A lot to chew on in this Adaptor's Movement manifesto.
Please don't take anything I'm about to say as disagreement, precisely. It's just that, like anything so dense with themes and subthemes, some of these will be in tension, especially when applied to particular circumstances.
Take, for instance, the two principles LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION and BUILD SOCIAL CAPITAL.
For reasons that may become evident in a moment, I would probably have used the word "community" more often if I had drafted the BUILD SOCIAL CAPITAL section. But I don't disagree with how vital it is.
The thing is, sometimes communities are...rooted. And sometimes, I'm going to argue, it may be better to hunker down with a strong community in an imperfect location than to cut those roots. Not if the location is completely
unsustainable, mind... but gonna get pretty ugly bye-n-bye? It may be worth it.
Loathe though I am to discuss my own particulars on the open internet in too much detail, I think I have to, to make this point.
I am espoused to a member of the Creek Nation; I live on Creek land in a family that also has strong ties in the Seminole Nation, which is nearby. (The family land is near the border between those two nations.)
As a white man married into a matriarchal culture, I am valued primarily to the extent that I am seen as useful: a good man, a provider, a stalwart citizen, a steward of the land. Nobody wants to hear my opinions but I am welcome at every table.
Now, about that apocalypse...
This was dustbowl country. Cotton and peanuts and sorghum and corn land, before the soil all blew away. Now it's in cattle and hay, fairly badly managed: which is to say, thin red clay soil, badly hammered by too many hooves, overgrazed and mown too often, very rarely fertilized or seeded, pretty heavily sprayed for weeds. Dotted with old oil wells, nearing depletion. And there are many unused tracts, gone back to cross-timbers forest, 2nd or 3rd growth, scrub oak and red cedar and not much topsoil at all.
Climate change predictions all agree, we're looking at hotter summers and some fairly epic droughts. But also flashier floods, as the hurricanes off the gulf drive further inland, and the Pacific river storms penetrate further east every year. Water management will be a challenge, but absolute water lack, probably not. Soil management likewise. Tornadoes, always a problem here, are already getting bigger and more numerous; that's an architectural challenge, and a death lottery, but not a thing that looks like it will ever make the place completely unlivable.
Our tract in particular has a stream/ravine, but it's already deeply cut and well away from the house, which is not threatened by any conceivable flood event (and I have indulged my fullest apocalyptic imagination in assessing that threat, extrapolating from observations of an eight inch rainfall in four hours). Our biggest threat, as in many other places, is probably wildfire, as droughts and heat and high winds work their unholy combinations. Grinding droughts of years-long duration that simply outlast our engineered water storage systems are the next biggest threat; consequently I badly want beaver to turn the ravine into one huge water storage reservoir, since I can't afford the heavy equipment to do it myself.
Will there be better places, objectively, to weather the apocalypse? Almost certainly. But I tell you what: none of the Indians here in Indian Country are giving up this land, not after being dispossessed of their original homelands and marched via their various Trails of Tears to Oklahoma at gunpoint. They will stick to this land to the bitterest end, long after the last white man has fled before the billowing haboobs
in sunburned parched terror.
Being welcome, tolerated, seen as useful, in that community? Loved by a few individuals, seen as useful and therefore accepted, however grudgingly, by enough of the rest? That
, my friends, I judge to be more social capital than I could hope to accumulate anywhere else in what remains of my lifetime. (I'm introverted, keyboard bound, slow to make friends.) And so here I'm sticking, puttering with my efforts at a climate-resilient food forest, and slowly working out what starchy calorie-dense vegetables I can reliably grow in the already-freaky never-the-same two-years-running weather that we have here. The land I'm currently planting trees on will be inherited, eventually, by a couple of fine young niece/nephew in-law Seminoles who are currently in junior high school. I hope they don't need
calories from my food plantings to feed their families, but logic tells me they likely will, and I design accordingly.
Once the electricity goes -- which might or might not happen in my lifetime, the Creek Nation has a lot of willingness to invest in infrastructure for its people when outside civil society won't or can't -- I don't want to be living in a place this hot. I love my air conditioning. But I'll deal, and build an adobe house, if I still have the strength, once it becomes clear the juice is gone for good. I think the value of belonging to this particular community -- even in the highly peripheral and contingent way of a white in-law -- overwhelms the drawbacks of the location.
And anyway, I love the lady, and this is the land her great-grandmother (if I have the correct number of greats) got after the Trail of Tears. So it's all rather moot, because she
ain't movin'. Acceptance...