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Green Wizardry: Conservation, Solar Power, Organic Gardening, and Other Hands-On Skills From the Appropriate Tech Toolkit [Kindle Edition]

John Michael Greer
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Green Wizardry is a hands-on guide to homescale energy conservation, backyard food production and other commonsense responses to scarcity. Written by a veteran of the 1970s appropriate technology movement, it offers tried and tested solutions and a wealth of nearly forgotten practical skills to help individuals, families and communities cope creatively with the end of the age of cheap energy.


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Review

Using an integrated systems approach to ecologically sustainable living strategies, John Michael Greer tackles energy, economics, technology and organic production practices with approachable precision in Green Wizardry. Interested in a real "Green" revolution? Let Green Wizardry show you the way AND the why! --Hank Will, editor-in-chief, GRIT magazine, and author, Plowing with Pigs and Other Creative, Low-budget Homesteading Solutions Wanted: real wizards. Must be capable of guiding their communities through difficult times by exercising practical skills and applying down-to-earth knowledge of how things work. If you're interested in applying for the job, then read this marvelous book. Greer is the ideal guide; his wisdom and gentle humor animate every page. A magical career awaits you. -- Richard Heinberg, author, The End of Growth This is book is part nostalgic trip through what once could have been, and could have saved us, before we decided to go all in on unbounded economic growth and endless militarism, and part survival guide which, now that the results of this bout of folly are coming in, can allow families and communities to cut their burn rate in comfort and style. And it also lays out the foundations of a very useful and very necessary vocation to which all of us, young and old can aspire: Green Wizardry. ---Dmitry Orlov, author of Reinventing Collapse and The Five Stages of Collapse Just as someone starting a business would get a book on business planning, this is the book for planning a greener life. Rather than being split into chapters, Green Wizardry is split into 36 lessons, each with an exercise at the end, where you are challenged to apply your new-found knowledge to your own life or delve more deeply into a subject. If there were a class on green living, this would be the ideal text! ---Deborah Niemann, author of Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, and Raising Goats Naturally

About the Author

John Michael Greer is a scholar of ecological history and an internationally renowned Peak Oil theorist whose blog, "The Archdruid Report," has become one of the most widely cited online resources dealing with the future of industrial society. He is the author of more than 30 books including The Wealth of Nature and The Long Descent. As well as being a certified Master Conserver and devoted organic gardener, Greer continues to practice a myriad of skills honed during the appropriate tech movement of the 1970s. He has been active in the contemporary nature spirituality movement for more than 25 years.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant work 3 Feb. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Review of “Green Wizardry” by John Michael Greer. New Society 2013

John Michael Greer is the ArchDruid of the Ancient Order of Druids of America (don’t go!) A highly respected author and one of the key voices in the Peak Oil movement. Despite (let’s face it) the handicap of being an ArchDruid he is a key speaker and one of the most influential writers involved in Peak Oil. This is no wishy-washy patchouli smelling new-ager but a ferociously clever mind relentlessly living in the apparent (or real) world who won’t give you any where to hide your beliefs or assumptions. Though he makes no claim to pre-historical descent he is very much in the mould of the Druids that Caesar described; intellectuals and natural philosophers of enormous sophistication.
The book is divided in four the first part starts with principles, then food, energy and lastly whole systems. He starts with a description of the challenges that Western civilization faces. How energy, matter, information flow through systems and what actually constitutes sustainability. Food deals with growing and raising food., storage, manuring and other skills. Energy deals with conservation of energy and alternative power sources for the individual family. The last section deals with how to put things together, the value of discensus and a realistic appraisal of solutions and then why it all matters.
The book is enormously easy to read and is filled with JMG’s subtle, gentle sense of humour, he only writes about what he knows works and is attainable in a garden or workshop. JMG is American but much of what he writes about is easily transferable to other countries based as it is on backyards and small workshops .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Green Merlin 3 Nov. 2013
Format:Paperback
John Michael Greer is a prolific author, blogger and independent scholar whose interests span a large number of subjects. He has authored books on everything from ritual magic to peak oil, and also edited science fiction collections.

Greer's latest book "Green Wizardry" isn't really a book about magic, however, the wizard moniker being mostly a way to make the work stand out in the crowd. Nor is it a "hands-on" guide to sustainable living, although it does contain some general advice on the matter. Rather, "Green Wizardry" is an introduction to the philosophy behind the Appropriate Technology and organic gardening movements of the 1970's. As modern civilization stumbles towards its inevitable fall, Greer believes that a return to the ideas and practices of the "small is beautiful" experimenters of that idealist decade is our last and best hope for survival. I'm old enough to remember an obscure Swedish book on similar matters, published around 1978. Even as a child, I found it extreme. It actually mentioned peak oil and similar stuff. Could the oil really run out? Naaah. Greer drew the opposite conclusions, and here we are today, with cheap oil actually running out. Ooops.

One of the main points of "Green Wizardry" is to drive home the point that our civilization is unsustainable, and that we passed the point of no return. Entropy, the difference between efficiency and resilience, the concepts of flows and funds, and the general idea of peak oil are some of the theoretical (or "theoretical") topics dealt with in the book. Other terms the reader will meet are "dissensus", "retro-fitting" and "the down home funk option". Woven throughout the narrative, are Greer's ideas about how the collapse of civilization will unfold.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good framework 3 Feb. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was useful as a framework but in terms of the actual skills however I feel confident i already knew much of what he was talking about. The part i benefitted most from was his identification of three strands of thinking or styles of appropriate technology from the 1970s etc; i'd never seen that before and it's helped to develop my thinking about what approaches to take with my own urban homesteading whilst keeping the other foot in the 'real' world and the cash economy. You have to balance what appeals to your sensibilities with what is suitable for the socio-economic conditions. I suppose i prefer 'down home funk' as i'm generally pessimistic regarding how technology can diminish rather than extend human beings' potential. However going for the 'Retrofit' style might be more realistic, even if what i'm trying to retrofit to might be shifting substantially in the years ahead...'New Alchemy' is closest to the current technophile zeitgeist so doing projects along those lines might cross-subsidise the other two.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 24 Dec. 2014
Format:Paperback
Very much a high level overview of what might be required to live in a non-electronic (semiconductor) post-industrial age. Good as a starting point; read "TheArchDruidReport" on the web for updated thinking. Not everybodies cup of (herb) tea, but thought provoking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good 7 Aug. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very nice and just as i expected. I would reccomend to all that this is a very reliable Retailer. Thanks.
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