Visiting Chicago

I will be speaking in Rockford, Illinois the afternoon of Monday, 27 September as part of International Bioenergy Days 2010. Details are here.

But this brief post is not about my conference presentation. It’s about my visit to Chicago.

As long as I’m flying in and out of Chicago, I would like to interact with one or more audiences beyond the conference. I will extend my trip by a day to interact with your group if you’ll pay for my lodging on the night of Tuesday, 28 September and also buy me supper that night. It doesn’t matter how large the group or how nice the digs.

I’ll sleep in your guest bedroom and dine at your table if you’ll find people interested in my message. If you’re interested, please post a comment below or send me an email message at If more than one person responds — which seems unlikely — we’ll work out something.

I am flexible about the details. If you prefer a seminar presentation, find me a room and an audience. If you prefer an informal meal with a dozen of your friends, make the reservation. If you prefer to discuss the details about a durable set of living arrangements on your property, set aside time to talk and provide transportation to the site.

This is a limited-time offer, not available in any store. I will make airline reservations for this trip within the next two weeks. If you’re interested in hosting me in or near the windy city, please respond promptly.

Comments 15

  • Well, a little more economic trouble and next speech will be “how to grow potatoes”.

  • When Guy returns and is ready to comment again, I would enjoy hearing his thoughts on the new Kunstler commentary:

    In particular, I would assert that the paradigm that has underwritten the elaborate, highly lucrative Ponzi Schemes associated with securitization of assets and all the financial shenanigans entailed is the allure of limitless growth, which is not only theoretically impossible, but now physically impossible. I believe the financial investors probably understand that further growth is impossible at the meta-scale, so they focus on economic activity overall and find internal areas of growth within an overall stagnant economy and convince each other and any gullible investors that somehow they are building an economy. In reality, they are playing an elaborate Ponzi Scheme that has to falter when fake accounting gives way to real accounting.

    Of course, these shrewd “players” have many means of falsifying the books to make growth appear real and they have no scruples whatsoever in their accounting systems and no honest transparency.

    But reality must intervene and nature must bat last and the whole sham must be exposed for what it is. As Kunstler said, the dishonest players ought to be thrown in jail, but probably they will try to privatize the jail and own the profits.

    Paul Craig Roberts has a new essay looking forward five years or so into a post-collapse, warlord-dominated America with militarized police controlling means of production and the economy in Des Moines just as the warlords do in Kandahar. Sort of scary to hear a Reagan treasury appointee talking like that, isn’t it? See

    Stan Moore

  • Stan Moore, thanks for providing the link to this week’s essay by James Howard Kunstler. I think Kunstler nails it with this week’s essay, and he finally is showing signs of giving up on Obama in recognizing that Obama missed his chance to pursue the rule of law with the banksters.

    Here’s one interesting thing about Ponzi schemes: When we start a chain letter, hoping to benefit by stealing from the future, it’s widely recognized as an illegal Ponzi scheme. When the federal government starts a similar scheme, it’s called good monetary policy.

    Kunstler recognizes limits to growth — unlike most of the ecologists with whom I’ve worked for many years — and he has been describing the likely outcomes of limits to economic growth for many years. This week’s essay is yet another in a long series of warnings from him. Unfortunately, Kunstler fails to see the good news associated with economic collapse, for every non-industrial human and non-human species in this massively oppressed world. But for industrial humans, his writing has been dire and prescient.

  • I’m afraid it’s a bit difficult recognizing the advantages of this collapse… no doubt that the change is possitive in some ways: for Gaia, of course it is. In fact, it’s only negative for our generation and perhaps the next one. Our whole way of life is doomed, indeed, and that’s enough to exceed the processing capacity of any normal human mind. It’s expectable.

  • Dear Jean —

    If the collapse is good for Gaia, by my standards it is good. It is our civilization that is not good and must collapse under its own weight.

    I saw an article somewhere yesterday about a “return to the Stone Age” which described the fact that several states and jurisdictions are now removing asphalt pavement in rural roadways and returning to gravel roads. When I was a kid growing up in the southeast suburbs of Houston, Texas, our local roads were oyster shell instead of river gravel. Worked well as far as I was concerned.

    I drive around affluent Marin County, CA and see more and more vacant storefronts in bedroom communities like San Anselmo and Mill Valley.
    I sense that collapse of the economy is gaining momentum even here, and I sense that people are starting to get scared.

    If the government continues propping up the economy by printing money, it will not be too long before the only thing all that paper is good for is fuel. A US dollar bill is a piece of paper, not a testament to wealth, and this fact will become abundantly clear in the foreseeable future.

    Stan Moore

  • reference link = 26032.htm

    another gripping essay by Paul Roberts, former Reagan treasury official

    And I heard Sean Hannity express his desire for a strong military if he could get the government he wanted. I look at Sean Hannity and hear his voice and am reminded that he would fit in perfectly as the Fourth Stooge with the Three Stooges, but American will not long remain a world power atop a mountain of debt built on a hollow economy. We may be conscripting people like Hannity to fight future wars with low-tech weapons, as our bankruptcy will cause us to forego the expensive stuff. Hannity and a bayonet against the Taliban would make a good future reality show on television…

    Stan Moore

  • Guy, going to Rockford, IL? It has been at least 10 years since I drove through that former industrial town. It has been dead for a long time. I had to get off I-90 once on my way home to Madison, WI and went through Rockford on US 51 only to see nothing but boarded up buildings and lots of poverty. It kind of beat out Detroit in the city collapse game. Beloit, WI, is about as bad, with Janesville following closely behind. The dying rust belt….

  • Dear Stan,

    I absolutely agree about the inmorality and lack of common sense of our civilization. But I’m pretty sure that this collapse spells many death, despair and pain; with no oil, the carrying capacity of earth (for humans) is about 1 billion: we’re 7 billion right now, and crisis is just the beggining. 6 in 7 will not make it. 6 in 7 will die within the next 30 years.

    Of course we’re not innocent, at all: our greedy and sick civilization has destroyed its own house to get some wood to burn in the chimney. Now, my biggest concern is designing survival strategies: and I’m not just talking about growing vegetables, or basic survival skills, or having a piece of good land and a hut in the middle of nowhere. I also mean: LEARN HOW TO FIGHT. Get physically and mentally fit. You’ll need it.

    Scared people is irrational and dangerous. I’m not worried about Gaia: she has been here for a long time, and she will still be here when we vanish. It’s a matter of empathy: I’m worried about every single kid I see in the streets, I’m worried about that pregnant woman, about all the people who are just here because we found a repugnant fluid called oil… most of them will die: starvation, violence, diseases. Nature has no moral systems: she does not give a hood if we suffer. She just want to see most of us dissappear. Unfortunately, we’re about to experience the biggest tragedy ever seen by mankind.

    And… what about AFTER the collapse?. Most people will be ignorant, our culture will be mythology (in the best case), superstition and religious fanatism will come back, landlords will also come back, violence will be all around us, intelectual and material misery will be astonishing.

    I do not think about a bucolic stone age, but about a ruthless Dark Age. And that’s the bad point: that will be our life.

  • Stan, where did you live outside Houston, exactly? I’m from Baytown, originally, though my parents moved us to Mississippi in 1980. I’ve been back to Baytown a few times. It’s a Kunstler-esque hell of suburban sprawl and refineries, with only a few place-names hinting at the pine-shadowed bayous that used to dominate the area.

    Jean, your have a dark vision of the future, and I share that vision, to an extent. I would add to your call to physical and mental fitness the call to community and familial fitness: that is, cultivating ties with family and friends, whether or not they currently share your vision of the future. The old saying “No man is an island” will never be more true as the pace of collapse accelerates. I admit that I find it difficult sometimes to carry on regular, day-to-day conversations with people, believing as I do that Western industrial civilization is circling the drain, about to go into the sewer… where it should be. But I believe that some of those people I (with some difficulty) make small talk with may survive, and may have skills or resources or connections of their own which may be invaluable in post-collapse society. (Plus, it is just good for the human soul to interact with others in a sense of normalcy. Sharon Astyk, over at her site Causabon’s Book, talks about this.)

    However, I believe that, in the end, you are correct about being ready to fight to survive. Most of the population is still high on the rapidly dwindling 20th Century energy binge, and imagine most of them will not go gently into that good night. But what does that mean for us who have a sense of where things may be headed? Do we create an arms cache? Do we take martial arts classes? Do we booby-trap our property, or create a surveilance perimeter? Do we expand our skill with firearms?… and in the process, further alienate ourselves from the culture of death, with which we must still interact?

  • Well, learn some martial arts is OK; having a couple solid and trustworthy firearms is also OK, plus a good amount of ammunition and a reloading machine. Learn how to use a knife (a good one). Have a good cardio (run 6 days a week). Do pushups and pullups. Organize yourself and your closest friends once you’ve found a good piece of land to cultivate (militia, kind of… it sound so “deep America”, I know, but I’m european).

  • Memo to Stan Moore:

    Dear Stan,

    Re: “Return to the Stone Age”. Check my comment on July 17,2010,under Guy’s “Economic and Environmental Consequences of Expensive Oil”,where
    I gave the source of that article in the Wall Street Journal of the same

    Double D

  • Guys, guys, why so serious? Try the following experiment: think positive, yet realistic, thoughts about the world around you for one month. See if these positive thoughts produce better outcomes than negative thoughts. If so, continue for another month. Rinse, repeat.

    How is your life improved by obsessing about 6 billion dead and a new Stone Age? Did humanity come this far by being nattering nabobs of negativism and fatalistic factotums of fear? This is one of the darker corners of the doomosphere, yet even here the sun wants to shine through. Like that old song says, remember to look on the sunny side of life!

    There’s a dark & a troubled side of life
    There’s a bright, there’s a sunny side, too
    Tho’ we meet with the darkness and strife
    The sunny side we also may view

    Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
    Keep on the sunny side of life
    It will help us ev’ry day, it will brighten all the way
    If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life

    The storm and its fury broke today,
    Crushing hopes that we cherish so dear;
    Clouds and storms will, in time, pass away
    The sun again will shine bright and clear.
    Let us greet with the song of hope each day
    Tho’ the moment be cloudy or fair
    Let us trust in our Saviour away
    Who keepeth everyone in His care

  • Doomlove, I think you misunderstand Guy’s vision, and that of some others who have commented here. Collapse, while it will be dark in ways beyond anything any of us have known, is really a positive thing for people and for all life on Earth. (I would add that the vision Guy presents is much more positive and practical than that you appear to espouse in your own blogs.)

  • Nice, Doomlove, I’ll sing shile I sharp my knife!!!

    But remember Victor Hugo: Ceux qui vivent, ce sont ceux qui luttent. It means: the ones who live are the ones who fight.