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Rob Hopkins vs. John Michael Greer

I'm reading the public debate between Rob Hopkins, author of The Transition Handbook, and John Michael Greer, author of The Long Decent. I'll say nothing about the debate just yet, but I did want to jot down a note about something I just read from Rob Hopkins. He wrote:

The Green Wizard concept is principally, as I understand it, conceptualised as a response to peak oil. It is based on the assumption that everything is going to unravel very fast and that this is the best way to respond. Fair enough, there will be many different ways people will respond, there is no one-size-fits-all response that will grab everyone, and ‘Green Wizardry’ is, in that context, just as valid a response as Transition, as engaging in political campaigning, protest, standing for office, or whatever.

What green wizardry is definitely not, though, by any stretch of the imagination, is a response to climate change. Becoming a walking appropriate technology library is not going to do anything to reduce your community’s carbon emissions. Climate change doesn’t work like peak oil.


link: http://transitionculture.org/2010/08/31/why-green-wizards-get-us-nowhere-new/

As I understand John Michael Greer's position, peak oil won't work like peak oil either. Rather, the decent of petroleum-powered industrial civilization will proceed in a stair-step fashion with each episode of contraction followed by a partial recovery, so that when civilization is in tatters according to the vision of somebody at the beginning of the 21st Century, to people of that time, it may well seem as though things are on the upswing. Even before the partial recovery, when things aren't in a state of rapid decline, then wherever they are at the moment is, to the people of that time, just the way things are. People adjust very quickly to the new normal.

Edit: 23 Oct 2010

Dmitry Orlov, without naming names, seems to be weighing in on the Hopkins/Greer debate with his most recent blog post in which he writes:

Community organizing is quite wonderful, and can provide some of us with a perfectly pleasant way to while away our remaining happy days. As a useful side effect, it can provide individuals with valuable training, but it does next to nothing to prepare the community for collapse. A safe and congenial environment for you and your children is obviously very nice, much better than trying to survive among social predators. But humanity is not immune to the laws of nature, and in nature one can usually observe that the fewer are the wolves, the lamer, fatter and more numerous are the sheep. The central problem with community organizing is that the sort of community that stands a chance post-collapse is simply unacceptable pre-collapse: it is illegal, it is uncomfortable, and it is unsafe. No reasonable person would want any part of it.


Emphasis added.

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