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?” http://www.amazon.com/The-Long-Descent-Users-Industrial/dp/0865716099/
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
- Greer’s free long-running story released a chapter every month, set several hundred years into the future. Entertaining AND thought-provoking: http://starsreach.blogspot.com/
- James Howard Kunstler’s very well thought-out novel of a post-collapse world. Not always easy to read, but highly thought-provoking http://www.amazon.com/World-Made-James-Howard-Kunstler/dp/0802144012/
- A video introduction to the best damned system I’ve found for growing food, Grow Biointensive:
- Here’s the related book, “How to Grow More Vegetables” with planting charts that are worth many times the price of the book:
- the Green Wizards forums have discussions on hands on skills for a post fossil fuel world: http://www.greenwizards.org/?q=forum
- the “Age of Limits” conference in rural Pennsylvania. This is all about post-carbon living, and is in a context of east-coast gritty sensibility. http://web.archive.org/web/20130501010129/http://www.4qf.org/index.php/age-of-limits
- “Facing the New Reality: Preparing Poor America for Harder Times Ahead” is framed from the point of view of how sustainability can be really beneficial for those with less money http://www.communityactionpartnership.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=82&Itemid=277
- John Michael Greer’s blog. it goes back several years; if you do a keyword search you can see that he’s written about a variety of topics: http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/
- This is a positive-looking book, which is where my head is at these days, around what a fully sustainable future might look like: http://www.amazon.com/Ecotechnic-Future-Envisioning-Post-Peak-World/dp/0865716390/