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home : opinion : opinion April 30, 2016

9/8/2013 6:00:00 AM
Column: A match made in doomsday

Alan Choate
News Editor

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.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, October 4, 2013
Article comment by: joker wilde

The Aliens would flee Kingman. Zombies would feel right at home.

Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013
Article comment by: Greg F

Almost always enjoy Alan's columns.

Alan, what you speak about is exactly the problem with what we are. We already have too many apocalyptic, end-timers as it is. We have an over supply of survivalist, anti-society, anti-government wackos. I'm afraid your idea of marketing to them will attract more. Please no more. Let's try a different marketing strategy. You know perhaps -

Kingman Small Enough to Survive, Large Enough to Thrive,
Join Us in Building a Community We All Can Enjoy Together.

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Article comment by: Frank in Kingman

@Frank Lee Speaking
Don't worry about the zombies, the alien overlords will take care of them. At least that's what they told me when I took my tin foil hat off.

Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@ Research

Tea never mentioned snow. It is ICE. 60% more ice than last year. Due to Cooler temps.

Before you do your research, make sure you understand the topic.

Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research


As it was explained to me, the Arctic and Antarctic circles are typically too cold to get snow in large amounts. Biologists use this to help them track matting behavior in things like elephant seals, because the males will have fights, get bloodied up, and the blood will remain visible on the ice for months.

As the poles warm, the temperature could then rise to the point of there being more snow than usual. The flip side to that is glaciers on mountains and farther south, like the Dakotas, are melting and no new snow is coming to replace what melts because those areas are now too warm.

If you're talking about the more snow/less snow paradox, it's the same with rain, where storms are more high energy and have more moisture, but are fewer and farther apart.

Posted: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Article comment by: Tea

For the Lib global warmers....please explain the 60% gain (that would be a + sign) during this global warming? I don't understand how ice can increase when this "global warming) is melting the artic ice.

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013
Article comment by: Cranky Old Coot

I know where I won't be for the apocalypse and that is anywhere near Kingman. You have way too many looney-tunes there already.

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013
Article comment by: Liberal Lion

Left wing environmental "know nothings" have nothing to do with the attacks on Monsanto and genetically modified food. The real culprits are chemical companies. They hate genetically modified food because it eliminates the need for chemical treatment- you no longer need pesticides or herbicides.

Now, Monsanto is a chemical company too, but they have seen that the future is in genetics, not in chemicals so they have outflanked competitors in that regard. The competitor chemical companies are behind the Monsanto bashing. We informed liberals believe in science, including global warming and genetically modified foods.

Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Frank In Kingman

"...nothing like starting your day with an alien overlord watching your every move and of course beating you senseless."

If the choice is between that and a zombie apocalypse, I welcome our new alien overlords.


Posted: Monday, September 9, 2013
Article comment by: mr. parker

With regard to food supplies, Monsanto has been developing
disease, drought,heat and insect resistant hybrids for decades successfully when it's not being attacked by government and left wing environmental know nothings.

So many more people could be fed throughout the world but it's cooler to call it 'Frankenfood', protest and let the 3rd world starve and our own poor people pay higher prices. Thank you, environmental "progressives."

Fuel from cooking oil, well you can go 80/20% with diesel fuel/ cooking oil or make your own from cooking oil, just remember not to drink the methanol or get the lye into your eyes,somehow that doesn't sound environmentally friendly to me. But the environmental blowhards think it's great.

Scrap metal, incredibly it's cheaper to send it to China by container, let them smelt it, fabricate it and ship it back to the US. Thank you EPA regulators and unreasonable labor unions. Of course,the Chinese will sell it back to us.(npr.org 9/16/11)

Of course, if the whackos start with their nuclear freeze original Earth Day predictions, that Mexican Wolf fur could come in handy.


Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: vock canyon

While I agree, "cities will kill us all" it will be through taxes. Silly expenses for paid employee vacations will be the end of us.

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Frank In Kingman

"There's nothing like starting your day with an alien overlord watching your every move and of course beating you senseless."

May I just say, I welcome our alian overlords. Beats the heck out of a zombie apocalypse.


Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

Two days ago, the Las Vegas Review Journal cited government sources in stating that lake Mead may drop the required additional 56 feet within 18 to 24 months to bring about an apocalyptic scenario. That scenario states that even the current $894 million "straw" being frantically dug 400 feet underground to draw from the lake won't do the trick. There will be no water. at current drought and usage levels, for hydroelectric power, nor to honor the water sharing agreements with other states. If we are all speaking English here and have even some of our thinking capacities remaining, how on earth could the subject of apocalyptic scenarios be discussed humourously? But don't worry - Homeland Security is preparing, if you are not. Starting with 2 billion rounds of hollow point ammunition, and the latest crowd-crushing equipment (that's the least this government could do for us, after letting in millions of invaders to sap our water resources).

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Or better yet. How about having Jesus Christ as your Savior and then you will be taken out with the "uppertaker" as opposed to the undertakers down here.

Everyone has this same choice available to them. Me, I made the uppertaker choice a long time ago. Everyone has been shown the water down here - it is up to each individual to go to it and drink.

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: Trained Observer

Buy stock in tin foil NOW!!!

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research


Development organizations, USAID, and the USDA have been trying to breed drought-resistant crops for decades. ICRISAT is one such organization I'm familiar with, that grows hundreds of rows of test crops in African deserts, trying to get the highest and quickest yields.

How much food does Kingman produce? Not much - Kingman's not much better off than Vegas unless people start filling Red Lake with millet and bean farms 3 months before said apocalypse.

Real-life apocalypses happen all over the world every year. We should learn from them rather than learning from TV or Salon.com.

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: Frank in Kingman

Can I vote for the alien invasion? There's nothing like starting your day with an alien overlord watching your every move and of course beating you senseless.
But then you have the birthers, that will argue that the alien overlords have no legal right being overlords, because they weren't born on this earth. The aliens will just zap them.
The tea bags, I mean party, will be screaming that the alien government is too big and will demand that they cut their budget. The aliens will just zap them.
The NRA will have their members form well trained militias and will go out and fight the aliens. The aliens will just zap them

Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@ Alan

Aside from the catch 22, you have just provided an excellent description of the free market and capitalism.
If "the end" wasn't coming capitalism works.

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