A homegrown remedy to tame American empire

U.S. empire

There's lots of talk of localization or re-localization in the Transition movement and among environmentalists and economic justice advocates generally. And for good reason. Today's global economy where big corporations, with security provided by the United States military, ship plastic crap from Chinese sweatshops thousands of miles to consumers around the world who don't need most of it anyway, … [Read more...]

Star spangled collapse

Photo: DVIDSHUB/Flickr.

Apparently, people who write titles for politico-military thrillers about nuclear brinksmanship find the language of The Star Spangled Banner just too good to resist. It must be the power of dark irony, to turn words of patriotic celebration into a warning for patriots. For example: Twilight's Last Gleaming is a 1977 drama starring Burt Lancaster as a renegade air force general who takes over a … [Read more...]

Give me that doom time religion


I don't usually think of people interested in peak oil, climate change and economic collapse as particularly religious. "Spiritual" maybe -- Sufi dancing and Lakota Vision Quests are OK and agnosticism is better. But peak preppers are usually not the kind of folks you'd expect to see in the pews on Sunday at First Presbyterian. The Age of Limits conference held at the end of May offered some … [Read more...]

Twitter will set you free to Occupy


I'm pretty conflicted about computers and the Internet these days. On the one hand, I run an internet magazine, build websites for small businesses and local good causes alike and even get paid to help people use Facebook and Twitter. It's fun too, since we all know that the web is the ultimate instant gratifier. Where else can you write an article or make a change to a visual design and, … [Read more...]

Top 10 peak oil books of 2011

open book on stack of books

Welcome to our second annual list of the top ten peak oil books. Most of them are explicitly about peak oil, while others deal with energy depletion as a significant factor in the economy or the environment. A couple titles focus on responses to the myriad conundrums that Richard Heinberg has dubbed "peak everything" and that are now converging to create a perfect storm for global industrial … [Read more...]

Transition groups getting things done

I'm glad that John Michael Greer's frank feedback on the Transition movement has generated a healthy discussion among Transition Voice readers. While no one is a bigger supporter of Transition than we are, we welcome an open discussion about how to best help our households and our communities to prepare for an economy that will continue to contract as peaks in energy and other resources make … [Read more...]

Transition plans and meetings a waste of time, says Greer

hippies meeting

After he spoke on the panel about local solutions at the ASPO-USA Truth in Energy Conference held in Washington, DC earlier this month, I asked John Michael Greer to give us some of his thoughts about the Transition Movement. He obliged us and so we offer his comments in full below. Greer is the author of numerous books on peak oil and other subjects including The Wealth of Nature: Economics as if … [Read more...]

Young farmers: Anybody want to be a serf?

Young Farmers

“I don’t know a single person under 30 who doesn’t want to own a farm,” wrote Fran Korten in an issue of YES! Magazine devoted to jobs and alternative careers. "A growing segment of people don’t want to just buy organic, healthy food. They want to grow it. This new lust to farm seems to cross class, race, and politics." This farm-lust probably doesn't feature the ambition to become a penniless … [Read more...]

Adam Smith got it way, way wrong!

coal miner with a light

I love the way John Michael Greer's latest book, The Wealth of Nature, opens, with a good skewering of the premise on which the modern pseudo-science of economics depends. Exposing 18th century philosopher Adam Smith's thinking in The Wealth of Nations as flawed, Greer goes on to explain what Smith missed, why it's important, and how we can turn the error in history around. The ultimate source of … [Read more...]

Voluntary poverty — it could save your life, but what a hard sell

Children and mom from the Depression

Poverty is finding middle class families these days these days through unemployment, bankruptcy and home foreclosure, whether they like it or not. And mostly, they don't like it. But John Michael Greer, author of this year's The Wealth of Nature: Economics as if Survival Mattered and several previous books on surviving peak oil, suggests that those who haven't found poverty yet might want to … [Read more...]