How to Read This Blog


To get the most out of this blog, I recommend beginning with the earliest post and proceeding in chronological order. For the most part this blog, like a planning document, builds on data and rationale in a linear manner. You may find value in individual posts taken in isolation, but I suspect your experience will be richer if you follow the intended progression.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

What Am I?

Just to be clear: this blog is about the end of the world.

Not just the end of my personal, individual world- but the end of many other people's personal, individual worlds too.  The end of many lives, of nations, of cultures, of species, of Civilization.  Perhaps the end of all life.

If that's too depressing for you, I'd suggest you stop here.

You see, I am a Doomer.  On a scale of Doomer-light to Uber-Doomer, I probably fall towards the Uber-Doomer end of the spectrum.

Years of research, life experience, professional practice, reading, and contemplation have led me to the conclusion that the current arrangement of human relations on Planet Earth will inevitably lead to a (relatively) rapid economic, social, and environmental collapse.  In many ways, this trifecta of collapses is already underway, at least to the extent that there is nothing that any of us can do to prevent further progression of collapse.

I didn't come to this conclusion by myself.  Many others, from prominent scientists to loners living in the woods (not that these have to be mutually exclusive), have followed their own path of discovery and come to the same conclusions.  I've seen it estimated that at this time 30,000-40,000 people are regularly surfing the doom-inspired websites out there.  If anyone is reading this blog, you probably just came from one of those sites.

What makes my perspective a little different from other perspectives is that I have a fairly direct and significant role in the expansion of the Industrial Civilization destroying our world.  I am a "community planner."

rendering from Drexel University master plan (courtesy of Goody Clancy Planning)

The definition of "city planning" from tells us:

the activity or profession of determining 
the future physical arrangement and 
condition of a community, involving 
an appraisal of the present condition, a 
forecast of future requirements, a plan for
 the fulfillment of these requirements, 
and proposals for constructional, legal, 
and financial programs to implement the 
From this definition, one would assume that planners everywhere are all over this "end of the world" thing.  One would assume wrong.  There's a lot of appraising, forecasting, planning, and proposing going on- but pretty much all of it is pointed in the direction of accelerating our demise without many hints as to what lies at the end of this trajectory.  As you might imagine, I have a few things I'd like to say about that.

One interesting thing about planners is that we're rarely experts in the technical subjects we deal with.  We're not geologists, but we need to understand enough about geology to make our plans.  The same with engineering, or climate science, or economics.  Instead we have to be very good at understanding how these major subject areas fit together, and even more importantly, what the best sources of information are in those subject areas.  This will be an important theme in future posts: identifying who the real experts are, what the science really says, and what it means to the big picture.

Finally, I can't forget to mention that I am a human being, living at the pinnacle of Empire.

Family Cookout, 1950s

I have a family I love, hobbies I enjoy, a job to go to, a mortgage to pay.  The lifestyle I live is probably not too different from the one you live, all things considered.  I am the benefactor of the suffering of millions of people around the world, of destructive extractive industries that decimate the environment, of an incredible explosion in fossil fuel powered energy that is changing the face of the planet.  I am also a slave to the system, with no viable options for escaping this set of living arrangements.

In sum, this is what I am.  A Doomer.  A planner.  A human being at the pinnacle of Empire.

If these things interest you, pull up a chair.  Let's have a chat.

1 comment:

  1. I only hang out with doomers, for doomers at least understand that civilization is at an end. Ironically, though, to be a doomer seems to imply a belief in the invincibility of civilization's "framework." Once you step outside of the framework, doom does not appear to be inevitable...or even likely. As a result, I can't join the doomer club. Nice company, just the same.