Self-Reliance Key to Surviving Yellowstone
IN NEW NOVEL, SELF-RELIANCE KEY TO SURVIVING
YELLOWSTONE CALDERA SUPER-ERUPTION
In the new apocalyptic novel, Yellowstone, New Hampshire-based author K.R.Nilsen creates a cooperative, self-contained, and highly self-sufficient community by the name of Independency, Minnesota. Populated by little more than 100 techno-agrarian pioneers, they build a new social and economic model that shuns global hyper-consumerism for a mode of living that places high value on self-reliance; hands-on food, goods, and energy production; personal and community-wide thriftiness; zero waste; nonviolence, and hard work for the benefit of all.
The ebook, now available on Amazon.com (free chapters to peruse and free lending service), opens with the buildup of geological forces within the 1,500 mile volcanic caldera that underlies almost the entire length and breadth of Yellowstone National Park, the largest such caldera on earth. The eruption that ensues is based on scientific evidence of a stupendous super-eruption of the caldera 2.1 million years ago, the ashfall from which buried one third of the contiguous United States under tens of millions of tons of volcanic debris and caused global temperatures to plunge precipitously for more than a decade.
In Nilsen’s novel, we join members of the self-reliant Minnesota town as they endure hellish struggles against torrents of ash, against starving citizens who steal and kill for food, against National Guard troops sent to empty bulk grain storage silos and ship corn, wheat and soybeans to desperate Eastern cities, and against record-breaking volcanic-winter cold.
The reader gets to walk in the shoes of these tech-savvy field-crop and greenhouse growers as they forge a new economic paradigm to replace the crippled hyper-consumer society around them. Pre-adapted to the harrowing conditions brought on by the eruption, the citizens of Independency village find they have the only avenues open to surviving the Yellowstone cataclysm.
Implied in these pages is the notion that globalization is a threat to the individual and the community because our global economic mono-system leaves all consumers dependent on people a world away we can’t know, can’t influence, and whose labor we can’t do without but which provides goods we no longer produce ourselves or as a nation. Nilsen calls that dependency untenable, and he uses the Yellowstone eruption as a means of highlighting just how vulnerable populations can be if a major catastrophic event, natural or manmade, were to come calling. Like the name of the town in his book, Nilsen calls for moving away from globalization-economics dependency for “independency”, whereby informed citizens band together to create self-sufficient communities that produce their own goods and services first, and then sell surplus goods and services to the outside world so the community members may thrive and remain independent of the greater society. In Yellowstone, this proves to be the key to survival.
The author is not a Lazy-Boy wordsmith. He is developing an organic and biodynamic farm and farm program in rural New Hampshire, grows food all year round, has built residential homes, designed long-distance hiking trails and all sorts of trail infrastructure, run a nonprofit, owned a natural foods manufacturing business, and is a champion of intentional communities. He has a particular interest in the more than a dozen remarkable self-contained towns that were built and occupied in the U.S. by the highly productive Shakers religious sect for 150 years.
Those who have a keen interest in more sustainable living and lifestyles of self-reliance might find a compelling model for a new social reality within the many pages of Yellowstone. Sample chapters of the ebook are available free online at Amazon.com to peruse.
Nilsen is so committed to self-reliant living that he self-published the novel and painted an original canvas that provides the background image for the cover. He plans an audio book of the novel and hopes to complete a nonfiction version of the ideas put forth in Yellowstone sometime in 2015.
Submitted by K. Robert Nilsen