John Michael Greer discusses his book Dark Age America – Climate Change, Cultural Collapse, and the Hard Future Ahead. This is a two part interview. Part two is here
(Stream / download audio at bottom of page)
As we lurch on into the early part of the 21st Century, converging crises in energy, economy, and environment are rapidly undermining the foundations of industrial civilization and the materialistic way of life which so many of us take for granted. Energy – because cheap, easily accessible fossil fuels are running out and industrial civilization as we know it simply cannot be sustained by renewables. Economy – because at almost every level, global, national, corporate, and personal, we are drowning in debt that cannot and therefore will not be repaid but whose unravelling will cause mass destruction of governments, banks, entire industries, and millions of lives. Environment – because centuries of industrial civilization have wreaked havoc on the biosphere, triggering catastrophic climate change while poisoning the ecosystems on which life on Earth depends.
Factor in population growth, mass migration, and escalating terrorist threats, and you have a dangerously unstable situation. Despite the protestations of puppet politicians, elite economists, and utopian scientists, no amount of wishful thinking, money printing or shiny new technology will ride to the rescue. The Prius of our dreams is heading straight for the brick wall of reality, and the current convulsions such as the Brexit referendum in the UK, the impending implosion of the European Union, and the election of Donald Trump as US President are but the latest wave of woes crashing on the shore of a fantasy future we fashioned for ourselves in a brief moment of gas guzzling madness. Under the illusion of invincibility we still tell ourselves that ‘this time it’s different’ but as we shall soon discover, forces far beyond our control have other ideas. In his most uncompromising work to date, John Michael Greer maps possible futures for America during the hard times ahead and it’s clear that before things get better, they’re going to get a lot worse.
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