also regularly grafted onto American persimmon rootstock.

Seeing the wild trees gave me an idea: why not use the existing trees as rootstock for Japanese persimmons? They’re already established and growing in poor soil, making them a perfect support for a higher-producing and delicious variety of improved persimmon!

Sometimes our first observations aren’t the best. You might see a crabapple with lousy fruit in your yard and think “I hate that thing! I’ll tear it out and plant a good apple in its place!”

Step back and think about it: maybe that tough tree is a resource you can use. With grafting you can go nip some twigs off good apple trees and just graft them onto the tree you don’t like. If it’s a happy and healthy mature tree, use it! If you can graft fruit trees, you can grow more food for less money.

Another interesting factoid to consider: you know those stupid ornamental pears people grow for the blooms? You can graft REAL pears onto them. There are folks doing that in California right now by illegally “guerilla grafting” street trees:

Doesn’t that change the landscape a bit? Ornamental trees are generally a non productive liability… productive trees are a serious asset. If you’ve got ornamental pears, plums, peaches, apples, etc… why not switch them up by grafting on some good varieties?

Grafting In Local Woods and Property

Here’s another thought for you.

In my neighborhood there are wild persimmons growing here and there around the block. Some of these are on empty lots and in unused property with absentee owners. We don’t know how bad things are going to get in the future so it makes sense to grow as much food as possible near our houses… even if that food is on other people’s land right now.

Wild persimmon fruit is only found on 50% of the trees (since the other half are male). That fruit is about 1″ in diameter, plus it’s astringent and seedy.

I have Japanese persimmons in my yard that make fruit that looks like this:

Hachiya1

That fruit is as large as a beefsteak tomato and just as delicious (if not more so).

Though the legalities are rather grey, I don’t think anyone would really mind if I were to take buds off my Japanese persimmon tree and graft them into the wild trees here and there around the neighborhood. People will find it rather puzzling, sure – but be upset by it? I doubt it. Heck, at the very worst all I’ve done is improve somebody’s tree. Hehhehheh.

Just thinking out loud here. In your local woods you may have quite a few trees growing which could be judiciously improved, turning them into fruit-production machines rather than marginally useful wild specimens.

Grafting Is Easy

I know what many of you are thinking: “All the above is nice, Dave… but I don’t know how to graft fruit trees!”

I understand that feeling. I was in your shoes for a long time. Grafting was something that seemed… complicated. Planting beans? No big deal. Drying fruit? Easy.

Grafting? OMIGOSHNO! THAT LOOKS HARD!

Well… it takes a little whittling experience (unless you go this route)… and a couple of decent tools… but it isn’t really hard. If you’d like a quick illustrated guide, click here. Though it states that wood should be dormant, I’ve been able to successfully graft in summer here in Florida, at least on loquat trees.

One of my favorite (and most successful) ways to graft is called “veneer grafting.” At my site you can see how I saved the genetics of an improved loquat tree hit by a string trimmer by grafting some of its buds onto some seedling loquats.

Don’t worry about messing up. We all mess up. There’s no harm in trying something new.

This spring I grafted a big, sweet improved plum onto a sour native plum tree. I did five grafts – one took:

WildPlumGraft1

The leaves on the grafted plum variety are about 10 times the size of the weenie leaves on its native plum host. The author finds this strangely hilarious.

Now, in the fall of the same year, that branch is about 3′ long. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to have it bear fruit this coming spring.

Get yourself a sharp pocketknife, some pruning shears, a roll of grafting tape and your courage… then start experimenting.

Grafting can help you get food from unproductive trees and lots – harness it and you’ll be just that much more prepared for an uncertain future.

Save

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What is Apocalyptic Survival?

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What is Apocalyptic Survival?

There are many terms used for serious survival, apocalyptic, SHTF,TEOTWAWKI, in my book all mean the same thing; something big has gone down that seriously changes the way we live and the way we look at things around us (I do not include a nuclear strike in our vicinity that most people could not survive). It could be an invasion from another country; it could be an Alien invasion. It could mean that the grid is down from a terrorist strike. What it is not is a normal temporary black out. It is not a chemical truck turning over in your neighbourhood. So let’s get this straight, a real serious survival situation is not for hobby survivalists. A hobby survivalist can go bush for a weekend or even a weeks camp-out and they will probably be okay providing no natural disasters occur or the camp is attacked by feral humans.

Now I must say that there is nothing wrong with being a hobby prepper, providing you stay within the limits of your expertise, you should be fine. Enjoy yourself. I do not mean this to sound demeaning, but facts are facts. If someone’s main fire making tools are a ferrocerium rod, some bic lighters and a box of matches, then they are not thinking long term. They are only prepared for a short term survival situation. Anyone who carries only one knife and that knife is used for multiple bushcraft tasks is not thinking long term survival. Now a lot of these people will defend their choices of gear, and that is fine. I see no point in arguing the point. But the fact is that in a major survival situation, these people will not survive.

If you are a serious prepper/survivalist you will be using flint, steel and tinderbox as your main fire lighting tool, and you will have learnt at least one other primitive method of fire lighting as a back-up. Your main knife will be for skinning, butchering and defence, and your choice of blade will reflect this. You will have at least one other blade which will be for camp chores and general usage. You will also be carrying a belt axe/hatchet or tomahawk for the heavier cutting chores and for defence, and you will know how to use these tools to their best advantage.

My hunting knife.
My legging knife.
My friction blade clasp knife.
The serious survivalist will have some form of hunting tool suited to long term wilderness living, be it a traditional bow or a firearm. If it is a firearm then you need to think very carefully before making your choice. You know what sort of game you may encounter, and you know that you may also have to depend on this tool for defence. Do not compromise other important survival needs in your pack by carrying too much weight in ammunition. I choose to carry flintlock guns. A flintlock gun has many advantages over a modern firearm and some advantages over the use of a bow. But having said that I am still very much in favour of carrying a bow, both the bow and the flintlock gun are long term sustainable tools for wilderness living. They may have a disadvantage in a fire fight compared to a modern firearm, but I firmly believe that both are better than a modern firearm regarding their versatility and long term sustainability.
.62 caliber flintlock fusil.
.32 caliber flintlock rifle.
.70 caliber flintlock pistol.
Knowing how to make and use traps is important, their use on a trap line will save on ammunition, and they are working for you day and night. Learning primitive skills is very important; they will help keep long term, as will primitive equipment. Modern equipment will eventually run out or break down, and the hobby prepper who only carries modern gear will gradually find themselves living a Stone Age lifestyle. Those people who invest in pre 19thcentury equipment will not likely ever have to drop below that level of comfort, be it 18th century or 12th century because again, it is sustainable.
A quick word about so called 24 and 72 hour survival packs. As a get home pack I think these are a good idea, but as a survival pack to take bush, I personally would not advise it. None of us can predict how long we may have to survive in any given situation. Limiting your pack to mere hours instead of a lifetime in my opinion is pointless. Use your main survival pack all the time, whether it is just for a weekend camp or longer. This will make sure you are well prepared and it will make you more familiar with your gear.


Here below is a list of skills our group members learn and practice; also there is a list of benefits of using a flintlock muzzle-loading firearm. If you are serious about being able to survive in the future should anything major happen to affect our quality of living, then I urge you to be honest with yourself and evaluate the skills you have and the equipment you carry.

New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760.

This is a list of basic skills in which we expect an 18thcentury woodsman or woods-woman to have some experience with in our group. There is no time limit set, learn in your own time & if we can help just ask.
Keith.

·      Flint & steel fire lighting

·      Wet weather fire lighting

·      Fire-bow fire lighting

·      Flintlock fire lighting

·      Flintlock use, service & repair

·      Marksmanship with either gun or bow.

·      Field dressing & butchering game

·      Blade sharpening

·      Tomahawk throwing

·      Making rawhide

·      Brain tanning

·      Primitive shelter construction

·      How to stay warm in winter with only one blanket

·      Cordage manufacture

·      Moccasin construction and repair

·      Sewing

·      Axe and tomahawk helve making

·      Fishing

·      Hunting

·      Evasion

·      Tracking

·      Reading sign

·      Woods lore

·      Navigation

·      Primitive trap construction & trapping

·      Open fire cooking

·      Fireplace construction

·      Clothing manufacture

·      Drying meat & other foods

·      Knowledge of plant tinders & preparation

·      Knowledge of native foods & preparation

·      Knowledge of native plants in the area and their uses for other than tinder and food.

·      Scouting/Ranging.

·      Basic first aid.

·      Finding and treating water.

General leather work.


Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.

1)   Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent caliber firearm.

2)  The smoothbore is very versatile, being able to digest round ball, bird shot, & buckshot, or any combination of two of these (can also use minies).

3)  The fusil is lighter to carry than a modern equivalent sized gun.

4)  You can vary the load if needs be.

5)  The smoothbore will digest other projectiles besides lead.

6)  Lead can be retrieved from downed game & remoulded with a simple mould & lead ladle. This means that you can carry less lead, & more of the lighter gunpowder.

7)  You can make your own gunpowder.

8)  You can use the lock to make fire without the need for gunpowder.

9)  You can use gunpowder for gunpowder tinder fire lighting if needs be.

10)        IF the lock should malfunction (these are very robust & it is not likely) you can easily repair it if you are carrying a few spare springs & a few simple tools.

11) If you do not have any spare parts & the lock malfunctions, you can easily convert it to a tinderlock or matchlock & continue using it.

12)        You do not need a reloader, brass shells, caps, or primers. The latter have been known to break down in damp conditions or if they are stored for too long.

13)         Wadding for ball or shot is available from natural plant materials or homemade leather or rawhide.

14)       Less chance of being affected by future ammunition control legislation.

15)        Gunpowder is easily obtainable providing you have a muzzle-loader registered in your name regardless of caliber (NSW)

16)        A .32 caliber flintlock rifle is more powerful than a .22 rimfire, less expensive to feed, more accurate over a greater distance, able to take small & medium sized game, & other than not being able to use shot (unless it is smoothbore), it has all the attributes of the other flintlocks.

17)        Damage from a .62 caliber-.75 caliber pistol or long arm is in the extreme. Wounded prey is unlikely to escape.

18)         By using buck & ball you are unlikely to miss your target. This load is capable of taking out more than one target.

19)        There is less kick-back to a muzzle-loading gun.

20)       Antique Flintlock muzzle-loading guns do not require a license, registration, or a permit to purchase in NSW Australia.

Here is a list of the equipment that I carry. As in everything, equipment is a personal choice based on experience.

Equipment List.

.62 cal/20 gauge flintlock fusil. 42 inch barrel.

.70 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol.

Gun tools and spare lock parts.

Shot pouch and contents.

Leather drawstring pouch of .60 caliber ball (in knapsack).

Powder horn.

Ball mould and swan shot mould.

3 Gunpowder wallets

Lead ladle.

Butcher/Hunting knife.

Legging knife.

Clasp knife.

Tomahawk.

Fire bag.

Tinderbox.

Belt pouch.

Fishing tackle in brass container.

Two brass snares.

Roll of brass snare wire.

Knapsack.

Scrip.

Market Wallet.

Tin Cup.

Kettle.

Water filter bags (cotton & linen bags).

Medical Kit.

Housewife.

Piece of soap and a broken ivory comb.

Dried foods in bags.

Wooden spoon.

Compass.

Whet stone.

Small metal file.

Oilcloth.

One blanket (Monmouth cap, spare wool waistcoat and wool shirt rolled inside blanket).

Two glass saddle flasks.

Length of hemp rope.

Bottle of rum.

Roll Your Own Cigars

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If you don’t see tobacco as important to survival, I feel for you.

I’ve been growing it for years (and you can too) and during the worst days of the crash, when I was unemployed, watching friend after friend go broke and seeing folks lose their homes right and left… a good cigar was one of the few simple pleasures that made things better, at least for 45 minutes or so.

That’s not to say I was rolling my own. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to master that skill – but this video has given me some hope that I will one day:

The packing of the interior seems to be where my attempts always fall short. I’ve noticed that the elasticity of the tobacco leaf on the interior wrapper also presents problems, though I’ve been working on hydrating it better and my last couple of attempts did quite a bit better.

Sometimes it’s “try, try again,” especially when you don’t have a teacher locally.

If you don’t think you can manage to roll cigars, you might try making your own pipe tobacco or even grinding snuff with a coffee grinder. That works really well and ladies totally dig the snorting and sneezing associated with this arcane pleasure.

If all else fails, it’s pretty easy to roll a cigarette, too, but I don’t go in for those. It just doesn’t pack the “awesome” that a cigar does.

Trust me, though: if SHTF, tobacco is going to be a highly desirable commodity, no matter how it’s processed or consumed. Learn to grow it, at least – then pray you can find a Cuban friend to roll it for you.

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Apocalypse Training 101: Learn How to Survive the End of the World

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Sponsored by 5.11Tactical

When non-preppers think about how to survive the end of the world, they usually think about hoarding supplies, finding a secure place to store them and hunkering down to wait it out. It’s a nice fairy-tale, but in the real world, when SHTF, true survivors have to know how to hit back.

While it is important to stock up on supplies that you might need to survive TEOTWAWKI, having all the supplies in the world won’t help you if you can’t get to them when an apocalypse event strikes. What about defending all your supplies from desperate people trying to get them? What about protecting yourself and the people you care about? What if a flood or fire break out and you end up stranded with nothing? Even if you do manage to make it back to your supplies and feel safe, what happens when the inevitable occurs and your supplies run out?

Fitness is the First Step to Survival

The truth is, prepping is about skill and knowledge, first and foremost. Knowing what matters most is the true key to apocalypse survival, and having the skills to do whatever it takes to keep going isn’t about buying stuff; it’s about building your skill-set. That’s why the first step in learning how to prepare for the end of the world is always getting your body ready to handle whatever might come your way. In reality, every moment is an opportunity to train for the end of the world.

The Elements of Physical Fitness

crossfit

Diversify your training to see the greatest results.

Endurance. Strength. Flexibility. Creativity. These are the essential elements of apocalypse survival and training. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities in your everyday life to increase your overall capacity to execute these skills – if you make the time for it. Here’s a quick guide on how to physically prepare for SHTF:

  • Endurance. There’s just no way to build your stamina without getting after it, every day. Endurance is quite literally a marathon sport. Even if it starts with a simple walk, find a way to get moving and keep moving every day. Aim to continually increase the amount of physical activity you do, the kinds of activities you try and their level of difficulty.
  • Strength. Bodyweight exercises are a great way to strengthen and tone without a ton of equipment, while there are a range of targeted activities like CrossFit and Krav Maga that can help you home in on and improve your weakest skills.
  • Flexibility. It may not seem very tough, but staying limber is essential to staying alive. Stretch while you strengthen, and you’ll be able to do more and recover faster after intense physical activity.
  • Creativity. Diversify your training to see the greatest results. Try different combat methods and improvise with the environment around you to identify your strengths and weaknesses while making it easier to respond effectively, whatever your situation or surroundings.

Apocalypse Training Techniques

combattraining

Learn how to defend yourself in a lethal situation without a weapon.

Ultimately, fitness training for SHTF situations is about applied knowledge, not book learning or simulations. The people you’re fighting against when SHTF won’t follow the rules of sparing or good sportsmanship. At TEOTWAWKI, you’ll be fighting for your life with whatever you have available. That means you need to be prepared to fight on all fronts.

Train in three ways for maximum effect:

  • Functional Training. Use what’s around you to build practical strength, like tires, ropes and more. This idea is the cornerstone of CrossFit and parkour training.
  • Combat Training. Learn how to defend yourself in a lethal situation without a weapon. Mastering a martial art that’s specifically designed for tactical fighting like Krav Maga can be your greatest protection in an apocalypse situation.
  • Tactical Training. Firearm training is a no-brainer. Having a gun won’t help you if you don’t know how to properly use it or don’t consistently practice and improve your shooting skills.

When deciding how to build your skills in each of these three areas, think about the ultimate goal of any technique you learn. Your primary objective is to survive, not simply one-up your assailant. Find tactics that will help you stay one step ahead of an opponent both mentally and physically. Approaching your training this way is how to survive the end of the world. Survival isn’t about winning a trophy or a championship belt. It’s about making it out alive.

Tactical Survival Training for TEOTWAWKI

Focus on developing the kind of skills that will serve you under pressure when preparing for the end of the world. PHOTOGRAPHER: Lauren Harnett

If you really think about it, it makes sense to focus on developing the kind of skills that will serve you under pressure when preparing for the end of the world. You won’t be facing rainbows and words of encouragement in the end of days. When training with firearms, spend the majority of your time building and practicing fundamental skills so they become natural reflexes when you’re fighting for your life, rather than focusing on tricks and complicated techniques that will take time to recall.

The tactics you have to think about are the ones that will do the most damage when it’s time to make a split-second decision in a fight or flight situation. It’s better to stick with tactical techniques that complement what naturally happens in your body and brain when adrenaline spikes. This means sticking with methods that retain your accuracy and control, even when you’re under serious stress.

Practice the Basics. Then Practice Differently.

The tactics you have to think about are the ones that will do the most damage when it’s time to make a split-second decision in a fight or flight situation.

The first key to effective firearm use is mastering the basics, including your stance, grip, target acquisition, sights, trigger control, follow-through and ability to disarm an opponent. Here’s a quick breakdown of each and what you should focus on to improve your fundamentals.

  • Power Stance. Improving your overall fitness level will help you find a stable, mobile and balanced stance when shooting your gun, but it takes practice to find the power stance that will protect you from recoil, while letting you stay agile, aggressive and in control.
  • Grip. Make your grip firm, tight and with your thumbs curled down. Firearm expert and master trainer Massad Ayoob calls this the “crush grip,” and it’s one of the five elements he considers most crucial to have in your arsenal before firing a gun (Ayoob, 2012).
  • Target Acquisition. This skill covers the rapid vision transition that must occur after you’ve spotted a target and before you shoot. Practice adjusting the focus of your eyesight from a natural target to your sights quickly so you program the movement into your eyes’ muscle memory.
  • Sight Alignment and Picture. Two essential yet separate elements of proper shooting, sight alignment requires that your front sight be centered between the rear sights with your rear sights horizontally aligned, while sight picture is the relationship of your sight alignment to your target for accurate execution. Understanding the relationship between sight alignment and picture takes practice and depends on your individual gun.
  • Trigger Control. Your grip will go a long way toward improving trigger control, which is the act of pulling the trigger without pushing the nose of the gun up or down, jerking the trigger or otherwise disturbing your aim. Smooth and consistent squeezing is key.
  • Follow-Through and Reset. Follow-through is about squeezing the trigger until it stops moving, while reset is about getting the trigger ready to fire again. After your follow-through, practice releasing the trigger to the point of reset and firing again. Sometimes, the trigger break and follow-through positions are the same, sometimes not. Your trigger reset is rarely the same position where the trigger rests when untouched. Practice to determine both the follow-through and reset positions of your specific guns.
  • Disarmament. Whether you’re facing a knife, gun or concealed weapon that you can’t identify, you have to know how to disarm an assailant coming at you with a weapon – not only to protect yourself from other people, but also to anticipate how someone else might try to disarm you and prevent it.

There are a few simple drills that can help you get the basics ingrained in your brain, round out your shooting skills, and give you the confidence and versatility you need to shoot well when SHTF. Remember to practice shooting both moving and still targets, work with both two-handed and one-handed grips, and incorporate movement into your tactical training. If you aren’t shooting, move.

You should test out different kinds of firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns, and practice drawing and shooting them all until you find the weapons that work best for you. Your gun will do you no good if you can’t draw it fast enough and shoot it accurately. Practice in low light environments, try shooting multiple targets to improve your agility, and practice safely shooting from behind cover and concealment. All of these techniques can give you a huge tactical advantage in a lethal confrontation.

Mental Readiness: The Real Key to Apocalypse Survival

mentalreadiness

Having a strong mind and body and the right functional, combat and tactical training will go a long way to getting your ready for TEOTWAWKI – much more than stockpiling supplies can ever do.

Mental preparation is about conditioning yourself to handle the inevitable emotions during an apocalypse. Fear, concern, hopelessness, helplessness, defeat. Being better prepared than most can itself be a liability, since you can’t save everyone and trying to could ultimately end your own life. How will you determine when to stand firm, when to offer help and when to move on?

Mental preparedness doesn’t mean being weak. In fact, working on assessing, identifying and controlling your emotions will improve your ability to stay assertive, aggressive and in control instead of breaking down in the face of disaster. Often, appearing aggressive is enough to keep weaker would-be threats at bay, without the risks of direct engagement.

Having a strong mind and body and the right functional, combat and tactical training will go a long way to getting your ready for TEOTWAWKI – much more than stockpiling supplies can ever do. I hope this article gave you a good understanding of where to put your focus to really prepare for SHTF. If you get after it and train to improve a little each day, you’ll be better prepared than most when the end of the world arrives. Good luck.

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The post Apocalypse Training 101: Learn How to Survive the End of the World appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The Top 7 Survival Gardening Secrets

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If your eyes are open right now, you know Western Civilization is in trouble. Now is the time to start survival gardening.

Today we share 7 survival gardening secrets that will get you off on the right foot.

1. Grow Near, Not Far

This is one of those “secrets” I can’t repeat enough. Don’t put your garden beds at the edge of your yard. Put them where you’ll see them. This will keep pest problems from becoming plagues. If your chickens are digging up the corn, you’ll see it… instead of finding bare ground and chicken tracks a week later. You may think you’ll be out there in the garden every day, but “out of sight, out of mind” holds truer than most of us would like to admit.

2. Healthy Soil is Key

Make sure the ground you’re trying to garden upon is suited to it. A reader recently sent me pictures of the land she is hoping to plant as a food forest. I took one look and shook my head.

The ecosystem was obviously Pine Flatwoods: acid sugar sand, poor mineralization, a clay layer, intermittent flooding and droughty conditions.

survival gardening

This is tough land for survival gardening.

When even the weeds look sick, you may need to hunt for a better spot. Though it’s possible to grow a food forest there – barely – a better use for the ground would be for growing timber and blueberries, not survival gardening or food forests.

If that was the only land I could get, I would turn to livestock such as goats, chickens and cattle for my calories, rather than plants.

If you are stuck with poor conditions all over your yard and need to garden, I recommend deep mulching the worst areas if you have the material – and if you don’t, then double dig or broadfork the soil, then feed it well with a wide range of nutrients. Planting nutrient-accumulating chop and drop species for mulch and compost is another good idea.

3. You don’t Need Lots of Compost

Having tons of organic matter is great but most of us don’t have that luxury. It’s hard to make enough compost (though I greatly expand the possibilities in my book Compost Everything) so you need to get creative. My favorite method is to make an anaerobic compost tea with a wide range of inputs. Manure, urine, seaweed, saltwater, fish guts, kitchen scraps, Epsom salts, weeds, grass and leaves – if it has some decent nutrition in it, I will pile it in a barrel, top off with fresh water and let it rot for weeks, then use it as a diluted fertilizer for my crops. Like this:

It (literally) stinks but can save your life in a survival gardening situation.

4. No Irrigation? No Problem

If you get a decent amount of rainfall during the growing season, you may not have to run irrigation to your gardens. Instead of planting intensively in tight spacing, clear more ground and increase the space between plants and rows. I grew a corn patch this way as an experiment one year and had fine luck.

survival gardening

Since then I’ve done the same with cassava, pigeon peas and winter squash.

Wide spacing and clear ground will keep your plants hydrated as root competition will be reduced and they can find the moisture in the soil with less difficulty. Steve Solomon’s book Gardening Without Irrigation is available online for free – download and read it for good in-depth info.

You can’t do this in all climates but you might be surprised how many farmers pull off irrigation-free gardening and where they are able to do so.

Want To Know Where To Find Hidden Water Sources For Irrigation?

Discover where neighborhoods hide 1,000 of gallons of emergency water

5. Urine is an Excellent fertilizer

This ties in with the anaerobic compost tea idea but it’s quicker. Urine contains a range of minerals and lots of much-needed nitrogen. In many countries it’s been used instead of chemical fertilizers and I think it makes more sense. I’ve seen rich, green gardens and trees fed on nothing but urine. It works.

Dilute urine with water so it doesn’t burn the plants with nitrogen and salt – I find six parts water to one part urine works well. I’m feeding some weak pumpkin vines this way right now and they’re really starting to perk up.

6. Calories First!

survival gardening

I grow African yams as a staple.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but we gardeners aren’t always the most practical people on the planet. We like the challenge of growing interesting things and we also love our culinary treats. Fresh tomatoes, cilantro, hops. These are all great – yet if you’re survival gardening, you’re not hobby gardening.

You need to find the best staple crops for your area and concentrate on those primarily.

As I’ve written before, plant calorie crops first – then plant some patches of nutrition crops next.

Keeping yourself from starving is more important than the potential nutritional deficiencies you might face later.

I would argue that in most case you could probably meet many of your nutritional needs through wild plant foraging for greens, nuts, berries and game.

Finding caloric staples is harder.

Plant roots, winter squash, beans and grain corn first in most climates. Also – Jerusalem artichokes and white potatoes are good in the north, cassava, sweet potatoes and African yams in the Deep South. Dent corn is your grain corn for the South – flint corn for the north.

This ties in to my next tip:

7. Snag Seeds Locally

survival gardening

I found this beautiful pumpkin at a roadside stand. Now I own the seeds and can grow my own.

Buying seeds through the mail from a seed company growing crops in a different climate isn’t the best way to prepare for a crash.

If the plants were cultivated for seed in Southern California but you live in New Hampshire, the varieties may not be well adapted to your growing conditions. This is why I seek out local varieties of vegetables at farmer’s markets, farmer’s stands and local gardeners.

See a stack of pumpkins on a stand by the road?

Ask the farmer if he grew them locally. If he did, buy one and save the seeds. Ask around for bean varieties that do well in your area. Pick up local grain corn from the farmer’s market if it’s being sold for decorations in the fall.

Keep your eyes open.

You want those seeds which will make plants that can handle your levels of sunshine, pests, humidity, rainfall and everything else. Local is good – start hunting!

I buy pumpkins all the time and save their seeds. In this video you can see how I do it:

I have been known to screech to a stop by a roadside farm stand because I spotted a variety not currently growing on my farm.

Conclusion

The survival gardening secrets I shared today will put you in good stead in a crisis but they’re just part of the story. You can grow your own food in a crisis but it’s very important to start right now.

I highly recommend you pick up my Survival Gardening Secrets program and learn. Get growing – and may God be with you.

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Survival Vehicle Choice.

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Any vehicle in an emergency is better than nothing at all, but if you want the most practicle & advantages of vehicles, then you need to get a good 4WD (four wheel drive). I had three 4WDs when I lived in the Territory, we lived off grid, & it was the only way to get around. We had two Toyota Land Cruisers, a short wheel base & a ute, & we had a little Suzuki. I would still have the SWB, but it was stolen from our property whilst we were away looking for land interstate.

Now we live in New England NSW, & up until now we have had a Nissan X-Trail SUV. However, the wading depth (depth of water it can drive through) on this vehicle is only 400mm. Of late it has been very wet here, I would say the wettest we have experienced in the past 30 years. Weather conditions are changing!!! We have a creek to cross to get into town, as again we are living off grid in a forest. The alternate rout out & back in if the creek is in flood is all dirt & it too is subject to a lot of water.
So, we decided to get a full blown 4WD, we do already have a 4WD unregistered property vehicle (Lada), but it can not be used on the road. We sold our SUV to my Eldest son & his family for an affordable price. It is better than the ordinary sedan that they had. What we purchased is a Toyota Hilux twin cab diesel ute with a canopy on the back & a bull bar. We also added a rear view camera, & we are getting LED bar lights fitted to front & rear. So far my wife is very pleased with this vehicle, though it is larger than she has been used to driving. I love it, it gives me a feeling of security knowing that my wife can get home at night no matter which rout she has to take.

The wade depth on this Hilux is 700mm with standard suspension.

This is my youngest son’s Nissan Triton which I believe has a wading depth of 500mm. This vehicle is a good less expensive choice in 4WDs.

My Russian Lada 4WD with wide wheels & two spares on the roof.

We do not expect to ever have to evacuate our forest home, we have enough people to be able to defend it in a shtf situation short of a foreign invasion. But if we should have to leave, I feel sure the vehicles we have will get us to where we are going.

7 Things To Expect After The SHTF

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In the survival community, the term “SHTF” (shit hit the fan) get’s thrown around a lot, but what exactly does it mean? The truth is, there is no single meaning. It just depends on how you want to use the term. If world war 3 has started, the shit has hit the fan. But if […]

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The spread of superbugs that are resistant to all known drug treatments.

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Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise, and in the future, many infectious diseases will once again be untreatable, forcing more people into poverty and costing nations dearly, a World Bank-led study warned.

Burying Guns & Ammo with MonoVault Burial Tubes

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Best way to bury guns

Whenever the headlines carry news of a new law that limits our 2nd Amendment rights, conversations will often come around to Best way to bury gunsthe subject of burying guns or creating a survival cache of some sorts.  If not firearms, people talk about burying silver and gold, ammunition, cash, important documents, even caching food storage or fuel on the path to a bug out location.  I even know of people who bury gear at their bug out location in the event it is compromised before they reach it.

By Joe Nobody

The Law

While I know of no law that would prevent someone from stashing stacks of canned beans and birth certificates, one must be fully aware of the laws in his/her own locale when it comes to burying guns or ammunition. Take the state of Massachusetts, for example:  The law requires guns to be stored in a specific manner.  All guns, when not in use, with the exception of primitive firearms, must be stored or kept “secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device,” to prevent unauthorized use. Penalties are assessed even if no underage person obtains access (source).

Also Read: “Holding Your Ground” Book Review 

I’m no lawyer, but it’d seem to me that you’d be violating the law if you’re burying guns in Massachusetts.  So – stay mindful of the laws in your area if you’re seriously considering the subterranean storage of guns or ammunition. Even if you find it is legal – is it safe or wise to do so? ­What if a stranger discovers to tomb? Could children? Those are questions for you to answer. Stay legal. Stay safe.

Guns, ammo, gear, precious metals, and most anything you deem necessary can be buried in a variety of different containers, the Survival Cache Burial Vaultextent to which goes beyond the scope of this post. Here we’re focusing on one type of container, the Mono Vault.  The Mono Vault is a ready-to-bury storage tube. Constructed of a one-piece molded body, there are no joints along the sides or on the bottom that could leak.

This type of product represents the simplest, fastest, most convenient way to get your goods safely in the ground. Looking like a large PVC pipe with sealed ends, it functions in much the same way. While the tubes do not come cheap, once one goes about pricing similarly-sized PVC pipes, and factors in the value of one’s time, there’s a new appreciation and understanding of the pricing, and the product itself.  The tubes come in a variety of different sizes, and all function in the same manner, but for purposes of this post, we’ll be looking at three in particular: the 110s, 130s, and 248s. Each has similar construction, coming in either black or olive drab. The “s” denotes standard wall construction of 1/4”. The top of the containers have a large-mouth spin-on lid with o-ring seal, and atop that sits another cover, the “Burial Shield,” that looks much like the top of a landmine.

Also Read: Implementing A Secondary Survival Cache

The 110s has an inside diameter of 9 3/4” and an inside depth of 7 1/2”. The 130s has a diameter of 9 3/4” and a depth of 23 3/8”. Survival Cache PVC PipeThe Mono Vault 248 has a whopping diameter of 12 1/4” and a depth of 45”!  Dimensions, diameter, and depth – blah, blah, blah. The real question here is – how much stuff can you cram into these things? Well, we found out.  This is the Mono Vault 248 with everything we crammed into it:

  1. A mid-length AR with collapsible stock, five 30-round magazines, and 1,075 rounds of 5.56,
  2. A Ruger 10/22 and 1,275 rounds of .22lr,
  3. A Remington 870 shotgun and eighty 12-gauge shotgun shells,
  4. A S&W Shield with spare magazine and 450 rounds of 9mm,
  5. A crank-powered radio,
  6. A large survival knife,
  7. Small pair of binoculars,
  8. A small bag of various “survival” tools (fire-marking products, few first aid products, etc.),
  9. Small solar panels for charging batteries, and best of all,
  10. #10 Can of Freeze Dried Food Storage.

Look into the top with all of this gear, there’s still room for more. If we’d been more careful with the packing, made boxed ammo PVC Survival Cacheinto loose ammo, we could have easily double the amount of ammo and packed another 45 servings of freeze dried chocolate drink.  For the 130s, we packed what you see pictured:

  1. A mid-length AR with collapsible stock (upper separated from lower), five 30-round magazines, and 925 rounds of 5.56,
  2. A S&W Shield with spare magazine and 450 rounds of 9mm,
  3. A crank-powered radio,
  4. A large survival knife,
  5. Small pair of binoculars,
  6. A small bag of various “survival” tools (fire-marking products, few first aid products, etc.),
  7. Small solar panels for charging batteries, and best of all,
  8. #10 Can of Freeze Dried Food Storage.

For the Mono Vault 110, we packed what you see pictured:Survival Cache PVC Pipe

  1. a S&W Shield with spare magazine and 100 rounds of 9mm, and best of all,
  2. #10 Can of Freeze Dried Food Storage.

Burying Your Mono Vault!

Bury your tube before filling it, or you may be carrying a very heavy tube.  The makers of the Mono Vault write: “Your Mono Vault will float. While this is great on the water, it is not so good in burial applications. Clay soils of an excavated hole can inhibit drainage of any water that may collect. Water collected in the hole can impart tremendous floating forces on your Mono Vault, driving it to the surface and then some. It is advisable to anchor your vault effectively with appropriate compaction or the addition of hardening or sealing agents. A few sacks of concrete in the clean bottom of your backfill can serve to anchor the vault to the bottom of the hole. Use caution with concrete in the vicinity of the lid as most concretes will shrink as they cure and may cause some distortion of the vault and critical sealing surfaces. Choose your site carefully to avoid natural drainages that may direct water to your vault. Slightly sloped or cresting locations may be best.”

Surround the tube with crushed stone before back filling it could offer additional protection.  If you’re concerned about the possibility of someone hunting for your cache with a metal detector, you can always throw rusty, scrap metal (old nails, cans, etc.) around the site to help throw people off.

Also Read: Raid Routes

The manufacturer also writes:  “In high frost areas where the ground freezes deeper than the cover soil, it may be advisable to cover your Mono Vault with a piece of foam insulation below the cover soil and extending a couple of feet out from the perimeter of the vault. This insulation can reduce freezing of the soils around the neck of the Mono Vault and the resulting pressures and possible distortion. Be aware that such insulation can also slow snow melt so don’t use a square piece that will leave an unnatural looking residual snow pile.

The landmine-looking Burial Shield will help direct water away from the lid, and it protects against possible shovel damage as it is being recovered. The shield will keep the lid area clear of dust and dirt that could otherwise enter the tube when you open it, potentially compromising the unit when it’s resealed.

How Are You Going To Mark Your Site?

Are you going to be able to find it when it’s time? You can identify the site by remembering natural landmarks, making note of Best way to bury a riflethem, or by using a portable GPS—just make sure you have good satellite reception. A 10’ difference could mean a whole lot of digging in search for it.  There are additional products you can buy to protect the contents.  “NoRust” storage bags are available for guns, and your standard desiccants will work wonders for sealing moisture out. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could always use cosmoline on your guns.  And remember—never whisper about the location of your cache!  What would YOU bury? How would you bury it?  I welcome your comments.

About the author: The Joe Nobody library of books includes apocalyptic novels, science fiction, political thrillers, children’s books, and instruction manuals.

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Making a Living Post TEOTWAWKI

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Bobcat-Prepper. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


I recently completed reading “World Made By Hand”, and its sequels “The Witch of Hebron”, “A History of the Future”, and “The Harrows of Spring” by James Howard Kunstler.  In each book, he covers one season in the life of carpenter Robert Earle and his neighbors of Union Grove, New York after waves of epidemics have caused the collapse of modern society.  The survivors live (and die) in a world similar to the early nineteenth century in daily life and technology.  They have almost given up on progress, until Brother Jobe and his New Faith followers arrive in town, buy the old high school, and restart the local economy with their beehive of activity.  I learned that some folks have a resiliency to overcome awful circumstances, and will strive to rebuild a society that works on some level.  Also, food will taste much better when it is made by hand!

The reason the America of “World Made By Hand” (WMBH) is stuck in the 1800s and cannot be as productive as today’s society, is the lack of cheap energy.  America’s bounty was built on cheap energy, pulling ever-greater amounts of coal, oil and natural gas out of the ground for very little cost. Oil deposits that were close to the surface were used up first, and then as our technology developed throughout the twentieth century, we consumed deposits that were deeper and provided less return on investment. Likewise, the easy-to-access coal deposits have been used up, while plenty is still available with heavy excavation machinery and electrical power for lights, elevators, and ventilation.  These fuel sources have allowed us to achieve a technology and productivity unthinkable two hundred years ago.

Here are a few ways that our world today could quickly end up “made by hand”:

1) An EMP weapon detonated over America’s heartland fries the electrical grid and most electrical devices.  The 2004 congressional EMP report estimated that 90% of Americans would die within a year from starvation, violence and disease. Without electricity, we cannot pump the oil, refine it, or transport it to consumers.

2) A fast-moving epidemic that kills or incapacitates as few as 10-20% of Americans could easily set our society on a downward path, as employees critical to our power/transportation/food distribution systems die or, out of fear of contagion, refuse to show up to work.

3) A cyber-attack shuts down our power grid for a couple of weeks, American cities are torn apart by riots, looting, and chaos, and the American economy goes up in flames.

Most American workers today have jobs that would vanish in an instant once the power goes off, and the oil stops flowing.  Stock trading? Gone.  Marketing?  Gone.  Car sales jobs? Useless. If the worst happens, have you given any thought to how you would be making a living post TEOTWAWKI?

How could you thrive in a “World Made By Hand”?  By getting a job from the 1820s.

Let’s look at how people made their living 200 years ago, at the end of the Industrial Revolution but before the discovery of oil near Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859.  Which skills were in demand in a country of 9.6 million citizens?  According to this National Bureau of Economic Research report from 1966, the top areas of employment in 1820 were:

World Made by Hand: A Novel

World Made by Hand: A Novel

Agriculture – 2.47 million workers (78.8%). After any world-altering disaster, everyone would put growing food first, and it is a good idea to become a master gardener now. Jobs associated with the farm could include field laborer, livestock care, animal husbandry, butcher, food preservation, beekeeping, and many more.  “Squire” Bullock has a good feudal system going outside Union Grove, with all of his workers living on his estate and taking most of their pay in food.

As food-raising efficiency and preservation get better and business efforts organize, there would be opportunities for the WMBH economy to emerge, for a few workers to specialize in other areas like:

Trade – Estimated employment of 150,000 (~5%). Jobs associated with trade could include traders (deal makers), warehouse ownership/management, warehouse workers, retail shop ownership, and retail shop workers.

Construction – Estimated employment 150,000 (~5%). Much of building construction was done by farmers and their slaves in the 1820s, so the actual number of dedicated construction workers during that time period seems lower than actual level of work done. I can foresee survivors building outhouses and smokehouses for themselves, but very little construction done otherwise. Investing money and labor into new construction requires construction supplies, hope and economic growth, and there would be very little of that after SHTF. The residents of Union Grove did not build a thing until Brother Jobe’s congregation arrived, and gave the town the economic jolt they needed.

railconstruction

Construction on the Great Northern Railway’s transcontinental railroad.

Domestic Service – 110,000 workers (3.5%). Servants did the housework for the folks better off, but there were very few mentioned in WMBH, and rightly so – a poor economy would allow few to afford such a luxury.

Transport (Ocean & Rail) – 50,000 workers (1.6%). These two modes of transport would be much reduced after oil is unavailable. The heroes of WMBH travel primarily by walking and horseback, but they also use horse-drawn wagons, mule-pulled flatboats traveling through canals, and small sail-powered cargo ships on the Hudson River and Great Lakes. These are great ways to move food and supplies, but they require a long lead time to learn to build/retrofit boats, breed more horses or other beasts of burden, and develop productive and safe trade routes. If Kunstler ever writes a fifth WMBH book, I hope he will have a wood- or coal-powered steam engine come through Union Grove – that is when you would know America is coming back.

Teachers – 20,000 workers (0.6%). Sorry, teachers – after SHTF, there will be no school board to hire you back, no property taxes to fund your paycheck, and most of the curriculum you teach now will be irrelevant anyway. What purpose will be served by kids learning the themes of Shakespeare’s plays and writing a 1000 word compare-and-contrast essay? Children will be needed to shoo the crows from the corn, pull weeds, and do all the chores the adults are too tired or big to do. When they are older, the children can work in the family business, apprentice with a craftsman, or work for wages (in some form) as a day laborer.

Fishing – 14,000 workers (0.5%). Without refrigeration, the jobs in this area will be scarce, but with the right fishing expertise, worm farming equipment, poles, nets and salt, a fisherman could do quite a business providing much-needed protein to the surviving community.

Farming in the 1800s was done by every member of the family by ox drawn plows.

Farming in the 1800s was done by every member of the family by ox drawn plows. Do you have any oxen? What about horses?

Mining – 13,000 workers (0.4%). Coal would be a much-needed commodity in a WMBH to get machines running again. Coal is valuable because it is eleven times as energy-dense as wood, but the business is problematic.  Coal mining by hand is hazardous, back-breaking work.  It was often performed by children in the old days because of the nasty work environment and low ceilings, or by slaves in some countries and times.  To get coal out of the ground without petroleum-powered equipment would require a conveyance system of cars and tracks, or baskets and strong backs.  Picks, shovels and lanterns would be needed, and a few canaries to warn of methane pockets, too.

I live in coal country, but the mines have been closed so long that few folks remember where the mine entrances are; an old coal mine map could be the start of a prosperous business in a long-term collapse.

Cotton Textile – 12,000 workers (0.4%). In an SHTF scenario, people worry about food, not new clothes, right? It is only as the societal collapse of WMBH unfolds over ten years or so, that poor quality clothes like t-shirts and cheap jeans fall apart under harsh conditions, and Union Grove folks look for new clothes made by hand from the tailors of Brother Jobe and his New Faith Church community.

Raising cotton (or flax or hemp) is beyond most gardeners’ ability or interest, but to have the supplies, equipment and ability to grow, card, spin and weave fiber into cloth would be a great asset in any long-term scenario.

Sewing clothes from store-bought cloth, on the other hand, is a lot more appealing and achievable today.  A seamstress could also alter clothes for survivors losing weight, children growing up, or adjust clothes “inherited” from those who didn’t make it.

Iron/Steelworkers – 5,000 workers (0.2%). Due to the high fuel requirements, large equipment, and high skill required to smelt iron and forge steel, I didn’t even mention mining iron ore earlier. I don’t think our society could do it for a long time once the mills shut down. There would be plenty of steel left in our buildings and cars for recycling into hand tools, if life turned south.

No matter the time, resources or situation, healthcare workers will never be unnecessary.

No matter the time, resources or situation, healthcare workers will never be unnecessary.

To these categories of 1820 employment, I would add for your consideration:

Security – Federal or state soldiers, local police, and private security for businesses and wealthier families may all be needed. One would need to be proficient in firearms, sword and knife fighting, and hand-to-hand combat, depending on the situation and weapons available.

Craftsmen – Blacksmith, tanning/leather-working, carpenter, brewer, gunsmith, cheese maker, and baker.  All typical jobs you might find in any European town for hundreds of years.

Doctors and Health Care Workers – The medical profession is especially important to preserving life after SHTF, and yet its effectiveness will be severely hampered by the loss of power, equipment and supplies.

Medical doctors will have only their senses and brains to figure out what is wrong with a patient internally, as X-rays, MRIs and lab tests will be a thing of the past.  Their stamina will be tested by the flood of new patients arriving at their doorstep with work-related injuries and third-world diseases like cholera, dysentery, and typhus. Nurses, lab technicians and even veterinarians may be recruited and trained to help treat the crowds.  Specialists will be needed to modify some equipment for non-powered use, herbalists to provide medicinal herbs in the wild for treatment, and scavengers may be helpful to find medications in abandoned pharmacies or homes.

Lumber and Firewood – Woodsmen would be vital to providing the main power source for the community, young men with axes and saws to turn the remaining forests into fuel for warmth, cooking and for many of the jobs above.

Very few people today can do the WMBH jobs listed above. We are used to power tools, internet access, and an accessible supply chain to help us get our jobs done.  Think hard about your unique skills, and determine if they would be useful after SHTF.  If not, acquire and hone new skills to complement your own, buy or build new manual equipment, and figure out new supply and demand chains to allow you to make a living in a “World Made By Hand”.

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The post Making a Living Post TEOTWAWKI appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Converting .223 rifle to .300 Blackout in 2 Steps: Part 1

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convert 556 to 300 blackout

The .300 Blackout is an effective round that bridges some of the wide gap between a .223 and a .308 as well as allowing an AR15 best ar15platform rifle to encroach on the ballistics territory of the venerable AK 47.  Plus the 300 BLK has the benefit of easily going subsonic making it about as quiet as possible given the mechanical noise of operating a rifle’s action.  Adding to the quiet excitement is that the difference between a traditional AR15 in .223/5.56 and one in 300 BLK is little more than a barrel swap. That’s right, everything else might be interchangeable between the two.

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

Chicken or Egg?

Wildcat cartridges can successfully address niche ammo needs, but unless the specific cartridge was blessed by Sammy 300 blackout conversion(properly SAAMI or Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute), the cartridge would not get the widespread support needed to be taken seriously by the big gun and ammo manufacturers let alone the general shooting public.  AAC, or the Advanced Armament Corporation in collaboration with Remington Defense ironed out the kinks in the wildcat .300 Whisper cartridge getting formal SAAMI joy in 2011 which is why the .300 Blackout still has that new car smell.

The .300 Blackout is a 30 caliber solution that grew from a set of needs not the least of which included the use of existing AR-style magazines while maintaining the same mag capacity, the use of M4-style platform uppers and lowers; being ballistically similar to the AK 47 round of 7.62mm x 39mm, and be a higher-mass barrier-penetrating bullet while maintaining low recoil and high performance through short suppressed barrels. Oh, and best of all, easily running both supersonic and subsonic in the same rifle with absolutely no change in the gun. In fact, it is this latter capability that 300 BLK owners find most attractive. So the .300 Blackout can drop a deer at 200 yards, or lob 30-cal lead downrange with little more noise than a cycling bolt.

AK 47 rifles are near impossible to run subsonic due to the gas system. And they are certainly not able to interchange between supersonic and subsonic on the fly. Major adjustments and tuning would be needed. In the case of the .300 Blackout, it is a cartridge deliberately made to run flawlessly in an AR rifle in both subsonic and supersonic. In fact, the high bullet weight of the subsonic 300 BLK ammo is not just to slow down the bullet (F=MA in Newtonian physics) but also to provide enough of an equal and opposite force to cycle a traditional AR bolt and buffer (Newton’s Third Law of Motion).

While the initial ballistics of a 300 BLK running subsonic are very similar to a .45 ACP, the bullet shape of a .300 Blackout provides a much better trajectory and deeper penetration. A 220 grain 45 caliber slug flying out the pipe of a handgun designed prior to 1911 is much like a forty-five caliber musket ball. On the other hand the .300 Blackout behaves more like a 7.62×39 round causing death hundreds of yards away. A .45 ACP will bounce off cowhide at distance while the 300 BLK should still shatter bone.

Walmart Test

300 BLK ammo in the supersonic variety did pass my Walmart test.  That means it is sitting on the shelf at the local Walmart right switching from 556 to 300 blackoutnow. However, I was unable to locate any subsonic .300 Blackout ammo at the any nearby Walmarts.  Of course subsonic 300 BLK ammo was available at almost every gun store and big box sporting goods store I checked so the stuff is common.  And the Walmart gun clerk did say they’ve had 300 BLK subsonic ammo in stock before, but it was elusive as 500 round bricks of .22 long rifle.

Related: 10 Basic Tools For Your Armorer Kit

The ammo choices for 300 BLK in supersonic was varied across price and performance.  I found plenty of boxes of 20 from $16 all the way up to almost $50.  Subsonic rounds hovered around $20-$25 and there was rarely more than one choice at any given store.

Presto Change-o

Changing a .223 AR 15 into a .300 Blackout can be as simple as swapping barrels.  The complete upper, lower, magazines and gas 300 Blackout vs .223system might work just fine with the 300 BLK. Usually there are a couple other parts that get changed out as well, but truly in a nutshell, it is just a barrel switch.  So a best-case conversion to turn your .223 AR into a .300 Blackout is 1) remove your .223 barrel, and 2) install a 300 BLK barrel.

Tool Side

Changing barrels on your standard direct impingement AR is fairly straightforward, but does require some tools. The undeniable magpul armorers wrenchtool is a barrel wrench which is usually part of a multi-function armorers tool like the Magpul Armorer’s Wrench.  But in order to turn the barrel nut, you must remove the gas tube. And in order to remove the gas tube, you will need to remove the gas tube cross pin using a 5/32nds punch (gently push it out from left to right).

With the gas tube removed, you can unwind the barrel nut freeing the barrel from the upper receiver. You can reuse the gas tube if its in good shape and the right length, and maybe even reuse the gas block as well assuming it works with your barrel and handguard.  In my case, I opted for a new low profile gas block because I am going from a Magpul MOE polymer handguard mounted on a 5.56 barrel with an A2 (triangular) front post.  The Midwest Industries free-floating handguard I’ll be shrouding the 300 BLK barrel with will need a new gas block. So it was Yankee Hill to the rescue.

Also Read: How To Trick Out A Cheap AR15

Backing up for a minute, there is an essential tool that makes barrel removal and installation every so much easier and that is an converting a 556 rifleupper receiver vise block. The vise block is a blockish clamp that wraps the upper receiver like a glove allowing the whole unit to be clamped in a vise without concern of damaging or warping your upper receiver. Add a torque wrench to round out your toolset and you’re as good as done.

Grunt Work

The .300 Blackout went into military service in July of 2015 when the Netherland’s Dutch Convert 300 BLKMaritime Special Operations Force (NL-MARSOF) ordered 195 carbines chambered in 300 BLK.  According to an uncited Wikipedia article on the .300 Blackout, it has an effective supersonic combat range of about 500 yards. Flying subsonic, 200 yards is pushing the limits of effectiveness outside of threats made of paper.  Now before anyone goes all sniper on me, most folks, and let’s be honest here, are not able to shoot reliably to 500 yards even under ideal conditions. In fact, 200 yards is a very reasonable and ethical hunting distance. In my particular case, I intend on hunting with this rifle in thick woods where a 50 yard or less shot is common. I grew up hunting in such places with a Winchester Model 94 30-30 which is an excellent “brush gun” as we liked to call them. Iron sights were plenty good at these distances.

I also intend to hunt with a suppressor, or silencer if you want to retain the original name that its inventor Hiram Maxim called them back in 1902; the “Maxim Silencer” to be exact. On a side note, a movie in 1946 was made about Hiram’s life and titled “So Goes My Love.” But reading about the movie, it doesn’t sound like there is any gunplay in it, let alone any silenced fire.

Quiet Down

Factory loads of 300 BLK come in several popular bullet weights. In general, those bullets over 200 grains slide down the pipe How to convert to 300 Blackoutunder the 1100 feet per second speed of sound while anything lighter breaks the sound barrier with a boom. Since most of the powder is burned within the first nine inches of barrel, near total performance can be achieved in very short barrels. To avoid paperwork and a tax stamp and months of delay, I opted for a 16” barrel literally off the shelf at a local gun store.

I already had a SilencerCo Omega suppressor so adding a can to this build was a no-brainer. In fact, that Omega is most of the reason I went down the 300 BLK road in the first place. A suppressed subsonic .300 Blackout literally is only as loud as the bolt cycling and bullet impacting.

Related: Firearms Maintenance When SHTF

All this is not without a problem. And it’s potentially a big one. A .223 or 5.56 round will cycle into a 300 BLK barrel, and possibly 300 BLKthe reverse is true. This means you have to practice proper ammo management. At no time can you risk mixing up or mixing together your mags or your ammo.

There are various solutions and products to keep your ammo act together. The Blackout Band is a silicon bracelet you wrap around your 300 BLK mags. Some folks run different colored mags, while others mark their mags in personal ways. I chose to dedicate Magpul’s sand colored mags to my .300 Blackout with the intent to dye them later to a more fun and useful color. So at the moment, white mags for the Blackout. No exceptions. There is an ever growing number of tales where someone had a loose 300 BLK round that found it’s way into a .223 mag only to blow the gun apart when it was stripped off the top of the mag by the bolt and the trigger was pulled.

And as I noted in my review of the Magpul D-60 drum magazine, not all ammo containers for the .223/5.56 platform are completely interchangeable. In fact, some are downright dangerous. But since .300 Blackout ammo is easily twice to three times the price of .223 rounds at a minimum, getting sloppy with Blackout ammo shouldn’t be a popular problem.

Survival Apps

It should go without saying that a 30 caliber subsonic suppressed round with a 200 meter range should have endless uses. Hunting is obvious as is protection. But let’s put a finer point on that protection thing. A bolt cycling is noisy but only within a very limited sound radius. Add snow or thick brush or trees and the noise of a buffer spring boinging and bolt clanking will not travel far. And the thump of bullet impact is evidence that it’s too late to do anything about it.  Unfortunately, the 30 caliber bullet leaving the muzzle under the speed of sound drops like a mountain pass after a hundred yards, and like a double-black diamond ski slope at 200 yards. Beyond that it’s ballistics curve would be a boat anchor.

The Downside of Loud

And speaking of sound suppression, if you ever plan on popping off a round indoors, you will want to minimize the bang or risk convert from 5.56 to .300 BLKtemporary disorientation and permanent hearing damage. Sorry to be a buzzkill here, but I do have trouble taking seriously anyone who plans on using a short-barreled AR or AR pistol with spiked muzzle brake as a home defense weapon. One boom and it’s all over for most involved. Better get that first shot right because you will be too stunned for a follow up shot. Kind of like flash-banging yourself and loved ones.

Also Read: Review of the Glock 42

Just as a gas-powered generator makes an unwanted and unavoidable racket, and a campfire makes unwanted smoke and smell, firearms make unwanted noise. So having a silent solution with more umph than a pistol is a good thing. And when things do go noisy, you have a 500 yard solution at your index finger’s fingertip.

Given that the 300 BLK is still young enough to have spots it’s not surprising that reloading your own brand is the go-to option for the more-than-curious. There are limited factory ammo options for subsonic bullet designs often leaving the big game hunter to settle for either throwing projectiles faster than sound or launching barely hollow-pointed varmint rounds downrange to settle the score. But the big news here is that there is actually a selection of subsonic 300 BLK ammo on the shelves of the big boxes. So something’s going in the right direction these days.

Let’s see how this all works out. Stay tuned for Part 2.
All photos by Doc Montana

This article is for informational purposes only, please consult a gunsmith before you make any changes to your rifle.
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13 Catastrophic Events Which Could Lead To An Apocalypse

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I don’t normally post doom-and-gloom articles. In my opinion, constantly obsessing over disasters that could happen is a waste of energy. You’re better off focusing on your preps and enjoying your life. However, I think it’s a good idea to poke one’s head up every now and then and see what’s going on. And over […]

The post 13 Catastrophic Events Which Could Lead To An Apocalypse appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Your Getting Started Guide To Fall Gardening Like Your Life Depended On It: Part I

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I used to wait for spring with bated breath. I would watch for a good day for tilling, go out and buy a bunch of transplants and seeds, and then have a wild and crazy weekend tearing up the earth and putting everything in the ground.

Thinking ahead? Naw… I had Spring fever! I wouldn’t think much about gardening until the seed catalogs started arriving… and then I would mostly browse and dream.

My nice garden beds were a good supplement to our diet but they weren’t a huge part of it. I was playing around with pretty beans and purple peppers, a few garlic plants, an heirloom corn I wanted to try… but it was haphazard and not planned for a long-term food security situation.

About a decade ago I realized how shaky the world was getting and knew things had to change. I also realized that just tearing up the ground and tossing fertilizer around wasn’t the way to ensure our piece of land was going to be healthy and strong enough to grow all of what we might need in a crash.

Even if you do work hard to build the soil, growing “all you need” is a tall order and it’s one even I haven’t reached yet… though every year I get closer. In 2015 I hit 1,000lbs of produce from our gardens (counting the random produce my children ate before it hit the scale) for the first time and the curve keeps going up.

The reason? I now work on preparing year-round by clearing and digging new patches of land, producing compost, planting fruit and nut trees and testing crops to find varieties that will go through the cold, the heat, the pests and the many diseases that want to rob us of our gardening sweat and toil. Much of this knowledge and experimentation culminated in my Survival Gardening Secrets course.

This fall, Chet and I want you to get ahead of the curve and get growing on a larger scale that takes less money out of your pocket and puts more produce on your table.

Here’s how you can build a fall garden – and an upcoming spring garden that will keep you fed through the year.

Let’s start with chickens.

Chickens Are Gardening Machines

When you pull out the gnarled remains of your summer tomatoes and squash, why not let chickens do the hard work of preparing your fall garden plots?

Get a good chicken tractor or fenced area in place around that plot and let those claw-footed tilling and manuring machines go!

My friend Larry built this simple chicken tractor for about $150:

He raises a good portion of his large family’s meat in there while improving his lawn. If you did the same thing with a garden plot, you’ll reap the benefits of all that turning and manuring. Chickens will compost in place while ridding your garden plot of stinkbugs and cutworms. I’ve pulled out a mess of spent vegetable plants from a garden bed and have been amazing to see just how many destroying insects are crawling around in the suddenly uncovered shade area beneath the brown stalks. Chickens turn those pests into eggs!

While this is a GREAT approach if you have a flat lawn, this sucker gets real heavy to pull through loose garden soil, up hills, in and around tightly planted Orchards or over raised Garden beds, which is why Chet Created these plans for a more light weight Chicken Tractor:

The Ultimate Portable Chicken Tractor

(Chet’s Chicken Tractor Blueprints Can Be Purchased Here)

Paul Gautschi of Back To Eden fame has a different approach. He uses his chickens to make good soil in their pen, which he then sifts and takes to his garden beds. If you have a big problem with predators snagging your Kentucky Fried goodness, this is another approach worth considering:

Kill the Weeds While the Sun Shines

I used to avoid using plastic in my gardens. Then I discovered its power for weed killing and I haven’t looked back.

If you have an area you’d like to garden but you haven’t gotten around to tilling it yet, summer and fall are the time to use the remaining heat of the sun to get it ready for later.

Get yourself some thick sheets of clear plastic and put them over the area. Pin down the edges with rocks or logs and let the sun create a weed-destroying greenhouse effect that will kill what you don’t want without removing the good biomass of all those weeds. They’ll bake and put humus into the soil beneath that plastic, then you can get out there and loosen the soil with a broadfork (this one from Meadow Creature is my favorite) or spading fork, then get planting when you’re ready.

When you till you turn up a lot of seeds that are waiting in the ground. When you kill with tarps this is less of a problem. I used to prefer black plastic until I saw some tests that were done side-by-side. Now I’m in the clear plastic camp.

An Alternate Approach

If you want to kill the weeds and really improve the soil long-term (and if you don’t have a big problem with pests like snails and slugs in your area), sheet-mulching is a good approach. The downside of sheet mulching is how much material it takes to cover a large area. If you have a friend with a tree-trimming company, great. If not, it’s not easy to get everything you need.

I successfully knocked out a persistent patch of Bermuda grass by putting down a double layer of cardboard and then stacking a foot of tree company mulch on top of it for a year. Back when I tilled that same area I had a very hard time keeping the grass from invading my beds and sapping the life from my tender domesticated vegetables.

Get Digging

One of my favorite ways to improve the tilth of the soil and reduce the water needs of my crops is to deeply double-dig garden beds. This is hard work but it’s good work. If you double-dig a garden area it adds more oxygen to the soil, improves the drainage and helps your crops delve deeply with their roots so they can get what they need in the soil.

I once did a test where I created a perfect square foot garden bed and a double-dug bed in sand that had only been amended with a half-inch of compost on top. The double-dug bed gave us about the same yields but needed a lot less watering. It also ate up a lot less compost, as a “proper” square foot bed is 1/3 finished compost. That’s too much pile-turning for me!

If you dig a garden bed well and then don’t step on it, it can stay loose and friable for a year or more. Pick areas where you can expand your garden beds while you’re planting your main beds in the fall, then get digging. If you’re not going to plant them right away, cover the area with tarps – or even better – woven plastic professional landscape “fabric” and then they’ll be ready to go when you need them. You can also dig beds and plant them with bags of beans, peas, rye, buckwheat, lentils, fava beans, chick peas, mustard or wheat seed from a local organic grocery store with the bulk bins. That’s a cheap way to cover the ground to keep out weeds while improving the soil at the same time. Sometimes I make a big seed mix from these bins, scatter it on the ground and rake ‘em in. As a bonus, you often get a bit to eat from these beds.

Double-digging is time consuming but when you dig a bed here and there on nice days, you’ll find eventually that you have a lot of long-term space in which to plant.

Get Composting Now

Composting used to be a chore for me. Now that I’ve realized Nature doesn’t care all that much about turning and aerating and that jazz, I’m having a lot more fun. After over a decade of extreme composting experiments, I even wrote a popular book on it. I’ve composted meat, sewage, pasta, paper and all kinds of other naughty things and my gardens just keep getting better and better. There are two main ways I compost without much work.

The first way is to choose a garden bed that I think could use some help and then start piling up compostable materials there, like this:

The other way is even cooler. It’s borrowed from the Koreans and isn’t anything like most compost most Westerners have seen.

All you do is find materials you want to compost and throw them in a barrel of water to rot down and ferment. I pick highly nutritional items such as urine, manure, moringa, seawater and comfrey to start with, then add whatever else I have around. Like this:

That looks insane but it works.

Let that rot for a few months and then thin it out as a liquid fertilizer for your gardens. It’s the bomb and it grows some danged good corn. Corn is needy, so if that crop likes it… imagine how the others will do!

On the downside, it smells horrible. Get a clothespin for your nose and don’t worry about it. And don’t pour it right on anything you’re about to eat. That’s nasty. It’s best for the establishment phase of a garden up until a few weeks before harvest. It’s also powerful growing magic for fruit trees.

One thing you absolutely DON’T want to do is buy compost or manure for your gardens.

Why? Because a lot – and I mean a LOT – of compost, manure and straw now contains persistent long-term herbicides that will utterly wreck your beds for a year or more. Don’t believe me?

Just ask Karen about her tomatoes.

Yikes.

I’ve read a lot of stories like this now and it happened to some of my own beds almost 5 years ago. Don’t let it happen to you.

BONUS IDEA: Plant Fruit Trees!

Fruit trees are really cheap compared to their potential yields.

What is an organic pear worth? Maybe $2? Imagine getting 400 of those from a tree you paid $25 for! That beats the heck out of most investments. Yet many of us don’t want to wait the 5-10 years it takes for impressive yields on fruit trees.

I used to feel that way… and then I got older. I plant on being here in a decade. Don’t you? Then get planting.

Plant more fruit and nut trees than you ever think you’ll need. Every fall, plant more. Go, drop $500 on fruit trees. Seriously. Get them in the ground, mulch around them, water them for the first year or two… and then, each spring as you plant your new garden beds, watch them wake up and grow. Eventually they’ll bear a few beautiful fruit. And then more and more and more. You can dry and preserve them. You can turn them into wine or hard liquor with a still. You can barter with them. You can fatten pigs on the fruit that falls. You can make incredible pies and cobblers, serve your children sun-ripened apples and peaches.

Look – just do it. Don’t wait to plant. Plant now and in the future you’ll look back and thank the “you” that is reading this right now.

Conclusion

We haven’t even covered all the potential vegetables you can plant in a fall garden yet… but what I’ve shared in this post will hopefully get you thinking long-term about your survival gardening plans. Get those chickens working. Get those weeds torched. Dig some new beds. Start some batches of compost. When you have the proper groundwork in place, your cabbages and turnips will almost grow themselves.

And so will the purple peppers (shh!).

Want More Survival Gardening Ideas?

Grab a copy of my Survival Gardening Secrets course that teaches you how to grow enough food to feed your family, even after the gardening centers close and you can no longer buy seeds, fertilizers, or pesticides to keep your garden alive.

Click here to access Survival Gardening Secrets

The post Your Getting Started Guide To Fall Gardening Like Your Life Depended On It: Part I appeared first on .

SHTF Armorer: Magazine Maintenance – Part 1

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Best Survival Gun

The AR-15.  AK-47.  M1A.  Glock 17.  SIG Sauer P226.  Colt 1911.  S&W M&P.  CZ-75.  Beretta 92.  Ruger 10/22. The Best Survival Gun H&K MP5.  Walther P22.  All of these firearms each have an army of diehard pundits in the firearms world.  You probably have at least one of them incorporated in your SHTF plans.  It’s possible your very life and chances of survival will depend on one of these some day.  However, they all have a common weakness, a vulnerability that can reduce these fine pieces of weaponry to single-shot, barely useful clubs: the detachable magazine.

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog
This post is Part I of a series.

Modern Flaws

Even though modern magazine designs, construction methods, and materials are top-notch, they can still fail.  Neglect, slightly bent or damaged feed lips, worn magazine springs, sloppy followers, and/or just plain, simple dirt will positively destroy the functioning of an otherwise flawlessly-working gun…and these problems can be virtually undetectable if you don’t know what to look for.  Therefore, magazine maintenance should be of the utmost priority – just as important as the cleanliness of the firearm – for anyone who plans on relying on an autoloading firearm when the chips are down.

Related: PMAG Torture Test

However, firearms with detachable magazines aren’t the only problem guns – your grandfather’s trusty old Winchester 1894 .30-30 lever action could have magazine problems.  So could the Remington 870 you leave with a loaded magazine in the closet in case of emergency.  If your gun is a magazine-fed repeater – detachable or fixed – that feeding system needs to be taken care of. It’s your gun’s lifeblood…and by extension, that means it could be your lifeblood as well. Magazine maintenance is probably the most purposely neglected (“I’ll get it later…”) and/or forgotten aspect of gun cleaning, but it could be considered one of the most important. (We’ll address fixed magazine guns in a future article.)

The Detachable Magazine

The detachable magazine comes in a myriad shapes, sizes, lengths, capacities, colors, and methods of Best AR15 Magconstruction.  However, the vast majority of “box” magazine designs have similar components: the magazine body, the magazine follower, the locking plate, and the baseplate.  Rotary type magazines (such as the Ruger 10/22’s nifty little cartridge feeder) are a bit of a different animal, but the principles are the same – they just keep the cartridges in a circular holding pattern inside the magazine, instead of in a straight vertical stack.  Generally, magazines are very simple in design, and really, with just a bit of semi-regular maintenance and cleaning, they will be virtually trouble-free.  Most of the parts don’t require replacing or fixing; the only component that may need to be replaced is the magazine spring if the magazine hasn’t seen any damage.

Concerning the spring: you’ve probably heard/read the age-old debate: does leaving magazines loaded for an extended period of time weaken the springs?  The general consensus from magazine manufacturers seems to be that leaving them loaded, even over years, does not induce spring failure.  Far and away, the most common cause of spring failure is the fatigue caused by constant loading and unloading.  Nobody can put a finger on an exact number of rounds that it takes to make a magazine spring fail, so a good way to keep an eye on things is to get a paint marker or silver Sharpie and number your magazines.

Also Read: SHTF Armorer AR15 Bolt Carrier Group

Try to keep a general round count of the number of rounds that have been put through them if possible.  When one of your magazines starts to fail or cause firearm malfunctions, (this usually takes thousands of rounds) check the magazine’s round count and use that as a guideline for the other magazines of the same make and capacity.  Replace the magazine spring accordingly, at appropriate intervals.  Some of us may never run enough rounds through a gun to have to worry about this issue…but it’s always good to have an extra magazine spring or, even better, extra magazine(s) kicking around, just in case.

Another issue: If you drop your magazine on the feed lips and bend them, you have a problem.  Most magazines I’ve run have never had a spring failure, but have suffered damage from being dropped onto the feed lips.  If you have a polymer magazine like a Magpul PMAG, chances are pretty good you’re still in business.  However, steel magazine bodies that have damaged feed lips are probably not worth keeping.

Related: Survival Armorer Basic Kit

You can try to bend them back to factory spec, but the metal has been fatigued, and now has an excellent starting fracture point for future breaking or malforming.  If you’re not in a dire SHTF situation, pull the magazine apart, keep the baseplate, spring, and follower, and junk the magazine body. It’s not worth the headache and possible failure to try making the old magazine work.  A new magazine is a few bucks – a failure in a survival situation could mean death.  Don’t hedge your bets if you don’t have to.

The Body

The same goes for the magazine body: if you accidentally step on a steel/aluminum magazine, check the sides of Survival Rifle Magazinesthe magazine for dents or damage, and try to run some rounds through it.  A pinched magazine body might not have clearance to allow rounds to be loaded, or to be fed.  This has happened to me before with metal bodied GI-issued AR magazines…all the more reason to look into polymer magazines like the excellent Magpul PMAG.

Also Read: Boston Shooting Bible Review

An excellent basic test, especially for AR magazines, is to load the magazine up to capacity, and then turn it upside down and briskly smack the baseplate at the bottom of the magazine.  If rounds fall out, chances are excellent that your feed lips are out of spec or your magazine spring does not have sufficient strength to keep enough tension on the rounds to feed the gun reliably.

Related: Review of Magpul PMAG D-60 Drum

You will find some older or smaller gun designs have steel bodied magazines with welded or silver-soldered fixed baseplates.  For these, there’s not much you can do but baby the magazines you have and keep spares.  They’re probably from an older design, so for the purposes of a SHTF gun, I might consider going a different route with a modern firearm platform design that utilizes magazines that can be disassembled for cleaning and parts replacement.

Likewise with many older .22 rifles with tubular magazines under the barrel or in the buttstock. The magazine spring and follower are encapsulated in a (usually) brass tube that slides down into the magazine body, over the cartridges.  This is a well-used, much-loved and reliable system, but if that follower tube gets dented or bent, you’re out of business.  Maintenance on the follower tubes is also difficult, and replacement parts are getting harder to find.  It might be worth looking into a more modern design like a M&P-15/22 or Ruger 10/22 for a SHTF gun.

Stay Tuned For Part II

All Photos By Drew

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Prepper Uses For A Range Finder

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How to use a range finder

Andy was pulling duty on bug out perimeter security.  We had heard shots coming from the woods at the far how to use a range finderwest end of our prep team property.  This was not an unusual occurrence out in the rural area where we have planned our long term bug out existence.  None-the-less it is always discomforting not knowing who might be unlawfully accessing your property lines.  He left out on his Honda ATV to scout the end of the road line which was roughly two miles west from our camp area and cabins.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Keeping a Watchful Eye

Unfortunately for us, the west end is paralleled by a railroad track, the side of which allows for easy access down our north-south property line.  We have often chased unauthorized trespassers from the area and even poachers shooting deer from the railroad tracks across our property line.  Usually just a presence in the area thwarts any unwanted activity.  So, a regular series of drive by cruises on an ATV is enough to let outsiders know we are about the posted area.

On this patrol as Andy drove by an open utility power line right-of-way that comes through our land, he noticed an ATV sitting near one of our deer hunting stands.  Upon close examination with binoculars, he could see somebody sitting in the stand seat.  He immediately put out a call on our camp radios for backup (might as well be melodramatic about it).

Also Read: Leatherman Raptor Review

Another owner and I showed up in the clear view of the guy sitting in the stand.  At this point, he hurriedly climbed out of the stand, jumped on his 4-wheeler, but it would not crank.  He immediately abandoned his ride running off into the woods.  The three of us noted he was carrying a hunting type rifle, which is a situation that could often turn dicey.  We were glad he fled the scene.

A call to wildlife authorities went non-responsive, so the lesson as a prepper/survivalist is to never count on help from anybody else.  You’re basically on your own.  We decided not to chase the trespasser down, but we did confiscate his ATV and turned it in to the police station in town.  The police officer said he knew who owned it and would put out the appropriate warning to stay out of our place.  Yeah, right.

Maintaining a Safe Distance from Threats

Had this situation escalated into a confrontation, it could have turned ugly.   I think the point that we  SHTF_Survival_Cache_SHTFblog_Windham_Weaponry_308_AR10_R18FSFSM-308_Aimpoint_COMP_ML3_VTAC_Sling_outdoorsoutnumbered him helped, but what if Andy had been alone in camp?  Had this been a real life SHTF event, the trespasser/poacher might have stood his ground just as well.

Related: Technology & Survivalists

In these circumstances, the decision-making point is critical.  I don’t know of anybody that really wants to get into a shootout over somebody crossing a property line, but what if the offending party takes the offense?  I mean in this day and age thugs are killing shop owners or citizens on the streets for $5 bucks.  It would be nothing for a trespasser to fire off a few rounds to settle the issue.  The question is, will you (we) be ready to defend our position?

In a life and death situation, you can bet we are prepared to defend ourselves.  But we want to be smart about it.  Slinging lead might well put a stop to the advance, but it has to be dedicated targeting with some purpose.  That purpose might not be to wound or kill somebody, but it might be just to peel some bark off a nearby tree.  Preppers have to be ready for any such contingency whether bugging out or bugging in at the home residence.

Related: Bug Out GPS

Part of this “targeting” is knowing what we are shooting at especially given the firearm we hopefully are carrying at the time.  The preference would be to maintain as maximum a distance as possible to make our own position more difficult to target from an adversary.  Judging those distances has always been a difficult task to learn and practice.  This is where modern technology steps in to help.

Enter the Nikon Prostaff 7i

It may sound unusual to the Survival Cache readership that I might suggest adding an electronic rangefinder nikon_prostaff_7i_review_range_finderto your prepper gear list.  As a big game hunter all over America and Europe in years past, the use of a rangefinder was a normal occurrence.  As a prepper now, it occurs to me the usefulness of one for those applications. And as to our prepping/survival tasks, the use of a rangefinder is still helpful for collecting vital game meat for the table.  In longer range shooting attempts, it is good to knowingly nail down the exact distance to the targeted animal, be it an elk or a white-tailed deer.  They are useful, too in ranging predators or nuisance game animals you may wish to dispatch before they grab your little Molly pup out of the camp yard.

This ranging principle works also for defending your property rights and or any site you may have picked to bug out on private or public lands.  Is that band of 2-3+ unknowns crossing the fence at 300 or 400 yards?  It would be nice to know.  For this job let me recommend the new Nikon Prostaff 7i Laser Rangefinder.  I have had one in hand for several months and the neighbors get tired of me ranging them in their yards.  I can hardly wait for hunting season next month for further in the field testing. The 7i can range from 8-1300 yards.  Yep, 1300.  Too far to shoot, but plenty of range to make further decisions.  Its magnification of 6x helps immensely to “paint” the target in yards or meters by user choice.  The unit’s eye relief is 18.3mm which is really good if like me you are wearing eyeglasses.  It uses one CR2 Lithium battery.  It lasts forever, but buy a spare.

Also Read: 4 Things To Consider When Bugging Out

This Nikon’s size is only 4.4×1.5×2.8 inches.  It is small and easily handled in the palm.  Its objective How to use a range finderdiameter is 21mm so it lets in plenty of light for spotting targets.  It also has a built in angle compensation which is super if you happen to be in an elevated position, or downhill from a ridge.  The unit is also waterproof, which is always a good feature.

The Prostaff 7i is black in color, but has an orange stripe across it.  You may think this trivial until you drop it in the grass or the forest floor.  Controls are easy to learn and use and are very intuitive.  The unit’s cover is grainy which aids in its gripping.  There is also a provided neck lanyard, which I recommend using, then slipping the rangefinder into your shirt pocket.  For prepping to hunt for food or protect your family from distant threats, a rangefinder is a highly useful piece of gear.   The Nikon’s cost can be shopped around for about $270 or cheaper.  Add it to your Christmas list now.

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Dr. Woods
Drew
Jason Schaefer

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Split Operations: Separated from your home base.

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Home is where the heart is and for most of us where our preparedness stash is.  Should some localized or regional disaster (or worse) take place I’d like to think we would feel better about addressing that situation surrounded by what is familiar to us (read: having loads of preps and self sustaining infrastructure in place).  While this does not guarantee our safety or survival it truly is a best case scenario, the opposite end of that spectrum being 1000 miles away from your home with a paperclip and pack of bubble gum if T-SHTF.

There is a sobering reality to all of this and that is the fact that being in and around home base constantly is not practical for many.  Travel dictates that we need to be away from home and in some instances for months (or more) at a time.  That is what I will address in this post, running split operations with the reality that you just might not be able to get back to your home and family if something bad happens.

Here’s the Setup: Split Operations

I’ve lived apart from my home, preps, family for months at a time.  Usually work related, it means that we could be hours or even days away when it comes to drive time.  While I’d like to believe that if something bad were to take place I’d be able to drop what I was doing and rush to my wife’s side in a flash that is simply not the reality of the situation.  When living apart necessary steps must be put in place to ensure sustainability for the short and potentially long term.  What does that mean?  It’s like this, if the power goes out for two days because of storms have I set my wife up for success with our backup power situation?  What if a snow storm cuts power and access to basic necessities for 2 weeks, will she be able to get through it with minimal stress and discomfort because of preparedness steps previously put in place and rehearsed?  These are highly probable and relatively low impact events.  Yet what about a truly worst case scenario which would mean us hoping to reunite at some point but being forced to make it on our own in the near term?  Who truly knows how things would play out as there are so many variables but I have to be confident in the fact that I’ve done everything in my power to set both of us up for success.

Tips for Split Operations

Essentially this boils down to common sense and understanding that one cannot guarantee success for any given scenario, but putting measures (and backups) in place certainly increases one’s chances.  Below are some tips that I’ve come up with over time for running split operations.

90/10:  When I roll out I usually take the equivalent of 10% of my preps with me, leaving the majority back home with my wife.  Those preps that I have are usually what I’d need when mobile and once I get to my destination I can supplement by purchasing new.  This usually means snagging enough supplies to sit out a localized disaster for a few days or even weeks (at most).  Again the majority stays back home with my wife as she would need it, it’s not practical for me to haul around and should I be able to make it back to my place I’d want all my supplies waiting on site for me.

Rehearsals:  It’s one thing when I’m home and am able to do most of the heavy lifting but what about when I’m not?  This is not to say that my wife isn’t perfectly capable of doing some hard labor but let’s face it, I’ve spent more time doing it and she doesn’t mind that.  A perfect example would be when I was almost 1000 miles away and a storm hit knocking power out.  We had rehearsed the procedure for moving the generator out, hooking it up, starting it using the choke and fuel shutoff valve and operating the transfer switch.  When the time came she was able to accomplish this task and all was good.  Had we not rehearsed it the task would have been exceedingly more difficult I’m sure.

Worst Case:  In a worst case scenario it’s understood that we’ll simply have to make due in our own set of circumstances.  That is a reality that many fail to acknowledge and as such they never prepare for it.

The Bottom Line

There are folks out there who haven’t spent so much as a weekend away from their spouse or kids, I am not one of them.  If you are like me and travel for work or have to live away from your family for months at a time because of other circumstances put some thought in to your split operations plan.  Set yourself and those left behind up for success with the understanding that you might not always be there for them.

 

Six Dirty Little Secrets About Portable Solar Generators

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PortableSolarGeneratorPinterestImage2

Thinking about investing in a portable solar generator to protect yourself and your family during power blackouts? Watch out. Most of the so-called “best” solar backup generators promise far more than they deliver.

Ordinary people pay good money (often way too much good money) to buy energy security for tough times, only to find they’ve bought a piece of expensive, short-lived solar junk that delivers no security at all. But things can be much better for you.

Portable solar generators really do have something to offer, but only if you know enough to avoid being fooled.

This blog shines a light on the most common dirty solar generator secrets. It explains some of the typical design limitations and false claims in plain language, but more importantly it shows you how to get yourself the kind of real, reliable, long-lasting solar energy protection you and your family need.  No tricks, no slimy language, just plain facts on how to build, maintain and expand your own super-reliable solar generator so you can take effective responsibility for yourself.

Dirty Little Secret#1: Most ready-made solar generators deliver way too little power

What Portable Solar Generators Cant Power With ArrowsSome of the most heavily publicized models claim 1800 watts of output. That sounds impressive, but there are two major problems. First, 1800 watts is not that much power. One measly toaster oven uses 1500 watts; a water well pump needs more than 2000 watts on start-up; even a simple coffee maker needs almost the full 1800 watt output.

The second problem is that an 1800 watt rating says nothing about how long a solar generator can deliver that much power. Most can’t sustain their rated maximum output for more than 30 minutes. What good is an 1800 watt solar generator when it won’t cook more than a couple of pans of bacon or make a pot or two of coffee before dying? There are ways to do better, but you need to understand how.

Dirty Little Secret#2: Almost all portable solar generators recharge way too slowly.

SolarGeneratorRechargeQuoteThe claim to fame of solar generators is that they need no fuel, make no fumes and create no noise. This is completely true. Trouble is, it’s only a half truth. What the sneaky sales pitches never explain is how long it takes to recharge the internal batteries in the solar generator so you can use it again. For example: If you make a pot of coffee and fry a pan of eggs, your solar generator will be dead until it recharges again. The crazy thing is, it will take 9 or 10 hours in full sun to make that recharge happen. Many ready-made solar generators take at least 15 times as long to recharge as they do to deplete. Want things to be different? The best way to make that happen is with off-the-shelf components assembled into a truly high performance system.

Dirty Little Secret#3: Most ready-made solar generators cost way more than the components they’re made from. WAY more.

Price Comparing Solar GeneratorsOne of the slippery tricks of solar generator marketers is to talk about them as a black box, revealing nothing about what goes on inside. But the fact is, there’s nothing technologically new or innovative about a “solar generator”. It’s a marketing term. Solar generators are nothing more than a combination of four components the world has had for a long time. These include:

  1. Photovoltaic panel that converts sunlight into electricity
  2. Battery to store electricity generated by the panel
  3. Charge controller to make sure the battery doesn’t get over charged
  4. inverter to convert the DC power from the battery into AC power of the kind used to power ordinary, plug-in items

The thing about building your own portable solar generator is that you can mix and match the best quality components and keep spare parts on hand. It’s a huge benefit.

Dirty Little Secret#4: Most solar generators can’t be repaired

(The Plans To Build The Solar Generator In This Video Can Be Found Here)

While it’s true that ready-made solar generators include the four main parts above, they’re combined in a way that stops you from fixing them. One part breaks and you’re toast. Not only do you not have power, but you’re out a pile of money.  The really valuable part of building your own solar generator is that you know the system inside out. It probably won’t break if you use good components, but it if does go down you’re the best one to fix it.

Ready To Build Your Own Solar Generator For 1/2 the Cost?

Download our fully illustrated 10 page blueprints and instructions for how to correctly size and build the perfect Solar Generator for your family.

Click here to DOWNLOAD the BLUEPRINTS

Dirty Little Secret#5: Ready-made solar generators can’t be expanded

(The Plans To Build The Solar Generator In This Video Can Be Found Here)

This is related to the lack of repairability. When you buy an ordinary, ready-made solar generator you can’t upgrade the inverter, you can’t add a bigger battery, nor can you increase the photovoltaic surface area or install a better inverter. Solar energy is such a good thing that you’ll want to do more of it. That’s where a build-it-yourself approach can’t be beat.

Dirty Little Secret#6: Leading solar generator vendors use sneaky language

Buying a solar generator should be about facts you can express with numbers, not the kind of hyped sales language that’s commonly offered these days. All you really need to know to make an informed buying decision about a particular unit comes down to the answers to five simple questions:

  1. What’s the maximum continuous power output?
  2. How long will the unit run without sun?
  3. What’s the recharging output of the solar panel?
  4. What’s the purity of the AC output?
  5. How much does this thing cost?

But the reality of solar generator marketing these days is long on emotions (very long) and short on clear technical details. One of the highest profile solar generator marketers right now is using a slippery,1500 word snake oil pitch that includes dishonest phrases such as:

“A true breakthrough in home power generation!” SMALL

That’s just silly. No matter how good a solar generator is, it’s dishonest to call it a “true breakthrough”. All the technology behind a solar generator has been around for decades. You could have built one in 1983 if you knew how.

Maximum Power In Minimum Time SMALL

Really? 1800 watts can hardly be described as “maximum” power. And minimum time? What does that mean when it takes most ready-made solar generators at 10x to 15x as long to recharge as it does to discharge?

Replaces Gas Generators SMALL

Technically this is true, but just barely. It only applies to the smallest gas generators. It’s completely dishonest to say that an 1800 watt solar generator that can operate for less then an hour at full output is a wise replacement for a gas generator. And then there’s the cost of the 1800 watt solar generator being sold by these guys. It’s currently $3295 which is a complete and royal rip off. Don’t fall for it. For $1000 less you can build a bigger, better, more reliable, expandable, rebuildable solar generator of your own. Think about it. If you figure you need a solar generator at all, don’t you need to know the thing inside and out?

Don’t Wait To Build a Portable Solar Generator Before It’s Too Late…

These days we all need some kind of power backup. Our safety and security is more dependent than ever on energy, and the world is more volatile and less predictable. Just be sure you place your faith in a technology you truly understand, something you can repair, upgrade and improve. After all, why trade the mystery and vulnerability of dependency on the grid for the same kind of mystery and dependency on someone else’s over-priced, under-engineered “black box” solar generator. You can do much better than that if you take charge of things yourself.

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10 Last Minute Things to Do Before TEOTWAWKI

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Last Minute TEOTWAWKI (1)If you are watching the news and following events you know that the country could be in major crisis with very little notice. The average citizen in Venezuela had little time to prepare for the collapse of their economy, and the author of this book lived through Argentina’s multiple collapses and can give you tips for preparing and surviving.

An economic collapse, an EMP, war — these worst case scenarios are part of the reason we all prep, so that we can handle the unexpected. But suppose you have a few hours notice? What are the 10 last minute things that are most important?

Here’s a list of my suggestions:

1. Contact your friends and family and let them know what is happening. Get the kids out of school, get home from work, in other words get your group together in one location.
2. If you are bugging out to a stocked retreat, load the car, fuel up, gather extra gas cans, and leave now. You can complete the rest of this list en route and when you arrive. Before you leave, make sure you have a destination. You do not want to become a refugee.
3. Make a last minute trip to the grocery store. Buy items that you are short of, but at the very least, grab useful items like batteries, candles, matches and all the canned meats you can carry. Grab any other other last minute supplies you need. Don’t forget extra fuel. Be sure to store it in proper containers for safety.
4. Check your prescriptions and go to the pharmacy and get any refills you can. While there, stock up on the over-the-counter medications your family typically needs.
5. Check your water supplies. Are all containers filled and in good condition? If you have a waterBOB, fill it now,and have 2 on hand if you have 2 bathtubs. If you don’t have a waterBOB, fill your bathtub and all extra containers that you have on hand. Locate your water filters and make sure they are ready to use.
6. If it appears the power will go out, get your generators or other sources of off-grid power ready. It should be done even if you will be using kerosene lanterns, a propane cooker, or anything else that doesn’t rely on generator power. You may need that generator in the middle of the night, so test it and have it ready to go at a moment’s notice.
7. If you have a freezer full of food, implement your plan to preserve it. If this is going to take some time, wrapping your freezer in blankets can help keep your food frozen for a longer period. If you own a Yeti cooler, as your freezer begins to warm up, keep as much meat as possible in the Yeti. This will buy you at least a couple of days before it must be cooked.
8. If the weather is cold and you will lose heat, get your blankets, sleeping bags and cold weather clothes ready. If it is hot, make sure that your group is dressed appropriately for the weather and has plenty of water to drink and battery-operated fans to help avoid heat-stroke.
9. Make sure that your first aid and medical supplies are easily accessible. This medical kit is especially well-equipped.
10. Implement your security plan.

These 10 last minute things can be accomplished in a short period of time if you do a bit of pre-planning. For instance, if you are familiar with the layout of your nearest grocery store and where the important items are, you may be able to gather things up quickly.

If you have more than one vehicle and multiple drivers, you’ll be able to simultaneously pick up the kids, get the cars gassed up, run by the grocery store, and be on the road quickly. Be prepared to act fast and without hesitation. If you are wrong and nothing happens, you won’t have lost much and you will have had a good drill.
Howard

UPDATED on July 27, 2016.

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Jurisdictional Creep

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Best Survival Tips

Have the read the national newspapers today?  Did you watch Fox News, read Drudge, or get any of dozens survival_shtf_teotwawki_food_storageof news flash emails?  Are you planning to attend the next city council meeting where you live?  How about the school board meeting?  How do you know what is going on where you reside?  Do you care?  Did you take notice that the Massachusetts Attorney General just changed the states gun laws?  How about Magpul’s departure from Colorado to Wyoming and Texas?

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Winchester is expanding its ammunition manufacturing in Mississippi, when Illinois was once Olin’s stronghold.  Do you wonder why all of a sudden these companies have changed residencies?

Are You Awake?

How are you feeling about national health care these days?  Have you applied?  Were you amazed at the gun grabbers agree tyrantspersonal information you had to reveal?  Did your doctor ask you if you owned guns on your last visit?  It’s on the form.  Are you the least bit paranoid that the NSA is checking up on all your emails?  Maybe mobile phone calls, too?  If you belong to certain political factions in American like the Tea Party, do you fear the IRS is double checking your tax returns?

Related: A Brief History Of Martial Law

Does it bother you in the least that illegal immigrants are pouring across the southern borders under the guise of being refugees fleeing oppressive Central American governments?  Are they poor kids, abandoned by their parents?  Does it matter that 90 percent of them have been shown to be teenagers?  Will they be carte blanche given citizenship with full entitlement benefits and voting rights in just a few years?

I just attended a local state university wildlife management course and was lectured by a state wildlife biologist that told us if we have a deer camera on our private property to take pictures of deer using corn as an attractant that we now have to have a state permit to do this.  Oh, and on the permit we are to provide the GPS location of the camera on our private land.  NOT!

Do you keep up at all with the numerous Executive Orders doled out on a regular basis?  Did you notice the one recently stopping the importation of foreign manufactured AK-47s?  Well, maybe Norinco will start making them here.  Where am I going with all this that impacts our prepping and survival planning?  Truth is I am not sure what the depths of the impacts are yet?  If product importations are restricted then supply and demand kicks in making that product immediately more expensive in the short term and eventually non-existent in the long term.  Is Tula or Wolf ammo next?  I don’t personally use it for my own reasons, but you might.  What if you can’t buy it any longer?  All of these events can be classified as jurisdictional creep.  You can just Google the term if you want to read more details and headlines.

Boil the Frog

You know the story.  A frog is put into a beaker and the flame is turned up ever so slightly.  The water warms taxation-is-theft-salesslowly.  The frog does not react to the water getting increasingly hot until it is too late.  Soon enough the water is boiling and the frog is cooked.  In terms of political fodder as the provisions of our American constitution are constantly diluted, we go on about our daily business of working, raising families, and paying out taxes not noticing we have suddenly lost some of our freedoms.   It’s all incremental like the boiling water.

One day you wake up and you have to pay an entry fee into the national parks we are supposed to own as Americans.  Didn’t our taxes paid on April 15th cover that?  Non-resident hunting and fishing licenses escalate in price every year somewhere, even though we pay the Pittman-Robinson tax on firearms and ammunition purchases for that federal money to be turned back to state wildlife agencies.  Are we not all Americans in one nation?

Related: Civil Asset Forfeiture – Policing for Profit

Are your taxes raised incrementally all the time?  Federal tax brackets change, deductions are reduced or disappear, state taxes increase, sales taxes increase and municipalities can add their own little tag on percentages, local property taxes go up as the county tax collectors suddenly decide your home is arbitrarily more valuable today than it was last year.

To add further insult to injury, they have relabeled taxes to “enhancement fees” or surcharges, alternative payments, etc.  If nothing else, politicians that enact these taxes are certainly creative when it comes to repackaging the taking of money from our pockets.

Diligence and Awareness

Like it or not jurisdictional creep slips up on all of us all the time from all fronts around us.  It comes from the federal government down through the state houses, the county courts to our local city halls and community centers.  It comes from hordes of agencies with oversight control of everything we do from registering vehicles, building permits to add a garage onto the house, postal regulations, gun registrations, health permits to bury a septic tank or a body in a casket, permits to cut a tree in the yard, neighborhood restrictions on the types of roofs we can have or where we can park our cars and on and on and on.

Also Read: A Community To Die For

A big part of our on-going responsibility as preppers is to stay on top of these things.   You can plan, scrounge, buy gear, store food and water, buy guns and learn to shoot, locate a Bug Out option site, learn to light a fire in the rain, or put up a tent in the pitch black, or lock down your Bug In home, but if you pay no attention to what is going on around you outside of your little world, then how prepared for a SHTF are you really?  As a prep friend of mine says, “When to pull the trigger?” is the most critical aspect of prepping for survival.  We have to stay current on world events, national news, local stuff and other critical communications such as catastrophic weather on the horizon from hurricanes, tornadoes, to polar blasts.  Don’t get stuck somewhere on a bridge when it hits.

As preppers we have to be a lot more sensitive to the water getting warmer.  Ideally your plan is in place, and you can Bug Out at a moment’s notice.  I don’t know how realistic that is for most of us.  We may be at work, wife at a job on the opposite end of town, and two kids in two different schools.  Work out the contingencies and know what to do.  Monitor the jurisdictional creep and how it slowly but surely alters your lifestyle. Remain ever vigilant.  – John

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Our Growing Dependence On Electronics

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Pokemon Go Survival Tips

If you’ve been to a shopping center or a mall lately you’ve probably noticed how many people these days are totally plugged Pokemon Go Survival Tipsinto their phones or other electronic gadgets.  It is even worse today now that the Pokemon Go craze has hit the world like a tidal wave.  I was in the big city of Augusta, Maine recently, which isn’t that big, and was reminded of how many people are constantly plugged into their toys.  Kids, young adults, and increasingly even the Baby Boomers are getting attached to their phones.

By Jarhead Survivor

cell phone

Wicked “Smaht” Phone

Don’t get me wrong, I love my smart phone too or “wicked smaht phone” as we say here in Maine.  It has my calendar, social media, weather, Google, and all the awesome things that make this day and age so damned busy.  Over the last year I’ve found myself with my face in its screen more and more.  Facebook, Messenger (that insidious Facebook messaging app,) and Snapchat.  What I found was that my ability to concentrate was going to hell because of all the instant gratification I was giving myself.  I’d be working on something, Messenger would ding, and I’d immediately pick it up to see who was saying what.  We have a group of people that all hang out together and when we can’t get together we go back and forth on Messenger.

Over the last couple of weeks I haven’t looked at Messenger or Facebook at all.  I uninstalled Snapchat.  Oddly enough I don’t feel as driven up as I used to.  Once I turned off the dinging sound and stopped other notifications coming in it was like someone gave me an extra hour or two every day for other things – like writing this blog post.  Not to mention my stress level dropped to what I would consider “normal” levels with our current crazy lives.

Also Read: Death By GPS

Have I given up using my cell phone for everything?  Not when it comes to education or listening to music.  I like the ability to read anywhere with the Kindle app.  I love listening to podcasts on my ride to and from work, so there’s an hour a day of otherwise idle time that I’m learning something.  Awesome!  I also have a pretty good library of music I listen to – everything from Classical to Rap.  (But I still mostly listen to Pink Floyd.)

The difference is that I’m back in charge of my phone instead of it being in charge of me.  With no dings or beeps coming from it every five minutes or less I no longer have the Pavlovian reflex to drop whatever I’m doing and see who’s doing what.  Now, you’re only as connected as you allow yourself to be, of course.  The choice is totally up to you.pen and notebook

Disconnect!

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.” Henry David Thoreau

As you can see disconnecting from civilization is hardly a new concept.  Thoreau talked about it back in the 1800′s and I’d be willing to bet many people in a changing society often looked to the wilderness with longing in their hearts with the desire to slip the constraints of civilization.

I’ve tried to have conversations with folks when their text alert was going off constantly, their email was dinging, and Facebook was chirping telling them there’s a vital comment on their latest humorous post that needs liking.  To say it’s frustrating is an understatement and I’m sure you’ve all had that same experience.

Related: Setting Up A Back Up Generator

I usually go out in the woods at least once a week and that’s a perfect time for me to unplug.  It’s nice to put the phone down and just listen to the wind blowing through the trees.  My young kids – four and seven – like to come out with me and they climb trees, play with sticks, dig around in the dirt, ask if they can play with the fire and generally do what kids are supposed to do in nature.  It’s awesome.laptop

If you haven’t done it lately give it a try.  Head out to the woods, or park, or whatever you have available to you, turn your phone off, or better yet leave it at home, and connect with a family member or friend, or just sit there and listen to the wind blow or the rain fall.  It’s a great experience and I think it’s something we all need from time to time.

Situational Awareness

People love their earbuds.  And truth be told if you want to listen to loud music I’d just as soon you put in your earbuds and listen to it that way; however, when you do you take away your ability to hear what’s going on around you effectively cutting your situational awareness down to nothing.  If you listen to loud music and read Facebook (or whatever social media you’re into) at the same time you’ve effectively turned into a zombie shambling down the side of the road without the ability to see or hear.  Have you ever seen people walking down the side of the road with their backs to traffic and plugged in so that they can’t hear that trailer-truck sneaking up behind them?

Also Read: DIY Solar USB Charger

The other day I listened to a podcast about visual intelligence where Amy Herman discussed this very topic.  (Listen to the podcast here.)  She told a story about how she was waiting to get on the subway and a man who had obvious mental problems was walking up and down the platform talking to himself.  Then he took out a knife and cut himself before going back to having his one way conversation.  Meanwhile people stood around plugged into their phones not realizing the potential danger literally right next to them.  When the train pulled up they all got on the same car together oblivious of the threat boarding with them.  She walked down to the other end of the train and avoided what might have been a bad situation.

If you do feel the need to plug in to your phone, instead of using the two earbuds and blasting at full power I would suggest using a Bluetooth ear piece instead.  These little guys fit in your ear leaving one ear free to hear what’s going on around you.  They don’t have the cable either so you can leave it holstered on your hip, or stored in your purse or backpack, so that if danger does appear suddenly you have both hands free to react without fear of dropping your phone or having your hands tied up.  Listen at a reasonable volume and you’ll still be aware of what’s going on around you (although still somewhat diminished) and you’ll be able to hear and assess danger in your environment.  Cheap bluetooth earbuds start at around $25 and are well worth the investment.  bluetooth earbud

The Dark Side

Another facet of using a Smartphone is that you no longer have any privacy.  Guess what?  When you use Facebook and the GPS to post a selfie of you drinking a beer at the local watering hole some people see it don’t think it’s anywhere near as cool as you do.  I’ve read stories where people posted pictures or videos of themselves driving drunk and got busted because their friends reported it.  Now that’s just plain stupid, both the drunk driving and the posting of it.

Other than stripping away your own privacy the government also has the ability to track every movement you make.  I’m not saying they do… but I’m not saying they don’t either.  I don’t want to launch into a long paranoid discourse of how “Big Brother” is reading every text you send, checking out the movies you’re watching, or listening to your phone conversations, but they certainly could if they wanted to.

Ever hear of someone getting lost in the woods and they find them by pinging their cell phone.  It ain’t that hard to do folks.  Even if your phone is turned off it will still return a signal, so don’t think by turning off your phone you’re slipping off the grid.  The ability to spy on smartphone communications is too shiny a toy for many folks in law enforcement to resist.  Now someone will say, “Aww, Jarhead, you’re just being paranoid, dude!  People can’t do that sci-fi stuff!”

Ever heard of Stingray?  That’s the code name for a secret technology used by police to trick your cell phone into thinking it’s connecting to a legitimate cell tower, when in fact it’s really a device being used by the police.  Check out this story of how a guy named Rigmaiden discovered it and exposed it (click here).

What Happens After TEOTWAWKI?

All this talk of unplugging from the matrix is great, but what happens when TSHTF?  As you know it wouldn’t take much to turn that communications device into a piece of plastic and dead electronic chips.microsoft surface keyboard

Increasingly, we are using our smart phones for more than just simple communications.  We bank with them, shop with them, learn on them, get entertainment from them, rely on them for navigation, get our news from them, keep our schedules on them, and so on.  I’ve come to rely on my phone for many things, but I always try to keep paper backups or local copies of the important stuff.

Now imagine if all of a sudden there were no more electronics.  Let’s say North Korea hit us with a few nuclear airbursts and destroyed 80% of our electronic grid with a well timed EMP burst.  First of all, our entire culture is now run with computers.  Nearly every facet of your day to day life relies on a computer chip of some kind.  Everything from turning on your stove to starting your car requires a computer of some sort today.  All of a sudden our whole society is brought to its knees with a few well timed nukes.

If you’ve seen the movie “American Blackout” or read the book “Lights Out” by Ted Koppel, you can get a good idea of what we could expect with a grid down scenario.  The scary thing is that I’m not sure they went deep enough into what might actually happen.  Second of all,  a good percentage of our population has come to rely heavily on these devices and will now have to turn elsewhere for their information, communication, and entertainment.  Initially we’ll all have to find ways to cope without our electronic nanny attached to our belts.

How to Prepare

Other than doing what we’re doing, which is prepping for an event like this, there’s not much we can do about the first scenario.  Most scenarios we prepare for all have to do with the grid going down.  Hunker down, protect yourself and your family, and ride it out is about the best we can do.

The second scenario – the one where everybody is going through phone withdrawal and trying to figure out how to operate in a society without instant communication and gratification -will be a different kind of hardship. Luckily we can prepare for that one a little better simply by unplugging once in awhile. I like to play guitar, draw, read books, and play with my kids as well as practice my wilderness skills.  It would suck without the electronics, but I’d get used to it fast enough.  After all, I lived through the 80’s when there were no cellular gadgets or personal computers.

Also Read: Off Grid Mobile Phone

Now, it’s true I’m painting this picture with a broad brush and a good many people out there aren’t dependent on a cell phone.   But in the developed countries it’s unusual for people *not* to have a smartphone these days.windows logo

Again, I’m not bashing people who own a phone or tablet, but I am suggesting you take a little time now and then to explore nature the way it was meant to be experienced.  Let your kids go out and get dirty.  Take them into the woods and let them see spiders, and trees, and all that nature has to offer.  My two kids love being outside.  I even take them out in the winter on showshoes.  If you’ve never seen a four year old on shoeshoes I invite you into the forest with us next year when we have three feet of snow on the ground again.  It’s awesome to see and my seven year old is like an old pro on them.  So the question is are you prepared to unplug?  Try it for a day and see how it feels.

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Pokemon Go

Questions?  Comments?
Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor

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11.5 Bug Out Bag Mistakes That Are Not Mistakes

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Bug Out Bag

About the only tangible aspect we have for a real bug out is the bug out bag.  Sure you might have a BOVehicle or BOLocation, but Best Bug Out BagBOBag is often the beginning and the end for most lightweight survivalists and preppers.  The problem is that unlike taking a cruise to Alaska, or a family trip to Disney World, pretty much nobody you know has bugged out in the pure sense of the verb.  Now while I would actually like to keep it that way, the point of this blog, and your reading of it no less, is to cover the bug out contingency the best you can.  Unfortunately, most of the words about bugging out and bug out bags in particular are recycled from questionable sources or where someone played connect-the-dots using military-grade playbooks.

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Over the years I’ve read many of the same recycled advice columns about setting up a bug out bag.  And I’ve listened to podcasts from information purveyors whose bug out plans were gleaned from a Boy Scout camp out in fifth grade.  As I consumed the advice I’d pick and choose what I wanted to believe based on my past experiences, and what made logical and practical sense. But I could only take so much non-information or bad ideas before I stopped listening or reading.  Not that I have anything against recycling because I’m actually greener than most (many of us who dabble in off-grid solutions are), but that it seems nobody else will step up and risk being labeled as a heretic only to be chained to the proverbial internet post and flamed by the those who own recycled advice has just been challenged.

Above the Belt

Before reading further, here are my ground rules: First, this is about bug out bags or BOBs, not Get Home bags, not 72-hour bags, Survivaland not any of the other short-term carryovers or disaster-specific bag variations.  Second, obviously rules can be broken, but you need logical reasons to break them. Skill and experience will make up for some lack of equipment, but so too can good equipment make up for lack of skill. To a degree anyway.

And third, this article was written with the intent to shake some popular beliefs that are repeated ad nauseum across the internet whether or not the parrot has ever tested their own advice. Everything I address here is based upon my real-world experience. Of course you are free to do and say what you want, but when the fat lady sings you better have chosen wisely.

1. Do have a very big bug out bag

So-called bug out experts seem to fixate on backpack size because of noble but misguided intentions. The inaccurate but common belief is that a big bug out bag will be overpacked and impossible to carry. In reality, that logic just enforces my belief that the one giving the “smallest possible bag” advice has never done anything big outdoors. There are five main reasons you want a big bug out bag.

1) You can pack more (but see topic #2 below for more on this).

2) Big packs carry heavy loads much better than smaller packs. They hug the body and distribute weight so a 30 pound small pack is a pain, but a 30 pound large pack is almost invisible (but see topic #4 below to get it right).

3) You can use a large pack as a sleeping bag or bivy sack.

4) You can always carry air. Nobody is going to make you fill all available space in your pack.

And 5) If you leave home with a stuffed small pack, you cannot add to your load as you go. So unless you are bugging out on a commercial airline flight, you can forget about carry-on size limitations and do this right.

2. Do pack everything you think you might need

For some reason many bug out bags are packed with more good ideas than real-world supplies.  There is a prevalent fear that “too most common bug out bag mistakesmuch” is bad.  Well, I like to say that you cannot dump out what you don’t have.  Imagine an EMP caused you to hit the “go button” on your bug out plan. A month before, however, you cut down the size of your bug out bag assuming that the 30 mile jaunt to your bug out location (BOL) would be easier with a minimalist carry.

Related: The Best Food for your Bug Out Bag

But just as you head out the door, your neighbor fires up his EMP-proof truck and offers you a ride in the right direction.  No time to pack more, so guess what, you just made a colossal mistake in packing and you haven’t even left yet!  If you neighbor happens to drive a Chevy Luv packed to the gills, then you can dump out that case of Dinty Moore Beef Stew in order to wedge your bug out bag onto your lap.  Or better yet, keep it loaded and duct tape it to the hood of the truck.

3. Ignore the weight of your bug out bag

Similar to #2 above, weight can be a false prophet.  Consider why you are concerned with weight.  Is it to make your pack lighter just because? Well, does it really need to be lighter?  Or what will you be able to do with a lighter pack that you cannot do with a heavier pack? And how light is light? Or how heavy is heavy?  I hear supposedly informed preppers toss around numbers like 25-35 pounds. Well unless you are running to your BOL, the weight of your bug out bag is just one of many variables that can be adjusted on the fly. How you ask?  By dumping out what you don’t need or can no longer carry.

But if you are constantly mumbling something about pounds being pain, then you will have to make big decisions without waiting for all the information you could gather. Instead of cutting corners ahead of time, prepare to ditch weight as needed.  Water is a great ballast choice and can easily be substituted with air (see point #1 above). By the way, that old adage about three days without water and three weeks without food is nonsense in a bug out. You might survive those numbers adrift in a raft then rushed to a hospital, but certainly not walking around and doing survival work.

4. Do buy the very best you can of everything

Any internet list of “best” equipment that often further qualified by being under a certain price.  And that has failure built-in from Survivalthe start. Buy your tools and equipment based on need, quality and performance instead of price.  I’ve read lists of the best xyz under $50 or $99 with full knowledge that a massively better option is just a couple bucks more than the artificial cost ceiling that was chosen by the author for little more than dramatic effect. If you really need to pinch pennies, go with used equipment.

Since a real bug out has little margin for error, the fewer points of failure you you bring with you the better.  The problem is that most folks have not pushed equipment to the point of failure so they don’t know just how dangerous a cascade of failures can be in a survival situation.  Every year people die in the backcountry as one failure or injury multiplies into many.

Related: Jarhead’s Bug Out Bag

Someone gets disoriented snowshoeing.  They take a tumble in the powder filling their coat with snow that melts dampening their cotton clothes just as sun begins to set.  Numb hands cannot start a fire so they continue on.  A turn left at the big tree and they would have found their previous tracks and the way home.  But instead they went right and tomorrow morning their frozen corpse will be discovered by the rescue dogs on scene.  Then the spokesman for the S&R folks will again share the news cycle in an impromptu press conference highlighting the list of user errors for the umpteenth time.

5. Do skip all the military/tactical/police advice

Well, maybe not skip the advice, but certainly put it in perspective. Some of the big differences between the bug out and M/T/P INCH Bag Mistakesperspective is that a bug out is a deliberate run and hide while the M/T/P response is to engage or start the fight.  Consider what M/T/P life is like compared to the reality of a bug out. Sure a select fire weapon is effective, but unlike M/T/P you won’t have a supply chain feeding your machine gun, or an ambulance parked just behind the yellow tape. Instead, take the advice of those whose activities are closer to the bug out.

My models are mountaineering, rock climbing, canyoneering, deep mountain four-wheeling, extended backpacking and camping, winter camping, backcountry skiing, adventure racing, long-distance bicycling,mountain biking, sailing, river rafting, ultra-marathon trail running, big game hunting, forest fire fighting, and off-grid life in general. To transfer the knowledge to the bug out bag, you can first start with the equipment.  If you want quality outdoor equipment, then you have to pony-up for the tools that the serious outdoors folks count on for serious outdoor adventures. So perhaps a trip to the local REI will be more helpful bug out-wise than wandering the aisles of the big box gun store yet again.

5.5 Don’t skip all the military/tactical/police advice

In fact, embrace all the tactical aspects you can even if you look like a mall ninja’s mall ninja.  Just like the overstuffed bug out bag, the tactical look can come and go as needed, but will never be available unless with you at the start.   A common mistake that is batted back and forth by students of the bug out is whether or not to look tactical, especially in the departments of clothing, pack and loadout.  But the funny thing is that most discussions end there.

Also Read: 10 Must Haves For Your Bug Out Bag

In reality, you have plenty of options that straddle the lines of both worlds. I have a highly tactical-looking bug out bag in the form of a Eberlestock G4 Operator.  It’s a bohethomith in any language, and plays an operator in real life and on TV. Nobody would mistake the G4 for a family camping rig especially with a rifle sticking out of the top like a high frequency whip antenna on a Humvee. But in less than a minute, I can completely house the pack within a rain cover of my color choice whether light green, olive green, tan, or FDE. And the smooth fabric hides all the MOLLE, webbing ladders, 5.11 side pockets and ammo pouches. The rain cover does nothing for the size, or the rifle antenna, but it does totally neutralize the overtly aggressiveness of a tactical backpack.

For smaller daypacks, the same game can be played by simply tying or pinning fabric onto the pack, or even making the pack wear a sweatshirt.  Since the daypack is much like a human’s upper torso (which it’s designed to hug), you can dress it up in human clothes to your heart’s content.  The same is true for your tactical clothing.  Wear your operator threads under loose-fitting street clothes, and when needed just jump into the nearest phone booth and morph back into Superman.

6. One is plenty

The funny thing about redundancy is that it is usually practiced on the easiest and funnest targets like knives, fire starter, and back up iron sightsguns.  While I don’t discount the importance of those three areas for backup, I think some future bug outers are hiding low quality behind claims of redundancy.  I’ll take one good knife, one good flashlight, and one good gun over two or more lesser of any of the above. If you are worried about losing your tool and needing another one, then I suggest being more careful. Save the redundancy for those things that likely will break and create a catastrophic disadvantage. If you want to start a list of redundancies, begin with footwear. Yea, I know. Where’s the fun in that?

7. Don’t plan on bartering

I often read recycled “intel” that stresses the inclusion of barter items in the bug out bag. The problem with this type of thinking is that it wastes valuable space and weight on something for someone you haven’t yet met and who will likely not need it.  Focus on you and your plan, not that of some imaginary future person . And worse, many of the commonly suggested barter items are purely superficial.  Gold?  Silver?  Ammo?

Related: A Real Emergency Fund

Would you trade your food for a box of .303 British cartridges?  How about some pre-1964 quarters for your fish antibiotics?  Or some small yellow fragments that may or may not be gold for your extra warm clothes?  Not this guy.  I’ll engage in barter as needed with what I have at that time.  Most likely it will be for skills over objects, and especially not for those things that require intrinsic and agreed upon value like gold dust.

8. Carry cash in large denominations.

Everywhere I’ve traveled around the world, good old American greenbacks have value. The exchange rate might not be in my favor, Get Out of Dodge Bagbut bills with dead US presidents are always accepted.  Traditional prepper lore is to carry small bills such as fives, tens and twenties.  But the flaw in this wisdom is three-fold.  First, it assumes that reasonable prices will remain active during the bug out.  I sincerely doubt that bottled water will be a buck a pint or a box of 9mm for a single Hamilton will be the norm.

Related: How to Choose an Urban Survival Bag

Instead I’m betting that everything will be $100, or if not my $100 bill will beat your pair of twenties when fighting over that last case of canned soup at the gas station. Expect price gouging by packing enough financial firepower to overcome the competition and also the hesitation of the sellers.  Let the zeros do the talking.

9. Don’t rely on Paracord for much of anything

Handy yes. But only one solution of many you will need.  Paracord is by far the most popular prepper noun that doesn’t involve nitrocellulose or carbon steel. But as far as cordage goes, it’s main benefits are that it’s cheap and colorful.  Paracord was pretty much an afterthought on my outdoor adventure checklist during the first three-fourths of my life. Instead I chose specialized cordage for particular duties.  Thread, string, twine, fishing line, kevlar cord, dynamic rope, static line, one-inch tubular webbing, and so on. In fact about the only thing I use paracord for is to attach tents to anchors, and hanging food bags in trees.  Paracord is the duct tape of rope.  A catch-all solution with no specific job. But today it seems that paracord is the prepper’s dream material and is used with reckless abandon as if its presence alone will ensure survival. Learn your cordage and knots. Then use the proper rope for the job.

10. Do eat jerky

The bug out is an endurance sport so why would you take advice from someone who rarely pushes themselves to any physical limit. Mistakes for bug out bag One piece of faux-wisdom I hear often is to skip certain foods during the bug out, and beef jerky seems to be singled out more often than not.  The folksy wisdom seems to have your best interest at heart, but in reality it misses the point.  Yes, jerky is salty so you will need to drink water.  But you need to drink water anyway and at a level commensurate with the endurance sport you are now playing.  If you avoid jerky because you are delinquent in your hydration needs, the problem is with you, not the jerky.

Also Read: Have You Tested Your Bug Out Bag?

The only way to learn about the demands stressful endurance activity will place on your body is to play around with endurance. So take your nutrition advice from those folks who routinely push themselves in directions that parallel the bug out and pack your bug out bag with those nutritionally dense foods that power our super athletes whether world class bowhunter or marathon runner, Tour de France rider or ocean swimmer. Coffee and donuts might be the preferred pre-mission breakfast of SWAT teams, but don’t count on lasting long in the real world on that diet.

11. Do rely on technology

Of course technology can fail. I’m not stupid. But technology can also give you a massive strategic advantage in terms of speed and Survivalprecision. A compass and a GPS are two completely different items that have a slight bit of overlap. Yet I know plenty of folks who swear the GPS is a disaster waiting to happen while the compass they carry but don’t know how to use will save their life. All a compass does is point north. The rest is knowledge, skill, and geometry. Cell phones are magical when they work and I fully intend on using mine until it stops just as I plan on extracting all possible benefits out of every other electronic device, cable and charger I own. Half of all bug outs will happen at night, and using a compass in the dark is hardly forward thinking.

It might keep you walking in a straight line, but navigationally speaking, you’re screwed unless you have the terrain memorized in which case you don’t really need the compass. Bic lighters are technology as are gas stoves, binoculars, red dot sights, laser rangefinders, night vision, and semi-automatic pistols. And I intend to use all of them to their fullest potential. Sure a failure of my lighter and gun could have me rubbing two sticks together and whittling an atlatl, but, as I like to say, I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Blame Game

So there you have it, my eleven and a half bug out mistakes that are not mistakes. I’m not sure this list will make a dent in the information recycling efforts of the average prepper, but it is my survivalist intent to provide a place you can point to when you want to question the popular advice, experience or even motives of the classic prepper.  So steer them towards this article and they can blame me, not you.

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Low Profile Survival Weaponry

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Best Survival Rifle

Yet another mass shooting has turned an unwelcome light upon civilian ownership of semi-automatic rifles derived from militaryBest Survival Rifle weaponry.  These are usually erroneously called assault rifles, by the press, a misnomer that there seems little point in continuing to correct.  The public has been made to see these as assault rifles, and has been convinced that they are evil and have no place in civilian hands.  We can argue our points, and try to correct misrepresentations; but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor, particularly where the law is concerned. You can’t fight city hall.  A fight deterred is a fight won.  This is where the idea of low profile weaponry comes into its own.

By Neal, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Ideally, we are looking for something that does not stand out or draw attention to itself, yet is still capable of providing sufficient firepower.  So we do not want military derived guns, with bayonet lugs, flash hiders, aggressive looking assault style stocks, or military finishes.  On the other end of the spectrum, we also do not want single shot rifles, bolt actions, or anything else with a slow rate of fire.  We want something that fires a sufficiently powerful cartridge to get the job done.  So a traditionally designed gun, with a good rate of fire and a respectable amount of power is needed.

Happily, this hardly limits our choices at all. They are:

Lever action

This was the original assault gun.  Created at a time when most guns fired a single shot, and many muzzle loaders were still around, lever action gunthe lever action gives a lone individual the capability of firing off as many as a dozen rounds as fast as the lever can be worked. Working the lever and firing fast was nicknamed, a frontier drum roll.  The failure of the military to immediately adopt these guns was responsible for a number of slaughters.  Ironically, at the battle of Little Big Horn, Custer’s men were armed with the standard single shot trap door rifle, while an estimated 200 lever action rifles were in the possession of the natives. This is thought to have made a major contribution to his defeat.

By modern standards, the classic lever action holds up quite well. As an example, see the table below. It can be seen that, compared to the AR-15, the modern copy of the old Winchester is better in almost every way. It is slightly smaller, slightly lighter, fires a more powerful cartridge, and nearly matches the rate of fire.

AR-15 Winchester (Marlin) 92
Weight 6 pounds, 4 ounces 5 pounds, 14 ounces
Length 39” 37”
Rate of fire 150 per minute (semi) 12 per minute
Magazine 20 (30) 10
cartridge 223 44 magnum
Energy 1308 fp 1630 fp

Disadvantages are that a lever is slower to reload, when reloading becomes necessary, it has a somewhat lower rate of fire (though it still fires pretty quickly), and as a general rule is not as accurate as a good semi-auto, though this is a matter of debate. Considerable as it is, the 10 round magazine capacity is not equal to the twenty or thirty round magazine capacity available for the AR-15.

Also Read: 6 Reasons Why You Need A Shotgun

Still, the point here is that the classic lever action is plenty good enough, considerably less expensive, and far less likely to be banned, restricted, or require licensing than a modern military style semi-auto.  These are considered hunting arms, rather than military pieces, and will not draw undue attention when being carried in the woods, or wherever else.

Pump action

Maligned, ignored, or seen as a specialty gun, the pump is faster than you think.  It is surprisingly, one of the more popular deer rifles, and is useful in places where using a semi-auto for hunting is illegal.  Like the semi auto, it does not require you to remove your attention from the sighting plane.  This is the most popular action style for shotguns, but was somehow never embraced to the same extent in rifles.  The only major manufacturer of this action type in a useful caliber is Remington.  In its various guises as the model 760, 762, 7600, and model 6, there have been something like a million and a half of these rifles produced, and they are still in limited production today.

pump_rifle_low_profile_survival_weaponary

This is basically a semi auto rifle with the slide working action bars to cycle the bolt. In the semi auto version (the model 740, 742, 7400, or model 4), a gas piston does the job.  The guns are target accurate, and made the news shortly after their introduction when a US shooting team used them to place first in a competition in Norway.  I have always been able to get all of my shots into a single hole at 100 yards, which is plenty good enough for defense.

The pump compares well to my benchmark AR-15 in a comparison table below.  The pump is slightly longer, and a bit heavier, but fires an overwhelmingly more powerful cartridge. Rate of fire is nearly the same, and with a box magazine, reload is just as fast.

AR-15 Remington 7600
Weight 6 pounds, 4 ounces 7 pounds, 8 ounces
Length 39” 42”
Rate of fire 150 per minute (semi) 20 per minute (estimated)
Magazine 20 (30) 4 (10)
cartridge 223 30-06
Energy 1308 fp 3000 fp

Where the AR-15 beats the pump is in its larger capacity magazine, though for a rifle, I still think 10 shots is plenty.  Additionally, the AR-15 is three inches shorter and a pound lighter.  At distance, the pump’s 30-06 will completely outclass the .223 of the AR-15.  Closer in, the higher magazine capacity of the AR-15 gives it an advantage. Most important, for the purposes of this article, the pump Is not nearly as threatening, does not have the assault rifle stigma, and is less likely to be restricted, banned, or scrutinized.

Semi-auto

If you must have a semi auto, get one that does not shout assault rifle.  I admit to owning several AR-15’s, an HK-91, a pair of Best Survival GunCalicos, an M1A, a Thompson, and a few other high profile firearms.  I rarely leave the house with them. They are high profile weapons.  If we ever lose control of the government to the extent that weapons bans go into effect, these are the first guns that will be confiscated, taxed, or tracked.

Related: Best Survival Carbine

When I want to shoot semi- auto, I take my Marlin Camp Gun.  Marlin made these in two versions, one that took standard M1911 .45 magazines, and the other that took standard S&W 9mm magazines.  These are wonderful guns, sadly out of production, that are traditionally designed, easy to shoot, and look a bit like junior’s grown up 22 rifle. They are not threatening, and are unlikely to draw any unwelcome attention.

Related: The Katrina Rifle

When compared to the classic AR-15, the camp gun is about the same size and weight, with the same rate of fire, and approximately the same magazine capacity.  Both have box magazines for fast reloading. The AR-15 has a significant advantage in cartridge power, but the advantage is less applicable close in.  While these guns are no longer made, they can still be found for far less money than what an AR-15 will cost.  They also have the advantage of taking standard, cheap, available magazines. Ruger made something similar with its Police Carbine line, also discontinued.

AR-15 Camp Gun
Weight 6 pounds, 4 ounces 6 pounds, 7 ounces
Length 39” 35”
Rate of fire 150 per minute (semi) 110 per minute (estimated)
Magazine 20 (30) 15 (25)
cartridge 223 9mm
Energy 1308 fp 608 fp

Browning and Remington, have both been making traditionally styled semi auto hunting rifles for decades.  The Browning BAR, and Remington 740, 742, 7400, and Model Four series have been taking deer, elk, and dangerous game for almost a hundred years. Both are semi-automatic, both have removable box magazines, and both are reasonably light and handy.  The BAR is quite expensive, but the Remington is no more costly than a decent bolt action rifle.  These rifles take full sized cartridges, and can even be chambered for magnum rifle rounds.  They are probably better for the individual survivor than a military assault style rifle.

Surviving Today

A weapon that is confiscated will do you no good when things go bad. An illegal weapon that gets you tossed in jail will subject you to your own personal SHTF.  Neither will enhance your survival.  Someday SHTF will happen. It may occur within our lifetimes, and it may not; but it will happen.  No civilization lasts forever.  In the meantime, the rifles listed above are legal most places, unlikely to cause you any grief with the local authorities, and will serve you will in a SHTF situation.

Stay low, stay out of trouble, and survive.
Neal

Photos By:
Neal
John Ronald

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10 Tips For When You Get Lost In the Woods

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Best Bushcraft Survival Tips

In July of 2013 Geraldine Largay was hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine by herself after her partner had to leave because of a family emergency.  She was 66 years old and had a poor sense of direction and when she went off trail to use the bathroom she got lost and couldn’t find her way back.  She tried to send a text using her cell phone, but there was no signal.  Her remains were found two years later by a surveyor about two miles off the trail.  Her journal is now shedding light on what happened.  You can read her story here.  This is one of those stories that eats me up, because with just a little training it could have been avoided.

By Jarhead Survivor

The Maine Woods

The North Maine woods as seen from Mt Katahdin

The North Maine woods as seen from Mt Katahdin

If you’re wondering how someone could walk a few steps off the trail and get completely lost allow me to offer an explanation. The northern Maine wilderness isn’t like the lovely forests that Thoreau wrote about in Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.  Those woods are thick and dark and beautiful and you must be on your guard because they are unforgiving of mistakes.  The trees grow close together and walking through them can be like pushing through a rack of clothing at a department store where it’s so tight you literally have to put your head down and bull your way through to make progress.  On several occasions I’ve walked through the woods around my house within feet of a trail and never saw it because of how dense the forest can be.

It would be easy to walk a little ways off the trail out of modesty to get out of sight of someone walking the trail behind you and then get turned around.  You start walking in the direction you think the trail was, but you don’t see it.  Second guessing yourself you turn back and walk a ways in the other direction.  At first you’re a little nervous and feeling sheepish that you can’t find the stupid trail, then eventually you start to panic because you know you’ve walked three or four times the distance you walked in and now you know you’re lost.  The trail could be five feet away at this point and it would easy to miss.

I know what it’s like to be in trouble in the area Geraldine was hiking in.  As a matter of fact I broke my ankle on the trail in the 100 Mile Wilderness not too far from where she got lost.  You can read part one and part two of that story if you’re interested.  I too ran into the problem of not having cell phone coverage, but I wasn’t really surprised by this fact as we’d had limited coverage during most of the hike.

So what do you do if you get lost?  Since she had a full pack lets assume that we have food for a few days and full equipment for a long term backpacking trip.  This sets us up pretty good for survival.

Wilderness Survival Tips

Typical forest in Maine.

Typical forest in Maine.

1. STOP!

This is an acronym for Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan.

Stop:  Stop moving.  There’s a good chance that you’re feeling panic right after you first figure out that you’re lost.  The urge is to run and find the trail.  Don’t do it.  Chances are good you’ll get even more lost or hurt yourself as you go flailing through the woods.

Think:  Get your head going.  Let the panic go.  Once you start thinking you can:

Observe:  Look around you.  What can you see or hear?  At this point hopefully you haven’t gone dashing through the woods looking for the trail.  If so you’re probably still within sight or at least hearing distance of it even though you can’t see it.  Take out a whistle and blow it sharply three times or yell every thirty seconds or so.  Keep an eye out for people hiking.  Listen for people hiking.

Plan:  What’s your best course of action?  Do you have a compass with you?  Do you know how to read it? How much food and water do you have?  Do you know where north is?  Do you have a tent and sleeping bag?

2. Don’t trust electronics to save your life

Too many people today enter the wilds of America with the assurance that their cell phone, or GPS, or whatever will save them if they get in trouble.  The truth is that if you trust your life to a piece of gear that runs on a battery or can die if it gets wet, then you are putting yourself in mortal danger without realizing it.  In the woods here in Maine a cell phone signal is a luxury and there are no stores to replace batteries that have died.  Take one with you for sure, but don’t pull it out expecting it to save your life.  That way if it doesn’t work you won’t be disappointed.

3. Know how to use your gear

One of the saddest things about Geraldine’s situation is that she had a compass in her pack, but she didn’t know how to use it.  If she could have spent an hour with me I could have showed her the basics of land navigation and she wouldn’t be dead right now.  If you put a piece of gear in your pack know how to use it.  A compass is not an ornament and when navigating from point to point it can save your life, but you must know how to use it.

4. Always have an emergency azimuth

compass, direction, bearing, azimuth, hiking

Taking a compass bearing or azimuth in the wilderness.

Before going on a hike anywhere, you need to look at a map of the area where you’ll be operating in.  Usually there will be a road, or a river, or some kind of land feature that will act as a handrail for where you’re hiking.  For example, if you’re hiking a trail and there’s a road that parallels the trail five miles to the south, then south is your emergency azimuth.

Related: How To Use An Emergency Azimuth

If you wander off the trail, set 180 degrees on your compass and follow it until you hit the road.  It might be a long five miles bushwhacking through dense forest, but if you follow the azimuth (or direction) you will eventually run into the road.

5. Always know where you are

As you move along the trail make sure you know where you are on the map.  If you cross a stream or river find it on the map and you’ll know exactly where you are.  If you’re hiking east and walk off the trail to your left what direction is that?  If you said north then you’re well on your way to surviving.  Let’s say you walk left (or north) far enough and lose sight of the trail and you want to find it again.  Which direction would you follow on your compass to get back to the trail?  If you said south congratulations, because you’ll find your way back to the trail and instead of it becoming a deadly situation this incident will just be a little blip on your day.

 6. Leave a detailed hiking plan with someone

If there’s any one thing I’m guilty of not doing this is the one.  Quite often I won’t hike a trail, but set out to bushwhack to a new place.  Instead of saying, “I’m going to hike the trail up Ragged Mountain,” I’m more likely to say, “I’m going to follow an azimuth of 277 degrees magnetic until I get to the rockfall at the base of the mountain, then I’m going to hike 256 degrees to summit,” if I say anything at all.  I pledge to be better in the future about leaving a detailed hiking plan with my wife before heading out.  Either way, at least make sure someone has an idea of what general area you’ll be, because if you get hurt or lost they’ll have no idea where you are.

7. If you’re lost, make camp

winter camping

Jarhead Survivor on a winter campout.

This will prevent you from becoming even more lost.  Geraldine was two miles off the trail, but in those woods it might as well have been 200.  As soon as you figure out you’re lost, stop moving.  Set up your tent and make yourself comfortable.

8. Signal

Start a fire in a clearing.  Start it using dry wood then add leaves or green wood or whatever you can to make it smoke.  The more smoke the better.  Use a whistle to blow three sharp blasts from time to time.  The louder the better.  If you have a mirror use it signal aircraft that might be looking for you.  Set up a bright colored poncho or one of those reflective emergency blankets in a clearing.  Anything you can do to draw attention to yourself is good.

9. Remember the Survival Rule of 3′s

You can survive:
3 minutes without air
3 hours without shelter
3 days without water
3 weeks without food

These aren’t actual rules of course, but guidelines to help you organize your activities should you get lost.  Thus, shelter is more important than food using this model.  If you have a tent and sleeping bag, then you can move quickly along the priority list to water.  Once you have a water source then you can start thinking about food.

10.  Evaluate your situation and make a decision based on your facts. camp fire pit

If after three days I haven’t been found or haven’t seen any sign of activity like a helicopter circling around looking I will probably try and self rescue, but that’s based on the fact that I’ve done a lot of wilderness survival, land navigation, backwoods hiking and camping, and have tons of experience.  If you’re from the city and all you have is a couple of classes and a few hikes along well beaten trails under your belt, then you might want to sit tight.  Carefully evaluate your situation.  Ask yourself, “Does anybody know where I’m hiking?”  If the answer is yes then you might want to stay put.

If the answer is no, then perhaps you’ll want to start moving.  It’s hard to give a definitive answer because everybody’s situation is different.  I probably would have advised Geraldine to sit tight because her husband had a good idea of where she was hiking and he would be able to alert the authorities to her general area.  Unfortunately, she moved further off the trail looking for a cell phone signal and made it impossible for rescuers to find her.

Also Read: Maine Primitive Skills School Review

Each survival situation is different.  The actual key here is to be as prepared as possible for any situation while out hiking.  Other tips might be don’t hike alone if you’re a novice, carry a good first aid kit, and on and on.  There are many things you need to take into consideration when going on a hike like the Appalachian trail and the more research you do and the more experience you gain the better off you’re going to be.  I’ll leave you with this advice.  Even though I’ve said it before it’s worth saying again:  learn how to read a map and compass and if you put something in your pack know how to use it.  It could save your life.

Questions?  Comments?
Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor

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2 Types Of Military Sleeping Bags To Use On Your Bug Out

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Best Military Sleeping Bag

military sleep system - intermediate - patrol - bivy

This picture shows the bivy, the intermediate bag, and the patrol bag.

I love military gear.  Some people hate it for various reasons, but to me this gear has proven itself on the battlefield.  It’s constantly evolving and being updated as technology changes, but it’s always being put to the test.  Another good reason is that you can usually get it relatively cheap after it’s been used at Army/Nave stores or other discount stores.

Today we’re going to talk about sleeping bags.  There are thousands of sleeping bags on the market and it can be a tough decision to try and figure out which one you should use if you have to bug-out.  Sleeping bags tend to be expensive as well and who wants to spend $300 on a new sleeping bag that’s going to live in a bug-out bag and see the light of day once a year when you go in to check the gear?  Leaving a newer sleeping bag compressed will eventually cause it to lose it’s loft ending the usefulness of the bag.

By Jarhead Survivor

There are a couple of types of military sleeping bags I’d like to compare and contrast today.

Old School

First, let’s go back to the ’80s when I was in the Marine Corps as a fresh faced youth.  The bags we used back then were much heavier than the ones used today.  I usually rolled mine up and tied it to the outside of my ALICE pack and carried it around that way if we were going to be marching.  I spent a lot of time in artillery, so luckily we could just throw our bags on the back of the 5 ton trucks when we were moving around.

tennier military sleep system - bivy - intermediate - patrol - compression sack

This is the Tennier System (4-Part). The fourth part is the compression sack in this picture.

The standard bag back then was the Bag, Sleeping, Intermediate Cold Weather (ICW) and its Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) cousin.  I spent hundreds of nights in both of these bags and never got cold.  The ICW bag weighed about 7 1/2 pounds and surprisingly, so did the Extreme Cold Weather; however, the ECW bag also came with a liner for really cold temps and that added some to the weight.  I slept many nights at -40 degrees Fahrenheit and never felt unduly cold in the ECW bag.  Most of my nights in the ICW bag never really fell below freezing and I never felt cold in it either.

Related: M1951 Fishtail Parka Review

These are mummy type bags with drawstrings that you can use to pull the hood of the sleeping bag tight around your head in cold weather.  One of the things they told us to avoid was sleeping with your head down inside the bag.  This puts a lot of moisture inside, which can cause you to get cold.  However, I did this many times without getting cold, so I leave it up to you try it for yourself.  When the temperature is below zero your natural tendency is curl into a ball and try and get your head as far from the biting cold as you can.  Some people wore a balaclava and others, like me, wore the wool watch cap to bed.  They also advise sleeping with the parka mits over your feet to help keep them warm.  Although I never did this it makes sense if your feet get cold.

One night I was camping with my dad just off a frozen lake here in Maine.  The wind was howling and the ambient air temp stood at -20.  He couldn’t believe it when I stripped down to my undershorts, t-shirt, and wool socks and climbed into my ECW bag.  I was shocked to see that he had brought a kids Charley Brown – type sleeping bag and froze his ass off all night.  I gave him my field jacket and some other stuff, but I could still hear his teeth chattering all night long.  It didn’t take him long to get himself a good warm bag after that night!

 The New Gear

comparison icw bag - tennier sleep system

Hilary models the ICW old style military sleeping bag. Next to her is the Tennier Systems (4-Part) sleep system

Now let’s talk about the more modern military gear.  The new Modular Sleep System (MSS) bags are made by Tennier Industries and come in four or five parts depending on the model you get and is rated between 50 and -50 degrees Fahrenheit.  There’s a lightweight patrol bag rated for between 30 and 50 degrees.  The Intermediate bag is rated for 30 degrees to -10.  There’s a compression bag you can get that’s a good modern day addition that will compress the MSS down to one cubic foot.  The one piece I really like is the bivy, which is basically a personal tent.  It’s water resistant and has a cover over the face I found useful in cold weather.

Like I mentioned earlier, you can separate these bags and use them independently or together.  I slept in the lightweight patrol bag in 40 degree weather and found I was a little cold though it’s rated between 30 and 50 degrees.  I’ve slept in the intermediate bag in 30 degree weather and was reasonably warm in it, but I wouldn’t want to try it in -10 degree weather by itself.

Also Read: SHTF Sleep Deprivation

If you combine all three components and you’re sleeping in your polypro underwear they say it’s good to about -50.  The coldest I’ve slept in the combined sleep system was around -10 and I was comfortable, although I wouldn’t want to attempt -50 in one of them.

One thing I had to learn was how to ventilate properly.  When I first got in the bag I zipped up all three components and was too warm.  So I unzipped the inside sleeping bag down to my belly button and cooled off until I was comfortable.  As it got colder I zipped the inner bag up a couple of inches at a time until I was in full mummy mode with the bivy closed and covering my face.  I liked this feature as it meant I could breathe outside the main bags without getting moisture down inside them.

Also Read: Mil Surplus Sleeping Bag Review

Over all this bag is much closer to the civilian bags on the market today.  They are far lighter than the older bags and more versatile; however, they are a little more expensive.  They also compress down nicely and can fit in your pack a little better, although I found that most quality civilian bags rated for the same temps will compress more and be a little lighter.

Tennier Sleep System and ICW bag side by side.

Tennier Sleep System and ICW bag side by side.  The Tennier bag is NOT compressed in this picture.

As mentioned earlier I like the bivy.  One thing I’ve done is take the bivy from one of my Tennier sleeping bags and put it in my Get Home Bag (GHB.)  By itself it doesn’t offer much in the way of insulation for warmth, but during the non-winter months it would be ideal for get home purposes.  Open it up, climb inside with your clothes on, and you basically have your own personal tent.  Put it on top of some pine or fir boughs, or a pile of leaves, and you’d even be comfortable while you grabbed a couple hours of tactical shut-eye.

 

When to Use These Sleeping Bags

So when is the best time to use these bags?  The older bags would be good:

When you’re on a budget
When you don’t expect to be carrying your bag anywhere
When you want to be sure you’ll be very warm
If you are dragging it on a sled

The newer sleep systems would be good:

When you expect to be hiking and need a lighter bag
If you have a little more money to throw at them
When compression is important to you (pack space)
When you need a bag you can split up for different purposes and climates

Overall they are all pretty good sleeping bags. I bought a pile of the newer ones at once and still have a few kicking around.   There’s a link on their site for a Retail Outlet and you can pick up individual gear there as opposed to bidding at Government Liquidation.  One thing you might try though:  if you have a few like-minded friends looking for pretty good sleeping bags or other military gear pool your funds and bid on a lot of sleeping bags.   Split the shipping costs and you might be able to pick up twelve to twenty sleeping bags for a few hundred bucks like I did.  I sold some of them, but kept four or five for family and friends and have loaned them out to friends several times when we went camping and our friends didn’t have any gear during a bug-out.  You might also need to loan to family during a bug-out.  Ya never know, folks.

If you have questions about bidding at Government Liquidation let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.  I spent a good deal of time on this site a couple of years ago and got a pretty good feel for it.

Questions?  Comments? Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor

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Implementing A Secondary Survival Cache

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How to bury a survival cache

Is there a compelling reason to justify selecting, creating, and stocking a back up supply hide?  This is a subject I have spent Best Survival Cacheconsiderable time researching over the past several months.  My conclusions are not hard and fast, because I realize first and foremost that every member of the Survival Cache family has different survival prep priorities, goals and objectives.  Creating another survival cache of goods is not for every prepper.  And don’t be confused by my use of the terms secondary or intermediate, because I mean them to be interchangeable.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Why Create Other Cache Hides?

Here’s the scenario.  You work downtown in a medium or large city.  The commute is several miles from home and it takes up to an Best Way To Make A Survival Cachehour depending on the traffic congestion to get to your office or work site.  Your wife and kids work and go to school in the opposite direction.  By noon there is a report of severe weather coming in.  A glance out your office window reveals dark, ominous clouds rolling in your direction.  It is obvious the winds are picking up and it starts raining.  What do you do?

You call your wife and tell her to gather the kids and head to your predetermined secure Bug Out location, which is a rural farmhouse built to withstand nasty storms.  When you finally negotiate the traffic and arrive at your Bug Out locale, what have you done to prepare at that site for an extended stay?  Did you cache out the site?

Related: Monovault Burial Vault Review

Scenario No.2 is different.  You live downwind only 40 miles from a chemical plant that has experienced a melt down.  You have been ordered to evacuate your home and you have zero time to pack anything.  The whole thing catches you off guard.  You gather your family, jump in the SUV and speed down the driveway praying you can find a motel somewhere down the highway in the safe zone.  The nearest town is another fifty miles down the road.  Perhaps you wish you had stashed a cache of supplies somewhere else away from your home just in case?  Maybe just a hidden plastic sealed vault with some emergency food, water, medicine, and some other supplies to carry you over.

Obviously we could create an endless number of “what if” SHTF scenarios in which the creation of a secondary supply cache would have proven extremely beneficial.  Questions arise about where, what, how much, how long, and such.  It seems as though some of these questions could prove quite problematic to having a secondary cache.  I guess the question will always remain just how practical it would be to build out a secondary supply hide.  For me, the tough issue would be setting aside critical supplies in a potentially vicarious location where expensive goods might deteriorate over time or be discovered by somebody else or even be gone when I needed it.

Some would say to cache out at a distant family or friend location where it would be secured.  Others advocate the extreme of burying it somewhere in the wilds hoping it will endure the natural elements.  All questions worthy of poised thought and planning.  But for the sake of consideration for proper prepper planning, let’s consider the possibilities.

The Cache Bag

Perhaps this could be considered nitpicking, but what if we created a smaller version of a Bug Out Bag that contained perhaps Best Way to Store Guns Undergroundsome of the same stuff, but in smaller emergency type quantities that we could cache in one or more locations for “on the run” situations.  This would be an intermediate grab and go bag on our way to a more permanent Bug Out location.

It is not to be kept at your fixed home living domicile, though I suppose it could be in the car trunk or in the back of the SUV.  The idea though is for it to be hidden out at an in between location from Home A and Bug Out Location C.  The Cache Bag is posted at Site B.  The location could be a friend’s garage, a known business location such as a warehouse of an associate, or the upstairs closet of an aunt somewhere along the travel route.  There could be multiple Cache Bags hidden at alternate routes all eventually leading to your final Bug Out hold out.

These supplies are meant to sustain you until you reach your final pre-planned destination during the SHTF.  This would differ from larger Bug Out Bags that would be intended for an extended starter supply bag once you traveled direct from your home or office to the Bug Out site.  This Bug Out Bag would be kept at home or in the vehicle if secure.  The Cache Bag idea is also not a substitute for well supplying your final Bug Out locale in advance.  I realize this is taking a fine line, but one principle of prepping is to remain flexible and to consider multiple options.  Frankly, we’ll never really know what options we have until we’re in the middle of it hitting the fan.

Packing a Cloaked Hideout Cache

One has to realize in this day and age that we could be displaced from our homes sometimes on very short notice as a result of any How to bury a survival cachenumber of circumstances such as the examples opening this treatise.  If we are away from our primary residence at that time, then we may realistically not have time to gather supplies or essentials for our evacuation or escape.  We may need gear, supplies and equipment hidden elsewhere either before we can get to our Bug Out site or as an alternative to that Bug Out site.

Such a cache is meant to be hidden long term and retrieved in the event of a SHTF.  As mentioned above there could be many options for hideout places.  You have to pick ones you are secure about and comfortable with.  What sort of goods should we plan to pack into a hideout cache?

Also Read: If You Only Have 4 Pieces of Gear

The list should be kept short, concise, and focused on essential needs.  One list might include some clothing items geared toward seasonal weather, everyday use toiletries such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, a comb or brush, wet wipes, washcloth, small towel, some cash and coins, perhaps some candy, energy bars, and some water.  Consider a shelter top, tarp or heavy duty plastic leaf sacks.  Other items worthy of consideration to cache based on an assumption that your evacuation might be due to a natural disaster that could have possibly destroyed your home, neighborhood, or town and thus you could suffer the loss of critical items like important documents.

You might want to strongly consider copies of credit cards, essential keys such as duplicates for your vehicles and house, insurance papers, social security cards, banking information and account numbers, and critical personal files you might wish to copy onto a flash drive.  Any other personal important items as well perhaps birth certificates, legal papers, your will, home mortgage information and titles to your house and cars.  Pack a supply of any required medications and perhaps some over the counter items such as aspirin, Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, antacids, and any other items you may normally use on a regular basis.

All of these items could be cached securely in a 58-gallon molded survival barrel with a waterproof screw on top.  These containers are available from many sources and could be buried or just well hidden.  There are many other products out there as well to be used for caching supplies, gear, and goods for a long term storage plan.

Maybe What Not to Cache

Personally I am a bit squeamish about packing weaponry and ammo in an intermediate hideout cache.  I want that kind of gear Best Survival Cachewith me the entire time.  A few extra boxes of ammo maybe, but I’m not putting an AR or a pistol in a ground vault.  You may decide otherwise.  Check shelf life on food products you cache.  A number of MRE meal packs would be good and expected to last a while.  Store bought granola or energy bars may not last that long.  A few bags of purpose-driven survival food would work.  Again the idea (hopefully) is for this secondary cache to just tide you over in route.  You decide how many days of rations and supplies you want to hide out.

It is reasonable to consider that any SHTF escape plan could be interrupted, altered, compromised, or become a dead-end effort.  You may have initially worked out a plan to get from Home A to the final Bug Out site C in two days.  What if the roads are blocked, gangs or zombies are controlling or raiding points of exit.  It might take you to alternative routes and a much longer protracted scenario to reach safe haven.

Start setting seconds of gear, goods and supplies aside to build out your Cache Bag.  Keep focused on the idea that this is not your final destination so it is not imperative to put your best stuff in a secondary hideout location.  Save the best stuff for your more permanent Bug Out site.

I hope you guys can think of a cajillion (that’s more than a million!!) other things to put into a secondary cache.  We are counting on your thoughts to supplement ours.  Use our comments section to post your ideas and suggestions.  We are all in this together so please share your lists.

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Building a Post-Apocalyptic Survival ATV

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Fresh off watching Mad Max Fury Road for the second time, I am almost ready to drop some cash on airfare TEOTWAWKI ATVand tickets to attend the increasingly popular Wasteland Weekend.  For someone like me, a publisher of post-apocalyptic fiction and survival nonfiction, it’s like a dream event right up there with attending the annual SHOT Show in Vegas.  Wasteland Weekend… don the roughed up leather jacket, scrap metal and cut rubber for shoulder armor, make a wild Mohawk and prepare to party with post-apocalyptic peeps for an entire weekend.

By DG, founder of Prepper Press

I’d roll into the event in my… on my… hmmmm.  Post-apocalyptic ATV? Yes!  Now hold up, before you all-too-serious folks dismiss this post, read on as I’ve included more practical SHTF information in the second half. But for now, how would I get to a post-apocalyptic ride like Max’s off road motorcycle?  There’s some obvious takeaways here, mainly dirt, scuffs and randomly secured blankets and bags. The ATV, though, while slower than a dirt bike or motorcycle, may be better equipped for riding through the wasteland. It can carry more gear!

Racks & Boom Sticks

Racks – you can’t store spare gear without front and rear racks, right? Chances are high if you own an ATV, Best Survival ATVyou already have racks installed.  Figure out how to use them to their fullest.

Spikes – I didn’t get this far, but if I was going to Wasteland Weekend with an ATV, you can bet there’d be spikes all over it to ward off people and enemy ATVs.  The easiest route would be welding pieces of rebar to the rig, but that would likely be more apt to risk hurting the rider than anyone else, but in a Fury Road scenario, you don’t want people jumping onto your ride – let them impale themselves on that pig iron.

Antlers – they look kinda cool, don’t they?   All post-apocalyptic like?  Horns would also work, ideally Texas long horns.  They’re not very practical, but they can offer an imposing appearance, a symbol of… something, I’m not sure what, but I like them.  They give the ride character, like it’s ready to butt heads.

Fury Road Boom Sticks – you know the explosive spears they toss in Fury Road to disable vehicles.  You Best Survival ATVneed ‘em. I made replicas, took wicker tiki torches, spray painted them black, and “boom” goes the stick – at least we pretend, but if loaded with tiki fuel, it’d do something.

No, I didn’t end up going to Wasteland Weekend, sadly.  If I had, traveling from Maine wouldn’t really make arriving in an ATV probable, but maybe someday. In the meantime, the boys had fun pretending to be war boys.

Beyond Appearance, More Practical

So you’re not planning to hit Wasteland Weekend with an ATV or looking to make an “art car” for Burning Man Festival. You’re of the more serious mind, practical and logistical, and you’re certainly not going to waste time and energy making what equates to vehicle cosplay. The ATV is still an obvious asset to have should SHTF, as any fast, light, off road transportation would be.  What you need to know.

ATV Specific Gear

Zombies (a.k.a. unprepared urban dwellers invading your neighborhood) are on the hunt and you need to get out of dodge – ASAP! You saddle up your ATV ride, but with what? It calls for some special “insurance” items:
1.  A Jerry Can and mount. You can’t roll without gas. One of these cans will carry 5 gallons of spare gas. Double the tanks if your machine can fit them and your planned route warrants it.  Want a better idea?  Check out the RotopaX gas packs, they’re made for ATVs.
2.  A winch. Well duh. Do I really need to explain this one?
3.  A basic commercial patch/plug and compact tire pump.  That will take care of most tire-related troubles. Toss in some spare headlight bulbs as well.
4.  An axe or quality saw. Don’t let a downed tree block your path to safety (and it doubles as an anti-zombie tool).
5.  A trailer – that’s right. It’s a whole lot easier to pull gear and there’s a lot more room. You can easily triple your load capacity with a trailer. It’s a no-brainer. Just make sure to get one specific to the task with enough ground clearance to meet your needs.
6.  GPS – mounted to the front.
7.  Gun carrier – again, for obvious reasons, unless you want it accessible and ready to go at all times. Then figure out an attachment that works for you.

Noise

“But wait,” you say. “Fire that ATV up and you’ll be heard a few miles away, eliminating any hope of OPSEC.” They’re called “ATV silencers” and they’re readily available on Amazon and other sites. “Silent Rider” is a popular brand.  Did you hear that?  No, me neither.

ATV Bug Out Bag – How’s it Different?

So your bug out plan involves departing by ATV – lucky you! Not only can you travel faster, but you can carry Best SHTF ATVmore gear.  I’m not going to rehash what goes into a bug out bag as I’m sure many of you know, but the ATV allows you to double, or even triple, up on some key pieces of equipment.  My advice? More water and more food.  Perhaps some additional gear pertinent to your locale (extra blanket, sun hat, etc.).  Still, put all of that “stuff” inside a backpack just the same. Who knows what you and your machine might encounter. Plan to bug out by ATV, but be able to take essentials with you by foot if necessary.

Summary

The ATV, under certain circumstances, can make a wonderful survival vehicle and/or post-apocalyptic ride. This all assumes you need to get from point A to point B, and the ATV will facilitate that.  It could also have utility in a SHTF situation.  Say, for example, you need to get firewood or carry water in a trailer, things of that nature.  Remember to be mindful of your ATV’s load capacity. You don’t want to exceed it. Ideally you’d come under capacity.  Keep your ATV maintained, and ride safe, ride hard!

– Derrick Grant.  Mr. Grant is the founder of Prepper Press, a publisher of post-apocalyptic fiction and survival nonfiction. Follow his Facebook writer page for all things apocalyptic.

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Grid Down Prepping

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Written by John D on The Prepper Journal.

It’s no longer a matter of settling for canned food for dinner. If we are forced to live through a grid down scenario, it’s whether or not you’ll have any food at all. It’s about dealing with starving people, who, in their desperation, will try to forcefully take what you have.

The post Grid Down Prepping appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

TEOTWAWKI. Survival. How Prepared Are You?

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TEOTWAWKI. Survival. How Prepared Are You?

How prepared are you? Have you gone to any expense or put much time into your survival plans? Or don’t you really think anything is going to happen anyway, so what is the point in going the whole hog?

The problem is of course, IF there is a survival event, it will be too late to prepare after it has happened. I find myself at that point where I think I have done all I can do without “going the whole hog”. We are off grid & off all services, we are equipped with 18thcentury technology & some modern technology. We are producing our own food. BUT, if a survival situation arrives that is a direct threat to my family & my home, then we will need to construct a high palisade right round both houses & the garden areas.

To do this now would be inconvenient, because (A) we don’t have the man power that we would have in a survival situation, & (B) the palisade would block our view from the house. It would also use up a lot of our time & resources for something that we may never need.

Going off grid was not difficult, & we have been off grid for many years. It has cost us less to live off grid than it would have done to live in the city. Getting all the necessary tools & equipment together was not a problem, nor did it involve any extra expense.  Living off grid is a lifestyle choice, & the items you need to purchase are a part of that lifestyle. The 18thcentury equipment was purchased to satisfy my interest in Living History, Historical Trekking & experimental archaeology. The fact that we now have all this equipment, supplies, knowledge & skills is a plus in our survival preparations. Indeed, if I had not become interested in 18th century Living History, it would have taken me a lot longer to realise the potential & advantages of this technology over modern technology.

So having told my story, what is yours? Are you really serious about being prepared, or is it just a game? If you are serious, just how far have you got so far, & how far are you prepared to go pre shtf ?
Keith.

Summer Prep For Kids

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I have listened to a lot of people lately complain about their kids and how all they want to do is sit in front of Survival Kidsscreens.  Ironically while these people are telling me about their “lazy” kids, they are checking their phones and physically, appear to be the indoor/ couch type of person.  I am extremely tired of hearing how lazy children are these days when their supposed role models are no better.  Kids will imitate those they spend the most time around.  If you are an active individual they too will be active.

By Tinderwolf, a contributing author of SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Likewise, if you are lazy and you show them that technology is the most important activity to spend their time on, well they will follow suit.  Having your kids be active as soon and often as possible is paramount. Start off small and keep it going.  You don’t have to plan some fancy trip to the mountains for a week straight.  All kids really want is attention and consistency.  My kids were going through a phase where they enjoyed pirates.

Related: Get Your Kids Outside

So, I got a hold of a bunch of old half dollars (non-silver) and various other coins and planned treasure Camping & Survival Kidshunts. I would hide the “treasure” in the yard or at park and then make up a treasure map.  Be creative and don’t make the map too difficult to read. I drew mine with crayons or markers, added various landmarks that they would easily identify and added a North, South key on it.

I took it one step further to make the map look older by rubbing used coffee grinds all over it and crumpling up the paper.  Sometimes they would have trouble finding their way and I would make up very simple riddles or clues for them to figure out.  This simple activity got my kids outside, introduced them to reading a map, used their imagination and they had an absolute blast with this game.  I found what works with my kids so they enjoyed this activity and now they ask to go on treasure hunts all the time.

Related: 4 Step Household Evac Plan

Learning how to fish is not only fun (in my opinion) but is a critical skill to learn.  From my experience, my Best Survival Skills for Kidskids got bored pretty quickly when I first took them fishing.  I found they stayed interested in the process much longer when we were catching fish.  The easiest way to accomplish this is by not fishing for the biggest fish in the pond but rather, fish for the little ones.  I would always find a spot on shore where I knew I could dip and pull little Bluegills and Sunfish out of the water with regularity.

When my kids knew they could get their own fish they wanted to completely take over the process and soon they were sitting next to me doing everything themselves.  As they get older make the fishing experience more challenging.  Instead of using a store bought pole have them make their own from a tree branch or have no pole at all.  I found what works with my kids to make fishing fun and now they ask to go all the time.

Also Read: Everyday Survival Kits

I first took my kids camping in my mom’s backyard.  They helped me sent up the tent, laid out the bedding, collect firewood, and sorted out all of the other particulars.  It was important to me that they didn’t rely on just a tent for shelter so we made other types of “forts” to play in.  We used a tarp and other natural materials to create different kinds of structures that could be used for shelter.  I had them do everything when the time came to create a fire. Creating a scavenger hunt to find the materials kept them interested in the process.

I gave them a very small Old Timer knife to scrape tinder and cut small twigs.  Once the ingredients for the base of the fire were ready I had them use a lighter to get the fire going.  When they saw that little flame grow and grow into a warm life giving fire, their eyes got as big as silver dollars.  This made the frustrating process of them using a fire rod much easier as they had the knowledge and drive to see that fire again.  I found out what works for my kids and now they want to go camping, they want to learn different methods for starting a fire, they want to create their own shelters.

Related: Family Survival

What I found most interesting with my kids were the questions they would come up with on their own.  I was Survival not introducing them emergency situations or prepping but getting them involved in outdoor activities and skills that many don’t become involved with anymore. As time went along   the questions they had were prepping and emergency situation related.  “Dad, what happens if you can’t get food from a store?” “Dad, what do you do if you get hurt and no one is around?”

I fostered these questions and treated them gently like a small ember of a fire.  Never doom and gloom the situation until you have to.  You have to find what works for your kids to keep them interested and having fun. I used the same methods as mentioned above to teach them gardening, food storage, self- defense, navigational skills and the list goes on.  You are the adult, you are the role model, you not only have to show them (and yourself) how to take the first step, but how to keep putting one foot in front of the other in the pursuit of a more fulfilling, skillful lifestyle.

You Might Also Like: Bug Out Bags for Kids

Power down all the empty, time consuming aspects of your life and get involved.  Sometimes teaching others is easy and sometimes it makes you want to hit your head against the wall.  One of the most important aspects to teaching others I have found, is that I learn just as much, if not more, from those I am teaching. Get out there and remember, have fun!

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TTP’s For SHTF

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Prepping takes time and preparation.  This is essential whether you are doing a Bug In at home with family, a Survival few extended family, neighborhood friends, or a Bug Out solo or with a partnership team.  Just know that the more numbers you add, the more complicated and difficult things suddenly seem to become.  It is inevitable I guess.  Either way you will be facing the daunting task of learning, teaching, practicing and perfecting your TTPs or Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures.  Far be it for me to preach to you guys all the details of that approach, so I will just highlight some priority topics.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Look at the Survival Cache site under the books section to get some heavy duty reading materials on the subjects at hand.   There is rarely a substitute for building a foundation of basic knowledge regardless of the subject.  I have probably quoted this before but this comment by Patrick Rogers in SWAT Magazine just about says it right.  “When all is said and done, practice does not make perfect.  Practice only makes permanent.  If we strive for only for mediocrity that is all we will ever achieve.”

Also Read: Review Henry Arms AR-7 Survival Rifle

That is the bottom line with survival prepping.  We can read all we want.  Attend seminars and take courses to expose ourselves to knowledge.  Watch all the You-Tubes we can, but if we never try to perform these skills ourselves, then we are just kidding ourselves in the worst way.  And I point the same finger at myself with many of these things.  We have got to do better.

Contingency Training

Do yourself a favor whether a Bug In or Bug Out alone or with others, conduct a SWOT analysis.  These are Best Survival TrainingStrengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  The easy way to do this is to use different colored sticky pads for each of the four SWOT concepts.  Have your family, group, or team write down ideas on each topic and stick them to the wall or white board under each category.  Compile them, consider them, debated them and then prepare for them.

SWOT Analysis is a commonly used management tool for developing teams to work better toward common goals but also to learn more about the challenges you face as a team.  It can be a fun process, if you anoint someone with leadership skills to guide the process and control the discussions.

Related: 3 Bug Out Lessons From A SWAT Officer

In terms of practicality, I can only imagine how difficult if not actually impossible to train or prep for every possible contingency.  You have to take stock of where you live for example and look at the most likely worst threats.  Where I live we are subject to tornadoes, and hurricanes.  This year is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  There will be more.  There are tornadoes every year that rip apart entire communities in my home state.  What if one hit your house, or mine or the neighborhood down the road knocking out all power for a month?

Where I live I am 60 miles as the crow flies from a nuclear power plant.  What if ISIS somehow bombed that or an insurgent slipped in with a suitcase dirty bomb?  Impossible you say?  Better rethink that line of denial.  Am I spending a lot of time on how to recover from a nuclear plant meltdown?  Nope.  Do I know what I need to do to get ready for the aftermath of a tornado or hurricane?  Yep.  You have to regionalize your prep plan when it comes to the potential for natural disasters where you live.  Then get our TTP priorities in order and initiate action.

Also Read: 10 Best Survival Movie Lessons

Then you can start to concentrate or parallel your prep for unnatural disasters such as an economic collapse, a bank closure, widespread power grid lock down, communications crash, epidemics of all kinds (Dah, like what…..measles?), and other SHTF events that are out of our control except for the survival part.  Work to those ends.  Heed your SWOT, even if all you do in that regard is one for yourself.  You have to know where you stand in your world.

Training the Undesirable Tasks

Do not spend all your training time on the things you like to do or already do well.  For example, most of ussurvival_prepper_shtf_survivalistpreppers like guns and shooting.  We make a critical error if we dwell on firearms defense and protection to the neglect of many other things.  Sure it is important, but if you starve to death or die from weather exposure without shelter, then what have you gained but weapons left to rust.

Stock up your canned goods or dry pack foods.  Learn to light a fire in the wind and rain.  Get your reserve fuel stocks in order including cooking stove fuels.  If you Bug Out, know how to assemble your tent in the dark or by flashlight.  Work your “pack and jerk” plan which is to say have supplies ready to go, ready to toss into the pickup bed or SUV at a moment’s notice.

Also Read: You’re a 1000 Miles Away and the SHTF

Don’t just buy a can or bag of survival food.  Buy some then prepare it.  See firsthand if it is edible or if you spit it out.  Can you light that Coleman lantern or replace the mantle screen?  Can you sharpen knives, and axes?  Have you tried to put a tourniquet on someone?  Can you break new ground for a garden, hoe it, and plant it?  What would you try to grow?  You could actually try that in your backyard this summer.

Maybe a good start to this end would be to make a list of the things you dislike doing the most, then dedicating at least some time to those tasks.  Perhaps there is a person on your team or family that might actually enjoy that task.  Let them plan for it and lead the practice.  Hey, SHTFBlog fans, what are the prepping tasks you hate the most?  Tell us in the comments below.

Adverse Conditions Training

Train and practice in good weather and bad.  SHTF knows no fair weather birds.  In fact many naturally How to surviveoccurring SHTF’s are severe weather incidents.  As I look out my office window right now the temperature has dropped 20 degrees in three hours and a winter advisory is out for the evening and tomorrow.  How would you like to camp out tonight?  It would be a perfect time to test your skills and your will.  See, this is just another reason I plan to Bug In.

Related: 1 Pistol, 1 Rifle, & 1 Knife

Suppose right now you lived in Boston and maybe you do.  How was that walk to the corner market just to find many items gone from the shelves because restocking was impossible on the impassable roadways?  How many times can you dig out the sidewalk or driveway?  Are these conditions starting to wear on your psyche?  Getting a little edgy are we?

I suppose within nine months we will see a spike in the birth rate in these areas impacted by adverse winter weather.  Did your prep plan factor in another child or a first one?  Now you have other issues and concerns to deal with.  So, don’t just pick the blue sky park days to get outside to execute some of your prep plans.  As nasty as it might seem and will be, whether freezing cold or super hot and humid, when a SHTF really does come, the environmental conditions will be real all year long wherever you reside.  Know this, prep for it and practice for it.

Plan For Training Then Execute

Neither planning nor training is like reading a book then putting it up on the shelf to collect dust.  You may well know how to overhaul that garden tiller motor, but have you done it?  A few months ago you bought a new AR for defensive perimeter work and a bright shiny new red dot optic for it.  How many rounds have you put through it to date?  One box is not nearly enough regardless of the cost of the ammo.  Can anybody else in your family or on your team shoot this weapon with reliable accuracy?

Every component and aspect of your prepping plan has to be executed at some point in order for the plan to be effective.  Well, there’s a no brainer if I ever heard one.  It’s just reality that most of us have longer lists of things to accomplish on our prep plan than we have yet to do.  I am with you brothers.  You are not alone in the prepper wilderness.

Also Read: Raising A Prepared Kid

For me, I am the best planner, I create impeccable detailed lists, and am a thinker of things to be done.  But I am the worst at doing them in a timely manner.  My wife on the other hand is a doer, but plans nothing.  Whatever she buys she never reads the owner’s manual, while I pour over one for days.  She’ll plan a project, have half the tools needed, and always forget some critical phase of the deed.  I hope she doesn’t read this.  You’d think we would complement each other, but as you know, it doesn’t work that way.  Which one of us is it again that is from Mars?

Again, I think the best most prudent approach is an incremental one.  We simply cannot do everything at once anyway, though our thought patterns may be able to work and plan that way.  If we continue to postpone the inevitable, we are likely to get caught with our pants down around our ankles with Brian Williams there on the chopper flying overhead, but passing us by.

Also Read: SHTF – Women & Sex

I’ve never had to really survive a tough SHTF yet, but I cannot imagine any part of it being much fun.  I had to “survive” nearly a week without air conditioning and electricity from Katrina in August heat.  It was grossly unpleasant, but it was only 5 days.   What if we had to do endure that for a month, a year, longer?  Get your TTPs in order and things will go much easier down the road.

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What Role Will Technology Play In Doomsday?

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Technology seems to be something that splits most preppers down the middle. For some, stocking up on all the latest survival gadgets is an essential step to take to ensure preparation for potential apocalypse.

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CASCADIA RISING: FEMA Will Hold A Drill To Prepare For A 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake And Tsunami June 7-10 2016

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The Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of North America spans from northern California to southern British Columbia. This subduction zone can produce earthquakes as large as magnitude 9 and corresponding tsunamis.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of North America spans from northern California to southern British Columbia. This subduction zone can produce earthquakes as large as magnitude 9 and corresponding tsunamis.

 

Just in case you missed it…and you probably did…FEMA Will Hold A Drill To Prepare For A 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake And Tsunami next week.

Just in case you missed it…and you probably did…there is a gargantuan, 700 mile long quake-maker referred to as the Cascadia Subduction Zone that rests at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the American northwest where the seabed meets the North American tectonic plate.  According to experts, this behemoth has the potential to unleash the worst natural disaster in the history of North America should it rupture entirely.

150720_r26752-865Think that can’t possibly be true?  Surely I’m overstating the danger.  Think again.  Remember this article from The New Yorker that we shared with you a while back that warned us The next full-margin rupture of the Cascadia subduction zone will spell the worst natural disaster in the history of the continent.

 

The “Cascadia” has already shown it’s power and it has a violent history.  According to this CNN story, on January 26, 1700, Cascadia unleashed one of the biggest quakes in world history that triggered a tsunami so large that it raced across the Pacific and swallowed coastal villages in Japan.  You’ve probably heard of the San Andreas fault, but it’s nothing compared to the monster that is the CSZ.  The CSZ has the potential to rip off a 9.0 magnitude quake, almost 30 times more energetic than anything the San Andreas could unleash, not to mention the subsequent tsunami that would be generated at the same time.  The CSZ holds so much more power because it is a subduction fault, whereas the San Andreas is a slip fault.  With a slip fault, the two land masses slide past one another causing an earthquake that is fairly short in duration.  In a subduction zone, one of the earth’s tectonic plates is being forced downward into the earth as the colliding plate slides over the top of the first plate.  These plates get “hung up” occasionally allowing stress to build up along the fault as the top plate is pulled down with the lower plate.  When the stress becomes too great, the top plate “snaps” back to it’s normal position releasing a tremendous….almost incomprehensible….amount of energy.  This snapping action creates a terrifyingly violent shaking that can last three to five minutes, far longer than the 15-30 seconds of shaking you may be used to in other earthquakes in California.  As if the shaking weren’t enough, as the plate “snaps” back it simultaneously lifts the ocean above it triggering a devastating tsunami.  The last time the Cascadia ruptured, the coast of the North American plate dropped about 5 feet!  Think for just a second and imagine the size and unrelenting ferocity of the tsunami wave that would have been created by that type of land mass dislocation.

According to the official flyer for the event, “Over 50 counties, plus major cities, tribal nations, state and federal agencies, private sector businesses, and non-governmental organizations across three states – Washington, Oregon, and Idaho – will be participating in the four-day Cascadia Rising 2016 Exercise.”

Cascadia-Earthquake-Zone-Public-Domain

 

U.S Northern Command is getting in on the act as well, holding five other exercises simultaneously.  The final Cascadia Rising 2016 drill plan tells us those five exercises are entitled “Ardent Sentry 2016″, “Vigilant Guard”, “Special Focus Exercise”, “Turbo Challenge” and “Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore”, all of which focus on a scenario that involves a magnitude 9.0 earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone followed by a giant tsunami that could displace up to a million people from northern California to southern Canada.

The United States is a continental country and the Cascadia Subduction Zone represents a North American sized disaster and national threat.  Even if you do not live in the great northwest or have family that does, it would be wise to maintain a wary eye cast in that direction.  When the CSZ fully ruptures again, even if you don’t feel the shaking, every American will feel the impacts.

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After the Apocalypse: What Will You Do Then?

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

But an apocalypse is something that you could still live through, right? At least that is what many of us seem to be prepping for. What could life be like after the apocalypse and why do so many preppers need to adjust your thinking about the probable facts of life we all plan on living through.

The post After the Apocalypse: What Will You Do Then? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

28 Inconvenient Truths About TEOTWAWKI

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I know I’ve complained about this before, but I can’t stand preppers who are actually looking forward to TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it). Sure, disaster movies are exciting, but talk to anyone who has actually lived through a major disaster and they’ll tell you how awful it is. That’s why […]

The post 28 Inconvenient Truths About TEOTWAWKI appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Diseases That Will Be Making a Comeback – and What You Can Do To Prepare

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

When our society collapses, so to will unlimited access to clean water, quality food, and medical care. Most diseases that have long been eradicated in the developed world will once again rear their ugly heads, and many will die. Preparing now will ensure that we and our loved ones have a better chance of surviving.

The post Diseases That Will Be Making a Comeback – and What You Can Do To Prepare appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Bug Out Long Term (B.O.L.T) Pistol: Part 2

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Best Bug Out Pistol

Continuing this story… The innards of the Ruger 22/45 are not the only pieces of metal in need of Best Bug Out Pistolmodernization.  There are plenty of upgrades necessary on the outside of the pistol to make this a B.O.L.T.-worthy tool.  For instance, the magazine baseplates, the grip, the threaded barrel protector, carry options, and of course the sights.  And speaking of sights, the stock Ruger 22/45 iron sights are near impossible to see.

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of SHTFBlog and Survival Cache
This is the second article in a 2 part series (Read Part 1)

Night Blindness

The rear sight is little more than a flat black square notch that centers a thick flat black front sight blade Best Bug Out Pistolensuring the stock sights are nearly useless.  Low light situations are out of the question, and anything with a dark or variable colored background makes sight alignment nearly impossible.  Since sights are imperative to accuracy, quality aftermarket sights are a must.  In this case, Williams FireSights were the obvious choice. No, I’m going to take this further.  If you don’t update the sights, in specific to FireSights, then it would seem that you are not taking this situation seriously.  The fiber optic light gathering and contrasting colors make the Fire Sights embarrassingly better than the stock irons.  The brilliant glowing green and orange dots are nothing short of magic.  For less than fifty bucks, you can put your 22/45 on target every time, not just when conditions afford visibility of flat black on flat black.

Grip Matters

The grips on the 22/45 are, well, like a government issue .45 auto which is exactly where the 22/45 gets itsBest Bug Out Pistol name.  As a diehard Glock fanboy who was born with a Glock grip angle on my first toy rattle.  But the semi-slippery scales that screw onto to the handle of the 22/45 can benefit from a rubberized upgrade.  And it’s Hogue to the rescue.  By providing a grippier circumference to snuggle up with, the Houge’s offer a positive interaction between shooter and machine.  But as a Glockster, the finger indexing on the Hogue lock in a positive interface making aiming the Lite intuitive and rock solid.

One In The Holster

Carrying all this .22LR firepower all day every day requires a suitable holster.  And none serves this duty Ruger 22/45 Reviewbetter than the Blackdog.  As a adjustable friction fit Kydex containment system for all things Ruger (and a Benchmark), the Blackdog could care less about barrel length, and to a certain extent suppressor length. Hint, hint.  But back on topic, for this exercise I chose the Low Ride Blackdog.  I like high ride holsters for aggressive carry, and low ride for day to day open carry.

Holosun? Yea, I Heard Of Them

Finally the optic.  I was all ready to snap on an Aimpoint Micro onto the OEM rail. But then Holosun Best Optic for Ruger 22/45HS503C caught my eye.  In roughly the same form factor as the Aimpoint, the Holosun HS503C incorporates two reticle options as well as running on both solar and battery power.  One thing I really liked about EOTech sights (about the only thing) is the large sighting ring, something around 65 MOA. A single small red dot is great when you can see clearly and have a good cheek weld, but waving a pistol around trying to find the dot can be a challenge especially if the shooter is in motion.  There are just a few degrees of movement where the dot appears in a micro-sized tube at arm’s length.  Having the choice of large ring or small dot gives the shooter the best of both worlds.

Also Read: The Hurricane Katrina Rifle

And while the Holosun has a battery life in the ballpark of Aimpoint’s three million minutes (50,000 Best Survival Pistolhours=2083 days=five years eight-and-a-half months).  Although the solar does not charge the battery and needs the sun, low light shooting with a dead battery will require iron sights.  But enough dust should have settled in five years to not need to sneak around in the dark.

My main comparable in optics on a .22 pistol is my Ruger Mark III Target pistol with fluted bull barrel and Leupold 2X pistol scope.  While the Mark III is better at long range and more accurate with the crosshairs, the Holosun topped 22/45 was much faster on target massively lighter.

Shhhhhh…

Sound is a dead giveaway.  Even the pop of a .22 will attract attention and scare game.  So a true Bug Best SHTF SuppressorOut pistol would not be complete without a suppressor.  Unscrewing the Game Changer Compensator and threading on the Gemtech Outback II drops the decibels to the “what was that?” level.  If that.

Gemtech is a leader in suppressor (or silencer to the Hollywood crowd).  Based in Boise, Idaho, Gemtech produces some of the finest and lightest suppressors on the planet.  The Outback II is a high-end ultra lite .22LR only suppressor. It’s certainly not the least expensive, but certainly one of the higher performing and higher options available from your Class-3 dealer.  And if you want to upgrade your Outback II, you can opt for the G-Core upgrade for another pair of Benjis.

Related: CZ75 9mm Pistol Review

Sound suppression should be a fact of life, but instead the NFA makes it a $200 tax plus paperwork, fingerprints, signatures, and a few months of waiting. But that should not be too much to swallow when it comes to an optimal bug out gun. Spinning on a suppressor opens some doors otherwise closed to ear-ringing decibel damage. For the cost of just five more barrel inches and 2.7 ounces, the silence is defining.

When subsonic ammo pops out the far end of the suppressor at less than 1100 feet per second the B.O.L.T. Pistol spatters lead down range both accurately and with no more sound than the bolt cycling, usually by hand.

Compensating For Something?

A stock 22/45 with a threaded barrel comes with a small protector. Tandemkross makes a Compensator Best Pistol Ruger 22/45that works wonders whether on pistol or rifle.  The muzzle jump on a .22 is near-zero, but the compensator does reduce it. I measured the upward acceleration of the muzzle using a Vernier accelerometer comparing the compensator to a bare muzzle and with a supressor.  The Tandemkross Game Changer compensator noticeably reduced the muzzle flip, and redirected the muzzle blast away from down. Normally not a problem with a pistol since you are not shooting with the barrel just inches above dirt, but I did notice it when shooting off a snow-covered rest.

Rubber On Road?

So how does all this B.O.L.T. kit shoot? Like a dream! The flow from presentation to trigger pull to bang (or muted pihfft) is a scary reminder how little weight and effort can change the game.  Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber) lived in a cabin just a few miles upstream from my favorite fishing hole.  He was known for quietly poaching deer by shooting them in the eyeball with a .22 rifle.  Where long guns differ from handguns is mostly in sight radius.  The reason a pistol would ever need a long barrel is not necessarily to give the powder more burn time, or more spins on the bullet as it zings down the pipe, but in fact to hold the front sight further away from the rear peep.  But a red dot sight negates all that sight radius stuff since it makes no difference anymore.  So a four inch barrel is as useful as an eight inch one.  The red dot sight used here makes accuracy not an issue of front post on target, but red speck on topic.

Also Read: Pocket Carry vs Concealed Carry

Holding the gun steady is the issue, not keeping the dot on prey.  Painting the target is easy.  Pulling the trigger while the dot is where it needs to be becomes the challenge.  But that is a good problem.  Plus, you can hand the gun to anyone and it will be obvious that the red dot means kill.  Nobody would second-guess the operation of a red dot sight where irons take understanding.

Downrange

At 15 yards off a rest this B.O.L.T. gun easily makes one ragged hole in paper with CCI ammo.  Well, most Best Bug Out Pistolof the time. Enough of the time.  Out to 50 yards, it’s possible to keep the pistol on a dinner plate since the Holosun red dot sight couldn’t care less if it was on a handgun, rifle, or Sherman tank.  A single point of red light has no sight radius.  But if one restricted the target size to the orbital cavity in a deer skull, anything under 25 yards could be considered ethical…in a SHTF sort of way.

Related: Grab ‘N’ Go Pistol Bag

In the end what one needs in a bug out tool gun is a reliable machine that can deal with day-to-day chores as society rebuild itself for too long we’ve tried to find the perfect gun for all situations but in the end what you really need something that can live a few grains of lead downrange and dispatch the furry or feathered food with precision simplicity and elegance.  Although the B.O.L.T. gun is not THE perfect solution, it is A perfect solution for an imperfect world.

All Photos By Doc Montana.

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Global Catastrophe Imminent: “Asteroids, Robots and Engineered Viruses Will Kill Millions”

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Survival World News

Nuclear war

By Mac Slavo – SHTFplan.com

There is yet more confirmation that near-certain doom is headed for planet earth, and could kill or disrupt the lives of everyone on the planet.

And there’s reason to think it could be in our lifetimes.

A study commissioned by Oxford University identified possibly-imminent catastrophe from asteroids, AI, volcanoes, nukes/EMP or manufactured/weaponized disease sweeping the planet.

And yet we’re the conspiracy theorists…

According to the Daily Mail/Press Association:

In the next five years asteroids, super volcanic eruptions and unknown risks are ranked as the biggest threat to humanity.[…]

It may sound like the stuff of sci-fi films, but experts said these apocalyptic threats are more likely than many realise…

[…]

In the longer term, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has been listed alongside catastrophic climate change, nuclear war and pandemics as a threat to humanity.

The biggest long term threat to civilization…

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Filed under: News/ Current Events, Prepping, Space Weather, Volcanic Activity

20 Skills You Can Trade After The End Of The World

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20 Skills You Can Trade After The End Of The World Too many preppers have a romantic view of life after the end of the world. They see themselves as the hero of a post-apocalyptic movie, but the most likely scenario is far more depressing. Fernando Aguirre is a prepper who lived through the hyperinflationary …

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