The Persuasive Prepper: Convincing Loved Ones to Prepare

By DAISY LUTHER | ORGANIC PREPPER | MARCH 21, 2013

If you are a prepper, chances are that you have friends and family who consider you anywhere on the “nuts” scale from a bit eccentric to downright certifiable.

This viewpoint, of course, makes it very difficult for you to talk with these loved ones and bring them over to the “dark side” of preparedness with you.  It’s painful to see people about whom you care, blithely going along, spending money frivolously, buying their groceries a couple of days at a time, and living in places that are totally unsustainable should disaster strike.

Why People Won’t Listen

It’s important to understand why your loved ones see the world through rose-colored glasses.  While they are busy casting mental health disorder epithets your way, it is actually the people who refuse to accept reality who are suffering from a psychological phenomena called “cognitive dissonance”.

Cognitive dissonance (a phrase coined in the book When Prophecy Fails, by Dr. Leon  Festinger) describes the mental discomfort that a person feels when faced with two diverse values – the reality of a situation and the moral belief system of the person collide. When this occurs, the person must make alterations to one or the other in order to regain his equilibrium. According to Dr. Festinger theory, “people engage in a process he termed “dissonance reduction”, which can be achieved in one of three ways: lowering the importance of one of the discordant factors, adding consonant elements, or changing one of the dissonant factors. This bias sheds light on otherwise puzzling, irrational, and even destructive behavior.”  (source)

It’s very frustrating to watch otherwise intelligent people completely avoid the acceptance of our reality.  Those deep into cognitive dissonance are simply NOT going to come around by hearing you preach to them.  If anything, it will only drive them further away from you.  The concept of, for example, a long term disaster like and EMP or an economic collapse are incomprehensible to them.  Because of this, no matter how fervently you believe these things to be likely in the future, it’s best to water down the reality into manageable bites.

Breaking Them In Gently

Many people find it easier to accept the likelihood of a weather-related disaster that might knock the power out for a few days to a week.  You can easily provide recent examples, like Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.  For those in regions where events like this occur, you can often persuade your loved ones to stock in at least a 2 week supply.  Other regions are prone to ice storms, snow storms or earthquakes.  This can be a gentle introduction to preparedness.  Clearly, a two week supply is not enough to weather a long-term disaster.  However you may be able to build on this base acceptance and begin to help your loved ones begin to extend their supplies.

Another great tactic is promoting the economic logic behind a well-stocked pantry.  Prices are only going up – it doesn’t take a prepper to see this.  If you can convince someone of the investment value of a food supply, sometimes you can persuade them to prep without them even realizing that is what they are doing.  Then, when that supply comes in handy during a disaster event or a personal period of economic hardship, you can gently reinforce the lesson.

Sending gentle nudges via email is sometimes helpful, but inundating a non-prepper with preparedness advice will generally fall upon deaf ears.  Repetition of preparedness concepts without the scare tactics can help break through the normalcy bias, but it is important to limit yourself within the tolerance level of the person with whom you are communicating.  Remember, you do not want to be the Jehovah’s Witness of preparedness, knocking on the door during dinnertime while the non-prepper pretends not to be home.

Unfortunately, for the most part,  you have to realize there isn’t a lot you can do to convince others that preparing is vital.  People have to come to their own realizations, just the way you did.  You have to accept that constantly harping on preparedness will do nothing more than drive a wedge between you and those you love.

What If They Won’t Listen?

As a prepper, you have to make a difficult decision.  Are you going to prepare for a few extra people, adding supplies and making room for them when the SHTF?  Or are you going to go about your preparedness business quietly, embracing OPSEC and building up your supplies with only your immediate family members in mind?  Some people state that they have no compunction turning away unprepared family members when disaster strikes, because they spent years warning them to get ready.  This is a choice that most preppers have to make, and there are no “one size fits all” answers.  It is important to discuss this among the decision-makers of your household and present a unified front, which ever conclusion you reach.

Have you been able to help friends and family see the writing on the wall?  If so, how were you able to convince them that it was time to get ready?  If not, are you preparing for extra people or are you planning on locking the doors?

Obama’s ‘Green’ Energy Failures

By ASHE SCHOW | THE FOUNDRY | OCTOBER 19, 2012

It is no secret that President Obama’s and green-energy supporters’ (from both parties) foray into venture capitalism has not gone well. But the extent of its failure has been largely ignored by the press. Sure, single instances garner attention as they happen, but they ignore past failures in order to make it seem like a rare case.

The truth is that the problem is widespread. The government’s picking winners and losers in the energy market has cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and the rate of failure, cronyism, and corruption at the companies receiving the subsidies is substantial. The fact that some companies are not under financial duress does not make the policy a success. It simply means that our taxpayer dollars subsidized companies that would’ve found the financial support in the private market.

So far, 36 companies that have received federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy and other agencies. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.

The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:

  • Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
  • SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
  • Solyndra ($535 million)*
  • Beacon Power ($69 million)*
  • AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
  • Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
  • SunPower ($1.5 billion)
  • First Solar ($1.46 billion)
  • Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
  • EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
  • Amonix ($5.9 million)
  • National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
  • Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
  • Abound Solar ($374 million)*
  • A123 Systems ($279 million)*
  • Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
  • Johnson Controls ($299 million)
  • Schneider Electric ($86 million)
  • Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
  • ECOtality ($126.2 million)
  • Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
  • Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
  • Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
  • Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
  • Range Fuels ($80 million)*
  • Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
  • Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
  • LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
  • UniSolar ($100 million)*
  • Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
  • GreenVolts ($500,000)
  • Vestas ($50 million)
  • LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
  • Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
  • Navistar ($10 million)
  • Satcon ($3 million)*

*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies’ business models and deciding if they are worthy. When the government plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to “invest” in green energy.

The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.

UPDATE: Some of the companies on this list received money from government agencies other than or in addition to the Department of Energy. We are updating the numbers to reflect the most accurate figures available.

Europe to End Sales of Incandescent Bulbs Tomorrow

Bulbs will be substituted by toxic fluorescent light bulbs filled with mercury.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | AUGUST 31, 2012

The European Union (EU) will officially stop the sale of the traditional incandescent bulbs, whose creation is credited to Thomas Edison. The move is supposed to be a step towards an improvement in performance and savings, however, it is not as simple as that. As The Real Agenda has reported before, the compact fluorescent light bulbs have been found to emit dangerous radiation on top of containing mercury, a strong developmental neurotoxin that damages the liver, brain, kidneys and central nervous system.

Infants and young children are more vulnerable to mercury’s toxicity. There are no safe levels of exposure neither to the radiation not to the mercury. Even low levels of exposure are responsible for causing a number of health problems. The demonstrated effects include impaired motor functioning, cognitive ability and emotional problems. More exposure to both the radiation and the mercury, likely results in more serious health problems.

But despite the proven threats to human health, countries like the United States, Brazil and whole regions such as the EU have established deadlines for the production and sale of the reliable incandescent bulbs. In the EU, the sale of the bulbs will end on September 1 — tomorrow. “They’ve had a great importance, have been a stable light source in the last hundred years,” said Santiago Erice, Philips lighting expert.

Thanks to this first reliable light source, humanity became independent of the sun and could lengthen their workdays and nightfall, which meant a significant increase in productivity and further development. Incandescent bulbs led lighting systems were installed on streets lamps, increasing safety of pedestrians and vehicular traffic. They were also very important for hospitals, libraries, cafes and of course, homes.

The appearance of more efficient light sources paved the way for questions to be put forth about the incandescent bulbs’ efficiency, but no one seemed to care about  the safety of the new compact fluorescent bulbs. As in many other aspects of life, the economic benefits were put before the health of consumers, and just as it happened with the depletion of the ozone layer and the supposedly more efficient home appliances, big business imposed its will. Governments were lobbied enough to not only accept the use of the compact bulbs, but also to put an end to the production and sale of incandescent ones, instead of letting the market take care of the choice.

With LED bulbs’ hefty prices and little practicality, consumers are now literally obligated to purchase the more toxic compact fluorescent ones. While the cost of an incandescent bulb remains at about $ 1 on average, a compact halogen is around $ 7 — depending on the type — and modern LED lamps up to $ 50. The LED is seen as the natural successor to the incandescent, not only for its energy efficiency, but also for its multiple applications (the new screens of televisions, for example), but its cost makes puts it at an unreachable price for millions of people around the world.

So-called Environmental organizations such as WWF and Friends of the Earth welcomed the withdrawal of incandescent bulbs, which they say, will generate less waste due to the longer duration of other bulbs. Not a surprise here as both the WWF and Friends of the Earth are heavily financed by the corporations that sought the end of the incandescent bulb and the adoption of the toxic compact fluorescent bulb.

The withdrawal of incandescent bulbs has increased concerns about the negative health effects that fluorescent bulbs will have on consumers. In the case of Europe, it seems like there is no turning back. Tomorrow they will say farewell to the incandescent and hello to the disease causing compact fluorescent bulb.

US Government: Humans are National Security Threat to Oceans and our Planet

SUSANNE POSEL | OCCUPY CORPORATISM | JUNE 13, 2012

A new study published in Nature Climate Change, asserts that the warming of the world’s oceans have everything to do with the effects of man. This scientific research has climate change alarmists excited over a new way to direct man-made climate change into the social meme.

According to the study, “We have identified a human-induced fingerprint in observed estimates of upper-ocean warming on multidecadal timescales.”
Computer model data from research from Australia, Japan, India and the US proves that the temperature of the oceans and its variable fluctuations are not a natural occurrence. Causational information fabricated by suppositional computer models from the world’s major oceans compared to climate alarmist’s computer models shows that there is an excess of man-made influence.

The international team of researchers used for this study attributed only archrival computer models and assumed simulations and compared them to the supposed effects of fossil fuel emissions during the last century.

The report states that ‘When the global mean changes are included” the “anthropogenic fingerprint” is of 1% which is an insignificant level. Yet, this statistic is being blown out of proportion to create frenzy over the earth’s victimization at the hands of humans.

Peter Gleckler, climate change alarmist scientist from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) stated: “Although we performed a series of tests to account for the impact of various uncertainties, we found no evidence that simultaneous warming of the upper layers of all seven seas can be explained by natural climate variability alone. Humans have played a dominant role.”

The LLNL is a pseudo-outreach of the government; a national security laboratory that proposes deterrents to national security by using science and technology in the name of national interest.

Their methods of interest include:

• Bio-Security
• Counterterrorism
• Defense
• Energy
• Intelligence
• Nonproliferation
• Science & Technology
• Weapons & Complex Integration

The LLNL is a private sector corporation employed by the US government to act as a research agency used in promotion of the climate change alarmists to coerce national support for the lie that man-made climate change is a real national security threat.

The LLNL is dedicated to “strengthening the United States’ security through development and application of world-class science and technology to”:

• Enhance the nation’s defense
• Reduce the global threat from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction
• And respond with vision, quality, integrity and technical excellence to scientific issues of national importance

The US government owns LLNL while allowing them to function as owner operated. They receive the majority of their funding from the NNSA Office of Defense Programs for nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship activities.

Support for national security and homeland security work also comes from the NNSA Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation , the Department of Homeland Security , various Department of Defense sponsors, and other federal agencies who sponsor activities, such as:

• Office of Environmental Management
• NASA
• Nuclear Regulatory Commission
• National Institutes of Health
• EPA
• Various state of California agencies and industry

Last month, Leon Panetta, Defense Secretary stated that climate change was a matter of national security.

Panetta spoke to the Environmental Defense Fund, ““The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security. Rising sea levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”

George Soros’ disinfo corporation, Media Matters (MM), supports President Obama’s global warming assertions and his war on affordable, clean energy. They claim that “climate change poses a serious threat to our national security, and that transitioning to alternative energy will enhance military effectiveness.”

MM collected “15 military leaders” that have agreed to assist Obama in pushing the lie of man-made climate change by saying that they believe it is a threat to national security.

Even Rajendra Pachauri , chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) retorts that if a successful action is not taken to stop climate change, it will become a national and international security threat.

Pachauri said: “If the impact of climate change is going to make regions of violence poorer, then they really provide a level of fertility for inciting disaffection, resentment against the prosperous world. That’s an indirect effect that can create the conditions for terrorism.”

Recommendations to the US were: “We’re likely to have problems with respect to water supplies in the US. We have to tell the people of the US. that this is something intimately connected with their present and their future. The cost of inaction is going to be far higher than action. And the cost of action is really not all that high. The US has made all kinds of sacrifices in the past and has always come out on top.”

The oceans are a big issue now that the UN’s Earth Summit in Rio+20 is being held this month. Many activists are clamoring for the UN to put the ocean at the forefront of their concerns.

Scientists at Yale University have put out a paper concerning the acidification of the oceans. Through decrying biodiversity preservation, Carl Safina, marine biologist and president of the Blue Ocean Institute, claim that the additional CO2 produced by man is making the ocean more acidic and this is vastly altering marine life.

The result they predict is forced extinction of many marine species over the next several decades.

Gleckler contends that “multi-model” ensembles gave them decades of data that reflects “natural climate vulnerability.” However, while ignoring real world observations and solely base their conclusion from computer models, the alarmist team was able to “detect attribution of a human-caused climate change signal.”

The movement toward reversing climate change has more to do with over-reaching governmental and international control, and less to do with mitigation of the actual problem. While the US government, various globalist schools and the UN fear-monger the need for rules, regulations and controls over the people and sovereign nations, they fail to answer the problem with solutions.

They simply continue to brow-beat the idea that man is responsible for the condition of the planet and their usurpation of control over the world’s population will stop the effects of global warming.

Iran may move its nuclear enrichment plants

Associated Press
December 14, 2011

Iran may move its uranium enrichment facilities to safer locations if this becomes necessary, a senior military commander said Wednesday, reflecting Iran’s worries about a possible military strike against the sites at the center of Tehran’s standoff with the West.

Both the U.S. and Israel have not ruled out a military option against Iran’s controversial nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at making atomic weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying the program is geared toward generating electricity and producing medical radioisotopes needed to treat cancer patients.

Gholam Reza Jalali, who commands an anti-sabotage unit in the powerful Revolutionary Guard, said the vulnerability of Iran’s nuclear facilities from a possible strike is “already minimal” but that the move still may go through for their better protection.

“If conditions require, we will move (our) uranium enrichment facilities to safer locations,” Jalali was quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency as saying.

Iran’s main uranium enrichment site in Natanz in central Iran is built partly underground while the long-secret Fordo facility was built deep inside a mountain as a precaution from aerial attacks. Jalili said the existing infrastructure has already been “a kind of deterrent” against attacks.

“Our vulnerability in the nuclear field is minimal,” Jalali claimed. “If Americans and Israelis were able to attack and harm our nuclear facilities, they would have definitely done so by now.”

Jalali’s unit was set up on an order from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is tasked with reducing the possibility and minimizing damage from potential military action against Iran.

Natanz is of key concern since it is the country’s main enrichment site and the location of the bulk of its centrifuges _ machines that are used for enriching uranium in a technology that can produce either fuel for power plants or fissile material for a nuclear warhead.

Natanz computers have been the target of a cyber attack in 2009 and experts there have had to battle a powerful computer worm known as Stuxnet, which has the ability to send centrifuges spinning out of control.

Iran acknowledged Stuxnet affected a limited number of centrifuges at Natanz but said its scientists discovered and neutralized the malware before it could cause serious damage.

Jalali did not elaborate on possible sites for the relocation of nuclear facilities but such an effort would be hugely complicated and would require places able to store the technology safely.

In August, Iran announced it was moving some of its centrifuges to Fordo, just north of the holy city of Qom, because that site offered better protection from possible airstrikes but did not later elaborate on the move or say whether the centrifuges came from Natanz.