Episode 223 S6-23

Volcanic Winter

Featuring:

The Endless Night Ch 23

Special Guest:

Chin Gibson

In the past volcanic activity has created very unusual circumstances on the earth, including volcanic winters. This extreme condition has not tested human beings in hundreds of years. Today on the show, the characters in The Endless Night experience the hardships of a volcanic winter and then Chin, and I explain how you can be better prepared.

A volcanic winter will create challenging conditions across the globe. As temperatures plummet, individuals will scramble for warmer clothing and adequate shelter. Food and water concerns will increase as global resources and supplies run desperately low. Power production without sunlight is possible, but the results of those methods may not assist the planet with recovery. Human chaos will also be a factor.

For essential clothing, dress for extreme winter conditions. Even those in tropical or temperate climates should get ready to feel the chill. Layer your clothes and stuff newspaper or rags in between the layers. Cover as much skin as possible. Use natural fibers that keep moisture away from your skin. If sweating, start stripping layers to vent your body. Clothes should be loose and allow for proper circulation. Plus tighter clothes will reduce insulating air that can get trapped in between the layers.

If you are in the ash zone be careful. Not only is it toxic to breathe, but rain can also turn ash into a solid substance. Underground bunkers should be sufficient, and even stand up to earthquakes. There is a risk of the filtration system becoming clogged. Beyond the ash zone be ready for the cold. In large homes you may want to pitch a tent in a room that is easy to heat and huddle there during the night.

Water is going to be another big issue. Sulfur dioxide that volcanoes put into the air form acid rain in the clouds. This water comes down and has devastating effects on forests, freshwater, and soil. It kills insects and aquatic life. It also hurts humans, causing heart and lung problems like asthma and bronchitis.

We produce sulfur dioxide every day in our factories. Intricate systems clean the emissions. There are lots of different methods, but many of them involve using water to scrub the gasses with an alkaline solvent. There wasn’t much information on how to clean the water after it was contaminated, leaving me baffled.

Food production would be most successful in indoor facilities. People would have to organize and build massive greenhouses, and it would have to happen quickly. Growing food takes time, it takes power, and it takes light. Most growth systems use soil, and all growth systems require seeds. Crops will fail and when that happens extra seeds will be needed.

Light is another critical element. There is an experimental garden hosted by PlantLab that uses a vertical gardening system and only red and blue light. The atmosphere is controlled in an underground hanger to facilitate the growth of the plants. The plants grown in these conditions are more nutritious because the plant spends more time developing rather than cooling itself. Food can be grown year-round in any environment. This system is also conserving 90% more water than traditional gardens. Even the evaporation is collected and refed to the system. If there is a crop failure, replanting can begin tomorrow. The controlled environment creates a more extended growing season with faster initial growth.

However the energy use for these systems is high. The lights are getting more efficient, but so far the energy-conserving LED lights aren’t up to task because the light ray doesn’t travel far enough for the plants.

A volcanic winter would have dramatic effects on all-natural vegetation. There would be seasons of no wild foraging as the earth experiences a 10 to 11-degree drop in temperature! Traditional agriculture would grind to a halt.

Power production with no light means there would be no more solar power. Humans would turn to hydroelectric or geothermal heating. Burning fossil fuels would be an obvious solution, however, it would add to the amount of sulfur dioxide in the air, lengthening the earth’s recovery time. It may be possible to use human power. Although, the energy expended might not equal the energy gained. Utilizing the wind would be another viable option, but the weather patterns may be challenging to predict.

Humans would be in chaos. The first world nations would scramble as supplies depleted, and situations worsened. Third world nations would starve as extra resources that were usually supplied by first-world countries were cut off. People would freeze in the cold, and world production would slide to a halt. The phycological effects of the lack of sun would take their toll as well. For society to survive and thrive, they would have to act fast. An immediate survival plan would have to go into effect to ensure a continuation of essential supplies.

Works referenced:

Featured Quote From Today's Chapter:

"That's ususally what happens when you leave your comfort zone, you grow."

Featured Survival Product:

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Character Origins

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Chin Gibson

Chin Gibson is the mystery prepper. Friend to all and known to none. His real identity hidden from the public, Chin is well known to the online prepper community as the go to resource for finding a community member to solve your problem. He is an awesome people connector and does his best to unite the voices educating the masses about being ready for a unforeseen life challenge. Chin will be joining Sara to co-host The Changing Earth Podcast.

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