Before we get back to discussing the concept that serve as the foundation of Green Wizardry, Systems Thinking, I have a project for you during the month of January.
After the holidays, I want you to keep track of all of your expenditures for the entire month, from large ones to small ones, paying particular attention to reoccurring expenses like rent, utilities and food but not limited to those. The mid-season months of October in the Fall and April in the Spring are good ones for this, since they both are between the months we use our air conditioning and our heaters. And there are no major holidays in those months to give us large one time expenditures. like Christmas does. Write down each purchase you do, all through the month on a pad of paper or a text document. And most importantly, don't change your habits. If you regularly get a Starbuck's coffee heading into the office, continue to do that. You want a true and complete picture of what you spend in a typical month.
Why are we doing this?
Its hard to believe that it was over eight years ago that John Michael Greer posted these words to open our site:
"One of the things the soon-to-be-deindustrializing world most needs just now is green wizards. By this I mean individuals who are willing to take on the responsibility to learn, practice, and thoroughly master a set of unpopular but valuable skills – the skills of the old appropriate tech movement – and share them with their neighbors when the day comes that their neighbors are willing to learn. This is not a subject where armchair theorizing counts for much – as every wizard’s apprentice learns sooner rather than later, what you really know is measured by what you’ve actually done – and it’s probably not going to earn anyone a living any time soon, either, though it can help almost anyone make whatever living they earn go a great deal further than it might otherwise go. Nor, again, will it prevent the unraveling of the industrial age and the coming of a harsh new world; what it can do, if enough people seize the opportunity, is make the rough road to that new world more bearable than it will otherwise be." JMG
In that time we have had some ups but many downs, and changes of leadership here and periods where the lights nearly went out. Now though we are ready to turn a new page on the idea of educating people in what will come in the near Future to us all, whether some want it or not, as well as teaching the skills and knowledge they will need to navigate, prosper and succeed in the Long Descent of our failing industrial civilization.
Here are some of the changes and new features we have to help you on your journey. First though, some information about the site...
The holidays are a time of cheer and happiness for most people. It is a time to look back at the good things that have happened in the past year we can be thankful for, and to look forward to what the next year will bring.
But for some, perhaps too many, it is a time of depression and sadness.
Now to add to that sadness, comes "Climate Grief". Avichai Scher over on NBCnews posted this article on how the treat of climate change is effecting some people's mental health,
"When the U.N. released its latest climate report in October, it warned that without “unprecedented” action, catastrophic conditions could arrive by 2040. For Amy Jordan, 40, of Salt Lake City, a mother of three teenage children, the report caused a “crisis.” “The emotional reaction of my kids was severe,” she told NBC News. “There was a lot of crying. They told me, 'We know what’s coming, and it’s going to be really rough.’ She struggled too, because there wasn't much she could do for them. “I want to have hope, but the reports are showing that this isn’t going to stop, so all we can do is cope,” she said. The increasing visibility of climate change, combined with bleak scientific reports and rising carbon dioxide emissions, is taking a toll on mental health, especially among young people, who are increasingly losing hope for their future. Experts call it “climate grief,” depression, anxiety and mourning over climate change."
In John Michael Greer's "Green Wizardry", he introduces us to several basic principles, that taken together form a core of a new viewpoint, a way to look at the World and our place in it as we begin the Long Descent. The viewpoint of a "Green Wizard". The way we act in a World with limited resources will be vastly different from what has come before, an age of excess.
We discussed the difference between a Predicament and a Problem in our last blog post and why knowing that is important. We will now talk about the second key principle which Green Wizards must understand, that is the difference between a "Fund" and a "Flow".
(This is the first of two posts, on the basic concepts of Green Wizardry)
There WILL be Homework.
While much of what you will learn here, as you read through the tutorials and blog posts, interact and exchange ideas with others on the Forums, is going to be practical and useful to you in your day to day Life in a World Made Harsh, I hope that is not ALL you take away from this site.
There is a more important lesson you need to learn here.
We were going to start with our review of the core disciplines of Green Wizardry, "Thinking In Systems" this week but a recent article in the news needs to be discussed.
The current 2012 Obama era standards will require automakers to double the fuel economy of autos by 2025 to an average of 54 miles per gallon. Those same rules also granted California permission to create a separate program mandating that 8 percent of all new cars sold be zero emission cars, such as hybrid, electric or hydrogen fuel cells. Nine other States have adopted a similar program. This zero emission program has been one of the biggest influences in bringing electric vehicles to the market, helped along by the increase in fuel efficiency. The Trump Administration has proposed freezing fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks built after 2020 which would be 30 miles per gallon as well as challenge the rights of those states to set more stringent pollution standards
Their argument is that meeting the current goals would be too costly for auto makers. You could also argue that Trump's affinity for reversing anything Obama did, the doubts he and his Administration's top leaders seem to have concerning climate change as well as their stated goal of increasing fossil fuel production here in the United States may also be a factor.
Do you remember what you were doing on December 12th, 2012 when the Mayan calendar predicted the World would end? Were you hiding out, surrounded by a cache of food waiting and guns out, or were you at a local pub partying like the last night on Earth? If so, did you get laid?
Be honest, didn't you really want to see the end of the World? Even a just little bit?
"The Long Descent"
You'll see us use that term a lot here, "The Long Descent".
It goes hand and hand with "The Collapse." If you are new to this site then you have to be asking yourself, "What the heck are these people talking about?" Let me explain then why this site was set up and what we expect to happen in the Future.
And why YOU should be getting prepared to live in a World Made Harsh too.
Have you ever played hookie from work?
Of course you have.
You know, called in to your employer. Faked an illness or a personal problem just so you didn't need to go in that day. Its the ultimate indulgence. You even feel a little bad as you climb back under those warm covers for a few more hours of lazy sleep. Society's yoke is heavy and the opportunity to throw it off for even a day feels so good.
Maybe we should all play hookie from the World for a day or two...