By Adam Brock
Leave it to the modern-day leader of an ancient religious order to come up with some of the most penetrating social commentary on the big issues of our time. John Michael Greer’s Archdruid Report is something of an anomaly of the green blogosphere, foregoing the usual rapid-fire approach in favor of lengthy, incisive essays on such topics as the dangers of technocentrism and human development as seen through the lens of ecological succession – heady stuff, but well worth the few minutes they take to read. As the name implies, Greer is the leader of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, an ecospiritual group inspired by medieval Celtic traditions. But, somehow, that seems to be beside the point; Greer’s essays betray far more influence from thinkers like James Howard Kuntzler and Derek Jensen than new age spirituality.
The latest Archdruid Report, titled “The Age of Scarcity Industrialism”, draws an extended and compelling analogy between our culture’s response to the energy crisis and the five stages of dealing with death posited by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in the 70s. According to Greer, we’ve passed through the stages of denial and anger, and are now entering the period of bargaining; I’ll leave his predictions of how this period will play out for you to read. Like any futurism, it’s necessarily full of lofty, unsubstantiated statements, but Greer’s writing makes it seem sensible enough – at least if you’re not already convinced that technology’s gonna save us.