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#5 When Technology Fails, An interview with Matthew Stein

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Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show with Jason Hartman. The economic storm brewing around the world is set to spill into all aspects of our lives. Are you prepared? Where are you going to turn for the critical life skills necessary to survive and prosper?

The Holistic Survival Show is your family’s insurance for a better life. Jason will teach you to think independently, to understand threats, and how to create the ultimate action plan. Sudden change, or worst case scenario, you’ll be ready. Welcome to Holistic Survival, your key resource for protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in uncertain times.

Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Jason Hartman.

Jason Hartman:

Welcome to Holistic Survival Show No. 5. This is your host, Jason Hartman. Glad you joined us today for an interview with Matthew Stein. Today, we’re going to talk about what happens When Technology Fails. In fact, that is the title of Matthew’s book and it is a manual for self-reliance, sustainability, and surviving the long emergency. Now, James Howard Kunstler, someone whom we’re also trying to get on the show, is the author of a book entitled The Long Emergency, and he’s got an interesting take on things. So look for that on a future show.

I think you’ll find Matthew very interesting. His book is a very, very complete – boy, let me just see; I’m looking at this book here – and it is a big book. This is 493 pages long, and in here, he talks about self-reliance, present trends and possible futures, supplies and preparations, emergency measures for survival, when high tech medicine fails, first aid, shelter and buildings, food, growing, foraging, hunting, storing, water resources, and it is just a very, very complete book. So I think you’ll like this interview. He, of course, doesn’t have time in the interview to touch on a whole lot of it, as there is just such comprehensive information here. But let’s go to the discussion with Matthew Stein and join us on the next show, where we will present the audio version of the Holistic Survival Newsletter for free. Here’s the interview.

Interview with Matthew Stein

Jason Hartman:

It’s my pleasure to welcome Matthew Stein to the show. He is the author of When Technology Fails, a Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, And Surviving the Long Emergency. Matt, it’s great to have you on the show.

Matthew Stein:

Thank you, Jason, for having me on today. It’s my pleasure.

Jason Hartman:

Tell us how the book came about. This is quite a complete and comprehensive guide, by the way. Tell us how it came about.

Matthew Stein:

It’s really a “bible” for sustainable living and green and healthy living, combined with emergency preparedness and survival. And most people assume when they look at my book – it’s really huge, very encyclopedic, very thick and heavy – they assume I’ve always been into survival stuff and I’ve been a survivalist for many years, and that’s really just not the case. I’m an engineer by training. I have a bachelor of science from MIT in mechanical engineering, and I’m also a hands-on kind of guy, a licensed contractor and green builder.

Back in Thanksgiving, 1997, I was praying and meditating, a practice I’ve done, at that time, for about 20 years, and I made a generic request for guidance and inspiration. And on that particular morning, I had a bomb dropped in my lap. I basically got a vision dumped in my head, about 30 pictures outlining what my book was supposed to do from start to finish. Kind of like a storyboard outline that you see producers of movies, you see artists will make sketches of pictures of various themes in the movie to help people develop the plot of the movie. And I had one of those dumped in my head for my book.

Now, to be honest with you, my first impression and reaction was, “No way!” I don’t know all this stuff. I can’t possibly do this. This project is too huge and way beyond what I’m capable of doing. The little voice in my head – Jesus called it the “still, small voice”, whatever you want to say. It’s not like the Ten Commandment movie where Charleston Hesston looks up and it’s, “Moses, do this.” It’s not like that. It’s just in your head and it’s kind of calm and quiet, but it’s not really your words and it’s just there, and it said nobody knows all this stuff. That voice assured me that I had the skills and talents to take this to completion, if I chose to take the project on. It was a freewill choice. It wasn’t like it was forced on me.

So it took me about a year to actually decide that maybe it was a project that was a good idea and that maybe I could actually do it; another year to write a proposal and sample chapters, and get it sold to a publisher, and another year to finish it. So it was three years from the time the bomb got dropped on me in 1997 at Thanksgiving before it came out roughly Thanksgiving in 2000.

Jason Hartman:

Well, I have to compliment you because this is really an encyclopedia. I mean this is a large book. It is incredibly complete and we’re definitely not going to have time to cover the sort of technical and how-to stuff very much today. I want to really focus, Matt, as we discussed, on Chapter 2 and then Chapter 16, which gives a really good overview of things. Let’s talk about present trends and possible futures, and then we’ll get into what we can do about it, and we’ll talk, of course, all along why we should be concerned and paying attention to this.

Matthew Stein:

Well, just to give you a little background on those two chapters, when I started the writing the proposal for the book, I was focusing on the practical how-to chapters I was comfortable with. I was focusing on the water chapter because I designed Back Country Water Filters and consumer filters in part of my engineering business. So I’m a real expert in that area. I was focusing on shelter and building chapters. I’ve been a carpenter and I’m a green builder, so that was another area. And I was focusing on the renewable energy chapter because as an engineer and carpenter with an interest in renewable energy since the ‘70s, another area I was comfortable with.

But then one day, that little voice in the head chimed up again. It’s not like I hear it on regular occasions. It’s actually quite rare. And it said, “No, you have to focus on the future of the world,” which is Chapter 2, Present Trends, Possible Futures. And so I started focusing my attention on reading all of the world’s best writings on ecology and what’s happening in the state of the world, where we’re going, and what we can do about it.

And I’ve always considered myself to be quite ecologically aware, and yet, as I dove into these deep, heavy writings, I realized that our world is much, much closer to collapse, to systemic collapse, than I had previously imagined. And to be honest with you, it was really quite depressing at first and it’s shifted from depressing to very inspiring because now I feel that these two chapters actually present to the average American the most succinct summary of where our world is, how we got where we’re going, what we can do about it, and how we can individually do our best to change things and how we can collectively shift and change the course of the world from its current course of collapse to a course of sustainability.

And so this chapter, which really was quite a bummer to start, has become the chapter of the book that I’m most excited and most interested in.

Jason Hartman:

Well, you talk about a few of the major threats out there and I’ll just sort of outline those and you can touch on each one. The eco threat, the environmental situation, I know you review systems modeling and responses; peak oil, bio threats, terrorism threats, other trends and threats; natural disasters, like earthquakes and volcanoes and prophecies. I mean there’s a lot there. Get into some of those specifics. What are you really talking about there?

Matthew Stein:

Well, the eco threat is No. 1 in my book because that has the potential to take the natural systems of the planet down. For millions of years, these natural systems, the forests and the oceans and the weather cycles and the carbon dioxide and the oxygen cycles that keep our atmosphere breathable for human beings and vertebrate animals, things that breathe air, both in the ocean and on land, those systems have been healthy on our planet for many millions of years and we’re destroying those systems in ways that could send us back 100 million years in evolution on the planet, if we really do it badly. And if we don’t do it quite so badly, well, they may just bust up our civilizations and kill most of the people on the planet. So that’s pretty severe.

So let’s look at what we’re doing and why it’s doing that. One of the first things that we’ve done on our planet, like if someone took a snapshot of our planet Earth 100 years ago or 400 years ago versus now, one of the things they’d notice is huge deforestation all over the planet. And we now cut down roughly half of the world’s forests that were here 1,000 years ago, say. This started with cutting down forests in the cradle of civilization in Mesopotamia and then it went to the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, and they cut down the forest in England to make charcoal to smelt steel.

But then it’s been really accelerating in these last few decades, when we’ve just been hacking the rainforest to pieces. Now, you say, “Well, why does that cause a problem?” Well, one of the things that forests do, the huge trees do, is they’re part of the natural weather cycle. Not only do they stabilize and build earth and soils on the planet, and not only do they take carbon dioxide out of the air and put oxygen back into the air, so they stabilize carbon and keep our atmosphere healthy for breathing, but they’re also giant water pumps. See, each large rainforest tree or huge deciduous tree, like the redwoods in California, the really big trees with pine needles on them, coniferous trees – each of those can have as much evaporative surface area as a 20-acre lake.

So imagine now, you have a single acre of large mature trees. It might have a couple hundred trees in there and each of those trees is pumping water out equal to a huge surface of water in the body of a lake. And what then happens is that water that’s pumped out by the trees – the roots suck it up in the earth and pump it out by the trees – goes back into the atmosphere, and downwind, it comes down in the form of rain.

So something happens, called desertification, when you cut down the trees. And for instance, in the Middle East, the area that’s now known as Iraq, used to be called the Fertile Crescent between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and it was kind of like the Garden of Eden thousands of years ago. And it was so fertile and so wonderful and such a perfect climate that human beings and civilizations really got rolling there, and as they got rolling, they cut all the trees down and they started shifting the climate and getting desertification.

The great cedars of Lebanon were cut down to make the Phoenician sailing ships of 1,000, 2,000 years ago and etc, and now that area is a huge desert instead of the Fertile Crescent. And that’s one big thing.

I’ll try to go faster now. We’re depleting our oceans severely. It’s estimated right now that 11 out of 15 of the world’s ocean fisheries are either already collapsed or on the verge of collapse, and it’s been said that all of the large predator fishes in the ocean are depleted more than 90 percent, which is the generally accepted scientific definition of collapse. On a global scale, all of the big sea fishes that are predators are on the edge or already in collapse. And it’s been estimated that within three decades that if we continue the way we’re doing it now that there will not be a single fishable, viable commercial fishery left on the oceans of the world, except in areas where they’ve done proactive management, which right now is just a tiny, tiny fraction of the ocean where they’re managing them carefully. So here we’re collapsing our oceans.

Now, one of the scariest things – everyone knows that the weather is changing. There is some debate, like is global warming real, is it a hoax, etc.

Jason Hartman:

There’s a lot of debate on that.

Matthew Stein:

There’s a lot of data and a lot of science that indicates it is real. I don’t say that unequivocally global warming is going to take us down. But it has that potential to do it. And there is another thing that’s tied in with the atmospheric change that is probably a civilization buster far more severe than global warming, and whether or not global warming exists, this is going to happen if we keep up what we’re doing, and that’s called acidification of the oceans.

See, when we pump all of this carbon into the atmosphere that we’re doing each year, then the rains combine with that CO2 in the atmosphere and it makes acid rain. And we’ve all heard about acid rain and killing the forests. Where I grew up in the East Coast, in the Adirondack Mountains, all of the beautiful lakes that were abundant back-country fishing and trout fisheries when I was a kid, everything above 2,000 feet is dead now from acid rain. And you say that’s pretty bad.

But the real buster of the world is the acidification of the oceans. See, half of the carbon we put out, at least half of that ends up in the oceans each year, and the oceans are a big carbon thing. They’re always sucking carbon out of the atmosphere. Well, the acidification of the ocean is rising measurably and significantly now, and if it continues at this rate, it’s not that long – I think not too many decades – before it starts collapsing the food chain of the ocean, which includes dissolving the little shells and the diatoms and plankton that the food chain – everything in the ocean food chain depends on the bottom of the food chain. That’s those diatoms and plankton. And also dissolving the calcium shells out of the coral reefs and killing them.

So if we really do collapse those – and these are things that were around hundreds of millions of years before any actual fish and before actual vertebrates coming on the planet – if we totally take out the bottom of the food chain in the ocean, that’s going to collapse the oxygen system that makes our atmosphere breathable and it’s going to take the whole planet down. And that is something that we’re doing.

There’s a definition of insanity that says insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If any scientist will look at the trends in atmospheric carbons, will look at the trends in deforestation, will look at the trends in fishing out the oceans, and will say each one of these trends, if continued, will collapse these systems period. We must do something different if we’re going to not collapse these systems.

Jason Hartman:

Even for those who don’t believe in global warming, even if they believe in an Ice Age – I mean there’s a whole contrary school of thought to the global warming people – so even if you believe in the opposite, the acidification can still occur, right?

Matthew Stein:

That’s correct. The acidification is simply you put the carbon in the atmosphere, the rain combines with carbon, and it makes carbolic acid. It falls on the land, it falls in the rivers, it falls in the ocean, so that’s something that is simple. You put the carbon out that the atmosphere is not used to having that level of carbon in it, and we now have more carbon in the atmosphere than we’ve had for over a million years, from ice core sampling. So whether or not that’s affecting the weather, which I personally believe it is, but if it isn’t doing global warming, it is going to acidify the oceans and it’s measurably acidifying the oceans, and it’s a civilization buster if it keeps up.

Jason Hartman:

Energy is obviously a huge, huge concern, and we’ve seen in the last year oil prices go from a high of $147.00 a barrel down to where they are now at about $42.00 a barrel, and everything in between. I personally think by the end of the year, we’re going to see oil back at $70.00 – $100.00 a barrel, somewhere in that range. You’re a believer in peak oil, right?

Matthew Stein:

Well, I’m definitely a believer in peak oil, but the price of oil is a double-edged sword and it’s been predicted all along by the peak oilers that you’re going to see big fluctuations. You’re going to see oil go up so high that it causes economic crises and then it falls down because of lack of demand, and then goes back up again. So the people who think, well, you know, the price dropped down, so peak oil is baloney, that’s just not so. None of the peak oilers didn’t expect the price to fluctuate like it did.

Jason Hartman:

And to go up that much in the first place. The oil price is largely based on speculation and all sorts of other things in the short term, but in the long run, energy is probably going to get more expensive, and if the peak oil theory is true, which quite a few people believe that it is, what is that going to mean as a threat to us?

Matthew Stein:

Well, it’s a huge threat because currently our world is run on oil. We’re basically eating oil. The average item of food in America travels something like 1,800 miles from where it’s produced until it actually reaches your refrigerator or your plate.

Jason Hartman:

And that’s, by the way, a ridiculous thing. This centralization of food production is scary to me because people have become so dependent on giant companies producing food far away. It’s not good on the environmental prospect. It’s not good on the survival prospect when people become so dependent on systems that can fail.

Matthew Stein:

Well, that’s a whole big part of my book is that 150 years ago, when our grandparents were kids, every small community in the country pretty much, every decent sized community, they had someone in that community who knew how to grow, fabricate, or make pretty everything that was needed to sustain a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. So if the boats stopped coming from England or wherever, it was just not a big crisis, and someone could make shoes, someone could sew clothing, someone could throw pots and blow glass, and there’s a local foundry to cast metal. If it was more modern, they had the machine shops to cut and make things. And now most of that stuff has been shipped offshore.

So we have this terribly fragile global economy right now, where all of our stuff comes from far off places in the world and it doesn’t take much of a hiccup in the system to all of a sudden shut everything down. Just imagine that something happens and the internet goes down, for instance, how much we rely on that right now, where your computers aren’t working.

I remember about ten years ago now, my brother and sister in-law were driving through California Central Valley on a scorching hot day. It was like 115 degrees in Central Valley, just blazing hot. They’re in their air conditioned car, so everything’s fine, and they were running out of gas and they pulled up to the gas pump, and they thought, well, what the hell’s going on here? There are like 20 people around and people are sitting outside their cars, fanning themselves.

And it turned out, on this really hot day, some power lines in Oregon stretched in the sun and the heat and shorted against some tree limbs. And there were air conditioners all over the western states going at the same time, so the grid was really maxed out. So when that one power line in Oregon shorted out, it caused a cascading failure in the grid and took it down in something like 13 states.

So here they were in 115 degree heat, no credit cards are working. Cash registers didn’t open. When I was a kid, all the cash registers had hand cranks so that when the power went out, you could still crank it and work it mechanically. All of that is gone. So they couldn’t buy a drink. They couldn’t buy a gallon of gas. They couldn’t check into a hotel. They couldn’t do anything.

And now imagine if that continues for days and weeks. What does that do to people? Just a few hours was really horrendous for them in 115 degree heat. People say, well, is this real? Well, last year, the International Energy Agency did what they’d never done before. This is the agency that advises countries all over the world on oil supplies and oil prices, and countries determine energy policy often based on information from International Energy Agency, the IEA. Well, last year, they went out and they took exhaustive data on the world’s oil fields and what they found shocked them. Now, here are the industry experts and they’ve been telling the world that peak oil wasn’t going to happen or be a problem until like 2030. And the year before, they’d estimated the world’s oil fields depleting at a rate 3 percent.

Well, when they actually looked at the data, instead of just taking all of their little insider best, shoot from the hip best guesses, they found that the world’s oil fields are depleting currently at a rate of 9.1 percent. Now, that’s a huge number and that means that if a field is producing 100 million barrels this year, then next year it only produces 90 million barrels. And the next year it produces 81 million barrels, etc.

And they said when you went out and spent a large capital investment on enhanced oil recovery or EOR methods, and that means pumping CO2, water, special chemicals into the wells to free up more of the oil, then the decline was only 6.4 percent. So not exactly wonderful. So that means even if all that capital investment – if they put it into all the oil fields in the world, they’d be declining at more than double the rate that they had estimated the year before.

So what does that mean? That means that if we’re going to maintain the world’s oil production where it is now, not increase it, but just maintain it, we have to discover and develop a Saudi Arabia’s worth of oil every one to two years from now until eternity. And that just isn’t going to happen. It turned out that the world’s oil production of regular, sweet, crude oil actually peaked in 2005/2006. Now, they kind of hid it from the world because instead of talking about oil production, they started talking about oil and liquid oil equivalent, and that meant that bio-fuels and tar sands were all thrown in with regular oil. And because bio-fuels and tar sands, with the huge escalation in oil prices, they were finally economically feasible to process. Those were ramping up at a fast rate and that was barely keeping up with the decline in the world’s regular oil.

Now, why does this cause a big problem now? Well, look at it. We have this huge financial crash going on in the world right now and all of the oil that we’re going to pump in the next ten years is already on the books for development. It takes ten years time to really get a new oil field, get all the infrastructure in, get it ramped up, get production going, and all of that. So every bit of oil that we’re going to see in the next ten years has already been discovered.

Now, what’s happening now is that all of these new oil fields in the deep ocean and in nasty parts of the world where there’s political instability, or places like the Arctic, where it’s really hard and expensive to get to, those things that we’ve been counting on to maintain oil production – not just to increase it in the world, but actually just keep up with depletion – most of those projects are now sitting idle because there’s no cash out there to develop those projects. The bank money is frozen up. The price of oil is crashing. So these expensive projects to maintain our oil production are mostly sitting on the shelf right now. They’re idled until the economy turns around.

So that means when the economy does turn around, then you’re going to see like instant oil crises because we’ve been operating with a decreased oil consumption right now, oil demand, and that’s been keeping the price low, and as soon as the economy turns around, then all of a sudden, they’ll try to ramp up that production and it just won’t happen fast enough.

Jason Hartman:

It takes a long time to do it, right.

Matthew Stein:

So now the bio-threat, bio-threat is huge. This is something that most people are just blissfully unaware of and this is another civilization buster. And this is something that you can proactively do a lot. There are tools, alternative tools, that you can have, that each and every one of us can buy – I go over them in my book and I’ll talk about a few of them right now – that can help prepare you for this world superbug, for the next pandemic in the world.

Now, people say we have all this high tech medicine, so I’m just going to trust my doctor. And I’m saying, wait a minute. Let me give you a few facts here. See, some brilliant genius figured out a few years ago that if we fed subclinical doses of antibiotics to our factory farm animals that they grew fatter and healthier. They’re kept in very confined, unhealthy conditions and they would get sick and die a lot. So they figured out if you fed them antibiotics all the time, then their profit margin was better.

Now, what that does is it turns our factory farm animals into factories for breeding antibiotic resistant superbugs. Plus anybody that goes out to Safeway – I’m just picking on Safeway; any store, except for organic, non-antibiotic fed animals – when you eat that chicken or you eat that beef that’s been raised on antibiotics in the feed, then you’re ingesting antibiotics into your body through that meat you’re eating, and the eggs and poultry and cheese. And so your body becomes a factory for growing and breeding antibiotic resistant bugs.

How bad of a problem is this? Let’s look at this. Last month, Miss Brazil, this just incredibly beautiful young woman from Brazil, she was in the top five finalists in the Miss World pageant just a couple months back. She came down with an antibiotic resistant infection and went into the hospital. They pumped her full of antibiotics; didn’t work. They amputated her hands and feet in an attempt to save her life and she died anyway.

Now, I had a friend of mine – I mean I haven’t met him personally; he’s another MIT guy – and he had a stock in a silver mine back Utah, and in the ‘90s, the price of silver dropped so much that it was costing them more to mine the silver than they could sell it for. So they thought well, maybe let’s look into colloidal silver, the silver used in medicines and it’s kind of big in the alternative medicine world. Let’s see if we can produce this. Well, around that same time, his wife went into the hospital for some minor operation or something and she came home with Methicillan-resistant Staph infection, and it wasn’t responding to antibiotics and they were contemplating amputation.

Now, he said before you cut my wife’s leg off, let’s try colloidal silver and see if that works. So he made homemade colloidal silver, used it on his wife, kicked the infection, and she’s fine. So since then, they developed a process for developing commercial quantities of colloidal silver and it turned out that he stumbled onto a process that made silver with an extra active component. It’s a nanoparticle multivein with silver in it. They’re using it in Africa in clinics to heal drug resistant and non-drug resistant malaria. They’re kicking malaria in five days, faster than with antibiotics, and it works on the drug resistant stuff, and it’s way cheaper.

This is just one item to have in your back pocket. You don’t want to be like Miss Brazil, where you’re counting on those doctors to do the right thing. You see, alternative meds, like silver, homeopathy, grapefruit seed extract, oregano oils, olive leaf extract, those kinds of things, they’re not patentable, and so there’s no money to be made in them. You can’t spend $5 – $25 million to run this stuff through the FDA. It’s like you don’t have a guaranteed profit because you don’t have a patent.

Jason Hartman:

Yeah, you don’t have any exclusivity. That’s what they say about the herbal medicine stuff.

Matthew Stein:

So there’s no money in it. The doctors don’t know about this stuff unless they’re into the alternative meds. You have to open your eyes. Think about it: early part of the century, 1918, a flu goes around, Spanish flu; killed 20 – 50 million people worldwide. In America, it kills more people than died in World War I. And this flu is kicking – one out of three healthy young people in America that goes to the hospital with this flu dies.

Now, homeopathy hospitals, ½ to 1 percent. Instead of 30 percent fatality rate, ½ to 1 percent. Now, doctors say, oh, homeopathy, that’s voodoo stuff. It doesn’t work. They don’t understand it biochemically, physically. According to physicists, biochemists, it shouldn’t work. But it does. It stimulates the body’s immune systems in ways that scientifically we don’t really understand, and yet it works.

So in the case of the Spanish flu, when there was nothing the regular hospitals had casino online to work at it, the homeopathy made from a duck liver, diluted a thousand times, worked. Now, it turned out, in looking at the Spanish flu specimens that were preserved in wax from some of the corpses, when they did recent DNA analysis, turned out that this deadly flu from the early part of the century appears to have started out as an avian flu, like the bird flu scare we had over the last few years. And then it transmuted. It mutated into a swine flu and then it mutated into a human flu.

Now, let’s talk about this and why this is such a huge threat. The field of modern genetics is really fascinating. They’ve learned all kinds of stuff that just – they had no idea existed 20 years ago. They found that viruses have the potential to gene-swap. In other words, one virus can get next to another virus and they can share genetic material. But what does that mean?

Imagine that some guy in Vietnam, who lives with his ducks and chickens, comes down with a human flu that everyone has, that’s easily transmitted. The human flu, you sneeze on the guy next to you and he gets it, and he sneezes on the guy next to him and he gets it.

Jason Hartman:

Or you shake his hand, yeah.

Matthew Stein:

Yeah, shake their hand. He wipes his nose and then shakes somebody’s hand. They wipe their nose or scratch their eye and they get it.

Jason Hartman:

Now everybody’s got it.

Matthew Stein:

Okay, now that’s like a flu virus that’s easily transmitted, highly contagious, but not deadly, and it transmits from human to human. Now there’s a virus that’s transmitted in avian flu. It goes from duck to duck to duck, and duck to chicken, and it’s very deadly in the birds. But it’s not so easily transmitted to humans. It’s like it doesn’t have the proper genetics to bond to humans and make it happen in humans. So now what happens is this guy, who is living with his ducks in Vietnam, and he’s just surrounded by the filth and the birds, he’s a poor guy and that’s his livelihood, he’s got this very contagious human flu in his body, and then he’s depleted and he’s not feeling so good and he’s run down. And his rundown system actually catches that avian flu, just like what’s been happening in the last five years of people catching avian flu. Mostly in the third world, people live around tons of poultry.

So now he’s got the flu. Some of those flu viruses in him, the avian flu, end up swapping some genetic material with the human flu in him, and all of a sudden, they get the right combination where they’ve got easily transmitted characteristics of the human flu, very contagious, and they’ve got the deadly characteristics of the avian flu. And then he sneezes on somebody and they shake hands with somebody, and then you have a pandemic going on in the world.

So this is where you want to have that colloidal silver, a homemade colloidal silver machine. I like to keep a gallon of the ABL, the American Biotech Lab stuff on hand just in case because it’s like super strong, but it costs money. So the stuff I can make for ten cents a day, that works great. But if I have something really severe, I want the best in the world. I’ll get the expensive stuff and drink some of that, too.

So these are just things to have on hand. I have a whole list of stuff on my website and in my book to give you an idea, so you can have this. Knowledge is power. In being prepared, it’s like car insurance. We all have car insurance and none of us goes out into the car and says, gee, I think I want to get in a head-on collision today. It’s like no. You hope to God that you never get in that wreck and that you never need that insurance, but if that day happens, then you thank God that you have that insurance because maybe your $40,000.00 brand new SUV just got tanked instantly and you still owe $35,000.00 to the bank on it and you have no money and no credit left. If that car disappeared in a day, you’d still owe that money to the bank. So you have that insurance.

Now, preparedness in having these alternative meds and herbs on hand and the colloidal silver generator on hand, and some homeopathy kit on hand, that’s like that car insurance. You hope you never need it.

But let me give you one other example. Almost ten years ago now, my wife came down with an antibiotic resistant urinary infection. Went to the doctor, he gave her the standard antibiotics that they prescribe for women that have his problem – it’s a pretty common thing – takes that; it doesn’t work. Goes to the doctor and gets the next level. Takes that and that doesn’t work. Goes to the doctor again, third visit to the doctor. Get’s Cipro, which is like one of those last defense, super expensive, very toxic antibiotics. And Cipro sort of works. In other words, when she’s taking the Cipro for like a week or whatever he prescribed, then she’s okay. She doesn’t feel so hot because the Cipro really zaps your energy and it’s pretty toxic and it’s hard on her kidneys, but at least the infection is under control.

Three days after she’s off the Cipro, boom, it’s back. Goes on the Cipro again. Three days after she’s off the Cipro, boom, it’s back. Goes on the Cipro again; three courses of Cipro. She finally says wait a minute. This is going to shut my wife’s kidneys down. She will be on a dialysis machine for the rest of her life. This is not working.

So one week with homemade colloidal silver, ten cents a day worth, one week, at the same time she’s taking grapefruit seed extract diluted in water, from 15 drops in water, three times a day from the health food store, it’s gone. Never comes back.

So you just have to say this makes sense. It just makes sense and you want to be ready and you want to be prepared. If there’s a huge pandemic going on, that’s going to be too late to find these things because desperate people – it will all be gone.

Jason Hartman:

It will be off the shelves, no question. Talk to us about terrorism.

Matthew Stein:

Well, terrorism, when I look at the scale of threats in the world – for instance, on the scale of things, terrorism has been really pretty small. The World Trade Centers came down. That was a couple thousand people dead. Very limited in terms of what it hit. Hurricane Katrina killed a couple thousand people, but it devastated the homes for millions of people. It was a huge thing. The tsunami took down a couple hundred thousand people. The Spanish flu took down 20 – 50 million people. So it’s a relatively small threat.

But one of the things about the terrorism threat is that our thirst for oil in America is feeding huge amounts of money to countries where the people don’t like our philosophy; don’t like Americans being in their country. It’s putting our military presence, our industrial presence into these Middle Eastern countries, where the average person is really down on America. So we’re feeding the fires through our oil habits, and the only way we’re going to really improve that is by getting off the oil habit and shifting ourselves away from it. And we can’t drill ourselves out of it because we have 4.5 percent. Roughly 1 in 20 people in the world is American. We’re using a quarter of the world’s oil and we only have 3 percent of the world’s known oil resources.

So a teeny country like Iraq, they have 12 percent. They have four times as much oil as we have. And Iran, another teeny country, we’ve been rattling our sabers at – well, they have another 10 – 12 percent. So between those two countries alone, they have about a quarter of the world’s oil, between two little countries with a tiny fraction of the population of America. Gee, is it any wonder that our military is over in that area? Is it any wonder?

The terrorist threat is going to still be there and you need to do your best to be ready. You can’t prevent everything from happening, but getting off the oil habit on a large scale will help cut down that threat. And on a small scale, having a grab-and-run kit, having the emergency preparedness items, having a filter for your air so that if a short-term, nuclear, dirty bomb went off or something, I have knowledge in my book that says okay, if in this situation, these are the best things you can do to protect yourself. And in that situation, this is the best thing you can do to protect yourself. That knowledge is power and it gives you peace of mine to know that at least you’re prepared with the knowledge and with the basic supplies on hand to do the best you can do in the event that some terrorist act does happen and it does hit in your neighborhood.

Jason Hartman:

What about prophecies?

Matthew Stein:

There are a lot of people that point to the year 2012.

Jason Hartman:

Yes, and there is a movie coming out about that. I saw the trailer and it was pretty ominous.

Matthew Stein:

I must admit that I had no anxiety whatsoever about Y2K, in the year 2000. I figured that was a silly little computer chip and it was just a number on the calendar and there’s too much money at stake. It’s easily solved. I must admit I have more anxiety about the year 2012. I personally do not believe the world is ending in 2012.

Jason Hartman:

Some say it will be really a new enlightening, a new time when things sort of change. Obviously, it’s the end of the Mayan calendar.

Matthew Stein:

The end of the Mayan calendar. I do believe that it’s a shift; it’s a giant turning point, and that 2012 is kind of like a date in the middle of it, and I do believe that a lot of the trends that I’m talking about are coming to a head around the year 2012. Between the peak in the world oil production, the ecological shifts, and potential calamities on the planet, a lot of that is really in your face. It’s getting in your face now, but I see it as really coming to a head around 2012. So I see it as a turning point and I believe that we have freewill as human beings that we can proactively shift the direction that business is taking us on the planet. Currently, I believe that business as usual will take the planet down, will collapse the natural systems, will cause most of the people on the planet to die.

But I believe just as we rose to the occasion to stop Hitler, and just as we rose to the occasion and put President Lincoln into power and eliminated slavery in this country, I do believe that we can turn the tide, build a sustainable future, and set the course for a global renaissance in this country and throughout the world. And I believe that that’s possible. So I see 2012 as kind of a dividing point, where we either rise to the occasion and make these changes and they end in a real renaissance on the planet in really turning it around in the sustainability direction, or we are unsuccessful in our attempts to overcome the current momentum of business as usual, and we collapse these natural systems and we end up with a Mad Max future. And I don’t think anyone wants that, except for some sociopaths out there. I don’t think that are many people that want the Mad Max future.

I can’t say that I have the answer. A friend of mine, military guy, he was in this crisis where his wife was kind of crazy out there, she’d gotten a boyfriend, and cleaned him out financially, his retirement and everything, and left him penniless and divorced. He was praying to God and saying, “Why? Why?” The answer popped into his head, “I’ve freed you. You’re Catholic. You never would have divorced without – it couldn’t have happened.” And then he’s like, “Why didn’t I know ahead of time?” And he realized – and he uses this military term – he said, “God works on a need-to-know basis.” In other words, you don’t get the information ten steps ahead. You get the information when you need it.

So when I got the vision for writing my book, the little voice indicated that millions of people were going to need the information in my book. Now, at that time, dotcom was booming, business couldn’t be better in America, the Second Intifada in Israel had not started yet. It looked like the Palestinian peace process was going to be resolved shortly, and oil was at a 30-year low when you factored inflation in. And I get this apocalyptic vision. But I didn’t get the vision saying what’s going to happen in 2012. I just got the inner vision that said a lot of people are going to need the information in this book and this is something that will be extremely valuable, and we’re asking you – “we” meaning I don’t know; didn’t say Jesus, didn’t say Buddha; collective Holy Spirit, the masters on the other side, who knows. I didn’t get a name attached to it. But it indicated “they” said “we” would like you to do this. And I did it.

But I can’t claim to know exactly what’s going to go on. Strictly from a scientific point of view, it doesn’t look great.

Jason Hartman:

So what about – now, let’s kind of jump ahead to the end here and just wrapping up quickly. Talk to us about some of the solutions. When we jump ahead in the book to Chapter 16, we’ve passed all the how-to stuff. Give us some of the solution-oriented discussion.

Matthew Stein:

Some of the solutions are doing stuff on an individual basis, like energy efficiency in the home, changing your light bulbs, hybrid cars. Those kinds of things are great steps in the right direction. They increase your conscious awareness, but they won’t solve it. They’re good steps.

The things that are going to really solve it is making the shift to sustainability. So I’ve got 12 different points. I won’t go through them all, but why don’t I start on a few of them?

Jason Hartman:

Yeah, just highlight a couple of them.

Matthew Stein:

No. 1 is changing the tax structure. See, we have to make it economic suicide to do things in non-sustainable ways. We have to shift it so that those ways of doing business that are taking the planet down get penalized, and that those ways of doing business that are done in the sustainable way get rewarded.

So for instance, in Germany, they looked at what Jimmy Carter had done in America in the ‘80s and they implemented feed-in tariffs in Germany in 2000 to encourage the people investing in renewable energy to get off the oil habit. Germany doesn’t have any oil. They have coal, but they don’t have oil. In doing that, in six years time, they doubled the amount. They went from 6 to 12 percent in Germany in terms of their energy production from renewable. That was something that the Bush administration said they couldn’t do in 25 years and Germany did it in six years. So we need to be doing that. We need to be doing that in a hurry.

Now, I’m not saying there’s only way to do it. There’s cap and trade, there’s feed-in tariffs, there’s all kinds of incentives, but we need to do it and we need to measure it and say this is working, this isn’t working. At the same time, Britain implemented a program that was different, and their program was about a quarter as successful as Germany’s program. So what we need to do is look at what’s working and do it and do it pronto.

No. 2, rebuild our cities. Over half the human population now lives in cities and they consume roughly half of our energy and our materials. We can restructure and rebuild our cities. We can put America back to work rebuilding our industry and our cities for energy efficiency. We can take our cities and in a decade, we could cut our cities’ consumption of energy by a factor of 10:1. We can do this in just a single decade. It’s been estimated that for roughly one-sixth of what the world currently spends on the military budget and if we devoted that to implementing Plan B – Plan B meaning a sustainable plan, a sustainable plan for shifting our future and for creating a long-term sustainable future. If Plan A is business as usual, Plan B is making that shift to sustainability.

So No. 3 is rebuild our railways, waterways, and mass transit systems. In a world that’s running short on oil, we already saw that. We had a taste of that this year of how it was like a monkey wrench in the spokes and really started this financial crisis cascading downward when oil shot up so high that businesses all over the world started losing huge amounts of money and firing people, and it just started this cascade downward.

So now, while there is still oil to be used and coal to be used in the world to help build technology, now’s the time to build the infrastructure that doesn’t rely on so much oil in the long term. If we don’t build it now, when everything’s totally collapsed, we won’t stand a chance. Rebuild our homes and office buildings. A brand new energy efficient office building typically consumes, if it’s designed right, roughly one-tenth of what the average building consumes. And buildings on the cutting edge actually produce energy and feed it back into the grid. They produce more energy than they use and they feed it back into the grid.

So right now, today, we could be putting people back to work rebuilding our office buildings and our homes and our factories. Our industry, one of the things we’ve been doing is we’ve been taking our really horribly, polluting, old technology plants, like our steel mills from Indiana, and our steel mills in Germany, Industrial Valley, they’ve been dismantling them and fire-selling them and selling them off to China and India. It’s kind of like a “not in my backyard” philosophy. And what’s that doing is it’s just transporting these horribly inefficient technologies and processes to the Third World so it can pollute our atmosphere, contribute to climate change, but it’s not in our backyard, so we’re not seeing it. It’s like out of sight, out of mind.

What we really need to be doing is developing the cutting edge technology that is super efficient and super clean, environmentally clean, and then exporting that to the world. And that’s the only way we’re going to make it. Just like the Titanic, the whole Earth is like one big ship, and if an iceberg hits this Earth and it goes down, there’s no place else to go. Whether you’re in third class, meaning the Third World, or first class, like us in America, this ship goes down, we’re all going down with it. There’s no lifeboat to jump onto.

So population growth, we have to control our world’s population or nature will do it for us. And if nature does it for us, it will be totally unkind and cruel. So that means exporting the technology and the materials to the Third World and the knowledge so that the women in the Third World can control their family sizes. If we don’t control population, then starvation, death, famine, terrorism, all of those things will do it for us and that’s not a happy way.

Share the wealth: the first world has grown wealthy and developed our industry on natural resources that we’ve drawn and sucked out of the Third World. If we want to expect places in the Third World to conserve the remaining rainforests and to conserve fish populations and to conserve the natural systems that maintain a livable world, then we have to make it economically viable for them. We have to reward them for their conservation efforts. Currently, the free market rewards the one who most quickly consumes, processes, and destroys the natural systems of the planet for profit, and if we don’t change that, that same unregulated free market will take the world down, as fast and as efficiently as possible. So we have to change that.

Relocalization, buy local. It really comes down to running our world on the basis that everything has to be evaluated in terms of sustainability. We must say this is important. We never would have defeated Hitler if it was No. 10 on the world’s priority list. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt went to the big people in Detroit, the big industrial might of America, and said you will support the war effort 100 percent. In six months time, he told those people, “I do not want to see a single American car made for the domestic American car market. You will support the war effort 100 percent.” And in six months’ time, they did that. And he set goals that people thought were impossible to reach, and not only were those goals reached, they were far exceeded in many cases.

So if we apply that same kind of single-minded determination to creating a sustainable future so this world doesn’t go down, then I believe we can do it. I know we can do it.

Jason Hartman:

Okay, good. Matthew Stein, When Technology Fails. What is your website, Matt?

Matthew Stein:

The website is www.whentechfails.com. And I’d like to leave you with my motto. My motto is, “Do your best to change the world and do your best to be ready for the changes in the world.”

Jason Hartman:

That’s a great motto. Matt Stein, thank you so much for joining us today.

Matthew Stein:

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you, Jason, and have a great day.


Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show, protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth Show, which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search Jason Hartman on iTunes.

This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

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Duration: 49 minutes


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