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.
The next twenty years will be completely unlike the last twenty years. The decisions you make today are critical.The world is in economic crisis, and there are no easy fixes to our predicament. Unsustainable trends in the economy, energy, and the environment have finally caught up with us and are converging on a very narrow window of time—the “Twenty–Teens.” With solid facts and grounded reasoning presented in a calm, nonpartisan manner, The Crash Course explains our predicament and illuminates the path ahead so you can face the coming disruptions without fearing the future or retreating into denial.
Our money system places impossible demands upon a finite world. Exponentially rising levels of debt, based on assumptions of future economic growth to fund repayment, have shuddered to a halt and are reversing, with severe and lasting consequences.
Oil is essential for economic growth. The reality of dwindling oil supplies is now internationally recognized, yet virtually no developed nations have a Plan B. The economic risks to individuals, companies, and countries are varied and enormous. Best case: living standards will drop steadily worldwide. Worst case: systemic financial crises will toss the world into jarring chaos.
This book is written for those who are motivated to learn about the root causes of our predicaments in order to protect themselves and their families, mitigate risks as much as possible, and control what effects they can. With challenge comes opportunity. The Crash Course offers a positive vision for how our lives can become more balanced, resilient, and sustainable.
The world is changing. It′s time to get busy. The Crash Course will show you how.
Masanobu Fukuoka’s book about growing food has been changing the lives of readers since it was first published in 1978. It is a call to arms, a manifesto, and a radical rethinking of the global systems we rely on to feed us all. It is also the memoir of a man whose spiritual beliefs underpin and inform every aspect of his innovative farming system. Equal parts farmer and philosopher, Fukuoka is recognized as one of the founding thinkers of the permaculture movement. Fukuoka perfected his so-called “do-nothing” technique, a way of farming that seeks to work with nature rather than make it over through increasingly elaborate-and often harmful -methods. His farm became a gathering place for people from all over the world who wished to adapt his ways to their own local cultures.
‘A fascinating and important book.’ Ian McEwan ‘Morton is as compelling and eloquent in describing the evolution of landscape as he is at describing the evolution of life itself. This book will, quite literally, change the way you see the world.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Everything you could possibly want from a popular science book. There is wonder here, and intellectual excitement; clear explanation and lyrical writing; and much new insight into how the world works, linking the very small and very large.’ Jon Turney, Independent
‘An informative, fascinating and thought-provoking read.’ Sunday Times
‘A fascinating read.’ Independent
‘When you are done with this book you will see the world differently and understand it better. Going directly to the most important question of our time — the origin of the carbon/climate crisis — and delving deeply into it, “Eating the Sun” transcends science writing as we usually think of it.’ Kim Stanley Robinson
‘”Eating the Sun” could not be more timely, and firmly establishes Oliver Morton as one of the world’s finest science writers.’ Steven Shapin
Straw bale building is a radically different approach to the process of building. Like all innovative ideas, it has been pioneered by the passionate, and used experimentally by those with the vision to see its potential. It is firmly based in that sustainable, ‘green building’ culture that has brought to the construction industry many new and useful ideas about energy efficiency and responsibility towards the environment. As a building material, straw excels in the areas of cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency.
This practical guide has been written by the most experienced straw bale builder in the UK. It gives details of all the main construction methods, and includes: * bale specifications * plans * walls and foundations * doors and windows * plastering * building regulations and planning permission * frequently asked questions * construction drawings. This fully revised and updated edition includes new construction drawings, standard details for best practice design, examples of off-the-peg drawings for small buildings such as summer-houses and studios, and designs for affordable houses. These designs meet Building Regulations Code 6 for sustainable homes, and have a carbon rating of less than zero.
Already hailed in the UK, Europe and America as definitive, The Earth Care Manual offers an inspirational yet practical vision of a sustainable future invaluable to those new to the subject as well as to the experienced practitioner.
Permaculture started in the 1970s as a sustainable alternative to modern industrial agriculture, taking its inspiration from natural ecosystems. It placed an emphasis on gardening but since then, expanding on its principles, it now includes many other aspects, from building and community design to energy use. It is an interconnecting framework which links a diversity of green ideas. Its aims are a low input, high output efficient use of resources and genuine sustainability.
The Earth Care Manual gives a vision of a sustainable future and the practical steps we can take towards it, both large and small, urban and rural. The book defines permaculture and places it in the context of the green movement. Written by Patrick Whitefield, one of Europe s foremost teachers and practitioners of temperate permaculture, it explains in depth how to apply permaculture to any situation, from the smallest of buildings or apartments, to houses, gardens, orchards, farms and woodlands. It covers subjects vital to sustainability including food, energy, water, microclimate and shelter.
Shaun Chamberlin is one of those rare people who combines a deep and detailed knowledge of his subject, a strong passion for it and the ability to write about it in a readable and accessible style… This isthe state of the art report on the two big challenges facing us, withtheir awesome complexity cut down to crystal clarity. I would urgeeveryone who cares about the future of the planet to read it.
- Patrick Whitefield, Permaculture Magazine, Summer 2009
Dirt, soil, call it what you want – it’s everywhere we go. It is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. This fascinating yet disquieting book finds, however, that we are running out of dirt, and it’s no laughing matter. An engaging natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern times, “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations” explores the compelling idea that we are – and have long been – using up Earth’s soil.Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over centuries to limit the lifespan of civilizations. A rich mix of history, archaeology and geology, “Dirt” traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, European colonialism, Central America, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped us and we have shaped soil – as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt. David R. Montgomery sees in the recent rise of organic and no-till farming the hope for a new agricultural revolution that might help us avoid the fate of previous civilizations.