Column: A match made in doomsday
9/8/2013 6:00:00 AM
By Alan Choate
Deena Shanker, writing in Salon recently, opined that "cities will kill us all."
She made a convincing case that dense urban areas will be the worst places to be when The End comes to pass, be it from war, disease, weather or climate events, alien invasion or whatever else floats your doomsday boat.
There will be limited supplies of food and water (and limited opportunities to replenish them), for one. Then think of the rioting, the criminal activity, the spread of sicknesses, the difficulty of navigating the streets. If it's war that takes us out, cities will be the focus of aggression.
Of course, the title of her piece went too far. Cities will not kill us all - just those of us in cities.
Which got me thinking about Kingman, which is called a city but more accurately is the center of a rural community that's not a bad place to be when "it" all goes down.
We're out of the way enough to most likely avoid the first wave of an apocalyptic scenario (although this is a case when being on the Interstate is not an advantage). We're a smaller community, but we still have excellent medical services, a cadre of first responders, our own water source, the ability to grow food and harvest game to feed the population - and, of course, we're well-armed.
That's not just comforting. It's a marketing strategy.
Our ability to survive, even thrive, in the End of Days could be the ticket to revitalizing our local economy. "This is the End - Come to Kingman!" Catchy, right? We'll get people to move in, to refurbish and make secure real estate across the community.
But this is bigger than getting doomsday preppers (or should I say, MORE doomsday preppers) to call Kingman home.
For instance, we could attract agricultural researchers to develop methods and crops to meet the expected needs in a post-apocalyptic environment. We'll need the capacity to filter and purify water, and use it conservatively - how about enticing companies that specialize in that here?
And in addition to that manufacturing niche, we'll need more general capacity as well. I'm sure there are entrepreneurs who would love some space to build up the skills and technology to make goods and fuel out of everything from old clothes and scrap metal to used cooking oil. And we'll need other types of brains too - scholars, artists and the like who can help preserve our civilization.
That's a pretty diverse economy right there. Imagine it: Jobs across the spectrum, from entry-level manufacturing to medical services to farm labor to cutting-edge research. Downtown Kingman? Restored, occupied, thriving. Real estate? In demand, with new construction going full-tilt. New businesses, new restaurants, new development, new residents, all because we had the good sense to know that we're well situated for the end of the world.
The downside of this strategy, of course, is that if we're successful and then the apocalypse comes, we'd be a full-fledged urban city - and, therefore, doomed.