Why “doomsday prepping” is ridiculous

Do you know anyone who is into the whole “doomsday prep” thing? I’ve seen people I’m pretty sure are preppers loading up the flatbeds at Costco and Sams, and I’ve definitely seen the preppers on TV.

These people have the trailers, solar panels, batteries, guns, ammo and enough MREs to last several lifetimes, and even then, it’s apparently not enough for them.

Aside from the whole obsessive hording part, where they get the time and money for all this is beyond me.

The good news is that I finally found a pair of articles with great arguments on why doomsday prepping is ridiculous.

The short version – math.

The first article by Jon Stokes in the alloutdoor.com website points out that even if a “doomsday” scenario hits and takes out over two thirds of the world’s population, that’s still not going to be enough people for a “that’s all folks” kind of reset.

“Wiping out two thirds of the population would bring us back [in population numbers] to the opening decades of the 1900’s, the era of the early seasons of Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire. Neither of these two shows look anything like The Walking Dead to me.

Killing off a whopping 90% of the population would take us back [in population numbers] to 1860, the year that Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th president of the United States. I also saw the movie Lincoln, and it, too, did not look like The Walking Dead.””

Stokes’ article also goes on about how the stock market really is immortal and hunting for long-term survival is really a baaaad thing, but the main bullet point in his article is the sheer numbers of people left alive in a potential 80 / 90 / 95 percent disaster ratio.

In another article on the same alloutdoor.com website, Bill J, goes over why the idea of “hunting squirrels” (and by proxy, all other small game) isn’t going to cut it.

“Assuming that you can get a pound of game meat from an average squirrel, which is optimistic, you’re looking at about 540 calories per squirrel. That may sound like a lot, but it isn’t. If you’re planning to use squirrel for, say, only a quarter the calories of a 2,000-calorie per day diet, then you have to bag one per day per family member.

There are about five or six squirrels per acre in urban areas (about two per acre in rural areas), so with four family members to feed and a 100% success rate in killing every squirrel you see, you’re clearing out around three acres every four days in the city. And you’re not the only one trying to eat them! How long is the squirrel population really going to last in your town?”

I really do thing “doomsday prepping” is this generation’s “duck and cover”. It’s entertaining to see on TV, and it might make some people feel better, but I think this whole prepping thing is the symptom of a feeling-secure and general future-direction discontent, and not the solution to the underlying social problems at all.