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Forum Post: Things to Know as Collapse Becomes Hip

Posted 4 years ago on Aug. 24, 2013, 9:51 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5909)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Things to Know as Collapse Becomes Hip

Saturday, 24 August 2013 01:43 By Jan Lundberg, Truthout | Op-Ed


A consensus seems to be building toward anticipating collapse. So what's your flavor? Financial meltdown with chaos? Petrocollapse? Climate extinction? The contributing crises are seemingly diverse, including Fukushima's mounting radioactive releases into the Pacific, the growing plastic plague and creeping GMO contamination. If none of those are your thing, you can acknowledge accelerating bee colony collapse.

You may feel the days of "innocence" have receded in the rear-view mirror as we drive off the ecological cliff like motorized lemmings. Even so, maybe you see such resilience in the corporate state and its war machine that you anticipate dictatorship à la Children of Men, the ominous film set in 2027.

It appears that things must get worse before they get better. The United States has become especially absurd with its intensifying mess of debt and flailing leadership. If a major event in the Persian Gulf or China can trigger the toppling of the US House of Cards, increased consumer vulnerability must be the order of the day. It is surprising to some that total collapse has not yet happened, but news such as record new car sales in July suggests the entire system can keep on going indefinitely. Such news supplies happy-talk for the embattled corporate agenda.

A more disturbing and shocking statistic than car sales going in the wrong direction for Mother Earth:

"Four out of five US adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream." (Associated Press, July 28, 2013)

Is this a wake-up call or just part of the relentless barrage of disillusion? What about things the four-fifths can do now that they are not doing? Are they - we - helpless victims? We'll need to do more than wait for the next election, write to Congress or demonstrate in the streets against economic hardship and mismanagement. Yet many of the four-fifths still assume that they can rise above any temporary period of struggling and that money will solve their problems. Meanwhile, the holy grail of national Recovery beckons without arriving.

How many of the four-fifths are talking about bartering and seeing what else they can do for more self-sufficiency? Are they growing their own food? Creating compost for soil-building instead of land-filling the food-waste? Boycotting corporate products by eschewing car dependence, for example? Depaving and installing gardens? Sharing appliances and skills in their apartment buildings and neighborhoods?

Only a tiny minority of consumers lifts a finger in its own long-term interest. One factor is that progressive commentators concentrate on "the 1%" or the one-out-of-five not currently struggling as the source of economic security via redistribution of wealth. Redistribution is not going to happen while the financial system is intact. Even the triumph of a revolution over wealth redistribution and provision of social services could still fail to secure the survival of the species or prevent a thorough economic collapse.

The alternative press all too often limits its coverage of the sociological problem by not addressing the system itself, instead excelling in pointing out the dastardly attempts of the guardians of the status quo to exert control and feather their own nests. The result is reading material that simply riles us up without providing a solution. The message of the alternative press and social-justice activists almost never prioritizes radical lifestyle change and emancipating ourselves from the broken, dangerous system. A controversial or taboo topic is the concept of too many people for the ecosystem's carrying capacity - or certainly far too many fossil fuels-dependant people. This detail of our times was accomplished with dwindling petroleum that's harder and more toxic to extract, and lacks the high net-energy yield of yore.

When the unraveling intensifies, whether primarily from oil supply crisis, climate failure, or financial meltdown, then even the 1% will experience upheaval and perhaps deprivation. They won't be able to live as isolated jet-setting shoppers. Some will try it, but there's no future for living off the cream of global consumerism when growth finishes imploding. A big reason is that a shrunk-down version of the vertically integrated oil industry for the elite is very unlikely.



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[-] 5 points by elf3 (3900) 4 years ago

"Only a tiny minority of consumers lifts a finger in its own long-term interest" This is true but what about forced reliance and manufactured scarcity... see Real Estate for Ransom on you tube (Not all of us have land to farm - when there is no choice left in the markets because the market is owned already) When the government in collusion with monopolies seeks to destroy your choices and force you into subservience. Then you will pollute, then you will pick from A or B gmo crops, then you will have no place to grow your own food or you must by your seed from the only supplier left. The one common denominator in all third world nations is constructed reliance, stamping out entrepreneurship, land hording and taking of land by the governments to give to corporations. The people unable to compete with monopolies nor able to sustain themselves without land must flock to cities all in one area to compete for jobs for the very corporations who took away their ability to sustain themselves. Then they take away the ability of small entrepreneurs to exist forcing even greater competition among the people and even lower wages. This is happening in America right now as I write this we are becoming a third world nation - there will be poverty, there will be scarcity, you will do their bidding, and you will be a slave to a system for which you will never share in the benefits. This is a plan, this is being constructed by all three branches of government in collusion with monopolies. It's a hostile takeover and the people just don't see it because they don't see or understand the mechanisms at play. When you allow monopolies to exist, when you allow people to become pawns for use by the wealthy, when you tell them they are lucky to have any employment they can get when you lie to them about the systems that were set in place by corporate america to make people desperate to be reliant in the first place, it's easy to believe you were at fault. It's easy to convince Americans that they just aren't good enough to rise above the system of controls that have been placed around us like an invisible cage - then we will stay in that cage forever thinking it was of your our own doing instead of rising up and taking back what has been stolen from us.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 4 years ago

"It's a hostile takeover and the people just don't see it because they don't see or understand the mechanisms at play."

Unfortunately, the people do see it and just don't care so long as it doesn't directly threaten their standard of living. The people know about GMOs and about stores and brands that offer GMO-free products but they continue consuming the GMO products anyway. They can and have as always voted with their dollars just as they vote with their ballots to always support the duopoly. Many don't know important things because they don't care to know as the same means of knowing is available to them as to everyone else who actually has an interest in seeking out important information.

The masses aren't forcibly ignorant. The masses simply don't care as the problems in the world have yet to directly threaten their accepted standard of living.

[-] 3 points by elf3 (3900) 4 years ago

then all is lost and we can scream to the rafters and they will never hear us? I had a discussion with someone about this last night - when you do see it and you do care ... how do you go on living in the world when you know freedom is a sham, when you know people don't care about other human beings as long as they have theirs? I'm finding it difficult these days I can't just go back to sleep. Others get angry when you point these things out (you're not allowed to express any negativity about the system or point out any problems or they point at you like a human in the Body Snatchers) You're supposed to feel grateful that you live in America and feel at one with the people who's weekend activity is shopping and competing with every person they meet. You're supposed to accept your station and change your fundamental beliefs - you are expected to fit in.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 4 years ago

Either things will change when the masses perceive a direct threat to their standard of living or things will change when a minority of manipulators selfishly pursue their desire for a better world by successfully manipulating the masses into action.

[-] 1 points by TropicalDepression (-45) 4 years ago

Thats a very interesting take.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

when a minority of manipulators selfishly pursue their desire for a better world by successfully manipulating the masses into action.

Or inaction.

BTW - selfish? "desire for a better world"? I was thinking more along the lines of the successful ( to date ) propagandizing of Fossil Fuel and the corp(se)oRATions involved as being a good thing. And other similar successful lies.

[-] 4 points by LeoYo (5909) 4 years ago

I desire a better world and I don't care if the masses don't want a better world. I'm selfish that way. If the masses can be manipulated against their apathy to engage in actions to bring about a better world, I'm all for it.

If given the choice between being either enslaved or free, the masses choose enslavement, I have no problem choosing to be their master and manipulating them into obliterating the differences between master and slave.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

BTW - on that selfish manipulation bit.

If you are actually trying for making a better world - stop pollution - provide alternative energy that is clean to everyone, export peace instead of armaments.

And you get the backing of the people by getting their attention ( necessary step for manipulation ) - if you get their attention by telling the truth and presenting honestly better ways to do things. If you show them how their lives are being poisoned and shortened and generally made miserable "NOW" and how the changes you propose would be better all the way around for them ( this is all in going towards making an actually better world ). Then How can THAT be deemed the least bit selfish?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

Sorry but what is selfish about wanting a better world? You aren't trying to make it only your world are you? A better world can't be selfish as everyone benefits.

You are an awake/aware individual - america marketing 101 has failed to get you ( at least not completely ) - not so much for the average person - and there are various reasons for their susceptibility or their choice to just go along.

But no - wanting a better world "can't" be selfish. Unless of course your "better" world would only be better for you. Like wanting to make all the money that it is possible to make doing anything "ANYTHING" to get that money - poison people kill people take peoples homes away from them etc - all so you could have more money/power to do whatever you want to do - buy a house in every state have a private nature preserve ( nothing natural about it ) buy a yacht that you may only ever use but a couple of times etc etc etc. That would be a selfish better world - as it is only better for you and you will likely die ( ? depending ) before all of the abuse to the planet kills everyone including you. Also this selfish private better world for you may well poison you and ruin your enjoyment of it.

BTW - the above would not be a better world - so - the premise would be off.

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 4 years ago

When you pursue something for everyone that everyone else doesn't want, it's selfish. Everyone wants to benefit in a better world for themselves but everyone doesn't care if everyone else benefits as well. The global democratic consensus is to just let things continue as is and not be bothered with making positive change. I want a better world for myself so that involves making a better world for everyone else against their desire to just let things be as they are. Apathetic humanity deserves what it gets but the necessity of living with humanity means that a better world for myself must include a better world for the rest of humanity whether they currently want it or not.

Simply put, I selfishly disregard all the desires of humanity to let things continue as they are. Their complacency with the status quo means nothing to me. This is true of all activists who agitate for change in a sea of complacency. If they cared about the masses' desires to not be bothered, they would simply leave them alone without continued protesting. Once the masses show their enduring lack of support as well as continued support for the status quo, activism on behalf of the masses becomes a selfish cause and I'm all for it.

[-] 1 points by elf3 (3900) 4 years ago

Perhaps marketing 101 has gotten to Leo Yeo - or psychological manipulation of the masses. Wanting something for yourself is not selfish - we all deserve dignity and decency on this planet - it is how we go about getting what we want that can be selfish and can cause destruction. Are you willing to hurt others or the planet, are you willing to disregard justice or human life, are you willing to compromise morals and decency to get there? Are you willing to put aside all consideration of consequences or others? People with innate moral compasses know the answer to this question. We all want things, we are human, we want stability, safety, and pleasantness. What are you willing to do to get these things? If you are willing to harm - then you are selfish plain and simple - if you are willing to accept that you will not always have your pony - then perhaps you will not wish to harm someone else in order to have your way, perhaps you will not seek vengeance because you are aware we all need and deserve decency and that those who seek it through malicious means are greatly misguided. Bringing injustice to light is always better than bringing justice into the dark.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

Good comment.

Yes goal as well as method to meet goal do very much matter.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

how do you go on living in the world when you know freedom is a sham, when you know people don't care about other human beings as long as they have theirs

Medicated? For Depression? I mean look at the growing number of people being treated for depression.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (3900) 4 years ago

said discussion round-abouted and stopped at the fact that we're not living a natural existence - are we made to trade our lives for a stipend? People trick themselves into the day to day existence but we were born into this totally unnatural system that forces us to literally trade our lives so someone else can profit. Yes and we're all grateful not to be starving etc. etc. but it doesn't change this fact the we aren't self-reliant (only a fortunate few will achieve this - roughly 5 percent?) that we must submit to this system in order to survive, and that our lives don't belong to us.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

Exactly - and even in much less technical times - even then there was a better overall style of living for more of the population then there is today. Things were often times incredibly horrible for many people ( and still are today ) but many more people in the population then as compared to today had a better overall life - what they were really missing ( as is today ) was good medical care. Yes there was inequality and unfair wages - but the whole world was not owned and controlled yet - and so there were some freedoms then that we don't have today.

[-] 2 points by elf3 (3900) 4 years ago


This was an interesting film. It's funny how little people need to be happy - America is one of the most unhappy countries on the planet. The idea that stuff or even technology can make one happy seems to be faulted. If money was the answer why are so many rich housewives taking mother's little helper? I am a strong believer in the idea that flow does make you happy. The so called "bullshit jobs" discussed above don't offer any experience of flow. Most workplaces today are mired in political mind games and structural hierarchies that offer people no autonomy or creation and actually strike down people with independent natures. It's this idea of reliance so ingrained in American culture. "You will work hard and efficient because I pay you to"...But it does't work people do a good job when they are fulfilled and interested, not when they are beaten into submission and reliance and offered no new experience. Reliance creates a feeling of desperation and fear. People can't be happy or efficient under these circumstances, I would argue that the structural configuration of today's work places actually cause people to under perform. Companies are shooting themselves in the foot when they make their work place a copy of the apprentice - what they gain on their profit margin they will lose by having sick employees.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

BTW - nice short video - it kinda says it all when you see subsistence living villages/people taking the time for community dancing fooling around.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

Reminds me of a comment I had made to shadz - it ended =

Stuck on Stupid Blinded by Money.

And in that vein I & shooz came up with this little short story of the times:


Adding to your thought - Technology was supposed to free up more time for living LIFE - and has instead been used to steal more life away.

[-] 5 points by LeoYo (5909) 4 years ago

What About "Jobs?"

Since the abundant, cheap, flexible energy that we have known is already a thing of the past, there is no jobs program that will ever allow for a continued, growing consumer economy. Besides, we should question working for The Man when it's not actually a job one needs, but rather the essentials that jobs and money help obtain. Simple changes in social relations cut out the middle man and get us closer to nature and our local communities. This guts corporate domination more than signing petitions, writing letters, and even marching on Washington or Wall Street. So why can't we get the job done without wrenching collapse?

It is perverse to wish for the effects of collapse, but we ought to understand any basis for a silver lining. And as long as collapse looks more inevitable, as it does in the minds of many, we would do well to take a break from distractions. Celebrity-obsession in the mass media draws attention away from the melting Arctic, for example. But serious commentators' finger-pointing at politicians and passion to reform unfair policies may be pointless in regard to the unaddressed bigger picture. This is not to say that being critical and resisting oppression today are a mistake.

We have come to expect yet another major blow to hit us in tomorrow's news, so it would be wise today to develop better understanding about the end of the consumer economy. Jobs and other programs of modern society can become obsolete if populations are hitting resource limits and can't seem to get their act together. How could the end of the world of wondrous technological goods and upward mobility be coming about in our lifetime? The "growth" of the last century has been primarily a function of cheaply extracted petroleum in "endless" supply, whose peak occurred in approximately 2005. If we are to get on with the historic task of recognizing and preparing for general collapse, we will have to wean ourselves not just from high-energy materialism, but also from merely lamenting the long list of failures and disappointments of civilization.

That lament is useful and has a steady following, but is seldom phrased that way or seen for its limitations. It remains the unconscious, ineffective strategy of most social-justice activists and commentators who seem to not see the forest for the trees. They vacillate about what is really wrong with the direction society is going in, and they almost all have simplistic ideas about energy industries. Across the ideological spectrum, an unsubstantiated faith in a recurring techno-fix is thwarting action to change our clever, polluting way of life.

This mindset has to do with embracing "jobs" and "growth" as sacrosanct and eternal fixtures of humanity. The mindset's promoters are across the traditional left-right spectrum, and most want more massive deficit spending over years and years, regardless of who pays for it. The New York Times Quotation of the Day, Aug. 3, 2013:

"At a time of mass unemployment, it's clear, the economics textbooks tell us, that this is not the right time for fiscal retrenchment. To watch it be ignored like this is exasperating, horrifying, disheartening." - Justin Wolfers, an economics professor at University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Economists never seem to connect the eco in economy to the eco in ecosystem - as if unlimited consuming on a finite, increasingly crowded planet is possible and desirable. In opposition, the "deep greens" or even your Aunt Mabel might exclaim, "As if healthy nature is not our prime safety net! As if Nature does not bat last!"

In rare public discussion of collapse, when overcoming the corporate media blackout, the only way to keep the worried, depressed citizen's attention is to include a positive message. Then wonderful ideas for alternative living and liberation can surface. But we need to face what kind of world we are willing to live with that's realistic. Although the blackout has been practiced also by most progressive media, this has started to change in the last year or so, as collapse indications proliferate. Simultaneously one can find heartening news on lifestyle improvement, and of innovative, low-tech alternatives to the business-as-usual Rat Race.

The best known student of collapse and living simply is Dmitry Orlov, who witnessed the rapid collapse of the USSR. His recent books on comparing applicable patterns for the United States, Reinventing Collapse and The Five Stages of Collapse, are grounded in observing oil supply's relationship to wasteful empires. The entire topic of collapse encompasses a large body of analytical works that have been multiplying in the last two decades in an exponential curve. The recent, sudden upward swing of the graph is like the observed intensification of atmospheric and oceanic CO2 levels. Success on the material plane has been for a small minority on the planet. But surveys have shown that material gain has for most people not produced as much happiness as taking the time to enjoy friends and family. With collapse, we'll all be looking at less material pursuit and more reliance on friends and family: i.e., community. Becoming closer to one's family will be the order of the day in the United States. When people have mutual aid, cooperation and community, they need nothing else except an accommodating natural environment. The latter is the biggest worry for the future, because we're losing it.

The clamor for "more jobs" and "take back what the banksters grabbed" is about compassion and justice. But this focus almost always ignores three things: putting nature first so as to uphold environmental and ecological health; understanding the energy basis of economic collapse; and clear and better ways of organizing society for fairness and general welfare.

Collapse needs to be understood as a sweeping away of unworkable schemes of excess, greed, inefficiency and corporate wage-slavery, although we cannot predict exactly how collapse will play out. With the inevitable changes upon us, some have a vision - if somewhat diffused and marginalized - for positive developments involving green livelihoods and fostering community. Rather than a "techno-fix" under central authorities, the vision is for a return to decentralized "appropriate tech." For example, to the rescue will be the rising sail transport movement and reorienting urban areas toward local, but globally linked, sustainable trade and travel. Last but not least, total financial collapse offers opportunity for deeper partnership, as we saw in the 1981 film Rollover.

Knowing What Our Troubles Really Are

Confusing the symptoms of deeper problems with their causes is a common tendency. Status quo institutions are adept at not addressing root causes of any basic societal or cultural crisis. So any progressive movement would have to overcome that. When nonprofit groups and large membership associations are funded to just slightly reform the system, they serve mostly to obstruct fundamental change.

In contrast, the "positive-collapse activist" tries to get more people thinking about self-sufficiency and the natural environment than, say, about a better Democratic Party.

Could the Occupy movement come back more land-based? It needs to happen before widespread food riots, touched off perhaps by a crippling failure of crops due to climate chaos. It is only a matter of time before such a scenario comes to your petroleum-dependent neighborhood. That is the challenge for the US population - the most energy-wasteful on the planet. The hour is late for rethinking what has passed for "progress": the isolated-consumer high-tech lifestyle. There are steps to take now that put power in people's hands, by not waiting for politicians to act or corporations to sell. Real wealth is not on Wall Street, but rather in utilizing and sharing healthy land. To help cope with bioregional and geographical limitations of food supply and other goods, sail transport will come back in a big way. Bicycles and bike trailers have huge potential - and improve health. A better future should be ahead, but how much time and what resources will we waste before making it happen? It is essential that the progressive media shed stark light on our changing, precarious world and aid us in sailing onward and away from the dysfunctional and phony world we will leave behind.

Further reading:

"Climate change occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years"

"No honey, more problems: A 'catastrophic' year for bee colonies" Copyright, Truthout.

[-] 1 points by trashyharry (3082) from Waterville, NY 4 years ago

A sick gambler WILL NOT leave the casino until ALL of his/her money is gone.As the gambler begins to lose,youwould think that gambler would stop,count the winnings,and quit while still ahead.This is not going to happen.The more a sick gambler loses,the bigger they bet.When the sick gambler runs out of money,the gambler borrows to keep playing.A sick gambler will not stop trying to gamble until physically ejected from the casino.

[-] 0 points by forourfutures (393) 4 years ago

Eww, bad behavior.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 4 years ago

You know, I really have to question how many are actually all about consumerism. I remember back in 2007 or 2008 there was a little news-y show. You know. One of those heavily edited this represents the real problem shows. The this is what you need to do to fix it.

So, in this show there are 3 different families. They are upper middle class. They show doesn't mention that they are. They live in nice homes in Suburbia with two vehicles. They all have children. The children are active in sports.

These beleaguered families have no idea where there money is going. One family is hitting restaurants 4 times a week. One family has no idea how much money they spend at the grocery store. One family does not bother to budget how much they spend for shopping and recreational activities.

Enter the game changer. Highly recommended is cooking your own food. Another recommendation is budgeting your grocery shopping and regular shopping and cutting back on recreational activities. Then there was the question of, do you really need that second car?

Groovy. So, just so we are all clear, take a lesson from those people that have been doing this in the lower classes for ever. Those classes where one illness can leave you homeless.

Who the hell is the audience? I guess people missed that class.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

acknowledge accelerating bee colony collapse.

Ya know - perversely - that would/could guarantee 100% employment as we try to fill in for the loss of our natural pollinators.

[-] 2 points by Nevada1 (5843) 4 years ago

Am experiencing a lack of bees in garden. Have been filling in with a tiny paint brush.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago

How long has it been since anyone has seen a for real bumblebee? Ya know ? ( well perhaps not ) the ones that are really fat and FUZZY - Yeah I know - FUZZY - they are yellow and black and FUZZY - they didn't look like funny small small wasted wasps - ya know hairless - lacking any and all fuzzyness. I don't know about you - but - I can't really remember the last time that I saw a bonifide bumblebee.

[-] 0 points by Nevada1 (5843) 4 years ago

Have not seen a bumblebee in a long time----Sad.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago


I know - they were so big and fat and seemed very deceptively slow and one had to look at em and wonder how such a fat thing could fly and they were colorful and they made such a loud buzzing hum as they flew from flower to flower I have heard humming birds that make less noise.

[-] -3 points by Shayneh10 (-19) from Jersey City, NJ 4 years ago

I see bumble bees all the time - they sometimes become a "pain" because the like to bore holes in the underside of eaves.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (33496) from Coon Rapids, MN 4 years ago
[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 4 years ago

I'm happy to report a rise in the local bee population, helped along by the installation of a sugar-bag colony of non-stinging native bees.

[-] 0 points by Nevada1 (5843) 4 years ago

Excellent. Sugar-bag colony---? Any more news on Monsanto bee killings? Government involvement?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 4 years ago

Sugar-bag is the local name for a hive of Australian non-stinging bees. Cute little tackers that are a third of the size, but look the same.

Our politicians are all, without exception, posting out the same form letter, same content, same monz propaganda. It's federal election time here, 7th Sept. Will keep you posted on that one.

[-] 1 points by Nevada1 (5843) 4 years ago

Thank you Builder.

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 4 years ago

You're welcome, Nevada1.

The laziness and corruptability of politicians seems to be a universal problem.

[-] -1 points by 71353933 (85) 4 years ago

I wish the muslims in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libyia and Lebanon.....would stop killing each other in the name of humanity.

The price of oil would fall too

[-] -2 points by Nevis (1) 4 years ago

This, coupled with the issues presented in the 'bullshit jobs' thread/article basically sum up why I refused to graduate high school-and why I never became involved in the Occupy movement until joining the forums recently. I find this thread inspiring.

[-] -2 points by Nevis (1) 4 years ago

There have been a fair number of medium-sized bumblebees here in Western NC-until late July this year. The weather has been much colder and rainier this year. I find it stupid how much people are complaining about our wealth of rain. Before the major global warming coupled with a multi-decade drought, people don't seem to understand that this region, functioning healthily, is colder and wetter than this year.