There's this great scene in the movie Men in Black when Tommy Lee Jones says, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals.”
Although that line of dialogue was written by some high-priced Hollywood screenwriter, it is, nevertheless, entirely accurate.
And every time we get sideswiped by some major act of God, we are reminded of this reality.
Following Hurricane Katrina, which decimated New Orleans back in 2005, the city was overwhelmed with looting, violence, and murder.
And more recently, we saw proof of these “dumb, panicky dangerous animals” following Hurricane Sandy.
Sean Bailey, a man from Queens, was arrested last week after pointing his pistol at motorists who complained that he tried to cut in line at a gas station...
In New Jersey, fights have broken out in miles-long gas lines as motorists rushed to get just a few gallons in a state where only about 20% of all filling stations are working right now.
The obligatory looters have been in full force throughout all five boroughs, gang members posing as FEMA officials have been caught robbing families in affluent neighborhoods, and the number of burglary reports have skyrocketed.
I'm telling you, when Mother Nature knocks us on our collective asses, we almost always respond the same way... like dumb, panicky dangerous animals.
A Perfect Storm
I'm a big believer in preparedness. Although we did top off our supplies before Hurricane Sandy swooped in, we were already fully stocked with food, water, bullets, and fuel.
And we're prepared not only for weather-related events — but for economic, social, and geopolitical ones as well.
Not to sound like some over-the-top doom-and-gloomer, but I truly believe civilization is no more than a major crisis or two away from a complete breakdown...
Especially these days, with crushing unemployment, a greater disparity between the haves and have-nots, and the inability for most folks these days to know how to even survive without emergency rooms, 24-hour gas stations, and fully-stocked grocery store shelves.
Just like Hurricane Sandy, we've created a perfect storm.
We're sitting on a full powder keg, and the question is: What's going to light the fuse?
More importantly — How will you fare when the proverbial poop eventually hits the fan?
What Will Light the Fuse?
It's a question we kick around here in the office all the time...
What's going to set off a complete breakdown in the fabric of our society?
An out-of-control Fed, hell-bent on monetary destruction?
I don't know about you, but wheelbarrows full of Andrew Jacksons aren't going to get very far here on the streets of Baltimore...
Another major terrorist attack that results in more uncontrolled power for Homeland Security and less freedoms for individual citizens?
Potential riot scenarios in the event of a Romney win?
Yeah, I said it — not because I necessarily expect it, look forward to it, or encourage it, but to ignore the possibility of such a thing for the sake of political correctness is a foolish endeavor.
Or maybe just an increase in more of these destructive weather events?
New Orleans still isn't back to normal since Hurricane Katrina, and it'll take months, if not years, for New Jersey and New York to recover. It would be a real blow for recovery efforts if the Northeast got slammed with a few extreme blizzards this winter.
Of course, as individuals, we can't control the Fed, our domestic and foreign enemies, or acts of God...
But we can take the necessary precautions to ensure our safety and freedom.
A Libertarian Tree Hugger
Joel Lipscomb is an architect.
He lives in New Jersey and was the only one in his neighborhood with power following Hurricane Sandy. With solar panels on the roof and a high-efficiency wood stove, his family is not without lights nor heat.
And Joel hasn't had to wait for hours in gas lines, risking his life for a few gallons of 87 octane... His Nissan LEAF is fully charged every day, thanks to a small solar array on his garage that acts as his own private “filling station” (and he was smart enough to fill his pickup before the hurricane).
Joel's freezer is also running without any problems. It's currently fully stocked with deer, chicken, beef, and vegetables. And he's not worried about anyone looking to rob him, as he's well-armed — and doesn't usually miss!
Joel is the perfect example of preparedness. And while many in his neighborhood previously mocked his solar panels and electric cars, often calling the lifelong libertarian a “tree hugger,” he now keeps their laptops and cell phones charged, their neighborhood protected, and their kids well fed.
Some may support the integration of alternative energy because they believe in the environmental benefits. Some buy electric cars because they're tired of funding terrorists with oil money.
And some simply understand that there are certain alternative energy applications that effectively serve as the perfect tools for preparedness and independence.
Although the heydays of solar and wind stocks may be over, as we're witnessing today, an investment in actual solar panels or an electric car can be excellent long-term investments offering impressive returns on investment — and a little added freedom and protection when you need it most...
Just something to think about the next time you hear some loudmouth trivializing the benefits of alternative energy in an attempt to cater to the few remaining knuckle draggers who still don't get it — and probably never will.
To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...
@JeffSiegel on Twitter
Jeff is the managing editor of Energy and Capital and contributing analyst for the Energy Investor, an independent investment research service focusing primarily on stocks in the oil & gas, modern energy and infrastructure markets. He has been a featured guest on Fox, CNBC, and Bloomberg Asia, and is the author of the best-selling book, Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor's page.