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[techbooks] REVIEW: "The Y2K Survival Guide and Cookbook", Dorothy R. Bates/

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKY2KSGC.RVW 990417 The Y2K Survival Guide and Cookbook , Dorothy R. Bates/Albert K. Bates, 1999, 0-9669317-0-X, U$12.95 %A Dorothy R. Bates
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 1999
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      BKY2KSGC.RVW 990417

      "The Y2K Survival Guide and Cookbook", Dorothy R. Bates/Albert K.
      Bates, 1999, 0-9669317-0-X, U$12.95
      %A Dorothy R. Bates y2k@...
      %A Albert K. Bates y2k@...
      %C 560 Farm Road, Summertown, TN 38483-0090
      %D 1999
      %G 0-9669317-0-X
      %I Ecovillage
      %O U$12.95 931-964-3571 fax: 931-964-3518 catalog@...
      %P 124 p.
      %T "The Y2K Survival Guide and Cookbook"

      The structure of the book isn't very clear, but the first section
      would seem to be an introduction to the problem. (The other sections
      are labelled "steps.") Aside from saying that there is going to be
      massive upheaval it signally fails to explain why or how. The book
      tells you to start your preparations by going through your home (even
      worming through crawlspaces and attics) and noting down every single
      item you find. While this exercise will undoubtedly stand you in good
      stead the next time your homeowner's insurance comes due, the material
      doesn't give a good idea of what you are looking for. Two very good
      suggestions are to get paper copies of all your financial and other
      important records (although I'm sure the landfills are going to be
      working overtime during 2000 if they aren't needed) and getting
      together with neighbours.

      Step one talks about all kinds of disasters and has nothing at all to
      do with Y2K. Water is discussed in step two. Some ideas, such as
      adding a trace of ascorbic acid to stored water, are good. Other
      points are questionable: why does water quality deteriorate in clear
      plastic containers, and, if it does, why are they ideal for water
      storage? As with most of the rest of the book, it also looks at
      issues in isolation rather than together: if you have no power, how
      are you going to boil water in order to purify it? This is repeated
      in step three, waste disposal, which recommends the construction of a
      composting toilet. Humidity is kept down by a constantly operating
      fan. (What runs the fan?) Step four, on heat and light, is, again, a
      mix of good and bad. Although it does mention that you need to stock
      wood *NOW* if you are going to rely on it, nowhere does it mention how
      much you are going to need. (I have split, stacked, and used wood. I
      even know how much a cord is--and I know how fast it disappears.)
      Chafing dishes and food warmers are useless for food preparation. The
      discussion of solar power does a good (though perhaps optimistic) job
      of estimating the cost of a replacement system, but fails to mention
      that we will be talking about the depths of winter for Y2K. The tools
      listed in step five would be great--if we were talking about camping.
      (I haven't heard that there are any "embedded processors" in lumber,
      so you probably don't need to worry about building shelters. Fishing
      gear probably isn't too necessary: I live near a stream, and I've even
      seen hatchlings in it, but not during the winter. As for vegetable
      seeds--if it lasts that long, we are in very serious trouble.) The
      food storage discussion in step six has serious problems. In common
      with many such books, it ignores the fact that rice, beans, flour and
      other long term storage goodies require a lot of energy (power,
      electricity, wood, heat, whatever) for preparation. It also assumes
      that we are interested in going back to the land in a big way: getting
      into food canning and building solar dryers. Step seven starts out
      well by addressing recreational needs, but then decides we all need to
      go into gardening. (See also step five.)

      An afterword tries to use the problem to push for sustainable
      development. (By the way, Daedelus was the inventor; Icarus was a kid
      who wouldn't do what his old man told him.)

      The recipes may be interesting: they have little or nothing to do with
      surviving in a situation where food, water, and particularly power
      supplies may be unreliable.

      A fairly obvious attempt to jump on the bandwagon du jour, this has a
      few good ideas, but should not be relied on.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKY2KSGC.RVW 990417

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
      The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win,
      you're still a rat.
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade

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