Understanding The Coming Collapse

David Trammel's picture

Sometimes for people just getting exposed to Green Wizardry and the concept of the "Long Descent". The metaphors that come to mind often don't convey the complex nature of what is to come. I ran across this gem in the comments section of Ecosophia. Written by Brian, I think it brings the ideas down to a personal and easily understood example.

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Brian says: October 2, 2019 at 6:47 pm
> Meanwhile, without more than a few of us noticing, the industrial world will have taken another step down that prolonged process of decline I’ve named the Long Descent.<

This is important. Looking at historical examples, descent is gradual and people (and the natural world itself) adapt to each step down. There are fits and starts along the way.

I think something mundane as my front lawn is a good analogy. The previous owner of my home installed a fancy sprinkler system to maintain it. I was proud of that little green square and kept it mowed and edged. But one day the sprinkler system broke. I found a broken pipe and fixed it. It broke again and I couldn’t figure it out. I called “the guy” to take a look. It was going to be expensive.

I had other bills to pay. I postponed it. I hand watered it. Then a long drought came. I let it go brown in the summer. The world didn’t end. In the meantime, I learned about native plants. One early winter’s day (planting time in Mediterranean climates), I tore it all up and planted climate appropriate plants.

Most of those plants died in the first year. A few thrived. Over the years, I learned what worked. I planted fruit trees in the back and now it gives back instead of being something I throw money at. My point is not to virtue signal about my front yard but rather that I needed to feel the pain to make changes. And that change was a long learning process.

Obviously, disengaging from fossil fuels will be much more painful than letting a lawn go brown. People will get hurt. On the other hand, people are surprisingly inventive when faced with hard limits in their daily lives. Multi generational housing, the Maker/DIY movement, permaculture… these may be false positives but the seeds are being sown.

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Times will be hard but they will also be satisfying for those who learn the skills now to thrive in a World Grown Harsh.