Reasons for Good Cheer

Sharon January 13th, 2009

In the last couple of months, several major peak oil activists have confided to me that they have had moments of despair.  In each case, these were not ”doomers” or people who have long since thrown up their hands - instead, these are people making a difference, with viable plans for shifting the way we live, and they suddenly came up against painful economic reality - that the investments they’d hoped we make, many quite modest - simply aren’t going to get made. 

For many people who imagined peak oil as a steady build up in energy prices, or marked volatility, but trending upwards and leading only eventually to an economic collapse, the sudden shift into credit crisis is a crisis indeed - all of the signals that high energy prices were sending are erased now, and while demand is falling, so is the ability to invest in infrastructure.  

On the other hand, since I never thought most people or governments would be able to make massive infrastructure changes, I’m probably less traumatized.  And  in the vast and traumatic mess that we are facing, I’m seeing some surprising signs of hope - not that we’ll magically reshape our society into the renewable paradise a lot of us would like to see, but that people are well, not acting like complete idiots - that they are responding to things fairly appropriately, even wisely sometimes.

For example, yesterday, NPR reported that the CEO of Walmart noted that people were spending a lot less - and most remarkably, they were saying how good they feel about not spending that money. In the context of a convention of American retailers, this was not good news.  In the context of the human future, this news should have been trumpeted from the rooftops.

In fact, the people are turning out to be rather clever (as long as we don’t look to closely at SUV sales) - that is, even though every freakin’ economist and policy advisor, not to mention CNBC were lying to us and saying the crisis wasn’t much and if it was much it was practically over, Americans actually figured out what was going on, stopped spending so much, and started the hard and painful work of retrenching.  Even at Christmas they managed to resist the increasingly plaintive calls of retailers to spend more money on stupid crap.  It is easy to understate how radical this is - the people understood we were in a crisis that required a massive behavior change long before almost everyone else did.  This is the sort of thing that restores faith in the value of democracy. 

Meanwhile, in a speech, Barack Obama, who isn’t even President yet, actually used the “S” word - the one I’ve been begging people to use for years now.  He called for sacrifice from the American people - and the response so far was heartening, as I expected - people think that this is being taken seriously, because, after all, they are being asked to help out. 

Oh, and Obama is moving his mother in law into the White House with him and his family. Not only is this a really good thing for his kids, since the parents will be on the busy side, but it is also a damned good thing for the nation, which is filled with people who have been told over and over again that they couldn’t possibly live with their families - that doing so means you are pathetic and worthless, and that families are awful.  And now they will have no choice - so seeing someone do it voluntarily can only help.

Meanwhile, gardening is booming - seed companies are topping last year’s records, and there are more and more people looking to food production as a strategy for weathering the tough times. 

Nearly everyone I know who has spent the last few years talking about coming tough times is starting to hear shifts in the culture - people are taking this seriously, and that means that it is possible for many of us to find someone else in our neighborhood or community to share the burden with.

 Now there’s plenty of awful news.  The economy sucks.  The situation sucks.  A whole lot of stuff is going badly - this is not meant as mere cheerleading.  But the point is this - on some level, we all know we’re probably on our own.  And there are some real signs that ordinary people, left to themselves, are responding more gracefully and imaginatively than might have been expected.  And that is reason for cheer.

 Sharon

33 Responses to “Reasons for Good Cheer”

  1. George Anonymuncule Seldeson 13 Jan 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Speaking of hope, I met with a young man from the local food bank who runs their community garden program today — we’re going to work together to promote more community gardens, and to start a several acre urban farm. He shared with me an idea they’ve been kicking around about starting a garden store (modeled on the Habitat for Humanity ReStores where they sell donated hardware and building materials at discount) — I’ve got a lot of ideas for how to grow such a business so as to help people with the transition to more food self-sufficiency. (We’re getting rid of our urban (.2 acre lot) lawn and putting in an all-edibles landscaping plan.)

  2. Rebeccaon 13 Jan 2009 at 5:06 pm

    A lot of people I know are planning to start or enlarge gardens this year -even some who’ve never done it before. The problem here is that our town has some pretty restrictive zoning laws and you can get in quite a bit of trouble for putting veggies in your front yard. One woman I know just got in trouble for drying clothes on a drying rack on her front porch! Her response to the city was not repeatable. ;-)

  3. Donnaon 13 Jan 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I think hope is the wellspring of civil society, and the things you
    write of here do give me hope. We must see ourselves as citizens,
    not consumers, think for the future, and put our families and
    children first, and it heartens me to see that Mr. Obama and his
    wife seem to have a fundamental grasp of these very important
    values.

  4. Lauraon 13 Jan 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Now that Obama is moving grama into the White House, I’d like to see him take it one step further and put a garden back in the front of White House (just like Eleanore Roosevelt did). Additionally, since he’s into “green” put up some clotheslines. Could I be so bold as to suggest a couple chickens? (His one daughter is allergic to dogs and chickens make fine pets so maybe she won’t be allergic to those). Even if it’s just for show, a few quilts airing out on the line, a garden, etc., makes a statement that it’s alright to do things the thrifty old-fashioned way. (Oh, I saw a video of the Queen of England and how she’s having her seamstress recycle her clothing into new outfits instead of just buying something new)

  5. Chileon 13 Jan 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Chickens on the White House lawn would be a nice picture. :-)

    We are looking at our longterm gardening options and they don’t include staying in the desert. I’ve put out a call for help in finding a good place to relocate. If any readers here feel so inclined, please pop over to my blog and add your input. Thanks!

  6. TheNormalMiddleon 13 Jan 2009 at 8:47 pm

    But don’t you get frustrated with the MSM and people out there who seem to think that since the stock market has made a few modest gains (hey, we’re not at 4,000! attitude) we’re all of a sudden out of the woods and headed into a good economy again?

    I keep hearing from the MSM how the worst part of this recession is behind us, and I shake my head and wonder what on earth they are seeing where they live, because here, in my world, things aren’t even remotely better for anyone.

  7. Sololeumon 13 Jan 2009 at 9:20 pm

    The almost orchestrated response by ordinary people to the dilemma facing the BAU economy makes one think that the depth of knowledge about peak oil etc is quiet deep, probably thanks to chats around the water cooler, and other drinking holes and of course the week end BBQ’s.

  8. Ellenon 13 Jan 2009 at 9:27 pm

    If I had 33 rooms in my house I’d let my mother-in-law move in too!!

  9. […] Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » Reasons for Good Cheer In the last couple of months, several major peak oil activists have confided to me that they have had moments of despair. In each case, these were not ”doomers” or people who have long since thrown up their hands - instead, these are people making a difference, with viable plans for shifting the way we live, and they suddenly came up against painful economic reality - that the investments they’d hoped we make, many quite modest - simply aren’t going to get made. […]

  10. Sarahon 13 Jan 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Thanks; I needed that reminder. There were layoffs at work today and I’m feeling a bit shell-shocked, even though our group only lost one person (and actually, the person who can take it the easiest, since they have a second job). But now I have happy news, and ginger-peach drink from the syrup I canned the peaches in.

  11. Sololeumon 13 Jan 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Chile, you should look up the Permaculture Manual for semi arid zones - a 10″ rainfall does not mean nothing grows. I’ve lived in the semi arid areas of NSW Australia, and have seen ingenious ways to re-use water - the main one is to grow stuff in deep depressions where any rainfall is directed to the root zone - and mulching with stones works very well…

    If you can imagine a membrane covered by gravel over one acre in a 12″ rainfall area will give you one acre foot of water or 1,233,489
    litres of water!!

    It just might be cheaper to stay where you are -and it won’t be as crowded.

    Moving to where it rains more may prove problematic - we live at 4000′ at 30 degrees south or there abouts - we should get around 33 inches - over half in summer- this growing season we got very little in spring - 2″ in the first summer month and this month only about a quarter of an inch. We rely on rainwater from 257 square metres - 307 square yards for our household and gardening needs - so we water sparingly which has resulted in lost potato production on our first patch.

    So a million or so litres stored up hill from the house and gardens - even in semi arid areas seems pretty good to me right now!!!

  12. Rebeccaon 13 Jan 2009 at 10:31 pm

    I too like the idea of chickens and gardens at the White House.
    Like Chile, I’m trying to figure out a way to make some changes in my own life. In my case it’s how to get a small plot of land to start my “farm”. Nothing large -an acre or two. It is money that is standing in the way, naturally enough. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. I posted about it on my blog a couple of days ago.

  13. toktomion 13 Jan 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Oh, really?

    The impending dieoff of six billion people leaves me with little reason for cheer.

    Your endless musing as articulate as they are, strike me as little more than disaster profiteering. How are the book sales going?

    The upside is that along with a number of other authors, your opiate musings will contribute to keeping the masses passive and peacefully submitting to their end without engaging in massive social disorder while a few slip off to pursue survival.

    Oh, well… I suppose there is no other real option.

  14. squrrlon 13 Jan 2009 at 11:38 pm

    To me, it doesn’t feel at all like people have an intellectual understanding of the situation that’s making them react as they are. It seems more instinctive… sort of a resurgence of eons-old genetic conservatism of the sort that kept our ancestors alive when things were closer to the bone. And it’s _fast_, too. Kinda fascinates me, actually. A year ago, everyone thought things were fine, and now every second ad on the radio is talking about hard times. Fact is, for the majority of us, I don’t think times are any harder than they were last year–but suddenly everyone’s feeling mortal. Which, since it reflects reality, is a good thing. Yeah, on the whole I’m pleased with the trends we’re seeing.

  15. squrrlon 13 Jan 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Toktomi–seriously? Wow. Go read some Orlov or something and come back when you’ve got some perspective. You think bad things have never happened before, maybe?

    Also, paying attention before you speak helps with not looking like an ass; you should try it. Sharon could only be accused of purveying “opiate musings” if she advocated inaction, which is sorta the opposite of her gig, which would be better described as encouraging direct personal action. As for profiteering, she’s been pretty upfront about what she’s making, and as I recall, if her family was dependent only on her “disaster profiteering”, they’d be below the poverty line.

    You know, honestly, I’ve read your comment a few times now, and I don’t even know what your damage is. So why am I trying?

  16. CrimsonCoconuton 14 Jan 2009 at 12:01 am

    We don’t even need a huge amount of new infrastructure, really. The task at hand should be retrofitting and improving what we’ve got for a lower-energy lifestyle.

    Its nice to see the argument that Americans are stupid, spoiled, immature scumbags unable to rise to a challenge being countered by real-world events.
    Kunstler and Orlov can SUCK IT.

  17. Laurie in MNon 14 Jan 2009 at 12:48 am

    I read ( did not participate in) a conversation on a site today where half of the people were convinced that “it’s not that bad, maybe some places, but not here”, half were “yeah, it IS that bad, here and other places where people I know live”, and *all* were convinced that there was a huge MSM conspiracy to hype the current bad economic news and it would all change as of 1/20/09. :(

    I really felt like piping up to say that 1929 didn’t look so bad either, and really, neither did 1930, but we all know what happened after that. And that a big chunk of the unemployed simply are not reported in the official unemployment rate because the scale that measures EVERYONE out of work, even those out of it for more than year, is not the one that gets used. That the current unemployment rate is closer to 18 or 20% (I think?) than whatever is being reported now. 12% was the last “official” number I heard, I think. But I didn’t say anything, because I didn’t know how to do it without sounding like a total doomer history nerd. I tend to soapbox a bit.

    All three of my parents who raised me, ma and dad and (step) mom, either grew up in the Depression or were born during it. My step mom lived in relative poverty much of her life (married in rural Pennsylvania in the 50s). My family didn’t have tons while I was growing up (which I only realize as an adult, of course), and I distinctly remember at least one winter that we were on food stamps because the bottom fell out of the construction industry. I think that’s the only reason *I* have anything resembling a clue that we could be in real trouble right now.* I’m just very, very glad other people who maybe don’t have the background to be so aware of it actually seem to be aware.

    *And I read Sharon. :) And Crunchy, and Greenpa. Honestly, y’all scare the spit out of me sometimes! ;)

  18. […] can be invaluable for many of us.  Sharon Astyk thinks along similar lines in this post on her speaking truth to power website. In the last couple of months, several major peak oil activists have confided to me that they have […]

  19. ctdaffodilon 14 Jan 2009 at 8:47 am

    I dread layoffs - I’ve also seen a lot of my friends in the last 6 months go back to working outside the home full time (something they were thinking of putting off another year). I’ll stay thankful every day hubby has a job and I can stay home.

  20. Sharonon 14 Jan 2009 at 8:50 am

    Totkami - I’m number 28,000odd in book sales at Amazon. Yup, makin’ me rich.

    Assuming that you aren’t merely a troll, the difference is that I don’t believe that 6 billion people or anything like it are going to die. If I did, I’d say different things. But societies collapse all the time, and while some people do die, most people go on. For me, figuring out how “going on” works, and buying time to stabilize our society is more important than lamenting the next meteor impact or whatever you are assuming will cause the deaths of six billion.

    Sharon

  21. Jenon 14 Jan 2009 at 9:11 am

    Toktomi-It’s much easier to DOOM-OUT than to think positively and make changes. If I took all of you hard-core doomers seriously (and sometimes I do and freak a bit) I’d want to shoot myself.

    As far as people taking things seriously (around here)…

    -my inlaws just bought ANOTHER SUV..um they own TWO AND A BMW they NEVER drive. My MIL’s father was way doomer and she constantly says how he would have predicted this, etc. He stashed money all over the house, grew a HUGE garden every year, etc. They joke around with us about “our doom” and sometimes I think they believe it, but then it’s “o the market will come back, don’t sell now.” and “Well I guess we’ll have to take fewer trips.” We get stuffy every time we visit b/c they keep the 3000+ sq ft house at 72.

    -My mid 70’s neighbors believe they will announce the depression by July, BUT they are taking an Alaskan cruise in September.

  22. Ginaon 14 Jan 2009 at 9:11 am

    While I never thought we were immuned (I’ve been “preparing” for a number of years), it has been a huge stressful eye-opener in the past week. My husband’s job (that we thought was a bit more secure, at least longer security anyway, than others) has been threatened. He hasn’t lost it, but his wages have been severely cut. It keeps me awake at night. I’m hoping my job (gummy mint one) last for awhile.

    It is important to some how find a ray of hope in it all. For me it’s the fact I have been preparing and making Plan Bs, and Cs, Ds…

  23. WNC Observeron 14 Jan 2009 at 9:15 am

    It was interesting to see an article in the NY Times a few days ago about more people growing and putting up their own food and fixing their own meals from scratch.

    (An interesting tidbit, Sharon: The article said that according to the Ball Corp, sales of canning jars and lids were up 92% last year. You’ve warned us about seeds running out this spring; you will probably also need to be warning about canning jars and lids running out this summer.)

    Anyway, I am thinking that people are becoming more receptive to learning how to do a whole host of frugal living things: gardening, food storage, scratch cooking, DIY home maintenance & energy conservation, sewing, crafts, etc. For those of us who went through the 1970s, “it’s deja vu all over again!”

    If we want to point people in the right direction, this is a good first step to take. They need not by into the whole long-term energy and economic decline scenario at this point - just coping with the present in motivation enough to start doing these things. Once they have taken these first steps, then a good foundation will have been established for more challenging steps in the future.

  24. Chileon 14 Jan 2009 at 9:37 am

    Sololeum - we know about water harvesting and conservation, and have read some of the permaculture information in arid lands. Pretty amazing what some folks do. We do some harvesting - it’s a rental so we don’t want to invest in a permanent set-up. And we are very skimpy with water use.

    The problem here is that houses and land are not cheap. We’ve been looking for months and our money could buy us a crappy little house (some are teardowns!) with a dirt yard here or a 4 bedroom, 2 bath nice house on several acres with a perennial stream in other states. Climate change also means the 12″ of rain here will likely reduce within our lifetimes and the 110-115 degree summer highs become 115-120 degrees. With heat exhaustion issues, that’s serious. With major drug cartels and border issues, we’re also not sure what longterm security within 100 miles of the border looks like. We’ve been debating this decision for over a year and right now think that leaving is better, even though the transition to new culture and climate, not to even mention finding a job, will be much harder in the short-run.

  25. Parma Powerdownon 14 Jan 2009 at 3:12 pm

    As much as I want to fall in line with your thinking, I can’t help but think that only doing what one has to do when one must do it is a form of procrastination best left un-praised.

    People do all sorts of things when backed into a corner, some of which aren’t pretty. We need thoughtful and strategic action to produce long lasting sustainability, not a patchwork of panic reactions.

    But I hope you are right, because I’d rather be wrong on this one.

    M

  26. texicalion 14 Jan 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Speaking of people doing unexpected things, I found the NY Times article on protests in Latvia very interesting. Key bits:

    The rioting broke out Tuesday after around 10,000 people protested in historic Dome Square over the economic troubles and grievances involving corruption and competence of the government.

    Protests in Latvia, he said, tended to follow a pattern of “standing, singing and just going home,” but the young protesters who showed up on Tuesday evening “seem to think the Greek or French way of expressing anger is better,” he said.

    “In our neck of the woods, this just doesn’t happen,” he said. “But it did this time. Everyone is trying to figure out how much of this was provoked. Who are these people? Where did they come from?”

    “In six months, we’re going to look back and yesterday will be a watershed,” he said. “I would be deeply surprised if it were not.”

    To quote a little Ben Harper “when the people lead, the leaders they will have to follow.”

  27. toktomion 15 Jan 2009 at 1:58 am

    Sharon,

    When an animal population in a particular area that is massively in excess of equilibrium crashes, some individuals survive but most do not.

    In my estimation, to pretend that industrial human society is facing just another average survivable collapse reflects a lack of research regarding peak oil and human carrying capacity or an inability to draw the logical conclusions from the data or an inability to accept the obvious.

    I can imagine nothing more difficult in this life than accepting that Richard Duncan’s Olduvai Theory provides the most probable explanation of the future of humanity offered anywhere by anyone.

    I’ve been studying and watching this collapse unfold since mid-2000. Conditions have deteriorated significantly over the last 8½ years but the level of alarm in the population has increased only modestly. I have to admit that that is probably the way it has to be. To that end the corporate media has done its part and so have many popular bloggers and authors. At the same time I must also admit that at times I am afflicted by a hope and a desire that we could all come to the realization that this is not your average bad hair day, that humanity is on the verge of total collapse, and that if we are to have any chance of saving any significant number of people, then we will have to begin to come together in ways that we cannot yet even imagine and we will have to make sacrifices that even the thought of would be mind numbing.

    So, troll?, no. It’s just that we are screwed and my frustration at the lack of real action bubbles over sometimes. And then there is the real possibility that the die-off is being purposefully allowed to occur. How else do you explain the monstrously insane notion of a desirable and technically possible economic recovery, the existence of such a plan to achieve such a fantasy, and an intent to manufacture nearly a trillion dollars to fund it? Keep the people distracted with ideas of false hope that they can escape into right up to the moment of disaster. The Nazis did it to millions of Jews - it works. It will work again but I get sad and a bit mad at times.

    I really need to keep quiet - nobody, neither those who will suffer only a little nor those who will suffer excruciatingly, wants the truth out. And as Perry Arnett observed years ago, “it will be in no one’s best interest to factually report the reality of the decline of fossil fuels once it begins in earnest” which it surely has.

    To squrrl and Jen, only after you have approached a level anywhere approaching the 4000 hours [minimum] that I have invested throughout the last 8½ years in the study of peak oil, human dynamics, the economy, and other related subjects and only after you have achieved some improved degree of serious civility will I possibly be able to consider as possessing any credibility your as yet ill-intentioned and poorly conceived comments. Stated simply, there is lot happening and Sharon’s role in all of it is not trivial. Her role is not huge but it’s not without it’s worth. I understand your loyalty and your desire to defend her. But, you see, for a few years now, I have felt that along with a few others she has been abdicating, not so much her duty, but her ability to affect positive change in at least public attitudes and knowledge. So, periodically but infrequently, I prod. Now, I think that your comments could use a little more background research and little more forethought.

    I won’t blather on at length like this ever again.

    May You Be Among The Survivors

    ~toktomi~

  28. creeksideon 15 Jan 2009 at 2:48 am

    “In October, sales of Ball canning and storage products were up 92 percent over the same month last year. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/dining/10home.html

    “George C. Ball Jr., owner of the W. Atlee Burpee Company, said sales of vegetable and herb seeds and plants are up by 40 percent over last year”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/11/dining/11garden.html

    “Registration for the 16th Annual Organic Growers School Spring Conference is now open! Be an early bird! Register before March 1st at 5pm and pay only $40 per day! We are capping attendance at our event for the first time ever this year. Hurry! Only 800 tickets each day. You can register here with a credit card, OR you may print a registration form and mail it in. ”
    http://www.organicgrowersschool.org

    “Last October, Americans traveled 3.5 percent fewer miles, on average, compared with a year earlier, according to the federal Department of Transportation.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/business/economy/14gastax.html

    “Americans rode subways, buses and commuter railroads in record numbers in the third quarter of this year, even as gas prices dropped and unemployment rose. The 6.5 percent jump in transit ridership over the same period last year marks the largest quarterly increase in public transportation ridership in 25 years, according to a survey to be released today by the American Public Transportation Association. ”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/07/AR2008120702792.html

  29. deweyon 15 Jan 2009 at 11:44 am

    I’ve been reading survivalist literature since I got hold of my dad’s copy of Howard Ruff in the late seventies, and the giant dieoff is always going to happen Real Soon Now. Whichever disaster threatens, you always have just two or three years from the publishing date to buy your rural redoubt, wheat and ammo or else join the starving cannibal hordes. Yes, our empire is unsustainable, just as the Roman and Mayan empires were, and it is equally certain to decline. But as Greer has eloquently pointed out, societal decline, or even collapse, does not usually mean instant total dieoff. It would be convenient if it did, for those who believe that their preparedness and tribal affiliations will allow them to survive, but in fact there will be a lot of others hanging on in poverty whose existence will have to be coped with somehow.

    Maybe you, toktomi, know more about economics and “human dynamics” than any of us here, but economics is not what makes for survival. We, as a group, have plenty of knowledge about ecology and about poverty - that is, how humans in some places manage to live right now in dense populations, often on marginal lands, with virtually no fossil fuels or functioning cash economy. If they are doing it, then with our physical capital and educational resources, most Americans could learn to do it too. Sure, that’s my opinion, and I may be wrong. Given the failure of every dieoff prediction to date, though, you should have some humility about your own opinion too, not speak as if everyone who disagrees with you must be ignorant or blind.

  30. Sharonon 15 Jan 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Totokami, I’ve spent at least as much time as you have in my study of peak oil, and yes, overshoot, and come to different conclusions. Reasonable people can disagree - you can decide that means I’m in denial, but the reality is that both of us are human, and thus capable of mistake. Feel free to write your book and tell your narrative on your time and your blog. But I think the idea that I should tell your story, with which I disagree, is wrong, and your comments did not represent reasonable disagreement.

    Like Dewey, Greer and everyone else, I’ve been hearing the apocalyptic narrative my whole life, and I agree, we are experiencing overshoot - but that doesn’t mean that the outcome that you predict is inevitable or right - I’ve come to another conclusions. It isn’t that you should keep your mouth shut, it is that you might consider offering a reasonable and civil disagreement for which you state the grounds of your analysis, rather than attacking everyone’s motivations and assuring us that you alone know the truth.

    Sharon

    Sharon

  31. toktomion 15 Jan 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Dewey,

    You banter from the periphery of the literature while ignoring the bulk.

    Having only opinions with their inherent fallibility and claiming no knowledge whatsoever, I remain convinced of what I have evolved to believe, not about timetables or minute details of the coming collapse as you intimate, but about the unavoidability of an imminent human dieoff. Could I be wrong? LOL I haven’t been right yet and I have never met a person that can predict the future.

    Don’t get me started on Greer. Suffice it to say that I find little of his shared ruminations to retain any credibility at this late date. As is common, his excellent articulations are based on a core blind faith that everything will be ok in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    You see, it’s not so much that people are merely “ignorant or blind” as you selectively interpret of my allegations, it is predominantly that only a small percentage are mentally/physically able to contemplate the real possibility of the imminent end of industrial human society. It just won’t soak in.

    …or so it all seems…

    I’m done. Done!

    ~toktomi~

  32. Josephon 15 Jan 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Greer? He is one major ego maniac. Try talking to him about climate tipping points and he goes off like a one-trick pony with his ad nauseum theory that EVERYONE who doesnt agree with him is suffering from “an apocalyptic mind-set.”
    And Sharon, though I think David Korten is naive about political and economic changes that can be made, the hatchet job done to him by Greer in his book and on his blog was/is disgusting!

    Do you actually believe this tripe about “sacrifice?” Do you realize what could have been done with the trillions of dollars pissed away on the Iraq and Afghanistan “wars”? Let’s hear more about the super-rich doing some sacrificing. And quit wasting our money on Empire.

    What Tokomi might be pointing out Sharon is that you and Heinberg, Kunstler, Greer, etc are acting as apologists for the power elite. At least Korten see the moral and spiritual reasons for opposing Empire, even if he doesnt realize that as long as the power elite doesnt FEAR the people, they will do as they please and take care of their own class while billions die.

  33. deweyon 16 Jan 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Certainly Greer’s got flaws, but he also has good points to make. I don’t treat his word as gospel, but as an entertaining source of opinions worth pondering even when I end by disagreeing. Toktomi, though, has just come back again with the suggestion that everyone who disagrees is just not “mentally/physically able to contemplate” the issue. That makes him a troll, and since I haven’t stockpiled any troll chow, I ain’t feeding him no more … no matter how curious I might be to know what physical abilities he thinks are relevant to the process of contemplation.

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