Ran Prieur, on his own and a few others’ diverse views of where we’re headed

Or, should I say, where we’re hearted? I hope so!

I posted a piece by Alberts Bates which Ran Prieur references in this post, while creating another framework for interpretation altogether. Nice. Love the relativity of frameworks, how it bends the mind into flexibility and openness to surprise.

January 20.

by Ran Prieur


By popular demand I’ll mention David Holmgren’s new article, “Crash On Demand.” Here’s a pdf link, and here’s a long summary and analysis by Nicole Foss, and a more concise analysis by Dmitry Orlov.

Orlov’s post includes a chart by Albert Bates that puts doomer writers on a grid, and here’s a subreddit postwondering where I would be. I posted a comment explaining why I disagree with the whole framework of the chart. If I made my own chart, I would have one axis for tech crash vs no tech crash, another axis for pessimist vs optimist, and two different charts for what the writers want and what they predict if everyone doesn’t do what they say.

So Derrick Jensen would be a low-tech optimist on the first chart and a low-tech pessimist on the second, because he believes in an inevitable and permanent hard crash that will be worse if the earth is dead. Al Gore would be a high-tech optimist on the first chart and a low-tech pessimist on the second, because he thinks climate change will crash our wonderful world but we can stop it. Ray Kurzweil would be a high tech optimist on both charts, because he believes techno-utopia is unstoppable. John Michael Greer would be low-tech, balanced between optimist and pessimist, and the same on both charts because he knows we can only change our local environment and not the world.

Ten years ago I was a low-tech optimist. Now I would be high-tech and balanced between optimist and pessimist. Energy decline and climate change will cause decades of global poverty, there will be violent political upheaval in the weakest systems, but technology will keep grinding on, especially information technology. The good news is, hardly anyone in the first world will starve to death, and entertainment will be better than ever.

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