DatC #033 – Apocalypse Not, with John Michael Greer

Down at the Crossroads— Podcast: #033 — Apocalypse Not, with John Michael Greer

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033_john_michael_greerIn this episode of Down At The Crossroads, we cross paths with John Michael Greer who is the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America and the author of more than twenty books on a wide range of subjects, including The Long Descent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age, The Ecotechnic Future: Exploring a Post-Peak World, The Wealth of Nature: Economics As If Survival Mattered, and Apocalypse Not: Everything You Know About 2012, Nostradamus, And The Rapture is Wrong. And if you like what you heard in the interview, be sure to checkout his blog The Archdruid Report today!

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  • Rhoid Rager

    Peddling Apocalypse porn: hell of a way to make a living. He’s also a protestor hater, an open Malthusian-Darwinist, and an all-around swell authoritarian. Thanks Grand Archcheese sandwich.

    • emperorreagan

      I get a weird vibe from some of the neo-druidic groups. I hadn’t put my finger on it, really, but authoritarianism will certainly do it.

    • FriedFracker

      Are you talking about Greer, or some random person that you forgot to mention? I can’t see how any of those things fits with him.

      Greer’s a complicated guy. He’s got the whole Druid thing going on, but it doesn’t come up at all in his discussion of resource depletion, climate change and other issues, on which he has many very interesting, nuanced things to say.

      • Rhoid Rager

        See my reply above.
        thanks

  • InfvoCuernos

    Guy in the pic looks like he’s geared up to open the Ark.

  • Rhoid Rager

    I used to read his blog regularly until I started to notice the above
    traits surface in his opinions on peak oil, climate chaos,
    civilizational collapse etc. His pontificating on the Occupy movement
    sticks out most in my mind. While he seems a rather learned man and a
    talented writer, I am not convinced of his analysis. I find it
    dismissal, condescending of the working class, lacking in serious
    understanding of politics. as well as somewhat gloating of the fate of
    society.

    His recent team-up with Chris Martenson just shows that
    hocking disaster porn while portraying it as a ‘community service’ (to
    subscribing members) is a good way to make a living. I have been
    studying Peak Oil and it’s effects on society since about 2005. I had
    considered writing about it regularly to raise awareness, but as I
    thought more deeply about the issues, it occurred to me that the effects
    of Peak Oil are best mitigated on a microsocial and psychological scale
    than any grand pontificating about the fate of the species. Such
    grandiose posturing is completely antithetical to the thermodynamic
    underpinnings of the entire problem.

    To truly understand the
    effects of Peak Oil is to shrink one’s ambitions, goals and perceptions,
    because when the fossil-fuel-energy leverage is removed from our lives,
    everything shrinks, focus is brought closer to home and on the present.
    Ethics and morality begin to enter our lives again when consequences
    draw closer to causes. Peak Oil is a life lesson to be learned by each
    individual, not to be preached by one Grand Arch Master to the rest of
    us underlings.

    You wanted an explanation? There is it. Take care.

    • FriedFracker

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I didn’t expect one.

      I’ve read The Long Descent, The Ecotechnic Future, and parts of The Wealth of Nature. Used to read his blog as well, but haven’t much in the past year or so.

      Absolutely agree about Greer’s understanding of politics. They can be summed up as “both parties are the same, nothing can be done, stop trying.” I haven’t read much about his thoughts on Occupy, but I’m guessing they fall in line with that. I think this comes largely from his understanding that we’ve already gone too far (and he’s talking data not feelings), politics is not the answer, so go get your own (literal) house in order. I too find his writings on politics irritating, but I just ignore that part of message. It’s like getting tips on living in America from a Danish person. “Thanks, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

      I’d argue with you calling him an “open Malthusian-Darwinist.” He talks about Malthusian principles, but a lot of the Peak-Oil folks do. And I would sincerely doubt that it’s something he’s advocating for, more something he’s observing/predicting. Also, how is he an “authoritarian?” If anything, Greer seems to be espousing relocalization, reskilling, and unplugging from the bigger culture at large.

      I’m not familiar with his new thing with Chris Martenson. Although, all of the Peak Oil folks seem to have their own personal quirks, and I tend to either try to overlook them or forgive them for it – they’re just humans like the rest of us. Kunstler has his doomer-to-the-end fault, yet just wrote a children’s book that he’s hawking on his clusterfuck site. Orlov dangerously warns against the idea of “doing something,” but still has some pretty spot-on analysis.

      Agree again on the need for a personal and psychological reconciliation with Peak Oil. It’s gotta happen there first or it won’t happen anywhere. But the message about Peak Oil is definitely NOT out in the mainstream by any measure. There are going to have to be people like Greer/Kunstler/Orlov/Astyk et al. out there talking about it, and while sometimes their personalities may come across as preachy, I do not think it makes them preachers.

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