How Would You Define "The Long Descent"?

David Trammel's picture

I've been re-looking over some of my previous writing about "The Long Descent" and the coming collapse of our high tech lifestyle, as described by Greer, in preparation for an introduction tutorial on the new site's main page. I've been also reading some of the earlier reveiws of his original book on the subject.

A good review is here:

I was wondering how some of you describe it, when it comes up in personal conversations?

Its well known among my friends and aquaintances that I run (and write) for a "green living and sustainablity" website. I've found some general acceptance with the idea that the way we as a society are doing things, isn't working, as well as a more than fringe belief that there are ways to live better by doing things that are more sustainable and green.

I have too, run into many people, often the ones that seem to benefit from the status quo (most in the salaried class), who cling to their McMansions and consumptional lifestyle.

I remember clearly, one conversation with such friends. When I was trying to explain the Long Descent to the obvious not-understanding, one friend tried to clear it up to another by saying:

"Its the Zombie Apocolypse, without zombies..."

Not a fair explanation I feel, but it allowed them all to laugh a little and move on.

I rarely discuss it at all. Either people will dismiss the idea out of hand or they are already--knowingly or unknowingly--working on solutions.

Catch people doing something right, and praise them for it!

I've been thinking the last couple days, that rather than confronting people with "The Long Descent", we ought to be working beside them in community gardens and maker spaces, getting them interested in what Green Wizards DO. Only after they are well and truly hooked, should we spring the Long Descent stuff on them--kinda like the inner circle teachings of a fraternal order. "You've learned how to do all these old-timey things and enjoyed them; here's why you are going to need them..."

Last week a local group had an official ribbon-cutting for a new urban farm. They took an abandoned lot, turned it into a storm-water runoff sink, planted gardens, and now they are teaching people the business of urban farming. They are within, I'd say, a half mile of our Civic Center and the minor league baseball stadium. and they have other urban farm sites in town. They don't need any advice from me.

David Trammel's picture

Soft selling the coming Collapse in the short term until we get more established definitely has its uses. Let me think about things for a bit on how that could be implemented.

The local business magazine does a feature every summer on "Local Legends". Here's their story on longtime CEO of the local Red Cross chapter. Read up on her volunteers. IMHO we will need to build networks-both in real time and social media--to take GW to the next level. And sweat-equity is going to be important in building real time networks.

Anne Fox, Optimistic Humanitarian

Also in the online edition:
The Community Comeback: 14 Ways Local Leaders Are Reshaping America (One Small Town at a Time)