Category Archives: reading

Resources for pondering a de-industrialized future

Here is a list of top-notch resources. I can heartily recommend any of these–it just depends on what you’re in the mood for.


5-part fictional short story; 50 (?) years into the future. Greer wrote this to give color to 5 key factors he sees driving the future, and what happens. Read the bottom post on the page first.’s+story&max-results=20&by-date=true <>


Fiction book, set ~50 (?) years in the future. Very well constructed scenarios; thought-provoking. Has a sequel, too, which is also good.


USSR collapse, first-hand account. They had a number of things going for them–that we don’t–that softened the blow. If you plan well ahead, there are concrete actions you can take.



Argentina economic collapse, first-hand account. He advises preparing in a number of ways, now while it’s easy and relatively economical. This isn’t theoretical–he actually went through this.



BBC series about a family living for several months in a very old house in London, 1900 style. They spend a lot of time doing certain everyday things that we take for granted because various technologies do them for us.

PBS series about 3 families living like pioneers in Montana in the 1800s, over a summer. Fascinating to see what goes well, what doesn’t.

History Channel series on what would happen if people suddenly left the cities. Fascinating to see how quickly infrastructure crumbles. The best episodes include scenes of real life towns that have been abandoned. As the money runs dry for routine maintenance, cities get vulnerable and bad things happen.

My favorite resources for post-fossil fuel living

I was recently at an inspiring “unconference” in the Bay Area on the topic of sustainability, and I met many fascinating people with good questions. From those conversations, I decided to put together a list of the resources that I’ve found the most relevant when thinking about what living in a world with dramatically less fossil fuel use.

My top 3 recommended resources

1. Here’s the book that “changed everything” for me around sustainability. It is well written, makes a lot of sense, and doesn’t preach. Greer pretty much lays out what he sees, and lets you decide what you think. A provoking concept here is “if technology doesn’t bail us out yet again, THEN what happens?”

2. This is a fascinating book on the Soviet Union’s collapse experience. Since it happened relatively recently, it’s a great way to consider “what might it look like here.” I couldn’t put this down once I started reading it, because it’s not speculation, it’s a recording of what happened. He does a wonderful job of showing how the USSR had several structural things going for it that softened the cushion of collapse. These include most housing being state owned (so nobody got evicted or foreclosed on) and all housing being mass transit accessible (so people could get around without cars). I highly recommend this book.

3. Here’s a collection of post-peak short stories that Greer edited. There’s a great variety of future visions in here, and all are well thought-out:

Fiction, albeit well thought-through and grounded

More resources