Essay by Eric Worrall
Prepper Ben Green thinks the coming climate apocalypse will end the Capitalist system – but if you pay him €3,500 you have a non guaranteed place in his survival compound.
‘Change is coming’: Meet the Englishman prepping for climate apocalypse in an old German barracks
At his remote woodland home, Ben Green is trying to stay positive about a collapse of the food supply
Ben Green doesn’t have to worry that Vladimir Putin might cut off Europe’s gas this winter, fret about a seasonal revival of Covid-19, or panic about a looming global food crisis.
Green weaned himself off gas when he purchased the five-hectare (12-acre) grounds of a derelict East German army barracks three years ago: the previous owner, who used it as an outdoor museum for vintage tanks, had gutted the building of water and gas pipes. Green patched up the roof of the refectory and insulated the windows so that temperatures inside don’t drop below 5C at night. He bathes by pouring a bucket of cold water over his head and cooks on a wood-burning stove.
A 49-year-old Englishman with a greying ginger beard and the word “Vegan!” tattooed on his left upper arm, Green is unaffected by fraying supply chainsbecause he lives almost entirely off the vegetables and fruit he grows on his land. If, as Green hopes, friends give him an oil press for his 50th birthday, he will soon be able to cut out the occasional four-mile cycle to the nearest village for cooking oil.
On those trips he does stock up on tea, coffee and chocolate, but they are luxuries he could dispense with in the case of a systemic breakdown of supply chains. The fact his food miles are still measurable at all is due to the bottomless appetite of Fat Tony, Brunhilde Demagogue and Marilyn Monroe, his three Mangalica pigs.
“What we are looking at isn’t the end of humanity but the end of capitalism,” he said, describing climate breakdown as the common denominator behind the various political, food, energy and health crises that have started to converge in recent years. “The collapse is going to happen, and this is the year when people will notice.”
Anyone seriously interested in joining Green in the event of a climate-induced famine can pay €3,500 (£2,950) to be put on a waiting list, though he gives no guarantees that will automatically secure a place. One person has already made the payment.
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/06/change-is-coming-meet-the-englishman-prepping-for-climate-apocalypse-in-an-old-german-barracks
There’s nothing wrong with growing your own veg – my backyard veggie garden kept the family going during the short, sharp economic contraction which followed September 11th. Adding a €3,500 end of Capitalism insurance policy is a nice touch.
I wish my current home had a veggie garden like Ben, though I sure hope he had the soil tested.
The risk of soil contamination might be why the land was so cheap. The Soviet Union, including East Germany, didn’t have a good reputation for responsible disposal of toxic waste. Bill’s veggie garden could be contaminated with lead from old batteries or dumped ammunition, or lead from old style leaded fuel.
The survival compound building is likely contaminated with Thallium, which was widely used by the Soviets as a cheap rat and insect poison, long after it was abandoned by the West due to its cumulative human toxicity. In 2004 some Russian soldiers made a credible attempt at the Darwin awards when they found some white powder Thallium rat poison in a tin thrown on an old military dump, and tried to smoke it.
Ben, if you’re feeling any odd aches and pains or digestive upsets, or a persistent tingling in your fingers and toes, and especially if you have lost a little hair recently, see a doctor immediately.
Of course, even worse contamination is possible. I once drove past what looked like an overgrown farm field in Britain, which had several rusty radiation signs hanging off the fence. When I asked the locals what was in the field, they told me that’s where the British Government buried loads of old WW2 Radium gunsights and radioactive glow by night instrument and watch dials.
Radium has a half life of 1600 years, and is very dangerous to humans, because the body mistakes it for Calcium – once absorbed Radium ends up incorporated long term into people’s bones, where it slowly fries the unfortunate victim’s internal organs. I sure hope someone replaces those radiation warning signs, before they rust away completely, and people forget what is buried in that field.
The radioactive field is close to a medium size but rapidly expanding town in the Home Counties. Other than the old rusty radiation signs, there is no indication of a problem. The field looks like any other field, except it looks overgrown and untended.
I guess East Germany isn’t the only country whose government made questionable choices, regarding the safe disposal of toxic waste.
Even if Ben’s veggie field isn’t radioactive or contaminated with deadly poison, starting an outdoor veggie garden is a dubious preparation for a climate apocalypse. Other types of apocalypse, sure, but isn’t climate change supposed to wreck crop yields by creating more extreme weather events? If you believe in that kind of thing, of course.
I wish Ben luck. He seems a fairly harmless chap, and despite his hilarious anti-capitalist insurance business, he mostly seems to try to live by his beliefs – unlike fake green urban extremists who live in the middle of big cities, use all the conveniences of modern life, then block streets and cause misery for people in automobiles.