Available in Print and Digital eBook formats. Choose the format you need. Continue Shopping. Click here to view an excerpt and here to see the table of contents. John Michael Greer historian of ideas and one of the most influential authors exploring the future of industrial society, writes the widely cited weekly blog "The Archdruid Report" and has published more than thirty books on ecology, history, and nature spirituality.
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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. 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. 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. 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. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title.
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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Dec 19, Ted rated it really liked it Shelves: peak-oil , transition , troubles-ahead. A hard book for me to review, so I'm going to put it off for awhile. The book is just full of ideas, many of them very unusual, that do force you to consider things from new perspectives. I'm not talking here about the general idea of peak oil, which is the assumed basis for what Greer is "prophesying" here.
I am convinced that we are heading into a post-peak world, and not because of anything Greer says in this book.
He doesn't argue much for the reality of peak oil, it is assumed - the subtitl A hard book for me to review, so I'm going to put it off for awhile.
He doesn't argue much for the reality of peak oil, it is assumed - the subtitle of the book is Envisioning a Post-Peak World. As he slaps his wrist So, just a couple facts about John Michael Greer, then I leave this review for now.
He blogs at thearchdruidreport. This is primarily a blog on peak oil and what Greer believes it will mean to our civilization; but Archdruid? What's that about? You can look up the details on Wiki and the blog site. Thus we have here a very unusual person, compared to the boring rest of us.
I should emphasize that whatever characteristics you might imagine a Grand Archdruid to have, they do not reveal themselves much in what he says in this book. Greer has written many books on things like natural magic, etc.
Jan 08, Justin rated it it was amazing. If industrial society turns out to have been little more than finding the fastest way possible to turn raw materials into pollution, the status quo won't be maintained for much longer. We're running out of those raw materials at a rapid pace and the outputs threaten to bring everything down with just as much certainty.
We see the possibility of business as usual slipping further and further away as the world falls deeper into a recession which shows no end in sight.
In The Ecotechnic Future, Joh If industrial society turns out to have been little more than finding the fastest way possible to turn raw materials into pollution, the status quo won't be maintained for much longer. In The Ecotechnic Future, John Michael Greer argues that the reason our globalized civilization faces this catastrophe is because our definition of technology is wholly misguided and counters with a realistic vision of the future.
Since the science fiction writers of the early 19th century, our dreams of advanced technology have been synonymous with "extravagant energy use". It is this redefinition of what the future and what future technology will look like that is the scope of Greer's most recent book. Our modern industrial society may be a primitive and vastly inefficient form of the coming ecotechnic society which maximizes the efficiency of its energy resources and obtains raw material inputs sustainably.
Of course, at the cost of a more restricted access to goods and services when compared to the globalized supply chains of today. It seems that Greer is the first to apply the ecological concept of succession to explain the rise and fall of societies. Perhaps our current civilization is just the fast-growing opportunist colonizers of the Earth which will then be replaced by a stable climax community. This is a powerful insight, one that views our many mistakes in the supply chain infrastructure not as immoral as many environmental groups would have you think but failed attempts at obtaining a future ecotechnic society.
Greer's analogy breaks down to an extent because modern ecology tends to think climax communities are unattainable because the low probability of obtaining an equilibrium community is hampered, ironically because of climate change. Our species was once a climax community but was driven out of the African canopies as the continent slowly dried. Greer offers an alternative to the current technological program of modernity which reaches a possible end state in a technological singularity, the development of a true artificial intelligence which imprints our minds on immortal silicon and blasts into space to colonize the universe.
The absurdity of this vision is quickly revealed by examining the logic of authors and visionaries pushing this ideal, they've completely failed to consider energy inputs and the failure of past civilizations.
Once we understand the limits placed on us by our rapid consumption of the very resources driving our goals, we realize that industrial society has been largely a "crackpot realist's" approach to the world, using rational means to reach irrational goals.
Our view of nature is that of a helpless adorable bunny which we can easily transcend or a frontier for conquest on which to impose our will. Greer understands that nature is neither, he likens it to a bear which when roused can easily tear us to shreds. If technology saves us from this possibility, it will do so without historical precedence. Human innovation will clearly play a role, Greer quotes Koestler in that, "creativity arises from the collision of incommensurate realities" But to assume that human innovation will allow business as usual to continue is to cement the outcome of repeating the past all while thinking we're original.
I didn't expect Greer to provide the clearest description of science that I've yet to read, especially since he is a practicing druid. But it is hard to argue with the difference between Science as a product and science as a process. Everyone agrees on the power of the scientific method, unfortunately we're too infatuated with the products of current Science which have developed over a limited period of history and are subject to the same problems of energy scarcity as our economics and psychology.
Science as a profession is also at risk, with its trained personnel and infrastructure. The scientific method will hopefully always be with us, it just won't be used in the ways of the present. The Ecotechnic Future is refreshingly not a book which will neatly lay out the reasons for the possible demise of industrial civilization, this has been done many times before, and by Greer himself in The Long Descent. All that is dealt with in about 18 pages and covers everything from the likelihood of culture death what we call the United States is disparate regions tied together by cheap fuel for travel and mass media to the implications of the depopulation explosion that the "world is round" and solutions to being human will take many different forms.
Within this section is his most eloquent passage however, tying the faux culture designed by marketing experts and sold over mass media distribution in its supplanting of regional US cultures and its ability to demonstrate that that people can be bribed by propserity and convinced by advertising into doing the same thing. While many seem to think that an end to the globalized economy will come in an Armaggedon-esque collapse scenario replete with hordes of the angry urban poor looting the countryside while heroic loners that foresaw the crash pump them full of ammo to defend their homestead, Greer is convincing that empires and societies do not collapse overnight, and in ways that aren't likely to grace plot-lines of blockbuster films.
Our pre-disposition to biblical scale catastrophe pushes us towards the extreme. That the French Revolution appeared to occur so rapidly is mainly because our study of history focuses on key moments.
Greer mentions that a teenager on the day of the Etats-General in would have been a grandmother after Waterloo in Put simply, we'll still have lives even if industrial society is unraveling, they'll just be different lives than we've expected. The failure to obtain a 9 to 5 job and a suburban mansion is not necessarily such a bad thing.
None of the possible futures are unknown in human history, it is only the current members of our species that have been protected due to the shelter provided by inexpensive oil extraction. Although, I do take some exception with Greer's idea that were a sudden depopulation to occur, our skills and knowledge would be applicable to the future.
Some of the training that prepares us for industrial jobs is completely useless in a post-carbon world. Although Greer must understand this, he just omits it from his illustration of what our transition will look like. Greer provides the first coherent view I've read of a post-industrial future. Regardless of your thoughts on what the future may hold, John Michael Greer's The Ecotechnic Future will challenge you.
He steps on everyone's toes eventually, and that's what makes his writing so valuable, but far from comfortable. This is the first book written by a member of the peak oil community that I would recommend to someone unfamiliar with its concepts, mainly because Greer is so convincing and eloquent but also because his vision is so well reasoned.
The Ecotechnic Future
Book Review of an excellent road map to a possible future way of living. The American Archdruid - yes, he really is a druid - and ecological author John Michael Greer has written a book called The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World , a follow-on to his analysis of the short term predicament our society is in: The Long Descent. He defines eco-technics as ''The Craft of the Home'' and by home he means the ''Ecological Transition Community'': the retaining and renewing of skills and practices to help us through an uncertain future so we end up with a civilised society with appropriate technology. As we move further into the ecological crisis caused by the interactions of Peak Oil and Climate Change on our fragile economic system, we will be facing a bumpy descent - bad times punctuated by changes which seem to be recovery, followed by more bad times. This is the ''Long Descent'' into a new society which Greer estimates will take one to threel hundred years. Our present global society is based on ''a brief period of extravagance in which we squandered half a billion years of stored sunlight.
John Michael Greer Looks Forward to Our Ecotechnic Future
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Review: The Ecotechnic Future by John Michael Greer
New Society Publishers — Oct. John Michael Greer has officially established himself as an institution within the peak oil community. Truly one of the finest minds working on the predicament of modern-day industrial civilization, he is so well-read in so many fields that he regularly gains access to insights that utterly elude his contemporaries. For this he is treasured by a growing number of loyal readers—and, I suspect, hated by equally many fellow bloggers who wish that they could be half as good. For example, his previous book on peak oil, The Long Descent , showed how believers in perpetual progress and prophets of imminent doom alike are sadly off the mark in their notions about the future. Instead, our society will likely decline slowly and unevenly over many decades, the way that the Maya, the Roman Empire and other past civilizations have done before ours.
The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World
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