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Progress is not just a goal in the West--it's a religion. Most people believe in its inherent value as enthusiastically and uncritically as medieval peasants believed in heaven and hell. Our faith in progress drives the popular insistence that peak oil and climate change don't actually matter--after all, our lab-coated high priests will surely bring forth yet another miracle to save us all.Unfortunately, progress as we've known it has been entirely dependent on the breakneck exploitation of half a billion years of stored sunlight in the form of fossil fuels. As the age of this cheap, abundant energy draws to a close, progress is grinding to a halt. Unforgiving planetary limits are teaching us that our blind faith in endless exponential growth is a dangerous myth.After Progress addresses this looming paradigm shift, exploring the shape of history from a perspective on the far side of the coming crisis. John Michael Greer's startling examination of the role our belief systems play in the evolution of our collective consciousness is required reading for anyone concerned about making sense of the future at a time when we must seek new sources of meaning, value, and hope for the era ahead.John Michael Greer is a scholar of ecological history and an internationally renowned futurist whose blog, The Archdruid Report, has become one of the most widely cited online resources dealing with the fate of industrial society. He is the author of over thirty books, including Green Wizardry and The Long Descent.
For almost 3,000 years apocalypse prophecies have convinced people all over the world that the future is about to give them the world they want instead of the world they've got. All the end time prophecies splashed across the media in every age have had something else in common: every one of them has been wrong. Apocalypse Not is a lively and engaging survey of predictions about the end of the world, along with the failed dreams and nightmares that have clustered around them. Among the stories highlighted in Apocalypse Not are: the birth of the apocalypse meme out of archaic star myths in the ancient Middle East; the failed end time prophecies of Nostradamus, Mother Shipton, and other famous prophets; the long and murky road from the Great Pyramid to today's Rapture beliefs; and the real origins of the belief in apocalypse in 2012 (hint: it's not originally Mayan at all).
A collection of probing essays and weekly meditations, this book addresses how to prepare emotionally and spiritually for the impending collapse of industrial civilization. Author Carolyn Baker offers wisdom, inspiration, and a sense of spiritual purpose for anyone who is concerned about the daunting future humankind has created.The author's introduction to Collapsing Consciously articulates our current predicament of economic collapse, environmental degradation, and global conflict and expresses the confusion, anxiety, grief, anger, and despair we all experience when we take a hard look at the present-day global crisis and the likely future of the planet. But rather than showing us ways to prevent the collapse, Baker argues that the demise of our consumerist, corporate culture is inevitable, and that it is crucial to prepare emotionally and spiritually for the certain changes to come.Part 1 is a collection of seventeen essays which argue that while the collapse of industrial society cannot be prevented, its meaning extends far beyond tragedy and loss. These essays ask the reader to delve inward and discover the limitless treasures of the soul, as well as the gratification and exhilaration to be discovered in joining with community in preparing for the future.In part 2, Baker offers fifty-two weekly meditations comprised of spiritual wisdom, inspiration, paradox, comfort, humor, irony, and a persistent challenge to create and savor beauty in the world, regardless of how bleak the future may appear.Collapsing Consciously is a refreshing take on the perilous present and the grim prospects for our future. Instead of quoting discouraging statistics about our predicament, Baker offers a deeper perspective that makes sense of a world that most of the time appears psychotic or even surreal. Through inspiration and perennial wisdom she has created a manual for making meaning and generating joy, especially in situations that feel hopelessly devoid of both.An ebook containing additional meditations is also available: Collapsing Consciously Meditations: Further Reflections for Turbulent Times, ISBN 978-1-58394-758-6.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.Although he was writing nearly a century ago, William Butler Yeats could just as easily be describing the United States today. The decline and fall of America's global empire is the central feature of today's geopolitical landscape, and the nature of our response to it will determine much of our future trajectory, with implications that reach far beyond the limits of one nation's borders.Decline and Fall: The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America challenges the conventional wisdom of empire. Using a wealth of historical examples combined with groundbreaking original analysis, author John Michael Greer: Shows how the United States has backed itself into a blind corner in the pursuit of political and economic power Explores the inevitable consequences of imperial collapse Proposes a renewal of democratic institutions as the only constructive way forwardBy shifting the conversation from whether today's American empire should survive to whether it can survive, and arguing persuasively that the answer to the latter question is "no," Decline and Fall makes an invaluable contribution to the body of speculative post-industrial literature. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the state of the Union, or who believes that the time has come to reinvent the American Dream.John Michael Greer is a scholar of ecological history, an internationally renowned Peak Oil theorist, and the author of more than thirty books including The Long Descent.
"[John Michael] Greer's work is nothing short of brilliant. He has the multidisciplinary smarts to deeply understand our human dilemma as we stand on the verge of the inevitable collapse of industrialism. And he wields uncommon writing skills, making his diagnosis and prescription entertaining, illuminating, and practically informative. Not to be missed."--Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute and author of Peak Everything"There is a great deal of conventional wisdom about our collective ecological crisis out there in books. The enormous virtue of John Michael Greer's work is that his wisdom is never conventional, but profound and imaginative. There's no one who makes me think harder, and The Ecotechnic Future pushes Greer's vision, and our thought processes in important directions." --Sharon Astyk, farmer, blogger, and author of Depletion and Abundance and A Nation of Farmers "In The Ecotechnic Future, John Michael Greer dispels our fantasies of a tidy, controlled transition from industrial society to a post-industrial milieu. The process will be ragged and rugged and will not invariably constitute an evolutionary leap for the human species. It will, however, offer myriad opportunities to create a society that bolsters complex technology which at the same time maintains a sustainable interaction with the ecosystem. Greer brilliantly inspires us to integrate the two in our thinking and to construct local communities which concretely exemplify this comprehensive vision." --Carolyn Baker, author of Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse, and publisher/editor, Speaking Truth to PowerIn response to the coming impact of peak oil, John Michael Greer helps us envision the transition from an industrial society to a sustainable ecotechnic world--not returning to the past, but creating a society that supports relatively advanced technology on a sustainable resource base.Fusing human ecology and history, this book challenges assumptions held by mainstream and alternative thinkers about the evolution of human societies. Human societies, like ecosystems, evolve in complex and unpredictable ways, making it futile to try to impose rigid ideological forms on the patterns of evolutionary change. Instead, social change must explore many pathways over which we have no control. The troubling and exhilarating prospect of an open-ended future, he proposes, requires dissensus--a deliberate acceptance of radical diversity that widens the range of potential approaches to infinity.Written in three parts, the book places the present crisis of the industrial world in its historical and ecological context in part one; part two explores the toolkit for the Ecotechnic Age; and part three opens a door to the complexity of future visions.For anyone concerned about peak oil and the future of industrial society, this book provides a solid analysis of how we got to where we are and offers a practical toolkit to prepare for the future.John Michael Greer is a certified Master Conserver, organic gardener, and scholar of ecological history. He blogs at The Archdruid Report (www.thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com), and is the author ofThe Long Descent.
Green Wizardry is a hands-on guide to homescale energy conservation, backyard food production and other commonsense responses to scarcity. Written by a veteran of the 1970s appropriate technology movement, it offers tried and tested solutions and a wealth of nearly forgotten practical skills to help individuals, families and communities cope creatively with the end of the age of cheap energy.
SeattleOil.com The Internet writings of John Michael Greer - beyond any doubt the greatest peak oil historian in the English language - have finally made their way into print. Greer fans will recognize many of the book's passages from previous essays, but will be delighted to see them fleshed out here with additional examples and analysis.The Long Descent is one of the most highly anticipated peak oil books of the year, and it lives up to every ounce of hype. Greer is a captivating, brilliantly inventive writer with a deep knowledge of history, an impressive amount of mechanical savvy, a flair for storytelling and a gift for drawing art analogies. His new book presents an astonishing view of our society's past, present and future trajectory--one that is unmatched in its breadth and depth. Reviewed by Frank Kaminski Wired.com The Long Descent is a welcome antidote to the armageddonism that often accompanies peak oil discussions. "The decline of a civilization is rarely anything like so sudden for those who live through it" writes Greer, encouragingly; it's "a much slower and more complex transformation than the sudden catastrophes imagined by many soical critics today."The changes that will follow the decline of world petroleum production are likely to be sweeping and global, Greer concludes, but from the perspective of those who live through them these changes are much more likely to take gradual and local forms. Reviewed by Bruce Sterling Americans are expressing deep concern about US dependence on petroleum, rising energy prices, and the threat of climate change. Unlike the energy crisis of the 1970s, however, there is a lurking fear that now the times are different and the crisis may not easily be resolved. The Long Descent examines the basis of such fear through three core themes: Industrial society is following the same well-worn path that has led other civilizations into decline, a path involving a much slower and more complex transformation than the sudden catastrophes imagined by so many social critics today. The roots of the crisis lie in the cultural stories that shape the way we understand the world. Since problems cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them, these ways of thinking need to be replaced with others better suited to the needs of our time. It is too late for massive programs for top-down change; the change must come from individuals. Hope exists in actions that range from taking up a handicraft or adopting an "obsolete" technology, through planting an organic vegetable garden, taking charge of your own health care or spirituality, and building community. Focusing eloquently on constructive adaptation to massive change, this book will have wide appeal.
Americans are expressing deep concern about US dependence on petroleum, rising energy prices, and the threat of climate change. Unlike the energy crisis of the 1970s, however, there is a lurking fear that now the times are different and the crisis may not easily be resolved. The Long Descent examines the basis of such fear through three core themes: Industrial society is following the same well-worn path that has led other civilizations into decline, a path involving a much slower and more complex transformation than the sudden catastrophes imagined by so many social critics today. The roots of the crisis lie in the cultural stories that shape the way we understand the world. Since problems cannot be solved with the same thinking that created them, these ways of thinking need to be replaced with others better suited to the needs of our time. It is too late for massive programs for top-down change; the change must come from individuals. Hope exists in actions that range from taking up a handicraft or adopting an "obsolete" technology, through planting an organic vegetable garden, taking charge of your own health care or spirituality, and building community. Focusing eloquently on constructive adaptation to massive change, this book will have wide appeal. John Michael Greer is a certified Master Conserver, organic gardener, and scholar of ecological history. The current Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA), his widely-cited blog, The Archdruid Report (thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com) deals with peak oil, among other issues. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.
The authentic mystery teachings are not about quick fixes or easy answers. They offer something far deeper and more meaningfulùa path of personal transformation in harmony with the cosmos on all its levels, from the ultimate heights of spirit to the fragile and beautiful planet on which we live. In Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth, ecologist and Druid initiate John Michael Greer offers an introduction to the core teachings of the mysteries through the mirror of the natural world.
Our destructive obsession with money and economic growth has driven us to the brink of disaster. The Wealth of Nature exposes the flaws in conventional economic theory and shows how through public policy initiatives and personal choices the economy can be restructured at an appropriate scale with a focus on the natural world.
John Michael Greer has re-thought economics, starting from its fundamental premises, giving it a basis in ecological reality rather than political fiction. The result is perhaps the most important and readable book on economics since Small Is Beautiful. Richard Heinberg, author of The End of Growth.
In this book John Michael Greer turns his attention to the intellectual underpinnings and superstructures of the Pagan and magical movements. Pagan religions have tended to be more concerned with practice that with theory and in a system that has no dogma - no legislated doctrine - that is as it should be.