Preparation and Transformation

As all this starts to shift and change and disintegrate and collapse, there’s the opportunity, in fact, to come back to ourselves. To grow up, fundamentally, as people and as a culture.

~Richard Heinberg, What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire

What will it mean to grow up, as a people and as a culture?

Responses to What A Way To Go include inspiring efforts that range from a conscious dismantling of industrial civilization, visions and practices to bring about an evolutionary leap into a new paradigm, as well as shock and deep despair at the massive on-going loss of species and indigenous cultures and the threat of human extinction.

Many people want to know WHAT TO DO.


1) Post-Peak Living offers online courses on a variety of topics from gardening and keeping chickens to a six-week course to prepare for living very differently in the following areas: transportation, health, finances and shelter, food production and storage, and post-peak skills.

Post Peak Living

2) The Transition Network “helps communities deal with climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy (peak oil).”

The Transition concept emerged from work that permaculture designer Rob Hopkins had done with the students of Kinsale Further Education College in writing an “Energy Descent Action Plan”. This looked at across-the-board creative adaptations in the realms of energy production, health, education, economy and agriculture as a “road map” to a sustainable future for the town…The idea was adapted and expanded through 2005, 2006 and beyond in Hopkins’ hometown of Totnes where he is now based. The initiative spread quickly, and as of May 2010, there are over 300 communities recognized as official Transition Towns in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Italy and Chile. The term transition towns has morphed into transition initiatives to reflect the range and type of communities involved…

In the United States, transition initiatives have sprung up in many communities. Transition US is the national hub and has a vision “that every community in the United States will have engaged its collective creativity to unleash an extraordinary and historic transition to a future beyond fossil fuels; a future that is more vibrant, abundant and resilient; one that is ultimately preferable to the present”. Transition US is a resource and catalyst for building resilient communities across the United States that are able to withstand severe energy, climate or economic shocks while creating a better quality of life in the process. They are accomplishing this mission by inspiring, encouraging, supporting, networking and training individuals and their communities as they consider, adopt, adapt, and implement the transition approach to community empowerment and change. (From Wikipedia)

3) Chris Martenson’s The Crash Course, online course and book, focuses on the effect on global economics of oil depletion and dwindling resources. On his site are excellent resources and on-going discussion of actions one might take to prepare personally.


In addition to the authors and scholars we interviewed during the making of What A Way To Go, here’s a list of authors and books that have been important to us over the past years and have contributed to our own personal and spiritual evolution in the face of humanity’s crisis:

David Abram

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World

Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine

Last Chance to See

Itzhak Bentov

Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness

Pema Chodron

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

Julian Darley

High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis

Kenneth Deffeyes

Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage

Beyond Oil: The View From Hubbert’s Peak

Richard Douthwaite

The Growth Illusion: How Economic Growth has Enriched the Few,
Impoverished the Many and Endangered the Planet

Short Circuit

David Edwards

Burning All Illusions

Charles Eisenstein

The Ascent of Humanity: Civilization and the Human Sense of Self

Duane Elgin

Promise Ahead: A Vision of Hope and Action for Humanity’s Future

Robert Fritz

The Path of Least Resistance: Learning to Become the Creative Force in Your Own Life

John Taylor Gatto

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

Stan Goff

Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century

David Ray Griffin

The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11

Joan Halifax

The Fruitful Darkness: Reconnecting With the Body of the Earth

Thom Hartmann

The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Waking Up to Personal and Global Transformation

James Hillman and Michael Ventura

We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse

Robert D. Kaplan

The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War

David Korten

The Great Turning

William Kotke

Final Empire: The Collapse of Civilization and the Seed of the Future

James Howard Kunstler

The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and
Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century

Paul Levy

The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis

Grace Llewellyn

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education

James Lovelock

The Revenge of Gaia

Mark Lynas

High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet

Joanna Macy

World As Lover, World As Self

Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age

Deena Metzger

From Grief into Vision: A Council

Daniel Pinchbeck

2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl

Martin Prechtel

Secrets of the Talking Jaguar: Memoirs from the Living Heart of a Mayan Village

Barbara Rossing

The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation

Jonathan Schell

The Fate of the Earth

Andrew Bard Schmookler

The Parable of the Tribes: The Problem of Power in Social Evolution

Malidoma Some

Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic, and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman

Alan Weisman

The World Without Us

Chogyam Trungpa

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism