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The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  233 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews

“[John Michael] Greer’s work is nothing short of brilliant. He has the multidisciplinary smarts to deeply understand our human dilemma as we stand on the verge of the inevitable collapse of industrialism. And he wields uncommon writing skills, making his diagnosis and prescription entertaining, illuminating, and practically informative. Not to be missed.”—Richard Heinberg,

ebook, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by New Society Publishers
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Sep 20, 2010 Seppo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: society
John Michael Greer offers us an excellent path to the future. With a changed attitude new possibilities arise. In addition he writes well and his writing reflects great erudition.
Jan 08, 2010 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If industrial society turns out to have been little more than finding the fastest way possible to turn raw materials into pollution, the status quo won't be maintained for much longer. We're running out of those raw materials at a rapid pace and the outputs threaten to bring everything down with just as much certainty. We see the possibility of business as usual slipping further and further away as the world falls deeper into a recession which shows no end in sight. In The Ecotechnic Future, Joh ...more
Jan 28, 2010 Guy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture, ecology
Say this for Greer: he makes you think. This is the first time I've come across the idea of applying the ecological theory of succession, including the concepts of R-adaptation and K-adaptation, to human societies... and yet it clearly works and leads to many further insights. And this is just one of many, many intriguing ideas in this book. Greer has thought long and deep about the implications of a post-fossil-fuel world and if that's a subject that interests you (and it should!) then you shou ...more
Oct 13, 2012 Nils rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: climate-change
Much better on description of the problem than prescription of solutions. Woo-woo stuff aside, Greer is right that in the face of the onrushing catastrophe, rather than worry like crazy, or frantically scramble for some technology that can save us, it is better to face the future with sober resignation, and prepare for the long dark night of the forever future. Anything else is, as he says, crackpot realism, or simple ignorance.

Other acute observations

* Since the very beginnings of the genre, "
Jun 10, 2011 Dawne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dawne by: author
"One of the great gifts of crisis is that it points out what is essential and what is not."

It took me forever to read this book, but it was well worth it. It is dense and rich in every way, and I found that I really needed to live with it a little at a time both because it offers so much to chew on and because at times it kept me awake at night. That is due to my own personal place in the world, though, and while it will no doubt shake everyone who reads it up at some point or other, that is nei
Erick Njenga
Mar 15, 2012 Erick Njenga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great logical and factual explanation of the state of affairs currently, the not so cozy future and the steps that can be taken to 'cushion' the fall.
Apr 02, 2010 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environment
Best book I've read on the subject since Sharon Astyk. "Work" chapter was especially useful.
Carl Christian
Found the book overly pesimistic, and the solutions maybe to close the authors heart.
Dimitris Hall
I recently read two of Mr. Greer's books,
The Long Descent
and The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World . This review is for both of them, as they made me feel and think more or less the same things. For your information, both share the same ideological and theoretical ideas, but they were different in some aspects: The Long Descent's explanation of what the myth of progress is and how and why it came about I enjoyed more, while it was the practical information, tips, guidelines,
Teo 2050
~5h @ 2x. This was my first introduction to Greer's work & somewhat to peak/collapse thinking generally as well. The structure of the book was enjoyable & there's a certain romanticism to envisioning an Age of Salvage that rewards the prepared, ecological, & retrofitting-minded conservers who are able to adapt & think long-term. It makes sense to learn about the fates of past cultures & civilizations & (more or less failed) attempts at conservation, because otherwise we a ...more
Apr 04, 2012 nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Greer considers the impending decline of industrial civilization in light of the ecology of human social evolution. The collapse of societies is nothing new, so there is much that we can learn from the historical cycles of the rise and fall of previous civilizations. But the industrial technologies and infrastructure born of the exploitation of fossil-fuels are historically novel, so, unlike previous civilizations in decline, the future we face will happen within the historical context of that l ...more
Ian O
Aug 06, 2012 Ian O rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books that I have read in a long time--Greer provides a cogent and clear background for the way in which declines tend to go based on a lot of historical evidence, compares it to find much in common with our situation, and then proceeds to consider what is distinctive about our situation. From there, he makes a persuasive case for his own best-case scenario through what he sees as an inevitable decline (spoiler: it's rough but not hopeless) and the sorts of things that would need ...more
Dec 19, 2011 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hard book for me to review, so I'm going to put it off for awhile. The book is just full of ideas, many of them very unusual, that do force you to consider things from new perspectives.

I'm not talking here about the general idea of peak oil, which is the assumed basis for what Greer is "prophesying" here. I am convinced that we are heading into a post-peak world, and not because of anything Greer says in this book. (He doesn't argue much for the reality of peak oil, it is assumed - the subtitl
Jun 10, 2014 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, audio-book
Greer writes with a mild humor, and a strong sense of opportunity lost. He brings together in this book a broad ranging knowledge of history, philosophy and human behavior. The book acts both as a prediction of what the future might bring, and a rough outline of how we can act now to make the future a little better. The future Greer predicts is not a 'next year' or 'next decade' view however. The actions he recommends are for preserving a world for our children's children's children, and on to t ...more
Sep 28, 2013 Misty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that can change your perspective. I love technology, think the internet is the best innovation that has ever happened in my lifetime, and as a life-long fan of science and science fiction have, like most of my ilk, been waiting for the space-faring uber tech future we've been expecting ever since Jules Verne.


Whether Greer is correct that there is no other energy source that is sufficiently concentrated to replace petroleum in our industrial civilization is certai
Jan 31, 2013 KMO rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c-realm-guests
In all honesty, the books that John Michael Greer draws from his weekly blog posts on the Archdruid Report run together in my memory. This is the middle book in a sequence of three (The Long Descent, The Ecotechnic Future, and The Wealth of Nature) which are not officially a series but which bring together in book form the themes that JMG has been developing in his blog over the last few years.

I really don't mind in the least when I'm reading along in one of his books and I suddenly realize tha
Jan 13, 2016 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating, inspiring read for those that are willing to see further than the end of one's nose. J.M. Greer is extremely convicting in his argumentation and conclusions. The way he derives his predictions from historic analysis makes so much sense, that it leaves you wondering how we can be so blind and short-sighted as a society, wasting our time & money in discussions and investments that will turn out obsolete very soon anyways. He also excells in putting things back into perspective, mi ...more
Apr 24, 2013 Pupsi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, politics
This book for me was very mixed, I like the writing style the fact the author was saying that there will not be a massive end of the world scenarios and the solution to the post peak world will be develop over the upcoming generations.

I didn't agree with his main theme that the only like scenario will be that eventually society will model itself closely to the pre-industrial agrarian societies. This maybe more my optimistic nature that says that technology will find alternative. Just over the la
Apr 24, 2010 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This was a very disappointing examination of life in the post-peak oil world. If you want a philosophical, anthropological, and historical examination of humanity's trajectory, read Marvin Harris' Cannibals and Kings. If you are looking for a summary of the evidence that we're entering the days of peak-oil and subsequent energy decline, read Richard Heinberg's "The Party's Over." But for an examination of what this decline means and how we should respond to it, Greer adds very little of value.
Chris Chester
i liked how he took the hubris out of modern notions of history. He subjects humanity to the same ecological limits as other animals, and correctly points out that our recent population spike is an unsustainable anomaly caused by the discovery of fossil fuela, and is ripe for a correction.

he sure is smug though about the ways he has embraced the ecotechnic future, though. If our decline will take decades or centuries, why become some weirdo druid guy? enjoy the ride while we're still on it.
Apr 19, 2015 Shayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, real-book
This book is awesome! It's well thought out, and the author has some serious thinking chops. I'm not sure that all of his predictions will come to pass, but the book was very thought-provoking, and will lead to changes in my life starting now. I was often thrilled with the author's writing, from the proper usage of "begging the question" to great vocabulary throughout. Would read again.
Aug 16, 2016 Tara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poor writing style made this a challenge to read. The author jumped from thought to thought with little cogency, didn't fully develop thoughts, and supported his ideas with illogical & semi-historical anecdotes.
Sep 26, 2016 Tapio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book that I did not have to always agree with to appreciate. Has some claims not very central/relevant to the theme that are nevertheless delivered with some fervor. I found these thought-provoking but would have preferred more reasoning every here and there.

Changed my views!
Jul 06, 2010 Thom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A compelling subject and some very interesting ideas, but something about the writing just didn't draw me in. Has a seriously lengthy bibliography. Can see myself referring to the ideas here some day.
Jun 13, 2015 Tom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A long stroll through a bunch of disconnected thoughts. Most of them were pretty interesting but overall I much preferred his writing in The Long Descent.
May 24, 2010 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of interesting bits in here, but by the end, I still didn't feel like I really understood what the ecotechnic future is...I don't think Greer really supported his initial concept.
Derek Folder
quite surprising, all worth it for the last chapters.
Zachary Harless
Zachary Harless rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2015
Jason rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2010
Betsy rated it really liked it
Jun 30, 2015
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John Michael Greer is an author of over thirty books and the blogger behind The Archdruid Report. He also serves as Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America. His work addresses a range of subjects, including peak oil and the future of industrial society. He lives in Cumberland, Maryland with his wife.
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