(see this blog’s pages for pics of my solar)

In my last post I spoke to you about TRUE Green.  This is a person who has dematerialized, and reduced or eliminated travel and modern networking.  This person has gone local into permaculture.  The permaculture is both physical and spiritual.  One is never TRUE Green just closer to this ecological truth.  I contrast that to FAKE Green which most greens are.  A FAKE Green is a person who embraces so called green technology and feels righteously green.  The primary problem with FAKE Greens is affluence.  Affluence always gets in the way.  The one exception is spiritual affluence.  There are no limits to this in a figurative sense.  REAL Green is a FAKE Green in acceptance and humility.  The acceptance is of the carbon trap and the path dependencies of his nature and nurture.  It is of his limitations of his local of people and place.  A REAL Green aspires to and holds in high regards the TRUE Green. 

I mention this when I explain my energy and power systems because they are not TRUE Green.  Solar is dirty.  Stop believing the FAKE Greens when they tell you stories about Net Zero 2030 or whatever fantasy date they hype.  Yet, for REAL Green a modest solar system is highly recommended.  It is a system greener than the alternative of all grid.  My system is local because it is stand alone.  It contributes to my resilience and sustainability in a crisis so it is green prepped.  Remember REAL Green is about reconciliation of these inconsistencies and inconvenient positions.

My solar is not anything special in a techno sense.  What is different is I choose to be less technical and more manual.  I keep it small and it is also hybrid.  I use solar and grid power.  My solar power is for green prepping.  The grid is for those energy needs that are beyond my solar’s capability.  It is also there because multiple times a year the sun does not produce enough energy to run what is needed.  If I were going to be off the grid, I would need to double my solar system.  This would also require propane for cooking although I could use wood.  The problem you will run into when REAL Green is your local of people and place.  My wife would not want to cook on a woodstove.  She likes electricity.  I have both propane and electricity but the propane is a backup for cooking and fires my grill.  I also have charcoal cookers.  The point here is my solar is targeted.  It is realistic for my trap of people and place.

I have all my circuits that can be run by solar tied into transfer switches.  This is standard electrical equipment used by people with generators.  This allows a switching from solar to grid.  I can use both the grid and solar at the same time.  The alternative is grid only, solar only, or grid tied system.  My hybrid system allows me to take care of some of my energy needs and still have all the capability of the grid.  I have $25,000 tied up in this system so I must make a return to pay down that investment.  I got some tax benefits from this but this was really insignificant.  I work my system to pay for itself and I have the system for green prepping.  I also have a very capable generator/welder that can connect to my grid service by a throw switch.  If power goes down, I can flip the throw switch and disconnect grid power.  This must be done becuase any system has to be separated from the grid or dangerous interactions can occur.  I can then charge my battery up with the generator if the solar conditions do not allow an adequate charge.

The results of this system on my electric bill are not as great as one would expect spending $25,000.  On a good solar day I can produce 10KWH to 16KWH.  My usage is as high as 100KWH when solar is not being used and I am using electric for heat.  Space heating is a very high draw item.  When I have my wood boiler going, I am using far less power.  My wood boiler still uses power but a small amount.  It has two pumps and a fan.  This uses 2 amp when running with fan and pumps.  This cuts my usage in half.  My solar system can easily power this system even when solar is low.  This makes for great green prepping.  If I had a failure of the grid and solar then I still have a wood stove in the house that does not need electric.


Solar is not Green!  Solar is not cheap!  Solar is not economic!  Wow, that sounds bad but REAL Green this and see how this changes.  Solar is not green but it is greener than a new muscle car.  It is greener than a swimming pool.  I could go on and on.  Energy is central to your existence.  In today’s flip a switch living that is cheap you might not care about any of the above.  I am a green prepper.  The basics of this is what is more secure is greener.  This does not mean safe nor does it mean TRUE Green.  It means safer and greener.  This is REAL Green in a nutshell.

Solar is not cheap or economic.  I spent a lot of money.  Part of my increased costs was due to I did a custom system.  I am located in a nonrenewable orientated region.  My installation choices were minimal.  The equipment is technical and complicated so not cheap.  You may hear FAKE Greens cheerlead how panel prices are declining and so forth but panels are not the only part of the system.  If you just grid tie then you have an inexpensive way to have solar.  This is mainly panels and an inverter tied to the grid.  If the grid goes down you have no power.  My system cost me around $25,000.  It has taken lots of my time in research and procurement.  I would not recommend this to people if they are only looking for a bang for the buck.  Grid tied systems are better.  If you go off grid due to location then yes it has value.  In my case it does not pencil out with only cost and economics factors considered.

Currently my utility KWH cost is $.084827.  Keep in mind there is a cost for your service itself which is $1.24 per day.  My solar system at its best produces 16KWH a day.  DO THE MATH!! That means at 8 cents times 16.  That means I am gathering $1.28 a day of solar irradiation on my best day.  Then do my service cost per day.  I give my system an average 15-year life then my service cost is $4.50.  So, you see, I am making on my best days $1.28 but my system costs $4.50.  The numbers do not add up.

Where my system shines are with green prepping strategies.  It allows me to have lights and power for refrigeration in a grid down situation both essential.  I can also run my A/C with this system so if there was grid down in a brutal heat wave, I could have cool air at least in part of my house or shop.  I have a mini split system that works well with solar.  This system can cool one room or many.  It can heat or cool.  It is an inverter technology so it does not require a large compressor that is beyond smaller solar capabilities like mine.  I can easily run my wood boiler in winter for heat.  I am considering a water heater that works similar to my mini split system that is very efficient and insulated so I can also heat water with my solar.  My solar will not run a standard water heater.  Too much draw.  Currently my wood boiler heats my water but only in the winter.  Lights are critical.  I easily have lighting.  This system will shine if we have a jump in electric costs.  It shines with grid down.  It shines in a relative way in regards to green.  Solar is not TRUE Green but it has many green prepping applications.

Cost Summary

inverter, charger, panels, pole mount, accessories$10,061.98
Lithium phosphate battery$7,630.00
concrete, wire, conduit$1,082.00
transfer switches$604.00

TRUE Green

I am working on a post that will highlight my solar system and how it fits into REAL Green prepping and low carbon capture.  First, I want to cover something that is above REAL Green spiritually.  REAL Green is the realistic and relative application of green prepping strategies to your local of people and place.  It is a strategy that uses delocalization to re-localize.  It is for those of you trapped in affluence and delocalization. 

I want to discuss TRUE Green.  This is the highest form of green.  It represents the best modern man can do.  There are those who are in the poorer parts of the world that are natives and or subsistence farmers.  They don’t fit into TRUE Green because they are naturally green but many likely would embrace modern affluence if they could.  They are a different conversation.  Many of the same attributes apply to both groups except behavior and circumstance.  True Green is a modern who has lived in the delocalized status quo but chooses to leave it dramatically.  TRUE Green has choice and this is important.  The importance of choice in their case is living the two worlds and opting out of the other.  This is not to say natives and subsistence farmers can’t do the same but generally natives and subsistence farmers opt into the affluence of the status quo.  When this is not the case it is when they have been educated to the difference which means they have been civilized by the status quo but reject this.   The conversation complicates if you mix these groups.

A TRUE Green is awakened and then goes forth in action that is a transformation.  The awakening is the realization of delocalization in regards to what is truly green.  Delocalization is motivated by affluence of materialism and opportunity. Materialism is easy to understand. Opportunity is less understood and revolves around traveling and networking.  A TRUE Green sees the incongruities of delocalization found in materialism, travel, and networking.  They see the imbalances of the human spirt in relation to their local from thes status quo inclinations.  Without balance the human spirit is extremely destructive.  Many modern techno greens are extremely destructive and, in my opinion, little better than a brown.  In fact, they live a lie.  They may be honest with the science of earth issues but dishonest on the solutions.  Many a fake green is a wealthy hipocite. They are a cake and have it people. 

A TRUE Green is a highly spiritual person because a TRUE Green embraces poverty of things for a richness of spirit.  These people will dematerialize from consumerism and decouple from the networking of opportunities.  These opportunities allow power and power allows control.  For a TRUE Green power is nature not man’s.  This decoupling means leaving the digital and shunning modern transport.  This is a vigorous system both for the mental and the physical.  Mentally this type of green will have to navigate the gauntlet of opportunities and networking. These offer so many pleasures both mental and physical.  They will want to leave urban areas because so little is green in the urban.  Urban greens are generally fake green. TRUE Greens will withdraw to rural areas or wild areas to live autonomous lives individually or in small groups.  Their spirt will support them in the poverty of things.  Here the use of poverty is different than the status quo.  Poverty here is lack of material comforts not essentials.  Nature will provide the necessary comforts and things for a TRUE Green and if not, they will perish as is meant to be.

This is a life of naturalism dictated by that which is not status quo of affluence and material capability.  It can be compared to a monk but without the religion.  This is not to say a TRUE Green should not be religious.  Religion is a very local attribute of a person that needs to be compartmentalized when discussing this orientation.  This is not the subject of TRUE Green.  The subject is embracing the planet and web of life.  True Greens cannot escape civilization and its clutches but they can minimize the distortions and the destructive imbalances.

A TRUE Green will likely be a young person who chooses this path before they become incorporated into the status quo.  Once your local of people and place solidifies it becomes very difficult to leave.  This is where my REAL Green come in.  REAL Green is what an honest green does once the status quo has compromised you.  A TRUE Green is pre-compromised and idealized or laundered of the compromise by age or circumstance.  An ideal time to go TRUE Green is when one is young.  When the young reach a maturity of mind and body but are not yet compromised by mental and physical attachments of the status quo.  This is not to say those who are older cannot go TRUE Green.  Any age can make this conversion.  Often older retirees can do it once their family has moved on to their lives and their status quo careers have wound down.  Sometimes middle aged individuals go through a cleansing of the clutches of the status quo and they can find this calling.

This is a transformation that means voluntary simplicity.  It means a life of stoicism and spartan living that yields a richness of spiritual wellbeing.  Keep in mind this means turning your back on modern healthcare and security.  There is an existential insecurity to this but this insecurity becomes a source of wisdom of which I call the wisdom of insecurity.  The people in the status quo who embrace modern health care and security really are not that heathy and secure.  In fact, the status quo is a very dangerous place it is just the risks and dangers have been normalized.  A TRUE Green has a pureness of spirit but not like you might think.  This pureness is existential not ethical although a proper and decent ethical spirit is the result.  It is a low footprint lifestyle that seeks to harmonize with nature.  It seeks to do as little harm as is possible to their local.

I was once TRUE Green.  I went through a spiritual awakening that transformed me twice.  Once when I was young and idealized and once when middle aged and disillusioned.  Unfortunately, the two times this occurred I was tugged back to the status quo.  Once when I was younger in the course of my spiritual journey in philosophy, theology, and comparative religions I was brough back to the status quo by career and love.  I was very close to embracing this way of life but I did not have the right setting to make the leap.  Another time I had an awakening that came when I was disillusioned by the status quo of career and lifestyle.  This was a process that took me to a wonderful farm but I still had to commute to my job and live the lifestyle of the career I was in.  I was active in reading and living an alternative ecological lifestyle that was at odds with my so-called normal life.  I was embedded in a beautiful natural place after work and on the weekends. I was touched by nature one night and left my normal life.  Unfortunately, I was forced back to the status quo by family in a traumatic experience.

I was not meant to be TRUE Green and this is why I am REAL Green.  This blog has covered REAL Green thoroughly so there is no need to go into it but to say it is what you do when your trap of affluence with people and place prevent you from being TRUE Green.  There are those of you who are techno green who may want to go REAL Green for the honesty of it.  That is another discussion.  The TRUE Green is something I respect highly.  I have been there for short periods.  I may go there again.  It is something I recommend to the young and the old.  To those of you who are in between you may want to try REAL Green.  TRUE Green is a very demanding journey not so much with the journey once taken but the choice to take the journey.


On the pages section of this blog I am posting GOATS.  This is an in-depth look at my permaculture grazing system.   I am sharing the numbers from my operation.  This is my personal accounting.  The accountant handles the numbers different for tax purposes.  There are various ways to treat income, expenses, and investments.  Needless to say, I had a lot of depreciation.  This benefited me as good tax write-off.  Another very important point is I do not include my labor so when you consider the amount of time I invested in this operation over these 6 years there is a considerable labor cost not realized.  When this is considered, one should be very careful about engaging in this type of activities.  I am semi-retired living off investments and some activity in farm management.  I am just now in 2021 going to start seeing a positive return on an investment started in 2015.  Sales are going up and investments in the system leveling off.  I am now selling mostly animals born on the farm.

Some notes to consider when reviewing my grazing operation I posted on he pages part of this blog.  The title is goats but really it is goats, cows, dogs, and people.  Keep in mind before I built this grazing system the farm already had some fence.  There were already two barns, a cabin, and an RV.  There were existing wells and electric service.  There is 300 acres of family land.  I have 80 on the border of the family farm.  This alone adds up to $1MIL.  In a nut shell this is my affluence trap and my opportunity.  REAL Green says relative and realistic so do not get tied up in the good or bad of this.  When you go local you become unique and yourself.  Get out of guilt or anger of the status quo of value and concentrate on the journey into decline.  The family farm we have had in the family since 1948.  I have a spiritual connection in the land of those who came before me.  I dwell in their history.

This family farm participated in a special native grass program 20 years ago that cost around $150,000.  These costs were around 50/50 with the government although lots of other cost were involved the gov did not cover.  There was a CRP program to expand the riparian areas along the drainages.  These have become outstanding cover for wildlife.  This family farm is a wonderful example of a rewilding.  I took 60 acres of this farm for the grazing system and there is 40 acres dedicated to raising hay.  This hay field also gives an added dimension to the mosaics of habitat so even though it is n a sense industrial AG it was inserted into a mosaic of habitat to enhance the benefits for wildlife and humans.  I have 80 acres personally.  I have a shop I just built and 50 year old brick house I did a total renovation too.  I gave it a second life.  I feel second life to homes are machinery is a conservation effort because you are recycling.  I did this in a green manner with maximum insulation.  There is a lot of money in these almost 400 acres!  This is why I often say REAL Green is the calling of few just like in the middle ages monasteries and castles were few but profoundly important.

This is my trap of affluence.  There is a lot here to manage and take care of.  You can see if I want to be green then a REAL Green approach is needed.  True green means going extremely small and decoupled from transport, consumerism, and the welfare system.  Going brown in industrial ag would mean I would expand the animal business approach and remove the rewilded part of the farm for profit operation.  I chose the REAL Green approach that is a polyculture approach.  You have to approach this type of operation with a business mentality but adapted by permaculture.  This permaculture goes deeper with a spiritual permaculture of meaning.  So this is a physical and spiritual permaculture adapted to the status quo.  This then is a journey of green prepping that seeks to use the status quo to leave it.  This is the nature of affluence so stop getting angry or feeling guilty about the green problems this presents.  Man is a destructive species so the best most people can do is channel this destructive behavior to good ends.  Again some of you can go TRUE Green but most can’t.  

REAL Green is green prepping and a journey.  This journey is my journey but also the locals journey  It has been a passion of mine that developed over time so an intellectual and a skill journey.  I love being a shepherd.  I love having a permaculture homestead.  Finally the monestary is my spiritual permaculture and mental homestead.  I love managing an animal operation.  It is hard and tedious work that over time is very satisfying.  If I had to have an outside job and do it there would have to be big changes.  The other alternative that many families do that love farming is have one spouse work off the farm.  In my case I am living off investments.  I managed to incorporate REAL Green into my trap of affluence.  Yes, affluence is a trap for me.  I wish I could have been totally TRUE Green from the start but this is what I have so I am REAL Green.

This grazing operation is greener because I make an effort to shape it realistically and relatively in regards to my limits of localism.  My people, place, and life situation shape how green I can take it.  Another important point is I could triple the amount of cattle I have and quadruple the numbers of goats.  This is always and option.  I could do even more for-profit activity if I expanded the operation over the entire family farm.  I don’t do this because rewilding is an essential part of REAL Green.  It is here the spiritual permaculture kicks in somewhat like the religious tithe of the middle ages.  In this cse it is giving back to the ecosystem that is above your human local of people and place.  I could expand in a crisis if this is what is needed for my local.  This is the prep part of green prepping. 

Currently what I am doing is the best holistic option.   My grazing operation is another piece in the mosaic of habitat.  It is 60 acres of the 300.  I have low stocking rates, polyculture pasture, and multispecies on a fifth of the land with the rest rewilded.  Even my 40 acres of hay fields becomes a mosaic when place within a rewilded natural setting.  This is a keystone of my permaculture localism.  This operation is the specialty that gives my homestead and monestary definition.  There are other components to my green prepping but the grazing system is the central focus.  I also have a sustainable wood lot and heat with wood.  I have a garden, orchard, and grapes.  I have chickens.  I also have techno low carbon capture with a simple but robust solar system with battery and inverter.  I utilize conservation principals with food, insulation efficiency, and reduce driving.  Consumerism is focused on warehousing things of value for the coming decline into a likely future collpase.  These are the secondary efforts with the grazing system my specialty.

Hay and Death

I am still working on my Goat post.  It is going to cover the mechanics of raising goats along with 5 years of the numbers.   Yeap, goats can be a business.  I am adapting my goat operation to green prepping by incorporating goats into a permaculture of localism.  This is further adapted by the dualism of REAL Green which is a relative and realistic with adaptation of permaculture localism to the delocalizing ways of globalism.  In other words I am trying to be green with an activity that is marginally profitable.  REAL Green is how I adapt to my carbon trap and trap of nature and nurture with the path dependencies of my local of people and place. 

Goats are my specialty but only make up part of my permaculture homestead.  REAL Green is about a specialization but also about being a jack of all trades.  This is a journey of learning resulting in a deeper spiritual meaning of life.  This spiritual asset of meaning I believe is what is needed to offset the great turning of decline that is ahead.  All of us have a tougher life ahead with comforts and things so finding increased meaning is critical to quality of life.  This will be a period of a planetary forcing that will result in humans being forced with negative feedbacks.  This homestead is my physical connection.  The spiritual component is my monestary.  My monestary is the gathering place for ideas and things that represent my spiritual permaculture.  Yes, proper human spirituality mirrors permaculture.

My Goat post has been delayed by hay and death.  I have put up 500 bales since I last talked to you.  These are small square bales perfect for the goats when they kid in the coldest part of winter.  They are also environmentally greener and more prepped.  I made them with small horsepower equipment.  They are put up in my goat barn where the does kid.  The hay is stored right above where the goats will stay in the cold of winter.  I can feed them by hand daily instead of moving large round bales by machine which is typical of a profit motivated operation.  This hay was made and put up with my wife and kids making it a family affair.  Family is the keystone of localism.  I still have round bales made but it is important to me to make square bales for the goats in a REAL Green way.  These goats are central to my green prepping effort.  I raise registered breeding stock.  I don’t eat my goats and try to find homes for all of them but if SHTF I can survive on my goat herd.

The mixing of square bales and custom cut round bales utilizing large equipment dovetails with my realistic and relative of the dualism of REAL Green.  Putting up square bale hay reminds me of the fire wood I make.  Wood heat is marginal considering labor and my time.  Most operations are going to round bales because of the difficulty of handling square bales and cost of labor.  The cost of cutting hay yourself with the equipment and finding the time and the labor does not pencil out.  Today it is almost just a hobby if you are a small operation.  Yet, when you REAL Green hay making there is value with green prepping.

REAL Greening hay is about a return to a better method in regards to sustainability and resilience.  Yet, notice I mix both hay making ways in my operation by being relative and realistic.  This is the dualism of REAL Green.  You adapt away from the status quo as best you can with REAL Green but don’t expect to decouple from the powerful economics of the status quo.  When I make hay, I am on a small 30HP tractor right there with the grass instead of up high in an airconditioned cab of a 100HP tractor.  This goat hay activity is low carbon capture in localism which is a basis of REAL Green.  It is my hope eventually I can get an electric tractor charged by solar pannels to make this hay even greener.  Ideally the TRUE Green of human and animal labor should be used to make this hay but this is beyond my capability.  REAL Green is the best I can do.

Finally, I have been delayed with my writing because my dad passed away yesterday.  I have to give him my thanks for keeping the family farm together.  This farm is now my life’s focus and passion.  I have an 80 acre farm on the southern border and the family farm is 300 acres on the north.  The family farm is now in its 73rd year with 4 other families.  Dad also assisted me with the building of my Amish monitor barn that is serving as my shop.  I would have got this barn built without dad’s help but not with all the added features that make this barn a REAL Green masterpiece.  I miss him dearly now.

My dad had prostate cancer and it spread aggressively.  He was given 12 months 3 years ago so he beat the odds and had good quality of life just until a few months ago.  His cancer diagnosis was heart breaking but also serendipitous for me.  I was recommended to get checked out and found I too had the cancer.  I was able to have the cancer removed and it appears I am now cancer free.  When I talk about the realistic and relative of REAL Green keep in mind that the dirty status quo medical system saved my life and prolonged my dad’s.  This is the double edge sword of technology.  It is killing us but also giving life. 

My wife and I have been coming in every weekend to be with dad and assist my mom.  This makes it hard to do what I need to do on the farm.  There is never enough time or money.  Again, I want to relate this to REAL Green because leaving the farm and driving 2 hrs to see my dad is delocalizing and carbon intensive but in REAL Green it is about adapting to your trap of people and place.  I try to be as green as possible but within my situation of people and place.  My dad died at home with his family by his side.  It was a moving experience.

Why Goats…continued

I am not a writer.  I am living permaculture localism relatively and realistically.  This means a lifestyle that mirrors my meaning.  I am a green prepper who has reached acceptance of a decline process leading to collpase somewhere down the road.  This means I am on a journey to this destination.  This blog is a reflection of that.  I do not advertise nor ask for money.  I am giving of myself for the benefit of the planet and you the reader.  My blog is not well written or sophisticated.  It will not generate much traffic.  My target is a few of you with the right stuff to make a difference.  It is just me living a way of life I feel is vital for people and the planet and writing about it. 

I am very pressed for time.  Right now, I need to get out and feed animals then I have a full day of work ahead.  I am getting older and every month this gets harder to do as I weaken with age.  So, I hope my writing about my life gives you something of value or a pause to reflect.  It keeps my mind fit and helps me deal with the constant hardships of farming and surviving the status quo of growth.  There are days I get tired and things break and I question all the work I do.  I see society enjoying their free time and all those toys of pleasure and ask myself Why!!  Yet, meaning allows me to get through these tough times.

I am currently working on a presentation on goats that is taking longer.  I alluded to this two posts ago with “Why Goats”.  I am now 5 years into my rotational grazing system so I have lots to cover.  I want to cover behavior of why but also the mechanics.  Since we live in the status quo of growth and profit I want to give you the economics of my operation too.  I do what I do with less profit because I am pursuing low carbon capture strategies of green prepping.  Naturally there has to also be a profit motive or else you will not succeed in the tough world we live in. 

I want to talk goats and rotational grazing but in such a way that what I am doing can be applied to other permaculture but also the mentality of green prepping that anyone can embrace.  This is about meaning one finds with embracing the deceptions of civilization, the declining web of life, and the changing planet.  This is about the turning over of a human epoch into decline and collpase and how you the individual in a local of people and place can adapt and prosper.  The main element of prosperity I speak of is with spiritual meaning but also materially when you find a niche within the decline process to restore and enrich.  I hope to be finished with this post in a week or two.  In the meantime, the weather is breaking Sunday and I start cutting hay for the goats.  I have 400 square bales to make and put up.

Green Mysticism

There are no limits to what can be forecasted, predicted, and projected. Goal seeking is alive and well with the techno optimist. “Failure is not an option” optimism you know got us to the moon and won WWII. “We have to do it because” thinking is loved by people in denial and prone to fantasy. Academia and science are now so corrupted with this stuff it is no wonder normal people are becoming skeptical of anything being told to them by the establishment. It is bad enough that mainstream media and our leadership are at an historic low for trust now science is failing too.

This is how civilizations fail. It has always been this way. It is the elites who cannot handle the truth once limits set in. The normal guy has to handle the truth because he is on the receiving end of it. When you can’t afford to live like you did a few months ago you handle the truth. A wake-up call is coming for the elites many of whom are so-called greens. I call them fake greens because tech is their delusion. It is all about techno-optimism which is the merging of hope with progress. Techno greens are now worshiping science dominated by so called cutting edged “fantasy” science no different than a fundamentalist worship the words of a book literally.

I am saying this not in anger or bargaining because it is my opinion this is the natural progression of civilizations. To get angry is just a step up from the elites in denial. To try to reason with these people in the act of bargaining is just two steps up. Once you get really depressed with all this then you are ready for an optimism in pessimism of acceptance. To some of you the stages of grief is simplistic and worn out but give me a better analysis of the situation. Maybe the complexity of civilization and the complications of the ego are a simple observation so don’t complicate it.

What is the awakened green to do in this situation? That is an individual decision. For many of you here you are affluent, educated, and basically happy. I can’t tell you to embrace decline and turn your back on affluence. Life is short. In my opinion life is so short we are already dead so enjoy it to its fullest. Take it day by day. Yet, that does not work for me. Meaning is more important than affluence. I want to clarify that. My basic needs are covered. I humbly acknowledge empathy and compassion for those struggling to survive who do not have a place to lay their head. I will say this I have been in these places although not because of lack of affluence. I have experienced the darkness.

If you are to the point in your life where meaning is more important than affluence then you may be open to an optimism in pessimism type awakening. I am reaching out to those who have their basic affluence covered. Those of you like me who have something may be appealed to. I do not stand here appealing to the young who are idealistic. I am not here appealing to the poor who are wanting of food and shelter. My words will mean little to them. I am here for those who have lived a full life and now have something except you lack meaning. Meaning is a spiritual asset that this group of people can embrace to offset the decline in comforts and things. In addition, and in parallel, this is your human mortality playing out. In a way they are linked. Civilization is in its late stage also.

The awakening I speak of is an acceptance of a turning or tipping over into decline of everything except meaning. There is a sacred quality of meaning above the arrogance of humanism. A REAL Green is awakened to this in the humility of acceptance of a decline of everything and this is the starting point of the journey that is a transformation. This journey is local, permaculture based, and orientated to the planet. It does not replace your higher power but instead is a compass for your current higher power. This transformation is where the ego meets isness.

This is not new and is commonly called mysticism. In this case because humans are in the Anthropocene it is green mysticism. At this inflection of meaning the individual goes forth. It becomes a seeking out of places for meaning to be realized. Ecology tells us that in the succession of ecosystem there are opportunities. Niches are freed up where species can find constructive growth. Microclimes of living are out there where there is meaning. If you become a master of this you will take this awakening even further. You will construct a monestary of meaning that will be an incubator for a new human type that will hopefully navigate the bottleneck just ahead.

Why Goats?

I want to tell you why I am doing goats. This is not because I expect you to do goats but instead to reflect on their green utility. Green utility is what a green prepper should seek out. Green utility is something that has a higher value in regards to safety and security and at the same time is a footprint lowering activity. This is where spiritual meets livelihood. A proper balance of the two is essential to a productive happy individual. I am not saying you should embrace a green spirituality but I will say in this time of broad-based decline adding a green spirituality tone to your existing higher power is advisable. Science offers meaning in your knowledge-based world but it is spirituality that offers wisdom. This wisdom is what knowledge to use and what to reject. It is about decisions and opening or not opening doors in your life. Spirituality is what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning but after you already have your basic needs satisfied. Green utility and green prepping are a source of meaning in this time of destructive change.

Green utility is found in low carbon capture but also the support of low carbon capture by those of you with service skills. Low carbon capture needs a community to work properly especially since the EROI and the ROI is so low. The return on investment in the world of profit and loss is so narrow that it is negative in the highly energetic nature of the modern world. This means because of the basic cost of being a modern low carbon capture does not offer surpluses. In the world of nature and satisfaction of our energy needs of food, water, and shelter, low carbon capture is very low. This is why localism is absolutely essential and why a local community of skilled patrons is required. I am telling you this because not all of you can be permaculture farmers but all of you can support localism and permaculture.

Green prepping is for those of you who care about the planet and its life and those of you who don’t. Many people feel a deep connection to the planet but many don’t. Some are deeply religious and the religion is indifferent to the planet and its life. Instead of arguing for or against this postion I will just say security is everyone’s motivation. Green utility found from low carbon capture in localism is more secure. It is not going to pay for your vacation or kids’ college but it will give your kids more safety. Green prepping is for those without a farm too because it is about skill sets and motivation. Honest science says the planet is in abrupt change. This does not have to be predicated on humans or not. It is clear changes have happened rapidly and this puts at risk a global delocalized world. The web of life is clearly in decline and this species loss and ecosystem decline and localized failure is another danger for all humans. Civilization is clearly in decline socially, economically, and in regards to progress. It can be argued now progress is actually going negative with utility. This means diminishing returns of technological advancements which is the basis of delocalizing globalism is now a net negative with human utility. Green prepping offers a net positive to this new reality.

Low carbon capture in localism surrounded by permaculture is a utility promoting activity to offset the decline of everything. What this means is declining in place because you have tuned into the planet’s flow and cycle. This tuning in means you will have to realistically and relatively adapt to a human system that is incapable of embracing decline but instead is forced into decline at great cost. What you can do by embracing decline is lower the costs to you personally and find meaning as the side benefit. Not everyone can embrace low carbon capture in localism or farm with permaculture but if you can you should. If you can’t you can still embrace the mentality of planetary decline. This mentality is manifested in better wisdom. Wisdom is the basis of proper action.

Those of you who can will find a special value in embracing the planets way. You will withdraw to places less complex and complicated although this will be relative and realistic. This is the Anthropocene which is a world of human progress. No place on earth is not touched by this so your green utility will have to acknowledge this. Simplicity with a circular view of things is always better. Decoupling and dematerializing is always better. Less is always better than more except where green spirituality is concerned. This green spirituality is based upon two things one which is the wisdom of insecurity and the other is meaning found in emulating a planetary decline. The wisdom of insecurity is making decisions based upon a world in decline. More risk and less comforts is the obvious result of broad-based decline. This is the acceptance part of wisdom. Bargaining and anger are just a response to wanting more when there is no more. Embracing this process in an other orientated way is the act of the ego letting go in acceptance of higher powers unfolding. The ego then goes forth on this higher power’s behalf.

A life that slows down in localism and low carbon capture is also a fulfilling physical experience. You will find some time to smell the roses of those little things that are missed in the hectic world of energetic delocalizing globalism. The pursuit of profit and advancement destroys simple comforts and pleasures. You will find these and more. You will clear out that mental sense that appreciates the simple pleasures. This does not mean you will find much time to be lazy because your day will be clocked full of chores. If you must juggle a status quo world of work and permaculture it is that much tougher. Yet, even those who are doing the rat race and trying to do green prepping permaculture your will find satisfaction. Those who pursue their energetic leisure and consumerism and the emptiness that always seems to follow the sugar high of after the purchase will instead find an organic satisfaction. The buyer’s remorse and the never enough is not part of a proper green prepping.

That was a lot of explaining to introduce why I do goats but this is a key point of goats or not. Really it is a key point of doing anything green and prepped or not. It centers on behavior and that behavior requires acceptance and humility. Doing less and being less is a humbling experience. Accepting a world that is declining is a pessimistic human undertaking. We have been natured and nurtured to be optimistic. It is in our DNA and now you are going to say no to this. Well, it is more involved because what you are going to do is be an optimistic pessimist. You will find joy in decline and feel part of something greater. The succession of life from more complexity to less is a natural process. This still opens up niches of growth even though the overall process is degrowth. Your attitude is right and this will naturally funnel your energies to proper living resulting in better growth experiences within a degrowthing world. I am doing goats because they fit the green utility of my green prepping experience. In my next comment I will go into detail of how goats offer this to me. You can then take this and apply it to your local of people and place and how your green utility can be found.

The Power Within Dualism

This whole issue of our flawed social narrative I speak of constantly is really much deeper.  It is the core of the dilemma of human dualism of the ego and other.  It is the denial of mortality and the connection with the other which offers immortality.  It is the fantasy and delusions that we create to bargain with reality.  This comes from the human ability to look back and forward yet struggle to live in the here and now.  It is the constant variable value put on that which happens in the future and that which is right here right now.  It is the discounting and the revisions of what happened in the past and the predictions, forecasts, and projections of a future.  This represents the human dilemma of our dualism.

I bring this up for the few of you who have interest in a green prepping a permaculture homestead.  At a deeper level you will have to live a dualism.  On the one hand you will want to promote yourself with growth and surplus.  Yet, on the other hand you will want to lower your footprint by declining-in-place, choosing conservation, and embracing low carbon capture.  These stances are at odds alone in juxtaposition and in fact they are incongruous.  How do you reconcile growth and decline-in-place which is degrowth?  The way this is done is adapted behavior in a dualism of acceptance.  If you believe in green prepping then you are doing two reinforcing actions.  You are increasing your own security and you are promoting the web of life.  Yet, the conflicts will be everywhere because you will be juggling growth and degrowth.  In the delocalized global world growth is a human engine so you will participate in something that is destructive and not green.  You will be degrowthing by declining in place with permaculture localism that embraces the low EROI and ROI of low carbon capture.  Reconciling these two opposing stances is done first by acceptance of a force of change of decline and failure then by being relative and realistic.

The world of humans, the web of life, and the planetary system is in a great turning.  All of these are turning.  This is a period of great change.  This is a compression of time and change meaning time is speeding up with rapid change.  You the individual is aware of this and adapting to this by going local and declining in place because this is the proper response to this force of change.  You are embracing this reality but you are embracing this reality relatively in relation to you local of people and place.  Your family, community, and society are in general not there.  Too much change is disruptive and counterproductive.  They are still fixated on growth and human manifest destiny.  This is the trap of the arrogance of humanism.  It is also the natural instinct of humans.  Humans seek to exploit with technology and intelligence.  This expands in ascending levels of abstraction to a force of civilization.  We see the culmination of this right here right now with the never before seen growth engine of globalism and likely never to be seen again.  This is a material pinnacle not a spiritual one.  Your local will be corrupted by this and this is your trap.  Discover your trap and know what you can and can’t do within this trap.  This is critical and why I call it a dualism.

You will have to use this growth engine to leave it.  You will understand the dangerous overextension of this powerful delocalization.  There is no leaving it.  The world is now completely covered by its web.  Yet, you also understand this human narrative with physical manifestations is in decline and a process failure.  Knowing the science of ecology, you will then seek out niches of constructive change where the breakdown of this complex system offers microclimes of growth.  This is a special power I speak of with green shamanism.  It is a spirituality of this age of abrupt change.  Do not look at this religiously.  You can incorporate this green shaman power into your higher power worship as needed.  This is your own personal choice how you embrace it.  What I speak of is acceptance embracing the process of change.  By acceptance you stop the bargaining which is the ego protecting itself from reality.  We do this in multiple ways and this ascends into the narrative of our civilization.  We protect ourselves from dangers through fantasy.  Today science is corrupted by this with delusional forecasts, predictions, and projections.  The scientific process is now a process of denial.  The reason for this is humans are now trapped.  Humans over the last 10,000 years have more or less always been growing and expanding.  This is now over and humans at the level of civilization cannot handle this truth but you the individual can.

This was important to explain in regards to your individual trap of dualism because you will have to accept the collective trap and adapt to it.  It is not enough to accept this great turning of decline and decay that is the succession of all but you will have to accept and adapt to the denial of death of civilization which today is the growth engine of globalism.  In fact, these days science has now become a religion seeking immortality in transhumanism.  This transhumanism is combining biology and the digital in artificial intelligence and unrestricted technology.  This is a mechanization of control that is alien to life.  Intelligence and technology are now seen as the higher power to be worshiped.  This new human higher power sees intelligence as the basis in the universe or its singularity.  The Judeo-Christian God has been dethroned for a transhuman one.  Of course, most normal people to not aspire to this but the elites do.  This is why a global oligarchy is seeking human domination in a great reset.  There is a parallel path for this in China with the CCP.  This will fail and the reason for this is everything has tipped or near the tipping.  The planet is tipped but keep in mind this tipping is in regards to habitability.  The planet does not grow or degrowth it just balances.  Its systems follow their nature.  Yet, the web of life and the human ecosystem do grow and decline in events of evolution and decline with regular extinction events.

You as the individual will then if properly orientated to the planet in green shamanism seek out your niche in overall decline and abrupt change.  This does not mean you will find it but you have found the truth.  The truth is where meaning is and this is the highest of human value.  Meaning is a spiritual asset that will make up for the painful decline in resources and comforts ahead for all.  This is a key element in the relative and realistic of your transformation.  Through acceptance of this process of decline and abrupt change and the acceptance of the inability of civilization to change you seek out a niche where you can constructively growth within overall destructive change.  This means you will have to live in both worlds.  To only embrace pure degrowth and decline activity means you will be crushed by the forces of civilization.  If you embrace pure growth alone then the destructive forces of the great turning will crush you.  The alternative is green prepping.  It is using delocalization to localize.  It is growing in degrowth.  Some of the most profound aspects of life are paradoxical and incongruous juxtapositions.  Live these in surrealism.  Your life will be surreal because you will have double vision.  You will live these contradictions to survive.  It is the new force of change.  It is a subtle and low-level power underlying all.  You will draw on this for meaning and strength.

The results are still uncertain.  There are no refuges and no transcendence.  There is only the transformation in meaning and the journey.  This now is about lifeboats and hospices.  The lifeboat is the outfitting of your journey with green prepping.  The hospice is the palliative care to those around you and the land under your feet.  You will be green to restore and reinforce the web of life because the diversity of the web of life is like a strong immune system protecting against entropic decay.  You will be green because it is more prepped for survival.  The result of this must be localism.  It must be low carbon capture.  It revolves around a permaculture homestead with a monestary of ideas and things for this journey.  This monestary is also the tabernacle of sacred writing that will be given to those who will be the new humans that navigate the coming bottleneck.

Much of the world is now urban and mega urban.  There will be no future in this arrangement despite what the new religion of scientism is professing.  Travel to the stars and digital and biological complexity will be destroyed and the result is the organic birth of a new human that is who we once were but altered by the journey through the valley of death.   This is a journey back to where we came from.  Extinction is possible but since your concern is not, the destination you live but the journey.  All of us will die and all we create will eventually be dust.   This new humanity may retain some of the advanced knowledge we have built up.  Likely it will be mostly the wisdom of what not to do in the future.   Much of this vast knowledge will be destroyed by the entropic decay of the process with abandonment, dysfunction, and the irrational of the forces of chaos.  How much of that is really worth keeping anyway?  There is still a system or process behind chaos.  It is in a way the sacred guarding its nature.  There is no activity eventually in mechanization and control.  No activity is death so it is the tipping function that maintains life. 

Those of you who are trapped in the urban jungles of human excess can still constructively change with principals of localism, permaculture, and low carbon capture.  If you can leave the urban and go local but keep in mind the sacrifices are great.  You will generally experience lower comforts and less consumption.  This process is time dependent.  Some of us may not see the coming changes so for some of you why leave your comforts?  That is an individual choice I have no answer for.  I chose to leave because meaning is what I seek.  I am a green shaman who is explaining a way I have been awakened to.  This is an individual choice but keep in mind your choice is within a trap there are no choices for. 

Humility and Arrogance

Behavior is the key and acceptance the goal should be what honest science messages in regards to the environmental problems of our age. This means science would admit humility and reject arrogance. This cannot be admitted because the general public is not able to handle this truth nor can the corrupt scientific community. Science is honest on the problems but dishonest on the solutions. Admitting there are no solutions is failure. This would require science to admit limitations and the separateness of science and the spiritual. The elites that are pushing the “Great Reset” do not even want to hear of it and instead have hijacked and weaponized science for their own ends. They have decided they can force change on the population in the name of science while remaining uber affluent. This is the ultimate arrogance.

What is an honest green to do? First be honest and go as boldly as you can where that leads you. This is unique to you so don’t look for a template. If you go local to your people and place as the starting point then you may find the scale that allows a balanced approach. I say may because this is a gift not a right. You cannot escape the trap civilization is in but you can live within this trap. This does not mean you can transcend the consequences which is a decline process. Collapse is the destination of decline but you can journey to this destination in the hope and joy of meaning. Meaning is only found in honesty. Meaning is a reflection of the truth.

Civilizations rise and fall why would ours be different? Epochs come and go why would the mother of our civilization, the stable Holocene, be different? It is the arrogance of intelligence that got us here to a planet now abruptly forced into change. It is the lack of humility that allowed doors to be opened that should not have been opened. Wisdom must have humility to function as the gate keeper for intelligence. There has to be checks and balances which is humility. There are no checks now and the result is no balance.

It is not useful to judge the situation but instead have the understanding and acceptance this is the process. This is the natural process it just seems supernatural because humans believe we are special. This is human arrogance. Intelligence manifests as knowledge, tech and also spirituality. It is knowledge and tech that have taken over with spiritualism relegated to the back seat. In fact, spiritualism has been hijacked and Scientism has taken its place. Scientism seeks to elevate the transhumanism of knowledge and tech to the spiritual. A transhuman immortality is the new God. We killed the idea of God only to replace it with human centric intelligence as a new a God. The mechanization of human arrogance is sweeping aside anything that challenges its supremacy. This mechanization will result in self-destruction. They always do just like a Ponzi Scheme. This is what lies do.

This is where the individual can be far superior to civilization. Civilization can’t reflect on failure but the individual can. The systematic self-organization that occurs with growth-based systems like civilization is its trap. Civilizations are path dependent on the growth that got them to where they are at. It is their DNA. They can’t degrowth they can’t even consider degrowth. Civilizations can only bifurcate.

You the individual can adapt within this trap. You can find a micro clime of constructive growth within an overall system destructive growth. I call it destructive growth because this in reality is destructive change where dysfunction, irrational, and abandonment increasingly dominate as the nonlinear of diminishing returns of growth is reached. The current inflection is near or past where problem solving is the problem. Yet, the individual can live in both worlds through meaning. Humans are dualistic with the isolated ego and oneness. Go local to find human scale so you can properly balance the ego and oneness. This is the only place wisdom can function as a gate keeper. Where humility can guide intelligence. Yet, you will have to remain global too because this is the world, we live in. The answer is uniquely yours on how you live in the dualism of both worlds.

Energy Shifts

I am offering an excellent work by a dear intellectual friend of mine at His Essay is “There Are No Limits To Growth”.

I am not going to go into the detailed issues of energy and decline but to explain my journey. I have hundreds of saved articles and comments on the subject. This education is over 2 decades. I was educated in economics and finance in the early 80s. I also took many electives in philosophy, ecology, and geology. These electives actually impacted me much more than my core studies. During this time, I was heavily invested in globalism and supported the ideas of sustainable development. I read every globalist magazine “The Economist” that came out for years. I now reject globalism and especially the ideas behind the “Great Reset” which is a doubling down on globalism and transhumanism based upon a religion of Scientism.

I graduated from college and moved to Europe working in Germany for a year in a construction company as an apprentice. My first wife was Spanish and French. I spent a few years in Spain and France following my time in Germany. I was able to learn a functional German and Spanish but never became fluent. This meant I returned to the US to work in our family’s business eventually. Because I had excellent opportunities there.

In 2000 I became aware of the systematic dangers of modern life with Y2K. This may have been a hoax of sorts but it also pointed to the instability of modern life. In my geology classes I studied peak oil and in ecology class climate change. These topics started to heat up in the early 2000s. I moved out of the city to a farm that was very remote despite being within a 50 min drive of my job in St. Louis. City life had so disillusioned me I braved the commute. Here I developed my real passion which was permaculture homesteading skills. This time was the beginning of my Green Prepping development period.

I had a spiritual awakening of sorts and decided to leave my job in the family business in the city. The corporate way of life was not conducive to my spiritual health so I took a buyout. This was a drop in affluence but I was free. I gave up a wealthy future to live closer to nature. I embraced the idea that peak oil was a near and present danger. I eventually was somewhat radicalized in my response to peak oil and by the 08 crisis had made dramatic changes to how I lived.

Of course, the 08 crisis and peak oil came and went but only in respect to the short-termism of the human narrative. Peak oil and the condition of late stage capitalism is here still but buried with other problems that when combined are a predicament. Renewables will never break out of the need for fossil fuels in my opinion. Now we see those experimenting with Marxism and socialism as if that is a transition for late stage capitalism. Instead it is just a hijacking of power as civilization crumbles. In my opinion all of this is part of the decline process including the planet and the web of life.

There is today a movement to be zero carbon with the promotion of renewables. Over the past 8 years I have focused extensively on the possibility of a transition to zero carbon world. I can tell you I reject this completely but I do feel renewables are vital as a transformative path meaning we need to develop these technologies to cushion the blow of the coming resource constraints of a world reaching an existential inflection. This inflection includes energy, technology, and governance. Renewables are part of my life but I do not believe in them as an energy transition.

My central postion of REAL Green is an acceptance that society is path dependent in a carbon trap and technology will only make this worse. Diminishing returns is now the governing force behind decline. Diminishing return eventually goes nonlinear. In this nonlinear transition zone, there is a move from problem solving to making the problem worse. We are near this point with dishonest science pursing dellusionals solutions because civilization cannot handle the truth of decline. The science is honest on the problems for the most part in my opinion. It is the social narrative that cannot and will not entertain the idea that a baked in collpase process is self-evident based upon path dependencies of civilization with tech and energy.

REAL Green was born with my concerns on climate change, peak oil, and systematic decline. I have done extensive studies of all three over the past 21 years but extensive daily studies over the last 10 years. I am now living a way of life based upon my findings. I am no longer concerned on the direction civilization is going in because it is trapped in its need for carbon and because of path dependencies. This is self-organizing and reflects the fact all civilizations end and end for similar reasons which is denial and delusions. This is most evident with the elites in history and today this is never more apparent with our elites.

I am including a very well written essay by a fellow blogger who has given me permission to post his essay. He has come to similar conclusions that the only way forward is the pursuit of spiritual assets of meaning as the inevitable decline of physical affluence becomes unavoidable. He is in the Southern Hemisphere on the other side of the planet. This to me is an example of a global awakening. Many others who value honesty are coming to the same conclusions.

I recommend you read his essay. He gave me permission to repost “There Are No Limits to Growth” here on my blog. Go to his site to see his work. He also went through a profound journey. REAL Green’s basis is journey. My dear friend is a real writer. I am not. I am only relating my life as reference. My work is on the land in localism. He has produced a stunning work that has come to similar conclusions to mine. He still holds out civilization might transition spiritually when my opinion is this is the end game for civilization but instead it is the individual who can transition. My dear friend is more optimistic and likely you will find his writing more palatable. Nobody likes to dwell on collapse and basically REAL Green’s conclusion is your journey must start from the acceptance of a collpase process on all levels. Here is his work:

There Are No Limits To Growth

The overall message of this essay is about returning to a more spiritual way of life that is less resource intensive, due to a looming decline in the availability of fossil fuels.


In this chapter, we will explore why humans are driven to such strong material growth and how we could transition to a less resource-intensive form of growth in light of future physical resource constraints. Given that humans are naturally driven to growth, how do we canalize our will to grow appropriately and in line with the new incoming energy of the age?

Unconstrained Material Growth

During a materialistic epoch, such as the one that we are in, it would be natural for civilizations to generally tend towards material growth, because humans are to a large extent bound by the dominant energy of the age in which they find themselves [see Part 5].

Most cultures would, nonetheless, endeavor to preserve and promote spiritual practices that would offset materialism in order to maintain some balance. There is usually a natural understanding amongst spiritual leaders in all cultures that by abandoning spirituality completely, people could ‘lose their heads’ in materialism – and that would be especially true in a material age. Should that happen, sufficient internal moral codes to limit external material excesses would disappear.

Disconnected Material Growth

Material growth, accomplished with restraint and within an environmentally conscious framework, would require maintaining a connection with the natural environment, but the concept of modern progress in itself depends to a large extent on moving away from nature. Urbanization and modernization go hand-in-hand, which means that physical removal from nature is usually followed by intellectual removal from nature – and vice versa.

The Power of Modernization

Bearing physical constraints in mind would always be the wise thing to do, especially when moving away from nature; however, maintaining such an equilibrium when almost permanently isolated from nature may be easier said than done.

When societies are swept up in the heady currents of modernization, with the driving force being progress at all costs, nature and the environment recede into the background. They are only occasionally focused upon, usually temporarily, mainly when large environmental crises hit news headlines.
The price that we would pay for living within resource constraints would be reduced material growth with limited modernization, while the price that we are paying for powerful, unconstrained modernization is a loss of perception in relation to natural resource boundaries. The more we modernize, the further we drift away from limited resource realities and the more our collective myopia grows.

Severed Connections

A loss of connection with nature results in a loss of empathy for it by not having any direct relationship with it. Indeed, the idea of having empathy for nature would in itself seem odd to many. However, watching National Geographic documentaries about the living earth, with us as part of the biosphere, simply doesn’t suffice.

You have to live in the natural world, or live very close to it, to engage with it and to experience it in order to have a connection with it. When such direct and natural interactions with nature are lacking, a sense of the sacredness within nature is lost. Maintaining a moral approach towards the natural world and the biosphere then falls by the wayside.

When we do not know nature directly, our inclination to appreciate it, respect it and care for it is diminished, and so is the likelihood of feeling a sense of duty or responsibility towards the natural world.

One-Sided Growth

Interacting with nature regularly puts people in a better position to have natural empathy for it, because they would understand that nature has natural empathy for them in the sense that it provides for them. Everything that we use and consume comes from the natural world first and foremost. It is then processed and refined, but the modern mind tends to not make that connection consistently enough.

There is no doubt that incredible human progress has been made through modernization, notably in the sciences and technology. This progress has undoubtedly led to the further development of the human mind, but it has also led to a one-sided form of development due to our intellectual disconnect from nature.

An imbalance has developed in that modern humans do not fully comprehend that they are naturally and fundamentally connected to nature at all times, and that they are an intrinsic component of nature. We are not alien to this world and neither are we aliens in it, but one-sided intellectual development away from the natural world can and does at times lead to such a perspective.

Committed to Material Growth

Our dependence on material growth for modern prosperity, welfare, safety, comforts and quality of life – things that everybody wants and aspires to – means that our capacity for prioritizing anything outside of this paradigm is greatly compromised. Even the idea of limiting material growth would, in many cases, motivate an even stronger commitment to it.

Indeed, having to let go of material growth without anything to replace it would be near-impossible for most people. Much of what they have ever known, especially in the developed world, has had to do with material growth, with a bit of spiritual growth on the side. Therefore, the idea that material growth could potentially come to an end one day would oftentimes be experienced as a looming disaster of epic proportions.

Growth of the Urban Class

Once people are modernized, they rarely voluntarily revert to the pre-modernization state. By the same token, once urbanized, people generally do not return to the land.

It can be observed in developing countries that when individuals from indigenous communities become urbanized and modernized, they tend to consider themselves as having become more advanced than their peers who had maintained their traditional lifestyles in rural areas.

This is a phenomenon that has become clearly visible in the developed world, too. City dwellers often consider themselves to be more educated, more sophisticated and more forward thinking than rural or farm residents. This became quite evident during events that played out during and after the UK-EU ‘Brexit’ membership referendum in 2016 and during the USA presidential election in the same year.

It would appear that on the part of the urbanized population there tends to be a lack of understanding of what it takes to live and work close to the land and how the educational, technological and social requirements would be different.
Urbanized middle and upper classes, therefore, seem to develop a tendency to look down on those who had “stayed behind” in the country. There is, perhaps, a perception that rural people suffer a deficit in education and a lack of sophistication and, therefore, by implication, that they lack class. In spite of such perceptions, the urban class remains fully dependent on farming communities for their food supply.

Although there are many communities worldwide with one-foot-in and one-foot-out of urban living due to spending time in the countryside with family members or by commuting from the countryside to towns or cities for work, once people become fully urbanized and have never known rural life, then choosing to become a farmer becomes a rather remote possibility.

Towards Upward Mobility

There is, presently, a strong, ongoing, worldwide trend towards urbanization [1]. The number of countries where this trend does not feature is no more than a couple of dozen [2]. This means that there is an ongoing trend towards more materialism through the consumerism which is an embedded feature of urbanization and modern living.

When people urbanize, they get access to a variety of goods, services and forms of entertainment that they would otherwise not have access to on a consistent basis. They would also have access to modern infrastructure, amenities and technological conveniences which are lacking outside of urban areas. There are also educational and skills-oriented opportunities available in urban areas, which rural environments simply don’t provide. There is a strong correlation between urbanization and prosperity [3].

The Freedom to Grow

Personal growth in a material sense requires freedom. Community-oriented, traditional lifestyles don’t usually provide many opportunities for fully pursuing personal interests and objectives. Modernization, however, promises to potentially deliver individual achievement and success on multiple levels.
That people would choose to modernize in order to self-realize is simply a logical conclusion of going after opportunities, in many cases pursuing new opportunities that are opening up [4]. It is, therefore, little surprise that given the innate drive of humans to progress and to evolve, people would be drawn to self-realization through modernization within a materialistic paradigm.
Modern progress (through industrialization, mechanization and automation) only becomes a problem when global population numbers grow to the extent that massive environmental degradation is caused by so many people self-realizing through modernization that it ends up threatening the collapse of civilization back into a pre-modern age.

Material vs. Spiritual Growth

The natural close proximity that indigenous people have to nature allows them to maintain – quite naturally – an equilibrium between materialism and spirituality. Indeed, indigenous people are often more spiritual than materialistic, even within the context of a material age.

Human consciousness being predominantly materialistic in its orientation in the present age means that becoming more spiritual and less materialistic within an urban environment could have the benefit of reducing over consumption on an individual level.

There is, however, a relatively large difference between personal development in a modernized setting compared to nature-based spirituality. Becoming more intellectually spiritual through self-development while living in a city does not necessarily result in having closer contact with nature.

One Foot In and One Foot Out

On the other hand, it is also true that many people do, indeed, manage to maintain some form of balance by getting out of cities frequently for nature-based activities. In addition, they may also maintain frugal and responsible environmentally conscious living practices.

These individuals would probably cope better should a need ever arise to leave urban areas and return to the land. Nevertheless, it remains unlikely that even this section of society would relocate en masse from urban areas by their own volition.

Individually removing oneself on a permanent basis from a city or town could be a solution and would, perhaps, be the only real way to bring about a personal transformation in terms of actively being more in harmony with the environment on an ongoing basis.

Modernization vs Simplification

The bottom line is that, for the time being, nobody wants to go back in time in terms of progress and, in the minds of the vast majority of people, progress means modernization, which is, of course, also true for them on a practical, material level. Modern progress is what the vast majority of people want.
‘De-modernizing’, degrowing and deindustrializing go directly against the modern concept of progress and are completely counter-intuitive to the majority of people, regardless of resource depletion realities on the ground and ongoing environmental degradation.

Negative Progress

Once intellectually modernized through urban living and by embracing modern technologies, there’s virtually no going back. In that sense, one could say that collapse is by design, because there seems to be no reverse gear built into the human psyche once it has become modernized.

Collapse happens when the majority of people within a civilization are unable or unwilling to change their thinking or their behaviors when such change would be the only way to save their civilization. Civilizations, therefore, in some cases progress themselves into collapse.

The Economic Growth Imperative

Macroeconomics is the study of the overall economic performance of a country, and ‘the growth imperative’ is an underlying principle of macroeconomics that takes the view that growth is always good for an economy [10]. The reasoning behind it is that continuous economic growth – measured in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – reflects better living standards for the population.

Better living standards become possible when there are more jobs and higher salaries, and that would depend on more manufacturing, more production and more service delivery. These economic activities are driven by the main objective of companies for more profits for themselves and for their shareholders (their shareholders often being employees and ordinary working people.)

Higher industrial output and more jobs result in more taxes from corporations and individuals. More taxes would mean that governments can provide better social support systems, health care services and infrastructure development and can improve overall living standards.

The growth imperative is, therefore, fundamental to modern progress, and it is usually reflected in economic policymaking worldwide as it always aims to stimulate more economic growth for the economies of all countries.
Towards More Upward Mobility

The possibility of achieving better living standards draws people from rural areas towards urban areas which results in more industrial activity – which then causes more environmental degradation [4] [3] . Any long-term decline in economic growth would cause a decline in living standards for just about everyone, except for those who had never had their living standards raised in the first place.

Generally speaking, once living standards rise and people enter the middle classes through upward mobility, they vote for politicians who would continue to secure their living standards. Also, voters usually wish that the politicians they vote for support policies that would provide opportunities for the further raising of their quality of life through sustained and consistent economic growth.

This means that virtually all economically active people support the economic growth imperative, whether in developing or developed nations. The more that people have their material living standards raised, the higher the demand becomes for more material growth which, in turn, exacerbates the negative impact on the environment.

Sustainable development is, therefore, an oxymoron, because in the bigger scheme of things the economic growth imperative almost always wins out over limited resource realities and environmental concerns.

A New Ethic

Should the Spirit of the Age change organically, a new ethic could potentially arrive naturally, (as discussed in Parts 3 and 5), but that would require a shift in the metaphysical energy of the age which would result in a general shift in human thinking. Such a shift will arrive incrementally – but may not arrive soon enough to avoid a partial collapse of our civilization.

A time will eventually come when humans will be less materialistic in terms of their thinking and would naturally want to move away from the material growth imperative (see Part 5) but, until such time, everything points to the fact that it would be up to individuals to make such a shift on their own (as far as that would be possible for them), both in thinking and in lifestyle.

When physical resource limits for further economic expansion eventually set in to the extent that the majority of people are personally and directly affected, a general shift in thinking may occur. Regardless, lifestyle changes will eventually be forced upon people due to a decline in the availability of affordable fossil fuels (See: Limits to Growth – A Final Warning.)

Eventually, the number of people motivated to shift to another form of growth would swell exponentially and they would then follow in the footsteps of those individuals who had made the shift earlier on.

There Are No Limits To Growth

There are no limits to growth. Although there are limits to external growth, there are no limits to internal growth. One thing that will never change is our will to grow. As humans, we are absolutely driven to grow. The very reason why we are here is to grow – but not only materially so, and that is where we need to change our thinking. What has to change is the way that we grow. We need to shift our approach from being outer-growth-oriented to inner-growth-oriented.
The Great Shift

Growth is cyclical; sometimes it is material and sometimes it is spiritual (as illustrated in Part 5). We have entered an era of exponential spiritual growth while the window for material growth is closing. Most people are so committed to material growth that they are unable to make the shift in advance – and few are even contemplating it.

From Circles to Spirals

Unlimited material growth is a closed circle – a self-reinforcing loop that relies on the continuous availability of limited external material resources, some of which we will eventually run out of, without there being sufficient substitutes.

Spiritual growth in the form of inner self-development is an open, ascending spiral with infinite growth potential that draws on unlimited intangible resources within and which can be tapped indefinitely for internal expansion.

Making the Shift

The whole objective of self-development and self-transformation is to grow beyond the general state of being that is the standard level of development of the times. Those who follow this path become the pioneers who traverse The Valley of Shadows in advance. They transcend the limits of the present paradigm early by living in the next paradigm consciously and practically, while still being in the old paradigm at the same time.

The Inner Growth Imperative

The inner growth imperative will, one day, become as powerful as the outer growth imperative is today. To be in line with the new energy in advance, we would need to switch over from an external economic growth imperative – based mainly on material and physical accumulation and consumption – to an internal self-realization growth imperative that is based on internal expansion and the accumulation of non-tangible inner-wealth.

Once we have made this shift consciously and intellectually, we will have the ability to be happy with less and we will be able to embrace the coming changes more naturally. Individuals who choose this path are a minority, but they will be better positioned to pioneer and conceptualize new ways of living compared to people living exclusively in a material growth paradigm physically and mentally.

The Vision Quest

We have to evolve into creating for ourselves more non-material comforts and pleasures. We have to create an environment that would provide peace and spiritual prosperity, notwithstanding having less material abundance. We have to formulate a new ethic that allows for personal and individual freedoms within the context of a renewed responsibility to our community and our environment at the same time.

This and more are achievable, but it would require forward-thinking people who are motivated to make an early shift. While we still have time, we need to envision the world that we would like to live in. It is most likely going to be a return return to a slower way of life. Taking a positive view of this probable future and having a pragmatic approach towards it would enable us to envision solutions more clearly as we shift.

Towards Simplicity

The meaning of progress and development will change. In the future, it would mean a return to a simpler life, combined with personal inner development, as opposed to a complex life with external development in the form of possessions and status.

We have to revert to the Great Year Within and uplift ourselves. We have to spiral upwards along with the upwards-moving energy on the ascending arc of human evolution. Such a state can only be reached through self-development.
The more people start moving in this direction and combine it with a one-foot-out approach – spending more time in nature – the sooner we will make the transition in advance and the more people will be available to build resilient communities in anticipation of the coming changes.

By J.J. Montagnier

J.J. Montagnier is an independent researcher and writer. He can be found at
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