The members of the middle class in the United States are finding increasing difficulty achieving and maintaining their expectations for jobs, housing and other basic aspects of life. With the limits to growth putting basic lifestyle assumptions under increasing assault, can people use intermediate technologies to reduce their ecological and financial footprint? If we start imagining new ways of procuring energy, food and shelter can we also reconfigure our culture in the process?
In Extraenvironmentalist #72 we discuss appropriate technology with John Michael Greer as he describes the ideas in his new book Green Wizardry: Conservation, Solar Power, Organic Gardening, and Other Hands-On Skills From the Appropriate Tech Toolkit. JMG describes how a downwardly mobile middle class can begin mastering the skills necessary to change their lives and their culture. Then, we talk to Jessica Kellner of Mother Earth Living about her book Housing Reclaimed: Sustainable Homes for Next to Nothing and the people across the United States who are building their homes out of salvaged materials for hardly any money.