Couchsurfing with my soapbox

My recent foray to Wisconsin and Michigan had me staying five different homes, hence sleeping in five different beds and eating at many different tables. It was quite an exciting adventure, spent with wide-awake people, and I hope to repeat the experience as many times as the industrial economy allows.

I’ve embedded one of the thirteen presentations I delivered over a span of eight days. It’s my final presentation, excluding Q&A (which might come later), which partially explains my on-and-off incoherence (the remainder is inexplicable, as usual).

The presentation includes a half-hearted pitch of my final book. The book is available, a couple months earlier than anticipated, and can be found at this link as well as the usual online outlets. If all goes according to plan, I’ll receive a few copies later today. The book has already been reviewed by Sandy Krolick, the kulturCritic and Cameron Conaway, the poet. Krolick’s review was picked up by Transition Voice, and Conaway’s review was run by Examiner.

I’m trying to produce video from my presentation at a Harvest Gathering Festival with a barn as venue. I may post it at a later date, if all goes according to plan. It includes no slides, and the material differs considerably from the one above.

Reaction was mixed, as usual. Some people, such as this college student, found my messages unbelievable. Others quibbled with the timing of the sources I presented (I carefully avoided pushing my own predictions). Standing ovations were rare — even though I begged for them — but in the end several people understood the importance of collapse if we are to extend our run as a species.


Huge thanks to Shelley Youngman, who facilitated, organized, chauffeured, and hosted. A kindred spirit, Shelley was kind enough to make many of the arrangements and also to spend large blocks of time with me. Voluntarily, no less.

Thanks, too, to my many new friends and hosts (in the order I met them): Mike Draney and Vicki Medland (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay), Steve DeGoosh and Brooke Isham (Northern Michigan University), Sarah Redmond and Dan Redmond (Alger Community Transition), Shelley Youngman and Frank Youngman (Transition Cadillac), and Kimberly Sager and Aaron Wissner (Local Future).


This post is permalinked at Plan B Economics and Survival Acres.

Comments 108

  • Tamnaa,

    Yes, you are right. All I have seen are the central plains and Northern Thailand; I’ve never been to Isaan.

    Please see my comment on your blog.

  • Yorchichan, I don’t see a comment from you there as yet. Checked settings and spambox and it all seems okay. Don’t know what happened.

  • Tamnaa

    Tried again and comment didn’t appear on blog. I assumed you needed to vet it before it appeared, but maybe there is a problem. Anyway, all it said was please could you send your email address to

  • This was as traumatic as learning about peak oil all over again, Guy. (Actually, it was probably even worse.) But I am sincere in thanking you for bringing the problem to light in such excruciating detail.

    Re the audience that didn’t swear when expected – my thought was that maybe they weren’t sleeping, maybe they were stunned.

  • Guy, this is an excellent, sobering presentation. One of the things I often wonder about though is where, geographically, do you position yourself for this future given that (assuming the hoped for economic collapse occurs and there is a future for people) you end up somewhere you can still grow food and not freeze in the winter or burn in the summer. Is this something you grappled with in your dcecision to end up in New Mexico? Very simplistically, it seems that if global temperature rises, moving north in teh northern hemisphere and south in the southern hemisphere is better, but with changing weather patterns it must be more complicated than that.

  • Guy, is there a link available for public access to the Climatic Change article you reference? I want to share that with some stubborn denier types.

  • Thanks for the question, Thrivalista. Here’s what I found (the original paper is buried in the depths of an old computer that died a few months ago):

    Press release, which led me to his conclusion:

    Garrett’s university home page:

    Relevant recent publications:

    Garrett, T. J., 2012: No way out? The double-bind in seeking global
    prosperity alongside mitigated climate change, Earth System Dynamics 3,
    1-17, doi:10.5194/esd-3-1-2012

    Garrett, T. J., 2011: No way out? The double-bind in seeking global
    prosperity along with mitigated climate change, Earth System Dynamics
    Discussions 2, 315-354, doi:10.5194/esdd-2-315-2011

    Garrett, T. J., 2011 How persistent is civilization growth?

    Garrett, T. J., 2011 Are there basic physical constraints on future
    anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide? Climatic Change, 104, 437-455,