Here’s What You Need to Know About the Collapse of Greece

Greece has collapsed.  The numbers are straight forward (via the BBC):

  • There are more unemployed people than employed.
  • About 1,000 people are day are losing their jobs (that’s a big number in a small country).
  • 73% of the population wants to emigrate (most can’t afford to).

The government is bankrupt and nearly everyone is running out of Euros to pay the bills.  Slowly, but surely, the lights are going out in Greece (again).

Acropilos wide view

Greece is a great example of what collapse in the modern world looks like:

  • Cubicle jobs in corporate and government bureaucracies evaporate.
  • Personal savings aren’t worth much due to across the board market declines (from stocks to bonds to commodities), and what’s left depletes rapidly.
  • The cost of essentials, from food to energy to water to products, get increasingly hard to afford.
  • Rent and mortgages become negotiable.
  • While protests can occasionally turn into riots, the biggest security risk is from petty property crime and government corruption.

As you can see, real collapse is not as dramatic as depicted in Hollywood, it’s just depressing.

Fortunately, a collapse like this is something that we can bounce back from quickly.  How?

By becoming resilient in our personal lives.  By learning how to make our own jobs.  By becoming healthy and fit and helping others to do the same.   By turning our homes into productive assets that reduce our expenses and increase our incomes.  By connecting with our families and neighbors to build resilient communities and dynamic local economies.  By producing most of the food, water, energy, and products we need locally.  By learning to sell and trade artisanal products and services we make locally, to the world.


Resilient Lighting?

Here’s something called the solar tube.

It’s a pretty big improvement over the traditional skylight (installation, cost, quality/quantity of light, reliability, etc.).   The dome at the top of the tube collects natural light.  The tube’s interior surface is reflective to allow the light to travel around curves and bends.  Finally, there’s an acrylic circlet at the end of the tube (which is on the ceiling of the room) to diffuse the light into the room.

Anyway, if you have the time and the inclination, I’m pretty sure you could DIY almost all of the elements of this system to both improve the quality of the light in enclosed spaces and reduce the cost of providing it (per the pay-back period in the graphic).



That’s it for today.  I’m going to take advantage of what’s left of the great day outside to refinish my deck furniture.  See you Thursday.

Resiliently Yours,



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  • Stephen Clay McGehee

    We have five of the “sun tube” lights in our house. We’ve had them now for several years, and they have been an excellent addition. The new design that is currently being sold will not leak (assuming it is installed correctly). When it comes to cost-effective and resilient improvements, this is near the top of the list.

    When it is time to replace the roof, it will be a bit more expensive due to the added work involved with the sun tubes, but it is a very small price to pay to have great lighting during the day – even in areas that are not near a window.

    • John Robb

      Five? Nice. Thanks for the feedback Stephen. Any estimate on the payback period? JR

      • Stephen Clay McGehee

        We have two in the garage, and one each in the kitchen, bathroom, and the laundry room.

        We didn’t even look at a payback period. Our objective was to take steps to make the house more self-sufficient, more resilient. Financial payback is just an added bonus. It’s like other projects we’ve done – added more insulation than even the recommended levels, adding the capability of hand-pumping from our well, our raised-bed project, etc. Resilient communities start with resilient homes/homesteads. Thanks for a great source of information and inspiration!

      • Mark M

        The payback period should not only balance the cost of electricity vs. the cost of the tube, but should also account for the cost of not having to install a light fixture in the ceiling.

  • c.

    One downside of the solartube is that it doesn’t open. So if you want to vent your house during the night and draw in the cooler air having skylights properly located at your top story of your home is really a better investment.

  • Penny Pincher

    You can make a poor man’s one of these for a shed or something out of a clear 2 liter soda bottle filled with bleach water. The cap end goes out and the bottom goes in. No turning corners there, but good enough for a shed roof. People are using them in 3rd world countries. You’d need some kind of flashing/template to hold the bottle in place, and a lot of caulk. The water diffuses the light.

    All kinds of stuff like that that’s meant for making peasants’ lives better in Africa or wherever can work here too.

    • John Robb

      Thanks Penny. I’ll post more about that soon. JR