The Long Road Down: Planning for an uncertain future


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I recently stumbled on a link to this article: The Long Road Down: Decline and the Deindustrial Future and it was sobering but oddly hopeful read.

Like a lot of people, I struggle with climate doomism, and a vague feeling of powerless bewilderment. I wrote about How to Deal with Climate Change (Without Getting Overwhelmed) back in 2019, and then again in 2020 when I wrote This is the Way the World Ends. As time goes on, the scale of the crisis continue to grow and society continues to run along its tracks, straight for the cliff.

Except it’s not a cliff, and the Apocalypse myth is just that: a myth.

Most people would notice something odd if two meteorologists, discussing tomorrow’s weather on a wet autumn day, ignored all possibilities except clear weather or a sudden snowstorm. Yet the same sort of illogic goes unchallenged in debates about our future. Thus it’s crucial to set aside our assumptions, and look at what actually happens when civilizations run into the limits of their resource base. That’s happened many times in the past, but technological spurts and sudden collapses are rare. Far more common is a process nobody thinks about nowadays: decline.

The Long Road Down, John Michael Greer

I think about the future a lot — in part because it helps to plan for those things we can plan for. But also because there are three kids I care a lot about, and they will be living in a very different world. This article definitely added to my understanding and thinking.

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