Imagine a bleak world in the not-so-distant future. The planet's oil supply has dwindled to a trickle, and the prices of goods and services have sharply risen with increased fuel costs, all of which has pushed the economies of many countries to the crashing point. The cities have become filled with hungry and desperate people, some of whom have turned into violent, marauding bands. For most people, this scenario is merely science fiction. However, an increasing number firmly believe that this future is inevitable. What's more, the precursors to this dark time could be witnessed within the next few years.
The problem comes down to oil, the production of which could soon peak. After this high point, there will simply be less and less oil available, which poses all sorts of difficulties because modern society has been built on this limited energy source. These survivalists have begun to prepare for the worst, moving to rural areas, learning to become self-sufficient, and in some cases, even stock-piling guns to defend against desperate mobs.
It's important to note that many of these people believe that nothing can save the already imperiled modern world. So quite a few have begun their preparations in secret, worried about a time when the unprepared abandon the cities and become refugees in search of food and shelter.
On the brighter side, many of these survivalists see a day when neighbors band together and become close-knit communities once more. In addition, many expect their children and grandchildren to return to help work the land, which means the family unit will once more play an integral role in people's lives.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Rank It!: Which of the following poses the greatest problem for humankind in the future? Rank the problems in order, from most serious to least serious. Remember to support your decisions.
- fresh water
- less and less oil
- global warming
- over population
- nuclear war
Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.
- Imagine a bleak...
- The cities have become filled with hungry and desperate people, some of...
- The problem comes down to oil...
- It's important to note that many of these people believe that...
- On the brighter side, many of these survivalists see a day when...
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- What do you think life will be like in a few years? How different will it be to life today? Please explain.
- Do you think the end of civilization is near? Please explain.
- What disaster, world event, or crisis would need to happen for you to become a survivalist?
- How worried are you about the world's oil supply? Are we too dependent on it? Please explain.
- Imagine it's the end of the world. How far would you go to protect yourself and your family?
Google Search: Type "survivalists" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.