Who to follow, in the blogosphere (while the power is still on), regarding the downward spiral we are in?
My take is to follow a few different viewpoints, and to take the best from each. The real trick is to avoid “drinking your own Kool-Aid,” and getting too defensive about criticism. My short list (in no particular order):
Dmitry Orlov – Based in Boston, he writes from the perspective of someone who has seen economic collapse (in the former Soviet Union) and has a keen eye for politics, as well as Peak Oil realities.
John Michael Greer – A prolific writer, he writes a wildly popular blog that puts for the concept of a stair-step, catabolic collapse. Criticize at your own risk; he has a sharp mind and a wide knowledge base!
James Howard Kunstler – Master of ceremonies for collapsniks. Excellent writing. Has a great podcast as well.
Guy McPherson – He’s in charge of his blog Nature Bats Last, and has probably the darkest view of things. A bit out there for some, but he’s got a lot of peer-reviewed sources to back him up. John Michael Greer and Guy don’t see eye to eye, for sure, but they both bring something to the table.
Richard Heinberg – He’s written a few classics on the Peak Oil topic, and he’s someone the mainstream probably knows best.
FerFal – someone who lived through the economic collapse in Argentina; he gives a good idea of how things can go in a ‘civilized’ country.
Ugo Bardi – a counterpoint to John Michael Greer (see below)
Scott Johnson – a counterpoint to Guy McPherson (see below)
Just recently, I found:
Gail Tverberg – an actuary who has been writing for a long time on resource issues.
For basic reality checks (people who give realistic numbers), I suggest:
Without Hot Air – a good overview of renewables; what works, and what doesn’t.
Do The Math – another person with a physics background who quite literally ‘does the math’ on outrageous claims.
One interesting side note to all of this – if you ever meet someone who has a strong opinion on this topic (or any other, for that matter), ask them who their best opponent is, or someone they would like to debate. This can lend a good balance to your reading. For example, John Michael Greer suggested Ugo Bardi as his counterpart, so he’s on the reading list. Guy McPherson has Scott Johnson as a counterpart, so he’s on the reading list as well. Alas, there are a bit of prickly comments from both sides.
We should all want the truth; getting there is difficult. My own bottom line is that things are going to get really difficult in our world, regardless of timeline, and that anybody trying to discuss things in a somewhat rational manner is welcome. Yes, there are some big and rough “blog grenades” tossed every so often, but for me, the discussion is more welcome, warts and all.