Appropriate Tech is the New High Tech

On his blog, the Archdruid Report, John Michael Greer has a provocative essay, “Seeking the Gaianomicon” that includes a link to a collection of 1970s/80s era appropriate technology handouts. The 190 page pdf Greer mentions (accessible at http://www.culturalconservers.org/apptech.php) includes information and how-to advice on insulation, storm windows, solar water heaters, super-insulated homes, simple photovoltaic systems and more.Greer is asking that readers spread the word about this resource. He also suggests starting your own library of appropriate technology classics. Both are great ideas.

Our blog, in fact, was largely inspired by just this type of literature in the form of a book by Sim Van der Ryn The Integral Urban House: Self Reliant Living in the City as well as other books such as Lloyd Kahn’s Shelter. Keeping with Greer’s idea of building an appropriate tech library we’ll dig up some more books and links. In the meantime, I can think of one other free downloadable book, David Bainbridge’s The Integral Passive Solar Water Heater Book, that you can access for free via the Build It Solar website at: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/WaterHeating/ISPWH/ispwh.htm

If any of you know of more appropriate tech books, blogs or resources worth looking at, please leave a comment.

And thanks to the Homegrown Evolution reader who noticed our oddball interest in both appropriate tech and western esotericism and turned us on to the Archdruid.

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3 Comments

  1. If it was me, you’re quite welcome!

    A primary source that seems to have charted the course for both appropriate tech and Permaculture is Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful, which I’m grateful to Greer for recommending to me.

    My library will eventually include Warmth Disperses and Time Passes, which is about thermodynamics rather than appropriate tech, but is a great history/popular science book, and has shaped my understanding of thermodynamics viz. my work as an engineer.

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