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.
“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 Power
In 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.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.
Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.
What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.
With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.